Tube Bending Automation Cells

 

Tube Bending Automation Cells

Unison Ltd designs and builds complete automation production cells for a variety of tube working applications. The cells are particularly suited to industries where production quantities are high and production costs must be kept to an absolute minimum. Typically based on the highly regarded Breeze all-electric tube bending machines, the tube bending cells include other operations such as boring, pressing, punching, end forming, deburring, and labelling. We are experts in integration – incorporating add-ons like auto load and unload, robot welding, painting and assembly. We can design an automated tube bending cell to keep labour costs down and efficiencies up.

Automated bending cell case study

Tube bending cell

Challenge: Our client is a leading global manufacturer and supplier of large stamped metal and welded components, assemblies, and plastic parts for the automotive industry. They are responsible for manufacturing boot hinge assemblies for several major automotive manufacturers.

The main component in this assembly is a bent rectangular steel tube which was previously fabricated and supplied by a subcontractor. Our client decided to invest in an automated manufacturing cell to produce these Boot Lid Hinge components completely in-house.

Solution: The proposed solution incorporated two all-electric, servomotor-controlled 50mm Breeze tube bending machines with multi-stack tooling heads. The bending machines are fed by two automatic hopper loaders which perform weld seam detection and datum the tube prior to bending.

A robot alternatively unloads the bent parts from each machine and presents the parts to a four-camera vision inspection system, to measure the parts and calculate corrections. This closes the loop with the bending machines motion control, to ensure accuracy and repeatability. The components are then transferred by a further two robots into two CNC machine centres, where 13 holes of various sizes are automatically drilled.

Once complete, the components are robotically deburred and hung on transfer racks in pairs ready to be delivered to the assembly station.

Results: In a high demand industry, working to `just-in- time’ philosophies, our client now has the ability to produce the hinge component in-house allowing them complete control of all aspects of the boot lid assemblies.

The benefits gained include:

    • Fully automated right-first-time manufacturing
    • Improved quality control with repeatability and tight tolerances
    • Easy tooling changeover and programming to produce different variants
    • Reduced costs and improved productivity

To discuss our bending cell capabilities please get in touch with our sales team on +44(0)1723 582 868 or email steveh@unisonltd.com

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