Guarding against inefficiency

One of the world’s most famous manufacturers of guarding for machinery, Procter Machine Safety, is benefiting from the performance and quality attributes of a newly installed Trumpf TruBend 5130 CNC press brake.

The machine has been acquired to increase bending capacity at the company’s 100-employee Caerphilly manufacturing plant, where it has been joined by Trumpf’s TruTops Boost programming software.
“To be honest, we assumed that Trumpf machines would be too expensive, so we initially discounted them for that reason,” says John Procter, the company’s director of machine safety. “Nevertheless, we arranged a visit and were not only impressed with the press brakes on offer, but the prices were cheaper than we envisaged.”
The TruBend 5130 offers features such as lower tool displacement and five-axis back-gauge functionality. Since installation, the machine has been set to work producing parts for machine guards made from mild steel, aluminium and stainless steel, typically from 1 to 5 mm in thickness. Many of the parts are made to order, so are either 1-offs or low in batch size.
“We like the bending aid,” states Procter. “This helps with lifting and has allowed us to increase efficiencies due to less man-hours being required on any given job. Ultimately we have been able to cut shifts by up to half. In addition, thanks to the capabilities of the Trumpf TruBend 5130, we can now bend parts that were previously not possible.”
In terms of tangible savings, the press brake has made a positive contribution to the company’s bottom line. “I would estimate that the machine is around 15% faster than our existing press brake capacity,” explains Procter. “In addition, we are enjoying labour cost savings, as well as benefiting from less human error, which in turn means reduced scrap.”
For further information www.trumpf.com

Recol installs automated press brake

Recol Engineering Ltd, a Northampton-based subcontract supplier of complete metal-based manufacturing solutions, has installed an Amada HG-1003ATC (Automatic Tool Changer) automated press brake to facilitate its current period of sustained growth.

Indeed, the company’s continuous programme of ongoing investment in the latest manufacturing technologies has never been healthier, as evidenced by Recol’s commitment to automated manufacturing solutions. As part of a total spend close to £2m, investment in the press brake was complemented by an order for an automated ACIES2515TAJ 4 kW fibre laser.
To support the laser, Recol has also ordered an Amada AS-ULS-NTK double-tower system with 30-tonne capacity. The system provides 10 raw material shelves and five finished component shelves. Some 72 hours of unmanned operations give true lights-out weekend production.
“We want to leverage the full effect of the available automation so that we have no reliance on labour,” says director Ben Guntrip. “The buffer of the store makes for a very lean operating concept, which in turn means we can control material diversity across our machines.”
While the automated fibre laser will be delivered early this year, the Amada HG-1003ATC automated press brake was installed in November 2018.
“In total we are investing close to £2m to ensure that Recol retains its market-leading position,” concludes Guntrip. “However, the new Amada fibre laser and press brake are not just about gaining extra capacity, they are about process efficiency, reducing lead-time and ensuring we are not reliant on certain machines. Pure and simple,
we are futureproofing our business.”
For further information www.amada.co.uk

Service team expanded at Rhodes Interform

Rhodes Interform, the Group Rhodes business which specialises in bespoke composite and metal-forming machinery, has expanded its team with the appointment of three service engineers to enhance customer service.

The starters – Gary Lymm, Nigel Hartley and Paul Lowden – are all experienced in either mechanical, hydraulic or electrical engineering, as well as servicing and repair.
Steve Jackson, technical sales manager for Rhodes Interform, says: “There has been growing demand over the past 12 months for our repair and maintenance services from the metal press industries, including aerospace, automotive, white goods and general sheet metal fabrication. Gary, Nigel and Paul will play a key role in expanding our service agreements with customers as we continue to demonstrate how we can reduce plant downtime and maximise operational efficiency through planned maintenance schedules.”
As well as producing presses, Rhodes Interform says it reconditions and upgrades existing machines at a fraction of the cost of buying new. This service includes complete machine refurbishments on all Group Rhodes metal-forming, materials handling, clay preparation and concrete working machinery, as well as refurbishment work on equipment of other makes. The company can also offer full PLC or CNC control system upgrades, supported by software designed to meet the individual requirements of each customer.
Group Rhodes recently showcased its bespoke composite and metal-forming machinery at the Advanced Engineering show in Birmingham. Composite machinery manufactured by the company is used to manufacture structural components for production road cars, as well as flight critical parts for a variety of aircraft. The company also offers a range of cold forming technologies for specialist metal-forming applications across a number of sectors.
For further information www.grouprhodes.co.uk

Bus part supplier installs tandem press brake

After using Haco Synchromaster press brakes in tandem (two ERMS 30250 models), a HSL3013 hydraulic guillotine shear and a Compact 40 ironworker, a supplier to bus manufacturer Ashok Leyland that specialises in the manufacture of truck cabin, cowl, front end structure (FES), fuel tank, load body and stallion load body systems, has invested in additional machines from Haco Kingsland.

This time, the South India based company has installed a further set of Synchromaster press brakes in tandem (two ERMS 36250 machines), along with another HSL3013 hydraulic guillotine shear and Compact 40 ironworker.
The customer is a well-known supplier of Ashok Leyland, which is the second largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in India, the fourth largest manufacturer of buses in the world and the 12th largest manufacturer of trucks. In order to increase production capacity and provide more accurate components to Ashok Leyland, the customer decided to buy another 7.2 m x 500 ton tandem press brake.
After using one tandem press brake previously and enjoying impressive performances, the company has acquired two further Haco CNC Synchromaster press brakes that can be used in tandem as required. The Synchromaster is a well-equipped multi-axis CNC press brake with electro-hydraulic levelling, depth control and high angular and geometrical precision.
The company also bought another shearing machine for cutting 3 m long x 13 mm thick plates. According to the customer, it appreciates the European quality combined with competitive pricing. The new machines have already been installed at the factory and are in full production.
For further information www.kingsland.com

Subcontractor upgrades press brake capacity

Bridport-based sheet metal subcontractor, Ackerman Engineering, has installed an Xpert 150-tonne, 3.1 m press brake from Bystronic.

The move adds to the six Bystronic models already on site, one of which dates back to 2001 and is badged Edwards Pearson, which the Swiss manufacturer acquired in 2002.
Managing director Graham Ackerman is particularly impressed with the latest Bystronic Xpert 150, for which he has bought a comprehensive suite of the manufacturer’s RF-A segmented tooling. He says it is twice as fast to set up compared with older style tooling, as the punch and die segments are automatically centred when loaded from the front and hydraulically clamped.
Moreover, the system is fully compatible with the Bystronic bending database in the machine control, and it is practically impossible to insert an incorrect tool due to laser beam recognition of its profile. Part quality is also improved, especially when bending long components, as there are no witness marks where the tool segments meet and there is no need for shimming.
Ackerman says: “Today we have 34 staff working at Bridport, including a fifth generation Ackerman, my son Edward. By the time he takes over the business, with our policy of constant reinvestment, we will have grown further. There is plenty of room for expansion on our current site. The purchase of highly productive production plant like the Bystronic machines will be key to our continued success.”
For further information www.bystronic.co.uk