Largest All-Electric Pipe Bender Starts Operations at Newport News Shipbuilding
Unison has commissioned what is believed to be the largest all-electric tube bending machine ever produced. The machine has started operations at Newport News Shipbuilding, supplier of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines to the US Navy.
The machine is capable of generating over 265,000 lb-ft (360,000 Nm) of torque and can bend piping up to 8 inches NPS - with an outside diameter of 8.625 inches or 219.1 mm - with Schedule 80 wall thicknesses of 0.5 inch (12.7 mm).
The availability of all-electric, servomotor-controlled bending machines for pipes of this size brings significant productivity benefits to the fabrication of a ship's pipework compared with conventional hydraulically-powered machinery. These include smart software-controlled set-up and right-first-time precision bending. Bend precision is aided by the inclusion of a unique laser-based system that automatically measures and adjusts bend angles for spring-back of the pipe metal.
Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, has more than seven years of experience using Unison all-electric tube benders. The shipbuilder first began using this technology in 2007, when it took delivery of three Unison machines to help fabricate tubing and piping systems for use on aircraft carrier projects.