SICK has released the V 4000 press brake camera sensor, electro-sensitive protective equipment based on an image-processing system. It improves work safety and optimises brake press processes and is approved for Category 4 use complying with EN 954-1.
Conventional systems for safeguarding the closing movement on press brakes consist of simple optoelectronic sensors and receivers and are mounted on the top clamping bar, moving with it. While they can detect users reaching into the protective field they have serious disadvantages for machine productivity.
The V 4000 has a process-adapted protective field that is activated at the instant when the bending die and the workpiece appear in the two-dimensional camera image. The height of this field decreases continuously as the bending die on which the press brake is mounted approaches the die plate. Thick sheet metal, bent metal shapes and thin plate with side walls are subject to differing protection modes according to the various bending tasks. Standard mode is suited to simple one-dimensional bending, while the box setting is designed for bending multi-dimensional objects and the limit stop setting is designed to take into account limit stops on the object to be bent. As the system is easy to integrate into the press constructor's machine control system, the safety equipment can be switched to the optimum protective mode via selection of the bending program. The machine can activate the protection modes appropriate for the bending techniques one after another for the same object. It can for example start with standard, then use the box setting for a high box side, and finally use limit stop for a low part of a side.
The downward movement of the press bar does not need to be stopped just before trimming, with a new approach then being made using a foot switch. The savings in cycle time raises the capacity of the machine. Vibrations do not lead to a system response. The safety-monitored area is programmed within a complete camera field that is intelligently evaluated. The safe camera sensor tracks even small changes in alignment by following them with the monitored area. This immunity to misalignment makes adjustment during first commissioning and after a change of tools simpler and quicker than with conventional light grids. The very simple integration in existing control systems is also remarkable, as the V 4000 press brake operates with the signals that are anyway used on press brakes.