Planit have installed a software program at the Wodonga plant that reduces the guesswork out of the folding required to produce transformer casings. RadbendCNC software from Planit minimises bending errors at Wilson Transformer and provides a consistent product using non trades personnel as operators. It has enabled automated bending to be carried out during all three shifts of the factory’s 24-hr production cycle. The RadbendCNC software program has reduced the number of rejects.
Products being made at the Wodonga factory include steel casings and lids for transformers used in electricity distribution. A completed casing is typically about two metres high by a metre and half wide.
Integrated with SolidWorks design software, the RadbendCNC software program inputs data into a New Zealand-made Dye sheet metal folding machine. Wilson Transformer recall that, before installing Radbend, the operators were required to calculate the bending procedure from the drawings. The operators could not continue the folding process as the sequence of bends was not compatible with the machine configuration. The part ended up as a reject or required rework.
Now the bending process is independent of the operators’ skills. The RadbendCNC software program performs an offline 3D simulation that works out the folding sequence and calculates where the material should be positioned in the machine, taking into account the potential for material clashes and untenable positions.
The operators can see these on the console before they begin. They do not have to make decisions on where the material should be positioned for bending as this is done automatically. Wilson Transformer observe that the bending process is speeded up, output is consistent and there are fewer rejected parts.
Wilson Transformer performed an ROI analysis on the RadbendCNC software program by costing the rejects and measuring that against the price of the software. The RadbendCNC software program’s features include automatic bend sequence calculation and automatic finger stop placement. The system examines the part to be programmed and determines an optimum bending sequence, taking into account the geometry of the part and best machinery practice.
The RadbendCNC software program calculates potential collisions with both the material and the machine tool, eliminating costly errors and ensuring a ‘right first time’ approach. Potential problems are signalled, so that they can be resolved by the use of an alternative tool or by changes to the bending sequence.
The RadbendCNC software program has a short time set up and is suitable for small batches. It imports the geometry from a CAD file, recognises compound and multi-step bends and automatically selects the right bending tools.
The RadbendCNC software program runs on machine brands and integrates with Radan and other design software. Radan, available from Planit, is a CAD/CAM solution for the sheet metal industry that reduces inventory, increases material utilisation and improves workplace productivity.