Radan, Vero Software’s powerful CAD/CAM software for sheet metal applications, is helping an engineering subcontractor carry out small bends as part of the cutting process on its punch press. V&F Sheetmetal Co. Ltd. manufactures millions of components every year – a number of which involve small bends that can be handled with multi-bend tooling installed on a Trumpf 3000R and programmed with Radan.
The company makes full use of that facility when manufacturing a fan deck component for air curtains. “It saves time not having to send them to the press brake and is a perfect example of how we stay at the forefront of technology,” says Director Ray Frith, son of the company’s founders.
V&F began by manufacturing light fittings for only one customer in the 1980s, eventually moving the production process into that client’s factory before expanding to cover a wide range of industries. It still supplies a number of lighting companies today from its 13,000-square-foot facility in Hampshire, UK, along with customers in the HVAC, audio and electronics industries.
The smallest parts V&F manufactures are just a few millimetres, such as earth clips and tiny support brackets for electronics customers, while some of the largest include light fittings approximately two metres long. The shop floor is now capable of producing even larger fabrications, as the bed on the Trumpf 3030 3kw fibre laser is three metres by 1.5 metres, and the latest addition to the plant list – a Safan e-Brake press brake – can fold components up to three metres in length.
With Radan from Vero Software driving two punch presses and the laser, Frith says the software is at the heart of all programming. And being the only CAD/CAM system V&F uses, Radan also plays a vital part in providing accurate information for job estimates.
“Some components are obviously suited to one type of cutting technology. For example, if there are a large number of holes, we may want to use a cluster tool on a punch press, while we would need the laser for a complex shape or thick material. But where either cutting technology is appropriate, I always program the part for both the laser and punch while drawing up the estimate. Radan shows the material usage, how long the job will take, what gas will be required for the laser and if we’ve got the right tooling, so I can quickly see which will be the most competitive.
“It means Radan supports us right from the start, when we first get an enquiry about a job right through to the component coming off the punch press or laser.”
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