A.I.-driven tube straightener
- June 3, 2020
These solutions incorporate artificial intelligence that automatically adapt by learning different part types without requiring operator intervention. As compared to traditional approaches, these systems have helped to reduce cycle times up to 80 per cent.
Many tubes and pipes produced for precision applications today lack sufficient straightness for finishing operations like machining or centerless grinding. This can lead to quality problems downstream where vibrations during grinding can lead to inconsistent results as well as potentially damaging centerless grinding wheels.
Bundles of tubes/bars are loaded onto a staging deck and then automatically fed to the straightening equipment. In the straightening process the bar stock is rotated 360¬∞ while sensors measure the bar at multiple data points along its length to create a profile. This data is sent to the PLC where it is compared to the straightness specification in order to determine where it needs to be corrected.
A servo press, mounted to a servo-controlled rail, is positioned to the indicated location determined by the sensors and then bends the bar/tube repeatedly over its length to bring it within tolerance. This process continues until the straightness requirements are achieved. As a final check, the tube is then rotated again to collect the data points to confirm that the bar is within specification.