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April 2017

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Fast Bending Tool Changing for a Press Brake
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Fast Bending Tool Changing for a Press Brake

Bystronic is expanding its bending process with a newly developed level of automation. With the new integrated Tool Changer system, the Xpert press brake can now swap tools automatically. "The state-of-the-art sensor system and integrated robotics technology create an exceedingly versatile and compact bending system that sets itself up," said a company spokesperson. "This solution is of particular interest for users who want to save time and increase quality but who do not want to forego flexibility.

"Sheet metal products are changing rapidly: a greater variety of shapes, increasing demands in terms of quality, and shorter product life cycles. This has an effect on sheet metal processing. In the past, jobs with 1,000 or more parts were usual. Today, the batch sizes are decreasing considerably. Small quantities are in demand. For companies that in addition to cutting also bend, this change means extra work. This impact is felt most strongly during the set-up and dismantling of tools on bending machines."

With the Xpert press brake and the integrated Tool Changer system, Bystronic is automating the process step that plays a crucial role in enabling users to bend parts quickly and with consistent quality. The Tool Changer sets up the Xpert with the upper and lower tools that are required for the job. "During manual operation, this step costs the user up to 70 percent of the entire bending time," said the spokesperson.

"Many users have reservations: Bending automation requires space, makes automated processing steps cumbersome, and thus less flexible. Hence automation only makes sense when processing large batch sizes of identical parts. With the Xpert Tool Changer, Bystronic provides a solution to this typical drawback of conventional automation systems," said the spokesperson.

The 6-axis robotic arm integrated in the Xpert press brake accesses the tool magazine, which is also integrated within the machine and houses a generous supply of bending tools. The entire automation system is located within the Xpert press brake. In addition to the advantageous ergonomics, this offers another benefit: The robotics system and the tool magazine are protected from dirt and ambient influences.

In combination with the Tool Changer system, the Xpert offers a bending length of 3 meters. The available press capacity ranges from 150 to 320 tons. As standard, the machine comes with an intelligent bending process control and fully automatic crowning. Both functions enable a wide variety of parts to be bent with maximum repetition accuracy. "In a logical next step, Bystronic is now extending this combination of variety and precision with an automation solution that decreases the user's workload and reduces sources of error within the bending process," said the spokesperson.

"With the Xpert Tool Changer system, users will never again bend a part using the wrong tool, or with a tool that has been incorrectly inserted into the press brake's upper or lower beam," said the spokesperson. For each bending job, the automation system fetches the appropriate toolset from the magazine and inserts it with high precision. Even when bending with several stations distributed across the bending length, the automatic tool changer positions all the defined tools with millimeter precision.

With constantly changing bending parts, users frequently need to expand a press brake's range of bending tools. In such cases, the Xpert Tool Changer system supports the user with intelligent sensors. The operator simply inserts new tools into the clamping system of the upper or lower beam. Subsequently, the Tool Changer scans the new tool and automatically integrates it into the magazine, without programming effort or the need to call in a service technician.

In addition to the normal position, the upper tools can also be rotated by 180° and inserted in the beam increasing the bending versatility, an option that usually poses difficulties for conventional automation solutions. If required, the 6-axis robotics can rotate all the upper tools and thus increase the range of applications of the existing tools.

In order to ensure sustained precise and gentle processing of parts that are to be bent, the Xpert Tool Changer system is equipped with a cleaning nozzle that cleans the whole length of bending table using compressed air. During the bending process, mill scale and cutting residues from the bending parts frequently drop onto the lower beam causing the operator to have to regularly clean a press brake. With the Xpert Tool Changer this is no longer necessary.

Bystronic has integrated the operator interface for the Xpert Tool Changer into the ByVision Bending user interface. This enables users to perform all the operating steps on the press brake using one touchscreen, regardless of whether they are controlling the tool change or the subsequent bending process. In addition to simple operation, this all-in-one solution also opens up new data evaluation possibilities: How frequently were certain tools used? Which tool was used to bend which part? When does preventive maintenance make sense? The analysis of these questions helps users to sustainably improve their processes.

For more information contact:

Bystronic Inc.

200 Airport Rd.

Elgin, IL 60123


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