For shops investing in new machines, it’s not uncommon to create efficiencies in some areas while simultaneously exposing inefficiencies in others. This is exactly the situation Sureway Tool found itself in after installing two new laser cutters in 2011 and 2013.

Courtesy of The Fabricator

Although advancements like automated loading and unloading made it possible for the company to rapidly accelerate production with its laser cutters, it quickly become clear that its fleet of fifteen older hydraulic press brakes simply wasn’t able to keep pace.

In a recent article, the FABRICATOR profiled Sureway’s experience—the challenges it faced and steps it took to address them. We’ve highlighted some of the key points below, so continue reading to learn more.

Finding the Right Press Brake for Sureway’s Needs

Courtesy of The Fabricator

When evaluating new press brakes and assessing its options, three attributes Sureway was looking for included:

  • Speed and Versatility: Sureway takes on a large number of unique jobs like point-of-purchase retail displays that require case-by-case customization and rapid turnarounds.
  • Adaptability: Having a press brake able to accommodate third-party tooling was crucial for Sureway, as the company didn’t want to lock itself into working with a single vendor.
  • Ease of Use: Only two to three people per shift had the knowledge and ability to set up Sureway’s hydraulic press brakes. Sureway wanted to change that with its new press brakes and make sure each operator would be able to set up their own machine.

After trialing three different types of press brakes, a clear winner emerged—the SafanDarley E-Brake.

Getting SafanDarley E-Brake’s on Sureway’s Shop Floor

By June 2018, Sureway had eight SafanDarley E-Brakes in operation alongside six remaining hydraulic press brakes.

“The more familiar they get with the equipment, the better the transition is going to be,” said Tim Berger, Sureway Tool director of operations, “but I can say that we’ve already seen a 20 to 30 percent reduction in labor running the same or more through the bending department in the last three months.”

Overall, investing in SafanDarley E-Brakes has led to a number of positive developments for Sureway:

  • The E-Brake’s user-friendly touch-screen interface makes it easy for operators to input material measurements and bend angles.
  • With the hydraulic clamping and precision tooling system, operators no longer need to tighten tools individually. Instead, they can clamp with the simple push of a button and rely on the E-Brake’s hardened clamping frames to deliver accurate tool positioning every time.
  • The E-Brake’s energy efficient design has helped Sureway reduce its energy use and even take advantage of incentives from its local energy provider.
  • An embedded light curtain allows operators to choose whether or not they want to use the foot pedal to operate their press brake.
  • Maintenance needs have been drastically reduced since only a small amount of hydraulic fluid is used to run the E-Brake’s hydraulic clamping system.

Today, Sureway is looking confidently ahead towards a future that includes a transition to offline programming, a route it has already taken with its laser cutters. Moving in the same direction with its press brake department will further increase Sureway’s bending capacity and enable its ongoing growth and expansion.

What Can a SafanDarley E-Brake Do for Your Shop?

SafanDarley’s lineup of servo-electric press brakes deliver unparalleled speed, accuracy, and durability:

  • Accelerate cycle times by up to 30%.
  • Reduce energy use by 50%, as the E-Brake only uses energy when the upper beam is in motion.
  • Put less strain on operators thanks to user-friendly controls and software.
  • Simplify maintenance by virtually eliminating oil with a fully electric drive.

This all adds up to producing better results more quickly and improving your bottom line.

Westway Machinery is the exclusive distributor for SafanDarley press brakes in Canada. Get in touch with us today to learn how an E-Brake can help you streamline your manufacturing processes!

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