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Ecopunch - integrated servo-electric punching and laser cutting

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article image Ecopunch - integrated servo-electric punching and laser cutting

Integrating servo electric punching and laser cutting capability in an integrated, flexible manufacturing cell has been achieved by sheetmetal machinery leader, Finn-Power.  

The newly introduced punch/laser combination – in various Finn-Power technologies including the new LPe6 – provides users with excellent energy efficiency in punch press technology in the current Australian industrial environment where electricity prices are forecast to continually rise.  

As exclusive distributor of Finn-Power equipment throughout Australia and New Zealand, Maxitec Pty Ltd says the addition of operating energy efficiency alongside the federal government’s investment incentive has proved timely.  

“In sheetmetal workshops, it used to be more a case of ‘time equals money’, but now it is more than that as energy consumption affects profit levels on each job,” said Sales and Marketing Manager for Maxitec , Mr Andrew Bentrup.  

“So with the emergence of highly efficient machine options, it is clear that industry in our part of the world is at an ideal point to replace manual systems with automated solutions.  

“Complete cost breakdowns that itemise energy usage, job times and profit margins can be made in advance of any machinery purchase, so factors such as electricity hikes are factored in for accurate cost projections.  

“Ecopunch in itself is a money saver in terms of energy consumption.”  

The Ecopunch operating principle is a combination of electrical servo technology and mechanical power transmission. The punching and forming stroke are based on horizontal movement, made by a servo motor, which is converted into vertical ram movement and transmitted to a punching or forming tool.  

In the new Finn-Power LPe6 for instance:

  • The turret punch press has a punching force of 200 or 300 KN (22 or 33 US ton)
  • A high-quality 2.5 kW laser beam for maximum sheet size either 3,074 mm x 1,565 mm (120’’x 60’’) or 4,300 mm x 1,565 mm (169’’x 60’’).
  • Maximum material thickness in punching is 8mm (.314’’) and in leaser cutting: 6mm (.236’’) (mild steel 8mm (.236”)    
In the punching mode, a servo operated wedge moves over the roll connected to the ram causing it (and consequently the tool) to move downwards. After the ram has reached its programmed lower position, it returns back to its programmed upper position, actuated by pneumatic pressure.  

In the forming mode, ram movement is programmed to stop when the desired forming stroke position has been reached, after which the return movement of the roll and the ram begins. The stroke is NC-controlled, which guarantees high forming accuracy. The static counter-force required in forming equals the maximum punching force even at zero ram speed.  

Versatile turret:

Turret layout is customer specific. Various tool holder sizes can be changed or switched from station to station. Thick turret tooling style is used. Up to 10 index stations can be added. With Multi-Tool technology, up to 200 tools can be used simultaneously in the turret. Both index able and fixed Multi-Tools are available.  

Automatic clamp setting and moving:

Finn-Power’s patented programmable automatic clamp positioning eliminates the need for clamp protection areas, as well as manual clamp set-up. Programmable clamp setting allows 100% material utilisation and enables an individual clamp to be moved during the program. Major material saving can be achieved due to virtually no dead zones because of sheet holder clamps.  

Upforming:

Forming capacity is especially versatile due to availability of upforming unit and progressive forming, which allows even the making of bends. The indexable upforming option is a servo operated ram installed in the lower machine frame, which lifts the lower forming tool to a programmed position. The tool is retracted after forming, keeping high forming dies on the same plane with the punching dies. The position of consecutive forming ram strokes can be programmed individually, allowing progressive forming and bending. Roll forming tools can be used in sophisticated ways. Not uncommonly, even slightly complex forming operations have required the installation of several forming tools in the turret. This means not only a considerable investment in tooling, but a reduction in available turret capacity. The problem is solved with an index able forming system, which uses standard forming tools.  

Tooling options  

The turret can be equipped with Multi-Tool stations to increase the number of tools. Multi–Tool stations are mounted on the turret like a normal tool station, and the tools are mounted in rapidly changeable punch and die cassettes. The latest development in Multi-Tool technology allows use of drop-in style Multi-Tools on D-size index tool holders. Indexable on fixed angle drop-in Multi-Tools in different types and sizes are available.  

Marking and tapping:

Special marking tools are available with hardened spike or a diamond head for different materials. Marking can be performed into programmed depth and can thus be visible also after painting. A six-station servo driven tapping unit can be installed for extensive threading capacity. Alternatively, a one-station unit utilising the fast index system and accurate ram control is available.  

Environmental saving and reduced maintenance: The servo-electric punching system requires the minimum of maintenance equaling the maximum on environmental saving compared with other solutions. There is no hydraulic oil that needs to be changed and central lubrication with easy access point is standard in the system.

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