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Member Since 2013


Midwest Engineering Systems Inc. provides custom machines, integrated systems, automation/robotic solutions, and production lines to manufactures globally. Our engineering staff has technical expertise, a diverse knowledge base, and has built thousands of integrated automation systems over the last 20+ years. Not only does MWES provide the new equipment, but also new process development, training, support, service, maintenance, and retrofits for all of a factory’s manufacturing equipment. Our design and build solutions include: customized robots, specialized End of Arm Tools (EOAT), cable solutions, vision systems, safety enclosures, process monitoring, control systems, and automation systems.

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Metals Metals

Material Handling Material Handling

Robotic Press Break-Automated Metal Bending

POSTED 08/14/2013

Midwest Engineering Systems Inc. (MWES) provided a Robotic Brake Press Tending System to automate the metal part bending process of a Bystronics Brake Press for a metal fabricator.  The goal is to completely automate the brake press to bend a variety of different parts.

The Challenge:

  • Must be capable of handling as many different parts as possible.
  • Some parts need to be bent in more than one location.
  • Ability to automatically change tooling.
  • Part weights were upwards of 500+ lbs.
  • Our customer provides product to the automotive and military industries and must maintain high quality standards on shipped finished goods as well as throughout the manufacturing process.

During the proposal stage, MWES performed a thorough evaluation of the current situation to provide a solution option.  In order to achieve all of the project’s goals, multiple solution options were analyzed before a final path was chosen.

The Solution:

After a review of existing specifications, process data, programs, and interviews with the engineering team, production managers and machine operations, MWES was able to execute a successful solution to our customer.  The comprehensive solution included:

  • ABB Robot System
  • Three Robot EOAT’s with Tool Change
    • Capable of handling many parts
    • Automatic tool changer/swivel unit
    • Vacuum/Magnetic Gripers to handle parts
  • BendWare Robot programming software
  • Part squaring table to justify the sheet metal blanks to be formed
  • Part re-grip station
    • Used to re-grip parts between bending cycles
    • Vacuum or magnetic grippers
    • Part present sensors
  • In feed and out feed station including guides and sensors
  • Implemented robot safety equipment, which meets ANSI/RIA standards for robot cell safety.
  • Electrical Enclosure with electrical panels and brake press control interface
    • Allows communication with brake press system
    • Discreet electrical interface connected to robot via Ethernet
  • Electrical & Mechanical Installation and on-site operator training at customer facility.  
  • On-site operator training at customer facility

Impact To the Customer:
The final solution added new features and capabilities to the press brake.  Some key enhancements are:

  • Increased productivity.  Machine can run 24/7
  • Improved worker safety by taking operators out of extremely heavy lifting situations
  • Improved quality variance of finished parts
  • Easy to operate user interface