As the country emerges from recession, some manufacturers continue to be reluctant to invest in new machine tools. However, business in repair and refurbishment of pre-owned presses and ancillaries is brisker than ever, says Luton-based high speed press supplier, Bruderer UK. Built by its Swiss parent company, the machines are rated from 18 to 250 tons punching force and have stroke rates up to 2,000 per minute.
Since the start of this year, eight presses ranging from 25 to 60 tons have been returned to as-new condition by engineering staff at Luton, all for UK users save for one that was shipped to a customer in India. There are currently two further machines being overhauled and rebuilt on the shop floor to factory standard, a 25 ton model and a large 110 ton press.
Managing Director in the UK, Adrian Haller, said, “Many people do not know that we are active in this area, yet it has been a mainstay of our business during the downturn and indeed for many years.
“We not only refurbish customers’ machines to order in a time frame of about five weeks, but are also permanently on the lookout to buy pre-owned presses, which we return to factory condition and sell on.”
He explained that the benefit to manufacturers is that they end up with a machine that is as accurate, reliable and productive as a new high-speed press, but at a fraction of the cost, and there is the reassurance of a 12-month Bruderer warranty as well. By way of illustration, he said that the price of a new Bruderer BSTA25 is circa £185,000, whereas a refurbished model can cost as little as £25,000.
The scope of the work undertaken on each press is often extensive, covering all mechanical, electrical and control elements of the machine. Most attention is paid to the mechanics, as this is the major factor in the high precision of a Bruderer press and top quality in this area is paramount to achieve close tolerances and high stroking rates.
The high speed presses are fully checked and tested; in some cases, to hold tolerances of less than 1 micron is expected across the entire mechanism of the working machine. This requires extensive testing and any worn parts are replaced so that customers can be reassured that the refurbishment will result in many further years of trouble-free use.
Bruderer presses are renowned for high speed manufacturing processes, but it is not always appreciated that they can also run at slower speeds. They can therefore also undertake pressing operations that would normally be performed by conventional presses, such as small-draw work or complex formed parts.
As a supplier of turnkey pressworking lines, with all necessary equipment needed to start producing on day one, Bruderer is also ideally placed to rebuild or replace the ancillary equipment fitted to a press. Its own product portfolio encompasses coil handling equipment, servo feeds, tooling and other items ranging from acoustic enclosures to vision systems. Supplied also are press monitoring equipment, tool protection systems for any make of press, and laser marking systems for individual parts or inline systems for use during production.