Sheet Metal Bending



A manually operated manufacturing line for insulated sheet metal panels has to be automatized maintaining the flexibility in regard of the broad product range. Panels ranging from 1x1 foot in size up to 4x8 foot have to be assembled from two blanks bent on press brakes and an optional layer of insulation material. A competitors proposal uses standard market solutions with a transfer system. The high cost and low flexibility of this alternative result in tipping the scales on the GÜDEL side.


An innovative solution using five roboFlex RF-4 with 500 mm forearm extension mounted on a 33m overhead beam is used to perform the main process and handling tasks. They serve three press brakes and several peripheral devices used for the assembly of the panels. Finished products are stacked by the fifh roboFlex onto carts fed through the safety fences by a GÜDEL one axis linear module.

Scope of supply

Besides the five roboFlex GÜDEL provided the customer with a four axis module to apply glue before the insulation material is inserted. A one axis module for the infeed of the stacking carts as well as most of the peripheral devices and the safety fences were part of GÜDEL's scope of delivery. The peripheral devices include infeed and centering stations for raw material and transfer stations to hand over parts from one roboFlex to the next in line. Finally gripper systems for all five robots were delivered as well.


Thanks to the ample working range on both sides of the overhead beam the roboFlex are able to perform the handling and manufacturing processes of the smallest up to the biggest product sizes. Peripheral stations and the press brakes can be aligned virtually in any position to the beam ? the robots can handle it. The payload of 80 kg allows for the handling of panels up to a weight of 60 kg plus the gripper. Cycle times that can be achieved by the roboFlex are that short that the overall output of the manufacturing line mainly depends on the processes taking place in the press brakes which GÜDEL cannot affect. For regular maintenance work and in case of failures on any of the components the overhead installation of the robots offer ample space for operators to access even the rearmost spot within the safety fences. Finally should the product range ever change the roboFlex can easily be programmed to perform new tasks. One of the five robots is already thought to work in a standalone mode with the third press brake to bend other sheet metal parts outside the customers official product range.

Project info

GÜDEL product
Process type
Work piece
Completed by

Güdel AG,  Switzerland.

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