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  • CL-900 Series Fiber Laser with MARCH Automation System
    Optimise your processes Press release

    Automating Laser Processing and Forming Operations from CI

    Published on 23/07/20
Submitted by a.merlet.securite on Thu 23/07/2020 - 16:41
  • Since our founding in the late 1890’s as The Cincinnati Shaper Company, we built on our leadership with those early machines. We started to manufacture metal fabrication equipment in the early 1920's, and this remains our primary focus.

    We are one of a handful of U.S.-based, build-to-order machine tool manufacturers, and have shipped more than 50,000 machines in over a 100 years of operation. From our modern 500,000-square-foot plant and technical center on an 80 acre campus near Cincinnati, Ohio, we engineer and build our Laser Cutting Systems, Plasma Tables, Automation, Press Brakes, Shears, Powder Metal Presses, and Additive Manufacturing, to the standard of ruggedness required in the North American market – with premium engineering features that stand up to years of rigorous use in demanding environments.

    Our drive is evident in the design of our machines, controls and software. We developed the first linear-motor-driven laser cutting systems, and still produce our own linear motors, controls and software – unique in the industry.

    Our machines' endurance is legendary. It is common to see Depression-era CINCINNATI press brakes and shears in daily use today. In fact, one of our first commercial laser cutting systems from the eighties is still in operation. This means low cost of ownership for our customers and high resale values.

    CINCINNATI machines consistently top owner surveys for dependability and satisfaction. We sell direct in the U.S. and our service technicians are factory-trained employees. Parts are ordered through and shipped from our corporate headquarters in Harrison, Ohio.

    We continue to demonstrate a young outlook and willingness to embrace new ideas and technology – while staying true to our heritage.

  • Roboform Forming Automation and MARCH Automation Systems from CI


    Would you like to add a shift on your press brake, but can’t find qualified operators? For that matter, are you short on operators for your first or second shift? Introducing the new CI ROBOFORM automated robotic press brake bending system, now available with our GoForm electric press brake. With the ROBOFORM, you can produce parts automatically without an operator, even overnight. 

    Auto or Manual


    ROBOFORM adds instant flexibility to your shop floor. The unique sliding base allows you to use the press brake with or without automation. Run parts that with an operator during the day and run mid-to large- volume jobs at night. 

    The robot, mounted onto a solid base plate, is configured with added features that allow unmanned fabrication either lights on or lights out. The goal is to supplement your production with consistency and free up talent within the shop to take on different projects.

    Load and Walk Away

    Dual inbound tables provide blank capacity for hours of automated production. Prior to the first bend of each part, the robot presents the blank to a built-in double blank detector to confirm a single piece was picked from the inbound stack. This provides the assurance needed to run unattended.

    Multiple Grip Options

    The ROBOFORM’s standard gripper allows parts to be handled with a mechanical clamp

    or pneumatic suction cups. The part handling method is selected as needed for each bend. As parts continuously change after each bend, the versatile dual gripper system allows parts to be held at various locations. For example, with one bend, the mechanical clamp will be programmed to hold the side of the part. For a second bend, the pneumatic suction cups might be selected to hold the bottom of the sheet metal. As the part takes shape during forming, a part regrip may be necessary to avoid part interference between the gripper and the robot arm, press brake or tooling. This can be programmed ahead of time to take place automatically.

    Post-Bend Options

    With the ROBOFORM, flexibility continues after forming is completed. Finished parts can be stacked on a table, a pallet, the floor or deposited into a container.

    Built-in Safety Features


    Without physical barriers, operators have easy access to the ROBOFORM and press brake. The work area is guarded by three optical scanners. When a person enters the perimeter of the work zone the robot slows down. If the person backs away, the robot returns to normal speed. When a person advances into the programmed work zone, the robot stops and shuts down.

    Backed by Cincinnati Inc.

    Buy the ROBOFORM directly from people you know. Sales, application studies, installation and support are provided by CI professionals. 

    So, with efficiency, productivity, safety and ease of operation, what’s not to love? If you want to run more parts through your shop at a time when talented operators are hard to find, ROBOFORM is the right place to start. Get in on the benefits of automation today. 



    Just about two years ago, Troy Wilson showed up and immediately created a to-do list. At the top of our Product Manager's list was one vital item: get the automation side of the house at CI moving. There was, of course, a significant shift in United States manufacturing that was (and still is) happening. In order to compete globally, production costs had to be cut. Automating processes was a no-brainer way to keep prices down, and it was high time Cincinnati brought automation to fabrication.

    Fast forward 24 months, and the Multi Axis Rapid Cincinnati Handling (MARCH) System is here. It’s an evolution in laser cutting automation and lights out operation, and its presence guarantees faster setup times and material handling expandability, whether you opt for the 300 Series or its more compact and economical sibling, the 100 Series.*

    Better Lead Times

    The time-intensive parts of the MARCH System are pre-built in batches. All these pre-built parts are part of a kit for an eventual MARCH System. Once the order comes in and the configuration of the system is defined, the remaining structural components are added to the mix, and the customer has its brand new MARCH on the floor in about four weeks. For the pre-built kits, we stay three to four kits ahead of demand to ensure the lead times are attractive.

    Retrofit the MARCH

    If you have a CI 400, 800 or 900 Series laser cutting machine, you can retrofit the MARCH System to it. In fact, that’s precisely what we recommend you do rather than purchasing a new laser cutting machine. The cost savings are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and you can add additional shifts without adding manpower. You could also make best use of your operators by freeing them up for other tasks.  

    Retrofit the MARCH...Even When Floor Space Isn’t There

    When we visit your shop floor, it’s time to evaluate the space and figure out what restrictions you may have in regards to the placement and installation of the MARCH system. With the March 300's ability to interface up to 2 machines and 4 bays, paired with CI's culture of customization that allows for modifications to height and length, as well as guarding of the system make it a highly adaptable product for many situations.


    In-House Scheduling Software

    The MARCH 300 System is available with 4 to 19 shelves, and the scheduling software was created to be easy to learn and easy to use. In terms of commands back and forth between a laser cutter and automation, there are really very few. It’s essentially “I’m done and I need another sheet,” “I want to grab this material” and “I want to put this material here.” If you have an 8-shelf 300 Series, you could fire up the MARCH on Friday afternoon and turn the lights out with 6 shelves of raw material and 2 empty shelves. And on Monday morning, you’d have 7 shelves of finished parts and 1 empty shelf. It’s an incredible productivity enhancer and money maker for any laser cutting shop.

    Want to know more about MARCH and what it can do for your laser cutting? Get in touch with us any time.

    MARCH Automation