THE addition of a press brake has had such a dramatic impact on a Sydney-based laser cutting company that it predicts the resulting effect could double its turnover.
Laser Trak is a family-owned business that specialises in custom-made steel profiles for manufacturing and engineering applications.
In addition to mild steel work, it also cuts stainless steel architectural components, decorative timberwork, and profiles on various materials including acrylics, glass, copper and aluminium.
An Arrow Laser Cutter with a 1.8kW beam power rating cuts up to 8mm stainless steel and 12mm mild steel, while Laser Trak's Omax water jet machine centre is used for the thicker profiles.
Prior to adding the Dye press brake to its operation, Laser Trak customers had to send cut profiles to another engineering shop for the bending aspect of their jobs.
"The press brake has cut down on inefficient double-handling. Not only does it give us the ability to handle the whole process internally, but it has generated extra work just from visitors noticing the Dye machine in our production area," explained managing director Victor Molina.
"The most important change to our business is customer satisfaction. They can now deal with a single source to achieve a completed product, which saves them time and gives Laser Trak absolute responsibility for getting the job right, as we handle the whole process from engineering drawings to the finished product."
Though Laser Trak has more than 40 years combined experience with laser cutting, its staff has limited experience with bending machines, so the task of purchasing a press brake was a challenge.
"We gave a brief to seven suppliers with the key points being, we needed to bend material up to 3 metres in length, and also needed a high tonnage rating as steel thickness would be up to 8mm," technical manager Andrew Horton said.
"There were numerous brands that could comfortably handle our needs, but we were not prepared to pay a premium for another companies brand name. The Dye product from 600 Machine Tools could do everything the European and Japanese models offered at a more realistic price.
"In fact, the Dye press brake has some key advantages over the more expensive brands, such as the automatic anti-deflection system, which eliminates the time-consuming act of shimming the tooling.
"It is also totally automatic in the setting up of the back gauge, both horizontal and vertical, thus eliminating the need for operator involvement between bends.
“This has a huge impact on our business as we do a lot of one-offs and set-up time on a bending machine can be a real productivity killer," Horton added .
The Dye press brake is fitted with a simplistic menu-driven Cybelec controller. Through this controller, Laser Trak is able to write programs off-line with a software system that is the same as that used for programming its laser cutting equipment.
An entire job can be programmed through the use of the menu-driven screen system, with the operator just entering parameters such as, type of material, position of bend, and angle of bend.
The controller also offers 3D programming and can provide simulation of the folding activities while the job is in progress. This graphical interface keeps the operator informed of the status of the job and can alert him to any discrepancies.
The Dye range of press brakes is distributed in Australia by 600 Machine Tools. Capacities range from 40 tonne up to 400 tonne, while capacities of more than 400 tonne are custom-designed to meet a client's exact requirements. 600 Machinery 02 9748 1964.