Engineering & Development of a Bracket Wrap/Tube Hose Assembly Machine for the Automotive Industry

Automatic Tube Bending Machine Hopper Load
Automatic Tube Bending Machine Tooling
Automatic Tube Bending Machine With Industrial Robot
Automatic Tube Bending Machine With Industrial Robot 2
Bent Tube

At Excel Machine & Tool, Inc. we have built our reputation as a custom machine fabricator by engineering custom tube bending equipment, such as the unit shown here.

The automotive industry customer that contracted us needed a precision system that was fully automated. We created a system with a 400 tube capacity that would automatically load large amounts of cut-to-length 5/8” diameter tubing.

Once loaded into the bend station, the tube is bent in two locations. A robot is then used to grip the part and rotate it 180°, allowing the opposite end to be bent in two locations. This precision process created bends that met tolerances of ±1.5mm. After the part is bent, the robot automatically unloads the finished work piece, completing each part with a cycle time of only 8 seconds.

Our engineering team created the design from the customer’s specification, producing CAD drawings that our machine and fab shop used to fabricate the unit. The control system utilized an operator interface, with push button control. An Allen Bradley PLC system was also used to control the SMC pneumatic valves and the Motoman robotic controller. Fabricating all of the various components required the use of operations such as CNC and manual milling, automatic and manual grinding, as well as turning. The machine included a square tube and steel plate base, various guards and safety features, and sub-assemblies made from 1018 low carbon steel A2, D2, and S7 tool steel.

To learn more about this project, see the table below orcontact us directly.

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Highlights of this Engineering & Fabrication project

Product NameAutomatic Tube Bending Fixture Bender
Product DescriptionMachine automatically loads cut-to-length tubing. Individual tubes are loaded into the bend station. The part is bent in 2 locations. A robot is then used to grip the part, rotate it 180° and bend the opposite end in 2 locations. After the part is bent, the robot automatically unloads the finish work piece.
Engineering & Fabrication
Capabilities Applied/Processes
  • CNC Milling
  • Welding
  • Grinding
Equipment Used to Manufacture Part
CNC Mill
Manual Mills
Manual Drills
Manual Grinders
Automatic Grinders
Manual Lathe
Hand Tools
Gage Pins
Gage Blocks
Height Gages
Dial Caliper
Overall Part Dimensions5/8 diameter tube with 4 bends
Bending Tolerances±1.5mm
Material Used
Machine Base
  • Square Tube
    • Width: 3"
    • Height: 3"
    • Thickness: 1/4"
Hot Rolled Steel Base Plate
  • Thickness: 5/8"
  • Sheet Metal: 16 GA
  • Panels
    • Thickness: 16 GA Expanded Metal framed with C-Channel
  • 1018 Low Carbon Steel
  • A2 Tool Steel
  • D2 Tool Steel
  • S7 Tool Steel
Material FinishMachine Base: Primed and Painted
Black and Bright Safety Yellow Guarding
Operational Cycle TimesPart to Part: 8 Seconds
Features/BenefitsAutomatic Load
Automatic Unload
400 Tube Capacity
In process testing/inspection performedDimensional Inspection, Gage Inspection, Functionality Testing
Industry for Use
Automotive Industry
Appliance Industry
Agricultural Industry
Aerospace Industry
Medical Industry
Delivery/Turnaround Time10 weeks
Delivery LocationFt. Recovery, Ohio
Standards MetCustomer Specifications, CAD Drawing
Machine ControlsOperator interface: Push button control – 9 devices
PLC : Allen Bradley
Pneumatic Valves: SMC
MotoMan robot controller.

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