Robotic Press Brake Automated Metal Bending - Midwest Engineered Systems

Midwest Engineered Systems Inc. (MWES) provided a Robotic Brake Press Tending System to automate the metal part bending process of a Bystronics Brake Press for a metal fabricator. The goal is to completely automate the brake press to bend a variety of different parts

The Challenge

The metal fabrication customer provides products to the automotive and military industries. Both industries require the customer to maintain high quality standards on shipped finished goods as well as throughout the manufacturing process.

While quality is first on the mind of the customer, flexibility in the automation system was also paramount. This flexibility is expressed in these robotic automation design constraints:

  • Must be capable of handling as many different parts as possible.
  • Some parts need to be bent in more than one location.
  • Ability to automatically change tooling.
  • Ability to handle part weights that are upwards of 500+ lbs.​

The Solution

During the proposal stage, MWES performed a thorough evaluation of the current situation to provide a solution option. In order to achieve all of the project’s goals, multiple solution options were analyzed before a final path was chosen.

After a review of existing specifications, process data, programs, and interviews with the engineering team, production managers and machine operations, MWES was able to execute a successful solution for our customer.

The comprehensive solution included:

  • ABB Robot System
  • Three Robot End-of-Arm Tools capable of automatic tooling changes
    • Automatic tool changer/swivel unit
    • Can handle a variety of part types
    • Vacuum/Magnetic Gripers to handle parts
  • BendWare robot programming software
  • Part squaring table to justify the sheet metal blanks to be formed
  • Part re-grip station
    • Used to re-grip parts between bending cycles
    • Vacuum or magnetic grippers
    • Part present sensors
  • In-feed and out-feed material handling station including guides and sensors
  • MWES Implemented robot safety equipment, which meets ANSI/RIA standards for robot cell safety.
  • Electrical Enclosure with electrical panels and brake press control interface
    • Allows communication with brake press system
    • Discreet electrical interface connected to robot via Ethernet
  • Electrical & Mechanical Installation and on-site operator training at customer facility.

Impact to the Customer

The delivered solution added new features and capabilities to the press brake process. Some key enhancements include:

  • Increased productivity. Machine can operate 24/7
  • Improved worker safety by taking operators out of extremely heavy lifting situations
  • Improved quality variance of finished parts
  • Support personal have increased quality control through remote access to the system
  • Easy to operate user interface makes operating and retooling the robotic automation system fast and intuitive.

For more information on this equipment or other web handling needs please contact us.