13 June 2008

Press brakes enter Hydram sheet metalwork?s fold

An ethos of continually investing in the latest production technology and capacity has resulted in Hydram Sheet Metalwork becoming one of the UK’s leading suppliers of sheet metal components, assemblies and light fabrications.

With over 30 years experience in sub-contract manufacturing, the company has built a reputation for customer service and quality.  Hydram’s customers are secure in the knowledge that they are dealing with an established, reputable, ISO 9001 quality accredited single source supplier and can expect a high quality product, competitive prices and prompt delivery.

Hydram Sheet Metalwork has provided a laser cutting service for 10 years and to date has three Bystronic laser cutting systems with 3 x 1.5 m sheet handling capacity.  The machines are able to cut up to 20 mm thick mild steel and clean cut up to 12 mm stainless steel.  The narrow laser cut width, zero clamping set up and computer assisted part nesting allows maximum sheet utilisation.

The company has recently continued its investment in the latest production technology and further enhanced its relationship with Bystronic with the investment of two Bystronic Beyeler Xpert press brakes of 250 tonnes and 150 tonnes capacity respectively at a cost in excess of £250,000.  The Xpert was shown for the first time to the UK public at the recent MACH exhibition and it is the first time Hydram has invested in Bystronic press brake technology.

The Beyeler Xpert is equipped with the world’s most comprehensive database which is based on DIN and Hämmerle data and is simple to expand with data for new parts and materials.  Hydram’s press brake operators will have complete freedom when processing his orders.   They can utilise their own experience to select between a fully automatic bending process and the manual input of the individual process steps.   In addition, the knowledge gained from Hydram’s Bystronic laser cutting machines can also be transferred to the bending process, for example the application of microtabs and bend relief cuts.  This knowledge can be implemented easily on the Beyeler Xpert control.  The programming platform provides the facility to run parallel processes between the laser cutting machine and the press brake.

It is the only press brake that produces zero angle error itself and  is said to deliver the highest level of repetition accuracy on the market.  This results in increased productivity and is reflected in the fact that part optimisation is reduced to a minimum.

The Beyeler Xpert automatically calculates how differences between the target value and the actual value are to be corrected resulting in positioning accuracy of four thousandths of a millimetre. This precision guarantees the same angle and leg length each time.  All parts are bent with the greatest precision and every angle produced is correct.

These accurate bending results are achieved at the touch of a single button.  The bending sequence and the positioning of the backstops are determined, the tool plan is created and the process data is generated – all automatically.  The open control allows the operator to change all the calculations individually.

The programming on the Beyeler Xpert is simple.  It takes just six mouse clicks to get from the 3D data file to the 3D part.  Furthermore, numerical inputs can be made directly on the machine negating the need for an additional PC.

The two press brakes have been specified with a single motorised tool magazine mounted between the two machines. This enables up to 44 metres of tooling to be slid into either machine without manual lifting, reducing tool change times and improving operator safety.
All major tool styles are supported by the comprehensive database and can be used on this press brake thereby reducing tooling costs.  The fully automatic parameterisation and the optimally controlled workflow ensure wear of the machine is reduced resulting in reduced maintenance work and costs.

John Young, Hydram Sheet Metalwork’s managing director comments: “The purchase of these new press brakes complete with tool handling system will further enhance our market position.  The Xpert’s will minimise scrap, increase productivity and save costs – all of which are of enormous benefit to our customers.”

“As the machine’s are fully controlled by their own PC they can be networked and remotely programmed from our design office.  It is also our intention to program our existing press brakes off-line but as the machines are less advanced than the Xpert’s, they will need a PC sited next them; programs will then be sent to this PC and fed into our existing press brakes.

“When it came to sourcing the new machines it was not just the quality of machine build which encouraged us to choose the Bystronic press brakes, although the fact that the company is also a single source supplier is a huge advantage.  Our experience with the company over the years has been fantastic.  The after-sales service they provide, the training, their attitude to customer service, everything is similar to ours.  They understand what we as the customer wants just as we understand what our customers want.”

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