Roll Forming Machines

rack upright roll forming machine

Roll Forming Machines

A roll forming machine bends metal (most commonly coiled steel) at room temperature, using a number of stations where fixed rollers both guide the metal and make the necessary bends.

As the strip of metal moves through each station, the rollers bend it a little more than they did at the previous station. This progressive method of bending the metal ensures that the proper cross-section profile is achieved without sacrificing the area of the work piece.

The Basics of a Roll Forming Machine

Roll forming is a process for creating long and precise metal parts that require little or no finishing work. The basic process involves a strip of metal (usually steel or aluminum) that enters a roll forming machine and is progressively bended by a number of rollers that guide the strip as it bends.

Each station of the roll forming machine is set to bend the strip slightly more than the previous station until the desired cross-sectional configuration is achieved. This progressive method of bending minimizes the possibility of dimensional variations.

Once the desired shape is achieved, the strip of metal travels to a cutting station where it is cut to the desired length. This can be done through the use of a punch or through a cut off die. Some machines also utilize flying dies, which are similar to punches except that they cut the piece of metal from above.

The cut off station can be automated using a computer, or it can be manually operated. Either way, the piece of metal that exits the station is usually moved onto a roller conveyor.

Some industrial roll forming machines feature computer-aided tooling designs that ensure optimal cuts and minimal waste. This allows the machine to run at its optimum potential, minimizing labor costs and material waste.

Other roll forming machines use a combination of manual processing and advanced technology. These systems may have automatic guiding to keep the sheet metal in place during the forming process, or they might offer other in-line services that allow the metal to be welded, punched, or shaped before it is cut to size.

As a result, the resulting piece of metal is typically very precise and uniform in both width and length. This type of precision is ideal for a wide variety of products, from garage doors to automobile panels to roof tiles and roofing shingles.

The ability of a roll forming machine to produce a large volume of consistent, repeatable metal parts with varying lengths and shapes is a major benefit to the manufacturer and end user. This allows them to replicate a design for repeat orders, but still change their production line and accommodate new design configurations with ease.

The Cutting Station

The cutting station of a rack upright roll forming machine is used for the cutting and straightening of the metal that has been rolled. Typically, the material will be fed by a feed tube or coil that is automatically guided into the machine. This process is called self-feeding, and it reduces labor costs by eliminating human monitoring.

A typical process on a roll forming machine involves the use of fluid lubricants that lower friction between rolling tooling and the metal, which reduces tool wear. These lubricants also help to increase the speed of the forming process and allow for longer runs.

The lubricant may be a paraffin-based fluid that is suitable for non-ferrous materials, rack upright roll forming machine or it may be a paraffin-free lubricant that is designed to work with ferrous materials. In either case, the lubricant should be of an appropriate viscosity to improve the overall production rate of the machine.

When working with long, narrow coils of metal, the lubricant can help reduce the amount of scrap that is produced during the forming process, which is one of the main reasons that roll forming is the preferred method of manufacturing metal products. Its low scrap rate is a key factor in its ability to produce a wide range of metal products at a much higher volume than other forming processes.

In addition to its ability rack upright roll forming machine to produce a variety of products, roll forming is also very efficient and requires little maintenance. It can produce up to three percent scrap per production run, which is a far lower rate than other forming processes and helps to keep production costs down.

Another advantage of the roll forming process is its accuracy. Its dimensional accuracy allows it to produce a wide range of products, including desk drawer slides, steel support framing, construction flashing, roofing materials, and many other types of metal products.

The accuracy of a roll forming machine is further improved by the fact that the die stands are controlled by a specialized computer control system, or PLC. A PLC is similar to a CNC machine in that it is a programmable computer that continuously monitors and adjusts a machine’s operation.

The Exit Station

The exit station on a rack upright roll forming machine is usually the most impressive of all because it combines the latest in automation technology with the classic roll forming process. Basically, the station works in tandem with an articulated robot to manufacture lids and bases for a variety of products in a single pass.

The station is comprised of a decoiler, a leveling device and a punch press. The punch press uses a servo-driven hammer to punch holes in the material. It is also the most complex of all the stations.

While the decoiler and the leveling device may be the most obvious parts of this machine, the punch press is actually a little more interesting. The punch press can accommodate a variety of materials, including aluminum, brass and titanium, and it is capable of punching holes in the size of a dime.

Aside from the punch press, the exit station also boasts an LED display showing the load capacity of the machine. This is a great way to show off the machine’s capabilities and let potential buyers know how much money they can save by purchasing it.

Other notable features include an electric control panel and a run out table that can accommodate multiple loads at one time. This makes it the ideal choice for larger production runs.

The roll forming machine that produced the largest hole was probably the LMS Omega rack upright roll forming machine from LMS Technology. This model is the big kahuna of roll forming machines, boasting a large decoiler, a high-powered leveling device, a punch press and a nifty cut-off device that can form a number of holes in the same amount of time. The best part is that it can be configured to produce a wide range of sizes and styles of shelves. The machine is accompanied by a variety of software tools that make it easier for customers to find the right system to fit their needs.

The Flying Die Cut-Off Station

The Flying Die Cut-Off Station of a rack upright roll forming machine is used to cut, notch, and punch metal, composite, or plastic stock in various sizes for use as part of pallet rack systems. The process allows a variety of different shapes and sizes to be produced by the same machine, resulting in less waste than other types of metal working.

Sets up and operates tape-controlled turret or hydraulic-powered punch press that automatically positions $T3indexing$T1 table, selects punch, and punches holes, or layout marks in metal sheets, plates, strips, or bars: Positions workpiece against fixtures or to specified point on built-in scale. Threads tape through electronic reader to start machine and observes operation, using rule and plug gauges to verify first piece.

Installs, aligns, and bolts cams to shaft, slides to machine bed, and progressive dies to stationary shoes and cam actuated slides, applying knowledge of geometry and product dimensions: Adjusts position of cams to synchronize action of rams, cutters, and drive rolls that feed stock. Observes operation of machine to detect misalignment and malfunction, and corrects errors, using gauges, feelers, handtools, rules, or templates.

Positions, adjusts, and repositions machine to trim, notch, square, or cut metal sheet or plate materials for production of printed circuit boards: Reads work orders and adjusts guides on machine bed to regulate width of cut, using ruler or following calibrated scale. Positions sheets of material against guides and depresses pedal to activate blade that cuts material, adjusting guides as required to achieve desired length.

Tends machine that forms a carbon or welding rod from core, or a wire, coated with metallic paste: Sets up machine to form rods of specified diameter and length: Installs abrasive brush, coating nozzles, spacers, marking wheels, and wire guides in machine, according to size and type of wire, using handtools. Pulls lever to set conveyor speed and extruding pressure and starts machine that automatically coats wire to form rod, and cuts it to specified length.

May operate power press to cut, notch, punch, shape, or crimp metal, composite, or plastic stock, according to blueprint or work order: Assembles and installs specified dies in press, using gauges and handtools. Adjusts ram stroke, positions workpiece against fixture or stops on machine bed or on die, and starts press to check for misalignment or malfunction.