Ultra-powerful all-electric pipe bender starts operations at US shipbuilder

Unison has commissioned what is believed to be the largest all-electric tube bending machine ever produced, at Newport News Shipbuilding - supplier of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines to the US Navy.

Newport News Shipbuilding's Detail Pipe Shop celebrating the first bend made by Unison's ultra-powerful all-electric pipe bending machine. The first part bent was a 6-inch pipe for the John F Kennedy aircraft carrier (CVN 79). Photo by John Whalen, Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Newport News Shipbuilding’s Detail Pipe Shop celebrating the first bend made by Unison’s ultra-powerful all-electric pipe bending machine. The first part bent was a 6-inch pipe for the John F Kennedy aircraft carrier (CVN 79). Photo by John Whalen, Huntington Ingalls Industries.

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).

Mike Walters of Newport News Shipbuilding's Detail Pipe Shop controlling the first bend made by the Unison machine. Photo: John Whalen, Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Mike Walters of Newport News Shipbuilding’s Detail Pipe Shop controlling the first bend made by the Unison machine. Photo: John Whalen, Huntington Ingalls Industries.

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 – with exceptional accuracy and repeatability. 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.

Unison's ultra-powerful all-electric pipe bending machine being unloaded at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. Photo by Ricky Thompson, Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Unison’s ultra-powerful all-electric pipe bending machine being unloaded at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. Photo by Ricky Thompson, Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII), 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.

Unison's new machine brings the flexibility of all-electric pipe bending technology to large pipe sizes. Among many possibilities is the means to fabricate long and complex pipe shapes in single pieces.

Unison’s new machine brings the flexibility of all-electric pipe bending technology to large pipe sizes. Among many possibilities is the means to fabricate long and complex pipe shapes in single pieces.

Source wordsun.com

Source Unison Ltd.