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Press Brake Tooling

Par for the course

By Lynn Stanley

Above: Turf managers rely on precision equipment fabricated with precision tools to keep greens impeccable.

Die technology makes precision forming easy for turf equipment manufacturer

March 2015 - When golfers hit the fairways, their primary focus is on mentally reviewing their pre-shot routine for a more consistent swing. Players may understand the fundamentals of what it takes to shoot under par on an 18-hole course, but chances are most spend little time considering the ins and outs of building and maintaining a green. 

Turf managers have the challenging job of keeping greens pristine and fairways flawless. To do that they need equipment that is fabricated with equal precision.

Jacobsen designs and manufactures the tools greens superintendents use to groom a course. A division of Textron, the Charlotte, North Carolina, company’s products include walking greens, riding greens and fairway mowers, utility vehicles, sprayers, aerators and a full line of rotary mowers. 

“We work with golf courses and sports facilities all over the world,” says Christopher Zinn, Jacobsen’s senior manufacturing engineering specialist. “It’s vital that we regularly engage with our customers throughout the lifecycle of a product to gain their feedback. This helps us make adjustments and create better equipment that we then subject to rigorous testing to ensure quality and reliability.”

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Jacobsen’s manufacturing program has also reduced energy and raw material consumption, decreased waste management costs, lowered distribution costs and provided a framework for continual improvement of environmental performance, making it one of the few turf equipment builders to earn ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.

“We’re always looking for smarter, more efficient ways to produce equipment for our customers,” says Zinn. “Whether they’re mowing the grass, hauling gravel or managing weeds, our customers need equipment they can depend on that will make their jobs easier and more efficient.” 

With input from 400 customers, Jacobsen recently completed work on a new piece of equipment called the Truckster XD. The heavy-duty utility vehicle has a larger payload capacity and the golfcart-like cab can seat two people. Maintenance crews can easily haul sand, dirt or other materials to a job site on the course and dump it with the Truckster’s tilt bed. 

“A maintenance worker can drive the Truckster onto the course without worrying about damage to the greens or fairways because of its lightweight, compact design,” Zinn says. “It can be driven directly to the job site, which just isn’t possible with larger hauling equipment.”

The Truckster bed is interchangeable with a sprayer conversion kit, allowing greenskeepers to quickly, easily and evenly apply fertilizer and other chemicals to turfgrass. 

“Providing the multiple functions of hauling and spraying was a necessary component we kept hearing from our customers,” says Zinn. “When we’re developing equipment, asking questions and listening to our customers really helps us nail down an optimal design.”

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Getting the job done

The Truckster was not a simple fabrication challenge. Zinn and his manufacturing team found it problematic to bend one part in particular. Specifications called for small holes located very close to the part’s cut edge. “We were using a standard die, and the holes that were close to the edge of the part were rolling the edges and we didn’t want that,” Zinn explains. “Using a forming die was an option, but we wanted to create the part in just one shot.”

Rather than create multiple steps by using a forming die, Zinn turned to Wilson Tool, manufacturer of tooling systems for punch presses, press brakes and punch and die components for the stamping industry. Based in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, the company worked closely with Zinn and his team to determine the best solution for creating the part.

“We’ve worked with Wilson Tool for years, and they suggested we use their V-Series Black die because the size of the part was so small,” says Zinn. “After a series of tests, we were convinced this was the right solution and purchased enough die sets to get the job done.”

V-Series Black dies contain replaceable, built-in inserts [hardened to HRC-45] that rotate, allowing material to glide on a flat surface for decreased friction and improved performance when producing small flanges, small bend radii and bends closer to holes—part characteristics Zinn and his team needed to create. 

“The V-Series Black dies gave us the end result we were looking for, plus helped reduce setup time and the amount of tooling required,” he says. “That in turn provided us with a shorter lead time—a positive result with savings we could pass on to our customers.”

Multiple tooling functions

While the holes and edge closeness were initial concerns that led Jacobsen to use the V-Series Black dies, Jacobsen engineers soon discovered additional uses for the tooling. 

The team needed to produce a C-channel for the Truckster’s C-support. Forming the finished part was challenging because the supports tapered to a very narrow flange on either side.

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“A regular die would form the centerpiece of the C-channel but leave the flanges flat and not formed up,” Zinn says. “With the V-Series Black dies we were able to produce a nice flat C-channel with properly formed flanges without any trouble.”

In addition to greater functionality for forming and bending, the V-Series Black dies work seamlessly with Jacobsen’s existing tooling.

“We had tooling from a number of different manufacturers on the shop floor,” Zinn says. “Rather than having to go back to the original manufacturer to find a die that would work on their tooling, the dies from Wilson fit perfectly on all of our tooling.”

Collaboration and customer service

Throughout the entire troubleshooting process, Zinn worked closely with Wilson Tool to determine the right solution to produce the part with efficiencies that saved time, labor and costs. Wilson Tool also took into account existing tooling styles, equipment measurements and required part outcomes.

“Instead of me trying to figure out the solution on my own, I was able to give Wilson Tool a print of what we were trying to accomplish, and they were able to tell me exactly what we needed,” he says. 

“After a few test runs with the V-Series Black dies Wilson Tool recommended, we were producing the part exactly how it needed to be produced,” Zinn says. “This saved us on the bottom line and allowed us to produce a high-quality part to meet the demands of our customers. We couldn’t really ask for more than that.” FFJ

Sources

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Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

IRONWORKERS

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Trilogy Machinery Inc. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters

LASER TECHNOLOGY

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC. Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

Mazak Optonics Corp.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. MC Machinery Systems Inc. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC Murata Machinery, USA, Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SigmaTEK Systems LLC

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. Striker Systems
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc.

STAMPING/PRESSES

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

AIDA-America Corp.
Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling

STEEL

Burghardt + Schmidt Group Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc. Rolleri USA Alliance Steel
Butech Bliss UFP Industrial

PRESS BRAKES

TUBE & PIPE

Red Bud Industries

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

AMADA AMERICA, INC. BLM Group
Tishken Advanced Gauging Technologies Automec Inc. Prudential Stainless & Alloys

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

MC Machinery Systems Inc.

WATERJET

Mayfran International Cincinnati Inc. SafanDarley Barton International

DEBURRING/FINISHING

LVD Strippit

PUNCHING

Flow International Corporation
ATI Industrial Automation Scotchman Industries Inc. Hougen Manufacturing Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
Lissmac Corp. Trilogy Machinery Inc.

SAWING

WELDING

Osborn

METAL FORMING

Behringer Saws Inc. American Weldquip
SuperMax Tools FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. Cosen Saws Strong Hand Tools
Timesavers MetalForming Inc. DoALL Sawing T. J. Snow Company

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

HE&M Saw

 

Beckwood Press Co. Titan Tool Supply Inc. Savage Saws

 

Triform

 

 

 


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