Two all-electric tube bending machines from Unison Ltd are helping Ultibend Industries to increase the manufacturing productivity of stainless steel tube fittings for the food and beverage processing systems at their manufacturing facility in Wellington, New Zealand. Ultibend purchased two customised tube bending machines to suit their proprietary manufacturing process, the machines from Unison automate the bending of tube fitting shapes such as elbows and U-bends, in sizes from 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter. Manufacturing operations have demonstrated that the Unison tube bending machines have significantly boosted their manufacturing speed compared with their previous hydraulic bending machines.
Together, these benders are involved in making all Ultibend Industries bends in the sizes ½ inch to 4-inch diameter. Since installation their 130mm single stack tube bender has produced 320,912 bends and the 80mm Single stack tube bending machine bender that works on the smaller sizes has made 558,441 bends. Bends from these tube benders go to projects around New Zealand, Australia and the US, especially dairy factories, breweries, and in some cases to the automotive industry.
As the company expanded, it became essential to upgrade the bending process and replace the original in house built hydraulic bending machines with modern, low maintenance and reliable all-electric tube bending machines, using software-controlled servomotor-controlled bending. “We knew of Unison ltd as we had had dealings with them in the past. We like that being software engineers, Unison could 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 aligned with our own. This has been proved in our dealings with them with the excellent support and prompt response to issues we have.” Linc Turley, Director at Ultibend Industries.
Describing some of the key advantages to Unison’s solution, he adds: “The Unison software 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 (can meet standards consistently). All the data (i.e. pressure values, mandrel position) 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 straight forward. It is also a lot easier and faster to make minor adjustments to the bender settings via a program rather than having to manually adjust threads. This saves us time on difficult products, as we make minor adjustments to get the required quality finished product.”
Ultibend Industries sell their tube fittings to merchants in New Zealand, Australia and the United States who then supply the end user. Their bends are commonly used in wineries, breweries and dairy factories all around New Zealand, California and Australia as well as the automotive and architectural industries in the form of exhausts, other car parts and handrails.
Why Ultibend Love their Unison benders as opposed to their old hydraulic bending machines:
- Higher accuracy and consistency, once a size is set up changes to the bend angle and pressure setting do not have to be made like they had to with the hydraulic benders.
- Electric servos increase flexibility in the running of benders. They can easily vary how far the clamps open for loading, alter the loading positions for 45-degree programs etc
- Less maintenance time spent fixing hydraulic leaks
Safety feature written into the software make the machines MUCH safer than the old hydraulic benders