Combined Operations: Rotary Tooling

Throughout 20+ years in business, Proto-1 has been approached by many customers seeking a solution for their tube and pipe needs. Many of these needs/problems stem from lack of efficiency and throughput with a current tube process that requires multiple operations. Depending upon the complexity of the tube/assembly, the product at hand can have as many as 3 or 4 operations before its complete.

At Proto-1, we focus on combining processes into one operation, resulting in a quick and efficient tube end forming solution. Proto-1 was tasked by a customer within the automotive industry to simplify the operation for this intercooler/radiator tube (shown below). The end form provides a clamping point for the rubber hose that gets mounted on the end. The outward beads give the hose a tight fit while the knurling provides extra grip. The inverted bead is used a locating/locking groove for the clamp that holds the hose in place.

Rotary Tube End Forming
Triple Bead & Knurl Tooling | RFM-6 or RFM-10

Prior to Proto-1, this tube would require 3 processes to reach a final product: one process for the outer beads, one for the inverted bead, and one for the knurling. Tasked with this challenge, our engineering team developed an all-in-one rotary tool for our RFM platform. This new rotary tool not only combined the additional processes but it accomplished them all in a 13 second cycle time. Click the image below to see this kind of rotary tool in action!

Double Bead Groove Knurl Compressed 2

Single bead and double beaded tubes are used extensively throughout the automotive industry for coolant transfer (shown below). In the past, many of our customers were using 3 processes to produce these tubes. The first process was to cut the tube to the desired length. Maybe tube specifications require a certain tolerance from the face of the tube to the center of the beads. Once cut, usually with a band saw, the tube would then go through a deburring process to remove any burrs on the face of the tube. After deburred, the tube would then be placed into an endformer so the beads could be applied. These 3 processes proved to be time consuming and costly for our customers.

Rotary Tube End Forming
Double Bead Tooling | CAM-2.5 or RFM-6

Aware of the situation, Proto-1 developed a rotary tool that beads and cuts the tube in the same process. Using our rotary shear technology, the cut knives shear cut from the inside out without leaving any burrs on the face of the tube. Because of the this, the use for a deburring process was eliminated. As the cut operation takes place the tool as beads as well. Single, double, or even triple beads can be applied while cutting. Bead and cut operations can be achieve in 15 seconds or less depending upon material type and diameter. Check the video below to see a 6″ Double Bead & Cut tool in action!

RFM 6 6 Inch Double Bead and Cut 6 23 17

Upcoming News Article

Proto-1 is proud to announce that an article highlighting technology within the tube and pipe industry will be published in The Business News of Northeast Wisconsin. This article was written by Marc Jankowski, our Director of Marketing, for their upcoming issue. Stay tuned for the full length article on our website and social media channels in the upcoming weeks!


Virtual Tour

Make sure to check out our latest production of our virtual tour! Click the video below to learn more!