Tube to Header Expanding System
Automatic Header Tube Expander

The Challenge

A manufacturer of swimming pool heaters required a special system for expanding finned copper heating tubes into headers. A typical assembly had 8 tubes and required 16 simultaneous expansion operations.

The Solution

Creative Automation designed and fabricated a system that consisted of a part fixture and automatic clamps to secure the two header plates, along with 2 electrically driven 8 spindle heads to perform the roll form expansion operation. In a typical cycle an operator would place a loose assembly in the part fixture and press 2 palm buttons. The clamps are deployed, followed by the spindles advancing into the tubes, and performing the expanding process. After the expansion was complete the spindles would reverse rotation and withdraw the expanding tools. Next the fixture clamps would release allowing the operator to remove the completed assembly. A typical cycle was performed in less than 30 seconds.