Requirements for freeform bent tubes is growing, says German company Schwarze- Robitec, with increasingly complex bending paths needed for increasingly high-strength materials. The current renaissance in hydroforming is adding to demand, it says.

In the freeform process the bending radii are created using independently-mounted rollers, rather than fixed tools, says the company. So the radius is defined by the feed angle of a reshaping roller. Very large radii and complex radius paths can be created with bending radii of varying sizes, it says.

This technology is used in the company’s electric bending machines in the CNC 40 E TB MR to CNC 160 E TB MR series, it says.

The company reports that an order for an automatic machine, including a loading unit for machine feed, a measuring system and a handling robot for onward transport of the bent parts, has just been fulfilled for a major tier supplier in Mexico.