Whether cutting, punching, folding, bending, welding or assembling – in all areas of sheet metal processing, stresses in the sheet play a decisive role. Together with the flatness of blanks, they have a considerable influence on all upstream and downstream production processes. Professionally straightened plates are low-stress, have the required flatness and can therefore be optimally processed further.
250 to 300 tons of material per month are processed by Swan’s 275 employees. The Indian company, founded in 1958 by M.P. Samuel, has developed into a leading manufacturer of sheet metal components and has successfully established itself in the field of contract manufacturing for the electrical industry. With two well-equipped plants in the Chennai metropolitan region in southeastern India, Swan can supply its customers with high-quality products such as cable ducts or housings for electrical equipment. The machine park with two laser machines, two punching machines, five press brakes and a swivel bending machine, with robot welding, CNC milling, CNC turning and powder coating has now been expanded to include a parts leveler from Kohler.
Directed parts for highest cost and process optimization
The Indian manufacturer and supplier of control panels, cable management systems and sheet metal housings knows only too well that the punched and laser-cut sheets have to be straightened before further processing. The flatter and less stressed the parts for the electrical industry, the better they can be edged, bent, welded and ultimately assembled.
The advantages are the higher repeatability of the bending angle during bending and the accuracy of fit of the parts during welding, as the stresses in the sheet metal can be reduced to a minimum and the parts have less distortion. As a result, downstream work becomes process-safe and more efficient, as time-consuming rework is eliminated.
Peak Performer 30P.1300 successfully commissioned at Swan
The sheet metal specialist, which mainly serves manufacturers of electrical equipment from India, the Middle East and the USA, mainly straightens steel and stainless steel sheets in thicknesses from 0.80 to 4.0 mm. Depending on the respective component, a precision of up to 0.10 mm/m is required for straightening. It’s hard to believe that the parts had previously been manually straightened using a 60-year-old knuckle-joint press.
“Manual straightening did not allow us to achieve optimal results. Since our customers demand tight flatness tolerances on the end product, we have even had to turn down one or two orders. Tolerances are a decisive factor in the machining of steel. The flatness is referred to as positional tolerance.
Steel is under tension after punching or cutting and can therefore warp. For example, if a tight tolerance with a value of 0.10 is required by the customer, this means that the part made of steel lying on a perfectly ground stone plate may only protrude 0.10 mm from this plate. Apart from the inaccurate straightening results, manual straightening on our old knuckle-joint press carries a huge risk of accidents,” explains Johan Benny Samuel, Managing Director at Swan.
Success factor straightening
Performance, higher quality, safety and time savings – Swan can now achieve these benefits with the new Kohler parts leveler. The Peak Performer can achieve a higher quality of the products made from these parts. On the 30P.1300, straightening parts takes only a few seconds, and after only one pass, the straightened plates have the required flatness.
The tensions are also significantly reduced. Both upstream work processes such as cutting and punching and downstream work processes such as folding, bending, welding and assembly can be carried out better and without costly reworking.
“We spent a long time looking for a suitable supplier who could provide us with a suitable straightening machine for our parts. In the end, we came across the manufacturer Kohler, who convinced us holistically in terms of straightening technology. Suitable machine concept, additional features, competent advice, professional order processing – the decision for Kohler was not difficult for us,” explains Johan Benny Samuel.
Easy and quick cleaning included
The ease of use of the advanced cleaning system immediately won Swan over. Regular cleaning of the straightening rolls and back-up rolls from dirt particles cannot be neglected – especially when a mix of steel and stainless steel is processed. This prevents abrasion from being deposited on the straightening material and dirt or even scratches from affecting the straightening material.
“The fully extendable straightening cassette means that the rolls and rollers can be effortlessly cleaned by just one person between two straightening jobs. This additional feature not only improves our straightening results by avoiding contamination, but also reduces our scrap enormously,” Johan Benny Samuel concludes.
Convenient operation via touch display
Kohler was also able to convince the sheet metal specialist ad hoc in the operation of the Peak Performer. The human-machine interface is designed to be simple and intuitive so that operators can quickly find the correct material-dependent setting. Already saved settings for known parts can also be accessed quickly, which makes work much easier.
Last but not least, the Kohler parts leveler scored with Swan’s environmental plus. The Peak Performer 30P.1300 is not only powerful, but also energy efficient and thus environmentally friendly to boot. Because: All Kohler dividing levelers operate without hydraulics. The result: low maintenance, zero leakage, insensitivity to temperature fluctuations, higher energy efficiency and thus improved environmental compatibility.