WAFIOS presents this new development in Düsseldorf together with the machine's bigger brother, the RBV 60 R, which was presented in 2013.
The series couples power with innovative technology and new ergonomic design.
The RBV machines are new, extremely versatile and profitable tube bending machines for the production of 2D and 3D parts with more flexibility in the production of parts and higher repeat accuracy. Thanks to the new, more robust design of the machine, significant process improvements could be achieved. More performance, despite increased energy efficiency, is guaranteed due to the use of the most modern control and drive technology from the robot industry. High service and operating convenience increase the machines’ availability.
WAFIOS CNC Tube bending machine RBV 60 R
Thus the RBV series becomes a long-lasting solution for the effective production of a large spectrum of parts also in small batch sizes.
The exhibition program will be completed by the successful BMU 50 R bending machine which will be exhibited for the first time as a machine for bending tube from the coil. Visit WAFIOS in hall 5, booth A 21 at the Tube show!
Exol Lubricants, the UK’s largest independent oil blender, has bolstered its lean production expertise with a visit to Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) production facility at Castle Bromwich, Birmingham.
Exol’s operation team visited the Castle Bromwich site, which employs more than 3000 people to produce all five Jaguar models including: F-TYPE, XK Grand Tourer, XJ, XF and XF Sportbrake.
The visit was organised as part of Exol’s on-going programme to implement lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing, as the name suggests, involves producing goods and services while stripping out waste. As a result there is no 'fat' involved in production.
Exol’s operation team visit to Jaguar Land Rover
Lean manufacturing was invented by Toyota in Japan just after the second world war but it was not until 1998 that Jaguar started to use lean manufacturing to increase its productivity. After the successful implementation of lean manufacturing, Jaguar has become one of the world’s leading car brands.
Exol Lubricants operates the same lean production processes. It operates a Kanban scheduling system for controlling the logistical supply chain to ensure lean and just-in-time production.
Steve Dunn, Exol sales director, said: “We are extremely grateful to Jaguar Land Rover for allowing Exol’s operation team to see first hand their excellent facility and lean manufacturing process. As a product manufacturer, we continue to implement lean manufacturing strategies into our business with the aim to reduce waste and ensure a clean and safe working environment.”
Next, Exol’s operation team will visit the lean manufacturing facility of JCB in Staffordshire.
According to a recent academic paper, titled “The China Toll”, the United States lost more than 2.7 million jobs to China in the years between 2001 and 2011. Haven Manufacturing, the well-known Georgia based manufacturer of machinery and equipment for tube and bar processing, is doing their part to fight the trend of continued American job and manufacturing loss to Asia.
Last year Oddello Industries, a Tennessee based manufacturer of high quality metal, tube, pipe, composite, and MDF components for OEMs in a variety of industries, purchased a dual-blade cutoff machine from Haven as part of the development of a process to manufacture several individual parts from 1” square tube to be packaged, along with a variety of sheet-metal stampings, into high quality adjustable mattress foundations. The state of Tennessee alone has lost well over 56,000 manufacturing jobs, more than 2% of the state’s total employment, to China based companies in the past decade. Oddello, by partnering with proven America based equipment suppliers like Haven Manufacturing, has shown itself to be able to compete for, and win, business back from China based manufacturing concerns. Oddello’s capable engineering staff partnered with Haven’s engineers to develop a fully programmable process which couples a piercer, designed and manufactured by Criterion Machinery, with a Haven Servo Dual-Blade Shear Cutoff machine. The resulting process has proven able to process nearly 15 miles of tube per day into 38 unique parts (SKUs) within length tolerances that never exceed 0.0015 inch.
The Oddello-Haven collaboration has proven so successful that Oddello’s management recently decided to expand the tube stamping and cutting operation. Not only is this great news for the company and its employees, but it is great news for the people and community of Morristown. The additional jobs and income provided by the expansion will undoubtedly improve the quality of life for many people in the region. The original Haven cut-off machine has proven so reliable and efficient that the company has ordered an additional Haven Model 873 Servo Dual-Blade Shear Tube Recut Machine to handle increased demand from both new customers and the customer for which this process was originally designed. The Haven 873 is capable of cutting tube from square or round stock, in lengths from 2” up to 120” and employs a programmable closed-loop servo drive to assure accuracy.
Schwarze-Robitec has developed its freeform bending concept further for all-electric tube bending machines. This technology allows the precise creation of large bending radii and variable radius paths on tubes and profiles. A high level of repeat accuracy is achieved even with new, higher-strength materials. At the same time, the system supports the combination of freeform and mandrel bending in one clamping operation and is therefore particularly suitable for users from the automotive and agricultural machinery industries as well as for stair lift and furniture manufacturers.
The requirements for freeform bent tubes and profiles are growing: increasingly complex bending paths and the reshaping of new, higher-strength materials demand improved bending machines and software concepts. The current renaissance in hydroforming is also reinforcing this trend. In order to equip the tube and profile processing industries in the best way possible for these and future market requirements, Schwarze-Robitec GmbH has improved the freeform bending concept for its all-electric tube bending machines. The result: the manufacture of large bending radii of size 6xD is considerably more precise with this technology. “At the same time, the production process is accelerated by up to five times, or even ten times in individual cases,” Jürgen Korte, Plant Manager of Schware-Robitec, explains. “This is because the revised concept allows very high bending speeds and the setup times previously required are appreciably reduced due to the increased precision.”
Improved production processes
In the freeform process, the bending radii are created not with fixed tools but rather by means of independently mounted rollers. The desired bending radius is defined by the feed angle of a reshaping roller. As such, very large radii and complex radius paths can be created with bending radii of varying sizes. The technology is used in all of the all-electric bending machines in the CNC 40 E TB MR to CNC 160 E TB MR series. Using very robust bending heads, even high-strength materials can be manipulated into the desired shape with no problem by means of the freeform process.
Application in the automotive industry
“We have recently delivered an all-electric tube bending machine with this new technology to Mexico, to one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers,” Korte reports. The machine, which has been expanded to be fully automatic – including loading unit for machine feed, measuring system and handling robot for onward transport of the bent parts – ensures fully automated and therefore very fast and economic bending processes. Schwarze-Robitec has had many years of extensive experience in the area of freeform bending.
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.
Orbitalum – Innovation with integrated value and quality
World market leader, Orbitalum Tools GmbH, in Singen has expanded its range for pipe cutting, beveling/squaring and orbital welding with its new boiler-pipe processing machine "BRB 2 Full Auto". The pneumatically-operated machine is the perfect addition to Orbitalum's WIG pipe-in-sheet weld heads. These products work together perfectly. It is also particularly economical and ensures the highest levels of precision and quality when shortening and welding thousands of pipes on heat exchangers. The machine provides users the same precision and efficiency during maintenance and service, defective pipes can be easily "milled out" of the pipe sheet.
In doing so, Orbitalum came up with both major and minor innovations for this product. The cutting system for exact squaring and beveling works with up to four, extremely low cost, cutting bits. Automatic hydro pneumatics are started when the touch control is activated. The "BRB 2" clamps and centers itself in the pipe using compressed air. The cutting process begins with hydraulic soft start. In addition, rapid traverse can be used for faster working. Unlike conventional machines with additional ballast such as an external control box and foot pedal, Orbitalum's solution is much more convenient and cost-efficient, as all of the control elements are easier to operate because they are integrated in to the machine. Initially, the speed is ideally adapted to heat exchanger use, but it can be conveniently varied using a control valve. The feed can also be controlled continuously with a voltage divider. The very robust, length-adjustable end switch also stops the shortening process exactly at the desired position.
Further special features of the "BRB 2" are the balance setting, which is integrated into the handle for easy operation between the processing cycles. Also a very clever solution for the compressed air outlet for quality and value, the exhaust air ring can be rotated, which allows the air flow to be kept away from the workpiece and operator. The advantage is that an oil film does not form on the workpiece. This unwanted effect is often the cause for errors (pores and cavities) forming in the weld metal, which can be difficult to avoid in the machines with rigid front air outlets which are commercially available.
Oil and gas contractor Bonatti has selected an EFD Induction post-weld heat treatment (PWHT) solution to help build the world’s longest 13% Cr onshore pipeline.
The corrosion resistant pipeline is part of the In Salah Southern Fields project (ISSF) in the Algerian Sahara desert. This in turn, is phase two of the larger In Salah Gas (ISG) project, which first came on-stream in July 2004. ISG, a joint venture between Statoil, BP and Sonatrach, is Algeria’s third largest gas development, and currently has an annual production capacity of around 9 billion cubic meters.
“This is a significant project for several reasons,” says Stefano Migliavacca of EFD Induction in Italy. “To be selected by such a prestigious company as Bonatti confirms our ability to satisfy the most stringent criteria. The project also underscores the industry-wide acceptance of our PWHT solution for corrosion resistant alloys.” A proven solution in a tough environment—an EFD Induction PWHT unit in use on advanced, corrosion-resistant alloy pipe in the Sahara desert. Daytime summer temperatures can reach 60°C, but plunge to below freezing at night. The dry gas harvested in the southern In Salah fields is unusually corrosive due to its high CO2 content, which can be as high as 10%.
The Bonatti order involves two complete PWHT systems for on-site operation in the Saharan desert. Each system is truckmounted, and comprises an EFD Induction ‘Minac’ 70/110 power source, specially designed induction coils for 8”-12” and 16” pipe, and chiller and quench units. The two PWHT systems will be used for butt-to-butt welding of 13% Cr and 13% Cr to duplex steel. “Welding these heterogeneous
materials is a technically advanced task,” says Migliavacca. “But when used in conjunction with PWHT, such welding offers tremendous benefits. 13% Cr pipe, for example is extremely cost-effective because its strength means that lighter wall thicknesses can be used. Duplex on the other hand is extremely resistant to corrosion.” PWHT of 13% CR and duplex flowlines is necessary in order to minimize the risk of hydro- gen induced stress cracking (HISC). Such cracking is caused by the presence of hydrogen in the pipe’s heat affected zone. Although precautions are taken during the fabrication and welding stages to minimize hydrogen content, PWHT is still deemed the best way to achieve safe levels. “A big factor behind Bonatti’s decision is our proven experience in this specialized PWHT area,” adds
Migliavacca. “Our colleagues at EFD Induction in the UK, Jon Philpott in particular, had previously devised a PWHT solution for another In Salah contractor. It involved the supply of three truck-mounted PWHT units, which have now been operating in the tough Algerian environment for months. Philpott’s expertise contributed greatly to the Bonatti solution, and helped convince them that EFD Induction was the right
The PWHT units built for Bonatti are currently undergoing final testing. “We hope to get the units into action as soon as possible,” says Migliavacca. “ISG is after all a critical project. Its seven fields not only supply key foreign and local markets with gas, it also involves the world’s first full-scale carbon dioxide capture undertaking at a gas field. It’s an honor to be part of such an exciting and meaningful initiative.”
To accurately bend steel or stainless steel tubes and tube systems must accept long auxiliary processing times for the generally unavoidable measuring and adjusting process. This is because the rebound behaviour of the materials can differ widely – even if the tubes come from a single batch. The production of prototypes and individual items is similarly time and labour-intensive. The Springmatic optical measuring system provides a remedy here: the new development from Schwarze-Robitec, which is integrated into the bending tool, measures the bent tubes directly whilst tensioned on the bending machine and immediately starts the required further bending process if desired or saves the required correction value for subsequent bends.
Instead of removing the tube after the bending process, checking it on an external measuring system then retensioning it for subsequent bending, tube processing companies can bend, measure and adjust in a single stage with the aid of Springmatic. Immediately after the bending of a tube, the new optical measuring system that Schwarze-Robitec is integrating into its bending tools records the rebound value, from which the CNC control of the tube bending machine calculates the required subsequent bending angle. Subsequent bending is carried out immediately afterwards – either fully automatically if desired or after clearance by the machine operator. “This integrated form of dimensional stability check and tube post-processing takes only a few seconds per work piece on average. This is contrasted with around three to five minutes required for measuring and adjusting in the conventional way,” Schwarze-Robitec Plant Manager Jürgen Korte reports.
Broad range applications
When developing the measuring system, the tube bending specialists from Cologne placed particular emphasis on a very broad range of applications: Springmatic reliably checks both thick and thin-walled tubes in the broadest range of materials and diameters. The system can be integrated into almost any bending tool and combined with almost all tube bending machines from Schwarze-Robitec. “The measuring accuracy from Springmatic is naturally equivalent to the accuracy of conventional external systems,” Schwarze-Robitec Managing Director Bert Zorn adds. “Furthermore, users not only save up to nine tenths of the auxiliary processing times previously required; in individual item and prototype production, they additionally benefit from a noticeable material saving as almost every component is now also a useable bulk component. These advantages have an effect particularly in tube production for the automotive, machine and plant engineering, and shipbuilding industries.”
Siemens Subsea Products has chosen an all-electric tube bender from Unison to improve the quality and speed the production of the small-bore hydraulic tubes it uses on subsea hydraulic flying leads with Multiple Quick Connections (MQC), Cobra Heads and associated offshore oil and gas recovery equipment. The tubes feature complex bends of extremely high accuracy, and until now the company has either fabricated them manually or bought them in as pre-formed sub-assemblies.
Siemens Subsea Products produces a wide range of subsea electric, fibre optic and hydraulic power and control systems for offshore oil and gas subsea applications. Its hydraulic workshop at Kongsberg in Norway operates world-class fabrication and assembly processes, producing systems for direct sales and third-party suppliers. As part of its strategy to expand manufacturing capabilities in this specialist field, the company recently reviewed tube bending automation, starting by comparing the performance of a number of leading hydraulic and all-electric tube bending machines.
According to Terje Barth Andersen, Technical Advisor for Subsea Products in Siemens, "It was quickly apparent that electric tube benders offer a number of advantages over hydraulic machines; including more accurate and repeatable results, lower energy consumption and lower noise. In the all-electric sector, Unison's machines stand out from the competition because they allow much faster tool changeover - which is important for us because we produce many of our tubes in very small batch sizes. Another key factor behind our choice was Unison's willingness to develop a machine configuration specifically for our needs."
The tube bender supplied to Siemens Subsea is a 25 mm model based on Unison's popular Breeze platform of all-electric machines, and incorporates a 'rise and fall' pressure die which enables it to perform right- and left-handed bending; this increases manufacturing flexibility and throughput by allowing long and complex parts to be produced from a single length of tubing in one continuous cycle. Installed at Siemens' Kongsberg facility at the end of last year, the machine is currently undergoing commissioning and due to commence operation during January 2013.
The subsea equipment produced by Siemens Subsea is designed for long term deployment - many of the systems have a design life of 30 years and are intended for operation at depths up to and beyond 3,000 metres. As a consequence, the tubes used within the equipment that convey hydraulic fluid for power and control purposes are subject to extremely high internal and external pressures and need to be manufactured to exceptionally high standards. A key requirement is to minimise stressing of the tubes at their bend points - which could lead to in-service failure - by avoiding use of small bend radii. Whereas many conventional tube bending machines are incapable of handling large bend radii, the Unison machine supplied to Siemens features 'full stroke' programmable positioning of the pressure dies and clamps, enabling it to create bends with a CLR (centre-line radius) up to five times the diameter of the tube, with fully automatic set up.
All critical movement axes on the Unison tube bender are controlled by precision servomotors, enabling fast and repeatable fabrication of parts with accuracies to within fractions of a millimetre. The machine is also capable of generating the high torque needed for bending tubes fabricated from exotic alloys such as Inconel, Duplex and Super Duplex, which are used extensively for subsea applications to improve corrosion resistance.
Siemens Subsea's first project involving the Unison machine will be the South Belut Project production of 800 tubes, all made from 316 and requiring complex bends and orbital welding in both ends, for use on umbilical termination units known as MQCs. These are used on various subsea structures, including Christmas trees, and Siemens' versions can accommodate up to 13 hydraulic lines, demanding extremely tight manufacturing tolerances. Each tube is designed on a Inventor 3D CAD system, and the company generally then produces a prototype to verify its accuracy and feed any necessary corrections back into the production process to ensure the quality of subsequent parts. Automating the tube bending process is set to accelerate this procedure - the CAD system and bending machine are linked by a production computer network - and will help Siemens Subsea Products maintain the fully traceable manufacturing records needed for this industry.
Terje Barth Andersen points out that the accuracy and throughput capabilities of Unison's tube bender offer major economic benefits to companies working with expensive materials. "We calculate that the machine will pay for itself in less than two years, based solely on the number of tubes that we can now process in-house instead of purchasing as ready-made parts. Furthermore, the machine's automated set-up capabilities and control software flexibility will help us significantly reduce scrap material by 'right first time' manufacturing. We also envisage selling excess tube bending capacity to the market, making this an even more cost-effective investment."
Steve Haddrell of Unison adds, "This order from Siemens Subsea Products demonstrates a growing awareness of the benefits of all-electric tube bending. The traditional market for high-performance machines of this type is in the aerospace industry, where precision bending of exotic alloy materials is a common requirement. But companies serving the offshore oil and gas industries also face similar demands, as their products are used in ever more hostile environments."
Brandt Engineered Products Ltd. has designed and delivered pipe handling equipment known as Thread Tables to a number of tube and pipe producers. These thread tables integrate with the most modern machine tools. These machine tools are big bore lathes, often called “Threaders” and are being used to produce both API and premium threads on tube and pipe in today’s market place. Brandt equipment offers a competitive edge by positioning material in and out of the Threaders quickly, keeping up with the improved cycle time’s offered by the latest machine tool suppliers. Maintaining cycle times with threaders is a critical variable to ensure the investment in the machine tool is achieving maximum return.
The thread table utilizes adjustable stops to position one pipe at a time on the table. The table is designed with four independent idler rolls used to absorb vibration while the pipe is spinning during the threading process. The independent idler rolls were engineered and manufactured to reduce unwanted pipe movement at multiple locations along its length. This dampens the whipping motion of pipe, allowing the machine tool to produce API and premium threads on the end of each pipe with greater confidence. Pinch rolls are used at the head of the Thread Table to protect the machine tool while elevating V-rolls enable various diameter pipes to be fed into the machine tool at the proper elevation. The new design is meant to eliminate costly repairs caused when pipes bump the machine tool upon entry. Rotary kicks or paddle arms are used to transfer the pipe with quick cycle times, enabling maximum uptime and productivity.
The Brandt threading table provides benefits by; maximizing valuable machine tool time, maintaining low cost of production and maintenance, minimizing rework caused by unwanted pipe movement and increasing productivity through quick material handling.
Zumbach Electronics, the Swiss manufacturer of inline measuring and monitoring systems, has developed a rotation-based laser scanning process that maps round and polygonal shapes up to 6000 times per second - a first for the industry.
To make production processes as efficient as possible, modern in-line measurement devices are required, not only to measure parameters such as diameter, ovality, width and height at very high speed, but also to instantly detect shape deviations and rolling errors.
Some suppliers claim that in steel production, mechanical solutions are more than adequate for these purposes. But, not all manufacturers in the industry agree. Zumbach Electronics has been an innovation leader in the market since 1957, and its experience has shown it pays to continually develop new technologies, and solutions that deliver more precise measurements, thus contribututing to higher productivity. The company also believes in user-friendly operation and close-to-zero maintenance.
These very standards were applied to their latest product series, the Steelmaster SMR. Steelmaster units have been used in steel production for many years, as a tried-and-tested solution to improve the monitoring of hot rolling and cold processes. Until now, dimensional measurement and error detection have always been carried out by static or oscillating devices, depending on the application. These devices can measure with great accuracy the outer dimensions and diagonals of both round and non-round products such as squares, hexagons and flat products, regardless of twist and angle of twist. Yet until recently, the level of precision achievable in manufacturing processes involving high rolling speeds and short lengths left much to be desired. The new Steelmaster SMR product generation, comes with sophisticated technology in the shape of an innovative and much faster rotational measurement system. With its superior performance, the system opens up a whole new range of applications. The system is based on up to three fully synchronised high-tech laser measuring heads of the ODAC® series, which uses an innovative rotational principle to measure outer dimensions, diagonals, diameters and cross-sections with 3600 coverage. Each laser measuring head rotates at a speed of 100 rpm and maps the scanned products up to 2000 times per second to create a precise product profile. In this way up to 600 profiles can be generated every minute. This allows manufacturers to significantly reduce scrap while maintaining stricter tolerances of ½ and ¼ DIN. There are no longer any restrictions as to the shapes the system can cope with. These models can handle any asymmetrical, polygonal and irregular shapes made of steel and metal to a diameter of approximately 135mm and temperatures of up to 12000 C.
Measurement The innovative rotary movement isn’t the only technical refinement, because there is also the unique, non-contact transmission of power and signals within the measurement unit. The software is very flexible, allowing data statistics, numerical and graphical displays, logs and so on, to be freely configured in line with requirements and working practice in the production environment. Zumbach developed a novel method, EPM (Enhanced Profile Measurement, pat. pend.) for geometries with irregular or asymmetric shape aberrations (e.g. asymmetric overfill or underfill). In particular it is also able to capture and calculate polygonal shapes, which can occur in certain rolling processes or after subsequent peeling / grinding operations. For any shape it will measure at high accuracy not only min., max. and mean diameters but also the true out-of-round deviation RONt as defined by ISO / TS 12181-1 as well as the inscribed circle MICI and the circumscribed circle MCCI.
An optional module named FPS, especially for 3-roll blocks, calculates accurate values corresponding to the diameter values which would be found by manual 3-point micrometer screws (if both readings are related to room temperature). This FPS module additionally calculates the “Touch” and “Gap” diameters which are essential for the initial roll setting. The dynamic regression analysis included in the software package means that twist and angle of twist no longer influence the measurement result. This results in lower scrap rates and ensures compliance with strict tolerances. The technology also performs regardless of position, vibration, material temperature and light intensity.
The measuring units have the same tried-and-tested architecture as the proven static and oscillating systems. Zumbach delivers 100% quality inspection with virtually 0% outlay for repairs and maintenance. The fully contact-free transmission of power and signals also ensures maximum operating safety. An efficient air flushing and cooling system keeps the unit functioning reliably and can be supplemented if necessary by a water circuit. All Steelmaster systems can be extended to include up to four measuring units with a single data acquisition and processing system. Any combination of static, oscillating and rotating SMR measurement units may be used. By opting for the measuring system, manufacturers can benefit from high-precision measurements and the resulting competitive advantages, such as faster start-up, less downtime and lower personnel requirements. This results in new quality standards and opens up new, multiple applications.