Automated Press Braking Systems with HMI Terminal

Client Overview

US based company manufacturing computerized gauging systems for Metal Fabricating machines like press brakes, shears, saws, and punches. Founded in 1969, it has installations in more than 20 countries.

Business Challenge

The client wanted to make their Press Brake Systems totally automated and highly accurate with:

  • Alternative to traditional keypad and seven segment display systems
  • Easy-to-use User Interface for programming and controlling multi-bend Jobs on the Press Brake Systems

VOLANSYS Contribution

VOLANSYS developed user-friendly touchscreen controlled HMI display, designed Multi-Axis Controller (MAC) and error free communication mechanism between HMI and MAC for client’s Press Brake System to meet their exact requirements. The Press Brake System has features like:

  • User-friendly touch controlled Graphical User Interface – HMI
  • Monitors and controls the position of all three remote axes (X, Y and R axis)
  • Automatic calibration of all three axes (X, Y and R axis) on power on
  • HMI-MAC Communication error detection and recovery
  • Firmware upgrade through USB Flash drive
  • Alarm mechanism to alert user for critical events
  • Support for image and job file storage on a USB thumb drive
  • Internal non-volatile memory


  • Hardware Development:
    • Design architecture and major component selection
    • Custom hardware for Multi-Axis Controller (MAC) using ARM® Cortex® M3 CPU based microcontroller
    • Designed & developed Multi-Axis Controller(MAC) module using Arduino-DUE
    • Designed & developed extended I2C bridge (XI2C) module using Microchip bridge controller MCP2221 for USB-to-I2C protocol converter
    • Designed single power supply based product
      • MAC module provides power supply to Multi-Axis Controller, XI2C Bridge controller and
        HMI touch screen display
  • Quality Engineering:
    • Testing on actual Press Brake System
    • Developed automation for all three-axis long term unit testing and functionality testing without human interaction
    • Achieved 0.002-inch accuracy for all three remote (X, R & Y) axis over I2C interface
  • Software Development:
    • Developed Multi-Axis Controller firmware in C language to control X, R & Y Axis
    • QT based HMI Application on Linux platform for Industrial PC
    • Designed and developed User Interface Controller (UIC) Applications on HMI
    • Middleware back-end application on Linux Platform
    • GUI front-end application using QT software for user interaction
    • Define communication protocol between HMI and MAC

Benefits Delivered

  • Accurate positioning via automated process, thus reducing errors
  • Highly reliable and increased operator’s productivity
  • Reduced material handling during manufacturing process