SMA Technology Partner Case Study: Unison

Established in 1973 to design and build computerised control systems for industry, Unison designed and manufactured the first all-electric tube bending machinery in 1994 and continues to be the UK’s leading manufacturer of tube bending machines.

Unison currently has the largest range of all-electric tube benders on the market, from 1/2″ to 10″, that are used across aerospace, automotive, marine, oil & gas, energy and many additional heavy-duty applications.

Unison & the Smart Manufacturing Accelerator

Unison has been working with the Smart Manufacturing Accelerator (SMA) on the Factory in a Box (FIAB) project for the last 18 months, providing ongoing software development support including improving the functionality of Unison software, based on the Automated Robot Path Planner (ARPP) requirements and the integration with the ARPP.

Unison also worked closely with Ingenium Integration, a UK-based engineering design consultancy that offers turnkey automated solutions, to ensure the software was optimised at every stage of the project.

The FIAB project has also benefitted from Unison’s pipe bending simulation capability, integrated with the ARPP, and a bending end effector which will help SMA to achieve various configurations of pipe assemblies inside the FIAB. This will contribute to SMA’s aim of delivering complete manufacturing system solutions, or elements of the industrial digital technologies therein, through the SMA, for a variety of new customers and applications.

On the benefits of being part of the project and why Unison was chosen to partner with SMA, Managing Director Alan Pickering said: “The SMA team were looking for an innovative, UK-based company that are experts in the tube bending sector and we are the UK’s leading manufacturer of tube bending machines. We have world-class manufacturing facilities, a team of skilled and experienced engineers and technicians, and we are dedicated to developing new and more sophisticated systems.

“Our involvement with the FIAB project has given us the opportunity to develop our capabilities for simulation and artificial intelligence and working on the ARPP especially has provided a greater insight into how robots could integrate with our software.

“Our work with SMA is also a fantastic showcase for Unison’s capabilities as leading innovators in the tube bending industry, with the hope of engaging more potential end-users from across various sectors.”

Visit for more information.