The EuroBLECH exhibition came to a successful close for automation specialist B&R. Industry professionals experienced B&R products at more than 80 booths at the 22nd international sheet metal processing exhibition. Global leaders in the industry presented one innovation after another featuring B&R technology.
B&R's metal industry expert Wolfgang Rabl explains: "The extraordinary number of reference customers furnishing their machinery with B&R technology bears witness to the benefits it offers for sheet metal processing. Sheet metal processing takes full advantage of our solution's greatest strengths - flexible software for CNC and robotics paired with integrated safety technology and a scalable hardware portfolio make B&R's solutions perfectly equipped to handle the needs of this industry."
B&R technology can be found in both hydraulic and fully electric bending machines. They are also used in cutting machines that operate with laser, plasma, oxy-fuel and water jet cutting technology. Manufacturers of specialty bending machines for pipes, profiles and wires have experienced the advantage of B&R automation, as have suppliers of all types of stamping machinery. B&R technology melds into fully integrated cells that perform robotic bending or a combination of processing steps such as laser cutting and bending.
Rabl says: "Especially in the metal processing industry, machine manufacturers want as much flexibility as possible in order to offer machines with options that differentiate them from the competition. An automation solution needs to accommodate these requirements."
Standard approaches are sometimes not sufficient. This is what machine manufacturers value about B&R systems - an open automation system makes it easy for them to implement their own specialised technology. This core process know-how is safe-guarded on the machine using well-proven methods. The future of a system is just as important as the technology behind it, especially when it comes to securing the investment in engineering and preparing for future requirements.
With its integrated safety technology and its economic and easy-to-implement condition monitoring systems, B&R is setting trends that will bring sustained benefits for machine manufacturers. B&R has also answered the call for energy-efficiency with innovations that can bring up to 80 per cent energy savings. Prominent features are the ACOPOSmulti servo system and innovative variable speed hydraulic drives.
More and more manufacturers of laser cutting machines are using fibre lasers. This technology offers clear advantages, such as low electrical connected load, faster cutting speeds, and immediate readiness after being turned on. Many materials are also easier to process with a fibre laser. Yet these advantages come with severe risks involved in using a fibre laser, which is why robots are frequently used to manipulate the workpieces. The corresponding demands on safety technology are very high. Integrated safety technology from B&R, based on the open standard openSAFETY, has all the right features to meet these stringent demands.
Rabl says: "With our software-driven Generic Motion Control solution running on a PC-based controller, machine control and robotics control can operate on the same hardware platform." This results in machines with a greater degree of automation and increased flexibility.
Laser and drive systems are synchronised down to a few hundred nanoseconds. Well-known suppliers of fibre lasers have implemented POWERLINK as the new communication standard and presented their first machines at the EuroBLECH exhibition. Rabl reports: "Visitors were clearly impressed by the performance and precision."
Visit B&R's YouTube channel for videos on the topic of sheet metal processing.