5-axis laser cutting for bent tubes

Prototyping exhaust systems at laser-fast speed

Initial situation

Innovative manufacturer Arrow Special Parts based in Perugia, Italy, has chosen technology as the pillar of all activities. With a long tradition and commitment in racing, Arrow now has a solid wealth of experience and expertise in developing and manufacturing exhaust systems for mopeds, scooters and motorcycles. This experience has been built up over time by collaborating with major motorbike manufacturers for developing, tuning and manufacturing original equipment and aftermarket exhaust systems carrying the Arrow trademark.


In order to enter the market, given the price competitiveness of Chinese products, Arrow needed a solution that would ensure construction quality, high productivity and above all flexibility and optimisation. Laser technology – CO2 and then fiber – radically changed how this major company worked shifting the focus heavily towards quality.


The solution

Arrow uses state-of-the-art machinery and technology to automate some critical processes, such as tube cutting, bending and preparation, as much as possible.
The exhaust systems production cycle includes bending the various tubular parts, which are then trimmed, cut and dispatched to the welding assembly.  Absolute accuracy is a common denominator and this makes Arrow a convincing test bed for the BLM tube benders and for the Lasertube machine. The E-TURN electric tube bender guarantees maximum accuracy on thin materials (typically only 1 mm thick) and tight bend geometries. Laser technology allows them to be flexible, make smaller batches and respond to competition with top-notch quality products. The most recent installation is a LT-FREE 5-axis laser cutting system for processing bent tubes and sheet. It has been found to be particularly advantageous in terms of versatility and flexibility. So Arrow Special Parts can make complex parts, such as manifolds, even more functional. Cutting is spotlessly clean and fault-free. The exhaust systems prototyping step has also been drastically shortened: with 5-axis laser cutting technology, they can define the exhaust beginning with the 3D CAD model, build the prototype, send it to the customer for approval and then quickly start production. All this implies significant saving also in terms of the hourly cutting cost and offers much better performance.

The benefits

By implementing laser technology, they can continuously refresh their product range and stand out in the market as having something that their competitors don’t.  Furthermore, they could be even more flexible and more efficient and could start up a contract cutting shop.

Technical aspects

The availability of all-electric machines guarantees accuracy and easy and quick production changes. Laser versatility and versatility can be exploited to process complex parts efficiently and offer, clean and high-quality results.