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Types of roll forming machines for car frames and parts

Car frame roll forming machine

The automotive sector has always been a challenging one.  Drive costs down while increase quality and complexity leaves Tier 1 and 2 suppliers with little room to move.  So how can you leverage roll forming machines for car frame parts manufacturing?  Easy, there are a number of benefits to automating the steel fabrication process used through-out the automotive fabrication process.  Some of the more obvious are quality, speed and at times flexibility.

Why roll former’s fit so well with manufacturing car frames and parts

Lets look at the typical roll forming process and the equipment used to manufacture parts and chassis components.  In almost all installation including those found at Tier 1 parts suppliers to the auot sector you’ll find the following setup and equipment.

Coil handling – Typically a single uncoiler (also known as a decolier) that holds the master coil and feeds the process.  This setup is very critical to the overall quality of the part being milled.  If the master coil is out of alignment  this error will be magnified as the coil is formed through the roll tooling stations.

Straightener –  From the uncoiler the rolled steel requires some pre-flattening prior to entering the roll former.  This step often includes some lubrication as well.  The sheet metal is then fed from the straightener in to the mill.

Roll former mill – Here is where all the action takes place.  The mill consists of a number of stands that support the roll tolling.  An enormous amount of pressure is placed on the base and stand for the roll forming machine and by nature requires some serious engineering to withstand these forces.  Low quality designs often transfer equipment movements through to the tooling and deform the part being manufactured.  Can you imagine if you were manufacturing a car window glide and the mill was moving up and down.  The channel would then pick up this distortion and result in an unusable part.

Cut-off equipment – Once the automotive component or part is manufactured through  the roll forming process it would require some type of cutting.  Typically a cut-off press is used to shear the metal to the required length.  Again, this machine must be designed such that it doesn’t change the profile of the car part being formed. Having a flying or moving cut-off is generally best so that the cutting action continues as the metal is being formed.  This allows for minimal or non production stoppage.

The automotive industry requires high volume low per part costs. This is an ideal combination for industrial rollforming equipment. When purchasing equipment to manufacture car parts, especially frame related items such as chassis components, make sure you do your research.  This is a capital expense and one that can easily make or break your business.  Buying low costs machines is rarely a good idea, even used equipment can be questionable in this application.

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