Blackpool-based Booth Dispensers specialises in designing and manufacturing chilling and dispensing equipment for the hospitality trade. At the heart of its sheet metal fabricating facilities are an LVD Strippit PX 1225 punch press and two LVD PPED press brakes.
Tom Boardman, who played a key role in specifying the LVD equipment, explains that the configuration of the PX machine, with a single punch head system allowing 360-degree rotation of any tool and extensive forming capabilities, is an ideal fit for Booth Dispensers manufacturing requirements.
“We have our own design and development team, so a lot of what we make is tailored to the customer’s requirements. There are some standard products, but a lot of what we do is bespoke.”
“So generally, we are making parts to order rather than for stock. We are working about a week ahead of what is required on the shop floor. That means we have to be quite flexible in our manufacturing capabilities – we aren’t making the same things over and over again.”
Components range from cabinets and enclosures to small brackets in batches of up to 100 off. The largest parts would be just under two meters long and the material would generally be 1mm thick. “We aren’t making massive batches but it adds up to around 10,000 to 15,000 parts per week, so again it means we have to be flexible,” says Tom.
The PX 1225 machine has 20 stations in its tooling carousel, and Booth Dispensers uses four of these for multitools, which takes the total number of tools available to around 32 – most of the round punches are held in multitools.
Tom says: “You can index any tool so if you have a shape or slitting tool you can produce some fairly intricate shapes.”
The single head punching system also allows a wide range of forming operations to be carried out during the punching cycle and at Booth Dispensers this includes thread forming, dimples and joggles – which would not be possible on a laser. Tom says: “We would always like to have a standard tool setup, but because our design department are constantly developing bespoke solutions for customers there are quite a few changes.” “Having a tool carousel rather than a turret machine means changing the tools is quicker and easier. If the tools are already setup in the holders, it’s just a matter of swapping them over. This is a very quick process.”
He adds that the Integrated TOUCH-P control is intuitive and simple to use, which again speeds setup and production. Booth Dispensers has been using this type of machine since 1999 when it purchased a Pullmax (now LVD) P5000 punch press – which is still running. He adds that the Integrated TOUCH-P control is intuitive and simple to use, which again speeds setup and production. Complementing the punching machines are two LVD press brakes, an 50/20 PPED (50 tonne bending force, 2m capacity) installed in 2019 and a 135/30 PPED7 (135 tonne bending force, 3m capacity, 7-axis) press brake installed in 2021.
“The machines are quick to setup, easy to changeover and they are twice as fast as the machines we had been using. They are user friendly too. All the programming is done on the machine and the Touch-B control is intuitive and easy to use.
You can see all the steps on the screen and it takes you through a simulation of the bending process so that you can see it works properly.”
Looking ahead, Tom says that the company is now looking at LVD’s CADMAN-B software to bring the programming online and integrate the flow from design to finished part. It is also looking at the possibility of adding an LVD laser.
In conclusion, Tom says: “The partnership between Booth Dispensers and LVD has been going over 20 years and we have always had a good relationship with them. The machines are very reliable, but it is good to know that the support and backup is there when you need it. Our team has just been over to LVD’s headquarters in Belgium to look at CADMAN software and a laser, so we are continuing the partnership and investing for the future.”