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Punching And Bending Of Sheet Metal (Flexible Automation Unit’s Practical Use)

“Manufacturing is a kind of spirit, manufacturing is real labor, manufacturing is the support of innovation, and manufacturing is a kind of culture!” this is a passage told by Secretary General Zhang Jin of China Forging and Pressing Association .

For the author, the definition of “manufacturing” in this paragraph makes me feel it.

At the beginning of the 20th century, I had the honor to study abroad in Japan, a manufacturing country.

After graduating from University, I worked in the sheet metal Technology Department of Muratec Machinery Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Muratec”) and has been serving customers at home and abroad.

This definition of manufacturing reminds us that we should constantly improve our enterprise quality and professional technology to realize “intelligent” manufacturing in the sheet metal industry.

During my work, I have contacted many Japanese sheet metal companies, designed and discussed flexible sheet metal processing lines with many customers at home and abroad, and made many cases of sheet metal flexible automation unique to Muratec.

I am honored to be here to share my experience with you.

Flexible automatic processing line for punching and bending sheet metal

Next, I will share with you the flexible automatic processing line for sheet metal punching and folding discussed and produced by Muratec and an international well-known elevator company in Shanghai two years ago (Fig. 1).

The first punching and folding flexible processing line independently designed by Muratec machinery

Fig. 1 The first punching and folding flexible processing line independently designed by Muratec machinery

This processing line scheme has been discussed and studied with the senior director Hu of the company’s sheet metal process and has been adopted by customers in many industries such as distribution cabinet, elevator and office furniture.

For the operation of enterprises, economic law regulates the behavior style of enterprises, prevents enterprises from taking improper means to seek profits and harm the interests of the masses, and protects the basic rights and interests of the people.

At that time, some manufacturers were providing more expensive but less flexible punching, shearing and folding processing lines, but Muratec simply integrated the standard NC punch and NC bending and realized a set of new standard automatic flexible punching and folding production lines.

According to the needs of all walks of life, this production line can be combined simply and freely with the actual production of customers, so as to improve the production efficiency and reduce the initial investment cost.

For example, when the processing beat time of the NC punch is twice as fast as that of the bending machine, the full-automatic linkage line of one punch to two bending machines can be used.

Servo synchronous feed 4-axis (left) and 8-axis (right) tapping device

Fig. 2 Servo synchronous feed 4-axis (left) and 8-axis (right) tapping device

Using high-speed numerical control to simplify sheet metal processing technology

Muratec’s high-speed CNC punch M3048TG can not occupy the turret station and plug in a pure servo synchronous feed 4-axis or 8-axis tapping device (Fig. 2).

M2 ~ M10 tapping can be processed. It takes a little more than 1 second to process one.

According to the needs of customers, cutting or forging tap can be selected.

On the premise of ensuring the machining accuracy on one punch, the machining processes of twice positioning and transportation and twice tapping are omitted to realize punching, flanging forming, tapping and integrated processing. Its biggest advantage is that there is no need to buy a special tapping die, just a general tap;

No need for two times of manual interventions to simplify the process flow. So as to reduce the maintenance cost, operation labor and floor space of professional tapping devices.

Burr is the natural enemy of sheet metal processing.

The special deburring device generally requires manual transportation, collection and stacking for two processes.

Generally, the special deburring device can only deburr the plate completely, which will cause scratches on the material surface.

Muratec’s special deburring die is the patented technology of the company, which can deburr the designated parts of sheet metal parts according to the needs of customers.

It is completed once on the punch and only needs to be equipped with a set of deburring die (Fig. 3), which simplifies the complex sheet metal processing process.

The process scheme introduced above lists two examples of intensive and simplified sheet metal processing technology realized on NC punch.

Muratec patented deburring die

Fig. 3 Muratec patented deburring die

Practicability of flexible automation unit for sheet metal punching and folding

The main features of the sheet metal punching and folding flexible automatic unit introduced this time are as follows:

(1) For processing with fixed length materials, there is no need for any intermediate link processing, and the automation of stamping and bending can be simply realized.

(2) When the equipment of some manufacturers processes the fixed-length material, it is necessary to trim the fixed length material. If Muratec’s punch is used for processing, this link is not required. The material and processing time are directly saved, and the processing efficiency is improved.

(3) According to the customer’s processing product form, the specifications and tonnage of the NC punch and bending machine can be freely selected and combined to reduce the initial investment cost of the processing unit.

(4) This processing line unit can be freely combined according to the customer’s production mode. CNC punch, blanking warehouse unit and bending machine + bending robot unit can be processed automatically as independent units.

As a single body, the NC punch can also carry out manual loading and unloading processing.

(5) Small floor area and free flow of products. The production line can be left to right or right to left.

According to customer needs, butt joints with post-process riveting, welding, AGV, etc. can be opened.

Application description of the flexible automatic unit system for sheet metal punching and folding

The full automatic operation mode of punching and folding (online operation mode with bending robot unit)

When the punching and folding linkage processing operation is to be carried out, as shown in Fig. 4, the loading and unloading unit of the middle bed and the bending robot unit form a full-automatic operation mode.

Full automatic operation mode of punching and folding (linkage operation mode with bending robot unit)

Fig. 4 Full automatic operation mode of punching and folding (linkage operation mode with bending robot unit)

The feeding device takes out a plate to be processed from the feeding area of the three-dimensional material warehouse.

After positioning and processing, the extended feeding device is used for blanking, which is transported to the bending conveyor belt for automatic bending connection with the robot.

The punch press, the automatic loading and unloading three-dimensional material warehouse, the bending robot (material distribution robot) and the bending machine are closely connected, so as to realize the full-automatic punching and folding linkage processing without intermediate links.

Full automatic operation mode (operation mode of punch loading and unloading unit)

When linkage operation with the bending robot unit is not required or the punch unit is unmanned for automatic processing at night, an independent automatic loading and unloading unit can be formed between the punch and the material warehouse for operation, as shown in Fig. 5.

Full automatic operation mode (operation mode of charging and unloading unit of punching bed)

Fig. 5 Full automatic operation mode (operation mode of charging and unloading unit of punching bed)

According to the processing plan formulated manually on the punch, put the required plates into the three-dimensional material warehouse and set the material layer and finished product layer.

After all the materials of the material layer are processed, they can be stacked as a finished product layer to load finished products.

The material warehouse of 8 layers can formulate an automatic cycle to store 7 layers of finished products at most (Fig. 6).

Setting example of processing plan material and finished product layer

Fig. 6 Setting example of processing plan material and finished product layer

Automatic operation mode (independent operation mode of bending robot unit)

According to the needs of customers, the bending robot unit can also operate as an independent unit (Fig. 7).

Automatic operation mode (independent operation mode of bending robot unit)

Fig. 7 Automatic operation mode (independent operation mode of bending robot unit)

If the processing beat time of the punch does not match the automatic bending beat time, this operation mode can be used for automatic bending processing when automatic bending processing is required for workpieces processed by other punches or when there are faults in the on-line punch and material warehouse.

Semi automatic operation mode (manual moving in – automatic bending operation mode)

When a small amount of emergency punching and folding processing is required, the processed plates can be manually loaded and positioned by the operator.

After the punch is processed, the extended blanking device will automatically transport the bending workpiece to the bending conveyor belt, and the conveyor belt will automatically transport it to the material suction and positioning position of the robot, so as to realize the automatic punching and bending linkage mode with the bending robot.

Semi automatic operation mode (manual moving into automatic bending operation mode)

Fig. 8 Semi automatic operation mode (manual moving into automatic bending operation mode)

Semi automatic operation mode (automatic move in – manual move out mode)

When the materials in the three-dimensional material warehouse need to be manually connected and sorted immediately after emergency processing or large plate nesting processing, the feeding device can automatically suck a plate from the material feeding area of the three-dimensional material warehouse for automatic feeding and positioning processing.

The staff shall carry out manual blanking operation from the left side of the punch.

Semi automatic operation mode (automatic move in - Manual move out mode)

Fig. 9 Semi automatic operation mode (automatic move in – Manual move out mode)

Semi automatic operation mode (manual moving out mode)

Fig. 10 Semi automatic operation mode (manual moving out mode)

Semi-automatic operation mode (manual move in – automatic move out mode)

The staff manually position and load the processing materials one by one, and then the processing starts. After the processing, the blanking device of the three-dimensional material warehouse will automatically blanking.

After the finished products are stacked automatically, they can manually leave the warehouse or automatically put them into the three-dimensional material warehouse. This mode is applicable to mesh plate processing.

Press unit manual operation mode

When the three-dimensional material warehouse unit fails or needs to correspond to urgent parts, the single manual operation mode of the punch is adopted.

Through manual loading and unloading, the single machine processing of the punch is carried out to meet the production requirements of customers. The press can also be used as a separate unit.

Manual operation mode of single punch

Fig. 11 Manual operation mode of single punch

Bending unit manual operation mode

The bending robot automatically bends non-corresponding workpieces, accelerated parts, bending workpieces and other workpieces that need to be processed or when the bending robot fails, the bending machine monomer mode can be adopted.

Manual operation mode of bending unit

Fig. 12 Manual operation mode of bending unit

Conclusion

With the reduction of the labor force and the rise of the labor cost, there will be more and more requirements for sheet metal automation system.

When it evolves from less variety and more quantity to a variety of production modes with a small amount, the demand for flexibility and universality of automation equipment is also constantly upgraded, and the return on equipment investment cost is more important.

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