Lasershape has installed a new Bystronic Xpert 7-axis CNC press brake with laser measuring capability and integrated BySoft 7 modular CADCAM software to deliver to-quote prices.
The investment follows the installation of a new MRP system earlier this year, made to accelerate front end administrative and quotation processes. The company's existing press brake was a weak link in the chain, as the company's director Tim Leam explains.
"With the new MRP system, all of our engineering can be done up front, at point of quotation – it calculates manufacturing cycle times to the second. However, it was falling down with our existing press brakes, as the technology was less advanced.
"Now we can take a customer's 3D CAD model and develop and prove it at the quotation stage. As a result, we can supply a part that is both accurate to drawing and accurate to quotation.
"The BySoft software not only provides a flat blank development, it will tell us whether we have the tools available and run a simulation of the bending sequence. Ultimately it has taken the skill out of the operation and returned it to the office, where it should be. Skilled press brake operators are hard to find, and if they take leave or go sick, the customer gets let down. Lasershape won't have this problem."
The 150 tonne capacity Xpert press brake features a 3 m bed length and functionality that supports simple and rapid set-up. Using Lasershape's existing machines, set-up can take 20-30 minutes, which is sometimes uneconomic for low batch sizes. However, with the Xpert 150 everything is automated. Lasershape simply enter the program and the control informs the user what tools to use – LEDs even indicate the tool positions along the bed length. The upshot is that set-up now takes no more than 2-3 mins.
Image: Left to right - Steve Connolly, general sales manager; Brian Corroll, planning & purchasing manager; and Marc Shinagl, production manager