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The installation of a Salvagnini P4X panel bender with automated load/unload units at JC Metal Works’ Loughborough facility has cut cycle times for forming operations by a magnitude of five.

It has also had a direct effect on turnover, helping the company generate 80 per cent more revenue.

A motorised scissor table equipped with a mobile table cover and a pack-reference system is able to feed sheet-metal packs.

A conveyor de-stacker permits sheets to be picked up from one or two packs of sheet metal, feeding the panel bender in masked time.

The blank is moved on a horizontal plane by the manipulator.

A rotator fitted on the manipulator quickly and accurately places the side to be bent in front of the press, while the blank holder clamps the sheet firmly in position.

The bending unit and its blades can then make any number of bends, up or down, in rapid succession.

An unload unit accumulates the completed panels exiting the machine and maneuvers them into a position where they can be retrieved safely by the operator.

A typical blank size formed on the P4X at JC Metal Works measures around 1.2 x 1.5m and is 0.9-1.5mm thick.

The material is usually mild steel, although zintec and stainless steel are also processed regularly.

The tooling setup on the P4X is automated, which means it takes around 4sec to set up for a new job.

The sheet-centring principle on Salvagnini’s P4 panel benders means that the blank is referenced only once – at the beginning of the machining cycle.

This means that all the bends are calculated from a single point and the dimensional accuracy of the panel is guaranteed, regardless of the accuracy of the sheared edge of the blank.

On the P4X, the feeding and centring cycle take place in masked time – due to the flying pincer carriage, which once it has positioned the blank, returns to its rest position.

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