Quick change for higher-productivity tube bending

Techniques for optimising productivity of tubular part manufacturing will be highlighted at Southern Manufacturing 2014 by all-electric tube bending machine builder, Unison.

One technique to help manufacturers increase throughput and quality, and eliminate potential for errors and scrap is a quick-change tooling system that is claimed to dramatically speed tooling changeovers. It covers all of the tooling components on the machine, and includes barcode identification to verify the changeover process. For example, says the company, a validated changeover to switch from manufacturing one good part to another can be accomplished in less than three minutes.

Unison-Preview-edit_tmb The system enables 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.

The company has also implemented a range of mechanical architecture and control software improvements 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%. The company points out that as there might be four or five auxiliary movements for each bending move, as well as changes of tooling die, these can add up to very large productivity gains. Technical support is also offered to help optimise bending programs, by employing techniques such as moving several axes in parallel. Automatic collision checking software is also available to help with this process.

Software-controlled architecture allows users to simulate accurately offline to find the most efficient way to make parts – as well as prepare accurate quotations, says Unison’s Steve Haddrell. It also reduces cycle times for parts by optimising bending programs and offers benefits such as remote diagnostics.

Visitors to Unison’s stand will be able to sign up for a tour demonstrating the productivity benefits of servomotor-controlled tube bending. Attendees will see how users employ the precision technology – with a choice of applications including aerospace, automotive, subcontract manufacturing, shipbuilding, and oil and gas equipment manufacturing.

Visit Unison at stand P62 or browse to www.unisonltd.com

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