With a history that dates back to over seven decades, Teksign based in Brantford, Ontario, makes signs for the petroleum industry, automotive, hotels, agricultural equipment suppliers, and more.
For its forming needs, the company was using an older press brake which was labour-intensive. “With the press brake, the operator would have to set up for every single bend every time,” said Jim Hahn, production control manager at Teksign. “It would take two operators to manage the bends on a number of jobs we did.”
In 2019, the company decided it was time to update its forming capabilities. Teksign has high-mix/low-volume production needs, and several of its projects are repeat business. This led to an investment in a CNC-equipped folder for its folding operations.
Teksign purchased the RAS TURBO2plus metal folding machine through Westway Machinery. The folding machine has several features that are ideal for the company’s fabrication needs. With the RAS Bendex software, an operator can automatically program parts, use alternative bending sequences, and view the bending sequence on the monitor in 3D. The machine has a 126” bend length and accommodates tool heights up to 127 mm.
“Its ability to store a significant number of programs simplifies our bending operations substantially. I would say that we are cutting our forming time by 50 to 60 percent just in setup time alone, between our former requirements of having to change dies and other actions. Now we can build much more, much faster, because we can easily switch from one job to another with the press of a few buttons. It also frees up one person because the machine can be run by one person. It frees up team members to do work elsewhere in the shop, whether that be shearing material to support the folder, assembling signs, or electrical wiring. Most of our team can tackle any of these jobs, so it’s helpful to free up their time like that,” said Hahn.
Some of the other features of the RAS TURBO2plus include:
- Operation from the folding beam side (smaller parts and profiles)
- Operation from gauging side (panels)
- Low costs per part (1-man operation, low investment)
- Easy operation (short training period)
- Improved bend results
- Automatic recognition of a tool change
- Automatic recognition of the tool height
- Air-conditioned control cabinet
“With this [RAS TURBO2plus] and some other upgrades in the shop, we are able to produce as much, if not more, with the team we have today,” added Hahn.
Teksign can also manage maintenance concerns remotely with RAS metal folding machine.
“We have learned how to tweak the machine to do certain things we want with it, and RAS has been able to help us remotely with any questions we’ve had,” said Hahn. “Their team can take over our machine if we need something fixed or want something better explained. It makes it very user-friendly.”
A version of this case study first appeared in Canadian Fabricating & Welding and can be viewed here.