Unison, the UK-based inventor of all-electric tube manipulation, will be celebrating its 50th anniversary on 3rd April 2023.
To mark reaching a half century, the business is planning a special birthday party at its Scarborough headquarters on 24th May, when several of its latest tube bending technologies will be on display, alongside fibre laser metal cutting machines from its sister company, Nukon Lasers UK.
Customers, colleagues, friends and neighbours of the company will all be invited to the event, as will members of Made in Yorkshire, a trade group of which Unison is a council member.
Unison was established in 1973 as a control systems specialist and provided its expertise to a number of tube bending machinery firms, including Addison Machine Tools. Convinced there was a better way of bending tube than by noisy, messy hydraulic operation, where accuracy and repeatability were often affected by fluctuating oil temperature, Unison set out to create the world’s first all-electric tube bending machine. Prototypes were built, a patent was taken out and in 1994 the company unveiled the world’s first all-electric 3-axis tube bender.
Operated by electronic linear actuators and, therefore, unaffected by changing hydraulic oil temperature, this pioneering machine redefined the world of tube manipulation.
By 1998, Unison had launched the first all-electric robot benders. Twin-head, multi-stack and 5-axis machines followed, along with the world’s largest all-electric tube bender for the shipbuilding industry.
Unison’s joint managing director, Alan Pickering says: “I remember my dad giving me the challenge of bringing his crazy idea to life! We were pushing the servo technology of the day to the limits. But we succeeded, and right-first-time tube bending was born.
“It took a number of forward-thinking customers to put their faith in our technology,” he adds. “However, the big breakthrough came when Airbus ordered their first all-electric tube bender from us. The machine paid for itself in 16 weeks, in reduced scrap alone. Competition from the bigger players was inevitable, but we kept our heads down and kept on pushing forward.”
Today, Unison is the UK’s leading manufacturer of tube bending machines, has facilities in the UK and USA, and offers the world’s largest range of ultra-precise, all-electric tube and pipe bending technologies for diameters ranging from 4mm to 275mm.
Available in single-stack, multi-stack and right/left versions, Unison ‘Breeze’ machines are delivered to more than 20 countries globally, and to sectors as wide-ranging as motorsport, marine, oil and gas, aerospace and architecture.
The Unison family of companies also includes automation specialists, Ingenium Integration and Nukon Lasers UK.
“From the outset, our goal was clear: to make achieving accurate, repeatable tube bending simple and straightforward, all supported by outstanding levels of customer care,” continues Mr Pickering. “That’s why every Unison Breeze machine offers fast, intuitive setup, rapid tooling changes, exceptional power, rigid mechanical design, and all-electric control for right-first-time results, or immediately after bending a trial part – and why we are renowned for the quality of our aftersales support.
“All in all, it’s been an incredible journey. One made possible by having fantastic people on our team, and amazing customers around the world who, every day, put their trust in our uncompromising technologies. Here’s to the next 50 years!”
For an invitation to the 50th party, email: email@example.com