| Thursday, September 30, 2010 |

Technologies In Rolling Sheet Metal To Ensure Quality Control

Steel in its basic slab form requires rolling processes to enable its formation into sheet metal form. Once in this form it can receive more rolling to alter its thickness further.

First, as an overview, there are two types of rolling performed on basic steel. One is flat rolling the other is profile rolling. These two types produce final products that differ greatly from each other. In both processes, steel passes through a set, or sets, of rollers.

One product from flat rolling is sheet or strip metal. Another product from this type of rolling is plate steel; of a thickness 3/8" or greater.

Profile rolling produces a final product of a rounded rolled shape. This could be a round rod, a tank, a pipe, or a cylinder.

Rolling of sheet metal is the bending continually of the piece along a linear axis. This causes alteration of the original form of the sheet; it becomes deformed. The material receives progressive shaping and contouring as it passes through a pathway of rollers.
This product, steel now in a thinner flat state, is part of our everyday life. From the outside metal of your car, to the roof above your head, its uses are varied. To get sheet metal to this state, roll forming takes place upon it. Different roll forming machines prepare this material for the different products it will comprise.

Modern machines that handle the forming minimize the actual human handling of the metal.

A new consideration to manufacturers today is the minimizing of downtime from the set-up of these machines. There are different sizes and types of sheets that require manipulation. A machine that can handle these different types with minimum set-up time for each is valuable.

From a technology standpoint, sheet metal fabricators look for versatility in fabricating machinery. They want machines that can form continuously, dependably and fast. They want high output for efficiency.

They do not want to spend inordinate amounts of time in set-up, preferring pre-tooled systems. This way they can run through different types and sizes of sheet metal on one machine. They want machines that can handle a changeover quickly so excessive downtime is not an issue. Advanced machinery that can handle different roll widths with quick re-tooling are desired.

Improved automation of the fabrication process is one contributor to reducing downtime. Today's sheet metal fabricating machines can utilize more than one tooling set. These separate tooling sets can run alongside each other with different cut-offs and form presses. That's a great example of retooling time eliminated.

Another important consideration, in forming parts or pieces, is the elimination of poor quality pieces. Poor quality pieces become scrap, which means salable output is less and costs are greater. Technologically advanced machinery, which produces accurate, quality work, will keep a company profitable. State-of-the-art metal forming processes produce work within required specifications. They also maintain the integrity of the material.

Any forming machinery that can increase production serves a company well. A system that minimizes inventory usage through scrap reduction is beneficial to the profit picture. Today's manufacturers want sheet metal forming systems that offer both.


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