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Bent into Shape

Two Manufacturers Provide a Glimpse at Pipe Bending Machines

If pipelines were completely straight, there would be no need for the stalwart machines responsible for shaping the right-of-way. But alas, pipe bending machines provide a much-needed, if not often overlooked, service for pipeline contractors.

While the function of these machines is rather straightforward — it’s in the name, after all — what makes them work is another story. Join us as we take a look at two of the top manufacturers of pipe bending machines in North America.

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Darby HPB22–36 Pipe Bending Machine

                Darby Equipment Co.
The Darby HPB22-36 is a 22- by 36-in. pipe bending machine and represents one of the mainstays of the Darby family of products for right-of-way pipeline construction.

Unique features of the machine’s hydraulic system include: high-pressure, dual-hydraulic filtration on supply and return lines to assure clean fluid flow throughout the system; a Denison thru-drive hydraulic pump generates a maximum flow rate of 74 gpm, generating 3,000 psi; and 1 º-in. lines and ports on the bending circuit provide faster operation. All connections are Parker Seal-lok fittings and are guaranteed leak-free for three years. At the heart of the system are four 9-in. outboard cylinders with 19-in. stroke and four 7-in. inboard cylinders with 6-in. stroke. The system is capable of producing a maximum bending force at the front of the stiffback of 763,000 lbs. The hydraulic cylinders are repairable with Parker Seals and come apart without cutting the cylinder body to enable easy seal repair. In addition, an American Industrial oil cooler reduces system heating for extended component life.

The 51,000-lb machine rides on two Cat-style triple grouser tracks with 24-in. idlers for stable maneuverability. The bending machine is powered by a 173-hp Cat C6.6 Turbo Diesel engine. The die nest is fully welded to the mainframe on the front and backside for increased structural integrity. A Murphy Control panel with electric start displays oil pressure, rpm, an hour meter and features an emergency stop button for added safety. Other standard equipment included is a Quincy 390 Air Compressor with hydraulic drive and a Ramsey 20,000-lb winch secured to the mainframe.

The machine’s 1-in. T1 steel side panels are reinforced with stiffeners in key locations and are multi-pass welded for optimal frame life and strength. Die nest plates are made from 1 Ω-in. T1 steel. All Darby welds are pre-heated, heat controlled and done “in position” creating an overall frame structure of optimum rigidity and strength.

Like all Darby Equipment products, the on-site maintenance requirements for the HPB22ñ36 bending machine are minimal. It has been designed and built for ease of operation, high performance and dependability under all conditions and arrives on site pretested by Darby technicians ready to work. If needed, Darby provides 24/7 technical support.

For more than 30 years, Darby Equipment Co. has engineered and built pipeline construction equipment to a higher standard earning a reputation for unmatched reliability and efficiency. For more information on Darby Equipment international sales, service and rentals of bending machines/bending sets, bending mandrels, line-up clamps, pipe roller cradles, pipe facing machines, pipeline supplies and custom pipe bending, go to www.darbyequip.com.

The Centurion Bending Machine boasts an 80 percent increase in cylinder travel speed and 33 percent more bending force than standard machines.

The Centurion Bending Machine boasts an 80 percent increase in cylinder travel speed and 33 percent more bending force than standard machines.

CRC-Evans: Centurion Bending Machine
As a full service company offering equipment and services for all stages of pipeline construction, CRC-Evans is the largest manufacturer of specialized pipeline construction equipment in the industry backed by 80 years of expertise. Fueled by a constant mantra of innovation, technological creativity and inventiveness, CRC-Evans has established a solid reputation for creating specialized equipment that has and continues to increase productivity to reduce the cost of pipeline construction for its customers. The company continues to focus on research and development to improve equipment, showing a deep commitment to a high standard of customer satisfaction. For the better part of a century, CRC-Evans has exhibited significant dedication to the development of high-quality, safe, reliable and efficient pipe bending machines with a number of options from which customers can choose for their projects.

CRC-Evans designs, builds and provides services for all of its specialized pipeline equipment and has put out several hundreds of models of pipe bending machines throughout the company’s history. CRC-Evans’ pipe bending equipment is well-known throughout the industry for its ability and durability; some machines have been functioning for 20 to 30 years in the field. The machines are constantly serviced and upgraded by CRC-Evans, based on customer feedback and intense research.

“At CRC-Evans, we’re on the cutting edge of pipeline construction advancements and technological ingenuity,” said Chuck Henson, domestic operations manager for the company. “We’re always trying to improve on the products, devices and systems we already offer, and we’ve exhibited maximum quality and strength in introducing the Centurion Bending Machine to our customer base.”

The Centurion Bending Machine is designed with enough power to handle today’s heavy wall and high yield pipe, as well as standard pipe projects that need to be completed on an accelerated schedule.
“We developed the Centurion Bending Machine with the power to bend heavier wall thickness and tensile strength with a smaller machine design,” said Neal Hardesty, field service manager for CRC-Evans. “For those pursuing high productivity in their projects, the Centurion Bending Machine greatly reduces the cost of having to turn to more substantial — and more expensive — pipe bending machine options.”

The Centurion Bending Machine is suited with a modern design, high-power Caterpillar engine and also features a fully adjustable control valve, which allows individual pressure adjustments to bend, pin-up and winch. The Centurion Bending Machine boasts an ultra-sturdy T1 steel frame and features state-of-the-art design throughout, including high capacity pumps. This means that customers are able to gain more speed and bending movement than standard machines. In fact, with the Centurion Bending Machine, customers benefit from an 80 percent increased cylinder travel speed and 33 percent more bending force than standard machines.

“We provide a self-aligning mandrel that does not roll in pipe, and is designed with self-aligning wedges that do not give way during the bending process,” Hardesty said. “Because of this, very little maintenance is required, and contractors are able to bend different levels of wall thickness on one setting.”

The equipment and technology is stronger, faster and fully equipped to handle all high productivity projects for quick completion to provide a robust solution. The Centurion Bending Machine is an integral component of CRC-Evans’ highest productivity bending system, which also includes Wedge Mandrel and TruBend wireless angle measurement system.

In order to ensure proper operation and product longevity, both Henson and Hardesty encourage regimenting a regular oiling and filtering schedule to keep all moveable parts greased. Always have trained personnel available for any pipe bending machinery needs, and for those contractors without a qualified operator, CRC-Evans can offer a technician for one-on-one training.

“At CRC-Evans, we call this hands-on approach Total Project Support (TPS),” Henson said. “Through training, technical support and field supervision we ensure top performance throughout any project and help customers minimize downtime with a full backup fleet, international service teams and the industry’s most complete spare parts inventory. With the Centurion Bending Machine and our other systems, we support our customers from the planning phase all the way to project completion.”

Models are available to bend pipes from 6 to 20 in., 16 to 30 in. and 22 to 36 in. For more information, visit www.crc-evans.com.

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