On February 3, 2023, Amada announced the new electric bending machine “EGB” series and revealed details such as new functions for worker support ( Fig. 1 ). The actual machine was unveiled at the “Amada Global Innovation Center” (Isehara City, Kanagawa Prefecture), which opened on the same day. A function to monitor the positional relationship between the workpiece and the jig, which is difficult for the operator to see, with a camera inside the processing machine, and a function to operate the device by voice are provided.
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The EGB series has a tablet on the front of the machine that moves left and right following the operator. The operator can obtain information from the screen while facing the front. There is no need to go back to the NC unit on the left end of the machine or hold a tablet while working, and both hands can be used to hold the workpiece or operate the machine.
At the start of processing, the operator can instruct the machine by voice. The machine returns a voice message to the worker’s earphone, etc. It is no longer necessary for the operator to raise and lower the work once and walk to the left end of the machine in order to press the button of the NC unit, as in the past.
The tablet displays various processing advice. One of them, the “butting monitor” function, uses a camera to photograph how the work is butting against the positioning jig fixed at the back of the bending machine, It is displayed on the tablet superimposed with a translucent figure that indicates the direction.
In a bending machine, an operator holds a sheet metal work by hand and positions the work so that the die (punch) comes down along the bending line. At this time, if the abutment of the work is insufficient or the orientation of the work is misaligned, the punch hits the work at a location that is not aligned with the bending line of the work, so that highly accurate bending cannot be performed. However, it is difficult for the operator to see where the jig hits the workpiece, and the operator has to judge whether the jig hits the workpiece correctly based on the response . .
In the EGB series, a camera is installed near the jig in the processing machine so that even inexperienced workers can work without relying on intuition and intuition. In addition, the machining results are measured in real time and displayed on a tablet so that the operator can check on the spot whether or not a sufficient angle has been obtained ( Figs. 3 and 4 ).