Thursday, 14 August 2014 11:15

Gregson Induction Benders Ltd. A British company with a new product range launch.

Gregson Induction Benders Ltd (GIB) is a UK based family business with thirty years’ experience in the design and manufacture of CE certified induction bending equipment with quality control to ISO9002 Standard.

The company is managed by Nigel Gregson, a senior engineer/manager with proven experience in the management of engineering projects and production teams, with hands-on experience from design to manufacture and installation. Nigel is supported by Gary Gregson, a senior technologist with key strengths in strategic analysis, vision creation, proposal development, partner liaison, research and full lifecycle development.

We design and manufacture a full range of induction bending machines that can bend from 2” (50mm) to 48” (1219mm) diameter pipe with wall thickness from 0.197” (5mm) to 4” (100mm).

All Machines are free standing and offer both spool bending and weld elbow bending capabilities. The machines are also capable of bending structural shapes and processing a wide range of materials.

We continue to undertake research with our technology partners to provide new control systems for existing machines and advanced controls systems, telemetry and quality assurance technologies for future machines. We can also provide consultancy packages tailored to the customer’s requirements with regards to installation of the machinery and development upgrades on equipment.

We design machines around our customer’s specifications and over the years have developed various packages to suit our customer’s budgets and cash flow requirements. Please contact us if you have specific requirements or any questions concerning our standard machine capabilities.

Gregson Induction Bending Machines provide many advantages over traditional bending techniques and competitors machines, including:
•    Free standing
•    Accurate electrohydraulic drive system
•    Top or end loading
•    Unique inductor coil design
•    Accurate temperature control
•    Accurate bend radius & bend angle control
•    Production of standard SR (1D) and LR (1.5D) weld elbows
•    Processing of a wide range of materials
•    Structural shape bending
•    Low tooling costs
•    Powerful software with user friendly interface
•    Reduced delivery/installation times

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Free Standing     
For all GIB machines, the bending moments of are contained within the machine chassis enabling the machines to be free standing. Therefore, foundation requirements are reduced to a few simple trenches for drainage and services (and optionally elbow formation). Consequently, installation costs and time are greatly reduced and a degree of portability is provided to shop Installations.

Accurate Electro -mechanical Drive System
This drive system comprises of an induction motor gearbox assembly driving two lead screws, which in turn move the rear carriage of the machine. Accurate feed speed is achieved via an electronic invertor which controls the AC frequency of the induction motor current. The machines’ gearbox provides two ratios; one for low speed drive during the bending cycle and the other for high speed positioning of the rear carriage during bend set up.
Overload protection limits the invertor drive maximum output current to ensure the system never exceeds the design parameters of the drive mechanism.
This system is far superior to a hydraulic cylinder drive; providing smoother control throughout the bending speed range and eliminating “stick slip” (judder). The system is compact, reducing the cost of operational spares and the overall foot print of the machine.

Top or End Loading
All GIB machines are capable of top or end loading, eliminating restrictions on the maximum length of pipe or structural steel that can be bent. 12 metre length of pipes and beyond are no problems! The machines can be loaded via overhead crane or direct from the stockyard via rollers reducing loading times and increasing throughput.

2014-08-14 111314 gregson 2Unique Inductor Coil Design
The Gregson Induction coil assemblies are a unique design that have been developed over the years to provide maximum efficiency and bending configuration flexibility. The Induction coil assemblies consist of a central inductor coil ring together with separate rings for air and water quench.

The cross sectional shape of the inductor coil is designed to concentrate the magnetic field for optimal heating of the material being bent. Independent internal cooling is provided by de-ionised water of sufficient flow to keep the coil cool at maximum power output.

To achieve the desired metallurgical results from the bend the assemblies can be configured to suit the cooling time of the material. Quench can be potable water, de-ionised water or air and the heat zone can be increased or decreased to suit the wall thickness of the material. Ovality and wall thinning can be controlled by quick adjustments to the air and water elements. The air and water nozzles are removable such that they can be cleaned and aligned to ensure a linear heat pattern.

To reduce down time during tooling change the coils are fitted with nonferrous quick disconnect couplings on air and water supplies.

Accurate Temperature Control
All GIB machines employ sophisticated closed loop control between the optical pyrometer (temperature monitor) and the induction generator output power to the heating coil. This system ensures accurate bend temperatures throughout the bending cycle regardless of variations in pipe wall thickness.

Accurate Bend Radius & Bend Angle Control
The bend radius is set and bend radius and bend angle continuously monitored at the touch screen of the operator station.

Bend radius inputs drive the pivot assembly on a lead screw via a motor gearbox. The position is continuously monitored via a shaft encoder to an accuracy of +/- 0.1%. The bend angle is monitored by a similar device mounted on the pivot assembly.

Production of Standard SR (1D) and LR (1.5D) Weld Elbows
All GIB machines can produce SR & LR weld elbows to any angle up to 180°.

A mandrel is used for this type of bending in place of a regular bend arm. The mandrel is fitted with its positioning tie bar to the machine. The tie bar is anchored to the back clamp on the machine and a multi-turn inductor coil is fitted over the mandrel. The coil is then connected to the output bus bar of the induction generator and the machine is ready to produce weld elbows. (For large elbow diameters a suitable trench is required in front of the machine to accommodate elbow production – this may be covered by the run out plate, when not in use during normal bending). Typical set up time from regular induction bending to mandrel bending for a 16” machine would be less than 1 hour.

Sections of pipe are cut to the correct developed length for the elbow angle to be produced and then loaded to the machine. A graphite lubricant is applied to the bore of the pipe and mandrel prior to the bending process.

The pipe is heated to forging temperature as it is pushed over the mandrel. This process is very efficient; typically a 12” x 90° elbow requires only 35 seconds to produce. The resultant elbow is transferred to a hydraulic press for final conformity pressing and may be end prepared for welding using a suitable end bevelling machine.

GIB can supply a complete solution for SR & LR elbow production, to suit any required schedule wall thickness.

Processing of a Wide Range of Materials

GIB machines can bend most metallic materials, including:

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Structural Shape Bending

All GIB machines are capable of bending structural shapes, the only limitation being if the shape cross section will fit within the maximum pipe size diameter of the machine. Special inductor coils and clamp adaptors can be supplied on request to fit the structural member to be bent.

Low Tooling Costs

Compared to other types of pipe and structural bending machines the induction bender’s tooling is very cost effective. The tooling consist of simple steel fabricated clamp inserts and an induction coil assembly to suit the material to be bent.

We have found that many of our customers can make their own tooling in house, – it’s so simple! However, special inductor coils and inserts can be supplied to the customers’ specifications upon request.

Powerful Software with User Friendly Interface

GIB machines are supplied with powerful software for both advanced PLC based machine control and desktop estimating.

Control Software provides a user friendly Interface with parameter storage via an industrial touch screen. Features include:

  • Setting and monitoring of processing speed, clamps and bend radius.
  • Monitoring of Bend Angle
  • Monitoring of temperature by Infrared Thermometer (pyrometer), with closed loop control to generator output.

GIB’s proprietary estimating software, is a Microsoft Windows compatible application for use on standard desktop computers. The software allows bend job parameters to be entered in order to predict bend quality, material requirements, resource utilisation and job costings. The software is fully customisable to accept client data as the basis of output generation and report printing.

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Reduced Delivery Times

GIB can supply machines in a timely manner, typically within 5 months from order for machine sizes up to 16” and 10 months for machines over 16”.

Furthermore, since the machines are free standing, installation is greatly reduced both in terms of time and cost as described above.

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