TPT March 2023



Automatic feeding of materials for greater tube bending production efficiency

loading system can be equipped with various sensors, so the supply can be digitally controlled and monitored. This is particularly interesting in the production of different tube geometries for special constructions or spare parts. transfluid offers a wide variety of loading systems for all machines, to fit different tube materials, diameters and lengths. All these systems are specifically designed and produced by transfluid to match the bending and forming machines, which guarantees optimal integration and functionality. Simple bending geometries, which are bent from bars, can be fed into the process via loading tables, step feeders or conveyor belts. In this case it is the length and the dimensions of the tubes that decide what is most appropriate. For example, long tubes with a small diameter are not suitable for a chain feeder because of their unstable nature. Here, a loading table or a step feeder would be better choices. The cycle times in the bending process must also be taken into account. If the bending geometry is complicated or has many bends, there is no need for a feeder designed for speed. In this case, a system with a large loading volume may be the better choice. It becomes more complicated when the parts to be bent have already been processed. This applies, for example, to tubes that have already been formed and tubes with attachments. The appropriate orientation must be ensured in this case, when feeding the tube into the bending machine, so that it is loaded in the correct position. In most cases, the workpieces must be separated before the loading. Chain feeders are often the best solution here. They have the advantage that the tubes for the bending process can be positioned already in the desired starting position. They then no longer have to

robot, the specialists can spend their time on the more demanding tasks. But it does not always have to be a robot. In order to create even more flexibility, especially for its CNC tube bending machines, transfluid has developed, for example, a simple and less expensive loading unit that offers its customers the option of operating the machine as a small production cell with automatic unloading – for example on a conveyor belt. Depending on the loading volume, the feeding magazine is equipped with the raw materials. The guide rails can quickly be adjusted for tubes of different lengths or diameters. The tube is transferred to the gripper and fed to the machine and thus to the bending process. At the customer’s request, a

IT does not always have to be about large automated production lines or production cells when it comes to the automation of bending processes. Automation solutions are typically included to save time and money. Automated processes are ideally faster, with fewer errors and higher and consistent overall quality. And it is also becoming increasingly important to deal with shortages of staff and skilled workers. Small and medium-sized enterprises are particularly impacted by the growing shortage of workers. This development led transfluid to equip even smaller production units with cost-effective partial or full automation. If, for example, the loading and unloading of the CNC bending machines is carried out by a

The automation of individual manufacturing steps is often the only way to carry out production processes due to a lack of personnel


MARCH 2023

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