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roll former: a machine that uses a series of interlocking, steel rolls to progressively shape steel or aluminum into a finished product, or into a part to be assembled into a finished product. Material is tracked by a dedicated length control system through a measuring wheel coupled to the shaft of a rotary optical encoder.



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Open Loop Feed-To-Stop Post Cut Line

Application Type: Open Loop Feed-to-Stop

The roll former pushes the part forward as it forms. Once the desired length is acheived, the roll former stops while the press cuts the finished part to length. This machine often functions in a 2-speed mode - running most of the length at high speed, then shifting into a slower speed near the cut point to help maintain a consistent length.

Pre-cut Open Loop Feed-to-StopThe feed rolls push the metal through the cutoff die before coming to a stop for the shear operation. After the cut, the feed rolls remain still while the flat stock is moved to the roll former by a conveyor. The delay after the shearing operation is necessary to create a part seperation. If two panels go through the roll former end-to-end, they will overlap each other inside the machine. This will damage the ends of the part and potentially damage roll tooling and shafts.

This application is often used to produce panels for walls and roofing on metal buildings. Corrugated panels must be cut using a shear that accomodates the specific shape of the panel, or the corrugation will be deformed in the cutting process. This requires the manufacturer to keep a cut off die on hand for every profile a machine can run. As a back up, manufacturers will often keep a spare shear in the event a blade breaks. This is an expensive set of tooling. Pre-cut (cutting before the forming operation) lines allow the machine to produce multiple profiles using a simple, guillotine-style shear.

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Application Type: Open Loop Flying Die

The roll former pushes metal through the cutoff die. The shear rests on slides, guides, or rollers so that it can move back to front with the material during the cut. Once the length control system has counted the appropriate amount of material, the press fires, pushing the shear blade into the material. The die moves forward, pushed by the roll former and the material until the cut is complete. As the blade retracts from the material, springs or an air cylinder push the die back to its home position in preparation for the next cut.

Dependant upon the control system used, the first part after a manual reference is usually long on this type of machine. Also, speed changes will induce a length shift for a couple of parts until the line settles at its new speed. This is due to press reaction, and can be eliminated by using a more advanced length controller.



Open Loop Flying Die with Boost Roll forming Line

Mechanical Post-Cut Operation



Closed Loop Flying Die Accelerator Roll forming Line

Mechanical Post-Cut Operation



Closed Loop Feed-to-Stop Pre-punch with Closed Loop Flying Die Accelerator Cutoff Roll forming Line

Mechanical Gagged Roll Feed Pre-Punch with Hydraulic or Pneumatic Post-Cut Operation