A Remarkably Flexible Sheet Metal Fabricating System

Interesting and innovative technology on display at EuroBlech '96 last November was to be seen in the Salvagnini booth.

Article From: 3/1/1997 Modern Machine Shop

Perhaps the most interesting and innovative technology on display at EuroBlech '96 last November was to be seen in the Salvagnini booth. For example, its S4+P4 Flexible System, the epitome of this company's developments in the field, enable punching, shearing and folding work to be carried out completely automatically and in an integrated way, all in accordance with the diverse configurations necessary to meet a users' specific requirements. In one installation, this system begins with pre-painted panels and ends with a complete piece of furniture.

Such advances did not come about overnight. Salvignini developed its first panel making machine in 1977. This product was capable of folding a sheet of metal and rounding off several sides automatically. In 1979, the first punching press/shearing machine dedicated to a panel making machine was introduced, thus creating what the company considers the first sheet metal FMS.

This success led to growth. Today, Salvignini has more than 1200 installations in 37 countries around the world. It has two production facilities, the first and main one in Italy at Sarego, in the province of Vicenza; the second in Austria, in Linz, which employ 500 and 100 people respectively. Seven companies engaged in sales and service in the main industrialized countries such as Italy, Germany, France, Sweden, the United States, Japan and Korea form its network of agents and service centers. The U.S. office, Salvagnini America Inc., is located in Hamilton, Ohio.

The S4+P4 Flexible System combines the technologies of the company's S4 punching/shearing system and its P4 panel making system into a single, flexible system. The multiple, independent hydraulic press head makes it possible, with one pass of the sheet and with minimum movement of the piece being worked, to carry out several operations, some simultaneously. The automatically adjusted shears with angular, independent blades, make it possible to make cuts of any length along both axes, minimizing flash and rough edges. The folding group allows an unlimited number of folds both upwards and downwards, while keeping the angle of fold constant as the panel varies, and can work on sheets with different thicknesses using the same tool. The rigidity of the latter guarantees high working quality, independent of the length and thickness of the panel.

The two manipulation systems--one with several pincers on the S4 system for punching and shearing, the other with vise and rotary group for paneling on the P4 system--help guarantee precision of movement.

The system is characterized by high levels of automation: monitoring of the machines to check productivity levels; management of price/product codes; execution of feeding, transfer, and stacking functions, and the unloading of the sheets or panels--magnetically or non-magnetically--in a completely automatic way; and automatic switching-off of the pumps at the end of production.

Computer control of the entire system is provided by the Salvagnini-developed SYSCON control. It is designed to bring together high performance with simplicity of use in terms of programming and the man-machine interface. SYSCON control optimizes not only the working parameters but, in an operating context based on computer integration and its hierarchic levels, also enables the system to be handled as elements automatically integrated in the specific customer's context. This means that, besides guaranteeing high levels of speed and precision of the interpolated axes, SYSCON control provides such functions as CAM, reporting, graphic simulation of the working cycles in off-line mode, and a range of application packages for optimizing production. These applications range from manual/automatic nesting to the automatic generation of the cycle, starting from the design of a finished product; from warehouse management to the monitoring of plant productivity.

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