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The primary method of automating sheet metal bending with a robot is to use it as a machine maintenance tool. Instead of a worker positioning the sheet in the bending machine, a robot is programmed to manipulate the sheet.
In any bending operation, creating the part with the correct bending sequence is important. This process can be done in an almost infinite number of ways, but it is the programmer's job to create the most efficient way.

Part programs for the Robot Bending Cell can be created directly from a DXF file in a process that takes less than 10 minutes in most cases. These programs ensure that the robot selects a workpiece from a stack, flattens it, bends it, and places it on a stack of finished parts. The press itself is unchanged, except for new sensors on the rear unit and a selector switch that allows the machine to also operate as a stand-alone press.

The tooling required for the end of the arm in the Sable is built in-house to grip the suction cups needed to hold the part. This tool can be customized and oriented in many ways to hold the part correctly during picking, bending, handling and stacking.
  •  V-bending — The most common type of bending, the punch and die is used to press a V-bend into the sheet metal. The robot simply places the sheet metal in place and autonomously activates the press brake via its controller.
  • Step bending — This involves creating multiple consecutive bend lines on the same piece of sheet metal to produce a large bend radius. The robot quickly moves the sheet through the bending machine, slightly adjusting its position with each step.
  • Roll Bending — Here a set of three rolls is used to bend a continuous radius in the sheet metal. The robot feeds the sheet into the rollers, which ensures that the sheet is precisely placed every time.

  • Wipe Bending — A similar process to V-bending, wipe bending involves the use of a die, punch, and pressure pad. The key here is precise positioning of the sheet on the die. A well-programmed robot will always position the die correctly.

  • Hot Bending — Another technique that robots are particularly suited to is hot bending, where the metal is heated before bending. Using a robot eliminates the risk associated with manual handling of hot metal.

So, if you are interested to hear more about our offers for palletizing robots, contact us and we will give you more information.

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