A customer who prides himself as a provider of technology-based solutions called while working on a design. He required bending a 3 x 3 stainless steel tube to serve two purposes: as a frame for a tunnel and as a ducting system to convey fluids. The tunnel is 14ft wide and 70ft long. It covers a conveyor which transports various liquids which need to be cooled or heated in a pasteurizing process. Fluids are pumped into the stainless tubing which has nozzles to spray on the product to be pasteurized. The process can pasteurize anything from Mexican beer, to Puerto Rican Coca Cola, to fruit in Mylar pouches.
After working through several design options with us, the customer settled on two piece construction. 304 stainless steel tubing was bent to a 13in inside radius with 88 degrees of arc, with a 20in tangent on one end and a 76in tangent on the other end. Prototypes were made in both 1/8in and 3/16in wall thicknesses and the customer preferred the latter. The customer coped the ends of the long tangents and welded two sections together to make something like a flat-back U with a kink in the horizontal section of the U.
We had the tooling to rotary draw bend the square tubing so there was no tooling charge or waiting to produce the tubing. The whole process from samples through final product took less than two weeks. Other companies quoted 4 weeks for tooling and another 4 weeks for production. The customer needed to have his entire system installed faster than that.
Find more information on pasteurizing.