Make Spiral Manufacturing More Predictable
You might think that making spirals is something that can only be done by a craftsman with years of experience and incredible attention to detail. This is not necessarily the case.
Spiral production can be done consistently and accurately with the right tools. This has been proven by metal fabricators serving industries, such as power plants, petrochemical production facilities, food manufacturers and manufacturers of industrial heating and cooling products.
But it’s not just the big manufacturers that are using this type of technology. It is also used by craftsmen who make stairs and ramps. In all of these cases, manufacturers must adhere to rigorous specifications so that the end product is not only visibly acceptable, but also meets the original design intent.
Just think of the complexity of manufacturing a single two-spiral heat exchanger, either a smaller one surrounded by a larger one, or two spirals of the same diameter and not inserted into each other. Final spiral builds must meet predetermined tolerances or the final products will not perform as expected.
“As multiple passes are not possible during spiral rolling, customers demand a combination of power and precision in the equipment they use. Therefore, the machine must be powerful to reach the desired capacity and precise to reach the required tolerances in a single pass,” said Federico Bonfogo, Senior Technical Sales Manager, Faccin Group, owner of the ROUNDO brand.
ROUNDO profile benders are designed to assist in this type of high tolerance spiral production. Bonfogo again referenced heat exchangers to describe what the company’s technology can do in this very difficult bending application.
In heat exchangers, in the same spiral, you can find tubes of different materials welded to each other. Each tube is specified for its task as each can handle different vapor pressures. Each material, however, reacts differently to stresses when bending. This means that a profile bending machine used for the production of spirals must be sensitive enough to cope with the springback characteristics of each material.
In this case, Bonfogo said the sophisticated hydraulics help the operator in this battle against the natural characteristics of the metal. The profile bending machine operator can refine the bend while processing the spiral to obtain a homogeneous shape.
The standard hydraulic system features of the ROUNDO profile bending machine help to provide this production precision. Operators can manipulate joysticks to control proportional movements for rotation and roll adjustment. They can also adjust the variable translation speed of the calibration unit to further refine the diameter of the spiral after the profile has passed through the bending rolls.
For customers who demand even more precision, Bonfogo said it is possible to equip the machines with micro-hydraulic adjustment of the lower rollers. This allows additional fine adjustment achieved through separate controls on the control panel which are connected in parallel to the main roller adjustment.
Spiral rolling is complicated by the fact that customers will request many different types of profiles, each with their own properties and mechanical characteristics. Even the same type of profile can have a wide variety of dimensions, which affects the rolling diameter and the pitch of the spiral during its manufacture.
Bonfogo said the large guide rollers of the ROUNDO profile benders act as calibrating units to ensure the desired dimensions are delivered. In addition, each unit includes different small rollers for the calibration of different types of sections. These calibrating rollers can be placed in several positions on the calibrators frame, allowing a range of calibratable bending diameters.
Bonfogo said that the profile bender in its standard configuration can roll left and right spirals without having to disassemble and reassemble the calibration unit depending on the feed side of the profile. This helps the operator to be more productive, making spirals instead of spending time preparing a different configuration.
According to Bonfogo, a profile bender that not only handles standard jobs, but can also easily adapt to spiral rolling, meets the needs of businesses that perform a variety of in-house fabrication jobs. The ability to switch from one type of spiral fabrication to another without the additional time required to change the configuration of the profile bending machine is a winning proposition for any fabrication shop, even those without an expert in-house in making spiral shapes.