What is Roll Forming?
Roll forming is a continuous shaping operation, ideal for making components with a consistent profile running the entire length of the part, in which coiled sheet metal is passed through a horizontal series of rotating dies to produce a uniform cross-section shape. Each set of rolling dies makes an incremental change to the sheet metal until the desired profile is achieved. The resulting bended piece is then cut to the specified length of the final part.The benefits of using a roll forming process versus a press brake or other bending operation can be seen in cost reduction, quality and consistency of parts, and in liberation from certain constraints.
Cost reduction comes into play simply due to the speed and continuity of the operation which allows for higher volumes at lower costs. Actions such as notching, perforating and punching can be incorporated into the dies reducing or eliminating the need for secondary operations.
Roll forming provides tighter tolerances and better uniformity, accuracy and consistency, both for individual parts and for the production lot as a whole, which can also provide cost savings when it comes time for assembling the parts. The rolling dies are very gentle on the soft sheet metal, ideal for processing prepainted, precoated or preplated metals and for making high quality precision parts.
In typical bending operations you are limited by the length of your press brake, whereas in roll forming the length of a part is almost limitless. Another unique advantage of roll forming is that two separate materials can be processed simultaneously creating a highly durable composite part.
Roll forming is applicable to many industries. The automotive industry, for one, benefits from the accuracy and speed of the process. Roll forming produces parts that consistently conform to the tight tolerances required by the industry. Due to high rate of production speed, the components are often produced less expensively than other processes.
The material handling and alternative energy industries, while also concerned about price and quality, often benefit from the length capability of roll forming. Steel Forming Systems currently produced parts up to 24’ long, with the capability of going much longer. This can be useful when developing large conveyor or solar racking systems.
Other industries, such as the retail fixture and appliance industries, appreciate roll forming’s ability to produce visually impeccable parts from a variety of materials, including many finish options of stainless steel. The parts can be produced free of the tooling marks often left behind by other operations.
No matter the industry, roll forming produces high quality, cost effective steel components in a nearly endless array of profiles and lengths. Steel Forming Systems is the best local source for all of your roll forming needs.
Roll Forming and More
Steel Forming Systems can roll form many types of material, including mild carbon steel, high-strength steel, stainless steel, pre-painted steel, PVC coated steel, aluminum, and copper, and can accommodate material thicknesses up to 10GA (.135” or 3.5mm).
Currently possessing 14 roll forming mills and over 30 in-line presses, we can provide great flexibility. In order to establish the most efficient operation for a given component, our presses can be rearranged in many different configurations along with a variety of in-line mills.
Our large collection of non-proprietary tooling is available for more generic parts, eliminating upfront costs. Simple profiles, such as angles, u-channels and c-channels can often be produced without out the necessity of making new tooling.
We can also assist with an array of additional operations such as welding, stamping and machining, and can even provide inventory management and logistics services. Learn more about our capabilities here.
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