Roll Forming Line Automation, Part 5: The Bottom Line
Economics of Using the Correct Dies and Systems
There is a close, direct relationship of the engineering on a line to the economic payback of that line. By picking wrong methods or systems, you will make the line less profitable by operating too slowly. The line could need too much maintenance, or require expensive secondary operations. You could also tie up a line which potentially could be used for running additional products.
I look at it from the standpoint of the roll forming line as a whole being an immense investment. Why not, since there must be a cutoff press anyway, make it the right one? Why not, since you must pay for a cutoff die anyway, make it the right one? Sometimes it does not cost more to do it right.
Why run the risk of an expensive line being down or operating at a low return on investment? Investing more time and/or a little more money in the proper auxiliary tooling can prevent this issue.
Companies that change their production lines from press braking to roll forming are lulled into complacency by the great improvement in production times. Once you switch to form rolling, you should no longer continue to compare the production you are getting against what you used to get. You should look critically at your roll forming production methods. It’s always possible that you could refine your line to be even more efficient.
As more competitors turn to roll forming, the differences that will keep one company ahead of the other are in better engineering of auxiliary roll forming tooling and improved total system engineering.