‘The Swiss Army knife’ of press brakes
The production of small steel components is a key part of overall sheet steel production. Now Bystronic, a world-leading provider of cutting and bending solutions has released the Xpert 40, a compact, mobile press brake designed specifically for the high-speed production of smaller components.
First introduced as a prototype at Euroblech 2014, Xpert 40 is now commercially available on the global market and also locally through First Cut, the foremost South African distributor of cutting consumables and capital equipment which represents Bystronic locally.
According to First Cut’s Managing Director Andrew Poole, when it comes to the business of metal fabrication technology, Bystronic is the world leader – with the Xpert 40 as a perfect example of this industry expertise.
“Not for nothing is the Xpert 40 referred to as the ‘Swiss Army knife of press brakes’. In development thereof, Bystronic took customers’ feedback into account regarding their requirement for compact ergonomics, speed and productivity – not to mention energy and cost-savings.
With an impressive 40-ton capacity, Xpert 40 can carry out up to an amazing 1,028 bends an hour – 3 times as many parts in the same as a large machine would – allowing users to bend quickly and efficiently,” Poole comments.
These high processing speeds have been achieved through upper flank and back gauge acceleration; and the fact that the machine is fully programmable with the use of BySoft 7 software.
“Thanks to intelligent functions such as energy saver and automatic stop-start, the Xpert 40 operates more economically than larger press brakes – while bending at higher speeds,” he says.
First Cut’s Bystronic Sales Director Gareth Jackson agrees, adding: “Another major advantage of the Xpert 40 is that, being so compact, it can be deployed in approximately 5 minutes. In addition, the machine has forklift ports, allowing for mobile deployment and integration into almost any industrial environment or fabrication configuration. For example, it can be deployed from a fixed bending station directly next to a laser cutting system, in order to improve production flow from laser cutting to bending.”
Furthermore, with rising electricity costs in South Africa a growing concern for the manufacturing and fabrication sector, the Xpert 40’s process-controlled drive unit reduces power consumption by up to 30%, resulting in substantial savings and maintenance costs.
In addition, the Xpert Tool Changer, a compact automation solution – which works in tandem with the Xpert 40 – allows for the fast changing of bending tools. This will allow for reduced set-up times and improved bending quality, explains Jackson.
The accuracy achieved with the Tool Changer produces parts of consistently high quality. In addition, using intelligent sensor technology, the Tool Changer scans new tools and automatically integrates them into the magazine. “You do not have to reprogramme or call in a service technician, thereby also saving operational time and costs,” adds Jackson.
The Xpert Tool Changer also integrates seamlessly with the Xpert 40’s ByVision Bending software, which has an extensive database including parameters for all common types of sheet metal and bending tools – allowing users to decide on the appropriate tool, sequence of angles and the bending force required.
A further option with the Xpert 40 is the Bystronic mobile bending cell, based on the so-called ‘plug and bend’ principle.
“This ancillary machine allows production to cope with varying order sizes: from large series with recurring parts, to flexible job order production with fluctuating batch sizes and widely varying bent parts.
Apart from a high level of process reliability, the bending cell allows for multi-shift operation with the minimum staffing requirement. The bending cell can be set up in a couple of minutes and does not affect the mobility of the Xpert 40 at all,” Jackson points out.
Convenient offline programming with ByVision Bending software, means data can be easily imported without disrupting the job currently on the machine. Upgrading the Xpert 40 with a bending cell can therefore be done easily and at any time.
Poole comments: “Safety is of course also a key concern of both First Cut and Bystronic. For this reason, the Xpert 40 features the Fast Bend-e ‘camera’ safety device, which is the least intrusive yet most effective safety system in use in the bending industry.”
“In the design of the Xpert 40 press brake, Bystronic have included many of the useful features found in their larger machines, in a powerfully compact, mobile and innovative package.
With its ease of deployment and myriad of applications within any fabrication or manufacturing environment, the Xpert 40 – with or without the mobile bending cell – offers a fast, versatile and cost-effective alternative to larger press brakes. As such, it is one of the most useful investments a busy steel fabricator could make,” Poole concludes.