We’ve had this machine since Sep 30 2013 and, as yet, have not been able to get any production out of it.
Larry Hess & Associates Inc., DBA Blast-It-All, have been constructing equipment by Press Brake for over 40 years. The main Press Brake operator is in his 60’s?, of limited schooling, and does everything on a calculator and in his head. Ask him about Bend Allowance, Bend Deduction, K-Factors, or anything of that nature, and he says “I don’t know what that is.” He is a completely self-taught pressman and has no knowledge/ information that I can practically apply to our Folder setup. I come from a Machine Design background using AutoCAD with ZERO Sheet Metal knowledge. We currently use SolidWorks 2012/ 2013 and have been operational with it for about two years. We found that the default K-Factor of 0.500 in SolidWorks worked fine for our Press Brake, so never needed to address it.
EVERYTHING I know about Sheet Metal comes from heavy reading in the SolidWorks User Forum and heavy web research. The best source I’ve found is http://www.ciri.org.nz/bendworks/ by Prof. Olaf Diegel in Auckland, NZ. I’ve completed “Reverse Engineering the K-Factor” on page 4 of his PDF http://www.ciri.org.nz/bendworks/bending.pdf (see ...FastiKFactor90180...PDF attachment) All measurements were meticulously recorded using a Digital Height Gauge and Granite Surface Block. Performing this K-Factor Study has shown us that our two Hi-Definition CNC Plasma tables can only provide Flat Blanks with an accuracy range of +/- 0.010. What ITI: International Technologies Inc. failed to communicate was that a Folder prefers a steady diet of 0.00X Flat Blanks. I entered all the study measurements into Excel and crunched the dataset. (see …BendWorksKFactor.xlsx attachment) Due to the +/- 0.010 accuracy range, I had to average the data to obtain a K-Factor for use in SolidWorks. We burned Blanks and started folding but got stuck at the 2nd Bend Step, the opposite hem. You are supposed to take your SW drawing, walk out to the Fasti, draw the bend profile graphically by touch screen, input all the drawing dimensions, and fold Blanks. The ITI Technical Guy beat into our heads that the Part Length given in the Graphical Controller is correct and we should calibrate SolidWorks to match it. Needless to say this has become the proverbial itch on the tail of the Bee.
The manuals shipped with the machine are NOT for our controller, (and don't exist yet) so it’s very difficult to learn anything from them. We must do a lot of experimentation just to try and understand how the controller operates. I have since learned, when angles from 175? – 180 degrees are needed, all the BendWorks formulas I have are rendered useless. The Outside Set Back cannot be calculated, because it becomes either too long, or parallel to infinity, thus unmeasurable. So far, my search for formulas to calculate 180 degree bends has yielded nothing. All I am able to find is hearsay, or “…my shop uses this…”, or some obscure references without any explanations. (See the …CustBendAllow.jpg attachment) These five choices in the drop list are available for hems in SolidWorks, but I don’t have the formulae to hand calculate them. Logically my gut tells me I need a different "value of one of those five choices" for my hems to give the correct Flat size. I just don't know where to go from here. We've bypassed our distributor and are going direct to the manfacturer for help, unfortunately they're in Germany. This is why I've decided to call upon my fellow SW'rs for help
LW20131223B_StudyHem_0.3542K.PDF (this is the Hem Study part I’m working on currently)
W20140116_HemSty1&2ScreenCaps_DownRez.pdf (this is the Hem Study Fasti Controller screen caps)
We desperately require help.
We have a February 1st “Begin Production" target date that is fast approaching.
Any help from the gurus is greatly appreciated!
Bryan D. "PETE" Peters
Larry Hess & Associates, Inc
Reference Information: Fasti CFP120 Folding Machine
10 page eBrochure: http://www.international-technologies.com/fasti-folds-brochure.html