100% Employee Owned, Founded 1954

100% Employee Owned, Founded 1954

Automated Press Brake Tending

The Cross Automated Press Brake Tending solution is designed to operate a press brake without constant manual operator interaction.  In today’s tight labor market, it’s increasingly difficult to find workers and keep them in repetitive, dull jobs. With a quick ROI period, this solution frees up these workers to do more complicated tasks that can’t be done through automation.

Cross’s Automated Press Brake Solution uses two way handshaking to communicate directly to the press brake. It uses two way communication to tell the machine when to run and receive a signal when it is done. 

Press brake tending device by Cross Company
  • Features and Benefits
  • Technical Specs
  • ROI Analysis
  • End of Arm Tooling
  • Mobile - entirely on casters so it’s easy to move from machine to machine
  • Communication with press brake is already figured out and completed
  • Utilizes a collaborative robot which eliminates the need for safety fencing in most applications.
  • Add-on part unloading to conveyor allowing longer run time without manual labor interaction

Optional Add-On Features

  • IoT with Reporting
  • Safety Scanner
  • WiFi Connectivity
  • Custom End-of-Arm-Tooling
  • Safety System Ready
  • OPC Connectivity
  • Training
  • On-site Start-up Support
  • Automated Press Brake Tending 1Footprint: 21” x 41”
  • Cycle time will depend on part process. Loading, unloading, and any re-grip takes approximately 20 seconds. Specific throughput can be provided based on total process
  • Max payload is 10 kg including end of arm tooling
  • Power: 110 VAC
  • Air: typically 80 PSI (varies based on part) - used for vacuum gripper and blow-off
  • Press Brake brands supported: contact us for a full list of manufacturers
    and supported features
  • UR programming required can be added on as a service

Machine and fab shops often use press brakes to make parts out of sheet metal. Operators for this type of process are very common. It is typically a lower skill position than part of process design and can be quite repetitive for high volume jobs. Automating this type of task only makes sense when the return on investment (ROI) is right. Most companies have their own requirements for an ROI timeframe varying from 1-3 years. A typical average is around 2 years for capital projects.

When looking at a robotic project and trying to decide if the initial cost is worth it, there are a few calculations that will help with this determination. Let’s take a look at the following scenario:

There is a single operator running a press brake on similar parts 8 hours/day. The typical cost of a press brake operator is $32/hour. This is the total burden rate of the operator as seen by the company and so it includes all of the benefits, vacation time, and any other associated costs. Assume the facility operates 2 shifts a day, 5 days a week, and 51 weeks a year (it is only closed a total of 1 week for holidays).


16 hours/day X 5 day/week X 51 weeks/year = 4,080 hours/year


At $32/hour this costs the company $32 X 4,080 hours/year = $130,560/year


With the Press Brake Tending Solution costing $120,000 it is easy to calculate how fast the payback or ROI period is.


$120,000 / $130,560/year = 0.92 years.


What this means is when the Press Brake Tending Solution is used to free up manual labor for more complicated tasks, the solution will pay for itself in 0.92 years. After this, the solution will begin to generate a net profit of $130,560/year (less operating and any needed maintenance costs).


Once the initial programming for pick and place locations and part geometries is done, reprogramming for part changes does not take a long time. But for this scenario we will assume a 90/10 split. 90% of the time will be spent with the Press Brake Tending Solution running parts and 10% of the time will be spent with it being redeployed for a new part or new machine. 


A typical press brake operator is required to take two 15 minutes breaks and one 30 minute lunch per 8 hour shift. So in a 16 hour day, there is only 14 hours of actual time the machine is being run.


14 hours / 16 hours/day X 100% = 87.5% utilization per day. Since the automated machine tending solution does not require breaks or lunches, it will actually be more efficient and increase part output. 


The last remaining question is how to utilize the manual operators that were running the machines. In smaller machine shops, a lot of times the person designing the parts and programming the machines may also be running the machines. Thus they are freed up to spend more time designing and programming. In other places where the two roles are clearly separated, the manual operators can be re-purposed for completely new tasks that aren’t possible to automate, increased quality checks, or used somewhere else in the production process where there is a bottleneck.

  • Specified based on part geometries
  • Mechanical, pneumatic, or vacuum
  • Is standard off the shelf in most situations
  • Learn more about Cross End of Arm Tooling options 

See how our automation team can help improve quality, increase efficiency, and reduce risk in your operation

End of Arm Tooling for a Range of Applications

Cross represents multiple providers and offers end of arm tooling for a variety of applications. Whether your operation is in need of robotic grippers for fragile goods,  a customized solution for a unique payload, or anything between; the Cross automation team has you covered! Take a look at our end of arm tooling offering and see how you can accompany our palletizing solution with robots elsewhere in your process.

Schunk palletizing robot with end of arm tool