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Health Care

Canes, Crutches, Walkers

Many products in this industry rely on bent tubes for strength and durability. These products fall into several broad categories.

Many of these products are made from aluminum tube for high strength and light weight. Bend quality is not critical unless it impacts performance. Also in this category are some devices for use at home, like stand assists or bathtub benches.

Historically these types of products have been bent on a Pines 3t or 5t vertical bender. These machines offer unrivaled production rates, as much as 1500 net bends per hour. The compression bend has a perceived lower quality than a mandrel type bend but it is just as strong and functional.

This type of NC machine requires manual positioning of the tube before bending as well as stops or gauges for rotations between bends. While ideally suited for single bend parts or long production runs, CNC benders are replacing the vertical benders for multiple bend parts.

Wheelchairs and Hospital Beds

Steel and stainless steel tubing is used for a variety of beds and chairs in the health care industry.

Historically these types of products have been bent on a Pines 3t or 5t vertical bender. With the advent of robotic welders and automated assembly processes, part dimensional accuracy has become much more important. Manually adjusted distance and rotation stops are difficult to set accurately enough to maintain the overall part accuracy required by these automated systems.

CNC tube benders have replaced vertical NC benders in much of this industry. CNC benders offer faster setups and better repeatability over NC/manual machine setups. Overall production is of higher quality if at a lower volume (700-800 net bends per hour) than with vertical NC machines. The more bends in a part the more economical CNC benders can become.

Bend quality can be improved with the use of an internal mandrel. Unfortunately the use of a mandrel extractor will increase machine cycle time and lower production slightly.

Handicap Access Rails, and Handholds

Handrails are made from medium diameter stainless steel tubes. Often these tubes are highly polished, or satin finished, prior to bending. Simple grabs have one bend at each end. More complex rails may have 3 or more bends.

Since this product is made to be seen, bends must be of the highest quality. Multiple ball mandrel bending is the rule, with most parts requiring a wiper die as well. Early mandrel extraction may be required to eliminate that cosmetically annoying mandrel hump on the outside of the bend.

The tools must be polished and properly aligned to eliminate marking on the finished part. Reverse Interlock tools help with die alignment since the clamp die and pressure die fit into close fit grooves in the bend die guaranteeing proper alignment. No marks on the top and bottom of the tube!

CNC machines offer some advantages for multiple bend parts over NC machines. Faster changeover between part programs and more consistent parts are the most obvious benefits.



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