Electric Tube Bender offers multi-stack tooling.

Press Release Summary:




Utilizing Windows-based Unibend Control Software, Breeze 150 offers programmable control over rotary draw bending process, with max bending torque of 814,269 lb-in. and 6 in. OD capacity. Bends up to 180° can be made with repeatability of ±0.1° of bend angle and plane of bend. Machine includes swing-away wiper die system, and split tooling to aid bending of square section tube. Stack height of 24.8 in. allows user to store multiple toolsets on machine for rapid changeover.



Original Press Release:



New All-Electric Tube Bender Brings Flexibility Of Multi-Stack Tooling To 150 mm (6 inch) Sizes



* machine can deliver virtually instant, software-controlled changeover between batches

Madera, CA, May 1, 2008 --- Horn Machine Tools announces an all-electric tube bending machine from Unison that combines the flexibility of multi-stack tooling with the power to bend tubing of up to 6 inches (150 mm) outside diameter. It brings the accuracy, repeatability and fast set-up benefits of all-electric machinery to the larger tube sizes used in applications such as shipbuilding, truck exhaust systems, and structural tubing for buildings.

Called the Breeze 150, the new machine is optimized for high-precision applications, and includes unique operating software that virtually eliminates the high costs normally associated with machine configuration for small-batch and just-in-time parts production. In addition, energy consumption is a small fraction of an equivalent hydraulically-powered bender.

Breeze 150 offers sophisticated programmable control over the rotary draw bending process, with a maximum bending torque of 92,000 Nm (814,269 pound inches). Bends of up to 180 degrees can be made, with a high degree of repeatability of +/-0.1 degrees of both bend angle and plane of bend. The machine includes a number of features to further support precision bending including a swing-away wiper die system to simplify tight radius bending applications, and split tooling to aid bending of square section tube. The versatility of the machine is also greatly aided by a stack height of 630 mm (24.8 inches) for tooling, allowing users to store multiple toolsets on the machine for rapid changeover between batches.

A key element of the new machine is the Unibend Control Software, which Unison believes delivers the most versatile tube-bending capability available worldwide. Unison made the world's first all-electric tube bender in 1994, and the machine control software has been evolved over more than a decade, and includes advanced features such as automatic set-up. This will automatically sense and clamp a tube, ready for bending - greatly reducing the time required for initial set up. Unlike traditional hydraulically-powered benders, users also have complete control over the bend operation, and can modify the bend speed, clamping pressure, pressure die position and force, and mandrel positioning parameters applied to achieve the ideal bend. Following set up, all the operating parameters are stored, allowing the machine to be configured for further batches of parts in a few minutes, and without creating any scrap.

"All-electric actuation combined with multi-stack tooling can revitalize tube bending operations, speeding changeover between batches, boosting the flexibility of a company's process, and reducing scrap," says Kent Horn of Horn Machine Tools. "This can often deliver payback on the machines within a few months, especially in today's environment with spiraling material prices. This latest machine in our draw bending range extends the benefits of all-electric machines to a range of new larger size applications."

The control software runs on a standard Windows PC, providing further flexibility for users. This includes powerful diagnostic aids, which allow the Unison engineering team to help manufacturers immediately with any bending problem, or machine performance issue. The machine includes a webcam, which Unison can remotely access. In combination with a software 'black box' which automatically stores the last 500 instructions entered by the operator and details of machinery positions from the servo motor sensors, Unison can help users to optimize their processes, as well as provide remote maintenance.

Tube bending operations may be programmed in three ways. Programs may be automatically generated by transferring data from CAD software, and Unison has interfaces for all popular packages, and will develop interfaces for any others required - including a manufacturer's proprietary design software. A simple programming template is also available, allowing users to create a program by entering the distance between bends, the angle of bend required, and rotation of the tube. A further option is copying or reverse engineering, by using a tube measuring system to recreate the coordinates from a sample or prototype.

In place of hydraulic force, the Breeze 150 employs servo motors to control the bend process, including clamp, pressure die, mandrel and follower. This all-electric actuation provides significant benefits related to energy consumption, repeatability, and noise reduction. As the actuation elements of the machine only draw significant current when a bend is being made, energy usage is greatly reduced. The machine's idle consumption level of around 1 kW/hour accounts for the vast majority of usage. Noise is also measurably reduced, with Breeze 150 operating at around 55-60 dB, a level equivalent to normal speech.

Unison's tube bending machines are available in North America exclusively from Horn Machine Tools. Details are available at: www.unisonltd.com/products.htm and www.hornmachinetools.com/

Horn Machine Tools, 40473 Brickyard Drive, Madera, CA 93638, USA. t: 559-431-4131; f: 559-431-4431; e: sales@hornmachinetools.com; w: www.hornmachinetools.com -- also located in St. Paul, MN.; and Indianapolis, IN.

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