July 27, 2021

Unison Ltd Blog – Changing the face of tube bending

This blog demonstrates how Unison have changed the face of tube bending since our inception in 1973.

At Unison, we pride ourselves on the great steps we have taken to further what our customers can achieve with our equipment.

It gives us great pride to look back on what our company has achieved in the past, and we look forward to an equally innovative future.

During the 70s and 80s, Unison developed the control systems for many tube bending companies including Addison and Langbow



In 1993/4 Unison completed a feasibility research study into the possibility of removing the ‘Black Art’ of tube bending, by designing a fully automated tube bending machine. This method of control was revolutionary and enabled all positions and forces necessary to bend a tube to be stored and recalled by computer. This method of control was patented in both the UK and Germany.

And so arrived the world’s first all-electric 3-axis tube bender.



Unison developed the first three all-electric tube bending machines with; 20mm, 40mm and 65mm tube capacity. The very first machine went into service in 1996 and is still in production.

To find out about our current stock tube bending machines, click here.


Unison followed up their previous innovation by developing the world’s first all-electric 5 stack tube bender, allowing users to load five different sets of tooling, meaning tube could be bent at different radii. This eliminated the need to change tooling while processing a part, reducing time wasted during the change and preventing any human error.

 Find out about our tooling, click here.


In the years following the development of the 5-stack tube bender, Unison pushed the envelope of what all-electric tube benders could achieve, starting with designing and manufacturing a 76mm multi-stack machine in 2001, moving up to 115mm in 2004, 150mm in 2007 and finishing with the 180mm multi-stack in 2009. These machines had much better accuracy than their hydraulic counterparts making them the definite machines to process high quality parts.



Unison worked closely with customer Huntington Ingalls to developed the world’s first all-electric 220mm tube bender that could exert a huge 350,000Nm of servo-controlled bend torque. Using Unison’s patented drive share technology, allowed them to bend the largest shipyard pipework with precision and repeatability not previously experienced.



Continuing with its philosophy of continuous development Unison developed a new machine capable of bending tubes up to 273mm for Westcon Shipyard. Generating 660,000Nm of continuous bend torque, our Unison 273mm still remains the world’s largest all-electric tube bender, exceeding the accuracy of its hydraulic counterparts while remaining more power efficient, ensuring our customers get the most out of their machines.

Watch our Westcon machine in action

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