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LVD Introduces Strippit PL Punch-Laser Combination Machine

LVD Introduces Strippit PL Punch-Laser Combination Machine

LVD Company nv introduces the Strippit PL Punch-Laser combination, a machine that combines the punching and forming advantages of the Strippit PX or V Series punch press with the speed and versatility of fiber laser cutting to complete multiple processes on a single machine, answering the need for flexible manufacturing. Three punch-laser models are available: the single-head style Strippit PX 1530-L and Strippit V 1530-L in thick- and thin-turret configurations.

Combined Advantages

Small batches, short lead times, increasingly complex parts drive the need for flexible manufacturing. Strippit PL offers two technologies in one machine for more versatility than single-process equipment. Strippit PL can laser cut intricate shapes and process materials up to 10 mm, efficiently punch holes up to 6.35 mm, produce forms and bends up to 90 mm in length and up to 75 mm high on the Strippit PX 1530-L.

Combination technology offers complete part processing. The punch press handles high-speed punching and forming operations. The fiber laser delivers high-quality cutting of outer contours, intricate inner contours and can be used for material etching.

The combination of technologies eliminates processes, can improve part quality, reduces production time and material handling, and lowers the cost per part in both small lot sizes and high production runs.

Technology Partner

In 1978, Strippit brought punch-laser technology to sheet metal fabrication. Today, a combination machine is more practical than ever because of advances in laser cutting and punching technology.

The solid-state fiber laser has minimal components, offers high cutting speed, and low-maintenance costs making cutting operations faster, more accurate and cost-effective. Strippit PL is offered with a 3 kW or 4 kW fiber laser source.

The Strippit PX single-head 20-ton punch press can punch, form, bend and tap, forming flanges up to 75 mm high, countersinking and scribing with top productivity. Twenty indexable tool stations hold any size tool, up to a maximum tool diameter of 90 mm.

The Strippit V thick-turret model features a versatile 48-station turret. The Strippit V thin-turret configuration has a 40-station turret. Both 30-ton machines are equipped with four programmable 88.9 mm indexable stations and are designed to handle high tonnage applications.

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Beyond Punching

 

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LVD Showcases New Products In Virtual Technology Events

LVD Showcases New Products In Virtual Technology Events

Following the postponement of EuroBLECH 2020, LVD announces plans for a series of Virtual Technology Events and Technology Days to be held September through November 2020 to launch and showcase new laser cutting, bending and punch press products for the sheet metalworking market.

LVD Technology Events will spotlight products originally planned to debut at EuroBLECH and will offer a combination of virtual events and in-person Technology Days at its Experience Center in Gullegem, Belgium.

Both the virtual and onsite events will give attendees an in-depth look at LVD’s latest advancements. The Virtual Tech Events will provide full product demonstrations, informational sessions on various metal fabricating technology and industry trends, and offer a platform for information sharing, as you would expect at a physical trade show. Technology Days at the LVD XP Center will take place with significantly smaller groups and with increased safety measures in place.

EuroBLECH, the world’s largest sheet metalworking exhibition, has been postponed to March 2021 in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

“Without strong confidence that health and safety guidelines can be maintained in a large tradeshow setting such as EuroBLECH, we need new ways to connect with fabricators to help them discover new technologies,” said LVD CCO, Francis De Bie.

“As we adapt to the ‘new normal,’ it’s more important than ever to help companies build more flexible and resilient businesses.”

Dates and additional details for LVD Technology Events will be announced in early August.

 

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LVD Discusses Punching Technology Advancements

LVD Discusses Punching Technology Advancements

Unlike other sheet metal fabricating technologies that have advanced significantly in recent years, punching is a relatively mature technology. In this interview, Joshua Tan of LVD (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd talks about where the advancements are happening in this industry.

Established in 1952, LVD Group is a global supplier of sheet metal fabrication equipment and software. The family-owned company—named after its founding fathers Jacques Lefebvre, Marc Vanneste and Robert Dewulf—gained recognition as a precision press brake manufacturer. Significant growth in the 1990s, which included the acquisition of U.S. based Strippit Inc. in 1998, and the addition of laser cutting technology to its portfolio, helped position LVD as a global leader in laser, punching and bending technology. Based in Gullegem, Belgium, the company has production facilities in Belgium, United States, France, Slovakia, and China, and is active in more than 46 countries around the world.

In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), Joshua Tan, general manager of LVD (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, talks about the challenges in punching technologies, and how LVD is helping customers improve their processes.

WHAT ARE YOUR COMPANY’S KEY COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES?

Joshua Tan (JT): Our competitive advantages come in the way of innovation, products, and agility. Year over year, we invest in R&D projects handled independently, and also in partnership with KU Leuven University. Our commitment to R&D ensures that our products and technology are leading-edge, addressing the needs of our customers and helping shape the industry we serve. As a result, LVD is a technology leader. We offer one of the most comprehensive product portfolios on the market. We are also recognized globally for our leadership in the bending field and for award-winning products like our Synchro-Form press brake. As a family-owned business, we operate independently and are able to set our strategic direction. This is fundamental to our corporate culture and future. Our strategy emphasizes in-house design and development of new metal forming equipment and processes: laser, punching, bending, and integration; and also to provide customers with integrated sheet metalworking solutions based on a three-tiered price-performance balanced product line structure.

WHAT SORT OF CHALLENGES DO YOUR CUSTOMERS USUALLY EXPERIENCE?

JT: We are in an age of small batches, complex parts and tight margins, fuelled by the use of 3D CAD systems. Fab shops are forced to turn around jobs in days or hours as opposed to weeks. As a result, fabricators are driven to increase production efficiency in order to stay competitive. From a punching perspective, more fabricators are forming in the punch press, whether it’s to add value to a part or to eliminate secondary processing. Forming operations range from countersinks, tabs, and knockouts, to louvers and even continuous embosses. The right punching equipment can help eliminate secondary operations by completing multiple processes, including complex, three-dimensional parts, on a single machine.

WHERE DOES LVD COME IN? HOW ARE YOU HELPING YOUR CUSTOMERS ADDRESS THEIR MANUFACTURING ISSUES?

JT: Finding the right technology for the application is key. We guide our customers to the solution that best fits their need. The modern CNC punch press provides a high cost-per-part efficiency and productivity when it comes to batch runs and producing 3D or formed parts. But, as with any other technology, it’s critical to make the right choice. With today’s single-head, hydraulic and servo-electric-drive turret punch press offerings, fabricators need to choose wisely to make the best investment for their business. The advantage that LVD has is two-fold: we offer the broadest array of punching technologies available—single-head and turret style, hydraulic and servo-electric-drive machines. This gives us the objectivity to properly evaluate a fabricator’s requirements and match their needs to the right type of punch press; and, we have a legacy of punching innovation. Our Strippit brand of punching equipment is acknowledged as market leader, having introduced a number of industry firsts, such as the first fully guided, self-stripping, self-contained tools and the numerically controlled single-station punch press.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE LATEST TECHNOLOGIES OR INNOVATIONS IN PUNCHING TECHNOLOGY?

JT: Unlike other sheet metal fabricating technologies that have advanced significantly in recent years, such as fibre laser, punching is a relatively mature technology. Advancements have come in the form of more flexible punching equipment—machines able to handle a broader range of applications primarily through tooling and software advancements and through the addition of automation. Case in point, we’ve recently introduced our Extended Tool Magazine (ETM) for the Strippit PX punch press. This external magazine houses 40 additional punch/die combinations in a wheel configuration for easy access. The ETM can be loaded/unloaded while the machine is punching. It also includes tool life monitoring by recording the number of hits for each tool. This feature allows the operator to monitor when it is time to sharpen the tool. Also new to our punching line is our Strippit E servo-electric press drive machine, which delivers more precise control of ram positioning, with the capability of handling a larger range of operations, high reliability and energy efficiency. This type of punch press is especially attractive for companies with high electricity usage needs (operating many machines), for those with a maximum amperage limit, or in countries where electricity is at a premium.

WHAT MAKES YOUR PUNCHING TECHNOLOGIES UNIQUE COMPARED TO THE REST IN THE MARKET?

JT: With a punching legacy that dates back to the 1928, our Strippit brand has led the industry in punching technology advancements. We patented the industry’s first fully guided self-stripping, self-contained tooling that changed the industry, as well as the first NC turret punch press, the process of contour nibbling and auto-indexing, and the industry’s first punch/laser combination machine in 1978. Because of this innovation history, our punching products include features like a high-efficiency ram that provides full tonnage throughout the complete stroke, indexable multi-tool, Energy Reduction System that reduces average power consumption, and programmable, relocatable clamps that automate clamp movement, to name a few.

With our acquisition of Pullmax in 2010, we became the only worldwide punch press builder that offers a complete range of punching technology—electric-drive, hydraulic, single-head punching equipment. This allows us to be fully objective when discussing a punch press solution with a fabricator. Because we offer all technologies, we can truly find the best solution for the application.

WHAT NEW TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS HAVE YOU SEEN EMERGING OVER THE PAST YEAR OR TWO?

JT: We’ve seen interest in electric-drive equipment, in automation, and in reducing the direct cost per part through value-added processes like forming and tapping. In response, we’ve introduced products to address application requirements.

Our electric drive punching machines use 20% to 40% less energy than their hydraulic counterparts. The variable charges are 20% lower than hydraulic systems. Noise is also reduced and is about 15% less than hydraulic punch presses. In addition, accuracy in forming is enhanced. The use of a planetary gearbox technology and direct drive to the ball screw makes the electro-mechanical system the counterforce of punching cycle more reliable and robust. This punch press has only 19 major components, and features shoulder bearing to absorb all forces.

WHAT CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES ARE YOU SEEING?

JT: In Southeast Asia, there is a demand for punch press equipment of high quality, flexibility and with unique features. Fabricators want a workhorse of a punching machine with the added flexibility of forming. In this region, a single-head punch press has a competitive advantage over a turret punching machine. The challenge comes in making the investment for this technology—shops don’t always have the margins to justify the investment. That’s why we work with fabricators to help them balance equipment price and performance and realize the true cost of ownership.

WHAT FORCES DO YOU SEE DRIVING THE INDUSTRY?

JT: In the Southeast Asian market, the sheet metal industry is primarily driven by infrastructure projects initiated by local government as well as some private companies. This region is still developing, so there is a continued demand for construction needed to build the area’s infrastructure.

WHICH INDUSTRY SEGMENTS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ARE YOU SEEING STRONG GROWTH IN 2020?

JT: For ASEAN, we anticipate growth in the telecommunication-related market segment as companies will be upgrading from 4G to 5G technology. This will, in turn, contribute to all related industries, including those companies manufacturing enclosures, rack systems, cable trunking, etc. In addition, we see the oil and gas market making a comeback given the Brent crude oil pricing is gaining positive momentum. The automotive market should also experience growth, but it may not be strongly positioned due to a weaker market segment.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE CUSTOMERS WHEN IT COMES TO CHOOSING THE PUNCHING TECHNOLOGIES FOR THEIR APPLICATIONS?

JT: For fabricators looking to punching technology, we say look outside of the box. Wheel tools, forming tools, and bending tools are more exact and precise with the monitoring equipment that’s now offered. Today’s punching machines can do so much more—they can tap, bend, down form, up form, coin—this versatility can help expand a fabricator’s business. It’s also important to recognize that the choice of punch press is as individual as the application. Now, with more machine designs on the market and greater capabilities across a range of punching machines, it’s important to take a closer look at what each punching technology offers and consider the system that can deliver the best all-around solution for the requirements. It may not be as clear-cut a choice as you think.

 

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Beyond Punching

Beyond Punching

Machine design, tooling and programming software combine to make today’s punch press capable of complex forms. By Dan Caprio, punching product sales manager at LVD Strippit

The introduction of the hydraulic press drive decades ago brought new versatility to the punch press – allowing the punch stroke to start and stop at any point along the ram path. The flexibility of the ram control coupled with automatic tool rotation technology opened the door to a broader range of punching and forming capabilities. The control and programming system’s ability to integrate special functions allowed users to take full advantage of the latest tooling designs, such as a wheel, hinge or bend tools.

Fast forward to the twenty-first century: the modern punch press is more capable than ever when it comes to forming, including the processing of complex, 3D parts. Today’s punch press can create bends in sheet metal that until recently only a press brake could produce.

Being able to form a part on a punch press can help significantly reduce parts costs. Bending is one of the most common bottlenecks in the fab shop, which is why shortening or eliminating the bending operation makes so much sense.

Not Your Conventional Punch Press

To form on a conventional turret punch press, you might have a feed clearance of only .984 inch or less. Part of that space is taken up by the form die, which raises the material slightly, and then you have the material thickness.

Some tools allow you to use a significant portion of that clearance, but as a rule, you can form reliably in a space that’s only 50 percent of the total feed clearance minus the material thickness. That’s not much.

New punch press designs, however, have clearances that take forming into account. Some systems make room for up to three inches of forming space from the lower dies to the upper punch. This allows for significant forming and bending, including the forming of flanges up to three inches high.

These punch presses don’t have the traditional turret setup, but instead use what is known as a tool-changer design. In the tool-changer-style punching machine, the lower carousel is underneath the brush table, and dies emerge and retract through a die to move down and out of the way between hits.

Bending Tools

This punch press design opens the door for more forming possibilities, and not just for ribs, louvers and other short forms, but also the kind of tall flanges that would normally be formed on a press brake. The bending punch and die in a punch press are a hybrid between a panel bender and a press brake, with some unique attributes. The punch looks like a miniature hold-down tool on a panel bender, while the die has a V geometry similar to what’s found on a press brake die.

The die body actually rotates during the bend. This rotation folds the workpiece against a stationary upper punch, and the die’s degree of rotation determines the bend angle. The radii you can achieve depends on the V-die design, which can be determined when ordering the tool from the manufacturer. Or, if you need to achieve a certain radius, such as for a profound-radius bend, the die rotates at certain degrees to bump the metal as the piece progressively moves forward. It’s bump bending, punch press-style.

Accounting For Thickness

Tolerances are extremely tight, both in the positioning accuracy of the machine and the machining accuracy of the tool, similar to the tolerances available on a modern press brake with precision tooling. Press operators also can input changes in thickness. Say one batch of material is on the lower end of the thickness tolerance window, while the next batch is at the high end, such as 0.055 inch for one batch and 0.061 inch for another batch.

This can make a difference in the bend angle, but as long as the operator checks the sheet thickness and makes the parameter change in the program, the machine can account for it. A change in the program code is made that tells the ram how far to come down before it performs its operations.

Besides the 3 inch height limitation, there are other constraints to consider. Unlike a press brake operator, a punch press can’t flip a part over, so a part with both positive and negative bends can create problems. Also, the angle of bend is usually limited to 90 degrees or less; acute bends greater than 90 degrees complementary aren’t practical, for the most part (depending on the tooling you have). And because of tonnage limitations, the material can be only so thick. This varies, depending on your punch press and tooling, but typically it is up to about 0.118 inches.

Programming Strategies

When you bend on a punch press, your programming options abound. Traditionally, you program the forming sequence at a point whether it won’t interfere with any other part. This usually means you’re forming near the end of a nest’s punching sequence, after most or all of the flat-part punching is completed.

At this point you may decide to bend all the flanges in a part at once. You cut the profile, leaving tabs connected to the nest to ensure part stability’ bend the flange, then perform the final punching to cut the tabs and release the part so it can slide down the chute. This strategy can work well if you want to evacuate the formed part from the nest as soon as possible to avoid collisions with the tools.

Alternatively, you can punch the profiles (minus the material for the tabs) on multiple parts – say, all the parts in one row – form the bends, then send them all down the chute with the final punches that cut the tabs. This strategy reduces the number of tool changes and so can reduce the cycle time, but works only if there is no danger of interference between the flanges and the tooling.

Consideration Of Tabs

Tabs keep the part stable during bending, but where exactly you put those tabs, their width, how many, and how they’re cut depend on the flange geometries. Some pieces may call for only a few or even just one tab at a flat section of the part. Other times the bending operation itself can break the tabs. This can be useful when bump bending. During such a sequence, the microtabs holding the part in place break, and after the last bump, the part breaks free and slides down the chute.

Programming also needs to take into account how exactly these parts slide down the chute. For example, if a large, heavy part with a high flange slides down the chute incorrectly, its landing may be rough enough to change its bend angles slightly or it may land on other formed parts with enough force to change their bend angles. You can overcome these problems by making changes to the program.

Software Makes A Difference

It’s possible to program these variables manually, but it can be complicated and time-consuming. There are plenty of details to consider, including which way to rotate the bend tool (the tool set rotates 360 degrees to align with the programmed bend lines); how to position and sequence everything to avoid interference; and which width of bending tool to use, depending on which tool you have in your library and the bend length you need.

In more challenging cases, manually programming may not be very efficient, and it actually may take you less time to form the flanges on the press brake, especially if those parts are heading to the brake anyway for a few remaining bends.

Determining Sequences

This is where the final piece of the puzzle comes into play: software that can automate the task of determining the punch and bend sequences. With such software, you can feed the 3-D model of the part you want to bend on the punch press to the software, and it will unfold the part and suggest strategies to punch and bend it, based on the tools available on the machine.

The offline program works similarly to offline bend programming for press brakes. It sees the interference points, knows just how the tool needs to rotate, and sequences it in an efficient way.

As a programmer, you can either accept the software’s recommendation or tweak it manually to suit your needs.

Beyond Punching

Tolerances are extremely tight, but operators can change parameters to suit different thicknesses.

Beyond Punching

When programming a punch press, taking into account how exactly the parts slide down the chute is important. A large, heavy part with a high flange may be rough enough to change its bend angles slightly.

Tailift: Punching Press

Tailift: Punching Press

Tailift’s Elektro Servo ES23 is a punching press that features higher speed and precision while being energy-saving.

Equipped over-load protection, the punching press is an effective implement for thinner sheet metal. It is combined with processing abilities of punching, forming, roller cutting and tapping, an all-in-one machine. The integration assembly reduces floor space requirements effectively.

It features low average electricity consumption, energy-saving, thus eliminating the hydraulic.

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