Environmental and lifestyle changes within the drinks industry have brought fresh challenges and increased business to Preston-based beer pump and cooler specialist, K Coolers.
For instance, the company has had to manage two major changes within the drinks industry, the first being environmental, with the phasing out of certain refrigerants, while the second is the rise in popularity of ‘ice-cold’ beers and lagers. Both changes needed modifications to the stainless steel coils within the cooler, which in turn placed greater demands on K Coolers’ existing tube-bending capacity.
“The new R290 refrigerant required different tubes, so all of these required replacing as a smaller bore was needed for the new gas to be effective,” says Lee Worden, managing director. “Our standard 3.8 to 4.8 m long coils used for standard beers and lagers also needed to increase to 10 m in length to create ice-cold beer delivery; the knock on benefit being the elimination of under-counter chillers in pubs.”
To meet rising demand, the decision was taken to invest in a BLM 4-Runner tube-bending system fitted with motorised coil feed functionality.
“Without investing in the BLM 4-Runner we would struggle to maintain throughput,” says Worden. “The assistance we got, and continue to receive, from BLM both in the UK and in Italy, has been superb, which meant that we were bending tube within a couple of days of the machine being put on the floor. The BLM 4-Runner is being used to produce evaporator coils and other pipework for the refrigeration system on the new coolers, handling the increased demand with ease.”
For further information www.blmgroup.com
With the newly developed, fully electric CNC 25 E TB MR, SchwarzeRobitec says it has created and supplied a compact tube-bending machine sporting the ‘made in Germany’ seal, to China. For the first time, Changzhou Liangxu Vehicle Accessories Co Ltd is now able to bend smaller tube diameters quickly, and as part of a fully electric process, thanks to the NxG control system.
Changzhou Liangxu Vehicle Accessories manufactures injection tubes and radiator outlet pipes for cars and trucks, and is the main supplier of tube systems for China’s third-biggest truck manufacturer. At the company’s headquarters in Changzhou, Schwarze-Robitec recently put a new CNC 25 E TB MR into operation. The delivered machine is capable of bending steel tubes with a diameter of up to 1” and a wall thickness of 0.08”, as well as stainless-steel tubes with a diameter of up to 0.8” and a wall thickness of 0.06”.
This capability means that, for smaller tube diameters, Changzhou Liangxu Vehicle Accessories is using a fully electric machine with NxG control for the first time, which offers major benefits. For example, depending on the tube system, the NxG control system enables up to 50% more output thanks to simultaneous operation of the axes. The company is thus ideally preparing itself for the rise in demand brought on by the prolonged boom in China’s automotive industry.
With the CNC 25 E TB MR, Schwarze-Robitec has developed a machine for small tubes that is available in both left/right bending versions, as well as
in a rotary variant, with the bending head capable of rotating 180°. Tubes with complex geometries can thus be bent in one process step.
For further information www.schwarze-robitec.com
The theme on Hurco’s stand will be programming simplicity, where the company will be showcasing the latest software deployed on its proprietary Max5 control.
Present at Stand G200 will be one of the company’s 19” colour touchscreen controls. On demonstration will be the latest solid model import option, which is said to be capable of reducing programming times even further. Whereas previously only 2D DXF files could be loaded directly into the control to create conversational data blocks, it is now possible to import 3D STEP or IGES files, including splines and Z depths.
For further information www.hurco.co.uk
At the recent Blechexpo show in Stuttgart, LVD showcased Industry 4.0-ready products designed to help sheet metalworking companies advance their business, including the Dyna-Cell robotic bending cell, ToolCell automated tool-changing press brake, Electra 10 kW high-speed fibre laser cutting machine, and CADMAN software.
Visitors to the company’s stand discovered that Dyna-Cell features LVD’s high-speed Dyna-Press Pro electric press brake and a Kuka robot. Dyna-Press Pro is now available with LVD’s proprietary Easy-Form laser adaptive bending system to ensure bending accuracy. Furthermore, the robot is equipped with LVD’s patent-pending universal gripper, which is able to bend on three sides of a part without re-gripping. As one gripper fits all applications, production is continuous and uninterrupted.
Dyna-Cell automates the bending of small- to medium-sized parts in varying batch sizes, at speeds up to 25 mm/sec, and features an intelligent programming wizard for fast, easy programming. The compact Dyna-Cell follows the 10-10 rule: 10 minutes for CAM generation of the bending and robot program; and 10 minutes for set-up and first-part generation. The cell also allows for unmanned or manned operation, offering a flexible bending solution.
Elsewhere on the stand, the LVD ToolCell automated tool-changing press brake was seen maximising bending productivity through the integrated storage of tooling within the machine. The patented Easy-Form laser adaptive bending system provides in-process angle monitoring, which guarantees the desired angle from the first operation.
For further information www.lvdgroup.com
A prominent manufacturer of tipper bodies, the Thompsons Group, has taken delivery of a Trumpf TruBend 8600-80 press brake at its Blackburn facility. The machine, which is the largest Trumpf bending machine in the UK, is being used to form tipper side panels from 4 mm thick Hardox.
“Due to order volumes rising there is a constant need to keep pace with production and invest in our future,” explains director Neil Griffin. “We recently installed a robotic welding cell, which shifted the bottleneck to bending. In addition, even though our existing press brake offers a capacity of 400 tonnes, we needed more to help us process 4 mm thick Hardox, which is a tough, wear-resistant steel with a hardness of 450 HB.”
Three potential bending machine suppliers were scrutinised, but it was Trumpf that impressed the most. The TruBend 8600-80 offers a large open height, throat depth and 600 tonne press force. Trumpf customised the machine with an additional 8 m bending length option.
“After profiling, the side panels of the tipper bodies each require up to 12 bends, which is where the tonnage of the TruBend 8600-80 really comes into its own,” says Griffin. “Having capability of this type in-house is a real market advantage as we don’t have to rely on subcontractors, and thus avoid all the associated costs and lead-time issues that strategy brings. Moreover, all Thompsons’ tipper bodies are manufactured specifically for each customer.”
Around 25 Hardox tipper bodies are produced at Thompsons on a weekly basis, which means 50 sides to bend, plus floors and tailgates. The TruBend 8600-80 is currently working a single day shift, but a night shift may soon be required to keep up with demand.
For further information www.uk.trumpf.com