Sheet metal machinery specialist, Salvagnini UK & Ireland, says it is experiencing high order levels for panel benders from subcontractors based in the north of England and Scotland. In the past 12 months, no less than six of Salvagnini’s latest P2Xe and P4Xe panel benders with offline software have been installed at fabrication shops in Lancashire, Yorkshire, County Durham, Northumberland and Scotland. All are all now benefiting from the zero set-up times offered by this advanced technology.
Small batch, high mix
The modern UK trend for small batch, high product mix manufacturing means that set-up time has never been more critical in order to stay competitive and maximise profit margins. The zero set-up time using P2Xe and P4Xe panel benders is possible thanks to Salvagnini’s ingenious ABA (automatic blank-holder system) technology, which can adjust the tooling in less than 4 seconds. Importantly however, this is done in ‘masked time’, i.e. before the previous cycle concludes.
“All six of the recent Salvagnini panel bender installations at subcontractors in the north feature ABA blank-holders,” says Steve Williams, the company’s Managing Director. “Forward-thinking manufacturers are now wanting to reduce WIP and run much leaner production. Using ABA, set-up time is a thing of the past.”
Salvagnini offers the ABA tool adjuster on its full range of P2Xe compact panel benders, which are available in 2,180 and 2,500 mm bending lengths, and the P4Xe series, which offers bending lengths of 2,180 up to 3,850 mm.
The panel benders installed in the north are being used to serve markets that include retail/shop fitting, defence, transport, cabinets/enclosures and catering, to list but a few.
“Alongside zero set-up time, Salvagnini panel benders provide customers with much faster production than can be achieved using press brakes or robotic press brakes,” says Mr Williams. “Most parts can be formed in less than 1 minute. For instance, a typical eight-bend panel can be produced in around 35 seconds.”
Versatility and flexibility are also standard capabilities on Salvagnini panel benders as the same universal tool can produce safe edges, joggle bends and radius bends, as well as numerous special forms that are impossible to replicate on a press brake without a great deal of special tooling.
Skills issue negated
Another issue which comes up regarding bending is finding skilled operators for press brakes. Salvagnini panel benders address this issue as the machines offer fully automated bending processes.
“We do not need to rely on the skill of the operator as programming can be done offline with our graphical bending software,” says Mr Williams. “This uses dxf/dwg files that have already been created by laser cutting or punching software. Users not only get to view a full graphical simulation, they are also given a cycle time which allows jobs to be priced accurately and scheduled correctly.”
It is also worth noting that all Salvagnini Xe panel benders are true hybrid machines – technology that allows power consumption to be reduced drastically. In many cases, users are running at lower consumption than a standard 3m bed hydraulic press brake.
“These benefits speak for themselves and are clearly providing increased appetite for Salvagnini panel benders,” concludes Mr Williams. “What’s more, our recent sales success is set to continue with a number of additional enquiries reaching their conclusion in the coming weeks and months.”