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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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What rollforming machine is right for your steel framing application?

Fabricating steel framing products is anything but simple.  Having the right rollforming machine to manufacture steel studs and tracks is the key to your success.  So where do you start?

Where will you fabricate your steel framing products?

There are basically two locations you can manufacture your steel framing products.  First, you can setup a portable machine on the job site and manufacture studs and tracks as you need them.  This method has some initial costs savings.  A portable rollformer is much lower in cost than it’s big brother the industrial model.  You can also manufacture only what you need.  If the framing team requires 12 2″ by 4″ 8 feet long studs then that’s what you make.

Portable steel framing roll formers

Portable roll formers have some drawbacks in their ability to produce enough product such that the per piece cost is lower than buying in bulk.  This is a choice you will have to cost out for your building project.

Industrial grade rollforming machines for steel framing products

The second type of steel framing roll former is the industrial grade machine.  This system is highly flexible and can produce an amazing amount of steel studs and steel tracks.  Buying this type of forming machine brings per unit costs down significantly.  The drawbacks are the cost of a new roll forming machine and the production space needed.  You will require a separate building and warehousing for this setup.

For more in formation on stud and track roll former machines check out our product pages.

New corrugated steel panel roll forming machines

Corrugated Panel Roll Forming Machine

Corrugated Panel Roll Forming Machine

Designed and engineered to manufacture common sizes of corrugated roofing or siding panels with minimal change-over.  This machine is a workhorse in the steel fabrication industry.  Used all over the world this machine is designed to produce steel panels 24/7.

Corrugated Roll Forming Machine

Corrugated Metal Panels

The most common sizes manufactured are shown below.  This sizes can often all be formed on the same mill.  Simple change out of the roll tooling either by stand or on racks can be done.  This flexibility allows for virtually all sizes to be made.

Common Corrugated Panel Sizes

  • 1.25 inch by .25 inch
  • 2.5 inch by .5 inch
  • 2.67 inch by .75 inch
  • 2.67 inch by 7/8 inch

Rollformer Line Configuration

The standard roll former line configuration includes an uncoiler, flattener, lubrication system, rolling mill and cut-off.  The number of roll tooling stands required for this type of steel profile is 20 to 30 stands or more.  Unlike other profile shapes the bending of steel in to this shape requires both a greater number of rolls and system length.

Optional Equipment

Typical options for a corrugated roll former include the following.

  • Stacker
  • Bundler
  • Multi-head Uncoiler

Companies using roll forming machines for manufacturing steel panels

  • Vicwest
  • Metal Sales
  • Fabral
  • Central States Manufacturing

Steel Stud Machine For Drywall Framing

Common steel framing requires high precision studs and track.  The interlocking function requires that every piece conforms to the same exacting tolerances.

Stud and Track Rollformer

With a wide range of sizes stud producers need a rollformer that can adapt automatically to their needs.  The Stud and Track Roll Forming Machine does just that.

Generally these systems are integrated with other industrial software applications to allow for greater efficiency in material usage.

Contact us today for more information on our rollforming machine solutions.


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