After 1040 expansions, the Elliott expander experienced no mandrel breakage and very minimal wear and could have been used for further expansions.
However, the Airetool mandrel broke after 345 expansions, requiring 35 minutes of work to extract the mandrel, and the rolls required replacement.
After another 89 expansions, the mandrel required replacement again. After the job, final inspection of the Airetool expander revealed that the mandrel and rolls were severely worn and would need to be replaced before the tool could roll any further.
The Elliott tube expander completed the same number of expansions without consuming any spares or displaying any significant wear, greatly outperforming Airetool.
Elliott’s expander came much closer to the finished target ID of .0180 and achieved more consistent results. The manufacturer also experienced increased productivity and time savings. When a roll or mandrel appears to fail, the inspection process takes at least 15 minutes – provided none of the tubes were damaged. In the case of catastrophic tool failure, such as a mandrel breaking during expansion, the entire tool can become stuck, which required extraction that took 35 minutes – although this can take much longer and can also result in damage to the tube.
Cycle times were also shorter for the Elliott expanders. The Elliott tooling expanded tubes during the first step in an average of 8 seconds. The competitor’s tooling was slower, expanding tubes during the first step in an average of 9.5 seconds.
During the trial, the Corporate Manufacturing Engineer and his team achieved significant improvement in tool life, more consistent results, an increase in productivity and time savings. Between fewer tool replacements and faster cycle times, the manufacturer was able to save significant production time by using the 24 Series Expanders.
In addition, Elliott’s service quality was much greater than their current vendors. Elliott’s technical knowledge and ability to solve tube tool challenges was a great asset to the manufacturer. Elliott’s customer stocking program was designed to assist them in controlling their inventory. Due to these benefits, Elliott was able to provide, this major US heat exchanger manufacturer has switched to Elliott for their expander needs.