Boosting output with electric tube benders

Two all-electric tube-bending machines from Unison are helping Ultibend Industries to increase the manufacturing productivity of stainless steel tube fittings for food and beverage processing systems at its manufacturing facility in Wellington, New Zealand.

Ultibend purchased two customised tube-bending machines to suit its proprietary manufacturing process; the machines from Unison automate the bending of tube-fitting shapes such as elbows and U-bends, in sizes from 25 to 100 mm in diameter. Manufacturing operations have demonstrated that the Unison tube-bending machines have significantly boosted Ultibend’s manufacturing speed compared with its previous hydraulic bending machines.
“We knew of Unison as we have had dealings with them in the past,” says Ultibend director Linc Turley. “We like that being software engineers, Unison can take our ideas and issues, and come up with a tailored solution in the form of a customer-specific machine. They’re also an ethical company whose values align with our own. This has been proved in our dealings with them, and the excellent support and prompt response to any issues we have.”
Describing some of the key advantages of Unison’s machines, he adds: “The Unison solution has been invaluable as opposed to our old hydraulic system; the all-electric servo-driven machines give us greater control over bend parameters and increased accuracy. All the data is captured and automatically adjusted to the correct position during set up as opposed to manual adjustments. This gives us the ability to put lower skilled operators on these machines, as doing set ups and making adjustments is more straightforward.”
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Lean manufacturing events at Wilson

For over five years, Wilson Tool has offered free lean manufacturing training events to customers.

These events detail the company’s own journey and provide lean solutions that can be applied at customer facilities. The training is also a way for manufacturers to share ideas, success stories and learning experiences, while picking up tips from others.
Wilson’s lean seminars are a full-day event split into two different sections. The first focuses on basic principles like 5S, the seven deadly wastes and one-piece flow. Wilson’s training explores the underlying theories driving lean, coupled with experiments to apply them.
The second half of the day uncovers Wilson Tool’s lean journey and showcases product innovations that have come out of it. Participants go on a shop tour, taking a look at how the company has applied lean principles in the layout and flow of the plant. Representatives from the bending and punching divisions discuss tooling innovations that have helped customers streamline their own operations.
Ultimately, attendees will learn lean manufacturing principles that will help improve shop productivity and minimise excess cost and waste. Derived from the Toyota Production System or JiT production, lean manufacturing is a proven method for optimising output.
The next event is Wilson Tool’s LEAN 1.0, which is suitable for those with no lean training, or a basic understanding of lean principles. Set to take place on 20 September at the company’s headquarters in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, the training will run from 08:30 to 15:00.
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Forming on the modern punch press

According to Mate Tooling, forming on a modern punch press makes these machines the Swiss army knife of metal fabrication.

Today’s punch presses can mark, deburr and form. And when it comes to forming, there are opportunities aplenty.
Automated punch presses have been punching holes in sheet metal for more than 60 years.
However, with their stroke control and the availability of adjustable length punch holders, CNC punch presses are also being used as mini press brakes. Many types of forms are being produced in parts before they come off the turret or rail-type punch machine.
Countersinks and small embosses are among the basic forming tools being used in CNC punch-press machines to reduce or eliminate secondary operations. Lance and forms (tabs, bridges, knockouts, cable ties) and extrusions are among the advanced class of forms being produced on punching machines today. More complex forming tools include those that produce louvres, continuous embosses and hinges.
Forming tools add value by eliminating secondary operations such as forming, welding and installing fasteners. However, the press brake is not going anywhere. Space between the punch and die will always limit what can be formed on the punch press, at least for the foreseeable future, says Mate. However, if a part needs shallow forms like an embossment, a short flange or even a hinge, chances are those forms can be made right on the punch press machine bed, with no secondary operations required.
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Wire bender features twin heads

BLM Group is consolidating its presence in the wire-bending market with a new twin-head system.

The DH4010VGP is an all-electric machine with two independent heads that is capable of bending wires up to 10 mm in diameter, along with bars, flat rods and tubes. The twin-head design makes the system suitable for medium to long parts with many bends, particularly when high planarity is required.
According to BLM, the two bending heads can work independently to make asymmetric parts. Each head is provided with a twin bending turret that increases system flexibility with regard to the achievable bend types.
The DH4010VGP can perform flexion bending (bending using a standard bushing) on each of the two turrets, pressure die bending for minimum radii, edge bending, variable radius bending, and strike bending on the same part. Moreover, the bending heads can move very near each other to make exceptionally close bends.
Higher system productivity is said to be facilitated via optimised dynamics and process cycles. For instance, the wire-cutting and end-forming unit is fitted on a carriage having linear movement independent of the heads. This design contributes to an increase in productivity of approximately 30% in comparison with previous-generation systems.
The DH4010VGP makes use of existing VGP3D programming and control software, with a 3D graphic interface.
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LVD releases latest bending technology

At EuroBLECH (Hanover, 23-26 October), LVD will be placing focus on flexible automation solutions and cell manufacturing for increased production efficiency. At Hall 12, Stand F104, visitors will see how LVD’s Industry 4.0-ready bending, laser cutting, punching and software technology make for an easy and smooth transformation to a more competitive workshop.

The company will give a world premiere to its ToolCell XT automated tool-changing press brake with extended tool storage. The ToolCell XT has been developed in response to having even more flexibility to tackle small batches, high part mixes and increased component complexity in a wider variety of materials and thicknesses.
LVD will also give a world premiere to its Dyna-Cell, which the company says takes electric press-brake automation to a new level for the high-speed bending of small-to-medium parts. Based on the company’s existing Dyna-Press, LVD’s latest compact robotised bending solution delivers faster art-to-part times, rapid changeovers, increased throughput and lower cost per part, says the company.
Another machine on the stand will be the LVD Easy-Form 80/25 ‘smart’ press brake. Equipped with the Easy-Form Laser in-process angle monitoring and correction system, this press brake adapts in real-time the ram position to ensure the desired angle from the first bending operation. The bending process is not interrupted and no production time is lost.
From a software perspective, LVD will show its CADMAN suite, the company’s answer to full process integration and optimised process flow. CADMAN looks at the big picture and helps streamline the complete fabrication process – from production control, communication, planning and management, through to punching, bending and laser cutting – via integrated, database-driven software.
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