Higher-productivity tube bending to be highlighted at Tube 2014
PUBLISHED: 16 Jan 14
Techniques for optimising productivity of tubular part manufacturing will be highlighted at Tube 2014 by the all-electric tube bending machine builder Unison
Techniques for optimising productivity of tubular part manufacturing will be highlighted at Tube 2014 by the all-electric tube bending machine builder Unison. Unison employs numerous advanced techniques to help manufacturers to increase throughput and quality, and eliminate potential for errors and scrap.
One of Unison's techniques is an innovative quick-change tooling system that dramatically speeds tooling changeovers. The system covers all of the tooling components on the machine, and includes barcode identification to verify the changeover process. A fully validated changeover to switch from manufacturing one good part to another can be accomplished in less than three minutes for example, on a 50 mm version of Unison's Breeze range of tube benders. The system is ideal for companies producing high value-added tubular parts, enabling expensive early-stage errors to be eliminated from the manufacturing process, and is of particular benefit for companies that manufacture parts to demand and in small batches.
Another new advantage is a range of mechanical architecture and control software improvements that Unison has implemented to optimise tubular part fabrication times. These reduce the time required for all the intermediate handling and movement of the tooling configuration tasks a machine performs before and after a bend by as much as 40%. As there might be four or five auxiliary movements for each bending move, as well as changes of tooling dies, these savings can add up to very large productivity gains - particularly for companies fabricating parts with several bends. This speed gain is complemented by Unison technical support which helps clients to optimise their bending programs, by employing techniques such as moving several axes in parallel. Automatic collision checking software is also available to help with this process.
"Most users now understand that all-electric tube benders offer major advantages over hydraulically-powered machines, in terms of automatic and repeatable set up, and right-first-time/scrap-free production," says Unison's Jim Saynor. "However, the benefits of such a software-controlled architecture extend much farther. They allow users to simulate accurately offline to find the most efficient way to make parts - as well as prepare accurate quotations. And to reduce the cycle times for parts by optimising bending programs, plus many other benefits including remote diagnostics."
Visitors to Unison's booth will be able to sign up for a highly practical tour demonstrating the productivity benefits of servomotor-controlled tube bending. Unison will take attendees to see how users employ the high-precision technology - with a choice including applications at different types of companies including aerospace, automotive, subcontract manufacturing, shipbuilding, and oil and gas equipment manufacturing.
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