Page 31 - MetalForming December 2019
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 Fabrication: Folding/Bending
  • Base for a home standby generator: took 1.5 minutes, now takes 25 seconds.
Other efficiency gains
at Argon come in the form
of placement and cus-
tomization. “The compact
size (17 by 19 ft.) of the
bender allow us to place a
spot welding unit or a PEM-insertion unit next
to the machine,” Clement
says. “We added an addi-
tional door on our
machine so that as formed
parts progress through the
unit, an operator can use the door to access the part to add a spot welded bracket or PEM inserts without increas- ing cycle time.”
Additional automation opportunities may come soon, says Clement. “We can add a robotic load and unload to the panel bender to achieve one-piece flow.”
Advanced Bending Provides Profit Potential
Like Argon, more metal formers are profiting by adding efficiency to their panel-bending operations, says Peter Kitzler, sales & application engineering at Salvagnini Maschinenbau GmbH,
MetalForming/December 2019 29
This 14-gauge galvannealed safety-door component is one of several sheet metal components formed by Argon Industries using an automated panel bender.
Ennsdorf, Austria. During his 32 years in the industry, Kitzler has seen a steady progression of panel-bending advance- ments geared around improving part flow, from compact panel benders like the one used at Argon, to fully stand- alone panel benders that feed and unload automatically onto an integrat- ed flexible manufacturing system.
With the compact panel benders, which require an operator to feed and unload the part, “profit potential exists when you line up other process such as punching and shearing, laser cuting, welding, clinching, etc., as well as auto- mated storage and retrieval, ” says Kit-
zler. “Even greater efficiencies come from using automated systems that integrate products to one-piece designs and bend the parts on all four sides. This lessens work-in-process and inter- mediate stacking of parts.
“Another reason for automating panel bending: Manual systems depend on difficult-to-find skilled operators,” Kitzler continues. “Not so with automated panel-bending sys- tems. While other processes such as laser cutting and punching are auto- mated for the most part, there remains a lot of potential for automation when it comes to bending.” MF

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