Why is it costly to produce my part in small quantities (1 to 10 Pieces)?

The machinery and tooling used to bend large diameter tube is very heavy. It is very time consuming to “set-up” a machine to bend a specific material on a specific bend radius. Blanket purchase orders or other agreements allow us to run your part in larger batches thereby amortizing the set-up cost over more pieces and thereby reducing individual part cost.

What can I do to reduce cost?

Specify a liberal tolerance associated with the bend radius – we suggest plus/minus 1 inch. This sounds like a large tolerance but the visual difference is very small and it reduces special set-ups. Batching parts also will reduce cost. (see first question – above)

How do I specify a “bend?”

If you have a sketch or drawing, identify the material (5 inch O.D. x .065 inch wall 304 SS for example), specify the degree of bend and the centerline bend radius you desire. The centerline bend radius should never be smaller than the outside diameter of the tube. You may also send a sample or a model for us to digitize. Fax or email Tif, Jpeg, Gif, Pdf, or Dwg files.

Can any material be bent?

The key is the ductility of the material. The degree of ductility determines the smallest bend radius that can be formed in the material. Aluminum alloys, Stainless Steels, Brass, Copper and Carbon Steel are routinely bent.

Does Precision Bending Technology bend shapes other than round tube?

Yes, Precision Bending Technology bends square, rectangular and oval tube as well as many extruded shapes. The tooling must be designed to accommodate the shape of the material to be bent. Stam has a large inventory of tooling so it is likely we have a tool to bend a specific shape.

What is “cut & weld” construction and why does it increase cost?

Cut & weld construction refers to the situation where a part has multiple bends and the straight length between two or more of the bends is too short to allow the bending equipment to grip the tube. In the case of short-run parts, bending two separate sections of tube and welding them together typically solve this. This often can be avoided by machining special contoured clamps that accommodate the short straight section. This tooling is costly so it is usually only an option when longer runs are involved or tooling funds are available.