Ever more sophisticated processes and the continuous trend for on-demand production characterize the new tube bending manufacturing – complex geometries of the components, new materials and the call for lower unit costs and the simultaneously rapidly changing batch sizes set the tone. Production planners must adapt to this situation, and this ultimately increases the demands on the machine operators. They must implement changes reliably. Schwarze-Robitec reacts to these developments with a new operating concept and the integration of new functions in its CNC-controlled bending systems. As a further development of the high-performance control system for bending machines NxG, which was presented last year, Schwarze-Robitec now introduces the next evolutionary step, the NxG 2.0. By simplifying and focusing on the essentials of the operating concept and new opportunities in the networking of bending machines, the flexibility is greatly increased in the production of bending products.
In order to make the bending technology fit for Industry 4.0, basic modules were integrated into the NxG 2.0 controller. Thus, in addition to the standard statistics on bent components, process data can be gathered and evaluated. Integrated sensors provide information on wear values or, for example, the consumption of lubricants and allow to draw conclusions about the expected bending result, the state of the bending tools or the need for maintenance of the machine. This process data of the bending machine are backed up on the corporate network or in the cloud. The data is collected at a central location and can always be retrieved and analyzed in strict compliance with data protection. Statistical information is viewed in real time.
The state of the machine and the degree of wear of the tools are permanently transparent. All of the above contributes to the maintenance of production capacity and increased flexibility through transparent machine data.
Intuitive machine operation
In the course of further development, the HMI control panel has also been further optimized. Now the advanced software with icon interface provides high process reliability and intuitive operation. The motto of "Simplification" is stamped on every detail: With the help of icons, all operations are clearly arranged and structured. For example, the user finds stylized, meaningful icons for different categories, such as parameters for dimensions, the transport, the tool clamping or guide rails. "This makes the development of bending programs or the input of tool data easier. Moreover, all entries are always inspected for validity, therefore, conflicting inputs are prevented", explains Bert Zorn, Managing Director of Schwarze-Robitec. The CNC NxT 2.0 also includes an advanced user management system. This allows the assignment of different user-level to employees: starting with the operation of the tube bending production to complex processes, such as production planning, bending equipment and optimization of the product or integration into the company's infrastructure. "We have a complete package of software and hardware interlinked; this will significantly improve the future productivity of the bending production," Mr. Zorn concluded. "It is a crucial step towards flexible, and at the same time, stable processes". At the middle of 2016, the NxG 2.0 controller will be delivered to the first customers.