In the industrial world, the term innovation is often associated to the introduction of a brand-new technology, which permits achieving performances that have never been reached in the past. In the last years, however, with the evolution of the digital technologies, and a different approach to the production, the meaning of this word has slightly changed. Today the innovation is possible using consolidated and reliable technologies in a completely different manner. In line with this philosophy, Prima Power develops integrated robotic bending systems that provide automation combined with the sheet metal deformation, which can overcome the idea that robotic solutions need high production for being really efficient.
This integrated system is modular and can be built by a Panel Bender or a press brake and an industrial robot. Further support devices can be added to these three main elements: a sheet separator unit for blank stacks to be bent, a centering table, and a reverser for the sheet to process or the bent component to be stacked. Everything is installed inside a considerably limited floor space.
On a conceptual level, the real innovation is represented by the possibility of using the automation according to different modes, thus optimizing the operation of the whole cell depending on the type of batches to be machined. What makes the difference on a practical level is the software for the offline programming, which typically represents a critical issue for robotized solutions.
Since all the programming is done in the office, the operator activities are easy as he can limit himself to check the programming on board and concentrate on loading and unloading operations.
Thanks to the offline programming, the digitalization level of the bending phase is increased, and aligned to other sheet metal working technologies, thus keeping it more and more integrated in the company production system and following the evolution of the processes traced by Industry 4.0.
The great versatility of this solution allows finding the proper application in any industrial segment, exactly for its capacity to conform to batches of any dimension, always guaranteeing an optimal operation. The Robotic Bending Cell perfectly fits with subcontractors, whose production is represented by changeable volumes and parts with different geometries. The combination of the two technologies allows all of the parts inside a unique production system, keeping the productivity at higher levels and minimizing the costs.
The Robotic Bending Solution goes very well with the applications that the stand-alone Panel Benders or Press Brakes could bend efficiently, or that are even impossible to realize with one of the two technologies. The process can be fully automated, thus guaranteeing a high repeatability of the product quality.
Within the system everything can be personalized according to customer needs. The size of the press brake or of the panel bender and of the robot, the tools and the servos supplied are evaluated from time to time according to two scenarios: one is the autonomy that the customer wants, i.e. how much the operator has to intervene to feed or unload the line; the other one is the automation level required, like the use of automatic systems for the tool change, for instance.
The choice to leave the possibility of personalization extremely free is in line with the idea to achieve the best operating condition in any application field.