In agricultural machinery, diverse and flexible solutions for forming, bending and forming, and even automated systems, are required for the manufacturing of tubes that are used in crucial driving, lifting and moving operations.

In agriculture, most production processes have gone from manual manufacturing to industrial production. Agricultural product that used to be processed with simple farm machinery is now undertaken using equipment that is often highly automated, in processes that have to be designed along rational lines. This applies to all areas of agriculture, from tractors to combine harvesters and driverless machines for many different applications, but also to comparatively small pieces of equipment and accessories.

As a specialist in tube processing machines and systems, transfluid has already been delivering its solutions to this sector for many years.

“The developments are very exciting and we are happy to continue to contribute to that”, says Stefanie Flaeper, Managing Director at transfluid. “When we look at the tube processing for the manufacturing of agricultural machinery we see two key types: heavy tubes and profiles, that are often used in the construction of frames; and on the other hand the large hydraulics systems.”

Hydraulics is a method that is frequently used in agricultural machinery to drive, lift and move. transfluid offers a wide range of machines suitable for the processing of the tubes for this application: from a simple bending machine with a mandrel, like the t bend DB 642K, for mobile use and small numbers of tubes; to highly flexible CNC-controlled systems with short set-up times and the ability to bend clockwise and counterclockwise, like the t bend DB 630-CNC. Very fast processes and higher output are the results with these machines.

The drives of the tube-processing machines are particularly high-performing and can be either hydraulic or electric with brushless motors, depending on your preference. All the challenges are therefore met, whether the tubes are small or large in diameter. Machines are available for extreme geometries, which can bend both clockwise and counterclokwise in one operation. These generally have an electric, brushless motor drive for large outputs.

Better processes with different materials and geometries

In the production of hydraulics tubes there is often a requirement for only small numbers of production pieces but in a great variety of geometries. In this case, materials and geometries are particularly challenging. Although standard materials are used, other materials with significantly greater strength are used to meet the specifications.

For this reason, the machines must offer the right level of flexibility. In this production area it can make sense to have a manufacturing model that is based on one piece flow and chaotic, when tubes of different diameters are needed for a product. The stock levels can be reduced a lot and the tube is prepared completely before bending.

“Our goal is to greatly simplify and optimise the production processes with our solutions, ” explains Flaeper. “To do this, our machines will produce tubes that are completely ready for immediate use after the bending.”

The first step is the cutting, which the t cut range takes care of. The cleaning and automatic application of cutting rings and many different types of forming are also required. The forming and the cutting rings can be processed both ways in this case. The transfluid cleaning systems automatically deliver clean tubes. transfluid offers the complete processing of tubes and, if needed, the right automations systems with t motion, for a completely automated production.

Prototyping and software for safe production

A key element for success in tube processing is prototyping. All transfluid machines can be operated manually to produce the first set of tubes. In addition, tools are available to measure the component, or even the whole set of components, in a flexible way and directly on the item and generate accurate digital data. The t project software makes it possible to process isometrics directly from CAD. Both the technical department and the machine operator can use a number of different interfaces to import data and run collision tests.

“With our advanced software, even the very first tube is ready to be used in a manufacturing process,” adds Flaeper.

This way, transfluid offers tubes to the manufacturers of agrotechnical products that are ready to be incorporated and produced in a way that is extremely close to the final manufacturing standards; they are necessary for a functioning and reliable hydraulics system.