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Bending without breaking

Bending without breaking AUTOMATION When simple or complex parts have to be chamfered, the machines from Trumpf make it possible to bend workpieces quickly and reliably with high precision. In the case of large and heavy parts, a bending device supports the process. In order to ensure the reliable supply of energy to this device, machine tool manufacturers relies on the series of energy tubes from igus. The Trumpf company is one of the world’s biggest machine tool manufacturers and has around 70 subsidiaries. Trumpf Maschinen Austria was founded in 1992 in Pasching, Austria, the centre of excellence for bending in the Trumpf Group. Here, the company makes various types of bending machines in different sizes. The products are a symbol of the highest level of experience and innovation in bending technology. Here in Pasching TruBend 5 000 series bending machines are built, of which more than 600 systems are manufactured each year. Press forces of 50 to 320 tons and edge lengths of 1.25 to 4 metres are achieved with this all-round machine. Author: Lukas Czaja, Head of Industry Management Machine Tools, igus Bending device supports large and heavy workpieces For bending large or heavy parts, users of the TruBend Series 5 000 have a bending tool on which the sheets to be processed are placed. This supports up to 30-degree angles and can be automatically adjusted in height. “For large and very heavy workpieces, this support is necessary to bend the sheets accurately, requiring only one operator,” explains Volkmar Schmidt, Head of Technical Purchasing at Trumpf Maschinen Austria. The bending device can be moved freely from left to right. In order to move the motor, encoder and sensor cables as well as an earth cable along the machine safely when the bending device is moved, Trumpf relies on energy chains from igus based in Cologne. For the TruBend Series 5000 the machine tool manufacturer sources the chains as enclosed tubes from the R4.1L series, using overlapping lids instead of the standard crossbars. Just as with the open E4.1L version, the lids can still be opened at both ends and pivoted upwards by 115 degrees, which saves assembly time and cost. If necessary, they can even be removed completely, fitted again and closed by just pressing down. The swarf-proof and opaque energy supply system “We originally developed the e-tubes so that we could offer a swarfproof version of our e-chains for use in moving applications exposed to flying metal swarf or other small particles”, explains Elvis Kaufmann, technical sales consultant for igus Austria and responsible for Trumpf Maschinen Austria. “The cables inside are therefore reliably protected and moved.” This is not always required by Trumpf but the machine tool manufacturer still prefers the closed 18 WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 2018

01 Inner workings of the bending device: motor, encoder and sensor cables as well as an earth cable are guided in the e-chains from igus and supply the bending tool 02 With bending machines from the TruBend Series 5000, press forces of 50 to 320 t and edge lengths of 1.25 to 4 m are possible and energy tubes of the R4.1L series from igus are used to supply the bending device version in order to give the machine a more discreet appearance. “We feel that it is visually more attractive if only one black tube can be seen instead of coloured cables or coloured dots on the outside of the chain”, explains Volkmar Schmidt von Trumpf. Up to 30 % lighter than similiar models Other important factors are not only the ease of assembly and the small bend radii of the energy chains but also the maximum filling volume combined with a minimum exterior height. When compared to the heavy-duty chain E4.1, significant mass could be saved using the E4.1L and the otherwise identical e-tubes being around 30 percent lighter. This brings an additional advantage: “In this way, users save not only a lot of drive power,” explains Elvis Kaufmann. “It’s also possible to accommodate even more cables and hoses in the limited space.” However, the patented interlocking undercut design of the chain link and the double stop-dogs with large surfaces were borrowed from the E4.1. These design features provide high strength and also allow larger unsupported lengths. By means of a ‘brake’ in the stop-dog surfaces, the rolling noise is also minimised, which resulted in a very quiet operation of the chain. Good mix of reliable products and fast service In the application of the bending device, the mechanical load is negligible, since the movement of the bending tool is manual and not very dynamic. “All the more important for us, however, is the interior separation of the chain so that all cables can be laid securely in separate chambers,” stresses Volkmar Schmidt. “To achieve this, igus offered advice and guidance on site. For smaller tasks we do the design of the chain online. But for more complex designs or prototypes, personal support is important to us, so that we can be sure we’re on the right track.” At Trumpf, hardly any igus energy chains are kept in stock; as a rule, the company orders one to two days before production, whereupon the chains are supplied in the right length directly from the headquarters in Cologne. To be able to rely on very good service is of utmost importance to Trumpf. “I personally have worked for 03 Volkmar Schmidt, Head of Technical Purchasing at Trumpf (left) together with Elvis Kaufmann, Technical Sales Consultant at igus Austria (right) are totally satisfied with the service and products from igus Trumpf for 25 years and cannot remember a time when we did not use igus chains”, says Volkmar Schmidt. A solid basis for the cooperation to continue for the next 25 years. Photographs: 01 Trumpf, 02-03 Igus Bending device at work To view a video on how the TruBend Series 5000 works, visit the following Youtube link: WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 2018 19