Ercolina Advantages

Tube Bending Machines

Improved Design

Ercolina benders are more rugged and versatile than traditional outdated “swing arm” technology. The bending axis is positioned directly beneath and supporting the pressure die, eliminates the need for a tie bars and prevents material slippage. Bending force exerted by the spindle is resisted by the pressure die which is monitored and continuously adjusted automatically for consistent pressure throughout the bend cycle. Giga bender series internal design incorporates large spindle and bearing diameters insuring the greatest rigidity. Ercolina mandrel benders are engineered using today’s state of the art technology and machine tool standards. Capacities are rated in material size as well as section modulus enabling the customer to determine the machines true capacity for application. If you’re considering purchasing a heavy duty tube, pipe or profile mandrel bending machine please consider the Ercolina advantage.

Traditional Swing Arm Clamping Difficulties

Swing arm benders clamp die are mounted on a carrier resting on a slide built into the top of a “swing-arm”. The arm assembly “swings” with the bend die’s rotation.) The clamp die, upon closure inherently induces a massive offset load onto the bend die. This can produce tilt of the bend die. As the bend die rotates, this tilt results in a continuously varying out-of-plane- relationship between the bend die and both the pressure die and wiper die. The older the machine and tooling, the worse the condition becomes. When the bend die tilts under clamp loads, the upper portions of the clamp surface actually pull away from the work piece, resulting in a reduced clamping grip.

Because extremely high clamping and bending forces are required in bending large work pieces, this tilting phenomenon necessitates the use of overhead tie bars, center-posts, multiple hold-down bolt patterns, and flange mounted bend dies on swing arm benders. Toggle type clamp closure mechanisms used on most swing arm benders generate indeterminate excessive clamping force at its dead-center position before reaching the over-dead-center locked-up position. With hydraulically actuated mechanical device clamping, it is not possible to use hydraulic pressure gauges to measure true clamping.

As bending machines become larger, the swing arm assembly becomes disproportionately more massive in order to impose the necessary clamping forces and to accommodate up to 5 X D bend dies. The main beam of a swing arm bender is at right angles to the pressure die slide. These benders use the immovable main frame for functions which are related to the variable centerline location of the work piece – functions such as 3-axis carriage ways support and mandrel extractor mounting. Heavy loads imposed by larger work pieces are carried through unnecessarily complex and/or indirect mechanisms. In addition the arm and clamp become interference obstacles when the pipe is being advanced between bends. This difficulty can only be resolved by either a drop-away clamp mechanism or a separately pivoted coaxial swing arm and main shaft – each more complex, and weaker, representing compromises for outdated machine design. Eliminating clamp interference by mechanical means increases maintenance costs and decreases reliability.

C Axis Design

C Axis movement uses single two speed hydraulic cylinder to operate bend and return functions, simple to regulate, minimizes bending head dimensions, reducing the overall footprint of machine. C Axis driven with two chains directly connected to axis eliminating sprockets and play in axis. Return bending pressure is controlled to 50 Bar for safety. Bend head axis moves to adjust centerline, maintains axis alignment with mandrel carriage. Bend head axis adjustable for centerline radius of former maintains axis alignment. CNC7 Models have motorized axis alignment for bending head alignment and work piece loading and unloading. Powered centerline radius adjustment of the bending head allows the mandrel table to remain stationary and rigid. All cast parts are certified GS500 steel Spheroid design. Multiple design improvements and patents eliminate dated mechanical systems and unnecessary mass.

Choosing the proper carriage

Many less expensive and poorly designed benders offer no carriage or only manually operated models. Ercolina’s powered indexing carriage advances and rotates the work piece between bends. Primarily the carriage is a material handling mechanism positioning the work piece for each bend just as accurately as the carriage of a CNC bender. Standard with positioning tailstock for controlling Y and B movements meaning distance between bends DBB and POB meaning Plane of Bend POB Includes DRO standard. Tailstock with Hydraulic clamping and split collet material capacity securely supports material One of the most important benefits of the powered carriage on a larger bender is powered loading, positioning, and unloading of heavy work piece, especially when the pipe or tube must be drawn many feet over a snug fitting mandrel. The basic bender is complemented by the carriage-mandrel beam, without design compromises to either. Because the main beam and drive cylinder is under the pressure die slide, rather than under the mandrel beam, as in most benders, the carriage is designed to accommodate the centerline height of the bender’s tooling, not vice versa. When a carriage is added to a traditional swing arm bender, the centerline height of the bend die must be elevated to accommodate the carriage collets’ height above the main beam. This extra tooling height compounds the risk of bend die tilt. Travel and load length is also not restricted by the bender’s main beam length and does not require an extended frame or other modifications. The carriage rides on precision ground, round ways for smooth travel (distance-between-bend movement) – driven by a powerful hydraulic motor through a rack and pinion. Chuck rotation (plane-of-bend movement) is also hydraulically driven. The carriage provides safe, accurate, one-man, powered positioning for distance-between-bends and plane-of-bend movements. Positioning is achieved by use of digital encoders with read-out for each axis. A powered carriage eliminates the need for additional operators, reducing labor cost and improving accuracy. Powered carriage options are ideal for multiple bend applications requiring greater accuracy. Hydraulic oil cooler operates under variable temperature conditions.

Clam Shell Material Clamping Advantages

Patented Ercolina KST clamp system mounts directly over C bending axis, eliminating dated swing arm and tie bar systems. Simple tooling installation of clamp and pressure die. Clam shell clamping system uses two double acting cylinders. One for positioning and one for clamping creating direct proportional pressure (Patented) No tie bar required, tooling maintains consistent balance of pressure. No clamp-pressure induced bend die tilt – even when bending the heaviest or most “critical” work pieces. Built-in clamp alignment in the matching mounting surfaces of the clamp mechanism and bend die assure that no vertical or horizontal clamp set-up adjustment is required. Therefore tool changing is faster and easier. The clamp opens upwards, eliminating interference with the forward feed of the bent work piece. Clamping forces are self contained – not carried through the die mount, the spindle, or any other part of the machine. Thus, there is never any bend-die tilt caused by clamping forces. Tooling remains properly aligned because the bend die rotates in a level plane throughout the bend. Machine and tooling maintenance are reduced. There are no swing arm slides or toggle linkages to sear or break, and less stress and wear on the tooling. Overhead clamping is safer. Dangerous “pinch points” between the swing arm and pressure die arm are eliminated. Bender operator has direct control of the clamping forces. They are easily read on a pressure gauge and easily set with a relief valve, assuring consistent, accurate set-ups.

Mandrel Functions

Standard programmable anticipated mandrel extraction. Tool free installation and adjustment of mandrel rod. Twenty foot over-mandrel load length and carriage travel available accepts full pipe lengths in one continuous motion with no hitch feeding.

Pressure Die System

Patented feature offers programmable pressure die with auto recapture during bend cycle to 180 degrees. Operator enters pressure die length and machine auto calculates and performs required cycle movements. Pressure die cylinder automatically compensates and adjusts pressure throughout the bend cycle as tube dimensions change. System offers more clearance for tube loading and unloading, adjustable speed control of linear booster. Compact machine design with reduced pressure die length, greatly reduces material waste at end of the bend. Programmable inward and outward pressure die positioning.

Booster Feature

Involves a continuous push-force applied directly to the work piece through a booster clamp. To achieve maximum booster effect, the booster cylinder and its mounting system must be able to exert a sufficient load to bring the work piece close to compressive yield. Booster clamp is mounted directly on the rear of the pressure die, which then provides continuous column strength reinforcement of the work piece under high booster loads.

Operator Controls

Operator control with color touch screen, displays five axis position in Absolute and Incremental readout value. Manual over ride control of Clamp, Pressure Die, Boost, Mandrel, Clamp release functions. Inch and Metric programming and display. Manual and Auto mode. Hand held remote class three or touch screen operation. Programs in YBC and XYZ with auto convert to LRA. Accept XYZ cad values with manual input. Updateable machine software with USB. Unlimited program storage with USB, memorizes bend angle with individual spring back settings. Tooling profile setup page automatically creates bending program from xyz coordinates. Calculates material length required for application, machine load requirement based on material specs. Calculates material stretch and theoretical wall thinning percentage minimizing setup. Full machine function diagnostics, machine parameters data page with 500 programmed values and functions and complete alarm list with definitive alerts.

Mandrel Lubricator System

Designed to pump heavy lubricant through the hollow mandrel rod and out through holes in the side of the mandrel throughout the bend cycle as needed. Lubricator is automatically controlled with the touch screen and is included with all Giga Bender models.

Request a quote on any of these mandrel benders or call 563-391-7700.