Familiar User Interface:
One of the most noticeable features of a modern CNC press brake is the operator control interface. A large full touch screen display with screen control functions similar to today’s smartphone and tablets presents an easy learning interface for first time users. Thanks to modern press brake technology, gone are the intimidating operator interfaces with a myriad of buttons, switches and dials… not to mention poor graphics. From a recruitment perspective when attracting new hires, providing a user interface that recruits are already familiar with (touch screens) in their smartphones and tablets, makes operating a press brake less intimidating and more attractive to first time press brake users.
Technology Bridges Experience for Press Brake Set-up and Operations:
What about bending experience? With regard to older press brakes, the experience that used to be required was mostly in the press brake set-up itself. In fact some companies had a dedicated supervisor that would just perform set-ups and then hand off the machines to a less experienced operator. That is no longer necessary.
Today’s modern CNC press brakes have built in “smart technologies” that intelligently guide even a novice user through press brake setups and operations. For example:
- Offline programming has freed the requirements of operators needing to be trained in part programming
- Bar code scanning of the part ID has enabled the error proof loading of the correct part program.
- Graphical and LED tool mapping displays show the operator exactly where each tool needs to be loaded and which type of tooling.
- 3-D graphical simulations of the bending sequence prior to bending allow the operator to visualize the bending process beforehand.
- If required, bend re-sequencing is achieved by dragging and dropping a bend step before or after another, directly on the screen.
- CNC back gauge axes are also graphically displayed in the case where a specific part of the back gauge is being used for part positioning.
- Bending safety camera systems not only detect when there is an obstruction in the bending zone to stop the machine but also checks to make sure that the correct tooling has been inserted.
New operators who have never operated a press brake can learn how to run a modern CNC press brake in less than a day including proper safety instructions.
There are other “smart technologies” that are built into the modern CNC press brakes that directly impact not only the quality of the finished parts but the experience level required of the operator. With these smart technologies, the experience no longer resides with the operator, but within the machine itself. For example:
- Automatic dynamic crowning ensures that your angles are consistent along the entire bend length.
- Thickness detection accounts for material thickness deviations and automatically re-calculates the new bottom dead center of the bend angle.
- Mechanical compensations also include frame deflections which can vary depending on the applied tonnage and temperature compensation for the hydraulic system as it affects the frame.
Achieving More with Less:
The combination of modern control interfaces combined with innovative ‘smart technologies” already contained within the machine control, makes finding new press brake operators much easier and more productive from the very start. Utilizing modern CNC press brake technologies and control software technologies working in unison as a process, will achieve more with less; more quality with less skill set, higher productivity and capacity with fewer machines and a higher profit and revenue potential.
Follow the below link to learn how modern press brake technology also contributes to increased productivity.
Advances in press brake technology contribute to increased productivity and bend accuracy.
By Frank Arteaga, Head of Product Marketing, NAFTA Region Bystronic Inc., Elgin, IL – Voice.firstname.lastname@example.org