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Publication numberWO2013068013 A2
Publication typeApplication
Application numberPCT/DK2012/050407
Publication date16 May 2013
Filing date5 Nov 2012
Priority date8 Nov 2011
Also published asDE212012000199U1, WO2013068013A3
Publication numberPCT/2012/50407, PCT/DK/12/050407, PCT/DK/12/50407, PCT/DK/2012/050407, PCT/DK/2012/50407, PCT/DK12/050407, PCT/DK12/50407, PCT/DK12050407, PCT/DK1250407, PCT/DK2012/050407, PCT/DK2012/50407, PCT/DK2012050407, PCT/DK201250407, WO 2013/068013 A2, WO 2013068013 A2, WO 2013068013A2, WO-A2-2013068013, WO2013/068013A2, WO2013068013 A2, WO2013068013A2
InventorsIvar CHRISTENSEN
ApplicantBend-It Aps
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: Patentscope, Espacenet
Portable electric pipe-bending apparatus
WO 2013068013 A2
Abstract
A portablepipe-bending apparatus is disclosed, comprising a pipe-conveying system and a bending head comprising a fixed bushing arranged to receive the pipe from the pipe-conveying system, a fixed roller (18) arranged after the fixed bushing so that it supports thepipe on one side and a bending roller (19) arranged after the fixed roller on the opposite side of the pipe than the fixed roller, wherein the bending roller is arranged to be movable in a direction towards the pipe for bending the pipe around the fixed roller. Also, a pipe-conveying system (29) is disclosed, comprising two or more rollers (2-4; 32), at least one of which is arranged to be driven to rotate by a conveying motor (13), so that a pipe, which is clamped between the two or more rollers, is conveyed in its longitudinal direction by the rotation of the at least one motor-driven roller.
Claims  (OCR text may contain errors)
Claims
1. A portable pipe-bending apparatus comprising a pipe-conveying system for conveying a straight pipe (12) along its longitudinal direction and a bending head comprising a fixed bushing, preferably made from bronze or brass, arranged to receive the pipe conveyed from the pipe-conveying system, a fixed roller (18) arranged after the fixed bushing in the direction of conveyance of the pipe and so that it supports the pipe on one side and a bending roller (19) arranged after the fixed roller in the direction of conveyance of the pipe on the opposite side of the pipe than the fixed roller, wherein the bending roller is arranged to be movable in a direction towards the pipe for bending the pipe around the fixed roller.
2. The pipe-bending apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the bending head is rotatable 360 degrees around a longitudinal direction of the pipe.
3. The pipe-bending apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the distance between the fixed roller and the bending roller in the direction of conveyance of the pipe is adjustable.
4. The pipe-bending apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the apparatus is arranged to be driven by a 12V DC power supply.
5. The pipe-bending apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the weight of the apparatus is less than 50 kg, preferably less than 25 kg.
6. The pipe-bending apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the apparatus is designed to be able to constitute a part of the arrangement within a vehicle, such as a service car or a craftsman's car.
7. The pipe-bending apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the apparatus can be programmed and controlled by a computer.
8. The pipe-bending apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the apparatus is arranged to be able to communicate wirelessly with a control unit.
9. The pipe-bending apparatus according to claim 8, wherein the control unit comprises a touch screen.
10. The pipe-bending apparatus according to claim 9, wherein the control unit is a programmable mobile phone or a portable computer.
11. The pipe-bending apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the pipe-conveying system (29) comprises two or more rollers (2-4; 32), at least one of which is arranged to be driven to rotate by a conveying motor (13), so that a pipe, which is clamped between the two or more rollers, is conveyed in its longitudinal direction by the rotation of the at least one motor-driven roller.
12. The pipe-bending apparatus according to claim 11, comprising four rollers arranged so that a pipe conveyed by the pipe-conveying system has two rollers on one side and two rollers on the opposite side.
13. The pipe-bending apparatus according to claim 11 or 12, wherein the rollers are produced from an elastic material, such as rubber.
14. The pipe-bending apparatus according to any of claim 11-13, wherein a pipe groove (44) is formed along the periphery of each of the rollers for receiving at least partly the pipe, so that the pipe grooves of two opposing rollers together enclose at least partly, preferably completely, the pipe as it passes by the rollers.
15. The pipe-bending apparatus according to any of claim 11-13, wherein each of the rollers (32) comprise a rubber roller body (35), at least the outermost layer of which is made of an elastic material so that it is capable of at least partly enclosing a pipe passing by and to substantially regain its original form when the pipe has passed.
16. The pipe-bending apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the roller bodies of the rollers are designed so that the outermost layers of two opposing rollers together are able to enclose at least partly, preferably completely, the pipe as it passes by the rollers.
17. The pipe-bending apparatus according to claim 15 or 16, wherein the roller body of each of the rollers is compressed between a top piece (33) and a bottom piece (34) of the roller so that the roller body bulges out in its radial direction.
18. A pipe-conveying system (29) comprising two or more rollers (2-4; 32), at least one of which is arranged to be driven to rotate by a conveying motor (13), so that a pipe, which is clamped between the two or more rollers, is conveyed in its longitudinal direction by the rotation of the at least one motor-driven roller.
19. The pipe-conveying system according to claim 18, comprising four rollers arranged so that a pipe conveyed by the pipe-conveying system has two rollers on one side and two rollers on the opposite side.
20. The pipe-conveying system according to claim 18 or 19, wherein the rollers are produced from an elastic material, such as rubber.
21. The pipe-conveying system according to any of claims 18-20, wherein a pipe groove (44) is formed along the periphery of each of the rollers for receiving at least partly the pipe, so that the pipe grooves of two opposing rollers together enclose at least partly, preferably completely, the pipe as it passes by the rollers.
22. The pipe-conveying system according to any of claims 18-20, wherein each of the rollers (32) comprise a rubber roller body (35), at least the outermost layer of which is made of an elastic material so that it is capable of at least partly enclosing a pipe passing by and to substantially regain its original form when the pipe has passed.
23. The pipe-conveying system according to claim 22, wherein the roller bodies of the rollers are designed so that the outermost layers of two opposing rollers together are able to enclose at least partly, preferably completely, the pipe as it passes by the rollers.
24. The pipe-conveying system according to claim 22 or 23, wherein the roller body of each of the rollers is compressed between a top piece (33) and a bottom piece (34) of the roller so that the roller body bulges out in its radial direction.
25. A method for bending a pipe, comprising the steps of: conveying the pipe, in the following order, through a fixed bushing, past a fixed roller on one side and past a bending roller on the opposite side, and moving the bending roller in a direction towards the pipe for bending the pipe around the fixed roller.
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

PORTABLE ELECTRIC PIPE-BENDING APPARATUS

The present invention relates to an apparatus for bending pipes and may be used within a variety of fields of work, such as for instance plumbing, the pharmaceutical industry, construction of freight containers, hospitals, shipyards and different types of cooling industry.

Background of the invention Pipe-bending apparatuses capable of bending a pipe within three dimensions are known in the art. For instance, an apparatus is known in which a bending member is constructed within a ring comprising four sets of hydraulically activated rollers. This apparatus is a very heavy construction and therefore a stationary installed machine. Portable pipe-bending apparatuses are also known in the art. Typically, such apparatuses are only suitable for bending a pipe within two dimensions and they must be manually adjusted for every bending to be performed. It is often possible to bend a pipe within three dimensions using such an apparatus but it requires manual rotation of the pipe and manual measurement of the position, at which the pipe should be bent. In such known apparatuses, a cylinder is often used for bending the pipe around some rollers.

Brief description of the invention It is an object of the present invention to provide a portable pipe-bending apparatus capable of bending a pipe within three dimensions without the above-mentioned disadvantages.

The present invention relates to a portable pipe-bending apparatus comprising a pipe- conveying system for conveying a straight pipe along its longitudinal direction and a bending head comprising a fixed bushing, preferably made from bronze or brass, arranged to receive the pipe conveyed from the pipe-conveying system, a fixed roller arranged after the fixed bushing in the direction of conveyance of the pipe and so that it supports the pipe on one side, and a bending roller arranged after the fixed roller in the direction of conveyance of the pipe on the opposite side of the pipe than the fixed roller, wherein the bending roller is arranged to be movable in a direction towards the pipe for bending the pipe around the fixed roller.

The use of a bending head with only two rollers results in a simpler, more cost- efficient and more reliable solution than when using more rollers. Furthermore, the method applied by the apparatus, in which the bending radius depends solely on the relative positions of the fixed roller and the bending roller, means that the same set of rollers can be used for bending a pipe in any desired radius.

The use of a bushing of bronze or brass means that no lubrication of the bushing is needed.

In an embodiment of the invention, the bending head is rotatable 360 degrees around a longitudinal direction of the pipe. The possibility of rotating the bending head 360 degrees around the pipe means that the apparatus is capable of making a plurality of bends on a pipe in any desired direction in three dimensions in one continuous procedure without any manual adjustments needed. In an embodiment of the invention, the distance between the fixed roller and the bending roller in the direction of conveyance of the pipe is adjustable.

This possibility increases the flexibility of the apparatus with regards to accuracy and range of the bending radii available. In an embodiment of the invention, the apparatus is arranged to be driven by a 12V DC power supply.

If the apparatus is capable of being driven at 12V DC, it can, for instance, be supplied by the electric system of a vehicle, such as a service car.

In an embodiment of the invention, the weight of the apparatus is less than 50 kg, preferably less than 25 kg. The low weight of the apparatus means that it can be carried by a single person.

In an embodiment of the invention, the apparatus is designed to be able to constitute a part of the arrangement within a vehicle, such as a service car or a craftsman's car. If the apparatus is a part of the arrangement within a vehicle, it is very easy to transport the apparatus, for instance between different places of work.

In an embodiment of the invention, the apparatus can be programmed and controlled by a computer.

Computerized programming and control of the apparatus ensures an easy, safe and reproducible operation of the apparatus and enables for a check on a monitor display of the appearance of the resulting bended pipe before the bending is initiated. In an embodiment of the invention, the apparatus is arranged to be able to communicate wirelessly with a control unit.

In an embodiment of the invention, the control unit comprises a touch screen. Wireless communication means that the control unit can be taken to the place, where the bended pipe is to be installed, so that the data for the pipe may be entered on the site. In an embodiment of the invention, the control unit is a programmable mobile phone or a portable computer.

By using a programmable mobile phone (typically a smartphone) or a portable computer, investment in a dedicated control unit for the pipe-bending apparatus is avoided. Instead, the control program may be designed as an application for a smartphone or a tablet computer or as a program for a personal computer. Thus, the control unit can be constituted by an apparatus already within the possession of the operator of the apparatus. In an embodiment of the invention, the pipe-conveying system comprises two or more rollers, at least one of which is arranged to be driven to rotate by a conveying motor, so that a pipe, which is clamped between the two or more rollers, is conveyed in its longitudinal direction by the rotation of the at least one motor-driven roller. In an embodiment of the invention, the pipe-conveying system comprises four rollers arranged so that a pipe conveyed by the pipe-conveying system has two rollers on one side and two rollers on the opposite side.

The use of two rollers on both sides of the pipe ensures that the direction of conveyance of the pipe is kept completely stable.

In an embodiment of the invention, the rollers are produced from an elastic material, such as rubber. The use of such materials ensures a long durability of the rollers and the necessary friction between the pipe and the rollers so that they do not slide in relation to each other. In an embodiment of the invention, a pipe groove is formed along the periphery of each of the rollers for receiving at least partly the pipe, so that the pipe grooves of two opposing rollers together enclose at least partly, preferably completely, the pipe as it passes by the rollers. In an embodiment of the invention, each of the rollers comprise a rubber roller body, at least the outermost layer of which is made of an elastic material so that it is capable of at least partly enclosing a pipe passing by and to substantially regain its original form when the pipe has passed. In an embodiment of the invention, the roller bodies of the rollers are designed so that the outermost layers of two opposing rollers together are able to enclose at least partly, preferably completely, the pipe as it passes by the rollers.

In an embodiment of the invention, the roller body of each of the rollers is compressed between a top piece and a bottom piece of the roller so that the roller body bulges out in its radial direction.

The different embodiments of the rollers ensuring that the pipe is completely or at least partly enclosed by parts of the rollers when passing by the rollers ensure the necessary friction between the pipe and the rollers so that they do not slide in relation to each other.

In an aspect of the invention, it relates to a pipe-conveying system comprising two or more rollers, at least one of which is arranged to be driven to rotate by a conveying motor, so that a pipe, which is clamped between the two or more rollers, is conveyed in its longitudinal direction by the rotation of the at least one motor-driven roller. In an embodiment of the invention, the pipe-conveying system comprises four rollers arranged so that a pipe conveyed by the pipe-conveying system has two rollers on one side and two rollers on the opposite side.

In an embodiment of the invention, the rollers are produced from an elastic material, such as rubber.

In an embodiment of the invention, a pipe groove is formed along the periphery of each of the rollers for receiving at least partly the pipe, so that the pipe grooves of two opposing rollers together enclose at least partly, preferably completely, the pipe as it passes by the rollers.

In an embodiment of the invention, each of the rollers comprise a rubber roller body, at least the outermost layer of which is made of an elastic material so that it is capable of at least partly enclosing a pipe passing by and to substantially regain its original form when the pipe has passed.

In an embodiment of the invention, the roller bodies of the rollers are designed so that the outermost layers of two opposing rollers together are able to enclose at least partly, preferably completely, the pipe as it passes by the rollers.

In an embodiment of the invention, the roller body of each of the rollers is compressed between a top piece and a bottom piece of the roller so that the roller body bulges out in its radial direction.

In an aspect of the invention, it relates to a method for bending a pipe, comprising the steps of conveying the pipe, in the following order, through a fixed bushing, past a fixed roller on one side and past a bending roller on the opposite side, and moving the bending roller in a direction towards the pipe for bending the pipe around the fixed roller. Figures

A few exemplary embodiments of the invention is described in further detail in the following with reference to the figures, of which

Fig. 1 illustrates the bedplate of a pipe-bending apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention, Fig. 2 illustrates a pipe-conveying system of a pipe-bending apparatus

according to an embodiment of the invention,

Fig. 3 illustrates a bending head of a pipe-bending apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention,

Fig. 4 illustrates some parts of the bending head illustrated in fig. 3,

Fig. 5 illustrates an example of a display layout used in relation to the

programming of a pipe-bending apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention,

Fig. 6 illustrates a pipe-conveying system according to an embodiment of the invention, Fig. 7 illustrates a roller for a pipe-conveying system according to another embodiment of the invention, and illustrates a pair of rollers of a pipe-conveying system according to an embodiment of the invention. Detailed description of the invention

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, it comprises three main components: a bedplate, a bending head and an electric control system including software.

Fig. 1 illustrates the bedplate of the apparatus, in which a U-profile constitutes a frame 1 for the mounting of conveying rollers 2-4 and a roller top guide plate 5 as well as a support block 6, onto which a handle 7 for transportation of the pipe- bending apparatus is mounted.

In order to protect a swivelling motor 8, a conveying motor 13 (not shown in Fig. 1), a toothed belt for conveyance 14 (not shown in Fig. 1) and a printed wire board with control electronics (not shown), these items are all mounted inside the frame 1. Fig. 1 further illustrates a support system for avoiding deflection of the pipe 12 when bending it. The support system consist of a support block 6 with a bore or a bushing (not shown), the diameter of which corresponds to the diameter of the pipe 12 to be bent. Furthermore, the support block 6 is supports a holder 11 for the bending head of the apparatus.

A toothed rim 10 mounted on this holder 11 is used for swivelling the holder 11 around the direction of conveyance (i.e. around the longitudinal direction of the pipe 12) and is able to rotate the holder 11 360 degrees. The toothed rim 10 for swivelling is driven by a 12V DC swivelling motor 8 with a cogwheel 9 mounted thereon.

Fig. 2 illustrates a pipe-conveying system comprising two driving conveying roller 3, 4, which can be coated with rubber (for instance by vulcanization) for ensuring a sufficient friction between the rollers 3, 4 and the pipe 12. The conveying rollers 3, 4 are mounted on the frame 1 and controlled by shafts 15 with guide bushings at the top and bottom. These shafts 15 are arranged for freewheeling and pressed against the pipe 12 by compression springs so that there is a stable connection between the pipe 12 and the conveying rollers 3, 4 conveying the pipe 12. The clamping roller 2 and the two conveying rollers 3, 4 have a fixed milled groove each, which is adapted to the specific type of pipe 12 to be bent. Figs. 3 and 4 illustrate a bending head of for a pipe-bending apparatus and parts of the same bending head, respectively. The purpose of the bending head is to bend the pipe 12 in three dimensions by means of a fixed roller 18 and a moveable bending roller 19. Being mounted on the holder 11, the bending head can be rotated 360 degrees around the longitudinal axis of the pipe 12.

The shaft 20 for the fixed roller 18 cannot be moved so the fixed roller 18 stays in a fixed position but it rotates due to the contact with the pipe 12 passing by at it is being bent. The fixed roller 18 has a milled recess deeper than the cross-sectional dimension of the pipe 12 in order to avoid a flattening of the pipe 12 during the bending.

The bending roller 19 also rotates due to the contact with the pipe 12 but has a less deep milled recess as its only purpose is to press against the pipe 12 in order to obtain the desired radius of the bending.

The radius of the bending is controlled by the adjustable position of the shaft 20 of the bending roller 19, whereas the direction of the bending is controlled by the rotational position of the bending head in relation to the longitudinal axis of the pipe 12.

In the embodiment illustrated in Fig. 3, the position of the shaft 20 of the bending roller 19 and, thereby, the bending radius are regulated by means of a spindle 22 driven by a bending motor 26 through three cogwheels 25, 27, 28. In other embodiments, however, the position of the shaft 20 can be regulated by other means, such as for instance an actuator. Furthermore, the movement of the shaft 20 does not have to be linear but can follow an angular path, such as for instance a circular arc. It should be noted that, if specialized rollers 2-4, 18, 19 are used, the apparatus can also be used for bending non-circular pipes and other products, such as for instance structural steel. In such cases, however, the product to be bent is not able to rotate within the milled recesses of the fixed roller 18 and the bending roller 19, and bending can only be performed in two dimensions (i.e. in a given geometrical plane).

The electric part of the pipe-bending apparatus can be supplied with 12V DC 25 A, as all motors 8, 13, 26, encoders and the control circuits in the illustrated embodiment can operate at 12V DC.

The electric control consists of a control circuit arranged on a printed circuit board with electronics, a touch panel and encoders for conveyance and for measurement of radius and angle.

The control circuit has output channels for the three motors 8, 13, 26 and can, optionally, be equipped with one or more extra output channels. Furthermore, the control circuit has input channels for the encoders for conveyance and for measurement of radius and angle and, optionally, one or more extra input channels.

The control circuit can be wirelessly connected to the touch panel, for instance using the Bluetooth protocol. The touch panel transmits data for the desired bending of the pipe 12 to the control circuit, which controls the operation of the pipe-bending apparatus for performing the task correctly.

Fig. 5 illustrates an example of a display layout used in relation to the programming of a pipe-bending apparatus.

The touch panel may be a tablet computer or a smartphone, which can be brought to the place of installation of the bent pipe 12. The measurements can be entered during the measuring and the resulting pipe is illustrated on the display. If the result does not correspond to the requirements, measurements, radii and angle can be adjusted so that the desired result is obtained. After that, a "Start" command can be given, the entered data is transferred to the pipe-bending apparatus, for instance using the Bluetooth protocol, and the apparatus performs the task. The software may be designed as a smartphone application and can be digitally locked to a specific pipe- bending apparatus so that this apparatus can be remotely controlled from a smartphone or a tablet computer.

The use of computer programming of the pipe-bending apparatus also means that specific pipe configurations can be stored in the system and reproduced at a later point of time.

Fig. 6 illustrates a pipe-conveying system 29 according to an embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment, the pipe 12 is conveyed between four conveying rollers 32 arranged so there are two rollers 32 on each side of the pipe 12. The four conveying rollers 32 are mounted onto a frame 30, which is also provided with mount holes 31 for a support block 6 as described above.

The conveying rollers 32 shown in Fig. 6 are illustrated in more detail in Fig. 7. Each of them comprise a top piece 33 and a bottom piece 34 produced from aluminium and a rubber roller 35 arranged between the top piece 33 and the bottom piece 34.

The bottom piece 34 comprises a contact plate 39, a roller shaft 40 with a rectangular cross-section on one side of the contact plate 39 and a cylindrical drive shaft 42 on the other side of the contact plate 39. The drive shaft 42 can be connected to a conveying motor 13 by means of a toothed belt 14 or the like for using the conveying motor 13 for rotating the conveying roller 32. The rectangular roller shaft 40 fits into a corresponding central through-hole of the rubber roller 35 so that the rubber roller 35 is forced to rotate with the bottom piece 34. The top piece 33 comprises a contact plate 37 and a cylindrical shaft 38, which fits into a hole 41 in the roller shaft 40 of the bottom piece 34.

The top piece 33 and the bottom piece 34 are constructed so that they can be pressed together, thus compressing the rubber roller 35, which is specially produced with a rigid rubber core at the centre and is softer outside this core. The rubber rollers 35 can be compressed enough to bulge out several millimetres at the centre so that the rubber rollers 35 of two conveying rollers 32 placed opposite each other together are able to enclose completely the pipe 12 to be bent in order to obtain the best possible friction between the conveying rollers 32 and the pipe 12.

Fig. 8 illustrates a pair of conveying rollers 43 of a pipe-conveying system 29 according to another embodiment of the invention. In this case, the conveying rollers 43 consist of form-pressed rubber rollers with a peripheral milled pipe groove 44 for enclosing the pipe 12. Again, it is seen how two oppositely positioned conveying roller 43 together are able to enclose the pipe 12 completely for obtaining the best possible contact between the conveying rollers 43 and the pipe 12.

List of reference numbers

1. Frame for pipe-bending apparatus

2. Clamping roller

3. First conveying roller

4. Second conveying roller

5. Roller top guide plate

6. Support block

7. Handle

8. Swivelling motor

9. Cogwheel for swivelling

10. Toothed rim for swivelling

11. Holder for bending head

12. Pipe

13. Conveying motor

14. Toothed belt for conveyance

15. Shaft for conveying roller

16. Shaft for clamping roller

17. Frame for bending head

18. Fixed roller

19. Bending roller

20. Shaft for roller

21. Bending arm

22. Spindle

23. Slide for spindle

24. Bearing for spindle

25. Cogwheel for spindle

26. Bending motor

27. Cogwheel for bending motor

28. Intermediate cogwheel

29. Pipe-conveying system 30. Frame for conveying system

31. Mounting holes for support block

32. Soft conveying roller

33. Top piece for soft conveying roller

34. Bottom piece for soft conveying roller

35. Rubber roller body

36. Central hole through rubber roller

37. Contact plate of top piece

38. Shaft of top piece

39. Contact plate of bottom piece

40. Roller shaft of bottom piece

41. Hole for top piece shaft

42. Drive shaft of bottom piece

43. Form-pressed rubber roller

44. Pipe groove in form-pressed rubber roller

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1None
Classifications
International ClassificationB21D7/06, B21D7/022, B21D43/00, B21D43/08
Cooperative ClassificationB21D43/006, B21D7/063, B21D7/022, B21D43/08
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