AddisonMckee Raises the Bar on Component Repeatability via Introduction of Mandrel Bend Monitor

World-leading tube bending and endforming technology specialists, AddisonMckee, are now able to offer a highly advanced mandrel force monitor that can be specified as an optional extra with the company's latest tube bending machines, or retrofitted to many existing models.

With an industry-wide reputation for reliability, repeatability and high precision, AddisonMckee has invested considerable time and effort investigating how it can raise the bar further on finished component quality via the implementation of a monitoring process designed to highlight even small variations in mandrel performance.

Typically, the problem with mandrel failure sensor systems," comments AddisonMckee Director of Global Marketing, Christian Rogiers, "is that, while being effective, they can lead to increased maintenance and machine down time caused through non-relevant warnings. We have, consequently, been reluctant to embrace such solutions."

Highly advanced process variation monitoring
"Following the signing of an agreement with process monitoring devices company, OES Inc. of Canada," he added, "I am, therefore, delighted to announce that AddisonMckee is now able to offer customers a highly advanced, robust and far superior process variation solution. One that is not simply a proven way to detect broken mandrel links that can result from excessive pull forces, but is also able to identify the issues that result in such a force taking place."

Recognizing slightest variances in pull force
In the process variation system offered by AddisonMckee, the process involves monitoring the pressure placed on the mandrel during each and every bend cycle. This is achieved via use of a piezoelectric force transducer located at the mandrel reaction component of the bender. Any change in mandrel pull force or tension that falls outside pre-set control parameters is then highlighted as a process variation of degradation. Variations can result from loss of lubrication, galling, tube misalignment or slippage, change in material hardness, or even use of a material that falls outside of specification.

Significantly reduced downtime
Adds Christian Rogiers, "In simple terms, this process monitoring solution acts by alerting the process operator to any production changes that might lead to mandrel failure. This is unlike traditional mandrel failure systems that may allow considerable quantities of faulty components to be produced before failure is detected. By monitoring the pull force during the bend and withdrawal stages, however, it becomes relatively straightforward to maximize machine set-up for extended mandrel life and to significantly reduce machine downtime."

About OES Inc.
Celebrating 28 years of expanding operations, OES Inc. develops and deploys innovative and effective 'in-process test and monitoring' solutions for a wide range of applications, including mandrel bending, wire processing, tube end-forming, crimp forming, riveting, and other pressing and forming applications.

About AddisonMckee
2008 winners of Managing Automation magazine's Progressive Manufacturing 50 Awards - a prestigious award based on an organization's ability to use information and automation technologies to transform its business and create a sustainable competitive advantage - AddisonMckee is globally renowned for the design, manufacture and supply of some of the world's finest tube bending and end forming technologies - for increasingly complex automotive, aviation, truck and shipbuilding requirements.

In addition, AddisonMckee also offers highly innovative muffler and catalytic converter assembly solutions, hydraulic press machinery, tube inspection systems, plant automation and complete workcell integration.

In addition to these capabilities, a whole range of tooling and accessory options are also provided, as are comprehensive maintenance and service contracts, training and education programs and financial services. Where applicable, AddisonMckee is also able to offer customers the opportunity of machine rebuilds, refurbishment, upgrades and trade-ins.

From its state-of-the-art manufacturing centers in the USA, United Kingdom, Canada and China, AddisonMckee is committed to providing rapid solutions to market and also regularly assists clients in product prototyping, parts development, small production runs and pre-production sample development.

AddisonMckee is principally owned by WHI Capital Partners (WHICP), a Chicago-based private equity group that invests in middle market, industry-leading companies with solid financial fundamentals and proven management teams. WHICP is an affiliate of William Harris Investors, Inc., a family-based asset management firm founded by Irving B. Harris in 1987.

For further information please contact:
Rachel Thomas - BHL Marketing
Tel: +44 (0) 1244 851850
Fax: +44 (0) 1244 851888

Christian Rogiers - AddisonMckee
Tel: +1 513 228 7076
Fax: +1 513 228 7226

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