October 27, 2021
Blog – Cutting out waste with Laser Springback
At Unison, tube bending innovation is our driving force.
Having invented the first all-electric tube bending machine in 1994, we have continued to scour our industry for hurdles to the ultimate aim of perfect tube bending.
In 2001 Unison introduced laser springback and correction to the marketplace, which again revolutionised tube bending, especially for the shipyard industry.
Our unique laser spring back and correction works by monitoring changes in the reflection distance of two fixed centre laser beams after bending.
It automatically uses this information to compensates for the natural tendency of metal tubes to spring back slightly after being bent, enabling part manufacturers to implement a right-first-time production process, which guards against expensive waste.
The laser correction system can also be used for edge and feature detection to enable more stable process control of pre-laser-cut parts.
In operation, it takes a reference measurement from the straight edge of the tubing.
Then, after the bend is made, the system automatically commands the clamping die to move away, this allows the material to spring to its natural position.
After this there is a second measurement, from which the actual bend angle is calculated, all of this is not possible with the single laser on the outer edge of the clamp as this doesn’t take into account Radial Growth.
Any difference to the programmed bend is either automatically corrected or displayed for the operator to decide on the next step.
This makes it possible to make “Right First Time” parts in expensive materials to the most complex shape without the need for a calibration part.
Unison’s laser-controlled spring-back correction bend angle system is available on any of the company’s machines for tubes from 30 mm diameter upwards.
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