Since the beginning of 2022, the fully automatic TruBend Center 7020 has been among the machinery at KUIPERS technologies and increases the company's degree of automation. "The system offers a box height of 350 millimetres and is therefore perfectly suited to our requirements," explains Michael Kuipers. Complex geometries are the order of the day, especially in the construction of housings, electrical components and agricultural machinery. "In conventional processing, having many consecutive bends and radii in thin material were real challenges that could often only be mastered with a lot of scrap," says Kuipers. "We can now automatically implement these parts with the TruBend Center 7020."
The rotary part manipulator, for example, ensures high productivity and thus faster overall throughput times. It secures the blank and rotates it to the required position completely independently. The integrated ToolMaster Bend tool changer also contributes to the speed. "This way," according to Kuipers, "we save up to three setup operations." While the bending processes run automatically, the employees can take care of quality control or pack up the sensitive finished parts.
Speaking of quality – in this case as well, the TruBend Center 7020 meets the most demanding challenges, explains Kuipers: "The machine delivers precise and, above all, repeatable results. That's important to me, because in series production the hundredth part has to be just as good as the first.” Among other things, the non-contact, laser-based ACP angle measuring system ensures precision. In this system the laser projects a line onto the sheet, and a camera detects the angle. "But the simulation of the bending lines on the monitor also provides reliability," explains Michael Kuipers.
The TruBend Center 7020 is equipped with a loading and unloading robot. At KUIPERS, various 2D laser cutting systems and numerous punch-laser machines from TRUMPF are connected to the 4,500-ton STOPA high-bay storage racks. "We explored the idea and found that connecting the panel bender to the high-bay storage racks doesn't make sense at the moment," explains Michael Kuipers, adding: "Compared to air bending, the TruBend Center 7020 is significantly more productive as it is."
The compact system processes a range of smaller parts that previously could only be processed manually. "We want to gain experience with this first and then scale it up," says Kuipers. The necessary development of expertise takes place mainly in-house on our own machine. “In addition, TRUMPF training staff and service engineers come to us. That is simply more practical for us. Due to the 3-shift operation, we have to train several employees and we are happy to save ourselves the travel time to Ditzingen," explains Kuipers.