The characteristic feature of press brakes is to move a tool, usually the upper tool or the bending punch, it moves towards a fixed tool (V-die) which sits on top of the bottom bed of the press, consequently bending the metal sheet placed between them. The freely accessible bending area of a press brake represents a serious risk of operators getting seriously injured by accidents, such as the injury or the loss of fingers or hands, which are frequently the consequences of accidents that happen at press brakes.
Therefore all applicable standards and accident preventing regulations stipulate the use of safety measures or accident at the press brakes.
In order to prevent accidents, Fiessler Elektronik in Esslingen/Germany has developed the patented AKAS-II press brake protection system. The aim and object of this innovative finger protection device for press brakes
Transmitter and receiver are combined securely to the ram of the machine and form a laser-optical safety light grid which is located in front of the bending punch and which moves simultaneously with the ram.
When a certain clearance between the tip of the tool and the metal sheet is reached, the machine control issues a muting command to the receiver element. At his point, the closing speed is reduced. For effective protection of the operators even during slow consequently bending, still more receiver elements are active. Only at the point where reaching into the gap between the and metal sheet is made impossible, the protective function of the is no more required. The bending procedure is now completed despite all beams being interrupted.
With the Laser-optical safety light grid, the hands remain free for handling the sheet metal during the operation under continuous protection of the extremities during the whole bending process.
Reprinted from The Precision Sheet Metal Chronicle, published by ASMA. Volume 8, Issue 5 – January 2006