If you are adding pipe and tube bending services to your business, it is important to evaluate the needs of the customers so that you forecast the future growth in this business and benefit from the new venture and business extension. For this reason, ask yourself questions such as, what quantities do you anticipate to bend, what kind of projects do you produce, or what kind of mass production will warrant your full automation? The bottom line is that you want to make sure that your business doesn't outgrow the bending machine regardless of which type of machine you choose. Therefore, when ready to buy a pipe and tube-bending machine or bender, have the following basics in mind.
Types of Pipe Bending
A mandrel is a solid plug made of steel or a series of steel balls that is inserted into a pipe to offer support for tight-radius and thin-wall applications. It uses a flexible support, which bends with the tubing or pipe to ensure that interior of the pipe isn't deformed. Moreover, it will be suitable for clients seeking to make custom and stock exhaust pipes, heat exchanger tubing, and dairy tubing. This type of bending will also produce components for cold air intakes, mass-produced furniture, and headers among others.
In this type of pipe bending, the pipe or tubing is held down at two external points and a hydraulic ram pushes at the central axis of the pipe or tubing to bend it. If you are thinking of extending your services to exhaust systems, gates, and carports, this is the ideal option. It will also be suitable for customers intending to put large bends in light-gauge metals like electrical conduits.
Open Rotary Draw Bending
This type of bending encompasses forming die sets with fixed radii that form empty pipes. It will be a great option for motorsport, industrial, and structural applications. Open rotary bending is also relatively less expensive than the other types of pipe bending, making it ideal for customers with budgetary concerns.
Flexibility and Versatility of Pipe Benders
Air-Hydraulic Pipe Benders
These are powered by both air and hydraulics. They offer a hands-free bending with excellent bending power to suit the accuracy needs of your customers. However, they are relatively slow for applications involving production.
These will suit the customers' speed and accuracy needs because they are powered by both hydraulic and electrical pumps, which makes them faster than the air-hydraulic pipe bending machines.
These will be suitable for customers with DIY applications, entry-level projects, and small production runs. These machines can bend tubing or pipes for furniture, frames, roll cages, and a lot more.