Two bending processes, two directions, four tooling sets, one all-electric, multisense tube bending machine.
Challenged with shorter product life cycles and new-product innovation driven by global competition, OEMs and their supply chains are looking for more flexible design and production equipment that can manufacture new products that are more effective, more efficient, easier to use, offer lower cost per component and aesthetically more pleasing, with some of these new products creating whole new market segments.
As a consequence, machine tool builders are being pressurised to offer machines that eliminate unnecessary manufacturing steps, are capable of handling more applications and enabling technologies efficiently with higher speeds and feeds, shorter cycle times, increased accuracy and machines that conserve energy usage and costs. While striving to increase equipment capabilities, the machine manufacturers are also expected to keep the unit prices down.
The new Soco SB-32X9A-2S-V-U all electric (no hydraulics) left and right CNC tube bender that has been installed at Toyota Boshoku’s manufacturing plant in Southgate Business Park, Umbogintwini, KwaZulu Natal
Additionally, as design software becomes more user-friendly and engineers strive to differentiate their products from those of their competitors by developing increasingly complex and unique products, while still taking into account ever increasing safety critical constraints, manufacturers have to keep up.
One such product that we take for granted, without even giving it so much as a thought, even though most of us encounter the product on a daily basis and some times for long hours, is the seat in the vehicle you drive.
Seats are said to account for five per cent of a vehicle’s total cost and six per cent of its weight. As a result, they represent the second largest expense for automakers.
In any car, seats play a critical role in the driver and passenger experience. Advances and innovation in vehicle seat manufacture in the automobile industry have made them lighter, functional and a whole lot more comfortable these days. Intelligent seat adjustment and customised comfort (electronics, pneumatics, foams, and padding) according to each individual’s requirements, are just some features that come as standard nowadays and are not the domain of a luxury vehicle like they were not so long ago.
Toyota Boshoku Corporation is a Kariya-city, Aichi Prefecture, Japan based company mainly engaged in the manufacture and sale of automobile parts and textile products. The company is a member of the Toyota Group and Toyota Boshoku operates more than 90 facilities around the world, including 19 across North and South America. The company offers automobile interior components, such as seats, door trims, instrument panels, ceilings and illumination; filter / power train equipment and parts, such as intake system parts, lubrication system parts and air conditioning system parts, among others; as well as fiber products and exterior products.
The head of the Soco SB-32X9A-2S-V-U all electric (no hydraulics) left and right CNC tube bender that was supplied by PIM
As a professional seat maker, Toyota Boshoku meticulously pursues ride quality, comfort and safety in order to develop seats that elicit the maximum potential of each car including compact cars, luxury cars and sports cars.
Just over 10 years ago Toyota Boshoku opened up a manufacturing plant in Southgate Business Park, Umbogintwini, which is located south of Durban in KwaZulu Natal and in close proximity to the Toyota South Africa main manufacturing plant.
“Toyota Boshoku have expanded exponentially in this period and needed to increase their capacity in the tube bending department while also reducing cycle times,” said Manus Potgieter, the owner of PIM, the company that represents the Taiwanese tube and pipe bending and cutting machine manufacturer Soco.
“With the advent of all-electric, multisense benders, benders that are able to produce right-hand, left-hand and variable-radius bends in the same bending cycle, OEM product designers now have available to them the additional degrees of design freedom they need to develop innovative designs in tubular structures that influence the size, shape, and physical appearance of the end product. Designers are no longer restricted by the limitations of hydraulic or electric benders that are not able to support design innovation in tubular designs,” continued Potgieter.
The new Soco SB-32X9A-2S-V-U all electric (no hydraulics) left and right CNC tube bender has a capacity for 32mm OD x 1.6 ton tubing (mild steel) in 1.5 OD bending radius in clockwise rotation and a capacity for 30mm OD x 1 ton tubing (stainless steel), in 1.5 OD bending radius in clockwise rotation
“The newest generation of all-electric benders can expand design flexibility, reduce part cost, reduce production lead-time, and offer the ability to accommodate last-minute design changes, all of which can help level the playing field against competition.”
“For many applications multisense, all-electric benders with right-hand, left-hand, and variable-radius bending capabilities are able to produce complex tubular shapes on one machine without the interruption and lost time associated with changeover or setups on multiple benders.”
“These new benders, capable of performing draw, compression and variable-radius bends without the need for mechanical changeover, can be equipped with up to eight sets of tools. The machine has nine electric CNC axis, 2 x 2 bending stacks and uses Soco’s unique Direct Gear Transmission technology.”
“The Soco SB-32X9A-2S-V-U all electric (no hydraulics), left and right CNC tube bender has the ability to bend parts in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions in the same cycle, allowing for bending complex parts and avoiding interferences. All the axis are controlled by either electric servos or by pneumatics, creating a virtually pollution free and low noise (under 75 dB) working environment.”
The new Soco SB-32X9A-2S-V-U all electric (no hydraulics) left and right CNC tube bender machine has also been supplied with bending simulation software so that the bending process can be simulated beforehand and thus eliminate any collision of the parts before bending takes place
The machine has a capacity for 32mm OD x 1.6 ton tubing (mild steel) in 1.5 OD bending radius in clockwise rotation and a capacity for 30mm OD x 1 ton tubing (stainless steel), in 1.5 OD bending radius in clockwise rotation. It also has the ability for both draw bending and roll bending, the bending head rotates 180 degrees with two stacks of tooling on each end for a total of four bending stacks, closed or open collet bending for maximising every bending process and has simultaneous motion of all nine electric axis, with programmable speeds for each axis.”
“This Soco machine can also be specially fitted with automatic loading and unloading options for full automation.”
“The Toyota Boshoku machine has also been supplied with bending simulation software so that the bending process can be simulated beforehand and thus eliminate any collision of the parts before bending takes place.”
The Soco machine can also be used in situations when creating complex shapes
“The advantages of all-electric tube benders have become more widely known over the last five years. The attributes of improved accuracy, greater repeatability, faster cycle times, ease of setup, low noise, better electrical efficiency and cleaner operations have somewhat overshadowed the equally important benefits of adding to the increased manufacturability of new end-use products from OEMs and added flexibility and cost savings for job shops.”
“These new benders also eliminate the possibility of compromised bending tolerances caused by hydraulic fluid temperature fluctuations during the course of a production day.”
“The Soco machine can also be used in situations when creating complex shapes for exhaust pipes and is also used for manufacturing healthcare and fitness equipment.”
For further information contact PIM on TEL: 011 022 4648 or visit www.industrialmachinery.co.za