NC Tooling News & Updates

Improve efficiency in Your Press Brake Operations

One of the most skilled people in the Sheetmetal industry is the Press brake  operator, With the Skill Shortage in the Industry it is very difficult to find people with right skills.
In most Sheetmetal shops I have visited, I noticed Press brake operation is definitely the bottle neck, most managers tell me it takes 2 press brakes to feed one turret punch or Laser machine . So why is that press brake operation takes up most of the Time ?
There are few factors involved, one is to do with the Skilled operator or programmer. As mentioned above, this is a very skilled operation and requires personnel with lot of experience and understanding of your products tooling’s etc. As we all know Bending operation takes up lot of setup time. In fact some time it takes longer to setup and program than to actually run through all the production , Makes you wonder why even the latest Press breaks are not easily programmable offline ? you can buy any brand turret punch or laser machines and you don’t have to buy the proprietary CAD CAM software to run those machine. In case of press brake it is not usually the case  for example, Amada’s new press break will not allow you to program with any other software ’s except their own expensive proprietary software. Fortunately some popular European  and  Asian brands like Safan, Mitsubishi, Baykal, Komatzu,  Adira,Muratec,Trumpf,MachTech, Dener,  can easily be programmed using offline programs like Metacam. I recently set up a Baykel and Safan Machines with Metacam, giving users the freedom to program offline without holding up the machines production.,
There has been significant changes in the way we design products these days , Popular 3d software ’s like Solidworks and Solidedge make designing sheet metal parts a breeze,. Any sheetmetal shop should be able to import these models unfold, apply tooling sequence and generate NC code and send these programs to your Press brakes. If your Sheetmetal shop is not following this trend then your competitors mostly likely are.
If your Press brake is few years old but still in a good condition like the Amada RG and FBD machines, these 3 axis machines can easily be retrofitted with Modern Windows based console and drives ,ready to be programmed offline.
If you think your press brake section is bottle necked, then consider these points .
• Can I import the 3D models supplied by customer , or from Design department to Generate programs for Press brake offline?
• How much production time is lost by programing on the machine while machine is idle, where it could have been used for making more parts.
•Time Lost setting up and testing , can these be simulated offline using 3D software ?
• If you are looking to buy a new press brake is your new machine capable of offline programming ?  Or are you forced to buy the machines proprietary software? ( Only reason they do this is so you are locked in to buying their brand in the future)
•If your old machine is still in good condition, can you update  just the software control?

So consider how things are currently running for you? Is your press brake operation as streamlined as it could be.  Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We are happy to help you get the best out of your operators and machinery. 
Watch a Short Video on how Metaworks and Solidworks  can Help

Monday, 28 July 2014 02:31 PM