Innovation the key at Darby Equipment

After 20 years of brokering other manufacturers’ pipeline construction equipment, Darby Equipment began its own manufacturing operations in 1996, when a lack of equipment availability and product quality issues prompted the move.

The first major manufacturing venture was a new line of hydraulic pipe bending machines. Darby knew that to make inroads into an established market the company would have to design and manufacture superior products. Enter Floyd McCann, Manager of Design and Production, who engineered and supervised the development of a line of premier bending machines for all pipe sizes.

The Series 2000 pipe bending machine exemplifies the Darby strategy of providing superior products and innovative features. The approach was to create a high-end bender initially costing more, but over time providing superior value. With the development of the Series 2000, Darby was the first to offer a 3000 psi rated pipe bending machine to easily bend 22 to 36-inch pipe with wall thickness up to one inch.

This bender featured two sets of two nine-inch hydraulic cylinders working in tandem to produce the highest rated torque in the industry at the time. A three dimensional stress and fatigue analysis was commissioned to ensure the machine was built precisely to reduce stress on the machine while bending high X, heavy wall pipe. Darby builds all its pipe bending machines on a T-1 steel frame of uncompromising rigidity and strength.

This unique frame design minimises weight and brings the Series 2000 in at just over 20,411 pounds making it the most powerful and reliable right-of-way pipe bending machine available. Darby pipe bending machine components include Quincy hydraulically driven air compressors, Planetary hydraulic winches with free spooling capabilities, Parker hydraulics and Murphy control panels, all working in concert to bend any pipe diameter from 6 to 42 inches. CAT engines, ranging from CAT 3054 to CAT 3116T, power the pipe bending machines. The process of developing the Darby line of hydraulic pipe bending machines has included drawing from a wealth of knowledge and experience from the early days of brokering outside manufacturers’ equipment. The development process was supplemented by maintaining close ties with and listening to the input of contractors in the field, resulting in a premier line of bending machines that contractors trust to perform consistently over time and under all conditions.

Darby also manufactures a wide variety of hydraulic and pneumatic operated mandrels for pipe sizes from 8 to 60 inches. In addition to the standard three-section mandrel, the company offers a wedge mandrel available as hydraulic or pneumatic, also for sizes 8 to 60 inches. These units feature longer wedges allowing for use with various wall thicknesses and can be supplied with dual air motors for faster, more powerful travel. As with all other Darby equipment, the mandrels combine proven design features with engineering innovation working together to provide superior service life.

Another growing equipment line is Darby’s internal pneumatic line-up clamps – sizes 8 to 60 inches. First, they are built around the heaviest frames in the industry to assure rugged reliability and survival in the challenging environment of pipeline construction. Darby’s 10 to 14 inch clamps are three-section and self-centering using an extra clamping section to assure lineup in the pipe and avoid lost time for high-low adjustments. Features on clamps 32 inch and larger include a sturdy 15/8 inch shoe pin instead of the standard 13/8 inch found on other clamps. This allows for the use of larger dowel pins and a larger air cylinder.

The larger, more powerful air cylinders allow the clamp to hold stronger on the pipe and can help push pipe into round in many cases. Clamps of 30 inch or larger can accommodate dual drive motors for added power to provide climbing capability up to 35 degrees, and clamps of 16 inch or larger can accommodate a braking system. Both the dual drive motors and the braking system can be essential in hilly or mountainous terrain. Darby also manufactures clamps ready for copper back-up for auto-welding and clamps specially fitted for use in extreme environments such as the -40Ëš C of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Contractors using Darby internal pneumatic clamps around the world attest to their durability and reliability.

As well as pipe bending machines, Darby Equipment also provides bending mandrels and line up clamps, rugged pipe facing machines, roller cradles, a complete inventory of pipeline supplies and a commitment to 24/7 responsive customer service. Today Darby manufactured products are at work providing reliable service and positive bottom line results to pipeline contractors around the world.

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