For years, hydraulic pipe bending machines have been reliable workshop staples offering predictable results. A new wave of full electric CNC bending machines have unsettled the dust. Are they worth it, and what are your other options?
What’s The Point Of Going Full Electric?
Full electric pipe bending machines are designed to enhance productivity, increase accuracy, and can offer repeatable consistency. Other bonus points include the fact that positioning systems automatically move to their new position after a tool change. All of these features combine into one desirable outcome: improved efficiency.
What Are The Downsides Of Full Electric?
Currently, fully electric machines are an expensive investment. The technology is reasonably new, and there is still work to do eliminating common glitches at the design stage. This means that fully electric pipe bending machines are not the best choice for everyone.
What Are The Alternatives?
The most successful alternative involves retrofitting your existing hydraulic machine with advanced Phoenix MORE software. Designed to bring older models up to date, this approach transforms analogue machines into powerful hybrids. This blends the mechanical reliability of hydraulic models with the precision of digital technology.
What Are The Benefits Of The Hybrid Approach?
There are several reasons why using modern software with a hydraulic machine is a good investment strategy. Many of these relate to cost savings and enhanced productivity. For example, most maintenance engineers have already been trained to look after hydraulic components. This means that additional training requirements after installing Phoenix MORE are minimal.
Also, hydraulic components are easily available at predictable industry prices. This means that there is minimal interruption to the ‘normal’ way of running a workshop.
What Are The Drawbacks Of The Hybrid Approach?
As with existing CNC pipe bending machines, the primary drawback is the noise of the hydraulic mechanism. Fully electric machines have far quieter operation. For most workshops, this is not a problem, as hydraulic sounds are part of the natural backdrop of those working with pipe bending equipment. In terms of capabilities there aren’t any drawbacks, as hybrid machines have the same aptitudes as their electric counterparts.
Which Is The Right Choice For My Company?
Electric CNC pipe bending machines can achieve remarkable results. The technology is at a critical developmental stage, so the cost may not always be balanced with a reliable outcome. However, an expert can advise whether this route might be the best solution for your needs.
Hybrid approaches, which enhance used CNC pipe bending machines with modern software, are a practical way of achieving similar results to electric machines while retaining the reliability and familiarity of hydraulic technology. For many companies looking to increase precision and productivity, this represents a safer investment.