Unison receives order for largest all-electric pipe bender

June 4, 2013

Unison, Madera, Calif., has received an order from Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), a supplier of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and one of two shipbuilders of nuclear-powered submarines for the U.S. Navy, for an all-electric CNC machine capable of bending large-bore tubing and piping up to 8 in. dia. The machine will be the first and largest of its type ever built, the company reports, extending the shipbuilder's ability to fabricate larger-diameter pipes that previously could be bent only on very high-torque hydraulic machines.

The machine's bending axes will be driven by closed-loop servomotors under software control to facilitate fast setup and to provide accurate and repeatable bending performance. This automated approach eliminates operator error and the need to produce trial parts.

Under the terms of the order, the new machine will be equipped with Unison's laser-controlled springback measurement and correction system. This compensates automatically for the natural tendency of metal pipes and tubes to spring back slightly after being bent. It is scheduled to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2013.

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