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Press and Shear Machinery has revealed that Countax is using two Baykal press brakes to cope with large sheet metal panels and other components in factory tower storage systems.

At the outset Harry Handkammer, owner of Countax, considered buying rebuilt machines, adequate for the relatively low production volumes expected in the first few years.

However, he found that he could buy new Baykal machines for little more than the cost of rebuilds.

This turned out to be fortuitous, as the venture started off briskly and in hindsight, new plant was the more appropriate choice.

The four-axis CNC press brakes needed to be fast and flexible to cope with the relatively small volumes of bespoke components produced from 1mm to 6mm mild steel.

Batch sizes range from ones and twos for control cabinet parts to around 300-off when producing stiffeners for the bottom of the trays, which hold material weighing up to 750kg.

Craig Campbell, production manager in charge of the new section, said: ‘The Baykals are 20 per cent faster to program using the ESA control than our other press brakes, which makes all the difference when trying to maintain production schedules.

‘Every job that comes in is different, so it is essential to be able to prepare each press brake cycle quickly at the machines.

‘Some programs take just 30 seconds to key in.’ A casual glance at a Cargo store would suggest that the panelling, stays and other components are fairly simple to make, but this is not the case.

What looks like a flat panel is actually a tray that is folded on all four sides to impart rigidity.

The body, end panels and dividers for the trays as well as the cross braces are equally exacting to produce.

In addition, the sheer size of the components renders them difficult to handle.

In this connection, Campbell cited a feature of the Baykal machines that is an advantage over the other press brakes on site, namely the ability to operate the machines at close quarters.

On the older press brakes, a light guard prevents the operator standing too close to the tooling when the ram is moving.

This makes it difficult to position and hold large components precisely prior to each fold, which can compromise accuracy.

The laser guard on the Baykal machines is equally safe but more versatile in allowing the operator to stand near the tooling to align the sheet more precisely while the material is folded.

There is no danger to the person, as the foot control needs to be depressed twice to allow the auto-stop to be over-ridden.

It enables ram movement to be completed from its mute position to the bottom of its stroke with the laser beam broken.

The first Baykal press brake to be installed at Great Haseley was a 3m 1500kN (150 tonf) APHS 3108 x 150, an ex-demonstration machine from Press and Shear’s Tamworth showroom.

It was closely followed by an APHS 4104 x 150 with 4m bed length to cope with a planned increase in Cargo storage system size options during 2009.

The press brake tooling was also supplied by Press and Shear from its Italian-produced Tecnostamp range.

Press and Shear Machinery

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