Fabrication shops have come a long way since the discovery of modern technology such as IIoT and Industry 4.0. Their focus is now shifted to reach a new goal which is to have a higher production and to get higher profit. Shop floors have added technology to their daily operations yet there are bottlenecks encountered within the production line and one of the most common is found during the bending stage. This is where the bending machine known as press brake can be found and many have opted to purchase more systems rather than addressing the root cause of the problem.
For companies with enough funds to buy additional press brakes, the challenge they are facing pertains to the lack of brake operators with the right qualifications. Looking at the industry trend, to avoid being sucked into this situation, the recommended thing to do is to improve their current press brake system’s performance rather than buying more.
Production performance can be increased by reducing the bottlenecks found within the production line. These bottlenecks are often found at the press brake therefore employing automation is ideal to increase production and to relieve some of the stress from the machine.
Fabricators that are planning to make sure o automation during the bending process are now thinking of ways in order to keep the quality of the end result consistent, to create small batches aside from the usual large quantities and to be able to manage light-out with ease for higher profit and production. There are many factors that can influence the production output such as the cost of labour, the skill level dropping and the lack of operators. The bottom line is that the direct cost for every part should be lowered while reaching optimum throughput.
There are two different ways to automate a press brake, hard automation and flexible automation. Hard automation is only recommended when the system has parts that are suitable for automation. Otherwise, it is recommended to use flexible automation because it retains the agility of the shop at any given time regardless of the job that is being accomplished.