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Press Brake Tooling

Focused forming

By Lynn Stanley

Tooling tailored to customers’ wish lists supports higher throughput and lower production costs in bending operations

March 2017 - Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey asked his 3.9 million followers what the company could do to improve its services. NASCAR adopted a similar approach with its Official NASCAR Fan Council, a customer intelligence platform and a social media command center that gathers feedback from fans in real time. Amazon and Yahoo have also become more attuned to the wants of patrons. But the quest for customer insights isn’t limited to public relationships and commercial enterprises.

“Everything we do as a company is driven by our customers and by the market,” says Scott Bowerman, national tooling sales manager for AMADA AMERICA INC. “Fabricators frequently come to us and say, ‘we wish we had this or we need a machine that can do that,’” he says.

The Buena Park, California-based manufacturer of metal processing machinery has spent years collecting data from fabricators with its Virtual Prototype Simulation System (VPSS). Shop workflow—CAD drawing, engineering, programming, part blanking, bending, and secondary hardware and assembly processes—was mapped and studied in real time by AMADA’s VPSS engineering verification team. “In most cases the data showed that the largest area for improvement was bending operations,” says Bowerman. 

FFJ 0317 pressbrake image1

Tool talk

For example, many fabricators favor stage bending because they can create multiple bends using a variety of tooling types. However, problems with the process may emerge during press brake setup. 

“If a part requires a 30-degree bend, multiple 90-degree bends and a small offset form, the press operator may need to perform two or three different press brake setups to complete one part,” explains Bowerman. “If each tool setup takes 20 minutes, overall setup time for one part could take an hour or more.”

Tooling can contribute to lost production time in other ways. Uneven punch and die heights often require manual shimming, an extra step that adds minutes to a bending operation. Mixing tooling styles—American and European—in one setup can cause backups and increase part costs.

Yet, “lower part volumes and a wider variety of different part types seems to be the hallmark for today’s bending operations,” Bowerman notes. “Industry requirements may be changing but companies are still looking for just two things: new ways to improve productivity and keep part production costs low.”

FFJ 0317 pressbrake image2

Overall CSH die heights can vary from one V-size to another because the dies have the same V-bottom position.

When fabrication shops employ flexible stage bending, however, an operator can complete all necessary bends on a part in a single press brake setup. “It’s a huge time and money saver,” says Bowerman. “Eliminating the need for multiple press brake setups decreases shop time and the cost associated with part processing.” 

Tooling with the same shut height eliminates the possibility of an operator setting up the wrong punch/die combination. Matching shut heights also mean a less skilled operator can run the press brake without the risk of crashing a tool.

Fixed heights

AMADA’s Fixed Height (AFH) press brake tooling reduces setup time, limits clamp interference and creates precise bend angles. AFH offers die profiles, whether gooseneck, straight sash, acute or other configuration, that have been designed with the same overall punch height. Press operators can combine different punch profiles in one common setup. Standard AFH dies feature a common pass height regardless of V-size. 

AFH punch profiles are taller and narrower to accommodate a larger bending area. Press brake setup is fast. Sectionalized tooling profiles increase setup versatility. AMADA’s One Touch punch holder and Hydraulic CS Clamps support quick tool changeover.

Pairing AFH punches with AMADA’s CSH (common shut height) dies allows an operator to perform a variety of bend profiles using different inside radius bends in a single press brake setup. “The system provides true flexible stage bending,” says Bowerman. Interchangeable radius punch tips in different sizes can be incorporated in a part design. 

FFJ 0317 pressbrake image3

AFH tooling with CSH dies can create one common setup for a series of different parts, or kit nests of parts for specific product lines.

AFH and CSH are suited to complex stage bending, can create one common setup for a series of different parts or allow a fabricator to create kit nests of parts for specific product lines. “Regardless of material thickness, part length, inside bend radii and punch, a manufacturer can use just one setup,” says Bowerman. AMADA’s offline Dr.ABE_Bend bending software makes laying out multipart tooling setups easy.”

Overall CSH die heights vary from one V-size to another because the dies have the same V-bottom position. To support tooling performance, a press brake with a vertical axis backgauge is required to ensure correct positioning of the workpiece.

Advances in tooling and punch holder technology also aid bending operations. The winged surfaces of AMADA’s wing bend tool produce mark-free components because sheet metal is not drawn through the die. Pivoting wing surfaces bend short legs without deformation. Wing bending dies are available for sheet thicknesses of 0.5 to 6.0 mm and tool lengths of 50, 100 and 200 mm. The SGRIP punch holder can reduce setup time by up to 50 percent while boosting operator safety. Manufacturers can use the SGRIP to upgrade existing holders. It supports European style tooling as well as standard AFH tooling. The supplier’s AGRIP M-punch is versatile, has a punch drop prevention feature and works well with CSH tooling.

“There are good tool manufacturers out there,” Bowerman says. “But our advantage is seamless integration from software to parts. We’re the only supplier to offer CSH 1-V dies in a European-style setup. Our goal is to deliver a positive experience from the point of sale to post sale and beyond. That means listening to what customers tell us.” FFJ

Sources

  • AMADA AMERICA INC.
    Buena Park, California
    phone: 714/739-2111
    www.amada.com
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Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Beckwood Press Co. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters Triform

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

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Donaldson Company Inc.

LASER TECHNOLOGY

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SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

AMADA AMERICA, INC.

PLATE

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PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

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BEVELING

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PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

COIL PROCESSING

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Bradbury Group MTS Sensors Rolleri USA

STEEL

Burghardt + Schmidt Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

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TUBE & PIPE

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Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

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CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

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WATERJET

Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

PUNCHING

Barton International

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc. Hougen Manufacturing Flow International Corporation
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit

SAWING

Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc. Behringer Saws Inc.

WELDING

Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. DoALL Sawing American Weldquip
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

HE&M Saw Strong Hand Tools
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. Savage Saws T. J. Snow Company

 

MetalForming Inc.

 

 

 

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

 

 

 

Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

 


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