Sheet metal industry
Automate flexibly with OpiFlex flexible industrial robot
Automation of sheet metal processing places extra great demands on flexibility, compared with, for example, automation of machining, as the details often greatly change shape from before to after machine. Many different products are usually handled in each machine, especially if you are a contract manufacturer. Therefore, it is important that the operator himself can quickly and easily program the robot and have flexible grippers. It is very important to have full manual access to the machine for eg single and few pieces and when the details are difficult to grasp e.g. many or large holes. Read more about guides for automation and for each machine type below.
Market-leading industrial robot solutions for sheet metal
All possible applications for sheet metal
OpiFlex is the market leader and specialists in flexible robot solutions for sheet metal production. OpiFlex offers flexible solutions for both small series and large series for most applications in sheet metal manufacturing, such as press brake, panel bender, hydraulic press, pipe bending, bending center, punch, brush machine, edge fold, nut weld and nut presses and pick and sort from lasers.
We collaborate with many manufacturers, for example Salvagnini, Ursviken, Amada, AP&T, Trumpf, Prima Power, Safran Darley, Durma and Bystronic.
Read more about tips and applications in the sheet metal industry below, but also read guides about automation.
Examples of machine manufacturers OpiFlex works with
OpiFlex automates the sheet metal industry
Guides and advice
To consider when automating sheet metal machines
Sheet metal is often heavy and monotonous with usually very different articles with more or less complicated geometries and bends. It places great demands on collaboration with the machine and operator / robot to get the right quality. Sheet metal places extra great demands on flexibility, as the details often greatly change shape from before to after machine and then especially for edge pressing when the robot needs to be able to follow the machine in real time and also turn and flip details.
Many different products are usually handled in each machine for sheet metal, especially if you are a subcontractor, but many larger groups with their own products also move towards much shorter series. Therefore, it is important that the operator himself can quickly and easily program the robot and have flexible grippers. As a robot cannot move like a human, due to physical limitations, it is extra important to have full manual access to the machine for eg single and few pieces and as the details are difficult to grip, for example many or large holes.
Tips from technology workshop with IUC
The video below contains a presentation on challenges and trends in small series manufacturing during a digital technology workshop that IUC has invited to. OpiFlex CEO Johan Frisk was invited as a speaker. The video was recorded 2020-05-19
Flexible handling for many items
For the stool, it is important that you can have great flexibility so you do not have to pick up, so you can have different piles with different orientations. However, it is important that you have structure on the material, so there are no holes for noise.
As the shape of the bent parts is often bulky, it is important to be able to pack them easily in different piles with different layers, including turning on the pallet. Double pallets are usually needed to be able to run larger batches when desired.
Fast adjustments to new products
The trend is towards shorter and shorter series, which requires faster adjustment of the robot for it to be profitable to drive the robot. Therefore, it is important to be able to quickly and easily program the robot yourself and have flexible grippers that can handle a large product width and that can be replaced quickly and easily.
Flexible motions and active following
Being able to create flexible movements is important in general and especially in press braking, which is one of the most difficult things you can do with a robot. Press braking requires the robot to be able to adjust speed and actively follow the machine with real-time signal exchange.
Full manual access to the machine
As small series production in sheet metal means very large variation and series size, it is very important that you have manual access to the machine, for single and few pieces and when the details are difficult to grip, for example many or large holes. Edge pressing places demands on active movements, so then it is extra important to have full manual access to the machine as, for example, the robot sometimes has difficulty due to physical limitations,
Customer applications for edge press
Flexible industrial robot for press brakes
OpiFlex offers a very flexible and future-proof solution that works
Cost-effective and compact solution
OpiFlex offers very cost-effective robot cells already at the first cell compared to traditional robot solutions. Through the ability to share the robot with several machines, you can create a future-proof solution that you can build on. This means that you normally get a pay-off of the investment in one year.
OpiFlex robot cells are very compact and floor-efficient robot cells and you avoid fences through our patented safety solution. This means that you do not have to tie up important surfaces and you automate machines that are close together.
Flexibility and Easy Programming
OpiFlex’s patented fast and easy robot programming solution allows the operator to quickly program the robot himself. An operator without robotic experience can quickly and easily create completely new products with pallets with several piles, gripping and turning stations, active tracking and speed adjustment of trestles and double pallets with several piles and layers. Program a completely new article with eight bends in about 10 minutes instead of 6-10 hours by a specialist.
Full manual access to the machine
Despite fast and easy programming and flexible grippers, manual access is important. Through our flexible solution, you avoid fences and you can easily move the robot away and share with the next machine. The docking station can be easily milled into the floor, as in the picture, so nothing blocks the machine for full manual operation.
WE have succeeded in creating an edge press solution so the edge press is at normal height so manual operation works as usual. Many other alternative edge press solutions raise the edge press 300-700 mm, which further complicates manual use,
Examples of customer applications in the sheet metal industry
Some of all our solutions
Salvagnini P2 (panel bending machine)
Articles & Publicity
Mentioned all around the world
OpiFlex solves the challenge of automating the mega trend with high mix and low volume with flexible robot cells and drives the third robot revolution towards completely new possibilities.
OpiFlex flexible solution and easy programming can be used for most applications in all industries and provides benefits for both small and medium-sized companies, Tier1 and global groups.
OpiFlex is a very cost-effective solution that is future-proof and can increase the gross margin more than ordinary robot solutions.