Choosing a Small Roll Forming Machine

Roll forming is a metal forming process used to produce long sheet metal parts with constant cross-sections. A roll forming machine progressively forms metal strips into the desired cross-sectional profile by passing them through consecutive sets of rolls.

Small roll forming machines are designed for low to medium production volumes and smaller part sizes. They offer an economical solution for small manufacturers to create custom rolled metal parts in-house versus outsourcing.

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of small roll forming machines covering types, specifications, applications, installation, operation, suppliers, costs, and more.

Overview of Small Roll Forming Machines

Roll forming machines are available in a wide range of sizes from small machines for low volume production to large high-speed lines for mass manufacturing.

Key factors distinguishing small roll formers:

Small Roll Former Characteristics:

Production VolumesLow to medium volumes, usually under 500 pieces per shift
Part SizesNarrow width up to around 800 mm, thinner gauges
Line Speed10 – 45 feet/min typical
Forming StationsUp to 10 forming stands depending on part complexity
Main Drive PowerUsually under 15 kW
Machine WeightUnder 10,000 lbs footprint
Cost$50,000 to $500,000 price range

Small roll forming equipment provides an affordable in-house production solution for businesses with lower output requirements and smaller parts like brackets, panels, tubes, and channels.

Types of Small Roll Forming Machines

There are two main categories of small roll formers:

Standard Roll Forming Lines

  • Consist of modular in-line forming and cutting stations
  • Offer flexible roll tooling that can be set up for different profiles
  • Production volumes around 100-500 pieces per shift
  • Part lengths typically up to 25 feet
  • Used for short to medium runs

Rotary Table Roll Formers

  • Compact design with forming stands arranged in a circle
  • Sheet metal is formed as table rotates it through the stands
  • Lower output around 50-200 pieces per shift
  • Shorter maximum part lengths, usually under 15 feet
  • Suited for high mix, low volume production

Roll Former Types Comparison:

Machine TypeStandard Roll LineRotary Table
Production VolumeMediumLow
Max Part LengthLongShort
Changeover TimeLongerFaster
FlexibilityHigh MixLower Mix

Both designs offer advantages for small production scale roll forming with flexible quick change tooling. Standard in-line machines have higher output while rotary table systems enable faster changeovers.

small roll forming machine
Choosing a Small Roll Forming Machine 5

Small Roll Former Specifications

Key specifications to consider for purchasing or designing a small roll forming system include:

Small Roll Former Design Specifications:

ParameterTypical Range
Forming Stations4-10 stands
Line Speed10-45 ft/min
Main Drive Power5-15 kW
Material Thickness20-16 gauge (0.8-1.5 mm)
Material TypeCarbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum
Part WidthUp to 800 mm
Part LengthUp to 25 ft (in-line), 15 ft (rotary)
Roll ToolingQuick change cassette style
ControlsPLC with HMI touchscreen
Machine Weight< 10,000 lbs
Machine Size10-30 ft length

The number of forming stands, max strip width, and main drive power determine the range of part sizes and material gauges the roll former can produce. Quick change tooling allows flexible set up for different profiles.

Small Roll Former Design Considerations

Key factors to consider when selecting and integrating a small roll forming system:

Roll Former Design Considerations:

Production VolumeSize machine for expected output rates
Part SizesChoose width and power to suit part dimensions
Material TypeTooling and machine construction for material used
Part DesignProfile complexity impacts stations required
Secondary OperationsAdd stations for punching, cutting, bending, welding if needed
Quick Change ToolingReduces changeover time for high product mix
ControlsAutomated for easy operation and data tracking
SafetyGuards, e-stops, interlocks for safe operation
Line IntegrationMaterial handling and automation level

The production application determines how the roll former is designed, equipped, and integrated into the manufacturing process.

Roll Forming Process Overview

Roll forming creates parts by gradually bending sheet or coil material through a series of forming stands:

Roll Forming Process Steps:

  1. Sheet/coil material enters the roll former
  2. Progressive stations bend the material incrementally
  3. Contour matched roll tools shape the profile
  4. Cut-off saws cut parts to length
  5. Formed parts exit the line

Roll Forming Advantages:

  • Efficiently mass produces long parts with constant profile
  • Good dimensional accuracy and surface finish
  • Wide range of material sizes and types
  • Lower tooling costs versus stamping
  • Ideal for high production volumes

Roll formed parts require lower press tonnage versus stamping, but do need longer machines for the forming stations.

Small Roll Former Applications

Small roll forming machines produce metal parts for a wide range of applications:

Industry Applications:

  • HVAC and ventilation – ducts, vents, louvers
  • Building and construction – studs, track, roofing, siding, gutters
  • Furniture – legs, frames, handles
  • Transportation – panels, tubes, brackets
  • Material handling – rails, conveyors, guards
  • Agriculture – panels, structural parts
  • Industrial equipment – guards, frames, enclosures

Typical Part Shapes:

  • C and U channels
  • Square and rectangular tubes
  • Angles and L braces
  • Panels and plates
  • Rails and tracks
  • Formed tubes and pipes
  • Custom structural shapes

Small flexible roll formers produce short to medium production runs of parts used across many industries.

small roll forming machine
Choosing a Small Roll Forming Machine 6

Choosing a Small Roll Forming Machine

Key considerations when selecting a small roll former:

Roll Former Selection Factors:

Production VolumeSize for expected output rate
Part SizesChoose max width and length capability
Material TypeConstruction and tooling suits material used
Part ComplexityNumber of forming stands required
Secondary OperationsAdding punching, cutting, bending stations
Quick Change ToolingReduces changeover time
ControlsLevel of automation and data monitoring
Safety SystemsGuards, safety circuits, e-stops
Line IntegrationMaterial handling and part flow
Supplier ExperienceCompany expertise and support
Operating CostsPower, maintenance, consumable factors

Analyzing the production application and specifications determines the type, size, and configuration of roll former required.

In-Line Roll Forming Machine Design

Standard in-line roll formers consist of entry and exit tables, forming stands, punching and cutting stations, part collection, and roll tooling:

In-Line Roll Former Components:

डेकोइलरFeeds strip into machine
Entry TableAligns and guides strip
Forming StandsIncremental bending stations
Punching/NotchingSecondary operations
Shearing/SawingCuts parts to length
Exit TableCollects finished parts
Roll ToolingForms profile contour

In-line roll formers produce parts up to 25 feet long at speeds around 10-45 feet per minute depending on the machine size. More forming stands allow more complex part shapes. Rotary and shuttle tables index shorter parts through the stands.

Rotary Table Roll Forming Machines

Rotary table roll formers arrange forming stands in a circle around a rotary table:

Rotary Table Roll Former Components:

Coil ReelHolds strip coil
StraightenerRemoves coil curvature
Feed UnitFeeds strip into machine
Rotary TableIndexes part through stands
Forming StandsIncrementally form part
Punch PressSecondary operations
Shear/SawCuts parts to length
Part ConveyorCarries finished parts out
ToolingForms profile contour

The rotary table indexes the part through each station like the stations were in-line. Typical max part lengths are around 15 feet.

Roll Forming Tooling

Specially contoured roll tools form the sheet metal into the desired part profile:

Roll Forming Tooling:

  • Made from machined steel or aluminum
  • Upper and lower mating sets match part contour
  • Quick change cassette designs for fast changeover
  • Hardened surfaces for wear resistance
  • Multiple sets for each profile and size

Roll tools must withstand high loads and speeds. Quick change cassettes utilize guide rails or cartridges to enable fast profile changeovers.

Accurate tool design and manufacturing is critical for producing quality roll formed parts. Roll tools require sharpening and repair over time from wear.

Secondary Processing Stations

Small roll formers can integrate secondary processing operations:

Secondary Processing Stations

PunchingPunches holes using flat or rotary press
NotchingCut outs notched sections
EmbossingForms raised or recessed shapes
BendingHemming and angle bends
WeldingResistance seam and spot welding
Hardware InsertionInstalls nuts, bolts, clips

These additional operations are done in-line prior to cutting finished parts to length. They expand the range of part features that can be completed in one machine.

Cutting and Sawing Equipment

A cut-off station cuts the formed strip into individual parts:

Roll Former Cutting Methods:

ShearingGuillotine shear cuts parts
Circular SawCarbide saw blade cuts parts
Abrasive SawCut-off saw with abrasive disk
Laser CuttingCNC laser cuts profiles

Shearing leaves a square cut edge but has higher force requirements. Saws produce curved edges but require blade maintenance. Lasers cut complex profiles without contact.

Cutting Station Considerations:

  • Positioned after last forming stand
  • Determines max part length capacity
  • Adds slight taper to start/end of parts
  • Scrap pieces can be automatically separated

Saws produce better cut edge quality while shears have higher force requirements. Cutting method affects part end finish and length accuracy.

Roll Former Drives and Controls

Key mechanical and electrical components:

Roll Former Drives and Controls:

Main DrivePowers the line with AC motor and gearbox
HydraulicsUsed for cut-off press on some models
PLCControls stations and automation
HMITouchscreen interface for programming
SensorsMeasure strip position and feed
Safety CircuitsFor e-stops, interlocks, compliance

The PLC coordinates all machine movements and automation. The HMI allows operators to control the line and store job set ups.

Advanced controls enable quick changeovers between profiles and monitoring of machine performance.

Roll Former Line Integration

Roll formers can be integrated into automated production lines:

Line Integration Systems

  • Coil handling equipment
  • Feeder tables
  • Conveyors and transfers
  • Part collection tables
  • Robotic material handling
  • Part inspection systems
  • Data monitoring software
  • Packaging equipment

Automating the material flow increases throughput. Inspection checks part quality. Data systems track production. Robots can handle parts for secondary processing.

Roll Former Safety Equipment

Roll formers utilize a range of safety mechanisms:

Roll Former Safety Equipment:

Safety ItemDescription
GuardsEncloses hazards areas
InterlocksStops motion if opened
E-StopsImmediately stops all motion
Safety RelaysMonitors status
Safety MatsStops motion if stepped on
SensorsDetects operators in zones
Brake SystemsQuickly stops hazardous motions

Proper guarding eliminates contact with moving parts. E-stops, safety relays, and interlocks stop the machine if tripped. Other devices sense operator position and add redundant protection.

Small Roll Former Suppliers

There are many manufacturers of small roll forming equipment:

Small Roll Former Manufacturers:

सैमको मशीनरीToronto, CanadaIn-line and rotary table up to 800mm wide
Bradbury GroupMoundridge, USAIn-line machines up to 1000mm wide
FormtekCleveland, USARotary table and custom roll lines
Brown Precision ToolUtica, USACustom roll formers
Comet MachinesMaharashtra, IndiaStandard and custom machines
Botou XianfaHebei, ChinaMore basic rotary table and shuttle models

Many builders offer standard platforms that can be customized for specific applications. Larger suppliers have decades of industry experience designing roll forming equipment.

small roll forming machine
Choosing a Small Roll Forming Machine 7

Buying Considerations for Roll Forming Machines

Key purchasing factors when investing in a small roll former:

Roll Former Buying Considerations

  • Production volume requirements
  • Available plant space and layout
  • Part sizes, materials, and features
  • Tooling design support offered
  • Controls and automation level
  • Safety systems and compliance
  • Line integration options
  • Shipping, installation, training
  • Documentation and manuals
  • Warranty and service support
  • Ongoing maintenance and parts

Thoroughly analyzing the production goals and specifications allows proper selection of size, features, and options. Support for tooling design is also important.

Small Roll Former Costs

Like most metalworking machinery, roll former prices correlate to production capacity:

Small Roll Forming Machine Price Ranges:

Machine TypePrice Range
Basic Rotary Table$50,000 – $150,000
Standard In-Line$100,000 – $300,000
Customized Lines$200,000 – $500,000

Costs vary based on:

  • Width capacity
  • Number of forming stands
  • Level of automation
  • Secondary processing capability
  • Material handling integration

Larger and more automated lines with extra capabilities cost more. Simple rotary table models are most economical.

Other Roll Former Cost Factors:

  • Tooling: $10,000 – $50,000 per profile
  • Installation: $5,000 – $20,000
  • Training: included – $5,000
  • Shipping: $5,000 – $15,000

Tooling, shipping, installation, training, and service contracts can add significantly to initial purchase cost.

Operating Small Roll Forming Machines

Basic operation steps for roll formers:

Roll Former Operation Overview

  1. Stage material coil at unwind reel
  2. Thread strip through machine stations
  3. Install properly sized roll tooling
  4. Program job parameters at control panel
  5. Run sample part to test set up
  6. Adjust roll tools and settings as needed
  7. Launch production cycle
  8. Periodically inspect part quality
  9. When order complete, purge from line
  10. Remove roll tools to changeover

Key operation tasks:

  • Careful set up of tooling and feeds
  • Programming machine speeds, feeds, stops
  • Qualifying first piece before run
  • Monitoring production quality
  • Changeovers for new profiles

Worker training and adherence to procedures is critical for quality roll formed parts.

Roll Former Maintenance

Regular maintenance activities:

Roll Former Maintenance Schedule

Inspect/tighten fittings, mountsDaily
Lubricate bearings, slidesWeekly
Check belt tension and wearMonthly
Inspect electrical connections3 Months
Hydraulic oil testing6 Months
Gearbox oil changeYearly
Bearing replacement2-3 Years
Full machine inspectionYearly

Roll tools require sharpening or replacement when wear reaches unacceptable levels.

Thorough maintenance procedures ensure maximum production uptime and part quality.

Roll Forming Safety Precautions

Key safety tips for roll former operation:

  • Enclose the machine or restrict access with barriers
  • Ensure proper guarding of all hazardous areas
  • Make certain all safety circuits and devices function
  • Follow lockout procedures during maintenance
  • Use carts/conveyors to move heavy tooling
  • Wear ear protection against machine noise
  • Allow only trained personnel to operate
  • Never reach into machine during operation
  • Be cautious handling thin sharp strip stock

Roll formers contain many heavy parts moving at high speeds. Awareness of hazards and using proper safeguards prevents injuries.

Roll Forming Machine Troubleshooting

Common roll former issues and remedies:

Roll Former Troubleshooting

ProblemPossible Causes
Strip jamming– Misaligned guides<br>- Worn/damaged tooling<br>- Strip lubrication issue
Profile distortion– Worn roll tools <br>- Improper roll adjustment
Machine vibration– Loose foundation

Roll Former Troubleshooting (continued)

ProblemPossible Causes
Machine not starting– Power supply issue<br>- Emergency stop engaged<br>- Faulty start switch
Formed part defects– Worn or damaged roll tools<br>- Incorrect roll tooling spacing<br>- Strip feed issue
Excessive tooling wear– Abrasive/thick material <br>- High machine speeds<br>- Infrequent lubrication
Hydraulic leaks– Damaged hoses/fittings<br>- Worn seals/gaskets
Electrical failures– Loose wiring connections<br>-Water ingress into cabinets<br>-Faulty components
Excessive machine noise– Worn bearings/gears<br>-Loose parts or guards<br>-Imbalanced drivetrain

Troubleshooting roll formers requires methodically checking forming tools, strip feed, sensors, hydraulics, electrics, and controls until the root cause is identified.

Following preventive maintenance procedures minimizes machine downtime and defects.

Roll Formed Part Quality Checks

Inspecting produced parts verifies quality:

Roll Formed Part Inspection Checks

  • Profile dimensions and tolerances
  • Twist or bow defects
  • Flange width and straightness
  • Surface defects or scratches
  • Corner and bend radii
  • Cut edge condition
  • Hole size, location, and finish
  • Welds or hardware properly assembled
  • Part length accuracy
  • Material thickness consistency

Automated inspection systems can check critical dimensions. Workers also do visual and hand checks of samples.

Real-time monitoring allows early detection of issues before many bad parts are made.

Roll Forming Process Optimization

Methods for optimizing roll former production:

  • Analyze downtime or slow cycles to identify bottlenecks
  • Adjust strip feed speeds and forward strokes
  • Check tooling wear and replace sooner if needed
  • Improve quick changeover procedures between jobs
  • Update tooling design for problem profiles
  • Refine preventive maintenance plan and practices
  • Add automation to improve material handling
  • Provide training to workers on best practices
  • Track key performance data to guide improvements

The best results come from a holistic focus on machine, tooling, personnel, quality control, and data-driven optimization.

small roll forming machine
Choosing a Small Roll Forming Machine 8

Roll Forming Industry Resources

Useful industry associations and resources:

  • North American Steel Roll Forming Association: Standards, conferences, training programs
  • European ROLLFORMING Association: European roll forming group
  • Progressive Metalworking Magazine: Article archive on roll forming
  • FAB Help: Roll forming questions forum
  • The Tube & Pipe Journal: Publication on tube manufacturing
  • Modern Metals: Magazine with roll forming articles
  • The Roll Former: Rolling blog by Metform International
  • Roll Forming Handbook: Reference book by David A. Smith

These organizations, publications, and references provide helpful information on roll forming processes, machinery, and best practices.

सामान्य प्रश्न

Frequently asked questions about small roll forming machines:

Q: What thickness of sheet metal can small roll formers accommodate?

A: Most small roll forming machines can form sheet metal from 20 gauge (0.8 mm) down to around 26 gauge (0.5 mm). Maximum capacities depend on the machine power and roll tooling.

Q: How long does it take to set up a roll former for a new profile?

A: With quick change roll tooling cassettes, an experienced operator can complete a profile changeover in 30-90 minutes typically. The initial set up for a new profile takes longer.

Q: What motors and drives are used on small roll formers?

A: Typically AC induction motors in the 5-15 kW power range coupled to gearbox reducers. Servo motors allow more precise speed control.

Q: What controls are optimal for easy roll former operation?

A: Most modern machines use a central PLC with an HMI touchscreen interface. This allows flexible programming and data monitoring capabilities.

Q: How fast can small roll formers produce parts?

A: Production rates depend on part size and complexity, but around 10 – 50 feet per minute line speed is typical for small roll forming machines.

Q: What tolerances can roll forming hold on part dimensions?

A: Roll forming can achieve +/- 0.5 mm dimensional accuracy on profiles when machines and tools are properly set up.

Q: How long do roll forming machine tools last before needing replaced?

A: With proper use and maintenance, quality roll tooling can last 1-2 years before needing sharpened or replaced. Hardened tooling lasts longer.

Q: What safety precautions are important for roll formers?

A: Enclosing hazardous areas, e-stops, interlocked guarding, safety mats, and strict procedures are critical to protect operators. Lockout for maintenance.

Q: How are roll formed parts typically handled post production?

A: Conveyors, tables, or robots automatically move finished parts to inspection areas, packaging, or downstream processes.

know more Roll forming

इस पोस्ट पर साझा करें:


इस पृष्ठ को साझा करें

नई अपडेट

अब हमारे व्यापार को स्ट्रैट करें

Sunway से संपर्क करें

कुंजी पर

संबंधित पोस्ट

roll forming machines for sale

Roll Forming Machines for Sale

Overview of Roll Forming Machines roll forming machines for sale are essential in the metalworking industry, enabling the continuous bending of long strips of metal

Sheet Metal Roll Forming Machines

Sheet metal roll forming machines are pivotal in various industries, offering precision and efficiency in shaping metal sheets. Whether you’re in construction, automotive, or manufacturing,

metal roll forming machine

Metal Roll Forming Machine

Overview of Metal Roll Forming Machines Metal roll forming machines are essential in modern manufacturing, particularly in the production of metal profiles and components. These

Custom Roll Forming Machine

Overview Custom roll forming machines are a cornerstone of modern manufacturing, facilitating the production of continuous lengths of metal profiles with consistent cross-sections. These machines

Sunway से संपर्क करें

नवीनतम मूल्य और सूची