Allsops invests in Bystronic press brakes

Holmfirth-based sheet metal design and engineering specialist, Allsops Ltd, has recently upgraded its bending capability with the addition of two Xpert 40 Bystronic press brakes offering a bending length of 1 m and a stroke of 200 mm. Raising the number of press brakes on site from Bystronic (and predecessor companies) to 11, the machines provide a more efficient platform for bending smaller parts than is possible using a 3-m capacity machine, which by association has slower axis movements.

The Xpert 40 press brakes are highly efficient, according to Allsops’ production director, Lyndon Tyas: “With these inherently fast bending cells, all of the upper and lower tooling is to hand in drawers on the left and right hand sides of the machine, and the operator can remain seated when loading them.
“Tool positions are automatically calculated as a part of the program, and flashing LEDs on the front of the upper beam instruct the operator where to mount the tool segments,” he continues. “Ergonomic configuration means that setting up the machine is rapid, typically 15 minutes for a straightforward part. Accuracy is high – we easily hold ±0.5 mm, more than good enough for most jobs, and we can even halve that tolerance if required.”
Tyas also points out that there is space to hold cut blanks on one side of the machine and components that have been bent on the other. Another feature is the ByVision touchscreen control, which can be conveniently positioned to one side at the operator’s eye level, or just above it – centrally – if preferred.
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Fourth Unison tube bender at aerospace firm

Aircraft component manufacturer, Globe Engineering, has installed a fourth Unison all-electric CNC tube-bending machine at its facility in Wichita, USA.

The new machine has joined Globe’s existing Unison all-electric tube benders and will help to increase manufacturing capability. With overlapping capacities, the Unison tube bending machines at Globe can bend tubes from 1.25” (31.75 mm) to 6.00” (152.4 mm) in diameter.
In addition to supporting Globe’s ongoing requirements for bending quality aircraft tubing, the latest all-electric CNC tube bender from Unison will be used to bend a range of aluminium, stainless steel and titanium tubes measuring up to 1.25” (31.75 mm).
“We aren’t just creating new capability by buying a new Unison tube bending machine, we’re creating capacity and a safety net, in case we have a breakdown,” explains bend shop supervisor Shaun Knuth.
Describing some of the key advantages that Unison all-electric tube benders have over hydraulic tube benders, he adds: “They’re more efficient because they use less energy. In fact, they only use energy while they are in motion. By comparison, hydraulic benders use electricity all the time they are running, with their energy usage increasing during cycle time. Electric machines are much quieter too, and offer greater repeatability. You simply select the exact pressure required; if you want 1,272 psi (87.7 bar) of pressure, just type that in and the machine creates the exact same pressure every time.”
Knuth also praises the fact that Unison all-electric tube benders can be operated more slowly when hot-bending titanium, all the way down to a creep – a process that removes the risk of overheating and minimises scrap.
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KMF reaps benefit of panel bender upgrade

KMF has purchased a new P4lean-2516 Salvagnini panel bender (P4L) that uses 60% less electricity, saving the company an estimated £8000 a year.

Several upgrades are featured, including CLA-SIM auxiliary blade command, MAC 2.0 to calculate suitable bending trajectories and a patented bending formula which will automatically adjust a bend to any mechanical or thermal deformation. The machine complements an existing P4-2516 panel bender from Salvagnini that has provided more than 78,000 hours of working time for KMF to date.
The P4-2516 required 600 litres of oil, but new P4L machines use electronic actuators with only 13 litres of oil in total. All current P4L machines use touch-screen controls running on a Windows 10 platform. Moreover, the panel bending system is Industry 4.0-embedded, including the service support option of 24-hour machine monitoring to ensure all systems are working within tolerance.
“To provide an idea of efficiency and productivity levels on our panel bender, it is currently around 80%,” explains Pete Krynicki, programming and folding technician at KMF.
The Salvagnini machine can manufacture metal panels up to a maximum of 2500 mm long and form bends up to 165 mm high. A favoured feature is the panel bender’s interactive graphics programming, which will significantly decrease the task of KMF programmers with its intuitive programming and 3D simulation of different bending phases. The new panel bender also offers automatic tool changing and the ability to switch from one operation to another in a few seconds.
“As a metal fabrication subcontractor, being able to complete small and large batches without manual tool changes will significantly improve our speed of processing and flexibility,” adds Krynicki. “We also appreciate the personalised service, training and support on the panel benders that we get from Salvagnini – it is a real partnership.”
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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.”
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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.”
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