« BACK  

All-electric tube bender provides production versatility for submarine builder

The first of the Astute class of submarines, HMS Astute, at sea
The first of the Astute class of submarines, HMS Astute, at sea

A second state-of-the-art tube bending machine has been ordered by BAE Systems Submarine Solutions to support the construction of the UK's Astute class nuclear-powered submarines.

The new tube bending machine is an all-electric model with precision software-controlled servomotor movement, for bending tube diameters up to 76 mm. It also features an advanced laser measurement system that monitors any deviations to the programmed bend caused by the tubing material's 'springback' characteristics, and then automatically adjusts the bend to produce the correct shape.

These features equip BAE Systems to handle the very demanding workload of the Astute submarine programme. This involves producing a large number of complex tubular parts, often in small quantities and from expensive alloys such as corrosion-resistant cupronickel, just-in-time to meet the demanding production requirements as work progresses along the vessel.

The need for the new machine arose as a result of a decision to replace an ageing hydraulically-powered tube bender. Unison won the tender in competition against two other major machine suppliers. BAE Systems' experience with all-electric tube bending - which started with the installation of a 20mm Unison machine in 2008 - was an important factor in the decision.

The elimination of scrap provided by Unison's springback correction system, which is believed to be unique on the tube bending market, was another important criteria. This new technology is already in use at the company's sister site in Scotstoun, UK where BAE Systems Surface Ships is employing a laser-measurement-equipped Unison bender on the construction of the Royal Navy's Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.

A reduction in power consumption provided a further important advantage. As the all-electric Unison machine has no need to run a hydraulic pump continuously, a significant level of electricity is only required when the machine is actually forming a bend, so energy consumption is reduced substantially, typically by around 90%.

Additionally, Unison had to design the machine so that it would accept all of the existing tooling for the old 60 mm hydraulic machine, and develop a software link to BAE Systems' central database, where the construction information is stored. This utility automatically creates a bending program from the part specification, allowing the business to set up the bender for a new part in seconds, if the tooling is already on the machine.

The seven-boat Astute programme is one of the largest and most complex engineering projects under way in the UK today. An Astute class submarine has a million individual components and 10,000 separate design and engineering requirements. The first-of-class HMS Astute has been handed over to the Royal Navy and is completing sea trials before going into operational service. Second-of-class Ambush is undergoing final commissioning and testing at Barrow before leaving for sea trials. Boats 3, 4 and 5 are in various stages of build and steel is due to be cut on the sixth submarine next year.

"All-electric benders are ideally suited to the naval boat building environment, as their software-controlled set up provides versatile support for the constantly changing workload," says Jim Saynor of Unison. "With material costs spiralling we have seen an upsurge in demand for our springback correction system as well, and this feature should eliminate virtually all of the scrap wastage that can be commonly generated when manually setting up a hydraulic machine for a precision bend."

The machine will be delivered at the end of Q1, 2012.

PUBLISHED: 10 Nov 11 Bookmark and Share
Company:
Unison
Country:
UK
Tel:
+44 1723 582868
Fax:
+44 1723 582379
Email:
alanp@unisonltd.com
Website:
www.unisonltd.com
Other News from Unison:

»
Leading tube and pipe fabrication specialists invest in 7th Unison tube bender
»
Unison Ltd is thrilled to invite you to Tube Düsseldorf 2018
»
Unison Ltd and Pneuform Machines Ltd announce joint venture
»
New head of sales & support appointed to meet Unison growth
»
Unison Ltd is increasing its manufacturing capacity and opening a new factory in Virginia, USA
»
All-electric tube bender multiplies productivity for cleaning trolley maker
»
Ultibend improves productivity with new all-electric tube benders
»
Precision tube bending takes next step in evolution
»
Innovative automated tube bending cell allows wheelbarrow manufacturer to almost double manufacturing output
»
World's most powerful all-electric pipe bending machine swings into action at Norwegian shipyard
»
Custom all-electric tube bender will accelerate right-first-time production for precision metal fabricator
»
Custom tube bender eliminates cut-off waste of tubular parts for exercise machines
»
Unison opens its own service and sales office in North Carolina
»
Accurate and cost effective tube bending - a new machine concept from Unison
»
Unison receives its Queen's Award
»
Tube bending pioneer wins Queen's Award
»
Ultra-powerful all-electric pipe bender starts operations at US shipbuilder
»
Second Unison all-electric bending machine for fast-growing tube fabrication specialist
»
Precision aerospace engineers choose Unison tube bending technology
»
Tube manipulation specialist embraces all-electric technology and enjoys fast return on investment
»
All-electric tube bending machine innovator appoints new American support partner
»
UK tube manipulation sector "in robust health" says Unison after open house event
»
Size matters: all-electric tube benders take a MASSIVE step forwards
»
Tube bending CAD/CAM software also accommodates laser tube cutting
»
Faster and smarter tubular parts production
»
Scarborough could be the UK's next 'engineering hotspot' thanks to the new University Technical College
»
Powerful all-electric pipe bending machine boosts manufacturing throughput and accuracy of large-bore hydraulic parts
»
Tube bending specialist accelerates throughput and implements right-first-time manufacturing with the help of all-electric machine
»
Advanced tube bending technology helps British Airways maintain latest-generation aircraft
»
New all-electric tube bender extends shape-forming capabilities of aerospace manufacturer
»
Tube bending leader adds new low-cost entry-point machine to its range
»
Higher-productivity tube bending to be highlighted at Tube 2014
»
Innovative tube bending CADCAM solution
»
Advanced tube benders speed construction of subsea wellhead trees
»
Proof that engineering careers still appeal to UK youngsters!
»
Novel tube bender boosts productivity by 500% for leading American tubular part fabricator
»
Higher-productivity tube bending to be demonstrated at Fabtech
»
Lord Green opens design and manufacturing facility for tube bending innovator
»
More production capacity fuels international expansion of tube bending innovator
»
World's largest all-electric pipe bender ordered by US shipbuilder
»
Record sales for tube bending machine builder Unison
»
Siemens Subsea Products adopts all-electric tube bending for production of subsea hydraulic flying leads
»
Unique robotic tube bending system can dramatically speed production
»
Clean, green production efficiency underpins tube bending machinery upgrades at leading truck parts manufacturer
»
Yorkshire's centre of engineering excellence continues investing for its future
»
Right-first-time tube bending technology to be highlighted at Farnborough
»
Business Secretary Vince Cable visits fast-growing UK machine builder
»
Novel twin-head tube/bar bender provides platform for high throughput automated production
»
Fully-automated production cell increases wheelbarrow frame manufacturing efficiency
»
Architectural metalworker achieves right-first-time output using unique bend correction system
»
Right-first-time tube bending technology to make European premiere at Tube 2012
»
All-electric tube bender provides production versatility for submarine builder
»
Scarborough plays host to hundreds of budding designers and engineers
»
Unison supports World Motorcycle Land Speed Record Attempt
»
Rotating-head tube bender produces ultra-complex part shapes in one fast automatic cycle
»
Unison to support VTube software in the UK
»
First all-electric tube bender for leading European tube bending specialist
»
Record sales for tube bending machine builder Unison
»
Precision aerospace tubular parts fabricator chooses all-electric CNC tube bender to combat emerging challenges
»
Tube bending excellence 2011
»
Integrated all-electric tube bender and cutter delivers competitive advantage to volume tubular part manufacturers
»
Architectural metalwork leader chooses right-first-time tube bender
»
Advanced tube bender will boost flexibility of performance exhaust manufacturing
»
Scarborough continues investing in the UK's engineering future
»
Metalworking machinery leader opened its doors at Scarborough engineering week
»
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems orders bending machine
»
End-former accelerates refurbishment process for automotive parts specialist
»
Advanced tooling added to tube bending portfolio


Industry News:
TEG-1000 Tungsten Electrode Grinder
Improve weld quality with precision ground Tungsten Electrodes
Huntingdon Fusion Techniques Limited, UK
UltraFlex SmartPower Compac
UltraFlex announces the release of their breakthrough SmartPower Compac Systems
Ultraflex Power Technologies, USA
David Lee will fully retire from Metalube in August 2018
Metalube bids farewell to David Lee
Metalube Ltd, UK
Sharpe Products' 7th Unison machine (Breeze 3
Leading tube and pipe fabrication specialists invest in 7th Unison tube bender
Unison, UK
HotPurge® Inflatable Pipe Purging System
HotPurge®, for weld purging heat-treated chrome and high strength stainless steel pipework
Huntingdon Fusion Techniques Limited, UK
Molecor will be present at Plastic Pipes in Infrastructure
Molecor will be present at Plastic Pipes in Infrastructure
Molecor Tecnologia SL, Spain
Rubber Plug in action
Inflatable Rubber Plugs: lightweight but strong and highly resistant to petrochemicals
Huntingdon Fusion Techniques Limited, UK
FIMIGroup will be exhibiting a unit with 2 sizing heads equipped of related drives and a
unit with 2 Turk Heads equipped of related drives
FIMIGroup at Tube 2018
FIMIGroup SpA, Italy
Flexible Welding Enclosure® in action
Successful titanium welding with Flexible Welding Enclosures®
Huntingdon Fusion Techniques Limited, UK
Left: Eddy current rotating head
 RotoETscan for steel tubes inspection; right: Ultrasonic rotating head
 RotoUTscan for steel alloys bars inspection
Inspection, measuring & testing
Contrôle Mesure Systèmes (CMS), France
» VIEW ALL NEWS «