One of our recent installations was an Amada Press Brake, Model HG-ATC 1003. The press brake has a 10’ bed, 110 ton, 8-axis back-gauge with L-Shift functionality. But the really neat thing about this machine is that it has a fully automated system for loading and unloading of tools. When changing tools, an entire 10′ bed with a complex layout can be automatically loaded up with a different setup in under 2 minutes. Manual loading and centering of tools could easily take 30 minutes or more. Now, our operators no longer have to pick up or swap out, or even touch the tooling.
Here at IMEC, we handle short to medium-sized runs of parts. With some jobs, we would spend more time setting up and tearing down than actually bending and working on the parts. Now, with our Amada Press Brake HG-ATC, the opposite is true: we are spending more time on bending. This means lower setup times and lower costs for our customers.
All of the programming for the machines are done through Amada’s Dr. Abe bending program. Within Dr.Abe, we can fully simulate the bending process and identify issues before the parts even get cut. When the parts get to the press brake, the operator will then scan a barcode and the machine will automatically pull up the program and load the required tools.
This machine also includes a unique tool that automatically measures the angle of the bend while the part is being formed. When the material is being formed, two small sensors come up and measure the bend by touching the flanges. If an angle isn’t where it needs to be, the machine will automatically adjust itself. There are many variables when it comes to sheet metal – for example, grain direction & thickness variance, all of which can impact bending. These variables can be difficult to adjust and account for, but the bend indicators allow us to quickly and efficiently get the angle right and keep bending.
Overall, the Amada Press Brake HG-ATC is extraordinary compared to the previous press brakes. The automatic changing of tools has allowed us to spend more time doing what we do best: producing quality, precision metal parts and assemblies for our customers.