Increase Your Productivity with Highly Precise and Accurate Solutions
The most innovative and updated features to today’s metal forming and fabricating machinery, additive manufacturing equipment, software, controllers and accessories result in efficiencies — both in production and cost savings.
Posted: March 17, 2023
Rapid, Automated Bending Solution for Tall, Thick Parts
High-tech company TRUMPF Inc. (Farmington, CT) will be unveiling a new fully automatic panel bending machine for the North American market. Designed to process complex parts quickly and efficiently, the new TruBend Center 7020 can bend parts with side lengths of up to 13.8”. The machine can also handle material thicknesses of up to 0.15” in aluminum, 0.12” in steel, and 0.08” in stainless steel, extending over the entire bending length.
“No other panel bending machine on the market can offer this level of performance when it comes to box height and material thickness,” explained TRUMPF’s Head of Smart Factory Applications and Automated Bending Franziska Maschowski. “As a solution provider for the sheet-metal process chain, TRUMPF now offers another machine that gives users a real competitive edge. Companies can now harness the benefits of panel bending for more parts than ever before — producing complex geometries, saving time, and getting high quality results.”
The machine also achieves impressively high productivity. Compared to a manual press brake, the new TruBend 7020 works up to 80% faster, depending on the specific part and bending operations involved. Panel bending technology is particularly suitable for fabricating complex parts with radius bends, short side lengths and narrow profiles. It produces this type of parts more efficiently and at a higher level of quality than traditional die bending.
This machine owes its short cycle time to a new rotary part manipulator, which can move the part even closer to the bending line. In many cases, this reduces the cycle time by eliminating the need to reposition the grippers during processing. The machine is designed to be as open and accessible as possible. Workers can load and unload the machine from the side without having to lean into the interior.
Just like its predecessor, the TruBend Center 7020 uses the ToolMaster system to ensure that the blank holder tools, which hold the part in place during the bending process, are correctly matched to each workpiece, thereby reducing setup time. Programming is equally quick and easy: with the tried-and-tested TecZone Fold software, users can create the bending program on the computer in just a few clicks.
With compact external dimensions measuring less than 19.7’-by-19.7’, the system fits easily on almost any shop floor. The TruBend Center 7020 can be used to process parts up to 6.6’ long. That makes it the perfect choice for producing large electrical cabinets for machines and for the construction industry, as well as tool cabinets, booths, battery trays and machine enclosures. Catering to a flexible range of material thicknesses and part heights and offering simple programming and short setup times, this system is particularly suitable for job shops and other sheet-metal fabrication businesses that are looking to produce a broad variety of parts in both large and small batches.
New, Custom 2500 Ton Hot Forming Press
Greenerd Press & Machine Co. (Nashua, NH) announced its latest hydraulic press build, a custom 2500 Ton Hot Forming Press, with 10-foot square heated platens maintaining 500° (Fahrenheit) surfaces to +/- 5°. This 2,500-ton press is part of a seven-press order which is currently being built in Greenerd’s main facility. The press also features an innovative mold transfer system which significantly improves the ergonomic and safety dynamics for operators and reduces press idle time between cycles.
Greenerd offers unique hydraulic press application solutions for a range of industries. “To meet the demands of today’s challenging applications, we are providing manufacturers with press solutions that are flexible, productive and reliable as well as often being quite large and complex,” commented Greenerd Press & Machine Co.’s CEO Jerry Letendre. “For even greater manufacturing efficiency, we are able to provide our hydraulic press customers with turnkey, state-of-the-art robotic and other product handling solutions.”
Greenerd has a long tradition of designing, engineering and manufacturing customized hydraulic presses with product handling solutions. Its extensive line of hydraulic presses are available in a variety of styles ranging from gap frame and straight-side to die-spotting and forging presses, with unlimited size and tonnage capabilities.
Paint Shop Efficiency Results by Combining AGVs and Software
From compact cars to pick-up trucks, the EcoProFleet driverless transport system developed by Dürr (Southfield, MI) specifically for paint shops transports bodies with great flexibility. The Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) comes into its own in combination with the new DXQ software products from Dürr’s Digital Factory. Together, hardware and software enable variable production layouts, optimally controlled material flow and maximum efficiency and scalability in the industrial painting process.
AGVs are key to a smooth transition between work decks and temporary factory storage, covering most of the painting process spectrum. EcoProFleet is designed for this variety. The AGV can pick up any model, from compact cars to SUVs and pick-up trucks to unique shapes like truck cabs, place them down in work decks, or keep them ready during the painting process.
In the paint shops of the future, where modular work boxes replace the old lines with their rigid cycle times, AGVs are on the move up to 24 hours at a time, in the case of the EcoProFleet. It is the only driverless transport system on the market that can operate around the clock since it does not need to charge its energy stores overnight like other models. Instead, EcoProFleet connects briefly to charging points along its routes. These charging points are where the AGV would be stationary anyway, for example, when transferring a body to a work deck. The short interval is enough to charge the capacitors so that the AGV has enough energy after placing down the body to return immediately to the production area and start the next job.
Ultimately, the combination of the EcoProFleet driverless transport system and the DXQlogistics.control software solution results in the optimal utilization of all work decks. Workers no longer need to wait for the next body since the software plans all the tasks ahead and even factors in transport time. Unproductive downtimes and cycle time losses thus become obsolete, replaced by production efficiency.
Strategic Collaboration Strengthens Metal AM Capabilities
Siemens (Chicago, IL) has entered a new collaboration with Xerox® Elem™ Additive Solutions, aimed at strengthening the metal additive manufacturing (AM) capabilities of both businesses. This relationship highlights both companies’ strong commitment to advancing the future of industrial additive manufacturing through innovation and partnerships.
Siemens has purchased an ElemX metal 3D Printer, adding to its fleet of additive machines inside the company’s Charlotte (N.C.) Advanced Technology Collaboration Hub (CATCH). The CATCH facility focuses on the industrialization of additive manufacturing, working with machine builders, material suppliers and end-customers. The ElemX leverages Xerox’s liquid metal AM that uses cost-effective aluminum wire and incorporates the state-of-the-art Siemens SINUMERIK 840D sl control platform with its embedded digital twin technology to optimize the printing process.
ElemX is a groundbreaking 3D metal printer that’s simpler and safer to use and addresses supply chain resiliency for transportation, aerospace, defense and industrial manufacturing. The printer is easily deployed, requiring no special facility modifications for operation. Unlike many metal 3D printing technologies, the ElemX requires minimal post-processing and therefore provides a faster time-to-part.
Siemens and Xerox have a mutual interest to explore technical developments in automation, software, materials and processes of the current and future ElemX systems.
This collaboration provides early access opportunities for Xerox and Siemens to share advancements in digitalization solutions and automation software designed to impact the distributed manufacturing model. Siemens is the latest addition to the Xerox Manufacturing Partner Network and continues its trajectory as a prominent and reliable partner in the AM industry.
High-precision Press Brake Ensures High-speed Accuracy
AMADA AMERICA, INC.’s (Buena Park, CA) HRB 1303 is a U.S. manufactured 140-ton hydraulic press brake that provides an excellent price/performance ratio and ensures high-speed accuracy for new and experienced operators. The AMNC 3i control displays bend results before processing. The natural crowning design ensures consistent angle accuracy across the entire bed length. L-Shift allows gauge fingers to be set at different depths to process asymmetrical workpieces easily.
Other features of the HRB 1303 include a double-clamp backgauge that provides stable processing of complex parts. Offline programming increases bending productivity by verifying parts and assemblies in a 3D environment. And the “Lite Mode” allows operators of all skill levels to create bending programs quickly.
Affordable, Desktop Waterjet Cutting Machine
WAZER Inc. (Yonkers, NY) has designed and manufactured the first affordable, desktop waterjet cutting machine. This machine brings the benefits of waterjet cutting to small manufacturers. WAZER cuts virtually any material with digital precision, including all types of sheet metal: aluminum, steel, stainless steel, titanium, copper and brass. The maximum thickness of metal that it can cut varies by the material, ranging up to 0.5” for aluminum and 0.25” for mild steel.
WAZER was designed as a small-format machine so that any shop can afford and operate it easily. It requires only 110V / 60Hz power, standard tap water and drain, and approximately a 2×3’ footprint.
With WAZER, machine shop operators find that the machine allows them to make custom parts, brackets and tooling in-house, instead of having to turn down work or outsource it. Projects in machine shops can be unpredictable, so having the ability to cut any sheet metal or material quickly in-house expands the services that the shop can offer.
In other activities, with WAZER, R&D facility engineers can streamline their iterations by designing and producing sheet metal prototype parts in the same day, instead of waiting weeks to get them outsourced. This expedites the product development process, allowing engineers to design better products, faster.
New Heat-treating Scanner Accommodates Range of Part Sizes and Weights
The SmartScan™ system is the latest addition to the lineup from UltraFlex Power Technologies (Ronkonkoma, NY). SmartScan is a flexible and versatile induction heat-treating scanner that can be configured to perform a variety of heat-treating processes such as hardening, quenching, tempering, and normalizing. It can be configured to operate as a single or dual spindle unit and can accommodate a wide range of part sizes and weights.
Paired with the SmartPower™ Induction heating power supply, the SmartScan can be configured to deliver from 50-to-200 kW and from 6-to-200 kHz into the heat-treated part, ensuring that any hardening depth and speed can be achieved for a wide range of parts sizes.
Among its features:
- Modular vertical scanning system with dual or single spindle
- Precise control of scanning and rotation speed for repeatable results
- Manual and automated program settings with multiple pre-programmed recipes
- User-friendly touch panel interface loaded with process monitoring and diagnostics features
Rugged Frame Ensures Vertical Saw’s Productivity and Versatility
Combining a variable speed drive in a rugged unitized welded steel frame and solid cast iron table ensure that Palmgren’s (Naperville, IL) Vertical Toolroom Saws are well equipped for a variety of jobs. The construction enables the saw to easily handle contour sawing, beveling, slicing, ripping, stack cutting and cutting off various materials from aluminum, brass to steel. The variable speed drive system allows for quick, easy speed changes so the operator can match the correct speed to the blade and cutting application. The design enhances productivity and versatility to any metalworking operation.
SmartView Network Interface Application for Automated Press Controller
Wintriss Controls Group (Acton, MA) offers the SmartView Network Interface, a free application that allows SmartPAC PRO and SmartPAC 2 Press Automation Controller users to view press status and other information from a networked Windows PC.
SmartView enables users to see which presses are currently running, which presses are not running, and why a press is not running. Additionally, SmartView calculates and displays completion percentage and estimated remaining time for each job, as well as the tonnage if the SmartPAC Controller is equipped with a tonnage monitor. An event log displays a comprehensive date and time-stamped list of the last 200 events and errors that occurred at each SmartPAC. SmartView also displays the firmware versions and installed options for each SmartPAC in a list that can be exported to Microsoft Excel.
Text messages can be remotely sent using SmartView to the press operator, with a maximum of 120 characters allowed. Messages will display on the SmartPAC screen as a ‘sticky’ note and are automatically added to its error/event log. SmartView requires Windows 7 or newer versions (Windows 2008 Server or newer).
New Cost-efficient Laser Cutting Machine
LVD North America (Akron, OH) introduces Puma, a new cost-efficient fiber laser cutting machine designed to provide high-technology features and performance at a lower total cost of ownership. Offered with 3-, 6- or 12-kW laser in 3050-x-1525 mm, 4065-x-2035 mm, and 6160-x-2035 formats and automation ready, Puma provides the ability to handle a diversity of cutting applications.
LVD’s newest laser cutting machine addresses a growing demand for versatile laser cutting equipment built to maximize the value of a user’s investment and lower the cost per part.
Puma is designed to operate as economically as possible with high-end features that optimize cutting performance and robust construction to ensure reliable operation. The welded steel, mono-frame construction provides stability to achieve quality cutting at high feed rates.
The Puma cutting head uses the latest technology to deliver consistent quality and process stability. It incorporates crash protection, motorized focus position adjustment, and capacitive height sensing, as well as automated functions for sheet referencing, cutting gas selection, pressure control, and nozzle cleaning. High machine dynamics enables productive cutting across a wide range of material types and thicknesses.
Puma’s shuttle table system allows one table to be loaded or unloaded while cutting on the other table, keeping throughput at its peak. Table changeover takes just 35 seconds.
To maximize laser cutting output and processing efficiency, Puma can be equipped or retrofitted with any MOVit modular automation system, including Compact Tower for loading, unloading and material/parts storage, Flexible Automation advanced load/unload system, Tower Automation System single or double-tower storage, or Warehouse Automation System customizable storage tower system.
Band Saw Blades Feature Bi-Metal Unique®
The L.S. Starrett Co. (Athol, MA) offers Versatix™ MP bi-metal band saw blades featuring triple-tempered, high-speed M-42 cobalt steel teeth with an alloy steel backing strip. The blade has a patented tooth design that dissipates stress during cutting for less tooth breakage and longer blade life. Its special set minimizes pinching when cutting structurals and bundles.
Versatix MP band saw blades include exclusive Starrett technology called bi-metal unique, which joins two strips of high-speed steel wires to the backing steel using Solid-State Diffusion Bonding. Instead of a single wire welded to the outside of a steel backer, this process bonds two strips of high-speed steel to each side of the top edge of the steel backer using intense heat and pressure. The bonding area between the backer and the high-speed steel is increased 170% over the conventional electron beam or laser welding. This new process creates a stronger, longer lasting blade. Versatix MP blades are ideal for sawing structurals, tubes and small solids.
Pipe Beveler Tool Handles Alloyed Small Tubes
A family of right-angle welding end prep tools for highly alloyed small diameter tubes that require precision beveling prior to welding to assure high-integrity welds has been introduced by Esco Tool (Holliston, MA).
The Esco Ground MILLHOG® Beveler is a right-angle drive I.D. clamping tool that features a push-pull clamp and release mechanism that engages and disengages easily. Ideal for beveling tubes and small pipes with a high percentage of chrome, this tool produces precision welding end preps without cutting oils and comes in pneumatic, electric and battery powered models.
Enabling users to achieve X-ray certifiable welds without hand grinding, the Esco Ground MILLHOG Beveler is suited for tube and pipe from 0.5” I.D. to 2.25” O.D. with 0.5” thick walls and only needs a 1.5” radial clearance. It has totally sealed construction and can be used in any orientation.
Bench Top Furnace Heat Treats a Variety of Tool Steels
L&L Special Furnace (Ashton, PA) has delivered a highly uniform box furnace to a distributor of equipment to maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities located throughout the world.
The L&L Model XLB124 has working dimensions of 11” wide by 10” high by 22” deep. The furnace is capable of heat treating a wide variety of tool steels – from D-2 to high-speed M-2 tool steel, along with low-temperature tempering. It is equipped with a sealed case for inert atmosphere capability, as well as a fully functional atmosphere control panel with pressure regulator, flowmeter and manual shut-off valve.
Elements are evenly spaced around the chamber. There is a manually operated, spring-assisted vertical door. Included is a NEMA 1 control cabinet with a Eurotherm program controller, high-limit backup system, thermocouples, fusing, and all interconnection wiring. Power control is accomplished with quiet two-zone, long- lasting solid-state contactors. The furnace hearth is a rugged cordierite plate with ceramic support.
The Model XLB124 is insulated with 2-1/2” lightweight firebrick and backed up with 2” of insulating board. The bottom is reinforced with a high-density calcium silicate that provides extra support for the load weight.
The L&L XLB series comes in several sizes, with custom configurations available upon request.
Automatic Dual Column Saws Increase Efficiency
Cosen Saws (Charlotte, NC), a leading manufacturer of industrial sawing equipment, offers a variety of automatic dual column band saws with round capacities ranging from 12”-to-40”. The automatic dual column band saws are designed to meet the demands of modern manufacturing, service centers, and the fabrication industries. The line includes the G320, C-320NC, C-420NC, C-520NC, C-620NC, and other larger models.
Having an automatic band saw means that production can be increased significantly. Automatic band saws can work continuously, cutting multiple pieces of material at a time, which can greatly increase the
production rate. An automatic band saw can also be programmed to make precise cuts, which can help to reduce errors and wasted material. This can help to increase the overall efficiency of the production process.
Other advantages include:
- Longevity of Machine: Dual column saws are generally more rugged than pivot saws, which can help to increase the longevity of the machine. The added rigidity and stability of the dual columns can also help to reduce wear and tear on the saw’s moving parts, further increasing its lifespan.
- Straightness of Cut: The added rigidity and stability of a dual column saw can also help to improve the straightness of the cut. This is because the saw blade is less likely to bend or deflect during the cutting process, resulting in a more accurate and precise cut.
- Capacity and Cut Speeds: Dual column saws typically are designed to cut larger cutting cross sections of material than pivot saws. You typically will not find a pivot style saw cutting larger than a 16” round material. The reason for this is that pivot saws lack the rigidity, unlike dual column saws that have two columns for stability. This allows dual column saws to effectively cut larger or thicker materials, resulting in improved cut speeds and blade life.
- V_Drive Technology: Cosen’s proprietary V_Drive technology comes built into the automatic dual column band saws. V_Drive allows for significantly reduced cut times even for harder materials, longer blade life, reduced tooling costs per piece cut and tighter tolerances.
All Cosen automatic dual column band saws are backed by a one-year labor and two-year parts warranty.
New Software Program Ensures Flexible Tube Cutting, Design and Reduced Scrap
Lantek Systems’ (Mason, OH) Flex3d Tubes is an intuitive software program that allows precise cutting of tubular parts, eliminating scrap and increasing throughput. Available within the Lantek Manager and Integra software, Flex3d Tubes seamlessly integrates with different types of tubular geometry import tools such as SAT and IGES. Additionally, programmers can import 3D design files from SOLIDWORKS, Solid Edge or STEP files among others. Once the file is imported, users can create different cutting programs for tube shapes and profiles of all sizes using Flex3d Tubes’ Toolpath Smart Designer machining and designing tool. They can use the parametric system to change operation values such as length and diameter and create original designs directly in the software. Programmers have full control over cutting sequence and direction, including the ability to cut different faces into the tube. Predefined machining strategies can be applied to all holes based on their position in the profile allowing the programmer to nest multiple profiles and parts from the same tube stock.
Developed with the latest laser cutting technology in mind, Flex3d Tubes takes into account the array of cutting options available. Users can program complete or partial chamfers on either end of a tube as well as create any type of contour including round, rectangular and triangular among others. Visuals, including full simulation capabilities, give a clear view of the cutting operation, identifying intersections and operations and allowing 2D geometry to be projected or surface-mapped onto the tube surface. This is especially useful when creating programs for large tubes and thick pipes, the latter of which might need a bevel or similar cut. The ability to change parameters and sequencing on the fly saves considerable time and scrap. The system continually monitors the data at any point in the operations tree.
New Static Eliminator is Clean Room Rated
EXAIR LLC’s (Cincinnati, OH) new Intellistat® Ion Air Nozzle is the latest solution for static elimination in sensitive processes. Like the Intellistat Ion Air Gun, this new nozzle provides a lightweight solution rated Class 5 for clean rooms and controlled environments per ISO 14644-1. The Ion Air Nozzle comes equipped with a mounting bracket to assist with remote mounting or benchtop assembly for hands-free use. It will reduce 1,000 volts to less than 100 in 0.6 seconds and up to 24” away. The Intellistat Ion Air Nozzle is a comprehensive solution for neutralizing static in sensitive processes like scientific and electronic testing, cleaning medical or pharmaceutical products and packaging, or removing debris from sensitive electronics.
The compact stainless steel adjustable bracket can be installed into a customer’s process. Operations requiring both hands to package, test or assemble parts now remain static free. The nozzle is equipped with an LED indicator to assure proper functionality to maximize efficiency and meet OSHA requirements. The EXAIR line of Intellistat products are UL listed and CE compliant along with the rest of EXAIR’s full line of static eliminators.
Re-design of Single Reel Uncoilers
COE Press Equipment (Sterling Heights, MI) has announced a re-design of its single reel uncoilers. Featuring a new modular design, the reels make it easier for customers to add optional features at later dates, helping adapt to changing shop floor needs. Additionally, whereas the previous model featured weldments, the new design employs bolted components making the reels more robust and reliable.
The reels are capable of handling coil loads of up to 60,000 pounds, processing yield strength up to 300 KSI. They handle coil widths up to 78”, OD up to 72” and ID up to 24.75”. They can be configured to work in a pull-off application with power straighteners and roll forming equipment, or they can be provided as pay-off reels with the drive mechanism to unwind the coil built into the machine with AC variable speed drive up to 20 hp.
COE designs and manufactures a complete line of premiere coil handling and servo roll feed equipment from stand-alone roll feeds, straighteners, reels, cradles and air feeds to complete integrated feed systems and cut-to-length lines.
New Versions and Upgraded Features to Laser Cutting Machines
Kern Laser Systems (Wadena, MN) offers new versions of the FiberCELL and LaserCELL laser systems with 52”-x-100” laser tables. These larger format configurations will be available in addition to the existing 52”-x-50” versions of each model.
The 52”-x-100” is the company’s most popular size for its laser systems, including the entry-level EcoFlex and flagship Optiflex systems. This size allows for easy processing of materials in standard sheet sizes of 4’-x-8’ and 4’-x-10’. Coupling this cutting table format with Kern’s enclosed FiberCELL and LaserCELL systems makes for two incredibly versatile and efficient machines.
The new versions of the FiberCELL and LaserCELL also include upgraded features to make the loading and unloading of material a breeze. The biggest change is the addition of automatic roll-up doors. The original enclosure doors were manually operated, while the new doors are twice as long, push-button operated, and powered by an electric motor. It is also possible to side-load sheets of material into these enclosures. This means a forklift or other material handling equipment can be positioned to the side of the machine and used to load material sheets for processing more efficiently than would be possible by hand.
The FiberCELL and LaserCELL are both Class 2 laser systems because they feature complete housing around the processing bed. For Class 2 lasers, momentary viewing of the laser’s light (from outside the enclosure, in this case) is considered non-hazardous. Thanks to their enclosures, the FiberCELL and LaserCELL can be installed in locations where Class 4 lasers cannot. For example, in a busy production area there may be employees working with and without safety glasses. With an unenclosed laser system, especially one with output power like the FiberCELL or LaserCELL, everyone working in the production area would need to wear glasses, even if they are working on other machinery that does not require them to. A complete safety enclosure around the laser system eliminates this need.
Safety enclosures also offer a level of environmental control desirable in business and university settings where lasers are commonly used. The enclosure can keep the smoke or dust generated by some laser applications from spreading to the rest of the work area, which keeps any other sensitive machinery nearby safe. This means more equipment can be installed in smaller working areas without worry. The enclosure contains and eliminates variables.
Clean Tube Technology “Spoon” Option for Lasertube Machines
BLM Group (Novi, MI) has announced the availability of Clean Tube Technology, also known as a ‘spoon,’ designed for its lasertube machines to keep the inside of the tubes free of slag, debris and dust. The Clean Tube Technology probe is inserted into pipes during the cutting process and uses suction to capture spatter, gases and vapors produced during the cutting process. This option, which is available for BLM Group’s Lasertubes 8” and below, helps produce a clean and dross-free internal finish.
The Clean Tube Technology is especially well-suited for fabricators cutting stainless tubes for the water treatment, food processing or other clean environment industries. Another reason fabricators look to this option is for their secondary process which involves tube bending when using a mandrel. The cleaner the inside of the tube the longer the life of your mandrel. Capturing the debris during the cutting process eliminates the need for a secondary cleaning step after the cutting process, saving time and boosting productivity.
The spoon is matched to each size of lasertube machines, automatically adjusting to the tube diameter. An additional benefit of this technology is that it also helps to stop the laser beam from reaching the opposite side of the tube wall, delivering higher quality processed tubes.
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