October 6, 2021

Blog – Changing the game with tube bending simulation

Unison’s experts helped to take tube bending software to new levels over the past 25 years by introducing innovative enhancements to our all-electric tube benders.

Since Unibend was first developed in the 1990s, our software has been consistently making life so much easier for machine operators and planting us firmly as an industry leader.


One of our major developments was the software package Opt2Sim, which is used to accelerate the development of control programs for all-electric tube bending machines. This innovation, like most of our R&D was driven by the needs of our customers.

A global player in the SubSea sector was previously taking a week to manually simulate up to 500 complex tubes used to manufacture oil wells (aka Christmas Trees) to make sure there weren’t any collisions and to learn how to actually bend it on a Left/Right machine.

Unison’s Opt2Sim software completed this process within two hours, ensuring that “Design is Master”, eliminating operator errors and creating the bend programs for the operator.

Within Opt2Sim, not only is the CAD model an exact copy of the machine, including all brackets and sensors, but the software that runs the machine also runs the simulator, ensuring that the full simulation is replicated on the machine. This includes springback to give the most accurate results available on the market.

The collision detection is fully configurable, allowing for a wider range of problem scenarios, including collisions between tube and machine, tube and the surrounding environment, tube and tooling or tube on tube.

The 3D environment is fully interactive, allowing the user to select the exact position they would like to view any collision – making problems easy to understand and resolve.

With the addition of profiles such as square and rectangular tube, Unison continue to extend the versatility of the application.

Opt2Sim enables fully-validated bending programs to be created entirely off-line, predominately in the design office where the practicalities of CNC tube bending are not necessarily fully understood.

With over four miles of pipework in an aircraft carrier and 23,000 pieces of pipework in a submarine, you can image that ensuring manufacturable design is an essential element in bringing these projects to life.

The software is under constant development as customers approach us for solutions to their challenges, including being able to accurately position loaders and robots for automatic cells with complex 3D geometry.


To find out more about our software drop us an email.

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