T&T Tubecraft invests in Unison’s ultimate CNC tube bending machine for subcontractors
Tube manipulation and pipe bending subcontract business, T&T Tubecraft, has taken delivery of a new all-electric 130 mm diameter multi-stack CNC tube bending machine from leading tube manipulation technology specialists, Unison Ltd.
This is the third Unison tube bender to be purchased by T&T Tubecraft since 2014. It joins a 50 mm Unison Breeze machine and a 100 mm Unison Breeze multi-stack model that are in daily use at T&T Tubecraft’s Woking-based facility. Offering exceptional power and immense levels of flexibility, the 130 mm machine has been described by Unison as ‘the ultimate tube bending machine for subcontractors’.
Increasing subcontracting capability
“Of all our tube benders, our 100 mm Unison machine is easily the busiest,” says T&T Tubecraft managing director, Ross Turner. “This is largely down to its user-friendly programming, fast tool changes, automatic setup and uncompromising levels of accuracy and repeatability. Ironically, when we purchased the 100 mm Unison machine back in 2015, we didn’t have a vast amount of work for it. This quickly changed, however, as we gained the ability to take on new projects. The new 130 mm machine will increase our capability even further, both in terms of capacity and the ability to tender for an even greater range of projects. We expect it to be of particular interest to customers in the aerospace sector.”
Hitch-feed for bending tubes of up to 8.7 metres in length
The bigger brother of the Unison 100 mm multi-stack machine, the Unison 130 mm tube bender purchased by T&T Tubecraft is particularly suited to bending exotic alloys such as titanium and Inconel, as well as Super-Duplex stainless steels. Able to push bend tubes of up to 6.2 metres in length when in standard mode, it also features a hitch-feed facility, whereby the machine carriage retracts by the length of the next feed, enabling mandrel bending of tubes of up to 8.7 metres long. As a result of this capability, T&T Tubecraft believes that, out of all UK tube manipulation subcontractors, it may provide the longest bending range.
Multi-stack tool holding allows the most complex of parts to be formed in one uninterrupted manufacturing cycle, while Unison’s bar code scanning system ensures that only the correct tools are installed while also configuring the machine automatically. A further feature which attracted T&T Tubecraft to the Unison 130 mm machine is the standard-fit rise and fall pressure die. This can result in significant savings in tooling costs and allows tools of very different radii to be used on a part within a cycle. Like all Unison machines, T&T Tubecraft’s new 130 mm machine is also highly powerful. “This is a significant advantage for us, as it provides the reassurance to achieve high quality thin wall bending, even on high yield-strength alloys such as Inconel,” adds Ross Turner.
The 130 mm machine has been networked to T&T Tubecraft’s CAD facilities and a Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) for verifying bend accuracy and design conformity. The tube bender can be programmed manually or from CAD data using industry-standard IGES or STEP files, while data obtained by the CMM from the first manufactured part can be used to make automatic adjustments to the machine prior to commencing a manufacturing cycle.
“The all-electric architecture and automated Unibend software-controlled setup of our Unison machines offers major advantages over hydraulic machines,” continues Ross Turner. “Bending accuracy and repeatability are dramatically improved. We achieve right-first-time manufacturing for repeat subcontract work and typically expect even the first bent trial component at the start of a project to be very close to what we are looking to achieve. Machine configuration is also rapid, typically only taking 15 to 20 minutes. As a subcontract tube manipulation company, we also quickly get to hear how well new machines are viewed by our teams. Unison machines are very well received by our workforce. Unison’s Unibend operating software is exceptionally intuitive, meaning much faster programming and accelerated training for new staff members. Our operators consider the Unibend control system to be exceptionally user friendly.”
“It is always satisfying to receive repeat orders, especially when they are from such a well-respected company as T&T Tubecraft,” adds Unison key account manager, Steve Haddrell. “What was particularly rewarding in this instance, however, was the opportunity to work closely with the customer to deliver an already exceptionally capable, powerful and robust multi-radius – multi-stack machine with the additional component length to give them a real edge in the subcontractor marketplace.”
Tel: 01723 582 868
Fourth Unison bending machine for leading aircraft component manufacturer
Leading aircraft component manufacturer, Globe Engineering, has installed a fourth Unison all-electric CNC tube bending machine at its facility in Wichita, Kansas.
Commissioned earlier this year, the new machine has joined Globe’s existing Unison all-electric tube benders at the Wichita site and will help to increase manufacturing capability significantly. With overlapping capacities, the Unison tube bending machines at Globe can bend tubes from 1.25”, 31.75 mm, to 6.00’’, 152.4 mm, in diameter, all with the highest levels of repeatability and accuracy.
In addition to supporting Globe’s ongoing requirements for bending high quality aircraft tubing, the new all-electric CNC tube bender from Unison will be used to bend a range of aluminium, stainless steel and titanium tubes measuring up to 1.25”, 31.75 mm, in diameter. Before investing in this latest machine from UK-based Unison, Globe had just one tube bending machine that was capable of bending stainless and titanium tubes from 5/8” to 1.00” diameter.
Bend shop supervisor Shaun Knuth says: “We are not just creating new capability by buying a new Unison tube bending machine, we’re creating capacity and a safety net, in case we have a breakdown.”
Describing some of the key advantages that Unison all-electric tube benders have over hydraulic tube benders, Shaun Knuth adds: “They’re more efficient because they use less energy. In fact, they only use energy while they are in motion. By comparison, the hydraulic benders use electricity all the time they are running, with their energy usage increasing during cycle time. Electric machines are much quieter too. Our Unison all-electric tube benders also offer greater repeatability. You simply select the exact pressure you need; if you want 1,272 psi of pressure, you just type that in, and the machine creates exactly the same pressure every time.”
Shaun Knuth also praises the fact that Unison all-electric tube benders can be operated more slowly when hot-bending titanium, all the way down to a creep, a process that removes the risk of overheating and minimises scrap. He also points out that there’s no need for titanium tubes to be lubricated with expensive, messy grease before hot bending when using all-electric machines.
Steve Haddrell, key account manager at Unison, adds that Globe Engineering’s latest order is particularly rewarding for several reasons: “Repeat orders are always great news because they carry a clear customer endorsement. Globe Engineering relies heavily on its tube bending machines and is familiar with the benefits of Unison’s all-electric technology, including fully automated machine setup, ease-of-use, very high bend accuracy and excellent repeatability.
“In this case, the company decided that these attributes, combined with the build quality and reliability of Unison machines, significantly outweighed any short term economic advantage of low cost tube benders. Increasingly, our customers regard Unison as a solutions partner, with our machines forming part of their long-term business strategy.”
Unison Ltd and Pneuform Machines Ltd announce joint venture
Joint venture will strengthen portfolio, build scale and accelerate growth
Unison Ltd, which manufactures tube bending machines and simulation software, announces that it has entered a joint venture with Pneuform Machines Ltd leading to full integration within the Unison family of companies joining Yorkshire CNC and Ingenium Integration.
The joint venture will strengthen Unison’s portfolio adding a range of small diameter tube and wire bending machines.
“Unison Ltd is excited about our joint business venture with wire and tube bending specialists Pneuform, who have been firmly established in the tube bending industry for over 50 years. The partnership will see new product lines added to our product portfolio which already houses the world’s largest range of all electric tube bending machinery and sits a alongside our Evbend range of machines. Pneuform are the perfect fit for Unison, adding a wealth of experience and engineering expertise, given their deep-rooted history. The Pneuform product range fits perfectly into the Unison tube bending range due to their commitment to robust and reliable machinery, delivering high-performance at a cost-effective price. Unison Ltd is committed to delivering the same high level of service and industry expertise Pneuform’s clients have grown to expect over the past 50+ years. Together, we can be much stronger and add considerable value to the tube bending sector/all market sectors we operate in,” says Alan Pickering, joint managing director at Unison Ltd.
“Pneuform are excited that the joint venture will enhance the marketing and the technical development of the range of machines it produces,” says Trevor Clark, managing director of Pneuform Machines Ltd. “The Pneuform range will be supported jointly by Unison and Pneuform. The joint venture will secure future ongoing support for existing customers and provide confidence that the bending machines will continue to be developed, supported and marketed into the long-term future”.
For more than forty years, Unison Ltd has been manufacturing tube bending machines working with our customers to design and build some of the most cutting-edge tube bending technology available on the global marketplace today. We push technical boundaries whether this is in the manufacture of the world’s largest all-electric tube bending machine, or an integrated software solution has rewarded us with a global reputation for solving the most challenging customer problems.
Pneuform was founded in the mid-1960s, concentrating its efforts on the design, development and manufacture of pneumatic and hydraulic tube and wire bending machines. Pneuform produce wire bending machines in both 2- and 3-axis models that cover a range of wires from 2 mm (0.08″) to 16 mm (0.63”). Pneuform also produces a range of tube machines that have been developed for specific industries. The 2-axis bending machine will produce serpentines, coils and spirals with either a static flat table for smaller parts or with an integrated 3-axis table to support large parts. The 3-axis bending machine provides the versatility to produce a variety of shapes.