Cross-module System for High-tech Presses
ebu Umformtechnik is expanding its product range of high-tech automatic punching presses and introducing new standardised press series and a superordinate transverse tool kit for press modules. At EuroBLECH, ebu Umformtechnik will be showing a fineblanking pad integrated into the press table, thus enabling the production of fineblanked parts on standard presses.
ebu Umformtechnik GmbH is known for its modular and customer-specific high-end punching lines. The company has now extended its product range to include three standardised press series for universal and cost-efficient use and has expanded its modular system into a transverse tool kit system across all series. The Bayreuth-based company is thus offering mass-produced machines for a range of market sectors at attractive prices. And standardisation creates room for innovative developments: At EuroBLECH (25-28 October; Hall 27 - Booth E93), ebu Umformtechnik, jointly with WEBO, will exhibit a 250-tonne standard press on which fineblanked parts can also be produced. A fineblanking pad is integrated into the machine for this purpose.
Many advantages through standardisation
For more than 20 years, ebu has been using a modular concept for the construction of automatic punching presses and complete lines. So far, mainly for the implementation of customer-specific solutions, often at the technical limits. "We are still doing this sort of milestone project," says Stephan Mergner, who was Technical Manager at ebu Umformtechnik until 2009, before taking on a range of executive roles at other companies. Since spring 2020, he has been running the business in Bayreuth jointly with Mark Malkomes. "What was missing was standard presses in the medium and lower price segments, for which there is a relatively large market."
In these circumstances, ebu Umformtechnik has rethought its previous business strategy and standardised and expanded the existing modular system. "We looked at the preferred sizes of the last ten years and thus generated three series with fixed sizes in addition to our individual presses," Stephan Mergner points out. In the future, there will be eight sizes in the ebu-SELECT M series in steel-welding monobloc version, five in the ebu SELECTG with split press body, and three in the smart ebu SELECT S series, each with fixed press forces and table sizes. In addition, ebu SELECT C is a newly designed series of C-frame presses.
The interfaces are standardised for all sizes of the standardised series. And as far as possible, components and assemblies from the drives to the power-transmitting elements to the controls are designed as modules that can be interchanged across all series. Just as in the automotive industry, a large number of identical parts can be used to assemble different press types with cost-effective, mass-produced modules. At the same time, this approach makes it easier to hold spare parts in stock and provides the user with security in terms of spare part availability in the longer term. More importantly still, this transverse tool kit makes it possible to adapt machines that have already been in operation for a fairly long period of time to new tasks by changing the modules. For example, a contract puncher whose orders change completely after perhaps five years could convert its automatic punching presses to a machine suitable for deep drawing. With a transverse changeover to a servo drive, the machine then offers the required higher working capacity.
On the advantages of a transverse tool kit
The two series ebu SELECTTM M and ebu SELECTTM G have evolved from the previous individual punching presses and operate with the longitudinal shaft drive favoured at ebu, which offers high speeds, performance and precision. Both series are built in Bayreuth and use high-quality components from trusted suppliers. They are designed for users who value quality, precision and performance, but are also willing to compromise on features, for example.
If users are primarily concerned with costs, ebu will in future be bringing the new ebu SELECTTM S series into play for price-sensitive requirements. The machine is based on a trusted press series from the Chinese press manufacturer Jiangsu Xuzhou Metalforming Machine Group Co, Ltd, which has been a shareholder of the Bayreuth-based company since 2016. Around 60 percent of the presses with a cost-effective transverse shaft drive are pre-assembled in China and finalised by ebu. The interfaces of this press series are standardised for the ebu transverse tool kit so that ebu modules can be interchanged. "These presses achieve a performance level that represents a good compromise between price and performance, but offer the identical control and automation options at a price advantage of around 40 percent," according to Stephan Mergner.
The series are complemented by a new design of the C-frame ebu SELECTTM C presses, which are also compatible with the transverse tool kit. And the entire modular system would not be complete without the ebu AUTOMATION automation package, which includes standardised components from the coiler to the feeder for setting up complete lines. The standardisation extends to the interfaces for connecting devices and components from external ebu suppliers. For example, an interface is provided in the control system for external feeds, which are thus integrated into the control system and the user interface of the ebu control system.
With the transverse tool kit and the standardised press series, complete lines can be put together comparatively quickly from the catalogue. And the modular system is so versatile that customers can even choose between accommodating all the units either in a unit carrier above the press or in a power tower provided.
"We recently configured a complete system for a customer in just under an hour and a half," says Stephan Mergner. Customers with additional special requirements will find a specifically tailored solution in the ebu CUSTOMIZEDTM series.
Fineblanking on standard presses
The standardisation of the series creates room for creative and innovative ideas, points out Stephan Mergner, because you don't have to deal with the fundamental aspects again for each machine. One of these innovative ideas will be exhibited as a highlight at Euroblech: A standard press of the ebu SELECTTM M series with 250 t pressing force and a fully integrated fineblanking pad from WEBO. This tool allows fineblanking operations to be carried out on a universal press, for which a triple-acting press is standardly used. During fineblanking, a counterholder supports the sheet on the side opposite the blanking punch, ensuring an almost 100 percent smooth cut and straight cut edges. Often the cut surfaces of the fineblanked parts can be used directly as functional surfaces. Special fineblanking presses are usually only commercially viable in large quantities. In practice, die cuts are also sufficient for many components. Often only a few perforations or punchings in fineblanking qualities are required. Or for long progressive dies, counterholders are required at several positions. In these cases, the fineblanking pad helps. "It's kind of a drawing cushion that we've integrated into the table that forms the arm bracket. The fineblanking pad can be moved longitudinally in the table and can be positioned at any point," explains Stephan Mergner. Toolmaker WEBO offers the patented system in its tools. It requires a press with greater die installation height. The integration of the WEBO fineblanking pad is the result of close cooperation between WEBO and ebu Umformtechnik and is only offered in this form by ebu.
Immediately available machines
"We took a year off from the show because we didn't want to go public with our new programming until everything was working. Now we are ready," says Stephan Mergner. Interested customers can view and check the machines and lines in operation at any time in-house or in the factory halls in Bayreuth. Thanks to series production, ebu Umformtechnik also has a large number of machines with a high degree of completion available at short notice. In times of a problematic procurement market for standard mechanical and electronic components, this is an added bonus.