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Roll Forming Machines: An Overview of the Equipment and Process

Posted by Eng. Abdel Karim on

A roll forming machine (or metal forming machine) fabricates specific configurations out of long strips of metal, most commonly coiled steel. ... Other than roll forming, these machines perform a number of metalworking duties, including material cutting and roll punching.

What is a roll forming machine?
Originally developed to produce lightweight automobile bodies, these machines make a wide variety of sheet metal products, most often from steel, aluminum, or plastic. These products include automotive bodies, aircraft bodies, motors, housing frames, sinks, kitchen cabinets, and sporting goods.

Roll forming machines are used in a variety of industries, including the automotive, boat, motorcycle, and aerospace industries. Each of these industries requires the use of metal or composite materials to support its production, thus the need for machine tools to cut and shape these materials.

Is a roll forming machine used in metalworking? Yes, roll forming is widely used in the metalworking industry.

How does a roll forming machine work?
A rolling sheet metal can be manufactured by forming it from a metal coil. The metal is fed into a barrel-shaped roller which operates like a roller mill. ...A sheet metal can be produced from an endless variety of materials.

Roll forming machines have been a mainstay in industry for decades, so you should be familiar with this technology if you're looking for equipment. For example, these machines often produce lengths of materials like rebar or tubing: The images shows the material can be converted into a variety of shapes: A metal rolling machine is often a multipurpose machine, capable of producing a wide variety of metal and plastic products. But it's hard to know which specific types of materials a machine might be able to handle until you investigate what it's used for.

The Benefits of Roll Forming
Roll forming is an inexpensive form of production: Roll forming reduces the time to market and installation by as much as 80%, compared to pouring and forming.

Roll forming has the added advantage of allowing you to produce objects with more design variations than can be accomplished using only pouring. It’s well suited to fast-turnaround orders, such as in plastic or carbon fiber applications, where high-performance and short-run run styles are suitable.

Roll forming allows you to apply continuous force with relatively low forces for a form and is also well suited for weightless metal surfaces, such as in the manufacture of aircraft.

Metal Rolling and Sheet Forming Roll formers can also produce a variety of lightweight shapes out of metal using a sheet-metal forming machine.

The Different Types of Roll Forming Machines
Each of the types of machines described below has its own unique set of advantages, disadvantages, and uses. The advantages of each type will vary depending on what's being produced and how the parts are to be used.

Circular Cutting Roll Forming Machine: Circular Cutting Roll Forming Machines produce continuous cylinders or rods. ... The steel tubes for the tubes are produced in one piece and are then shaped by rotating cylinders and a punching mechanism. ...

These machines offer a faster production speed than conventional vertical roll forming machines. ... One drawback of these machines is that they are limited to the one-piece production process and cannot produce multiple parts for assembly.

What are some of the main challenges of roll forming?
We've recently worked with and evaluated a variety of commercial and specialty roll forming machines. It's a highly specialized, highly skilled operation and, at the same time, it's almost completely automated. What that means is that there's a ton of automation in the shop.

As a result of this automation, the cycle time can be significantly accelerated—which is great for productivity and for the facility. But, at the same time, you lose the personal touch. The techs are not in the shop directly handling the machine.

When you're fabricating the pieces, the cycle time can also be affected by the material: materials that are difficult or difficult to shape in that kind of machine. How does the process differ from conventional metalworking? This process is more repetitive.

Turning your ideas into reality takes hard work and determination. Reach out to us and our experienced team member will guide you through the process and answer all your questions.

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