Tube cut-off is the process of cutting a tube to length to be used for another application or process. There are many ways to cut-off tube and pipe, but the most used cutting method is typically completed by a band saw. Band saws are widely used after tube bending applications. The band saw allows for close cut to the bend of the tube, however the process of cutting with a bandsaw often leaves burrs on the finished part. A deburring process may be used to clean the cut end of the tube depending upon the next application that the tube will go through. The tool life and cost of the saw blade on stainless is also an issue due to the hardness of stainless steel.
At Proto-1 Manufacturing, not only do our machines specialize in tube end forming, but also in tube cut-off. Unlike other tube cut-off methods, our machines utilize rotary trim tooling that cuts from the inside out. Every tool that we make is custom designed and built in our facility. The tooling consists of inner segments that the tube goes over. Once the tube is clamped in place, the tooling is then spun. During the cutting (spinning) process, a drawbar that rides along the center of the inner segments is pushed forward, displacing the segments out towards the inner diameter of the tube. Mounted within each segment is a cut knife that cuts the material as it’s pushed through the inner diameter of the material. This process produces a clean cut with minimal burrs. Our cut-off technology eliminates the need for deburring after trimming for a large majority of our customers depending on their end use. Cycle times for this process average 6-8 seconds depending upon material type and thickness. Rotary tube cut-off is ideal application for those who perform tube bending. With a Proto-1 rotary tube end forming machine next to a bender, the operator can do both bending and trimming within the cell, thus increasing efficiency. A wide variety of materials can be cut using our rotary tube cut-off tooling such as: copper, nickel-copper, titanium, Inconel, brass, mild steel, stainless steel, aluminized steel, and more. Proto-1’s line of rotary tube end forming machines are capable of tube cut-off after bend. End forming applications can also be added integrated into the tooling to produce both end forming and cut-off in the same process.