Monday, April 30, 2018

Correct tool positioning the first time, every time

Achieve error-free set-up by adding intelligence!

Press brake bending demands are always changing. Parts are becoming increasingly complex with ever tighter tolerances. This requires precise press brake tools that are positioned accurately. Production batch sizes are becoming smaller and smaller, which means tools need to be changed more often. The demands placed on operators are increasing, while skilled operators are becoming more difficult to find. The result: the number of incorrect set-ups is increasing, which results in lost time, rejected products, and higher costs. How can we reverse this trend?

Add intelligence to tooling systems

One way to stop this downward spiral is to add intelligence to tooling systems, thereby making it easier and faster to identify specific tools and/or their position. There are two viable options:

1- Recognize tooling via QR code or Data Matrix
The QR code and Data Matrix are both two dimensional bar codes, which can be applied via an inscription or sticker. Both can be read using a scanner when collecting tooling-related information.

2- Recognize and position tooling using ID tag and electronics in the clamping system
Tools can also be outfitted with a chip (an ID tag). This chip contains a unique serial number and is linked to a database where tooling information about the profile, length, and maximum load is stored. In order to read the chip and gain access to the tool database, electronics are placed inside the clamping system (the Tool Holder) so signals can be received from each tool. When combined with the DIN controller and the IPC of the press brake, a closed circuit is created which can be used to recognize and position tooling. 

WILA’s advice

The best way to add intelligence to the bending process is to place ID tags on tools and electronics inside the clamping system. WILA has done this by developing the TIPS system (Tooling Identification and Positioning System): TIPS allows tools to be recognized, regardless of which position they are in. This leads to fast, error-free set-up, saving time, improving quality, reducing rejections, and cutting costs.

Are you looking to create a smarter bending process or considering a new press brake?

Consider the TIPS system when buying a new machine. WILA would be pleased to advise you on the possibilities. Phone +31 (0) 573 289 850 or send an e-mail to

Correct tool positioning the first time, every time

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