A Labor Relief

Prior to adding the new automated press brakes, Du Fresne operated with 12 standard press brakes, along with four turret presses and a fiber-laser cutting machine.

“Those older brakes,” Rosenthal says, “required manual setup and programming at the machine, which created downtime and reduced capacity. The HG ATC press brakes set up quickly since the tooling—84 ft. of top and bottom dies—is built into the machines.”

In addition to that improvement, Du Fresne can program the press brakes offline, freeing operators to move quickly from job to job, and, therefore, complete more jobs and add capacity.

“The first HG machine we purchased became so productive that we were able to decommission four older press brakes,” Rosenthal explains, “selling them off and their tooling to offset the purchase of the new machine. We also realized a nice gain in manufacturing floor space that we can use to add more equipment down the road.”

After 8 months of using the initial HG, Du Fresne decided to add the second HG press brake, and since then Rosenthal says that the shop has been able to move about 45 percent of its forming work over to the two new brakes. This increased capacity resulting from the new equipment has eased any strain it may have seen related to skilled labor.

New Business Gained

The data Rosenthal cites have greatly increased the company’s business opportunities with current and new customers.

“However, looking beyond the numbers,” Rosenthal says, “the most impressive deliverable, and the real value, is that the new technology touches lives and provides more development opportunities for our members by creating new, technically challenging and rewarding jobs.”

These opportunities include programming of part nests (using Amada’s Dr. Abe software), and programming the punch/laser, the press brake (offline) and the part-transfer (conveyor) operations.

“We opened up a new programming position for the punch/laser,” says Rosenthal, “and two positions for programming the new press brakes. The capacity increases have boosted sales, adding manufacturing hours to our schedule and allowing us to bring on more engineers.

“This innovative technology,” he summarizes, “is our investment in developing career opportunities and giving members new pathways to expand their talent-toolbox and earn a higher wage. Members now are trained on the newest, most technically advanced equipment available. In addition, being exposed to advanced programming techniques and specially designed conveyor systems all add up to our competitive edge.”

MF
Industry-Related Terms: Bending, Die, Forming, LASER, Model, Ram, Run, Scrap, Stroke, Turret Press, Turret
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms

 

See also: Amada North America, Inc

Technologies: Bending

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