CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

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CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

US shipbuilder orders one-of-a-kind all electric bender

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First of its type ever built, machine will bend up to 8 in. (219 mm OD) diameters

The largest all-electric bender of its kind in the world will be in place at the end of this year at a US shipbuilder’s facility after bending machine manufacturer Unison received an order from Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) for an all-electric machine capable of bending large bore tubing and piping up to eight in. (219 mm OD) in diameter.

Unison’s North American agent is Horn Machine Tools, Madera, CA.

The machine will be the first of its type ever built extending the shipbuilder’s range of precision software-controlled bending facilities to include fabrication of larger diameter pipes that previously could only be bent on very high torque hydraulic machines. Unison says it will be the largest and most sophisticated all-electric pipe bender ever designed.

Unision says all-electric benders offer numerous advantages over the type of hydraulically powered machines traditionally used in heavy industries such as shipbuilding. Their precision servomotor-based motion control means that they can be configured automatically using parts data downloaded from the design database over a network, and are easy to operate and very quiet.

The machine’s bending axes are driven by closed-loop servomotors under software control to facilitate fast setup and to provide accurate and repeatable bending performance, says Unison. This automated approach eliminates operator error and the need to produce trial parts, and minimizes creation of expensive scrap material. It also contributes to manufacturing flexibility and rapid changeover; especially important in the shipyard working environment where many of the tube/pipe components are fabricated as needed and often in batch sizes of just one.

Under the terms of the order from NNS, the new machine will be equipped with Unison’s laser-controlled spring-back measurement and correction system. This ensures bending precision by automatically compensating for the natural tendency of metal pipes and tubes to spring back slightly after being bent, providing a tool that delivers right-first-time manufacturing even when fabricating just one part.

According to Jim Saynor of Unison, “this latest order from Newport News Shipbuilding highlights the flexibility of our bending machine control technology. Through collaboration and the support of our partners in the USA, Horn Machine Tools, we have gained a thorough understanding of the needs of this prestigious shipbuilder, and have helped and advised them on numerous aspects of pipe and tube fabrication. Our software-based approach to bending control provides a fully scalable solution that can easily be extended to large diameter pipes, such as this order for an 8-inch machine.”

The new Unison machine is scheduled to be completed in Q4, 2013.

Horn Machine Tools

 

 

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