Press Brake

Equipment Spotlight: New Press Brake in Santa Fe Springs

Press Brake

This past year, Kloeckner Metals’ Santa Fe Springs Branch upgraded their facility with a new press brake. The machine is a 750 ton, 28-foot, Cincinnati CNC press brake with back-gauges. This specific machine has a deep throat. It is a deeper throat so you can fit a plate deeper into the machine for bump-forming.

“It is kind of custom-made in that regard,” said Operations Manager Josh McCarty. “It gives us more access to form more arc length at the housing points.”

The new hydraulic machine has a major advantage over the older mechanical and pneumatic machines: it doesn’t have a stroke to it. The older machines need to bottom out all the way before they can come back up, which isn’t the case with the new press brake.

“Safety-wise, it is a big deal,” Josh said.

The new press brake’s CNC capabilities, back gauges, and pressure sensors also provide many advantages. The branch does a lot of bump-forming, making truck beds for example. In some parts, a two or three-foot section can take 20 to 40 hits. With the old machines, every hit had to be laid out by hand, manually moved, and shimmied into place. With the new CNC machine, you can just put a starting point, a radius, an end, set it up with the back-gauge, and go.

 “You keep the crane so you can support the material and the machine just does it, exactly where it needs to hit it,” Josh said. “Knowing exactly what to hit and where to hit it, the efficiencies go up 60 to 70 percent more than the older machines. Where our old press brake would take say an hour to do a job, we can do it in 20 minutes with this machine.”

The programs can also be saved for later use, further lessening lead times on repeat parts. Once you have your program and your set-up, you can just stand back, operate the crane, and make sure it is moving the plate correctly. Overall, the machine is safer and easier to operate.

 “The guys out there, they love it,” Josh said. “It is just a time-saver across the board.”

In addition to the new 750-ton press brake, the branch also recently got a new, smaller, 175 ton, 12-foot Cincinnati CNC. The smaller press brake replaces an old Amada machine that had seen the end of its days. With the two new press brakes, Santa Fe Springs is able to process a wide range of parts.

“We do a lot a lot of intricate gauge parts that we need the smaller press brake for, and that thing just pumps out the steel,” Josh said. “It is a good machine. They both are.”

Between the two new machines and the rest of the branch’s ever-expanding capabilities, they are able to satisfy a lot of different customer demands. They work with a wide range of gauges, up to 2 inches on the big press brake alone. Their die collection is between 200 and 300.

“I think we have a reputation in the marketplace here in Santa Fe Springs,” Josh said. “We have similar customers to our competitors, but they do the simple, easy stuff. They give us all the complex work because we can do it. Our guys out there are talented as well, on top of everything.”

Christopher Myers
Press Brake
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