Walsall Wheelbarrow, a manufacturer of wheelbarrows for agriculture, building and gardening, has recently commissioned a new automated production cell to manufacture wheelbarrow frames at its plant in Wolverhampton.
The company has chosen Unison’s all-electric tube bending cell, which increase the energy efficiency and speed of the machine and helps produce premium quality bends.
The company’s manufacturing process includes five important stages: assembly, powder coating, tube bending, welding and pan pressing. Till now, Walsall Wheelbarrow has utilized only hydraulically-powered CNC machines to bend the tubular wheelbarrow frames. However, tube bending process became an issue due to considerable business expansion. Hence, the company decided to perform an automation upgrade to enhance manufacturing efficiency and throughput and selected Unison’s all-electric tube bender.
The all-electric tube bending machines are suitable for applications, where parts have a high level of symmetry, including tubular bases for car seats, luggage carriers and supermarket shopping trolleys. The fully-automated production cell also includes an articulated robotic handler, bending machine, intermediate dual-arm loader, multifunction processing station and tube bundle loader. The material utilized for the production of the wheelbarrow frames depend on the models. However, a normal material usage includes a steel tubing of 28.5 mm diameter and 1.5 mm wall thickness.
Unison’s production cell has an ability to handle both bending and hole punching simultaneously. This reduces the machine’s cycle time and increases throughput, which means that the manufacturer can bend over two frames in a minute. Earlier, the company utilized three hydraulic tube benders to achieve its daily production targets and each bender had a production capacity of approximately 500 frames per day. However, the new cell will have a production capacity of 1300 frames per day. Walsall Wheelbarrow is currently using the cell to manufacture the frames for its three wheelbarrow models: Contractor, Integral and Easyload.