Frequently Asked Questions About Rolling Form Equipment
How Do Roll Forming Machines Work?
A roll forming machine takes metal at room temperature and, through the use of a set of stations of fixed rollers, guides the metal and makes the desired bends. As a strip of metal passes through the roll-forming machine, each set of rollers bend the metal a step further than the previous roller set.
This bending metal method makes sure that correct cross-sectional configurations are achieved while preserving the cross-sectional area of the workpiece. Usually operating at speeds between 30 to 600 feet per minute, roll forming machines present an excellent option for manufacturing large quantities of parts or very long pieces.
Roll forming machines can also serve in creating precise parts that require very little finishing work. Often, depending upon the material, the end product features excellent finish and detail.
What Do Roll Forming Machines Do?
The typical roll forming machine line has four major parts. First, there is the entry section, where the material is loaded—usually in sheet form or fed from a continuous coil. Next up are the station rollers where the actual roll forming takes place. Station rollers shape the metal and are the main driving force of the machine.
Following the station, rollers are the cut off press where the metal is cut to a pre-determined length. Because this is a continuously working machine process that often functions at high speeds, it’s not unusual to see flying die cut-off techniques applied. Finally, there is the exit station where the finished part moves onto a roller conveyor or table for manual removal.
What Are Some New Roll Forming Machine Features?
Today’s roll forming machines feature user-friendly computer consoles with digital and analog display and computer-aided tooling solutions. By integrating CAD/CAM systems into the equation, roll forming machines can more easily reach their maximum potential. Computer-controlled programming allows roll forming machines to catch product imperfections early in the process, thus minimizing damage and waste.
In situations when a part needs multiple holes or needs to be cut to a specific length, programmable logic controllers help ensure accuracy. The programmable controllers keep a tight rein on tolerance levels and accuracy. Some roll forming machines also include laser or Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding capabilities. While this option can result in loss of energy efficiency, it can also remove an entire step in the overall manufacturing process.
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