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Press Brakes

Quick study

By Gretchen Salois

Above: Bending parameters are automatically stored, which are cross-referenced against bending data experience on specific tools.

Finding it difficult to track down experienced operators, manufacturer uses technology to push efficiency forward

May 2020 - When prospective hires are brought in to tour G.A. Braun’s plant, many are struck by the general idea of how things are made. After touring the floor, they often view the machinery being used “as cool and exciting and they want to learn the technology behind it,” says Chad Perfetti, fabrication manager of the Syracuse, New York-based industrial laundry machine manufacturer.

After years of laying out sheet metal by hand and using various small tools to cut out part profiles, G.A. Braun’s leadership realized it should consider investing in laser and CNC press brake technologies. Perfetti’s crew found LVD Strippit’s team to be knowledgeable as well as close by in Akron, New York. “The layout of the laser with load/unload automation had a footprint that didn’t take up too much floor space,” he adds. 

FFJ 0520 press image1

G.A. Braun purchased an Orion laser and a PPEB 150, which allowed the company to program the press brake offline. “Training involves typing in the job number and the machine tells the employee what tooling to use and where to put it,” Perfetti says. “It then sequences through the job and the software also senses and calculates factors like material springback.” 

The CADMAN-B software enables unskilled operators to complete bending tasks that would otherwise require years of experience to read and understand a drawing. “Operators no longer need to worry about manually accounting for a minus or plus 10 degrees on either side [of a sheet] because the press brake compensates for that automatically through auto crowning and LVD’s EFL system,” Perfetti says of the Easy Form Laser angle measuring system. “These capabilities save us a lot of training time.”

FFJ 0520 press image2

LVD’s Enhanced Energy Reduction System uses turbo hydraulics, which reduces energy consumption by 30 percent. The pump design regulates flow rates to achieve optimal machine need, avoiding unnecessary oil heating and energy waste.

Adaptable and accurate

The EFL system is included with all LVD Strippit Easy-Form press brakes. “This in-process angle monitoring system adapts the ram position in real time to achieve an accurate bend,” explains John Wolf, sales manager for press brakes and shears at LVD Strippit.

EFL uses two laser scanners placed at the front and back of the press brake’s table, below the die and mounting surface. “Easy-Form allows adaptive bending with real-time feedback to account for strain hardening and springback in all materials,” Wolf says. EFL uses V-die reference instead of sheet reference and can measure up to 100 samples per second between the die and the sheet.

LVD’s patented V-dies and Stone radius V-tooling provides accurate tool alignment and smoother materials flow.

The LVD CNC crowning system is automatically controlled via the machine control and compensates for the bed deflection and the beam under different bending forces. “The LVD crowning system is custom made for each machine,” Wolf says. “Associated components are machined and finished based on the geometric measurement between the beam and lower frame and other machined parts of the press brake.”

Perfetti has had successfully trained new operators with no experience to run G.A. Braun’s LVD press brakes. New hires are paired with staff already versed in the operation of the LVD machines. “After about a week, I find that the trainees are good to go,” Perfetti says. “I have eight sheet metal department workers that I can switch in who can operate the press brakes at any time we need.”

FFJ 0520 press image3

CADMAN-B software enables unskilled operators to complete bending tasks that would otherwise require years of experience reading and understanding drawings.

Internal control

Prior to investing in lasers and modern press brakes, G.A. Braun outsourced its larger weldments. Braun can now control its product and reduce manufacturing time overall, resulting in reduced costs. “Being able to bring all welding in house lets us control our lead times better,” Perfetti says.

With increased vertical integration, more machine purchases followed. “We realized the combination of laser machines and press brakes saved us resources and we’ve been able to bring in more outside work,” Perfetti says. “Training time has decreased so that it is easier to cross train into the sheet metal department because the press brakes are user friendly.”

According to Wolf, customers increasingly wish to integrate software to the shop floor level. “Finding intelligent bending solutions offline helps reduce overall setup times drastically, achieve small batch runs faster, reduce scrap and enhance overall capability,” he adds.

LVD’s CADMAN-B software is integrated with the machine control, allowing for a timely “art to part” process. The Touch-B control database is composed of empirically derived data, considered more accurate than theoretical data, says Wolf.

FFJ 0520 press image4

Easy-Form allows adaptive bending with real-time feedback to account for strain hardening and springback in all materials.

Bending parameters are automatically stored, which are cross-referenced against bending data experience on specific tools and materials.

“The control also has 2D and 3D simulation of the bending sequence to assist the operator with positioning of the part,” Wolf says. “Having these elements makes developing new jobs easier and faster.”

LVD’s Enhanced Energy Reduction System uses turbo hydraulics, a standard feature of the Easy-Form press brake, resulting in the reduction of energy consumption by 30 percent. “This exclusive pump design regulates flow rates to achieve optimal machine need, avoiding unnecessary oil heating and energy waste,” according to Wolf. “No energy is lost when the machine is holding the ram in position under pressure or when operating at low capacity.”

G.A. Braun now has four LVD press brakes running on its shop floors. “The flexibility we now have to [interchangeably] move skilled and unskilled employees from any of our departments and set them running the press brake has really changed our level of control,” says Perfetti. 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 Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc. Rolleri USA

STEEL

Butech Bliss UFP Industrial

PRESS BRAKES

Alliance Steel
Red Bud Industries

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

AMADA AMERICA, INC.

TUBE & PIPE

Tishken Advanced Gauging Technologies Automec Inc. BLM Group

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

MC Machinery Systems Inc. Prudential Stainless & Alloys
Mayfran International Cincinnati Inc. SafanDarley

WATERJET

DEBURRING/FINISHING

LVD Strippit

PUNCHING

Barton International
ATI Industrial Automation Scotchman Industries Inc. Hougen Manufacturing Flow International Corporation
Lissmac Corp. Trilogy Machinery Inc.

SAWING

Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
Osborn

METAL FORMING

Behringer Saws Inc. Omax Corp.
SuperMax Tools FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. Cosen Saws

WELDING

Timesavers MetalForming Inc. DoALL Sawing American Weldquip

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

HE&M Saw Strong Hand Tools
Beckwood Press Co. Titan Tool Supply Inc. Savage Saws T. J. Snow Company
Triform

 

 

 


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