LVD Reducing setups for lean manufacturing

| Author / Editor: Steven Lucas, Product Manager Press Brakes / Susanne Hertenberger

The need for frequent tool changes is fueled by today’s reduced batch sizes and shortened lead times, as well as the need to reduce stock levels and manufacture the exact quantity required. Here’s how to optimize press brake tool setup.

LVD’s press brake automation system maximizes productivity by reducing tool setup time.
LVD’s press brake automation system maximizes productivity by reducing tool setup time.
(Bild: LVD, Tom Lesaffer)

Fabricators around the world face the same challenge – how to maximize throughput with increased tool changes that come as a result of smaller batch sizes and shorter lead times. For press brake bending applications – no matter the size or complexity of the job – tool setup time is one of the most significant bottlenecks to productivity.

Is your bending output suffering?

Now more than ever, optimizing tool setup is fundamental to better bending productivity. Ask yourself:

• Are you changing press brake tooling more than six times a day?

• Do your parts require complex or multiple bend stations?

• Are you losing time because of incorrect positioning of tooling sets?

• Are you losing time retrieving tools or searching for tools in use on other machines?

• Is your overall throughput diminished?

If so, reducing this non-productive time is critical to your competitiveness.

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Bending automation

An automated tool changing press brake offers a solution to reduce setup time for fabricators handling six or more setups per day. This press brake automation system cuts down on setup preparation time by:

• Automatically loading/unloading tooling – this frees the operator to do other things, such as prepare for the next job or attend to a nearby punch press or laser

• Eliminating small adjustment of tool sets

• Holding a large library of tools within the press brake

Automatic tool setting also eliminates errors: not placing tools in the right position on the ram, for example, or picking the wrong tool.

Efficient tooling storage

LVD’s automated tool changing press brake uses the press brake’s dual-purpose backgauge to load and unload tools from an integrated “tool stadium” that sits between the uprights of the machine. Configured to suit individual application requirements, the tooling stadium is able to house two complete lengths of self-seating top tooling (punches) and five complete lengths of bottom tooling (Vee dies). While the operator is preparing parts for the next job, the press brake automatically unloads the previous tool set up and precisely loads the next, ready for production.

Control and programming

Full network connectivity and more intuitive control of the machine also helps make tool setup more efficient. Parts can be programmed offline and 3D-simulation files can be seamlessly transferred to the machine ready for production.

In process quality control

Real-time feedback on the angle being bent helps ensure accuracy. LVD uses an angle measurement system that employs lasers to monitor and adapt the angle in real time during the bending process to achieve +/- 0.3° accuracy. Unlike other systems, this adaptive bending system does not look at the bend and apply a correction afterwards. There is no interruption in the bending cycle. An angle measurement system helps operators of all skill levels produce consistently accurate bending results.

Automated tool changer technology removes setup variables to increase bending output. For more information, contact LVD at