Automated Tube Forming System
A manufacturer of swimming pool heaters came to us with a precision tube forming requirement for use in a heat exchanger system. In addition to forming, the copper finned areas and ends of the tube had to remain distortion-free. Creative Automation designed and fabricated a special multi-axis hydraulic forming system to automatically perform the complex operation.
The Challenge: Automatic Forming for Finned Copper Tubes with Minimum Distortion
The manufacturer had the unique requirement to form finned copper tubing into headers for use in a heat exchanger. A typical assembly consisted of eight separate tubes and required 16 simultaneous expansion operations. In addition to custom forming, the copper finned areas and ends of the tube could not be distorted, thus requiring a precision automation solution.
The Solution: Multi-Axis Automated Forming Machine
Creative designed and fabricated a special multi-axis hydraulic forming system to perform the complex tube forming operation. Our automated special purpose forming machine consisted of a part fixture and automatic clamps to secure the two header plates, along with two electrically driven 8-spindle heads to perform the roll form expansion operation.
The process began with an operator placing pre-cut tubes with the ends prepared by a de-finning process (produced on another system we provided) in a cradle. The system automatically clamped and bent the fin tubing into the shape illustrated in the accompanying image. We were able to reduce the typical cycle to less than 30 seconds, substantially improving both productivity and capacity.
Special Purpose Forming Machines for Automated Fabrication Processes
From machine design engineering to systems integration, Creative delivers state-of-the-art automation solutions for today’s highly competitive manufacturing industry. We specialize in the fabrication and integration of practical, uniquely customized automation systems designed to accommodate specific tube forming and fabrication requirements. Our company offers turnkey equipment solutions which meet our clients’ specific goals in machine automation.