The tube and pipe fabrication technology area covers sawing (band, circular, and friction) and other cutting processes, such as abrasive, flame, laser, oxyfuel, plasma, and waterjet. It also discusses forming processes, including bending and end forming. Finally, it includes a handful of miscellaneous processes, such as trimming, beveling, finning, grooving, threading, and spinning.
March 14, 2014
A typical bending machine process is feed-bend-feed-bend, or maybe feed-bend-feed- rotate-bend, until the feedstock is used up. However, this isn’t the end of the fabrication process, which includes a subsequent cutting step. The cut often means waste, especially for short-length parts, and the problem is compounded when the volume is high or the material is expensive. Read about how one bender manufacturer changed the process to feed-bend-separate-feed-rotate-bend-separate.
February 24, 2014
Although tube bending technology has evolved significnatly over the years, the process still boils down to four factors: the material, machine, tooling, and lubrication.
January 13, 2014
Need to connect a flexible hose to a rigid metal nipple? The worm gear clamp has been the standard for decades, but they aren’t ideal for the soft, thin-wall tubing used in aircraft environmental control systems.
September 2, 2013
Fabricators have quite a few bending processes to choose from—rotary draw, compression, hydraulic ram, and so on—and the variety of bent components is infinite. Matching a process to a specific application isn’t easy, and only will become more difficult as the use of tube and profiles continues to spread. This paper shows how fabricators can classify bend criteria to determine the optimal process.
August 6, 2013
When welding process pipe, welders need to determine which wires can provide the most appropriate results for every weld pass—root, fill, and cap—and be certain that they are selecting the highest-quality filler metal.
July 8, 2013
After decades of using an old manual tube bender with no features, Kress Corp. took a huge leap in technology when it purchased a new bender with CNC, full-color interface, and stacked tooling capability. The result is a 10-fold productivity improvement.
June 28, 2013
After his yacht-building business dried up in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, entrepreneur Scott Gerber decided to build a simple sculpture from tubing. Based on a basic stick figure, the first one was a fisherman. Gerber placed a few around town, encountered some interest, and suddenly a new business was born.
June 3, 2013
When Industrial Laser Systems was asked to fabricate a tubular frame for a military vehicle, it rose to the challenge to cut, makes some holes, bend, and swage the tube ends. The result is a tubular frame that is affixed to the outside of patrol vehicles; combined with Kevlar® netting, the system prevents explosive projectiles from hitting the vehicle, with great success.
April 30, 2013
A tube is a tube, as most in the industry would declare. But getting that tube from point A to point B isn't a simple proposition. That's why fabricators need to keep in mind key factors when looking to set up a material handling system for a tube cutting operation.
April 17, 2013
Industrial Laser Solutions, Atlanta, has carved out a niche as a firm that engineers and develops its own products. During the downturn that followed the financial crisis of 2008, the company decided to take on some additional work, and it found itself in the fabrication business. This article tells the story of its first fabrication project, including some problems and practical solutions.
April 8, 2013
Mining equipment has to take a beating more so than most other types of industrial equipment. Constant exposure to heat, dust, dirt, and debris means that mining equipment has to be built to last. When the Goodman-Hewitt branch of Joy Global looked to upgrade the machines it uses to make conveyor components for this industry, it looked for a cutoff machine that would hold tight length and squareness tolerances for this severe environment. Its search led it to Hautau Tube Cutoff Systems Inc.
December 3, 2012
After getting a start in the handrail business in 1990, Sharpe Fabrication Inc. relaunched itself in 1994 as Sharpe Products and started to offer general fabrication services. Two of the company’s investments, a free-form bender and a fiber-optic laser machine, reflect the company’s interest in staying abreast of technology developments.
September 10, 2012
The second-hand market can be a good source for a used bender, but buyers must be careful. A thorough evaluation of the bender’s capabilities and condition is necessary before making a purchase. Because modern benders are complex and sophisticated, the evaluation is best carried out by the manufacturer, not the buyer. Another option is buying a reconditioned machine from the manufacturer. However, depending on the bending needs, a new bender might be the only viable option.
September 7, 2012
SF Tube Inc., a fabricator that does a substantial amount of bending, found itself facing a perfect storm—it had quite a bit of manual equipment, it often had to use two or three benders to make a single component, its bend-splice-weld-grind-polish-blend process for many components was too time-consuming, its shop floor was crowded with machines, and its niche as a specialty bending house meant it was positioned for future growth. A new bender, one that provides both rotary bending and roll bending, eliminated these hassles and has positioned the company to take advantage of growth opportunities.