Forming progress


Want to increase productivity with a solution that offers you even greater versatility? That was the challenge we took on with Bliss-Bret and their complex and innovative new forming press for the aeronautic industry.

Rising to the challenge…

Bliss-Bret have been specialists in the design and manufacture of custom-made presses for over 100 years. Our task was to help them build a brand-new press with the ability to form, bend and hydraulically straighten aircraft wing structures.

…with industry changing innovation

Our simplified solution makes complex forming operations at the end of machining easier and more reliable. It’s also able to perform several operations in a single cycle. This will be of interest to any manufacturer that wants to increase the productivity of their manual forming operation. Because poorly performed forming means waste, which can be extremely costly.

Complexity. Made simple and efficient

In order to reduce cycle time and increase quality, reliability and operator comfort, new kinematics were introduced to automate two manual operations. Both the control of the positioning of the parts on the table and the adjustment of the tilt of the slide, were developed to deliver high precision and stringent repeatability standards.

All the parameters of each forming operation also had to be recorded and transmitted to a third party system to ensure full traceability of the parts. This has become a familiar requirement to us, which we’re able to meet, thanks to our range of connected components.

The joint project team opted for a refined architecture, with a single control point for 7 synchronous axes: 4 electric axes for positioning the parts and 3 hydraulic axes for actuating the slide. This key achievement was made possible thanks to the MLC multi-technology motion control solution.

Discreet and energy-efficient

The central cylinder is capable of deploying a force of 340 tonnes with a set pressure accuracy of 0.5 percent. The angle of the slide is perfectly controlled (± 2°), even under the effect of high offset forces, with a positioning accuracy of 0.01mm. Despite its remarkable power, the press is surprisingly quiet and energy-efficient – the result of an end-to-end optimized design solution. Particular attention was also paid to the ergonomics of the human-machine interface, which allows the operator to easily control the slide position with a joystick.

Mission accomplished

The team designed, manufactured and delivered this new generation press in less than a year.

A digital twin of the hydraulic system and control command confirmed that the synchronous control would operate with the required accuracy.

"Bosch Rexroth convinced us with its technological approach and ability to provide us with a complete automation solution: hydraulic systems, electrical systems, PLCs and HMIs", says Bertrand Pillot, Head of the Automation Design Office at Bliss-Bret.

Find out more.


Author: Denis Florent

Job title: Sales engineer Bosch Rexroth France

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