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New laser and press brake to increase capacity

Metalforming Machinery Makers' Association : 08 November, 2006  (New Product)
Bystronic UK Limited has recently received an order from Sheet Metal subcontractor Ackerman Engineering Limited for a Bystronic Byspeed 4.4 kW laser and a PR6 60/25 press brake. An existing user of the PR range of press brakes, it is Ackerman's first Bystronic laser.
Ackerman Engineering has traded from the market town of Bridport in Dorset since 1885 and has specialised in precision sub-contract sheet metal fabrications for the last 30 years. Today the company predominately supplies customers in the electronics field, producing components in stainless and mild steels, as well as aluminium, in sheet thicknesses ranging from 0.5 mm up to 6 mm. In order to further expand and improve the service it provides its customers the company, as well as investing in new equipment to create additional capacity, has moved to a new 1500M2 purpose built factory.

Graham Ackerman, managing director, comments: 'We first looked at a Bystronic laser five years ago but at that time we didn't feel the technology was flexible enough to meet our needs and opted for another manufacture's system equipped with a 2 kW resonator. Having identified the need for further capacity, we started looking for a new machine to compliment our existing, and then we saw the speed advantage that the new generation Lasers could offer. It soon became apparent that the additional costs involved in running two machines was not going to be necessary, all of our current needs and additional capacity could be served by one machine. We outlined the criteria that the new machine needed to meet - it had to be flexible; the technology had to be proven and reliable; and the machine supplier had to provide a first class back-up and after sales facility.'

'Bystronic and the Byspeed did all this and more! We visited users and ran time studies on some of our typical production; we benchmarked a component, which we regularly produced, it had a cycle time of 14 minutes, 30 seconds. On the Byspeed, the same component took just four minutes, 20 seconds, offered better edge quality and component accuracy, the component yield from a standard sheet also increased due to the Bysoft 6.7 programming software. Our primary market is at the thinner gauge end and the Byspeed allows us to produce components quickly and accurately and its flexibility means we can change from a long run to a short run and vice-versa easily.'

Mr Ackerman continues: 'We introduced the PR range of press brakes several years ago and achieved good, accurate results with them, particularly on complex components. The ease of set-up means that they are quick to program and very operator friendly which is essential.'

The new offline programming, laser and press brakes form a cell, which together with existing punching and welding facilities plus a new powder coating plant allow Ackerman's to satisfy customer requirements in ever-shortening lead times. Ackerman now move from drawing to prototype to approval to production quickly and easily thereby fulfilling customer requirements for accurate, quality components delivered on time.
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