Press brakes provide bending flexibility

LVD has expanded its line of ToolCell automated tool-changing press brakes with the ToolCell 220/30 Plus and ToolCell 220/40 Plus. The new Plus models can handle bend lengths of 3 and 4 m, and deliver 220 tons of bending force. Both feature an open height of 570 mm (with a stroke of 300 mm) to accommodate tools capable of producing high flanges. If required, this can be enhanced to an opening of 670 mm and a stroke of 400 mm.

LVD’s ToolCell hydraulic press brake features an integrated tool changer and tool-storage system. The machine automatically selects and places the tooling required for the job. While the operator is preparing parts for the next job, the machine unloads the previous tooling and loads the next set-up, all without manual intervention.
The accuracy of bending operations is said to be assured with LVD’s patented Easy-Form Laser adaptive-bending system, which is standard on all ToolCell models. Easy-Form Laser provides in-process angle monitoring via laser scanners located on the front and back of the press brake table. The system transmits information in real time to the CNC, which adjusts parameters accordingly to generate the correct angle. No production time is lost as the bending process is not interrupted. Using Easy-Form Laser, the machine is able to adapt to material variations such as sheet thickness, strain hardening and grain direction, automatically compensating for any changes.
ToolCell press brakes are Industry 4.0-ready thanks to LVD’s latest generation Touch-B control, which is linked to a central CADMAN database where all production-relevant data is stored.
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Productivity boosted 30% at Alvan Blanch

Wiltshire-based Alvan Blanch, a specialist in the design and manufacture of machines and integrated systems for the processing of agricultural produce and waste materials, has installed two of the UK’s highest specification E-Brakes from SafanDarley. The purchase was prompted by a bottleneck in the company’s press bay following investment in automation for its laser-cutting and punching machines.

“Due to our growth and the acceleration of other processes on site, we had little choice but to invest in new press brakes,” explains production manager Neil Connor. “We looked at suitable machines across the market, including those from our existing supplier. However, the E-Brake 200-4100 NS machines from SafanDarley were the most advanced, not just in terms of their servo-electronic technology, but the user-friendly CNC. We’re based in a small village, so finding skilled labour is really difficult. If we lose a skilled operator through sickness, for example, we sometimes need to assign a replacement who isn’t necessarily familiar with the technology.”
The ability to program the SafanDarley E-Brakes offline allows Alvan Blanch to assign unskilled labour to the machines, safe in the knowledge that they simply have to follow on-screen instructions to complete the task successfully.
“To emphasise this point, we have recently recruited two brand new operators who have never used press brakes before,” says Connor. “However, they’ve taken to the E-Brakes really well and are working away quite happily now – after just four weeks in the job!”
Alvan Blanch traded-in two of its four previous press brakes as part of the investment, so there are still four machines in total on site. However, despite this, the two new E-Brakes have boosted productivity by 30% to relieve the previous bottleneck.
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Next-generation adaptive bending system

LVD has introduced its Synchro-Form adaptive bending technology. Synchro-Form automatically maintains angular consistency and the required geometric profile when handling, positioning and bending large parts with multiple bends, says the company, thus overcoming the problems of accumulative error and trial-and-error bending.

Synchro-Form uses a laser scanner and synchro modules to manipulate, position and measure each bend, relaying the digital information to the Touch-B control, which makes adjustments to part and ram position to achieve the correct profile. Variations are not accumulated but, instead, compensated with each bend step. According to LVD, even after multiple consecutive bends, the profile will be perfectly formed.
The system is an integrated feature of the company’s Synchro-Form series press brakes in models ranging from 320 tons by 4 m, up to 3000 tons by 14 m. It is also available in tandem, triple and quadruple configurations.
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Industry 4.0 automated bending line

According to Gasparini, mass production can now turn flexible thanks to the introduction of its latest smart press brake, which connects to the rest of the factory. The machine’s circuits, its frame, and its key components are populated with sensors in order to extract a wealth of data. This kind of forming line represents the very first press brake compliant with Industry 4.0, says the company.

The machine makes it possible to get detailed statistics about all production phases, as well as the cycle time needed to make a specific product. As a result, users can know actual costs, eliminate bottlenecks and monitor errors or other process-related problems. Another advantage of this network of sensors is the potential to detect problematic working conditions, and address them with preventive maintenance. Faults and machine stops can therefore be reduced, solving failures before they become production outages.
Sensors also allow the material being bent to be parameterised, keeping dimensional and strength variation under control. Furthermore, the machine will manage spring-back accurately and in real time, minimising the need for samples and tests.
Another novel feature is integration with other elements of a ‘smart factory’. Different from machines of previous generations, this automated bending line can be interfaced with ERP, NAS, CAD and CAM systems. Users can perform remote uploads of bending programs and drawings. The press brake can be connected to laser cutters, automatic warehouses, welding lines and so on.
Gasparini will be showcasing its new automated bending line during an open house this week (12-13 May).
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UK’s first Prima Power eP 1336 press brake

To increase the company’s bending capacity and further improve its capabilities, Kings Lynn-based Dale Sheetmetal, recently purchased a Prima Power servo-electric press brake. Although smaller versions of Prima Power’s eP series have previously been installed in the UK, the large eP 1336 variant, with 135 tonne press tonnage and bending length of 3655 mm, is the first of its kind installed in the UK.

Explaining the purchase, managing director Dave Dale says: “Each stage in our company’s development has been driven by growing customer demand. Having identified bespoke bending as a pinch-point, we recently investigated the latest press brake technologies. Rather than investing in a conventional hydraulic press, in accordance with our philosophy of installing the best available technology, we only looked at next-generation, all-electric machines. Although a couple of alternative options would have provided many of the qualities we were seeking, Prima Power’s eP 1336 proved to be the ideal machine for our needs.
“Now installed and fully operational, the speed and precision of the eP 1336 ensures that it produces high levels of consistently high quality work,” he adds. “In addition to satisfying existing customers’ needs, the high-quality features and the extra capacity created by our Prima Power servo-electronic press brake will allow us to enter new markets.”
The eP 1336 range uses a pulley-belt system that is actuated by Prima Electro servo drives, distributing the bending force over the whole bending length. It consists of fixed and moving rolls spread out over the working length of the upper beam. The belt itself has a steel wire reinforced, maintenance-free construction.
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