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Press Brake Tooling

Seamless simplicity

By Lynn Stanley

Above: The robot and press brake are integrated into a single system for automated bending.

Compact bending cell has integrated robot for automated processing or can run parts in manual mode

March 2019 - Simplicity has been defined as something that’s easy to understand or explain. German physicist Albert Einstein, who authored the theory of relativity, said it a little more succinctly, “If you can’t explain it to a 6-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” 

When it comes to explaining the all-electric, 130-ton R-Brake, Mauricio Gutierrez Matta agrees. The area export manager for press brake and shear manufacturer SafanDarley says, “I don’t have to spend a lot of time talking to manufacturers about how the press brake works. It’s very simple. I can run it myself.”

The R-Brake is the manufacturer’s most compact automated bending cell, but the machine retains the field-tested advantages of SafanDarley’s E-Brake technology.  The absence of oil in the machine supports speed, energy conservation and reliability. Maintenance, according to Matta, is minimal. “Apart from lubricating springs once a year, which takes minutes, there’s no maintenance. Fabricators don’t have to stop production, which means less downtime.”

FFJ 0319 press image1

The R-Brake can be equipped with an automated tool- and gripper-change system.

Total solution

The company introduced the R-Brake to the North American market at Fabtech 2018. Response to the bending cell concept was enthusiastic. “People loved it,” says Matta. “We’ve had a lot of demand for it.”

Simple to operate, the R-Brake has been engineered to help job shops grappling with production challenges.

“Fabricators continue to pursue high-precision, high-throughput equipment because part runs and batches are getting smaller, not just in the U.S., but in Europe and Canada as well,” says Matta. “When we talk about higher throughput, we have to consider cycle time. Setup is a big part of cycle time, especially when you are changing tooling frequently.”

To help fabricators boost production times, the R-Brake has been integrated with a robot to create a single, fully automated bending system. Unlike other systems on the market, the R-Brake’s robot arm runs horizontally along a 6 m [20-ft.-long] gantry on the top side of the machine. Fabricators also have the option to specify a 12 m [40-ft.-long] gantry.

“Setup time on the press brake is nearly zero,” Matta claims. “Tools can be changed in just 3 to 5 minutes. And the R-Brake doesn’t require crowning adjustments. This contributes to [producing] more parts per hour because the operator doesn’t have to spend time making a lot of adjustments.”

SafanDarley also equipped the R-Brake for manual processing. The strategic positioning of the robot leaves the floor in front of the press brake free for positioning sheet feeding and discharge tables. “It’s quick and easy to switch back and forth between automated and manual bending,” Matta notes.

Electric configuration

Another variable that contributes to higher throughput is the R-Brake’s all-electric configuration. “There is a misconception that servo hydraulic equipment is electric,” says Matta. “It’s not. Our R-Brake is all-electric, which means operators aren’t waiting for oil to heat up and generate force. Lower energy consumption impacts cost. Fabricators that track their usage on an annual basis find that our all-electric press brakes net them a savings as high as 50 percent.”

Offline programming is another trend that Matta says is continuing to grow both in the U.S. and Europe.

FFJ 0319 press image2

The SafanDarley R-Brake design ensures the floor in front of the press brake is free for manual bending operations.

For fabricators that want to use the R-Brake’s robot for automated processing, SafanDarley’s Robobend, an offline simulation software, calculates a job’s bending sequence and steps in advance. The push of a single button initiates the robot, which is equipped with double sheet and sheet thickness detection. The R-Brake’s robot can also change tooling by adding an automated tool and gripper changing system.

Offline programming will streamline manual bending operations. “We have software that can convert 3D SolidWorks files and feed them to the press brake program,” says Matta. “The potential for human error is eliminated. And since an operator doesn’t have to stop to program a job, those minutes saved contribute to better cycle times.”

Improving productivity

Fabricators are experiencing increases in productivity by as much as 30 percent with the R-Brake. CNC-controlled Y-axis, backgauge [X-axis], R-axis and Z1/Z2 axis contribute to the machine’s accuracy.

The press brake is suited to smaller batch sizes, but its simple operation also supports fabricators hampered by the lack of skilled labor. An operator doesn’t need years of experience to run the equipment, Matta says.

“In the last decade, we have doubled machines sales, particularly in the Midwest and the Southeast,” Matta says, noting that the company has aftermarket support based in Baltimore.

While SafanDarley is focused on continuing to improve its technology, Matta says “It’s not about numbers. It’s about what the machine can do for the customer.” FFJ

Sources

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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

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc.

LASER TECHNOLOGY

Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

AMADA AMERICA, INC.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. Mazak Optonics Corp. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC MC Machinery Systems Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SigmaTEK Systems LLC

BEVELING

Murata Machinery, USA, Inc. Davi Inc. Striker Systems
Steelmax Tools LLC TRUMPF Inc.

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

PRESS BRAKES

Alliance Steel
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC.

TUBE & PIPE

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial Automec Inc. BLM Group
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

MC Machinery Systems Inc. Prudential Stainless & Alloys

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies SafanDarley

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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