Fabtech 2019 | Chicago: Recap
In mid November, Proto-1 Manufacturing exhibited at Fabtech 2019 in Chicago from the 11th to the 14th. We would like to say thank you to everyone who visited our booth at the show this year. Proto-1 looks forward to the new opportunities to create everlasting partnerships and solutions within the tube and pipe industry.
Rotary End Forming: Servo & Manual Control
When it comes to rotary end forming, there are many machine features/options that can affect the efficiency of the tube end forming process. In recent years, Proto-1 has been installing servos into our rotary end forming machines, primarily the RFM-6, to help increase customer efficiencies based on their application and process. While a servo controlled machine can increase efficiencies, a servo isn’t always needed for certain applications. In this newsletter we will cover the benefits of both a servo controlled machine and a traditional machine, as well as the application where either machine fits.
A servo controlled rotary end forming machine will greatly benefit those who have a large range of end forming (with lower volumes) and tooling by reducing the changeover and setup time for each tool. A traditional machine requires additional setup time for each tool since the drawbar end position changes from tool to tool. In order change this, the operator would have to adjust these stop nuts towards the back of the drawbar assembly to the designated position for that tool (servo drawbar assembly displayed below). While this changeover usually takes 10 minutes, having to adjust the stop nuts can take an additional 3-5 minutes. A servo completely removes this additional time by automatically adjusting the drawbar end distance once the proper tool program has been selected from the HMI. Not only does this feature save changeover time but it can also save setup time during tool testing, development, and troubleshooting since the end distance can be changed in a matter of seconds. Servo controlled machines are ideal for manufacturers or job shops who produce low quantities of product and consistently changeover to other tool to produce product for other projects.
While a traditional machine may not be as fast when it comes to setup and changeovers, they are better suited for high volume production of a single end form (drawbar assembly displayed below). Due to its analog nature, the stop nuts are more accurate and will consistently meet the same end position cycle after cycle. The stop nuts are more resilient than a servo as well and are ideal for end forms such as heavy wall flares that generate more force during the end forming process.
In addition to the servo controlled drawbar assembly, Proto-1 also uses a servo to control the kickoff on many rotary tools. Much like the drawbar, a servo controlled kickoff can be adjusted in the matter of seconds. The servo controlled kickoff becomes a programmable backstop that can be adjusted from tool to tool. This feature is ideal for cut tools since the kickoff can be used to adjust the length of cut on tube itself. This kickoff can also be programmed to move to different locations to form corresponding beads in line with each other to make complex end forms (see example below).
With the upcoming holidays, Proto-1 Manufacturing will be closed the following days.
- December 24th
- December 25th
- December 26th
- December 31st
- January 1st
From all of us at Proto-1, have a safe and happy holiday!
Make sure to check out our latest production of our virtual tour! Click the video below to learn more!