The Hardox Bending Challenge
SweBend has successfully completed yet another machine delivery. This time around, it was for USA-based industrial equipment manufacturer ESCO Corporation, who approached us with a rather specific set of requirements. Fortunately, the SweBend team loves rising to engineering challenges such as this one, and we’re happy to report that the state-of-the-art plate bending machine we assembled for ESCO, has met the company’s exacting parameters of performance, precision and durability.
ESCO has a long history of developing machinery for mining, construction and other industrial purposes. In keeping with industry preferences (among them a continuously growing preference for durability with lightness), ESCO has been making excavator buckets out of increasingly sturdy variants of steel. Among these is the formidable Hardox plate (known as Abrasion Resistant plate in the USA). Hardox, with its extremely high yield strength of 1250N/mm2, is 5 times tougher than regular steel plates (which have a yield strength of 250N/mm2). This toughness is what gives Hardox plates their durability; but it also makes them exceedingly difficult to bend, especially through small radii.
Upgrading an OLD Machine
For the past 25 years, ESCO has been using a Roundo PAS420 in their equipment manufacturing setup. This Roundo bending machine has been successfully rolling Hardox plates and is still going strong. However, ESCO would now be making smaller machine parts using thick Hardox plates, and needed an upgrade that would let them bend these incredibly tough plates through small radii. The kind of drive torque, power and precision that this mammoth task would require, would place undue demands on their existing Roundo bending machine. As such, ESCO sought out SweBend for a new bending machine with these advanced plate rolling capabilities, along with the ability to serve their manufacturing needs for as long as the Roundo has done. Another reason for the purchase of the bigger machine was the capability to form thicker plates in-house that were previously being formed by an outside vendor. Thanks to our cutting edge plate bending machine know-how, and since all SweBend employees are former Roundo employees, we were familiar with the capabilities of Esco’s existing Roundo machine. Hence we easier outperformed it and tailored the perfect solution for ESCO.
Assembling The Perfect Bending Machine
When it comes to accurate and heavy-duty plate bending, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, at least in our book. For ESCO’s specific case, we decided upon our PB4-18-6 machine. We have specifically designed this sophisticated 4-roll machine to handle complex bending radii and deliver perfect results in a single pass. Its dedicated smaller diameter top roll handles small bending radii, and its pre-bending power and torque surpass all comparable machines currently on the market. Together, these features would allow ESCO to accurately bend thick Hardox plates, while retaining the ability to roll plates through small radii. Plus, like every SweBend machine, the PB4-18-6 is engineered with superior quality components to not just meet but in fact exceed industry standards of durability.
We further optimized ESCO’s new plate bending machine with SweBend’s proprietary CNC Type-7 Gold system. This intuitive HMI would significantly increase the speed, accuracy and repeatability of ESCO’s mass production tasks. The CNC Type-7 Gold offers advanced 8-axes controls, parallel control of side rolls, and electronic pressure control of the central roll, allows interpolation of one side roll at a time, and can receive remote diagnostics and regular software upgrades.
The Final Touch
ESCO’s new Hardox plate bending machine was now ready. As a final effort to streamline and future-proof it, we equipped it with a powered infeed table and shipped it with a spare parts package. The end result was completely in line with what SweBend always strives for – innovative machines that not only produce the best results with minimal effort, but are also built to last.
Unsure of how much control you’ll need? We’ll optimize the number of CNC-controlled axes for your bending requirements!
Perfectly Matched to Your Requirements
The bending machine was sold and delivered by Trilogy Machinery Inc, SweBend’s representative in the USA, Canada and Mexico. The installation went as planned, and we are proud to add ESCO Corporation to our list of satisfied customers. “The machine can be compared with the Hulk’s mean older brother,” is what ESCO had to say about the machine’s superior quality and bending force, and we believe they will hold on to that opinion for years to come!