December 3, 2012 | By Eric Lundin
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.
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 | By Eric Lundin
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.
September 3, 2012 | By Eric Lundin
A bit about cutting tube and pipe from an interview with Bruce Benedict and Dave Clarke of Production Tube Cutting.
July 16, 2012 | By Eric Lundin
Hautau Tube Cutoff Systems LLC turned the lathe concept on its head when it developed a machine that holds tube steady and uses tooling that orbits the workpiece. This concept, coupled with a handful of other innovations developed over the Hautau brothers’ professional careers, make these machines unique in how the perform recut operations.
July 16, 2012 | By Scott Mitchell
Bad bends and abnormal tooling wear can result from a number of factors, two of which are worn machine components and work durable tooling. Check these areas first to identify whether your operation is overlooking a hidden problem.
July 16, 2012 | By Dan Davis
The field of aerospace tube fabricating is one marked by difficult-to-form materials and very tight tolerances. As a result, not too many shops are involved in the business. Tube Specialties, Tempe, Ariz., however, has emerged as a go-to shop for this type of challenging work.
A fluid-carrying line usually consists of a length of tube or pipe that has a fitting that is either attached at the end of the tube by a conventional swaging method or attached to the tube by welding. A little-known process, elastomeric swaging, bulge-forms the tube or pipe ends. Its niche is in small-diameter, heavy-wall applications that carry fluid under substantial pressure.
June 13, 2012 | By Eric Lundin
Editor Eric Lundin visited Gordon Branch, the guitarmaker featured on the cover of the June 2011 issue of TPJ, to see what Branch had come up with in the last few months. In addition to a new model, 33 1/3 Degree, made with round tube, Branch had developed a similar model made with tube shaped like an airfoil.
April 11, 2012 | By Eric Lundin
Full Vision Inc., a manufacturer of components and equipment for the off-road industry, encountered a hurdle in manufacturing roll-over protection systems (ROPS) and falling-object protection structures (FOPS) for its customers. To make a ROPS or FOPS, it needed three machines or two setups on three machines. This led to too much part handling and more scrapping of parts than necessary. A combination rotary draw and push bender from Horn Machine Tool allows Full Vision to make a complete part with one setup on one machine, eliminating part handling and reducing scrap.
February 1, 2012 | By Tim Heston
A Wisconsin tube bending shop takes an untraditional approach to the traditional job schedule--and thrives because of it.
January 10, 2012 | By Eric Lundin
Need help dealing with the skilled worker shortage? Eric Lundin, editor of TPJ-The Tube & Pipe Journal, interviewed several automated equipment manufacturers for their perspectives on automation for tube and pipe fabrication.
December 12, 2011 | By Jim Poe
This article explains how to examine and alter loading, bending, unloading, and quality checking operations to improve overall bending cycle times.
December 9, 2011 | By George Winton
Large-radius bends are used in many places, such as appliance handles and automobile components. For measuring large-radius bends, fabricators have at least three options: go/no-go fixtures, entering the bent part’s measurements into a CAD program and using it to calculate the radius, and a depth gauge.
October 20, 2011 | By Nicholas Maropis
In conventional metalforming operations, the main way to reduce friction between the tooling and the workpiece is to apply a lubricant. Another supplementary method, which has been used for decades, is to introduce ultrasonic energy to the tooling, resulting in microscopic, high-frequency vibrations that reduce friction and improve surface finish.