Page 25 - MetalForming January 2017
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                12 standard press brakes, along with four turret presses and a fiber-laser cutting machine.
“Those older brakes,” Rosenthal says, “required manual setup and pro- gramming at the machine, which cre- ated 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 pur- chased 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 sec- ond 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 result- ing from the new equipment has eased any strain it may have seen related to skilled labor.
New Business Gained
The data Rosenthal cites have great- ly increased the company’s business opportunities with current and new customers.
“However, looking beyond the num- bers,” Rosenthal says, “the most impressive deliverable, and the real value, is that the new technology touch- es lives and provides more develop- ment opportunities for our members by creating new, technically challenging and rewarding jobs.”
These opportunities include pro- gramming of part nests (using Amada’s Dr. Abe software), and programming the punch/laser, the press brake
(offline) and the part-transfer (convey- or) operations.
“We opened up a new programming position for the punch/laser,” says Rosenthal, “and two positions for pro- gramming 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 addi- tion, being exposed to advanced pro- gramming techniques and specially designed conveyor systems all add up to our competitive edge.” MF

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