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SICK safety camera system for press brakes

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article image V 4000 press brake camera.
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SICK will be exhibiting the V 4000 press brake safe camera sensor at Austech 2006.

The V 4000 press brake safe camera sensor offers both maximum safety at work and maximum optimisation of brake press processes. It is a new, camera-based system with continuously monitored and adapted protection volumes.

The device is the first electro-sensitive protective equipment based on an image-processing system and is approved for Category 4 use complying with EN 954-1. Moreover, the V 4000 press brake sets new standards regarding the improvement of processes, variability during differing bending tasks, and commissioning and availability.

Conventional systems for safeguarding the hazardous closing movement on press brakes consist of simple optoelectronic sensors and receivers and are mounted on the top clamping bar - and thus move with it. While they can detect any hazardous reaching into the protective field, they have serious disadvantages for machine productivity.

The "visionary" approach of the new V 4000 press brake offers decisive advantages here.

Variable but nevertheless safe processes

A process-adapted protective field 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 V 4000 press brake is mounted, approaches the die plate. This offers a variety of advantages: 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" for simple one-dimensional bending, "Box" for bending multi-dimensional objects such as boxes, and "Limit stop" to take into account limit stops on the object to be bent.

As the system is also exceptionally 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 thus activate the various protection modes appropriate for the bending techniques, one after another and as often as required, for the same object, e.g. first "Standard", then "Box" for a high box side, and finally "Limit stop" for a low part of a side.

Now possible: improved press performance through trimming without intermediate break

The features and possibilities of the V 4000 press brake provide a very important advantage for the actual bending process. Unlike conventional systems, the downward movement of the press bar must no longer be stopped just before trimming, with a new approach then being made using a foot switch. The savings in cycle time that this brings about raises the capacity of the machine - and thus its economic efficiency.

Setting new standards in practice

The intelligent image processing of the V 4000 press brake also sets new standards regarding commissioning and availability. Vibrations - typical for presses - do not lead to a system response, as a complete camera field, within which the safety-monitored area is programmed, is intelligently evaluated.

The safe camera sensor tracks even small changes in alignment by following them with the monitored area. This immunity to any misalignment also 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.

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