Product Details Supplier Info More products

Unison has launched the Breeze-Blade, an all-electric tube bender with an integrated cutter, providing automated single-step manufacturing of volume parts such as exhausts and tubing piping shapes.

The machine is said to bring the programmability and precision advantages of all-servo control to the tubular-parts manufacturing market.

The machine’s all-electric, servomotor-controlled architecture offers comprehensive programmability throughout the part-fabrication cycle.

The position and forces of the tube-bending dies can be precisely controlled, as can the movement profile and torque applied during the ‘nick and shear’ cutting cycle – delivering high accuracy and quality of shape fabrication and end finish.

Unison said that servomotor control also ensures that cutting positions are extremely accurate and repeatable from batch to batch – to within +/- 0.1mm (0.004in) – as tubing remains under control of a high-resolution digital-motion architecture throughout the operation.

These benefits are in addition to the returns of low energy consumption and quiet operation of all-electric motion-control architectures, compared with traditional, hydraulically actuated machinery.

After a bending operation, moving the tube to the shear tool position and making the cut takes typically 12-15sec.

This compares with 60sec – plus the need for skilled labour – that would be required for handling, loading, set-up and cut-off when the same task is performed at a separate station.

In addition, Unison’s integrated machine means that manufacturers will also be able to produce multiple parts from each length of tubing, providing another boost to productivity.

The Breeze-Blade is capable of bending and cutting tubing with outside diameters of up to 76mm (3in).

It comes with a multi-stack (multiple on-machine tooling) facility for software-controlled changeover between parts batches, with the nick and shear tooling loaded into one of the tool positions.

Cut-off is performed in two steps.

The bent tube shape is positioned automatically by the machine’s servomotor-driven carriage, and a circular clamp grips the tube directly adjacent to the cutting position.

The first tool strikes the tube to create a nick that penetrates around two-thirds of the way through the tubing wall.

The shear blade then drives through the tubing – with control over aspects such as acceleration, speed, deceleration and torque to suit the material and the tubing shape.

This highly controlled action ensures a high-quality dimple-free cut with minimal burring.

The clamp has been specially designed to ensure that cuts can be made close to a bend – to within approximately 6cm (2.4in).

View full profile