Tube fabricators and processors are always looking for ways to increase production and reduce costs. With any high-volume tube fabricating operation, the first steps in the process are handling tube bundles, cutting tubes to length and then moving the cutoff tubes to the next operation. This tube cutting process is required for all your raw tube material, and it can be a significant portion of the final product cost.
Fortunately, there are solutions to this problem. By purchasing a tube cutoff machine with an automatic tube loading system, manufacturers can ensure a constant supply of tube to the cutting machine while eliminating manual tube handling. Hautau produces a number of different systems to meet our customer’s needs, from simple bundle-loaders to complex, servo-driven systems. All systems include inline tube length-measuring and can adapt to varying tube lengths in each bundle.
Types of Automatic Tube Loading Systems
Most tube loading systems operate on one of a number of basic transfer systems. These systems can be divided into chain, strap-type, indexing chain conveyors and custom systems.
- Chain-type tube loaders. A chain-type tube loader is the safest and fastest system available for loading banded bundles of tubes. With the tube bundles supported by the chains, the banding can be safely cut and removed without stopping the cutoff machine. And it allows for both large and small production runs with automatic changeover from one size to another.
- Strap-type tube loaders for banded bundles. Like the chain-type tube loaders, the strap-type also offers a safe and efficient way to handle large bundles of similar tubes. With woven lifting straps and nylon tube guides, these systems are more appropriate for softer metals and run less risk of scratching or marking the product.
- Double-side loaders for high production. High-volume production runs benefit from a double-sided loader to insure there is no interruption in production due to delays in crane or fork truck availability. And double-sided loaders also offer the ability to switch quickly from one type of run to another without loss of time.
- Indexing-chain loaders for short runs. These loaders offer features that make it much easier to handle small or flexible tubes, as well as those that have delicate surface finishes. These loaders offer options for those applications where surface finish of the tube is critical.
- Inclined-table loaders for heavy tubes. Heavy tubes require special handling, and the special tube stops that control release smoothly make inclined-table loaders a good option for this type of production. Additionally, the table angle capability makes handling heavy tubes safer for workers.
- Indexing-dial loaders for square and rectangular tube. Special tube shapes require special handling, and an indexing-dial loader may be the right choice for these unique production runs. Servo controls allow different shapes to be run without changeover, with options for up to 24 different tube shapes with a single dial set. Additionally, new bundles can be loaded during a run, cutting down time and increasing production dramatically.
If you are interested in learning more about how Hautau can meet your specific production needs, contact our sales department. If we do not already have a solution for your unique process, we’ll work with you to design and built a custom tube handling system.