Agricultural construction and metal buildings have come a long way in recent years. With the development of advanced ag panel roll forming machines, it’s now faster and easier than ever for farmers to construct high-quality metal barns, equipment sheds, and livestock buildings on their property.
A Closer Look at Ag Panel Roll Forming Technology
An ag panel roll forming machine is an automated metal fabrication system designed specifically for the agricultural market. It takes flat metal sheets and forms them into corrugated panels by bending the sheet incrementally as it passes through a series of precision rollers. This process creates the ribbed panel profile and imparts strength and rigidity to the finished panel.
Roll forming offers many advantages over traditional fabrication methods:
- Speed – Ag panel roll formers can operate at speeds up to 100 feet per minute, allowing long panels to be produced rapidly. This high production rate enables buildings to be constructed quickly.
- Flexibility – Adjustable roll tooling makes it easy to produce panels in different widths and with different rib profiles. One machine can make panels for walls, roofs, and liners.
- Efficiency – The automated roll forming process requires less manual labor compared to other techniques. Operators can produce panels accurately and consistently with minimal supervision.
- Material Savings – Roll formed panels use metal very efficiently thanks to their engineered ribbing. Less material is wasted compared to other building methods.
- Quality – Panels made on ag panel roll forming machines feature precise dimensions, neat seams, and consistent quality along the length. This reduces waste and speeds up installation.
What Can You Build with ag panel roll forming machines?
Ag panels made on roll forming machines have become a go-to building material for all types of agricultural structures:
For horse stables, dairy barns, hog confinement buildings, and more, ag panels provide the ideal covering. The ribbed panel profile gives excellent structural integrity for spanning distances between framing members. Large roof panels can be produced to cover wide buildings without interior support posts. For livestock, the metal surface is smooth and easily cleaned. Proper ventilation and temperature control can be designed into the building using ag panels for walls and roofs.
Equipment Sheds & Barns
Farmers need secure, weather-tight storage for vehicles, implements, hay, and other equipment. Ag panels fabricated on roll forming lines make sturdy, long-lasting walls and roofs for sheds. Their metal construction deters thieves and resists damage from rodents. The panels are also fire-resistant, an important factor for barns storing valuable harvests.
Grain Bin Structures
Ag panels are commonly used to construct grain bins for storing corn, wheat, rice, and other crops after harvest. The rounded corrugated panels assemble easily into silo-like structures that maximize grain capacity. Grain bin roofs also utilize long, curved ag panels capable of spanning the large diameter without interior columns.
In addition to primary agricultural buildings, roll formed ag panels serve many other rural functions. They work well for shops, garages, storage units, animal shelters, and more. Some producers even use ag panels for interior stall dividers and bedding pen walls, taking advantage of their durability and cleanability. Creative design can yield a diverse range of buildings with these versatile panels.
Key Components of an Ag Panel Roll Forming Line
Producing quality ag panels requires an automated roll forming system with robust construction and thoughtful design. Here are some of the most important components on a state-of-the-art ag panel roll former:
The coil decoiler holds the large coil of flat sheet metal at the start of the line. It smoothly unrolls the coil as the sheet feeds into the roll former. Decoilers may have powered or passive actuation to regulate sheet tension.
This section aligns the incoming sheet metal and guides it into the roll forming section. It may include sheet slitting and Punching if desired.
Roll Forming Stations
The “heart” of the machine, the roll forming stations bend and shape the sheet incrementally as it passes through. The number and types of stands determine the finished profile. Common configurations have 10-16 stations.
Flying Cutoff Saw
A fast-moving circular saw cuts formed panels to length by slicing transversely across the sheet. The saw carriage travels with the moving panel for continuous cutting.
As panels exit the line, a powered stacker neatly aligns them for easy bundling and transport. It may use rotating arms or a vertical shuttle mechanism.
All functions are coordinated by a central PLC control system. It automates the sequence and monitors for faults. Some lines also include HMI touchscreen programming.
With so many moving parts sequence in perfect sync, getting your ag panel roll forming system from a reputable manufacturer is essential. They properly engineer the design for durability, precision, and ease of operation.
Choosing the Right Ag Panel Roll Former
Purchasing an ag panel roll forming machine represents a major business investment. Choosing the right equipment is crucial for producing panels efficiently and profitably. Here are key factors to consider:
Consider what types of structures you will use the panels for. This determines optimal panel configurations, production rates, and line features. Inform the manufacturer so they can tailor the equipment to your needs.
Estimate your expected panel production volume in square feet per hour. Compare this to the rated output of different machines to ensure adequate capacity. Planning for future growth is wise.
Highly automated lines reduce labor requirements but have a higher upfront cost. Evaluate options from minimal automation to fully automatic if substantial volume is planned.
Sheet Metal Compatibility
Verify the machine can handle your desired sheet metal thickness and widths. Components like decoilers and feed tables have limits on sheet size. Discuss material plans with the manufacturer.
Roll formers range from simple, affordable models to sophisticated lines costing over $500,000. Have a budget in mind and seek a machine that maximizes value within that range. Consider total lifecycle costs, not just purchase price.
Service & Support
Even with heavy-duty construction, breakdowns can happen. Choose a manufacturer that offers continued technical support, spare parts availability, and service options after purchase.
See what past customers say about a company’s machinery and service record. Reliable manufacturers develop a strong reputation based on satisfied buyers.
Taking the time to research and consider these factors helps ensure you select the ideal ag panel roll former. With the right equipment powering your agricultural buildings production, you’ll be on the road to higher efficiency and greater profits!
Ag panel roll forming machines offer transformative advantages for farmers, contractors, and other producers manufacturing metal buildings for agricultural applications. These automated systems churn out high-quality, engineered panels in a fraction of the time required by traditional building techniques.
Thanks to speed, efficiency, and flexibility, roll formed ag panels are becoming the new standard for livestock structures, equipment storage, grain bins, and other rural construction projects. And with good planning, an ag panel roll former can pay for itself in short order through material and labor savings. By understanding the roll forming process, production capabilities, machine configurations, and purchasing considerations covered here, you’ll be well on your way to acquiring the right equipment and profiting from your investment in this innovative fabrication technology.
Ag panel roll formers represent a major investment, so it’s smart to understand these high-tech machines before purchasing. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about the roll forming process and what ag panel machines can accomplish:
What types of metal can be roll formed into ag panels?
- Galvanized steel and Galvalume are the most common. Aluminum is also roll formed for specialty applications. Mild steel can be used if properly primed for corrosion protection. Sheet thickness typically ranges from 24 ga to 18 ga (0.024” – 0.048”).
What panel profiles can an ag panel roll former make?
- Ribbed panel profiles are most common, but other geometries like box ribs and trapezoidal profiles are also possible. Most machines use interchangeable roll dies, enabling different profiles to be produced on the same machine.
How long of panels can be produced?
- Length is usually limited only by shipping considerations. Many ag panel lines can produce panels over 50’ long for seamless roof coverage. Extended feed tables and flying cutoffs enable extended lengths.
How does panel length and thickness affect production speed?
- Thicker material and longer panels will run at slightly slower speeds. Typical production rate is around 60-100 linear feet per minute for common panel configurations. Complex profiles also reduce speed.
Can I produce tapered panels for grain bins?
- Yes, some ag panel roll former models can be equipped with capabilities to gradually taper panels across their width. This allows precise fabrication of curved grain bin walls.
How complex is the machine to operate and maintain?
- Basic functions are relatively straightforward, especially on lines with automated controls. But proper safety procedures must be learned. Routine maintenance is required, best performed by trained personnel.
What safety practices should be followed when using an ag panel roll former?
- Safety guards must kept in place around dangerous areas like cutoff saws and pinch points. Lockout/tagout procedures are essential during maintenance. Only properly trained operators should use the machine.
What is the typical payback period for purchasing an ag panel roll former?
- For many agricultural applications, return on investment can be achieved in 1-3 years. Factors like volume production levels, labor savings, and metal material costs all contribute to the payback period.
Can I get financing to purchase an ag panel roll forming machine?
- Many equipment manufacturers offer flexible financing options to help buyers acquire the machinery. Loans, leasing, and other alternatives may allow you to finance the equipment over several years.
Investing in an ag panel roll forming line can significantly benefit an agricultural building construction business through faster, lower-cost production. With attention to these key questions and details, you can make an informed purchasing decision.