Friday | 23 January, 2009 | 7:41 am

Keeping them safe

By John Loos

January 2009- In any press brake application, the quality and the reliability of the press brake is paramount. But with applications that affect the safety of American troops overseas, such as underarmor for Humvee vehicles, there's perhaps a heightened need for precision and productivity.

BAE Systems Inc., Rockville, Md., an aerospace and defense company, has enlisted a small army of Proform press brakes from Cincinnati Inc., Harrison, Ohio, to help meet a newfound demand for military vehicle armor. Using six 90-ton Proforms and three 350-ton machines, BAE doubled its daily output of truck armor sets in the last two years from 40 to 80.

Consistent standards
With up-armor from BAE Systems, a military vehicle has the potential to absorb the direct blast from a land mine enough to save the lives of its passengers. It does this by creating V-shaped undersides that deflect the brunt of ground blasts away from passenger compartments. In fact, up-armored Humvees are 2,000 pounds heavier than a non-up-armored vehicle.

When you consider the only non-automated aspect of the up-armor's manufacture is the press brake, the need for accurate and consistent bends is absolute. Because of this, BAE Systems standardized its operations onto the Proform model.

"[BAE Systems] needs a machine that brings a lot of quality, not just in the manufacturing tolerance but from machine to machine," says Ed Bosse, marketing manager for Cincinnati, noting that BAE works exclusively with his company's Proform press brakes. "I think that's a key piece. The standards are applicable all across the models of Cincinnati's Proform line. You can always have a quality product within itself, but between each machine that comes off production, how does that match up to overall standards?"

The Proform press brake line is one of three in Cincinnati"s product offering, the others being the Autoform+ and Maxform lines. Proform press brakes come in 14 model sizes, ranging from 60 tons to 2,000 tons, and they feature adjustable stroke length, full tonnage throughout the stroke, +/-0.001-inch ram repeatability and a smart graphical control featuring a touch-screen interface. The PC-based control uses 3-D graphics to enhance setup speeds and optimize bending.

Swift response
It's one thing to offer customization of your machinery, but to do so without any detriment to lead times is an extra advantage for companies like BAE Systems that havc heavy production needs and little time to spare.

"I think the best part of Proform's capability is that the lead time for shipments of the machinery, for the most part, is not adversely affected," says Bosse. "We have built-in versatility in our manufacturing processes to handle a wide variety of machine options, so we can solve or satisfy a customer's application or manufacturing capability. Even down to the last step in the process, we can make it any color you want."

Because of this manufacturing flexibility, Proform has not only served militaristic applications, but food service industry applications such as grills, deep fryers, exhaust fans and countertops.

But for Bosse, as satisfying as it is serving those unique industries, there's something particularly fulfilling about helping keep troops safe, as with BAE Systems' up-armor application.

"The defense effort during the last year or so has been a highly visible topic considering the costs we've had to absorb in Iraq," says Bosse. "[The BAE Systems' application] was one that makes you feel good. Being able to contribute to that effort and be part of that program is a great feeling."

Current Issue


October 2014

Gearing up for 2015
Tackling foreign policies, regulations, trade balances and capital plans, here are forecasts for virtually everything.





Modern Metals on Twitter

White Papers

More White Papers >

Industry Partners

Alloy Bar Products

Custom Rubber Products

Metals Distribution

Service Centers

Sierra Alloys Royal Rubber Co. ThyssenKruppnMaterials NA Heidtman Steel Products


Cutting Software

Perforated & Expanded Metal

North American Steel Alliance
Channel Alloys SigmaTEK Systems McNichols Co. Reliance Steel & Aluminum Company


Cutting Systems

Plasma Technology

Thickness Gauges

Gerdau Messer Cutting Systems, Inc. ESAB Welding & Cutting Products Compusource Corporation




Enmark Systems, Inc.
Steelmax Hougen Manufacturing, Inc. Allor Manufacturing Inc.

Stainless Steel

CNC Cutting (Plasma, Waterjet, Laser, Router)

Financial Services

Artco Group Stainless Sales Corp.
Multicam Inc. BMO Harris Bank Churchill Steel Plate Ltd Straub Metal International

Coated Coil

GE Capital Finance Ranger Steel

Stainless, Nickel, Aluminum, Pipe, Tube & Bar

American Nickeloid Metals

Investment Banking

Precision Grinding

Prudential Stainless & Alloys, L.P.
Centria Coating Services Brown Gibbons Lang & Company Joco Precision Grinding


Metal Coaters

Laser Technology

Profiling Software


Coil Processing

AltaMAR, Inc. FastCam Pty Ltd. Central Steel Service, Inc.
Bradbury Group Amada America, Inc.

Rolled and Extruded Aluminum Products

Parker Steel Co.
Braner USA LVD Strippit Aleris Rolled Products SSAB
Burghardt + Schmidt GmbH Mitsubishi Laser-MC Machinery Systems, Inc.

Sawing Technology

Summit Steel Corporation
Butech Bliss

Machining Centers

Behringer Saws, Inc.

Steel Fabrication

Formtek-Maine Handtmann CNC Cosen International, Inc. Voortman Corporation
Herr-Voss Stamco

Material Handling

Cut Technologies Metal


IMS Systems, Inc. Canrack Metal Center Systems DoALL Sawing Products TSI Titanium
Leveltek Samuel Strapping Systems HE&M Saw


Machine Concepts Steel Storage Systems Inc. Kasto Carlson Tool & Manufacturing Corp.
Red Bud Industries The Caldwell Group, Inc. Metlsaw Systems

Tube & Pipe


Metal Alloy Analysis & Verification Independence Tube Corp.

Copper & Brass

Thermo Scientific Niton Analyzers Scotchman Industries, Inc. National Tube Supply Company
Christy Metals Inc.

Metal Finishing & Deburring

Wikus Saw Technology Specialty Pipe & Tube
Farmer's Copper Supermax Tools


Turnkey Finishing System












TECHNI Waterjet


twitter facebook linkedin rss