In the era of digital commerce, fast distribution of goods is a requirement that every company should be able to respond to. The desire for internationalization aimed at overcoming geographical and temporal barriers, has determined that companies – which look for new opportunities – accelerate the supply and delivery processes, leading to a series of changes on a global scale.
In this scenario, an increase in the flow of goods has been recorded, from raw materials and auxiliary components up to the distribution of finished products.
Road transport remains the most common and cost-effective way for the handling of goods, the advantage of this type of transport being represented by the ability to offer a door-to-door service with more flexibility than any other transport system. If the goods to be transported cannot be packaged, it is necessary to use specific vehicles. As a result, we can see numerous tank trucks transporting liquid materials (such as milk and gasoline), and silos trucks for powdered materials (grains and feed) around the world. These giants of the road, and in particular their trailers, are points of interest for all metalworking manufacturers, specialized in designing and constructing steel tanks for large-scale B2B distribution in the automotive sector.
A tank or tanker consists of a cylindrical part, to which a flat or dished head is welded to the two ends. It is positioned horizontally on the truck to carry liquefied loads, dry bulk cargo or gases on the roads. Depending on the products they are transporting, tank trucks are made of different materials like aluminum, carbon steel and stainless steel.
Many variants exist due to the wide variety of liquids that can be transported. Tank trucks can be insulated or uninsulated, pressurized or unpressurised, designed for single or multiple loads (often through internal divisions in the tank), others may be semi-trailers. Each tank is classified according to its size, shape and volume capacity. Large trucks typically have capacities ranging from 5,500 to 11,600 U.S. gallons (20,800 to 43,900 L). In Australia, road trains up to four trailers in length (known as Quad tankers) carry out loads in excess of 120,000 L.
As a consequence of the above, road tank manufacturers have to set up their production lines according to the shape and dimensions of the cylinder to be obtained, following the standards required by every market. The circular shape with large diameter is used when transporting products under pressure, while the elliptical/polycentric sections are preferred for transporting liquids since they allow the vehicle’s center of gravity to be lowered and, therefore, improve stability while driving.
The production of trailers and storage tanks has been heading through time towards increasingly customized and tailored solutions.
FACCIN Long CNC Plate Rolls for Truck Tanks Manufacturing
Faccin SpA, has been involved for many years in the research and application of advanced solutions developed in cooperation with the most renowned tank manufacturers, to supply its dedicated “FAST TANK” line of 4 rolls plate bending machines, specifically designed for manufacturing steel or aluminum tanks with thicknesses ranging from 3 to 15 mm and width of 3m, 6m, 8m or 10m, based on the customer’s needs.
This state-of-the-art solution allows manufacturers to achieve maximum safety and efficiency, assuring production of each tanker in a single piece in order to limit the use of circumferential welds and radically reducing production costs.
FACCIN long CNC Plate rolling machines guarantee the best performance and quality results due to the combination of the usual robustness, the most modern construction technologies, dedicated support systems and software for producing tanks in various formats in a fully automatic cycle.
Hydraulic pre-loaded systems integrated with central rolls withstand the highest stresses every time small bending radii are required on long plates with relatively high thicknesses. A highly appreciated solution typically for the production of variable radius tanks in aluminum or stainless steel alloys.
Due to the demand of non-standard formats, it is sometimes necessary to weld several plates together to obtain the wished length. This operation causes inhomogeneous areas with an additional thickness in the presence of the welding seam. To avoid any inconvenience (in case the plate has not been properly grinded), Faccin offers a shock absorbers system to allow working under ordinary conditions, ensuring the best quality of the product and protect rolls over time.
To toughen the structure for stabilizing the transported liquid and limit its displacement in the longitudinal direction, tanks are internally divided into compartments, defined by welding of T or omega steel profiles. Bulkheads will be welded immediately afterwards. Faccin offers the possibility of having a specific rolls’ shape, able to bend at the same time plate with reinforcement profiles welded inside, favoring considerably the reduction of the cycle time and avoiding additional bending operations.
One step ahead in smart solutions
Plate handling and supports systems are fundamental accessories to increase productivity so they cannot be ignored in the scope of supply of a complete rolling line for road tanks.
Lateral supports with multiple joint, guide the plate towards the central support, holding it up during the initial rolling step, leaving free the main overhead crane for other jobs inside the workshop. The cross central support avoids the reclosing of rolled ferrules under their own weight and the two plate edges overlapping during the second end pre-bending. It has 2 orthogonal controlled axis in order to bear the weight of poli-cylindrical (double D), oval, elliptical and cylindrical ferrules with high diameter thickness ratio. The interpolation between the 2 axis to handle elliptical or poli-cylindrical ferrules is managed by the CNC system. The cross central ferrule support is an essential device to produce poli-cylindrical ferrules in an automatic single step process.
Modern feeding tables are designed to automate the plate feeding. While the machine is rolling one part, the feeding table can automatically place the next one in the exact position for immediate introduction resulting in valuable timesaving. A smart solution for high volumes ensures operators to work in conditions of maximum safety.
Bending with a computer
The flagship of the “FAST TANK” line is definitely represented by the latest evolution of the SIEMENSTM CNC series PGS-ULTRA, recognized as the most technologically advanced solution in the market. The key point is always to make machine use, diagnostics and maintenance simpler, faster and therefore more efficient. This revolutionary program is based on the GUI technology (graphic user interface) that guides the operator over all the programming steps, including the possibility to determine the welding point in case of multi tanks container. Thus all information requested by the CNC to calculate the sequence of movements of pre-bending and rolling process are simply provided by taking the drawing of the tank to be fabricated and typing data following screen instructions. In fact, the average working cycle to produce a circular or policyndrical shape is lower than 5 minutes, the time to program the machine for a new product is less than 30 seconds and all this without the need of skilled operators.
Thanks to the advantages offered by these solutions, the goal of making FACCIN’s end users the main players in an aggressive world-wide market has been accomplished. There are still many tanks to be produced, and without any doubt, the “FACCIN FAST TANK package” is the best full solution choice for trailers manufacturers.
Learn more about us and discover our latest developments by visiting our website www.faccin.com
Author: Eng. Diego Morbini
Senior Technical Sales Manager
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