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Bending/Folding

Keeping cool

By Gretchen Salois

Instead of outsourcing its complex bending jobs, an air conditioner manufacturer brings technology in house

October 2019 - Rather than litter its equipment with screws and bolts, Trane in Rushville, Indiana, sought a way to bend complicated geometries that result in efficiency as well as a clean finish.

“Our equipment disperses air throughout commercial buildings,” explains Brian Beam, manufacturing engineer at Trane, an air conditioner manufacturer. “What separates us from other air handlers in the marketplace is our attention to aesthetic results as well as functionality.”

Trane has relied on Salvagnini for its most complex and robust bending jobs since 1999. Through the years, Trane has added more machines to its production floor, and the acquisition of the S4 in August 2019 allows the manufacturer to bring even its most complicated bending jobs in house. The air handling division works primarily with galvanized steel ranging from 0.024 in. to 0.044 in. thick.

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Trane pays attention to aesthetic results as well as functionality.

“We’ve stuck with Salvagnini because the part quality their machines produce and the complexity of bends we could make using it is something we couldn’t find elsewhere,” says Beam.

Salvagnini advises customers looking to adjust designs into cleaner geometries, resulting in less assembly time, fewer fasteners and fewer parts, says Clay Case, product specialist at Salvagnini America Inc., Hamilton, Ohio. “We try to work closely with our partners to ensure they purchase the right equipment and software. But we also make sure they understand how this [machinery] affects their company on a holistic level, including product flow, upstream and downstream.”

Before installing the S4 model, Trane’s air handling division had to outsource some of its more cumbersome bending jobs to sister plants to help produce the necessary components. “With our current volume and the S4, we can support ourselves 100 percent,” says Beam. “The more we can control ourselves, the better off we are.

“On any given day, our shop floor runs like a well oiled machine,” Beam claims. “We are producing sheet metal parts that will hit our assembly lines three days out. We have every part kitted and ready for assembly. I do the programming for any parts and give engineering support as needed. We have great operators that know the equipment side of things and our goal is not to have a stressful environment. We’re working ahead of schedule, not trying to catch up.”

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Salvagnini’s product expansion includes a smaller panel bender and a redesigned punch-laser combination machine. 

Earned loyalty

Twenty years is a long time to remain loyal to a single brand. Software upgrades and new features keep Trane coming back to Salvagnini when it wants to expand capacity. “Salvagnini has maintained its technology upgrades,” Beam says.

Trane literally couldn’t wait to get the S4 inside its plant. Trials commenced prior to installation. “I brought materials over to Salvagnini’s facility to run jobs on our machine before they even delivered it to our floor,” Beam says. “I knew the machine inside and out before we received it.”

Salvagnini’s product expansion includes press brakes, a new smaller model panel bender (P1) and a redesign of the punch-laser combination machine (S1).

“Our proprietary software has been completely reworked to take advantage of more powerful computations that further drive our speed and efficiencies through nesting and smarter algorithms,” explains Case. “Our focus is to build machines that take less time to produce a part, enable lean manufacturing and simplify part designs so the customer does not have to invest in additional labor to increase production.”

After listening to feedback, Salvagnini updated its software to align with customer requests. “We’ve improved our partner contact availability by introducing Ask Salvagnini on our website,” says Case.

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The S4 can process steel sheets into parts with the integrated shear and can automatically destroy any scrap, skeleton or remnants.

The S4’s material handling eliminates tool changes (all tools are live and available any time the machine is in operation) and features an integrated shear, intelligent software, single part flow and offers interconnectivity/modularity with other Salvagnini equipment. There are three panel bender models, in various sizes to accommodate floor space as well as product requirements for each customer.

“Our models range in sizes and available feeding and unloading options from manual feed to fully automated robotic systems,” Case says. They also feature improved energy savings, IoT, process automation and integration to ERP.

The head setup on the S4 is full of tools and can punch at any time without tooling changes. “It is capable of processing a full sheet of steel into separate parts with the integrated shear and can destroy any scrap, skeleton or remnants automatically,” Case explains. Two or more Salvagnini machines can be connected to work with one another on the same shop floor.

Operators at Trane are familiar with Salvagnini, so adding additional equipment is an easy transition. “If Salvagnini comes up with software improvements or feature improvements on their machine and we’re able to put it into our daily routine, that’s what we’re going to do,” says Beam. 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

SecturaSOFT

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. SigmaTEK Systems LLC
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc. Striker Systems

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Burghardt + Schmidt Group EMH Crane Rolleri USA Nidec Press & Automation
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc.

PRESS BRAKES

STEEL

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial AMADA AMERICA, INC. Alliance Steel
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

Automec Inc.

TUBE & PIPE

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies MC Machinery Systems Inc. BLM Group
Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

SafanDarley HGG Profiling Equipment Inc.

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc.

PUNCHING

Prudential Stainless & Alloys
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit Hougen Manufacturing

WATERJET

Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc.

SAWING

Barton International
Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. Behringer Saws Inc. Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

Cosen Saws Omax Corp.
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. DoALL Sawing

WELDING

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MetalForming Inc. HE&M Saw American Weldquip
Beckwood Press Co.

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

Savage Saws Strong Hand Tools
Triform Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

T. J. Snow Company

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