Breadth of tube bending technology to be highlighted at show

Paul Boughton

Unison will be highlighting the breadth of productivity enhancing technology that it offers tubular parts manufacturers at the Southern Manufacturing exhibition. As a leading authority in intelligent tube and pipe bending technology, Unison supplies solutions to Tier One manufacturers worldwide. The company produces an extensive range of ‘all-electric’ tube bending machines, backed by an expanding portfolio of advanced software tools to help users accelerate the development of production-ready bending machine control programs.

The company's standard range of all-electric bending machines accommodates tube diameters from 16mm to 175mm. The company is continually pushing the performance boundary of this technology, most recently developing a custom machine that is capable of bending thick-walled tubing with a diameter of 225mm.

At the Southern Manufacturing exhibition, Unison will outline a new configuration of Breeze 30 all-electric tube bender developed for the aerospace industry. Capable of right-hand and left-handing bending, this machine features multi-stack tooling to accommodate the latest aerospace tube designs with short straights and tight bends down to 1D. It uses a sliding carriage arrangement with a fixed-position bend head to ensure highly accurate and repeatable parts with low setup time and minimal waste of material.

The company will also be highlighting a new version of its Evbend 1000 manual CNC tube bender, which incorporates a powerful HMI and controller software designed specifically for ease of integration with CAD systems and coordinate measuring machines (CMMs).

Visitors to Unison’s stand will be offered demonstrations of a number of powerful PC-based software tools. These will include the latest version of the 3D simulator, Opt2Sim, which helps users to accelerate development of production-ready control programs for bending machines. Capable of simulating any model from the company's Breeze range of all-electric bending machines, this software enables users to analyse, optimise and validate programs – without needing access to the physical machine. Based on a precision physics engine with an accuracy of just plus/minus 5 microns, it features comprehensive monitoring to guard against tube collision and uses artificial intelligence techniques to evaluate the optimum bending sequence.

The simulator automatically modifies the YBC bending data to create error-free programs and generates realistic real-time imagery that allows users to visualise the bending process in considerable detail. A high speed batch mode of operation, capable of validating around 100 bending programs an hour, is also available.

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