General notes

This blog is made by PRECITOOLS SRLS and duplicates the last news, notes, stories and articles published on official website. We thank everybody for your visits and can trully say that our blog is the biggest one dedicated for press brake bending technology or in particular press brake tools. Press brake manufacturers also provide a lot of information but mainly as advertisement as details and options of their products.

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Replacement press brake tools

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This story about the replacement tools. Sometimes any press brake tools manufacturer has the requests for replacement pieces for the tooling which is already on the machine. For example customer has set for 2 meters and want to add 500 mm or 835 mm, doesn’t important. The main secret that, unfortunately, other manufacturer can’t go against the manufacturer who supplied first. This means that there is no guarantee for the completely fitting of tolerances according to the main sizes and finally it means that if the customer will change the supplier he can get the tolerances differences (even if the main dimensions will be the same) and no guarantee for perfect bend.
This is really a problem and luckily there is one more factor that makes it not so powerful. The press brake tools have really the long time of use of several years but intensive use for sure also is the subject for the abrasion and wear. At final this factor means that the tool piece with two years of use together with the new one even from the same stock can not do the perfect bending line and make some deformation in bending.
Moreover gaps in clampings could make even the installation of the same tools with different line. Between us one of the examples we have seen directly on demo-machine at Euroblech show. Probably it was not a good thing to demonstrate but it was.
So if the long time passed and the customer wants to add the length it is better to buy the complete set of tooling for full length. Or to buy new piece and to grind in one line if the customer can organize it. In lot of moments it is hard so it is basically more simple to buy new tooling. For sure everybody know that punch will be weared more according to the contact of tip.
Replacement tools as the original tooling from Amada or Trumpf are with the same story. We can provide the same geometry but we could not guarantee and could not repeat the same production technology which means the possible differences with tolerances. Anyway we provide the same main dimensions of original tools so the customer can decide complete based on prices and possibilities.
For any new customers who are purchasing first set of tools we can just recommend to think about all parts and even if the customer work with short lengths to try to realize the proportional wear according to the length he has.
Important thing also that every manufacturer will make the replacement pieces if they are not in standard length – more expensive. It means that if we have sectioned tool 805 mm this doesn’t means that sections of 400 mm will be half of price but probably they could be more expensive than the complete set! Please take this into consideration too.
Replacement tools after damage or break could have one more point – is everything right with the rest of tools?
And finally – we know that a lot of customers try to save the tooling for the dozens of years to look for regrinding after even big wear. We would like to warn that the hardened tip and deepness of heating treatment is just 3 mm which means that after it you will have the scrap unhardened piece of metal useful only for the thin could steels probably. So it is better not to look for complicated ways but to buy new set of tooling. And we will give you the nice discount for it!

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Quick changing punchholders

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Quick changing punchholders is the serious investment which could be around 5000 eur for the small 3 meters press brake. If you will purchase the press brake from top manufacturer which will cost around 100 thousand euro it will be around 5 percents option from the main price of the machine. But if you will buy the machine from Turkey or Asia the investment looks more serious.
First, why you need it and why according to our personal view it is much better choice than to buy the full clamping Wila system.
Every manufacturer todays offers optionally Wila clamping with the advertisement of the best possibilities for frontal loading of punches with the use of buttons. It is right but you need to notice two important things – punches with buttons will cost more, optional Wila system will cost more and mainly you should consider about Wila punches geometry – they are in general much higher than Promecam and the costs of punches itself will be more also. But if you will choose it you will get very nice system to use in case that you have enough daylight of your press brake to install tall tooling.

Now let’s return to Promecam system. It is the old and very popular system with very rich selection of press brake tools and in this case much much more possibilities to choose. But with the standard punchholders you have a big limitation of use as the only lateral loading so it means to load and unload the tooling you need to push all from the side. If you work with long profiles all other things are not important for you but if you deal with different even small parts and should work with different changes you have the necessity to change the punches at the middle of the machine or totally. And in this case you need the frontal system to change the tools.
What you will receive at the end. First, the save of time if you need to change the punches so it means that it will be around 3 minutes total for 3 meters machine contrary to 7-8 minutes with standard punchholders. Second, the changing of any tools frontally, for example in the middle of the machine within seconds without moving any punches from left and right and do not spending any time for it. Third – punch holders are the tooling and the changeable part so tomorrow you can move them to other side of the machine, install on other press brake or anything you want.
For sure it is better to buy punchholders directly with the machine, it is more comfortable in psychology when you are not making new big investment after the investment of the machine. But you can meet the fact that the purchasing from any press brake supplier will be more expensive because for all tooling options manufacturer will be just reseller who can sell to you any tooling with his additional margin. So basically we recommend to all customers who are purchasing the new machine to look the alternative offers for the press brake tooling and in our case punch holders, moreover we believe that our support will be also much better because these products are our main and the first job.
Mechanical, pneumatic or what else? Our personal opinion that mechanical clamps are more reliable and most recommended. You do not need to install them on the full machine and can just buy 2,3,4 at the middle. You can replace them and to move to the new machine. You do not need any connection, just the hands of the operator. And you do not need to touch the sides of the machine you do not need, so it is contrary to pneumatic version where you will open clamps for the full length.

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EuroBlech review

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Well, we planned to make the review of Euroblech 2018 in Hannover but unfortunately we are now preparing it with the long delay. The main entry – today Euroblech is the most important and great exhibition dedicated to the production and processing of the sheet metal with the machine tools, technologies, suppliers and fabricators. Germany is one of the countries who can provide the separate exhibitions between main machine tools (cutting, milling, turning) and specialized sheet metal processing (there is the same in Italy but not at the same great level). The exhibition is performed one time for two years but last time Germany started the new great show between – Blechexpo in Stuttgart which was made in 2017 and will be next time in 2019, when the new Euroblech will be in 2020.
Euroblech in the official website is advertised as the world number one for sheet metal technologies so even if it is not true it is very near to the real. Some figures from the official statistic: total 56301 visitors, 1507 companies as exhibitors from 40 countries, net exhibition spaces 89975 square meters with grow of 2000 meters compared to 2016. Meanwhile according to the visitors (the counter of 2016 is 60636 visitors) there is near 8 percent of reduction.

But what is Euroblech in general? This is really the greatest exhibition about equipment and machine tools to fabricate sheet metal – from uncoiling if necessary to cutting, punching, bending, welding and assembling. The exhibition was 4 days and we can tell that three were not enough to pass it completely so practically we ignored the assembling section. For specialists it is a chance to see the newest technologies and equipment – a lot of companies on the market trying to make the first introduction of new products specially for Euroblech to get more interest and the population. For newcomer of sheet metal world or the owner of business who is planning to buy the new machine – Euroblech is the biggest chance to see all main players and manufacturers in one place so the visit is the very useful action to stop any questions after who is in the top of manufacturers. Moreover if you want new press brake or laser – take a look, everybody here so you can check all data, all prices and possibilities for most confirm decision. But there is the doubt that it is more comfortable to choose between 50 companies that 2 or 3. Anyway all main producers of the equipment are here, at Euroblech. And there is the main competition to show to the world who is the greatest between premium heavy players like Bystronic, Trumpf, Amada, Prima Power, Salvagnini and others. For sure German industry and German manufacturers are in top – this is their local exhibition, the big percentage of visitors are German and Germany is one of heaviest countries for sheet metal proceeding.

What is the main impressions from the people like us who visited these exhibitions more than 10 years? To tell the main truth there is no nothing really shocking or new. The big pushing today in robotization so every third machine is demonstrated with the robot, all advertisements about Industry 4.0 preparation, everything shining but in general probably there are only speed increasing of the machines but no any really new concept or technology.
We can tell also that the world positions were also not changed and this means that top players are at the same places and big booths, there are a lot of Turkish manufacturers presented but without the any big change of main picture and Asian machines at the end. Probably there is the change also with the topic of exhibitors – according to our feeling the processing of tubes as one of topics of Euroblech is more disappeared which means that main companies for tube bending, forming and assembling we’re not presented at all.
The positive feeling that there is no any crisis or reduction of market of sheet metal industry – all booths are very busy, there are a lot of visitors and potential customers. Sometimes the selling guys are not very professional and all their promises are nothing but it is subject for other story.
What about our main market – press brake and press brake tools? Well, as we told we suppose that Euroblech is not the place to look for new press brake if you do not know exactly what should it be – you will be crushed because there are hundreds of machines and there is no chance to anybody to compare them all! The same with the press brake tools – if you need any specialized solution it will be in possible to get price at the show and for other things you can use Internet. There are a lot of press brake tools producers but for them Euroblech is the question of prestige and status first, moreover exhibition is strange place when you can get the competitor’s customers to talk but should be prepared also that your companies after you will talk with your competitors.
More one notification – a lot of Wila-style tools on press brakes. In main market the percentage between Promecam and Trumpf-Wila press brake tools is around 80-85/15-20 but for demonstration machines there were much more for Wila. We suppose that the main reason could be simple practical – for operator much more easy to insert and to extract small pieces with buttons to show something for bending.
Also there were a lot of machines with big daylight to have possibility to install long tools. Under our experience to know about daylight you need is extremely important otherwise the customer can receive the situation that he can’t make his part.
Finally, Euroblech is great and we one more time liked to be there and to visit Hannover city.

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Happy New Year!

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Well, we passed Christmas so we want to congratulate all of you with the Happy New Year 2019! Let it be very successful year for you, your families, businesses and activities with a lot of luck!

Some small words about us – in 2019 we are planning to offer the press brake tooling equal to original Wila line, to grow with special solutions, to offer new press brake accessories, to publish finally all our e-catalogs online and to give more support and success to all our customers. Moreover the next year we will work strong to offer press brakes machines also! Thanks to all who work or contacted with Precitools! All the best and our kindest wishes to all of you!!! And we made the small picture with Christmas tries made with wires to show that first of all we are industrial guys!

Some facts about industrial Italy

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Well, we already made the fact review of Italy for you if you will as the tourist to visit our country. We suppose it is a nice subject for discussion because as you probably know Italy stays at the top of countries to visit as a tourist so the interest to it is very high. Now let’s speak about more professional things and our market of action. Now it is time to make facts (and rumors!) about the industrial Italy which are not willing widely known and moreover these facts are closed connected with sheet metal fabrication and bending! If you will find this article probably it will be for you just interesting to read but maybe if you are looking to cooperate with Italian companies you can also find something useful…

Let’s start!

1. Italy has one of the biggest quantities of national press brake tools manufacturers in the world. Probably only China could compete. And they are real producers with their own manufacturing facilities, not only distributors of trademarks.

2. Italian press brake tools are used and respected worldwide even with for sale for lost cost machines from Turkey, Taiwan or China. Made in Italy is not so expensive and more over the big quantities of production allow for Italian manufacturers to make very competitive prices even against Asian origin products.

3. All press brake tools producers are situated in the range of 200-300 km in the north side of Italy (the region between Milano, Monza and Piacenza).

4. Italy one of rare countries which has not only the national exhibition of machine tools but special separated exhibition for sheet metal fabrication machines – “Lamiera”. This exhibition was every year in Bologna but now transferred to Milano and will be every two years. The exhibition is very famous and respected with all main players on it and the high interest also for foreign visitors.

5. Italy has one of biggest professional community in Facebook dedicated to sheet metal fabrication – “Lamiera e lamieristi”. This community is more than 6000 members and bigger that any English speaking one.

6. Italy has very professional workers including press brake bending technology. The reasons are the possibilities for short connection with press brake tools and machine manufacturers, good engineering education and mainly there are several companies which provide the special paid courses for sheet metal bending in Italian language.

7. One of the manufacturers of leading automatic solutions in press brake bending is located and founded in Italy.

8. There are lots of manufacturers of machine tools even famous names in Italy including press brakes, punching machines passed the bankrupt situation. Some of them are not exist anymore (even with valuable trademarks), some changed owners.

9. Italy has one of the biggest internal European markets for sheet metal fabrication machines consumption. It means that any Italian manufacturer has the important percentage of sales inside Italy. Italian internal grow of general machine tool consumption is nearly 3,5% per year. According to exhibition representation Italy has around 30 percent in field of premium press brake machines made in Europe.

10. More about press brake tools – as we know only one or two Italian companies mainly sell imported tools outside of Italy. All other are real “Made in Italy”.

11. The rumors are that more than 50% of press brakes operated in Italy are with turned off the protective light or laser barriers. But we can’t say this as the fact.

12. As in other countries we know several press brake companies which sell products as Italian made or assembled with Turkey, but mostly Chinese origin. It means that the real machine has probably light assembled in Italy and the customer pays the double price for trademark.

13. Italians like Italian products. In reality this means that there a several press brake names with popularity in Italy and very poor represented outside. But in the same time you can meet worldwide origin products in Italy. For example for lasers all countries are represented in job shops: from Japan and Germany to China and Italy for sure.

14. Sheet metal fabrication market and mainly job shop system (in Italian – “carpenteria metallica” or “lavorazione di lamiera”) to make sheet metal parts under the order is widely used so it is possible to find the production even at small local town. It is also the story that the consumable sheet metal machinery market is very strong enough these days.

15. All main Italian industries are situated in the north part of Italy.

16. If you are looking for the job it is easy to find the job of CNC machine operator, welder or CAD engineer compare to other possibilities.

17. August is the time to close even for production. Everybody in vacation and you will be lucky if you will find even service this time. Otherwise you should wait; service also will be in vacation. So if are planning to buy the machine and to get service directly from Italy – do not plan any faults or breakage during the August time)))

18. Italians want to sell to Germany but language is the biggest block to contact with potential customers.

19. Hard to say real percentage but we suppose that around 80 percent use Promecam tool system for their press brakes.

20. Italy is only one country in Europe to produce fast clamping Promecam systems for press brakes and there are several types of it.

21. There were two main stages of formation for industrial and manufacturing company including machine tool manufacturers – the foundation of companies after World War 2 which celebrate now 40-50 years and 80-90s when goes the new industrial boom and new opportunities for production and machine tool sales.

22. Most of all companies are family businesses. External person to manage the company is not the Italian style of company run. In a lot of companies father or grandfather is the founder and main developer of the machines and technologies.

23. Personal relationship is very important. So if you want something it is better to ask your Italian friends if they can help you with the right person. Recommendations are magic and can give you good chances for discounts and best conditions you want to achieve.

24. The last one to end – do not make paper claims for Italians if there is other possible ways to solve the problem. Official paper claim is something very sensitive for Italians and the reason to rush any personal relations.

25. As the wearing of good clothes and drive of stylish cars Italian managers can use the same style to invest in machine tools for example. So do not think that the most expensive one could not be sold in Italy, why not? In the same time the market is also full of old nearly 30 years old machines still running.

26. Price is good but where is the discount!!! (Italian style of price comparison).

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Can I bend?

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Nice question from the customer. It is the reality when you start to choose the press brake machine your main consulting partner is the manufacturer. There are a lot of choices – to buy just the machine, to request the study of all your drawings, to make the contract with the purchasing acceptance only after the fabrication of the part you need and much more. And it is serious – let’s say if you are buying 100 tons press brake from Turkey and mainly know the possibilities it is one thing but completely other if you are buying nearly one million tandem press brake specially for your part. Everybody understand very clear that without this part you do not need the machine so all the mistakes and problems with the acceptance are at the shoulders of the manufacturer. You also should know the secret – normally for big projects and machines manufacturers make all studies and also the tooling in house. For small machines and projects normally everybody go to the press brake tooling manufacturer for case study. Specially the dealers because their knowledge could be very limited.

Ok, the stage number two. You have got the machine. The responsibility of the manufacturer of press brake is over after the second day of the installation and normally with bending process they will try to help if you will request the second machine or for additional price. Now it means that all the projects for bending of your parts are at your hands and your technicians. That is why the most general request from the technician – “here is my part, how to bend it?”.

Ok, we ready to help if there are 2-3 drawings. If there are 30, the best way is to hire the bending engineer to do his job and not trying to find the consulting for free. Moreover sometimes customers are cheating – they are getting the press brake tools list and all the study and than try to find the cheapest supplier. Normally to the supplier who spent zero time for the project and didn’t invest nothing to the study. So to prevent this we also prefer the limited help.

When the customer is coming with the drawings request the main thing also to answer how to make all the parts with the minimum set of tooling and readjustments. Probably for more expensive types but with the maximum comfort. This is the important point because when the customer is asking how to bend you can answer – this part with this tool, this part with this tool etc. But be realistic, customer will never purchase several sets of tools for all parts if there is no other way to solve.

Mainly our recommendations to study all the parts during the purchase of new machine. Modern press brake has a lot of options and accessories and special configuration and it will be hard or impossible to install them after. We can study your project even for new machine and do not thing that tooling from the manufacturer will be more cheaper. They will be more expensive anyway so if you will receive them very cheap please note that it was your real discount for the machine. But if you will ignore the situation for full detailed study with the machine purchase probably you will loose some important point, for example the additional opening which you need for special parts.
So to finalize. We will be glad to make consulting from the beginning or after if your machine is already installed. Maybe you can even double your position to contact with the press brake manufacturer and us with the same time to make the good based choice.

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External press brake bending software

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It is interesting to discuss why you really need external press brake software and moreover to invest in it. Let’s forget about very old press brakes and to look what is possible to get on the market today. Normally most of standard press brakes of any manufacturer have the tooling library and bending simulation at least in 2D mode. It means that the customer can import the tooling through CAD format and run planning algorithms to prepare the bending cycles according to the tools that are possible in library or installed on the machine. If the CNC is more progressive the 3D bending mode is also exist so the machine makes all the bend simulation, work of backgauges, necessary opening of the machine etc. And all of these functions are main functions that external bending software can offer to the customer! There could be differences in interfaces, strong of mathematic algorithms, usability, friendly use, modes etc. so if the customer will ask – what I will get else which I do not have at the CNC of my modern and last technology machine, the correct answer – nothing. Probably some software sales engineers try to ensure the customer that it is not true but it is only the reason that they want to sell their products. Now let us try to return for the topic of our article.

If you have 30 or 50 tons conventional press brake 20 years old with simple CNC or without and you want to prepare your bending tasks in professional mode with the purchase of modern external software – you can do it. You will do not get finally the integration with the old control but you can integrate the tooling in software and prepare bending tasks for the operator to run on the machine including the machine geometry in digital. But the main key idea that you invest the money for the old equipment and provably the price of software to purchase is nearly equal to the market price of your press brake.

But the other story if you have 600 tons machine – even the very very old it is quite expensive and probably the external software could be one of the possibilities to bring it to the new life in particular with the connection of modern model formats together with the old CNC. Moreover imagine the situation – you have 2-3 more or less modern CNC machine and your old big tonnage press brake that still in action and you need to control these all and probably with one entertainment. This could be also done with external software for sure.

Now let’s imagine the real situation. When you have one CNC press brake machine and one skilled operator you just need to do the job. You just need to have this one machine to use the main functions you want. When you have several machines with different tooling and probably different tool system you start the process of management how to operate with the machines and what machine will be more capable to do specific job. Not the loading of the machine and calculation of free time but the technological process do you have everything you need. But when you have more and more machines and flow of the operators (one is fired, one is ill, third never checked the programs on other machine and it is other system) you really can have the situation that you should prepare the jobs not by the operator and store them on CNC control but outside in the engineering or R&D department and then to send to the machine and to let the operator the main functions not to prepare the job but to control the work during action. So mainly – external software is the investment and the customer should understand perfectly why he needs it. And he could need it when he see that during the standard operation and programs preparation he has the lacks and problems with the operators, press brake interchangeable tools, operators knowledge of CNC controls etc. As any other investment in the fabrication customer will be ready to purchase external software if he will see that he can do additional money with it or he can save money (delays and problems) which are impossible to save without it.

Moreover as we told before – purchase of external bending software is also the reason to save money with the machine purchase. You do not need such functions like 3D simulation because you will have it outside of CNC control. So you can save some money with CNC model but without absence of functions and options you need.

The other story could be the connection with tool management so your engineering department will have in the library only active tools which are necessary for the job and planning of new parts will immediately will come with the question to make purchasement of new press brake tools to be prepared without running every time to workshop and discuss the situation and possibilities directly with operator. Yes, this information could come from the chief of workshop or storage manager but he can just identify the tooling without the information from somebody is it will be enough to make all bends you need.

Probably as the last reason could be the main following of the world to come with digital solutions to the production. External press brake software as the tool to control machines outside and will be connected with the main factory network is a good tool as one of the steps to digital technologies and Industry 4.0 which is required today for all modern productions.

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