Platinum Stairlifts of Keighley, West Yorkshire, has taken delivery of a second, ultra-precise, all-electric 90mm (maximum tube diameter) Unison Breeze tube bending machine.
The purchase of the machine corresponds with Platinum’s move to a new multi-million-pound purpose-built manufacturing facility in the town, and underpins its faith in the quality, reliability and repeatability of Unison’s British-built tube manipulation technologies.
Stairlift company Platinum invested in its first all-electric Breeze tube bender from Scarborough-based Unison in 2015 – the same year as it launched its flagship ‘Ultimate’ stairlift; a well-designed, single tube version capable of navigating steep and narrow curved staircases.
“We fully appreciated that in order to create an industry leading single tube stairlift we would need to invest in advanced, all-electric tube bending machinery,” comments Platinum Stairlifts’ production engineer, Matthew Turton. “At that time, we were using a hydraulic tube bending machine which, although absolutely fine for forming the rails for our twin tube stairlifts, lacked the capability to bend the highly complex angles required for a premium single tube model.
“Having considered the tube bending machines and levels of support offered by a number of manufacturers, we went ahead and ordered our first Unison Breeze machine, a 90mm multi-stack model. It quickly demonstrated its ability to accurately bend tube for even the most challenging of designs, such as complex spiral and multi-flight staircases. In fact, through a combination of twist and draw bending, using Unison-supplied precision tubing, I have yet to see a staircase angle that the Breeze machine has been unable to achieve.”
Installed earlier this month, Platinum’s second 90mm Breeze machine will further enhance the company’s ability to produce its Ultimate single tube stairlift in greater volumes. While thanks to a simple switch of tooling, both Breeze machines can quickly shift production to Platinum’s twin tube ‘Curve’ stairlift whenever order numbers dictate.
“The immense capabilities of our first Unison machine, combined with the high levels of service and support we receive from the company, gave us the confidence to choose Unison for our second all-electric tube bender,” adds Mr Turton.
“Unison’s clear understanding of our manufacturing requirements and its ability to incorporate roll forming into the new machine’s design, also means we no longer need to use our older hydraulic machine for production, freeing it up for training purposes. The Unison team is very approachable and helpful. Our operators also find Unison’s Unibend control system to be intuitive and extremely simple to use.”
“We are delighted that Platinum Stairlifts chose to invest in another Unison Breeze tube bending machine,” comments Unison sales project manager, Steve Chambers. “It was especially rewarding to assist Platinum in further streamlining its production processes by incorporating roll forming capability into the new machine’s design.”
Platinum Stairlifts’ two Unison Breeze 90mm multi-stack tube bending machines were chosen for their ease of use and ability to deliver the accuracy and reliability necessary to meet the company’s strict manufacturing tolerances. Just like all Unison machines, the 90mm Breeze models offer rapid setup, fast tooling changes, high power, rigid mechanical design, and all-electric control for right-first-time repeat subcontract work, or immediately after producing a single trial part. These are attributes that Unison says it believes make its Breeze machines well suited to businesses specialising in small batch production runs.
Platinum Stairlifts has been manufacturing in the North of England since 1996. The company employs over 200 staff and distributes over 10,000 stairlifts a year to more than 40 countries worldwide, including France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and the USA, through an approved partner network.
The range of products consists of three models: the Ultimate single tube curved stairlift; the Curve twin tube curved stairlift; and The Horizon straight stairlift. Each is custom-made to suit the needs and homes of the individual user. The company has experienced rapid growth and is now consolidating the existing three manufacturing sites into one brand new, custom-built facility. This significant investment will more than double production capacity and form the basis for further growth.
Unison claims it manufactured the world’s first all-electric tube bender in 1994, followed by the world’s first all-electric multi-stack tube bender, then the world’s largest all-electric tube bender for the shipbuilding industry.
Available in single-stack, multi-stack and right/left varieties, Unison machines are delivered to more than 20 countries globally. Unison’s tube bending software is recognised as one of the most user-friendly control systems for tube bending machines. The software is written and supported by Unison, ensuring complete control of its evolution, with no need for third party support.