UK tube manipulation sector "in robust health" says Unison after open house event
PUBLISHED: 17 Oct 14
Visitors were given demonstrations of CAD/CAM software on Unison's all-electric tube bending machines
The tube bending machinery expert Unison has just run a successful open house event at its Scarborough design and manufacturing centre. Representatives from all the main tube bending application sectors were present - including users from aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, furniture and general fabricators - to see demonstrations of all-electric tube benders and CAD/CAM software tools.
Unison notes that interest is extremely high in the current economic climate, and that its UK enquiries are at the highest they have been for many years. "We're handling at least 50% more enquiries for machines and tube bending cells from UK manufacturers compared with one to two years ago, and most of these enquiries are clearly serious - and not just price-checking," says Alan Pickering of Unison.
"A couple of years ago, money was so tight that we saw many companies who ended up by going for basic machines from low-cost vendors, buying second hand, or just not buying at all" continues Pickering. "This time around, it's clear that the manufacturing advantages of all-electric machines are a real pull, as demonstrated by our UK order book - which currently has the largest quantity of machines we've ever been asked for".
Exhibits at Unison's open house event included a large 130 mm all-electric bender from the company's Breeze range, plus the first showing worldwide of a new version of the unique CNC-controlled but manually-powered bender for prototyping and small volume work - Evbend. Unison also provided demonstrations of its automated toolchain for creating tubular parts, from export of CAD models, to simulation, to creating the bend program for the Unison machine, and subsequent checking by CMM and comparison with the original design model.
Visitors toured the large machine building floor at Unison - a feature of the new factory which opened in 2013 - and which currently has six machines in construction for UK users, as well as numerous others destined for international clients in North America, Europe, Africa, India and Australasia.
"Based on the interest we had for this event, and the fact that many visitors already had substantial budgets for investing in new automation, it's clear that the UK tube manipulation industry is in robust health," adds Pickering. "The interesting thing for an added-value machine builder like us, is that this time around we are seeing a real appetite for investment at the higher end of the scale - for advanced machine features that can eliminate scrap, reduce tool changeover times, and speed quoting and programming. It's an indicator that UK manufacturing is doing really well."
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