Reducing non-productive time on manually operated equipment is by far the most effective way to increase productivity, increase machine capacity, and reduce overall production costs. By the nature of their operations, press brake equipment are, in particular, highly visible contributors of this kind of inefficiency, due to the different tool setups required and the variety of programs that must be processed each day. Here, non-productive time is defined as whenever a machine is not physically bending material or you are not adding value to the part.
Press brake operators can reduce their setup times by sequencing all of the jobs that require the same tooling setups. In this way they reduce the total number of tool changes per day. They can also use easy-to-handle and lightweight, segmented tooling, so operators can quickly and effortlessly change their tool setups as needed. These tools feature front-loading, self-seating, and auto-centering capabilities for fast and precise tool setups.
Offline programming systems also provide automatic tool mapping information to the controller, enabling the operator to properly select and position the tools. These offline programming systems also offer virtual bend simulations so that problems are identified and addressed before the process is released for production. Virtual tools can even be tried out before they are purchased or modified. Ideally, the original part designers should have access to the offline programming so they can have immediate confirmation that their part designs can be formed with their current press brake and tool library.
Utilizing segmented, front-loading precision tools along with offline programming capabilities is among the most effective ways of reducing overall non-productive times on a press brake. Reducing these non-productive setup times with each job is critical to profitability, capacity and reducing the overall cost per part.
By Frank Arteaga, Head of Product Marketing, NAFTA Region
Bystronic Inc., Elgin, IL – Voice.email@example.com