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New quick tool changes speed up production times

Metalforming Machinery Makers' Association : 12 November, 2006  (New Product)
Having built up a reputation for quick deliveries of high quality complex sheet metal components for the electronics industry, Phill Gower, managing director of Cove Industrial Enterprises Limited, identified a need to replace three existing manually clamped CNC press brakes in order to further improve production times and yet maintain the quality.
He comments: “Whilst using the very latest technology for off-line programming, production planning and scheduling; it was the physical number of tool changes that was slowing up the production process, particularly when forming small batches of complex parts on three independent machines.”

The company spent a number of months looking at various press braking options available and carried out bench mark testing before investing in two Bystronic PR series 100 tonne x 3000 mm DNC press brakes. The machines feature integrated sheet gauging which detects and adjusts for variations in material thickness and the RFA series hydraulic self-seating and vertical loading top tooling system. In addition, a powered Conformatic vertical 44 station tool magazine is positioned between the two press brakes allowing both machines to be fed from one common source.

The press brake side safety guards simply slide backwards out the way, allowing both top and bottom tools to be selected from their relevant trays in the tool magazine and slid directly into position. This saves the operator both time and physical effort whilst small sections can be vertically loaded from the front of the machine. By using the slim Bystronic double dovetail top tools and single vee bottom tools systems, all tools can be reversed in seconds. With a range of top tools up to 250 mm high for deep sections, there is no need for intermediate clamp pieces. Phill continues: “We saw an immediate decrease in tool changing times thanks to the sophisticated tooling system on the machines. These two machines, with the emphasis on quick tool change times, have saved twenty man hours a week over the three manually clamped machines. “We are also delighted with the Bystronic lower bed compensation system, we frequently produce components using multiple tool combinations on the bed at the same time. One such item has 28 bends including a joggle form and all of these are produced in sequence using different tool sets along the bed. This used to take four hours to set up with the part being handled many times due to the frequent tool changes. Now we can bend it in one handling in a matter of minutes, with one simple tool setup taking 15 minutes” “Bystronic has revolutionised the way we produce our components. They found a solution to our manufacturing problem and the service they have provided us with has been first rate
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