Military shipbuilding company Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) wanted to increase the efficiency of its tube bending facility at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. Having converted from hydraulic machinery to Unison’s all-electric bending technology several years’ earlier, they looked to the technology pioneers Unison for the expertise to figure out their latest challenge to develop an all-electric machine able to bend piping up to nominal diameter of 8 inches with Schedule 40 wall thicknesses of over 8 mm (with an outside diameter of 8.65 inch or approx. 220 mm).
Unison had to overcome many major engineering challenges to build this landmark machine. The Research & Development team worked on the concept for over a year to finally develop a machine offering an advanced and highly productive alternative to the hydraulically-powered machines that are typically used today for bending large diameter tubing and piping. Its allelectric bending design, controlled by programmable software, closed-loop servomotor axes, allows automatic machine setup, and delivers extremely high accuracy and repeatability from batch to batch.
HII can now produce right first-time bending of tubes and pipes up to 8 inches/220 mm in diameter.
- Low loading height of just 60 inches (1524 mm).
Compact bend head enables fabrication of intricate shapes without danger of collision.
Long (up to 9 m) and complex pipe shapes can be bent in one process.
High torque provides the capability for bending piping made from specialist high strength and/or corrosion resistant alloys.
Laser-controlled springback correction system saving wastage.
Programmability allows bending programs to be highly optimised for each particular application, to achieve goals such as bending brittle materials, or retaining as much wall thickness as possible after bending.