On guard at all times at Procter Machine Safety

Caerphilly manufacturer opts for press brake that offers high levels of productivity

Posted on 26 Feb 2019 and read 1186 times
On guard at all times at Procter Machine SafetyCaerphilly-based Procter Machine Safety, a renowned manufacturer of guarding for machinery, is benefitting from the performance and quality of a newly installed Trumpf TruBend 5130 CNC press brake from Trumpf Ltd, Luton (www.trumpf.com).

The machine has been acquired to increase bending capacity at the company’s 100-employee manufacturing plant, where it has been joined by Trumpf’s TruTops Boost programming software.

Procter Machine Safety is a leading designer and manufacturer of machine guards, serving global markets including the UK, Europe, the Middle East and the USA.

Customers trust the company’s capability and expertise when it comes to standard, modular or bespoke machine guards for compliance with health-and-safety regulations.

Machine guards have been manufactured by the company for over a century, but as part of Procter Bros Ltd, it can trace its roots back to 1740, when William Varley founded the business (in Yorkshire) as a producer of agricultural and domestic wire products.

Today, Procter Machine Safety counts ‘blue chip’ OEMs among its customers, including Toyota, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, Airbus, Bentley, Cadbury, BMW, Procter & Gamble, Tata Steel, Ford, Heinz and Unilever.

It also serves many small and medium-size companies.

Machine guards are fabricated from welded wire mesh, as well as sheet steel, stainless steel, aluminium and polycarbonate.

With regard to sheet bending processes, the company recently sought to expand its press-brake capacity in response to growing orders from all sectors of industry.

John Procter, director of machine safety, said: “We have comprehensive plans for growth, both in the UK and export markets.

“Of course, we can only move forward through investment in the latest manufacturing technologies, which is a long-held business strategy at Procter.”

The company duly commenced a review of the leading press-brake suppliers and was pleasantly surprised with what it found.

“To be honest, we assumed that Trumpf machines would be too expensive, so we initially discounted them for that reason.

Proctor Machine image 2“Nevertheless, we arranged a visit; we were impressed by the press brakes on offer, and the prices were cheaper than we envisaged.”

Procter Machine Safety opted for a TruBend 5130, which is designed to offer the highest levels of productivity across programming, set-up and bending.

Moreover, innovative features such as lower tool displacement and five-axis back-gauge functionality provide complete production freedom.

Since installation, the TruBend 5130 has been set to work producing parts for machine guards made from mild steel, aluminium and stainless steel (typically from 1 to 5 mm in thickness).

Many of the parts are made to order, so they are either one-offs or produced in small batches.

Mr Procter said: “We like the bending aid. This helps with lifting and has allowed us to increase efficiencies, due to less man-hours being required on any given job; we have been able to cut shifts by up to half.

“In addition, thanks to the capabilities of the TruBend 5130, we can now bend parts that were previously not possible.”

In terms of tangible savings, the Trumpf press brake has made a positive contribution to the company’s bottom line.

Mr Procter said: “I would estimate that the machine is around 15% faster than our existing press brake capacity.

"In addition, we are enjoying labour cost savings, as well as benefitting from less human error, which in turn means reduced scrap.”

All machine guards from Procter Machine Safety are supplied with a Declaration of Conformity to the Machinery Directive, giving customers an assurance that they comply with current machine safety standards and regulations.

Furthermore, the company adheres to the ISO 9001 quality management system.

Proctor Machine image 3“We use our combined experience and know-how to design, manufacture, assess and install high-quality safety-compliant machine guards to keep people safe in a forever-changing industrial world.

“Our service extends from machine surveys, risk assessments, consultation and guarding design through to manufacture, finishing, delivery, and mechanical and electrical installation.

“From concept to completion, we provide full turn-key machine safeguarding solutions.”

Underpinning this service is the reliability of Procter’s manufacturing machinery — boosted by the arrival of the TruBend 5130.

“We are yet to experience a breakdown of the Trumpf press brake, in contrast with some of our other recently installed machines.

“In one instance, we required frequent engineer visits for the first four months of operation.”

To support Procter’s investment in the TruBend 5130, the company has also invested in TruTops Boost programming software.

This merges into a single system all the steps needed to generate sheet-metal manufacturing programs at the touch of a button.

The enhanced automation offered by the software means that creating NC programs for sheet-metal processes is quick and easy, since the calculations are carried out automatically.

The software also includes full 3-D CAD design functionality.

To demonstrate the potential of TruTops Boost, Procter can use the software to accept and handle assemblies.

When a 3-D CAD file is read into TruTops Boost, the software sub-divides the assembly into individual sheet-metal parts and sets them up for processing.

The automatic unfolding of parts then follows, as does preparation of the bending program.

“As a lot of our work is bespoke, TruTops Boost helps break down the assemblies into less complex elements,” concludes Mr Procter.

“We are finding that the software reduces waste, both in terms of time and material, ultimately helping us to make parts right first time.”

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