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Brantford, ON, Canada
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+ 33. 5. 62.06.72.10
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Together, our combined companies provide an exciting opportunity to offer our customers
the best of both companies – a complete range of products and expert services adapted
to their specific needs, a worldwide presence and a team focused on innovative solutions.
World-leading tube bending and endforming technology specialists,
AddisonMckee and Eaton Leonard, are excited to announce we have merged!
www.addisonmckee.com • www.eatonleonard.com
Eaton Leonard China
Pudong, Shanghai, China
+ 86. 21.5192.0792
ison_Eagle_EL_TPJ_ad_v4 9/27/13 2: 22 PM Page 1
By Tim Heston, Senior Editor
If you look at a robot bending a large workpiece on a press brake, you can tell it has a speed advantage over a human. The speed at which it can maneuver a large sheet sometimes is just beyond what one person could accomplish
over a shift. For smaller-workpiece applications, though, a human often can
outpace a robot. And in many fab shops, those small parts, be they custom
Automation designed for speedy small-parts bending
Robotic system moves parts in ways that humans can’t
brackets or small enclosure panels,
represent the majority of jobs on the
And as Tom Bailey, product manager at TRUMPF Inc., Farmington,
Conn., said, this set the stage for the
company’s TruBend Cell 7000.
“There was a desire to address
small-parts manufacturing with an
automated bending process that’s
not just capable of keeping up with
a human operator, but actually out-
pacing the operator.”
As Bailey explained, the compa-
ny’s small electric press brakes have
helped fabricators speed cycle times
for those small jobs, but when these
brakes entered the market several
years ago, engineers knew these ma-
chines actually could go a lot faster. A
person can move only so fast to bend
parts accurately and (most impor-
Could automation help, perhaps by
grasping the part differently, like from
the side or even behind the tool set?
Still, this wouldn’t matter much if
part changeover took forever. After
all, most custom fabricators don’t
make thousands of anything at once.
Instead, they often produce kits for
downstream assembly, which calls for
small batches of many different parts.
This not only requires quick changeovers, but also careful handling to
ensure various parts flow to downstream processes at the right time.
As Bailey explained, this robot
bending cell, introduced to North
America this year at FABTECH®, represents the company’s effort to overcome these obstacles.
Here’s how it works. A program is
written and simulated offline, then
downloaded to the system. The op-
The TruBend Cell 7000 is designed to speed small-parts bending. According to the company, the system has a per-bend cycle time of 4 seconds.
Each tool has an embedded ID chip that
communicates with the system. When the
robot grasps the tool, it knows which tool
it has and, per the part program, where
it’s supposed to go.