Highlights from North America’s Largest Fabricating Show

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TRUMPF has introduced new sensors that enable its arc welding robot to program its own weld path
The robot makes use of TRUMPF’s new smart seam-tracking technology, which the company developed in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA. Housed in the head of the welding torch, the sensor automatically calculates the weld path for each part.

“We’ve basically developed a way for the welding robot to program itself,” says TRUMPF R&D manager Sven Klingschat. “For users, that means a much easier transition into automated arc welding – plus a clear competitive edge.”

With conventional welding robots, production workers must program a new weld spot into the software each time they want the robot to change direction. This can be time-consuming, especially when it comes to complex parts with many curves or corners. The new smart seam-tracking function makes the whole process simpler. All the user needs to do is to place the welding robot in the start position, and the technology takes care of the rest. The robot uses the sensor to determine the weld path automatically. The system software quickly calculates the weld spots and creates the
welding program for the part. The robot is “good to go” in a matter of seconds.

This solution makes it far easier to program the robot. “The whole process takes seconds to complete, even for complex parts such as spiral arcs,” says Klingschat. “And it doesn’t require any specialist knowledge on the part of production workers.” In addition, the user interface can be used to carry out a wide range of welding tasks, such as sealing runs and identical weld seams.

Starting in February 2024, Smart Seam Weld Tracking technology will be available as an option on new TruArc Weld 1000 arc-welding machines and may be retrofitted to some newer TruArc Weld machines with CMT (Cold Metal Transfer), an optional technology package. 

TRUMPF introduces laser blanking system for high-volume cutting
TRUMPF showcased the TruLaser 8000 Coil Edition, a new laser blanking solution now available in the North American market.

The TruLaser 8000 Coil Edition can process up to 25 tons of coiled sheet metal from start to finish without any human intervention. TRUMPF says it’s aimed at companies interested in flexible, high-volume solutions for sheet metal fabrication, including automotive suppliers and automakers, electrical cabinet manufacturers, elevator producers, and HVAC manufacturers.

“The TruLaser 8000 Coil Edition will help customers with high volumes of medium to large parts to improve material utilization and produce more flexibly,” says TRUMPF Inc. executive vice president Burke Doar. “Compared to conventional laser cutting, this system allows companies with high volume manufacturing
to save up to 1,700 tons of steel a year, which reduces carbon emissions as well as material costs.”

Coil production enables users to achieve more efficient nesting of parts. Conventional sheets are limited by their four outer edges, which often makes it difficult for production workers to make full use of the entire sheet. Unused sections of the sheet either must be discarded as scrap or melted down. A coil solves this problem by allowing users to nest an almost endless number of parts on the sheet, which reduces material consumption by around 15%, according to TRUMPF. 

Bystronic unveils software for sheet metal business digitalization
Bystronic is expanding on its BySoft software products with the launch of BySoft Suite. With the new software solution, customers can now completely digitalize their business, from quote to delivery – a step beyond Smart Factory.

BySoft Suite is comprised of six software product families (Insight, Business, Shop Floor, CAD, CAM, Cell Control) that collectively enable the customer to digitally monitor, manage and make decisions at each stage of their business process. The software suite allows better control and accelerated processes by providing immediate data in one place, giving them the ability to make changes when needed, Bystronic says. 

With the new BySoft Suite software, sheet metal manufacturers can digitalize, regardless of size or current level of digitization, Bystronic says. The technology offers a hybrid solution, combining cloud and on-premise software, which makes it affordable even for small and medium companies. The software can interoperate with third party business management systems and machines, enabling complete vertical solutions using a single data source.

“Thanks to BySoft Suite software, our customers can advance on their smart factory journey and now have the opportunity to digitalize their entire business, which gives them full control over what is happening and allows flexibility to adapt,” says Alberto Martinez, Chief Digital Officer at Bystronic “We have a complete software suite that interoperates, so that customers have comprehensive data in one place. Customers who are using the software tell us they have decreased order taking time, for example, from three hours to just minutes, and improved accuracy.”

Bystronic introduces three new laser cutting systems
Bystronic’s machine platform includes three new laser cutting systems.

The ByCut Star 3015 comes with 30 kW laser power and a new design. It provides a stable cutting process to the highest powers, and expanded range of applications, according to Bystronic, helping optimize productivity and increase efficiency.

With an expanded 15 kW fiber source, the compact, automation-ready ByCut Smart (pictured) offers cutting performance across a range of materials and thicknesses. ByCut Smart was shown at FABTECH with ByTrans Modular/BySort automation.

ByCut Eco 3015 with 6kW offers all the performance and speed needed to succeed at an economical price point, according to Bystronic.

New eco-conscious bending and blanking from AMADA
AMADA’s latest generation of servo-controlled press brakes, the EGB 6020 ATC e, is equipped with an electric drive system combined with an Automatic Tool Changer (ATC) and voice command control.

These production-enhancing features ensure high-speed bending and repeatable accuracy even if an operator lacks experience, according to AMADA. In addition, a compact, newly-redesigned ATC can precisely load complex tool layouts within minutes—making it ideal for variable lot sizes and the seamless introduction of rush jobs, the company says.

An integrated HMI control tablet is positioned above the tooling bed to provide convenient access to bending data, thereby maximizing efficiency and productivity. A backgauge camera connects to the HMI tablet and AMNC 4ie control to ensure the correct bend position. The intelligent AMNC 4ie control provides operator face recognition and allows voice commands to request, change, and verify bend information while the operator is on the move—all as an automatic foot pedal slides to the next bending position to ensure continuous operation.

To further boost productivity, Bi-S II Bend Indicator Sensors automatically measure and correct bend angles up to 85% faster than Bi-S technology. And a new electric Auto-Crowning system maintains longitudinal accuracy throughout production. Additional EGB e models available later this year include: 6020 standalone, 8025 standalone, 1303 standalone, and 1303 ATC.

AMADA punch/fiber laser machine with automated material storage and handling
AMADA says it has engineered its LC 2515 C1 AJ for high-speed productivity—combining the forces of a 22-ton turret punch press with the flexibility of a 3kW fiber laser.

To maximize punching productivity in conjunction with laser cutting, the C1 AJ features a 44-station MPT (Multi-Purpose Turret). In addition to ensuring maximum speed, the fiber laser uses approximately a third of the electricity when compared to a CO2 system.

The laser head moves in the Y-axis via a direct drive servomechanism for maximum speed and accuracy and is isolated from punching vibration to help maintain beam integrity and cut quality. Reliability is further enhanced by a gap near the laser axis which is engineered to allow cutting gas and slag to escape without impacting processing. A cartridge-type lens provides for simple and fast lens changes. In addition, the use of non-contact sensor technology ensures that the laser beam remains focused on the sheet, thereby guaranteeing maximum quality and consistent cutting operations.

Unique features of the MPT include four tapping tool stations and three innovative die lift stations. The die stations automatically lift to facilitate upward forms while reducing material scratches and preventing downward forms from hitting the forming dies during sheet movements. In addition, a brush table automatically lifts to support material and provide scratch-free processing — eliminating the need for secondary finishing.

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