How Does a Roll Forming Machine Work?

Roll forming machinery is a boon for both the quality and efficiency of metal fabrication. It allows for repeatable consistency within a product run, as well as versatility in design configurations and materials for metal parts. With wide-ranging applications from appliances and furniture to telecommunications and supports or frames for construction, this equipment produces large volumes of formed metal parts quickly, accurately, and affordably through consecutive bending stages.

What Is a Roll Forming Machine?

Roll forming equipment carries out a highly efficient process that takes long metal coils and fabricates them into exact configurations and end products. The process works well with a wide variety of both ferrous and nonferrous metals, including such examples as stainless steel, carbon steel and aluminum. The roll forming equipment applies pressure to metal coils incrementally in a continuous, multi-stage process that allows minimal bending pressure at each step. This ensures better control of the final shape of the metal strips, and also lessens the chance of substrate breakage.

Roll forming is also an extremely economical and efficient way of fulfilling high-volume orders. Stamping, bending, press braking, and other alternative fabrication methods are less capable of producing such variability in the final length or shape. This process can replicate a design for repeat orders while allowing the roll forming facility to alter its production line and accommodate new design configurations with ease.

These machines consist of a series of carefully spaced components that all work together to complete the process, including:

  • Metal coil unloaders
  • Edge conditioners
  • Pre-notch presses
  • Roll forming machine
  • Straightening devices
  • Cut off presses

How Does a Roll Forming Machine Work?

A roll forming machine accomplishes the fabrication process by sending sheet metal—most commonly coiled steel—through a series of fixed rollers, which continuously and incrementally bend the metal into the required form. By progressively bending the metal bit by bit at strategically spaced rollers, manufacturers can customize cross-sectional shapes with exacting precision and uniformity. A typical speed for roll forming machines is anywhere from 30 to 100 feet of metal per minute, ensuring an incredible ongoing output of material.

Typically at room temperature, metal coils or sheets feed into rollers that guide the material to the first of the bending stations. Once there, a roller will precisely bend the metal and then drive it forward through the machine to the next station. Each station will continue to shape the component by bending it a little more, with capabilities for unique and complex part designs. The more contoured the design, the more roller stations the part will pass through.

After the metal makes its way through the rollers, the workpiece enters the cut off press, which cuts the metal to its specified length. Despite the nearly limitless length options, roll forming machines require only one set of tools for generating cuts. This machinery can also offer other in-line services such as welding or punching.

Ultimately, the finished component emerges onto a roller conveyor for a worker to retrieve. This is one of the few stages that may involve manual processing.  Added technology can run the machinery, precisely placing the metal for optimal cutting and checking for imperfections while reducing labor costs and material waste.

The formed end product will require minimal finishing work, if any, before packaging or storage. This is due to roll forming’s capabilities for producing finely detailed components with continuous finishes and few seams.

Why Choose Premier Products of Racine for Custom Roll Forming

With over two decades of experience and a well-equipped manufacturing facility with nine roll forming mills, Premier Products of Racine, Inc. has successfully honed the roll forming process. Our teams achieve superior precision, tight tolerances, and design flexibility in our metal components at production speeds that exceed the industry standard, all at competitive prices. Our high-quality custom sheet metal products range from 0.010 to 0.187 inches in thickness and we can cut to almost unlimited length measurements. Further, our proprietary roll forming processes are complemented by our other metalworking and finishing capabilities, resulting in attractive, high-performance products tailored to fit our clients’ specifications. Our wide range of capabilities ensures that we can meet the needs of clients in numerous industries, including the appliance, furniture, telecommunication, medical, and solar sectors.

If you have any questions about how our roll forming machinery can support your business, contact us today or request a quote and one of our experienced sales technicians will reply as soon as possible with more information.

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