How do you get support for your Guifil press brake when its manufacturer gets acquired or stops providing support?

Are you having trouble with your Guifil press brakes? Maybe you need to replace a part or need a new control, and your warranty expired. You reach out to your manufacturer’s rep for help, and they say there is nothing they can do because the product is no longer supported. Or they were bought out by another manufacturer that only supports its products and they don’t make the parts you need anymore. Unfortunately, this situation is all too common, leaving machine shops and product manufacturers to troubleshoot on their own. Or worst yet, they are forced to replace a machine that costs them thousands of dollars to purchase. Fortunately, Automec can help you solve this predicament. 

A large company acquired Guifil, leaving customers looking for support.

In 1999, a large company acquired press brake and shear manufacturer Guifil, leaving thousands of customers with reduced support. Before the acquisition, Guifil was one of Portugal’s largest producers of high precision machine tools. The new larger company phased out the Guifil brand of press brakes and shears to focus on its core brands. A third party initially supplied spare parts and technical support to Guifil’s customers. However, today there seems to be no primary resource for the ongoing support of Guifil’s products.

How do you find support or replacement parts for your Guifil press brake?

Today it is tough to get any information to support your Guifil press brake. The original Guifil website no longer exists, and the acquiring company’s website contains no support information about Guifil. If you try to search Google for “Guifil press brake user guide” or “Guifil press brake operations manuals,” there are very few online resources. Attempts on the web to find Guifil manuals and wiring diagrams have gotten no results.

A solution for upgrading your used Guifil Press brakes

Fortunately, Automec Inc. and other press brake retrofit companies stepped in to fill the void. Like other heavy-duty press brake manufacturers, Gulfil made its press brakes to last. More than 20 years after the merger, many Gulfil press brakes are still going strong and, at times, need an affordable retrofit or control feature to give them new life or productivity. Examples of Automec Guifil retrofits include press brakes with control, no control (down stroking), or no control (up stroking). Hence, Automec’s CNC controls are an ideal fit for retrofitting most Gulfil press brakes. 

Examples of Automec Guifil Press Brake Retrofits

There are hundreds of online examples of people selling used Guifil press brakes retrofitted with custom Automec controls and backgauges.   Here is one example of a video featuring a 1994 Guifil PE 30-100, 3-Axis Press Brake with an Automec CNC control on YouTube. 

Following are some examples of press brakes that have been retrofitted by Automec: 

110 Ton 120″ Bed Guifil PE30-100 Press Brake, with Automec CNC 1000 3-Axis Backgauge

110 Ton 120 Bed Guifil PE30-100 Press Brake, with Automec CNC 1000 3-Axis Backgauge
For sale on machinesales.com

Guifil PE-20/60 80″ x 66 Ton CNC Hydraulic Up-acting Press Brake equipped with Automec Autogauge CNC1000 Backgauge

Guifil PE-20/60 80" x 66 Ton CNC Hydraulic Up-acting Press Brake equipped with Automec Autogauge CNC1000 Backgauge
For sale on theequipmenthub.com

 

Guifil 110 Ton Hydraulic Press Brake 100″ equipped with Automec Autogauge CNC Backgauge.

  Guifil 110 Ton Hydraulic Press Brake 100" equipped with Automec Autogauge CNC Backgauge.
For sale on Ebay.com

 

110 Ton Guifil PE-30-100 Up-Acting Hydraulic Press Brake equipped with Automec Autogauge CNC 1000 Backgauge

110 Ton Guifil PE-30-100 Up-Acting Hydraulic Press Brake equipped with Automec Autogauge CNC 1000 Backgauge
For sale on Ebay.com

 

Guifil PE-100 Press Brake equipped with Automec Autogauge CNC 1000 Backgauge

For sale on machinetools.com

 

110 Ton 120″ Bed Guifil Pe30-100 Press Brake equipped with Automec CNC 1000 3-axis Backgauge

110 Ton 120" Bed Guifil Pe30-100 equipped with Automec CNC 1000 3-axis Backgauge
For sale on MachineryValues.com

CNC upgrades and retrofits for Guifil press brakes

As you can see from these examples, Guifil press brakes are well-suited for Automec retrofits or upgrades using its CNC control products.

Often, you don’t need to replace the backgauge system. A large number of Guilfil press brakes can work with only manual control. Thus, if your original control system is not needed for the machine to function, you can usually find a cost-effective retrofit for your press brake machine. Guifil press brake owners find that retrofitting with an Automec CNC control will help achieve decades more use at a fraction of replacement costs.

Besides being less expensive than replacing your press brake, retrofitting benefits include improving productivity and reducing your operating costs. The savings can consist of setup time, less product waste, and improvements to productivity.

Retrofitting your press brake can:

  • Expand production 
  • Lower labor costs through automation 
  • Enhance worker safety
  • Achieve greater accuracy and output quality
  • Improve worker morale

Retrofitting your used Guifil machine with CNC controls can result in productivity gains and improved employee morale.  

Machine shop managers find that retrofitting is more affordable than replacing your current machines. Probably the most significant selling point is that CNC controls make it possible for one person to program the operation of multiple machines. Running several operations together will save you labor costs and more than pay for an upgrade’s costs. Also, CNC controls can result in improved machining accuracy, fewer defects, and less waste, freeing your employees to focus on multiple tasks.

Price savings from retrofitting your Guifil Press Brake

If your used Guifil press brake works and has all of its factory parts, you can save money with a retrofit. Many press brakes are suitable for single-axis retrofits that cost less than $10,000. If you need more that one axis, you will want to budget an additional $5,000 to 8,000 for each.

Typically a large percentage of problems with press brakes can be identified in a backgauge control. When your backguage mechanics are working, a control-only retrofit can help you achieve productivity with your problem-ridden machine. 

A new control system can improve the operation of your backgauge, ram, and other system axes. You may also benefit from paying extra to replace the drives with something more modern.

You should budget from $10,000 to $40,000 for a PC-control retrofit. Your final cost will depend on how complicated your press brake is, and how the OEM control, machine, and transducers work together. Regardless, if your machine’s mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical systems are working, the cost for retrofits can be significantly less than buying a new press brake.

Guifil CNC options

Automec has many CNC options. The Automec CNC 150 or CNC 300 backgauge control system is affordable, both in the initial and future costs. Automec control systems will increase efficiency and allow you to expand your product line. Moreover, they will increase production in your existing line.

Another option is the PC 800. Automec’s PC 800 serves as a graphical control for its suite of CNC backgauges. The control system uses digital photos and 2-D graphics, making press brake forming less complicated. The PC 800 lets you photograph tooling and bend sequences, making it possible to customize your bending program to fit your specific business needs. Create a custom press brake forming plan with pictures of tooling from a tooling library. You can also take photos of each step in the bending process while you produce each part.

Enter your bend dimensions and angles using the PC 800 touch screen or a traditional keyboard and mouse. You can also select materials from a list using your new PC 800 control system. Having the PC 800 visual aid can help your operators setup faster and result in fewer bending errors. As you complete each bend, taking a digital photo and adding it to the program can help you document the operation. As a result, each job can be saved and recalled later by the same or a different employee, using a familiar Microsoft Windows control.

Upgrading from an obsolete Guifil CNC

If you have a G24, CNC99, CNC1000, or CNC2000 with a mechanical structure that is still in good working condition, you can upgrade your existing Automec backgauge control to a CNC 9×9CNC 150CNC 300CNC 600 or PC 800. Please know that CNC 99, 1000, 2000, and G24 controls are obsolete cannot be serviced if they fail. See here for particulars.

Replacing the Hurco control on Guifil press brakes

Many Guifil press brakes use Hurco controls. Automec has a well-proven upgrade process for replacing the Hurco control with superior Automec control. Automec offers an upgrade kit for Autobend S4, S6, and S7 that replaces the Hurco control and electronics with Automec’s CNC 150 control. Your mechanical structure needs to be in good working condition, but the electronics do not matter. Automec replaces the servo amplifiers, encoder, cables, and all other parts except for the motor. Hurco DC motors are usually in good working order and rarely need replacement. Automec does not offer upgrades for dual motor/dual ball screw Hurco backgauges.

The Automec CNC 150 control performs the same way, and the Hurco backgauge moves with about the same accuracy, speed, and force as the traditional Hurco system. All Automec supplied components come with a one year warranty. For more information, see this article.

In summary

There are hundreds of machine shops with Guifil press brakes operating with either faulty CNC controls or none at all. These brakes have limited production abilities and cannot complete complex projects. A CNC is a competitive advantage for most modern press brakes and comes standard with most new press brakes. Automec can add retrofit your Guifil press brake with a CNC that will improve your productivity and extend your machine’s life.

Contact us at:
PHONE: (781) 893-3403
FAX: (781) 899-5708

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