In July 2006, KMF invested in a P4-2516 panel bender from Salvagnini, with zero set-up times, which has provided over 78,000 hours of working time (3250 days) to KMF to date.
In April 2017, the firm purchased a new P4lean-2516 Salvagnini panel bender (P4L), using 60% less electricity than the P4-2516 (based on a single shift operation with a cost of 10p per KW, this equates to a saving of around £8,000 a year).
The new machine features several upgrades including CLA-SIM auxiliary blade command, MAC 2.0 to calculate suitable metal bending trajectories and a Patented Bending Formula which will automatically adjust a bend to any mechanical or thermal deformation.
"The P4-2516 required 600 litres of oil, but the new P4L machines use electronic actuators with only 13 litres of oil in total," explains Steve Williams, managing director, Salvagnini UK. "All current P4L machines use touch-screen controls running on a Windows 10 platform. The panel bending system is Industry 4.0-embedded, including the service support option of 24-hour monitoring of machine to ensure all systems are working within tolerance."
"This new panel bending machine helps us to maintain our strong customer lead times and further improve productivity levels in our precision sheet metal manufacturing. It also ensures that we can work closely with design engineers to ensure cost-effectiveness at the design stage. It is recognised that 80% of the component cost is locked in during the design phase, so having a fast and flexible bending cell ensures that our customers benefit from a competitive product. To give you an idea of the efficiency and productivity levels on the panel bender here, it is around 80%," explained Pete Krynicki (Programming and Folding Technician, KMF Precision Sheet Metal).
The Salvagnini machine can manufacture metal panels up to a maximum of 2500mm long and form bends of up to 165mm high. A favoured feature for Pete Krynicki is its interactive graphics programming which will significantly decrease the task of KMF programmers with its intuitive programming and 3D stimulation of different bending phases.
The new panel bender also offers automatic tool changing and the ability to switch from one operation to another in a few seconds. Automation is key on the panel bender at KMF.
"As a metal fabrication subcontractor, being able to complete small and large batches without manual tool changes will significantly improve speed of processing and flexibility," added Pete Krynicki. "We also appreciate the personalised service, training and support on the panel benders that we get from Salvagnini — it is a real partnership."
Find out more about KMF's metal forming capability here.