Pedal plates are structural components in bicycle frames that the pedal crank mounts to. Roll forming is an efficient process to manufacture pedal plates from metal coil stock. This guide covers pedal plate roll former types, configurations, workings, customization, suppliers, and more.
Overview of Pedal Plate Roll Forming Machines
- Roll form metal coils into pedal plate shapes
- Continuous process with high production speeds
- Automated punching and cutting integrated
- Short lead times and low costs
- Ideal for smaller bicycle part manufacturers
- Simple operation and quick changeovers
Roll formed pedal plates combine accuracy, speed and flexibility.
Types of Pedal Plate Roll Forming Machines
Major types of pedal plate roll formers:
- Standard roll formers – Basic models with manual adjustment
- Servo motor roll formers – More advanced with precision control
- All-electric roll formers – Eliminate hydraulics for energy efficiency
- CNC roll forming lines – Fully automated for optimal efficiency
Larger volumes favor servo, electric and CNC controlled machines.
Roll Forming Process Overview
The pedal plate roll forming process consists of:
- Coil Loading – Steel or aluminum coil loaded
- Feeding – Coil fed into roll former infeed
- Punching – Holes punched in plate at early stage
- Forming – Plate formed gradually as it passes through stations
- Cutoff – Formed plate cut from coil at specified length
- Output – Finished pedal plate extracted
The process is continuous and optimized for high output.
Roll Former Components
Key components of a pedal plate roll forming machine:
- Decoiler – Unwinds the metal coil raw material
- Feeder – Feeds metal sheet into first forming roll station
- Punch – Punches holes in part early in process
- Forming stations – Incrementally bend part into shape
- Cutting die – Cuts finished parts from coil
- Conveyor – Catches and conveys finished parts out
- Controls – PLC automates production and parts counter
Design and Customization
- Roll stations designed to form precise plate configurations
- Automated in-line punching for holes
- Quick change tooling allows fast profile switches
- Adjustable to handle different plate widths and lengths
- Optional cambering station to curve plates
- Powder coating integration possible
Proper design matches required plate size and crank fit.
Suppliers and Costs
|ETG||Wide range of affordable pedal plate roll formers||$3,000 – $15,000|
|SL Metalform||Servo motor and hydraulic powered models||$5,000 – $25,000|
|AP&T||Fully electric CNC roll formers for high precision||$15,000 – $50,000|
|Formtek||Heavy duty pedal plate lines with tight tolerances||$10,000 – $40,000|
Costs vary based on production speed, automation and accuracy level.
Installation and Operation
- Install per manufacturer instructions on level, stable foundation
- Anchor securely prior to operation
- Verify lubrication, alignments, settings before running
- Gradually ramp up production speeds on initial runs
- Perform routine maintenance for maximum longevity
- Ensure safe operation and follow safety procedures
Proper operation and care maximizes pedal plate roll former performance.
- Lubricate bearings, chains, gears regularly
- Check alignments of punches, dies, rolls
- Inspect forming rolls for wear and replace
- Verify cutting blade condition and sharpen
- Test PLC system for any faults
- Clean metal surfaces to avoid rust/corrosion
Preventative maintenance reduces unplanned downtime.
How to Select a Roll Forming Machine Supplier
Key factors in choosing a pedal plate roll former supplier:
- Experience with bicycle component manufacturing
- Ability to meet production speed and accuracy requirements
- Offer appropriate levels of automation
- Availability of quick change tooling for flexibility
- Responsiveness to requests for machine customization
- Willingness to modify designs as needed
- Documentation and training provided
- Positive reputation based on client reviews
- Services to assist with installation and maintenance
- Spare parts inventory and supply chain
Thoroughly vet suppliers on these criteria before purchasing.
Pros and Cons of Pedal Plate Roll Forming
|High production speeds||Significant initial investment|
|Consistent quality and accuracy||Fixed tooling limits flexibility|
|Lower cost than other processes||More maintenance than simpler methods|
|Automated inline punching and cutting||Floor space requirements|
|Continuous production flow||Limited to thinner gauge metals|
|Minimal secondary processing||Not as easily customized as other methods|
Roll forming excels for medium to high pedal plate production volumes.
Comparison to Other Manufacturing Methods
|Stamping||Very high speed, low per part cost||High initial die costs, lack of flexibility|
|CNC bending||Flexible, easy customization||Slower, higher labor, lower accuracy|
|Roll forming||Efficient for medium to high volumes, fast||Fixed tooling costs, limited customization after|
|Casting||Good for very high volumes, material versatility||Secondary machining required, long lead times|
Each process has optimal applications based on volumes, accuracy needs, lead times and costs.
What materials can be roll formed into pedal plates?
Most commonly roll formed materials are low carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum alloys 6061 and 7075.
What thicknesses can be roll formed?
Pedal plates typically use metal between 1 mm to 3 mm thickness. Thicker materials require more robust roll forming equipment.
How long do pedal plate roll former tooling changes take?
Basic machines require 1-2 hours. With advanced quick change systems, under 15 minutes is possible.
Can pedal plates be powder coated after roll forming?
Yes, powder coating can be done in a batch process or optionally integrated as an inline automated process after roll forming.
What tolerances are held on roll formed pedal plates?
Standard roll forming can achieve +/- 0.5 mm accuracy. Precision CNC machines with servo drives can hold +/- 0.25 mm or better.
Roll forming provides bicycle part manufacturers an efficient automated process to produce quality pedal plates in medium to high volumes. Integrated punching and cutting, quick changeovers, and powder coating integration allow flexibility combined with speed. While requiring an initial investment, over time the automated productivity of pedal plate roll forming results in lower overall part costs and lead times, benefitting OEM customers. Properly utilizing this technology can give manufacturers a competitive advantage in the bicycle component market.