Hydraulic Power, Electric Efficiency
The development of the mechanical press brake revolutionized the metal bending world. While not replacing hand-powered sheet metal leaf brakes, the new brakes utilized a motor, flywheel and eccentric crank to drive a ram and bend thicker plate metals. Whole new areas of fabrication were opened up as a result, and as press brake technology improved over the years, greater control and precision were added, along with ever increasing bending power.
Hydraulic press brakes really changed the metal fab game. Although the ram speeds were slowed, power could be maintained throughout the bending cycle. The innovation of separate hydraulic cylinders on either side of the ram—along with CNC controls that provided minute control of each cylinder’s movement—made for more reliable bending.
Electric press brakes were later conceived, employing either a screw-type direct drive or a system of pulleys and belts to actuate the ram. Electric brakes offered rapid acceleration and deceleration of the ram, along with eliminating the time needed in hydraulic systems to shift between speed changes. Ideal for quickly bending small parts, electric press brakes have increased in popularity as fabricators have sought to reduce the costs—and the noise—involved in production.
Press brake engineers kept improving both hydraulic and electric brakes until someone came up with the bright idea to combine the benefits of both into a single hybrid machine. Sometimes referred to as “servo press brakes,” hybrid hydraulic-electric brakes use hydraulic pressure to drive the ram but control the direction of the ram movement via AC servomotors.
Hybrid brakes usually use less hydraulic fluid, and the hydraulics are not always flowing as they do in traditional brakes, which make hybrid units more efficient. Hydraulic directional valves are eliminated, so no time is wasted waiting for valve shifts. The limited hydraulic use also makes hybrid press brake operation relatively quiet. The constant droning common to hydraulic brakes is replaced by a quiet idle time with noise spikes occurring only during ram movement, something operators in already noisy shops will appreciate.
With the lower energy consumption, hybrid press brakes offer lower production costs, making them more affordable over the long run than their fully-hydraulic counterparts—and a whole lot “greener,” too.
Be a Genius in the Shop with RMT Hybrid Technology
Revolution Machine Tools provides metal fabrication equipment tailored to every shop’s specific needs. For example, RMT offers several “R” (for “Roll”) series of plate rolls, such as the R-ECO Series of economical initial pinch rolls for small bending and the R-SMART Series of 4-roll plate rolls that were developed to tackle the most demanding applications in modern fabrication.
Likewise, Revolution Machine Tools supplies different “B” (for “Brake”) series of press brakes to fulfill the desires of any fabrication facility, such as the B-SMART Series of brakes suitable for most needs with their larger working areas (daylight, throat depth and stroke) than the average press brake on the market, and providing control of up to five axes, capacities up to 660 tons and lengths up to 20′ (and more if used in tandem, trio or quad configurations of multiple brakes). For the more exacting fabricator, however, RMT has unveiled its B-GENIUS line.
The RMT B-GENIUS Series of hydraulic brakes incorporate all the features found in the B-SMART models, but come standard with 7-axis CNC (expandable to 16 or more axes) and include deluxe bells and whistles like CNC crowning systems, servo-driven back gauge systems and 3D capable graphical control units. RMT wasn’t satisfied to stop there and introduced the B-GENIUS-E Series of electric press brakes for customers wanting something different.
Always striving to meet the expectations of all fabricators, Revolution Machine Tools also released the B-GENIUS-H Series of hybrid press brakes, bringing together the power of their hydraulic brakes with the efficiency and energy savings of their electric ones. At present, nearly 20 models are available, with sizes ranging from 8.5′ to 14′ and capacities from 110 to 300 tons.
B-GENIUS-H press brakes provide precise bends even for small parts with different bending points, with the most accurate bending available in the market, between +/- .00003″ (smaller than one micron!). They are also the quietest press brakes, with a TUV-SUD certified noise level of 63db, and are extremely eco-friendly, with an energy savings of 65% over standard machines.
Even though B-GENIUS-H brakes still utilize hydraulic oil, they handle it far more efficiently than conventional hydraulic press brakes:
- They use 95% less oil, reducing manufacturing costs.
- Their highly efficient oil pumps combined with the use of servo motors are able to complete jobs in record time.
- They don’t use proportional valves that cause pressure loss.
- The Y1 and Y2 cylinders have stand-alone oil tanks that require very little maintenance.
- The problems of over-heated hydraulic oil are eliminated because the pumping system doesn’t run when the brake is in stand-by mode.
- They require fewer oil changes, usually not until 7,000 working hours.
Like all B-GENIUS press brakes, the hybrid series offers the value of large open heights, large strokes and large throat depths, as well as standard multiple axis control (Y1, Y2, Z1, Z2, X and R precision servo-driven back gauge). Optional additional axes are available, such as X1, X2, X Prime (Delta X), R1, R2, etc.
B-GENIUS-H press brakes are equipped with top-of-the-line Delem DA-66T touch screen CNC control units with 3D graphical visualization. An optional upgrade to a Delem DA-69T touch screen 2D/3D CNC control is available, and the control can be changed out for a Cybelec ModEva control for users that prefer it.
Not all the innovations of B-GENIUS-H brakes can be seen from the front. Moving around behind the machine shows that it comes standard with back CNC crowning, a stable and fast AC servo motor-driven precision back gauge with linear guide and ball bearing system (X, R, Z1, Z2) and even a rear work light.
Like all machines from Revolution Machine Tools, B-GENIUS-H press brakes are built with world-class electronic components that are easily replaceable off the shelf from local suppliers—but also always in stock at RMT—and that are produced by such manufacturers as Siemens, Schneider and Mitsubishi.
Multiple B-GENIUS-H press brakes can be combined in tandem, trio and even quad configurations to achieve greater bending lengths. Custom higher tonnage models (that are still flush to the floor) are available for special order.
If you are a fabrication shop owner, manager or machine operator and want to evaluate the latest innovations for your next press brake purchase, be sure to check out the hybrid press brakes currently on the market, starting (and likely ending!) at Revolution Machine Tools, where cutting-edge technology is incorporated in every model of every metal fab machine offered.