Economics very briefly

Cover Story . Individual ideas, appropriate short part concepts

One particularly interesting aspect of tube processing is, without a doubt, the wide spectrum of short parts. To this we are always happy to say: Everything that fits in a pocket. But as so often is the case, the challenge lies in the details and is usually also a question of perspective.

Because our customers’ challenges are completely different. Which is why we also develop our production concepts completely individually. The value of a short part can be considered from completely divergent viewpoints. For those who purchase it, it is small and therefore is expected to be inexpensive. For those who manufacture it, it is seen as the same effort as a long component. However, compared to large parts, it is even more difficult to manufacture. Of course, the work stages and processes such short parts must undergo are also decisive here. Should it be chiplessly cut from a coil, or from bar stock? Or are special forming and bending required?

First machine, then bend

To ensure greater economy, at transfluid® we have developed our system concepts so first the straight part is machined and the bending follows as final work stage. Typical short parts usually only have one bend, or they are only straight but extremely short. Frequently such parts are used in filter housings or in other closed containers; they also offer connection possibilities for in- and outflow.

Thus, the formation process here is relatively clearcut. On the other side of the component, there is usually a bead with a straight, calibrated edge. This edge generally has a press fitting or at least, a fitting with very precise tolerances which can later be soldered or pressed tightly into position. The other side of the short part is often connected to a hose. To facilitate this connection, a single hose bead or a hose stop bead and a taper at the front are formed on the fitting end.

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Large and small nominal diameters

Usually, two different tube geometries are used in actual applications. The minimum treatment is bending to different angles, or forming one bend and one straight connection. Very often, the components are manufactured from smaller nominal widths and thin wall thicknesses. On the other hand, there are also what are known as ‘press fittings’, which are used to assemble water or air lines without soldering. In this case, larger nominal widths and different materials are often used.

Forming two parts at the same time

Because our machining technology covers the entire range of requirements for component manufacture, the following implementation is possible: first, chipless cutting of the tube pieces from a coil or bar. Directly afterwards, the system forms one side. Hereby it is entirely possible to form two workpieces at the same time. An automatic handling system, with a turning station where needed, transports the workpieces so the second side of the tube can be formed in an additional forming unit. Here, the role of forming technology in manufacture of the small part is completed. This stage is followed by transport to the bending unit, where the workpieces are finalised in a compact and efficient process.

4 seconds to a short part

Of course additional processes can be integrated; for example, the marking or optical inspection of a component, or improving the surfaces after the rolling process. With our transfluid® systems, short parts can be completely manufactured and ready to use in a cycle time of about 4 seconds. Chipless cutting is the quickest of all the processes involved. This means a cutting system can also feed a second line or be used for other components.