Tube-Bending as an Efficiency Driver in Ship Construction

transfluid large tube bending machines with fast tool changes permit narrow radii even in CuNiFe and stainless steel tubes

Capacities are planned with increasing efficiency in international ship construction and the offshore area, and present resources are used to higher capacity to improve processes. Therefore, the industry relies more than ever on time- and cost-saving bending machines for large tube diameters in tube processing. Advanced tube bending technologies are proving their worth as an efficient alternative for welding of large tubes. High-tech company transfluid is developing this solution for tubes in the scope of its portfolio range 't bend'. The bending machines permit high-performance processing of tubes with diameters of up to 325 mm.

Stefanie Flaeper, managing director at transfluid, explains: "Our bending technology considerably reduces the production costs while creating a time benefit of up to 60 %. This is an unbeatable benefit on the international markets." The trend is towards flanges being welded to the straight tube before bending, with the effect of internal linking to the corresponding CAD programs. The isometrics can be directly processed in the transfluid bending software 't project' this way. "We offer enormous flexibility that, together with the extremely short tool change times of less than 20 minutes, permits a clear efficiency increase in tube production," says Stefanie Flaeper.

Mobile use on board

The mobile tablet version 't project Draft' increases flexibility with special requirements. If tube data do not come from the CAD, they can be manually entered in the software. This may be the case if tubes are already present and are measured accordingly. Since this is not always done in-house, but may take place directly on the ships, the tablet version increases flexibility. This software permits isometric measurement and input of tubes. Then the data are sent to the production department directly by email, where production can already start while further tube geometries are recorded on the ship.

End forms and space benefits

The option of end forming processes, e.g. for forming on flanges, is one strength. The transfluid bending technologies permit optimised processing of large tubes and tubes with small diameters. Narrow radii are possible even in CuNiFe and stainless steel pipes, permitting an additional space benefit in the ship. transfluid will present its advanced machines and software solutions at this year's SMM in hall B2.EG, stand 324, as well.

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Stefan Köhler