Todd Kirchoff, Cincinnati Inc.’s product manager, vertical motion products, has been with the for company for 32 years. His various roles include sales, applications, sales management and, currently, product management. Todd recently took some time to discuss CI’s 60-ton press brake and bending good parts.
Tell us a little about CI’s Autoform 60-ton press brake. What are the major benefits for customers?
The 60-ton Autoform brings smallpart productivity and versatility to CI’s line of hydraulic press brakes. While achieving the industry’s expectations for high-quality machine tools, the 60-ton servomotor pump drive press brake runs fast and quiet and is designed to fit into small work areas. Its small in size and big on benefits.
Who is the ideal candidate for this compact press brake?
That would be a shop that needs to conserve floor space, frequently produces small parts, and at the same time doesn’t want to compromise on speed and versatility. A manufacturer with a small product may not need anything larger than 60 tons. However, because most metal fabricators produce a wider mix of part sizes, a 60-ton brake can complement larger tonnage and bed lengths. Specifying each new machine purchase on the largest possible part can have a negative impact on productivity. Routinely bending small parts on a 175-ton brake with a 12-ft.-long bed isn’t exactly the best use of that size machine.
While smaller press brakes are certainly ideal for small parts, this sturdy 60-ton brake can also produce mid-length parts, such as 40 in. of 1/4-in. steel or even 72 in. of 10-gauge steel, all without the need for a crowning device.
What does the press brake’s fast speed mean for operators?
Small press brakes don’t have to be slow part producers. The 60-ton Autoform’s drive system is built for speed. It’s capable of forming speeds up to 120 ipm. For parts that are difficult to handle, the operator may only want to run at 20 ipm, but that shouldn’t be the only option. When more productivity is needed, 120 ipm is available.
The HMI looks modern and easy to use. What was the thought process behind its development?
A priority at CI has always been to make our press brakes operatorfriendly. To accomplish this, we provide a large 22-in. touchscreen control. Also, we listened to operators who told us they need an easy-tofollow job setup screen to show exactly where to locate the upper and lower tools. This provides two benefits: fast setups and consistent setups. More recently, we’ve taken this one step further with the ability to attach photos and videos to the job setup information.
What is the benefit of the BendSim software?
BendSim comes standard with the press brake. It allows the operator to draw the part shape or import the CAD file, then simulate the bending sequence to check for part interference with ram or tools. Finding problems before bending even the first part is a tremendous benefit.
What is the angle measuring system and how can it help increase productivity?
Our angle measuring system takes advantage of Lazersafe’s technology that captures digital images of the part. After the image is passed on to the control, the CI software takes it from there. It measures the actual bend angle and automatically adjusts the ram reversal position to achieve the desired angle. This improves productivity by minimizing operator involvement and takes the guesswork out of manual angle corrections.
What are some unexpected features on the compact press brake?
Small parts can create unexpected forming challenges. One example is deep flanges. The 60-ton Autoform has ample die space: 10-in. throat, 11-in. stroke and 20-in. open height. This amount of die space for tall tools and adapters isn’t typically found on small press brakes. There are also gauging challenges. A feature one might not expect to find on a 60- ton press brake is an optional 6-axis backgauge. This is a popular option on many of our 60-ton brakes.
Also, a new option we offer on all of our hydraulic press brakes is Firesafe hydraulic fluids. Most machine tool builders only offer traditional hydraulic oil. Not only are Firesafe fluids environmentally friendly, they provide easier handling, cleanup and disposal.