Tube assemblies and weldments are becoming, more and more, a significant part of the general OEM fabrication world.
The main reason? The new tube laser technology is finally starting to bleed into the mainstream concepts of metal components and assemblies.
Welders using tube weldments and assemblies are finding amazing benefits from the tube laser’s ability to cut tube components into very accurate pieces, including the addition of holes, slots, mitered corners, tapped holes and other cutting caveats that—only a few years ago—would have been impossible without separate saw cutting and machining steps.
This movement is allowing engineers to dream of concepts never considered before.
All Metals Fabrication (AMF), for example, cuts and welds tube components for very sophisticated platforms that weld together to fit perfectly around the skeleton of U.S. Air Force jets. These platforms are hydraulically operated to lift and decline while sitting next to the jet, allowing service technicians to stand and walk around the jet like it was resting flat on the ground.
Welding tube components together has also become easier because the Tube Laser can etch and pre-cut assembly points in the tube.
Imagine how much faster a tube assembly could be welded together if the pieces don’t have to be individually measured as they are tacked into place.
Now a welder can fit his assembly together using the etched outline of where the next tube component part will attach—without getting out a tape measure and hand-marking each piece of tube.
Tube assemblies usually include other structural items as well—angle, channel, flat shapes. Tube lasers can cut all those shapes and often four times faster than traditional sawing and coping techniques.
Good examples of tube weldments and assemblies include:
Like traditional sheet metal assemblies, tube assemblies—very often combined with sheet metal parts—are managed at AMF with our Bill of Material (BOM) work instructions and component management.
Many of our customers buy tube components that they assemble on their own. In addition, many of our customers purchase assemblies that we cut and weld together before they leave our shop.