QUADRUS Metalltechnik GmbH, founded in 1998 by two brothers in Schmidgaden operates as a classic contract manufacturer. Their customer base is in the agricultural machinery construction, trailer construction, machine construction, plant- and vehicle construction and are located regionally. The core competence of QUADRUS lays in the production technologies of fully automated laser cutting 24/7, punching / nibbling, sawing / cutting, surface treatment, welding (hand/robot/laser) and forming. In these fields, QUADRUS has positioned themselves as a customer-oriented innovator with very high technological know-how. Around 280 employees process approximately 1,100 tons of sheet metal and 200 tons of profi les every month on a production site that covers more than 20,000 square meters (www.quadrus.de).
Coming from the fi eld of welding technology for agricultural machinery, the contract manufacturer QUADRUS Metalltechnik until now only worked with press brakes. Having received new orders for sheet metal with thicknesses below 8 mm and the due to the desire for extensive automation, a new folding machine has been acquired a few month ago. The Schröder MAK 4 Evolution UD with Advanced Handling System (AHS) allows effi cient operation and lean partial automation of the folding process.
Bending large sheets on press brakes require either 2 to 3 operators or a very big robot. Here the folding technology shows „natural“ advantages: At QUADRUS one operator places the large sheet metal on the machine table using a lifting crane with vacuum grippers. He can
easily position the sheets for the bending process, which then happens fully automated: The sheet gets aligned by a video system; the lean AHS unit with suction plates fixes the sheet and moves it to the folding beam. Forward, backward and rotation – all movements are precisely
performed and optically controlled by the AHS. The MAK 4 Evolution UD works with the Upand-Down technique. The folding beam can bend both ways, from bottom to top and from top to bottom. Thus, there is no need to turn over the sheets. This is how the work piece is bent,
even the finest radii are possible using the so-called radius step bending function. Backlashfree planetary gears for power transmission and embedded lead screws ensure high bending forces with very low wear and maintenance. The MAK 4 Evolution UD achieves a positioning
accuracy of 0.1 millimeters or rather 0.1 degrees across all axes.
The fully integrated tool changer allows automatic tool changing. The operation of the machine is done with Schroder’s own graphic controller, the POS 3000. Bending programs can get loaded directly from CAD/CAM systems or as DXF files from higher-level production systems or they can get created and modified directly at the machine. Also fully integrated into the software of the MAK 4 Evolution UD is the AHS handling system. Whereas Robots used on press brakes often have to get integrated separately and need complex synchronization with the processes in the machine.
„After a demonstration at the exhibition, our choice was made. Now we started with the evaluation.“, says Hans Maier. For this purpose,
sheets with exact specifications were sent to the Schröder factory in Wessobrunn, Bavaria. Then the finished work pieces were inspected on site. „Advice and support leave nothing to be desired. CEO Franz Schröder as well as the whole Schröder team took their time, some details
were completely adapted to our wishes.“ This includes laterally mounted roller gates at the machine. They replace light barriers that function as safety barriers to keeping the minimum distance when running the machine. QUADRUS was afraid that these light barriers would
react too sensitively and lead to unnecessary productions stops. The idea for the roller gates came from the Schröder team. They were implemented cost-neutrally and have proven themselves very well at the QUADRUS factory.
„After one year of operation we can say that the investment in the Schröder MAK 4 Evolution UD really paid off. We were able to expand our range of products in the forming technology and achieve higher precision as well as flexibility. This is very helpful for our typical batch sizes
of up to 50 pieces. Ergonomics and the degree of automation convinced us: Thanks to the AHS and the lifting crane with vacuum gripper, one single operator can handle everything,“ says Hans Maier with satisfaction.