Suppliers to many industries are facing the same challenges world-wide, how to supply their products fast, economically and flexible while considering the individual demands of their customers at the same time. In order to increase the quality of their products and reduce costs at the same time, the Canadian supplier Deco Automotive replaced three existing older bending machines with three state-of-the-art automatic CNC 100 E TB MR VA pipe bending lines by Schwarze-Robitec. The company will profit from the integrated high-performance control system NxG by increasing its output and optimising cycle times.
The company, headquartered in Canada manufactures various automotive components including vehicle frames and structures, and engine cradles. Among the customers of the automotive supplier are international original equipment manufacturers. Deco uses a total of four production lines and manufactures more than 1,750,000 products per year.
Before being accepted by automobile manufacturers, steel pipes run through the fully automatic cold bending process at the production facility. Subsequent manufacturing steps include hydroforming, laser cutting and welding. The number of bending processes performed at Deco reaches 12 million per year.
Following an extensive consultation and planning phase three pipe bending lines tailored to the requirements of the automotive supplier.
Of the three CNC 100 E TB MR VA machines two machines are right- and one is left-bending. In addition, the multi-stack bending machines are equipped with a pipe magazine, a weld seam finding device, an automatic loading and a removal device. The electrically operated systems process round and oval tubes that are 2.8 m long and have a diameter of up to 76.2 mm including a wall thickness from 1.2 to 3 mm. The process is fully automated: The pipes to be processed are taken randomly from the tube magazine and fed to the integrated weld seam finding device. This device aligns the pipes in accordance with their weld seam position. Following the alignment, the pipe is passed on to the pipe bending machine. To do this, a mandrel is used which supports the tube on tight radii from the inside. A fully automatic loading arm then removes the finished bent tube from the machine and places it on a conveyor belt. From there, the tube continues to the hydroforming equipment. Another feature of the solution are the integrated raised, vertical travel routes. This allows pre-loading the pipe bending machine, while parallel to this function a finished bent tube is removed at another location.