transfluid develops an economical process for forming tubes of up to 325mm diameter
Complex requirements that place increasing demands on efficiency are mission-critical challenges for tube forming applications too. This is particularly true for shipbuilding. The high investment in the tooling needed for forming machines has been an unnecessary cost driver – until now. A corresponding tool had to be available for every possible combination of tube geometry and diameter. The engineers at transfluid Maschinenbau GmbH already recognized this back in 2011. At that time they developed an efficient solution for the tool- independent forming of tube ends with the first CNC rotary forming machine. With a second, new process the company is now marking a further milestone in forming – without the tooling complexity.
A flaring machine that does not require special tool inserts
“We have managed to develop a flaring machine that has a positively guided cone. The machine only requires aclamp for flanging jobs”, is how Gerd Nöker, Managing Director of transfluid, summarizes the technical innovation. Effective attention to detail allowed the engineers from South Westphalia to develop the technology to reach a commercially viable level. This means that the flaring cone no longer corresponds with the forming geometry, as with conventional systems. The benefits include a lower investment in – and stock of – tooling, minimum setup times and a manufacturing process optimized to the cycle-time; because the shape is sometimes achieved in two forming stages – or the flange is fitted to the tube end by welding.
Freely swinging for a wide range of options
Because the flaring cone is located on a rotating shaft it is relatively difficult to control. This is why the cone is allowed to swing freely and only the axial feed is used as a “control medium”. This makes the construction of the whole machine simple and robust, and all forming options remain open during the forming process itself. The first machine, which was recently delivered, is capable of flanging tubes of 42.4 to 325 mm. The transitional radius between the tube and flange can be freely selected and the radius can be very angular or well rounded. Special, cost-intensive tooling has now become a thing of the past.