Double layer roll forming machines are used to produce metal profiles with two layers from thin coiled steel. This advanced roll forming equipment is gaining popularity due to its ability to manufacture lightweight and high-strength steel structures.
This comprehensive guide will cover all aspects of double layer roll forming technology to help you understand its working, applications, types, specifications, suppliers, installation, advantages and more.
Overview of Double Layer Roll Forming Machines
Roll forming is a continuous bending operation in which sheet or coil stock is gradually formed into a desired cross-sectional profile through a series of consecutive roll stations. It is an efficient and economical method of producing metal structural parts with custom profiles.
Double layer roll forming takes the process one step further by simultaneously forming two sheets of metal into different profiles and then joining them together into one double layer section.
This enables roll forming of more complex and sturdy dual-layer parts like steel beams, columns, trusses, door panels etc. Double layer roll forming lines can mass produce lightweight cold-formed steel sections while maintaining strength.
Here are the key points about double layer roll forming machines:
- Produces metal parts with two layers from coiled steel sheet.
- Forms different profiles for the two layers using specialized roll tooling.
- Joins the two formed sections together through methods like adhesive bonding, welding or interlocking.
- Enables high production rates and dimensional accuracy for dual-layer parts.
- Suitable for both solid and perforated sheet metals.
- Used to make steel roofing and wall panels, door sections, structural framing, solar mounting systems etc.
- Provides benefits of light weight, high strength, thermal insulation, acoustic damping.
- More complex profiles possible versus single-layer roll forming.
- Requires advanced roll sets, guides, strippers, controls, and joining equipment.
- Automated production line with decoiler, roll stations, cutting, punching, and exit tables.
Applications of Double Layer Roll Forming
Double layer roll forming technology is becoming widely used in the manufacturing of steel building components, racks, panels and other structural and architectural products. Here are some of the main applications of this equipment:
Construction and Infrastructure:
- Lightweight roofing, cladding and wall panels
- Load bearing purlins, girts and other framing members
- Composite floor joists and rafters
- Insulated sandwich panels for walls and roofs
- Steel support structures and cold formed trusses
- Bridge girders and railroad carriage panels
- Drainage channels and highway sign boards
Automotive and Transportation:
- Bus body panels
- Trailer side walls
- Truck cargo compartment liners
- Train car roofing and interior panels
- Passenger vehicle roof cross members
- Electric vehicle battery enclosures
Equipment and Machinery:
- Crane runway beams
- Conveyor support frames
- Solar panel mounting structures
- Warehouse storage racking
- Machine body housings
- Elevator guide rail sections
Furniture and Storage:
- Steel cabinet bodies
- Shelving uprights and beams
- Table legs and frames
- Lockers and utility carts
- Kitchen equipment housings
Appliances and Electronics:
- Refrigerator liners
- Oven and dishwasher cavities
- Electrical panel enclosures
- Electronics chassis and rack mount frames
- Heater and HVAC ducting
This equipment allows cost-effective production of high-strength and lightweight parts for diverse applications.
Types of Double Layer Roll Forming Machines
Double layer roll forming lines are available in different configurations and complexity levels depending on part requirements, production volumes and budgets. Here are the main types of this equipment:
Standard and Custom Lines
- Standard: Pre-engineered lines for commonly produced profiles like panels, racks, studs etc.
- Custom: Tailor made lines for unique part designs as per application.
Fixed vs. Portable Systems
- Fixed lines: Permanently installed in a factory, higher production rates.
- Portable roll formers: Mobile units with modular stations, for low volume on-site production.
Manual vs. Automated
- Manual: Require operators to handle part flow between stations.
- Automated: Use conveyors and part handling systems for minimal human intervention.
All-Electric vs Hybrid
- All-electric: Electrically powered roll stations for quiet and clean operation.
- Hybrid: Use a combination of electric servo motors and hydraulic drives.
Cut Length vs. Continuous Running
- Cut length: Cuts parts to required length after forming.
- Continuous running: Coils produced are cut after exiting the line.
Light vs. Heavy Gauge Capacity
- Light gauge: Form roll gauge steel below 3mm.
- Heavy gauge: Form plate steel up to 12mm thick.
Single vs. Multi-Profile
- Single profile: Produce parts with the same profile.
- Multi-profile: Quick roll change enables different profiles on one line.
Main Components of Double Layer Roll Forming Lines
Double layer roll forming machines have a modular composition with several stations to gradually form the material into the desired shape. Here are the key components in a typical line:
1. Decoiler: Feeds raw coil stock into the roll former at a constant speed. Uses a leveler to straighten the strip.
2. Roll Forming Stations: Contain opposed roll sets which progressively bend the material through a series of passes.
3. Pre-cutting Station: Cuts sheet to predefined length prior to final forming stages.
4. Positioning Equipment: Guides, transfers and aligns the two separate strips for joining.
5. Joining Station: Joins the two formed layers together by adhesive, spot welding or crimping.
6. Post-forming Stations: Performs final profiling steps after joining.
7. Cutoff Press: Cuts finished parts to specified length as they exit the line.
8. Part Conveyors: Roller conveyors to transfer finished parts from the line.
9. Control System: Automates line speed, feeds, settings and part flow through the stations.
10. Safety Enclosure: For operator safety and low noise levels.
The roll tooling is at the heart of the forming process and requires precision machining for the dual layers. The joining method also significantly impacts equipment design.
Specifications of Double Layer Roll Forming Machines
Double layer roll formers are available with a wide range of capabilities and configurations to suit different production needs. Here are the key specifications to consider when selecting this equipment:
- The maximum sheet width that can be formed, typically 800-3000mm.
- The thickness of coils that can be formed, usually 0.3 – 5mm.
- The maximum profile height that can be produced, up to 300mm.
- Production speed from 10-40m/min based on part complexity.
Roll Forming Stations
- Number of progressive stations with roll stands, from as few as 5 up to 30.
- Main electrical consumption, from 10kW for a small unit up to over 100kW.
- Linear running speed x working width determines hourly part output.
- Materials used for rollers, like D2, stainless steel, hard chrome plating.
- Adhesive, spot welding, seaming, plug welding, clinching etc.
Degree of Automation
- Manual to fully automatic material infeed, transfer and exit.
- Time required to swap roll sets and change profiles
- Can range from few meters for portable roll former to 30m for fixed lines.
Coil Payoff Capacity
- Raw material coil weight handling capacity up to 5 tons.
Key Considerations for Buying Double Layer Roll Forming Machines
Investing in a double layer roll forming line requires careful planning and selection of the right equipment as per your production needs. Here are some important factors to consider:
- Part profiles – Dimensions, thicknesses, features, and complexity.
- Materials – Grade of steel, max/min yield strength.
- Production volumes – Hourly/daily/monthly output rates needed.
- Product mix – Frequency of profile changes on the line.
- End product performance – Loading, strength, tolerances etc.
- Degree of automation – Manual or automated material infeed and transfer.
- Available space – Overall length and layout limitations.
- Skill level – Technical expertise for operation and maintenance.
- Safety – Guarding, emergency stops, safe electricals.
- Total budget – Equipment cost, shipping, installation etc.
- Delivery schedule – Production ramp-up timelines.
- Future expansion – Ability to upgrade the line with additional features.
- Maintainability – Ease of service and upkeep for optimal uptime.
- Supplier reputation – After sales support and long term relationship.
Consider both technical specifications and commercial factors when selecting a double layer roll forming system.
Leading Manufacturers and Suppliers of Double Layer Roll Forming Machines
There are many equipment manufacturers across the globe that design and build double layer roll forming machines. Here are some of the leading suppliers to consider:
|Voortman Steel Machinery||Netherlands|
These companies offer standardized as well as custom engineered solutions for double layer roll forming applications. They have a global reach and presence to deliver equipment along with installation support.
When selecting a supplier, look at their industry experience, manufacturing capabilities, range of offerings, past customer references, and quality certifications.
Estimated Costs of Double Layer Roll Forming Lines
The price of double layer roll forming equipment can range quite broadly based on its size, degree of automation, accuracy, production speeds and additional secondary processing. Here is an overview of price ranges:
- Basic manual lines – $40,000 to $100,000
- Mid-range automated lines – $100,000 to $500,000
- High-speed CNC lines – $500,000 to $2,000,000
- Heavy-duty systems for large profiles – Over $2,000,000
- Secondary processing like punching or cutting – $50,000 to $300,000
- Software and controls – $20,000 to $150,000
- Design, engineering, installation – $20,000 to $250,000
- Shipping and customs – $5,000 to $50,000
- Spare parts package – $10,000 to $100,000
Total project costs can range from $100,000 for basic machines to multi-million dollar systems with high production rates, precision and automation. Request detailed quotes from shortlisted suppliers.
Installation and Commissioning of Double Layer Roll Forming Equipment
Proper installation and trial runs are crucial to ensure optimal performance when setting up a double layer roll forming line. Here are the key steps involved:
- Unload all components from trucks using forklifts and cranes based on weight.
- Position and secure the line sections like decoiler, roll stations, joiner, cutoff press according to layout plans.
- Bolt down sections firmly to prevent vibrations during operation.
- Use laser alignment tools to precisely align the level and positions of sections.
- Connect and test all power, pneumatic and hydraulic lines.
- Install control cabinets, HMI, sensors, switches and wiring.
- Integrate safety guarding around pinch points and moving parts.
- Load test materials and run initial tooling setup trials.
- Make fine adjustments to rolling levels, guides, transfers, and sensors.
- Program recipes for quick changeover between profiles.
- Optimize line settings like speed, temperature, and part flow.
- Perform final test runs to validate quality and output rate.
- Detailed documentation of line layout, wiring diagrams, settings etc.
Proper installation and commissioning by experienced technicians ensures smooth project execution and handover.
Operation and Maintenance of Double Layer Roll Forming Machines
To achieve consistent production volumes and high part quality from a double layer roll forming line, effective operation and preventive maintenance procedures must be followed:
- Monitor line speed, sensors, guides, heat etc. during running.
- Conduct visual inspection of formed parts for defects.
- Ensure correct operating pressures, torque limits, and temperatures.
- Follow SOPs for safety, material loading, and shift handovers.
- Manage quick tooling changeovers using presets and procedures.
- Coordinate raw material replenishment and finished part flow.
- Schedule periodic lubrication of all moving components.
- Inspect rollers and strippers for wear; replace as needed.
- Check drive chains, gears, and couplings.
- Confirm electrical, pneumatic, and hydraulic connections are tight.
- Check machine alignment and re-align if required.
- Inspect all sensors, actuators, and safety devices.
- Review control system logs and warning alerts.
- Validate calibration of instruments.
- Analyze oil samples for contamination.
- Manage spare parts inventory.
Effective maintenance prevents unplanned downtime and ensures high overall equipment effectiveness.
How to Choose the Right Double Layer Roll Forming Machine Manufacturer
Selecting the right partner for supplying double layer roll forming equipment requires careful due diligence of various vendors. Here are some tips on how to choose the right manufacturer:
- Review at least 3-4 potential suppliers and get detailed quotes for comparison.
- Look for customized engineered solutions versus just selling standardized equipment.
- Evaluate their technical expertise and previous experience with similar projects.
- Examine their in-house manufacturing, testing, and R&D capabilities.
- Ask for referrals and visit reference sites to view previous installations.
- Check credentials like ISO certifications indicating quality systems.
- Review training and after-sales support services offered.
- Consider financial stability and longevity in business.
- Choose a supplier with global reach if you need support across regions.
- Opt for manufacturers who offer complementary equipment like cutters, punches etc. for an integrated production line.
- Evaluate cost competitiveness – avoid very high or very low cost bids.
- Prioritize suppliers with production facilities nearest to your site to minimize shipping costs.
Taking the time to assess suppliers thoroughly ensures you select the right partner for long-term success of your double layer roll forming project.
Pros and Cons of Double Layer Roll Forming Technology
- Produces lightweight and high strength components.
- Allows more complex and rigid profile designs.
- Higher production rates versus fabrication.
- Consistent quality and dimensional accuracy.
- Lower material consumption versus solid sections.
- Good corrosion and weather resistance.
- Excellent thermal and acoustic insulation when filled.
- Enables customization of exterior and interior finishes.
- Suitable for creating closed and box-type sections.
- Combination of materials like steel + aluminum possible.
- Environmentally friendly use of thin gauge coils.
- Higher equipment investment cost.
- Needs advanced roll sets, guides, cutters etc.
- Limited capability for short production runs.
- Requires skilled personnel for operation.
- Design has major impact on line configuration.
- Secondary processing often needed to finish parts.
- Lifting and handling of large parts can be difficult.
- Limited availability of tooling for complex shapes.
- Difficult to accommodate last-minute design changes.
Double layer roll forming provides benefits like light weight and high productivity but also has limitations like higher capital cost.
Q: What thickness of material can be roll formed?
A: Most equipment can handle sheet thickness from 0.3mm to 6mm. Some heavy-duty lines go up to 12mm plate.
Q: What is the tolerance accuracy?
A: Precision roll formed parts can achieve a dimensional tolerance of +/- 0.5mm over 10 meters of length.
Q: How easy is it to change profiles on the line?
A: On quick change lines, profile changeover can take as little as 10-15 minutes with pre-programmed recipes.
Q: What kind of secondary processing can be added?
A: Punching, drilling, tapping, slotting, etching, embossing and robotic welding/cutting.
Q: What safety mechanisms are typically included?
A: Light curtains, E-stops, guards, safety mats, door interlocks and touchscreens improve safety.
Q: How are finished parts extracted from the line?
A: Automatic exit conveyors, part stacking systems, or manual forklift/trolley arrangement.
Q: What quality standards are followed?
A: Advanced roll formers adhere to standards like ISO, IATF 16949 indicating reliability and precision.
Q: How can I minimize machine downtime?
A: Preventive maintenance, operator training, spare parts inventory and remote diagnostics from supplier help improve uptime.
Q: How does the control system work?
A: The line is controlled by a PLC with an HMI touchscreen interface. Software automates settings and production flow.
Q: What expertise is needed to operate the line?
A: 1-2 semi-skilled operators per shift can run it after training. One engineer oversees line performance.
Q: How should I choose the right line for my needs?
A: Consider part sizes, production volumes, budget, existing infrastructure, and future expansion. Get quotes from 3-4 suppliers.
Q: What maintenance activities are required?
A: Daily inspections, periodic lubrication, roll replacement, sensor/chain adjustments, and calibration.
Q: How long does installation and commissioning take?
A: Usually 1-2 weeks onsite for assembly, alignment, testing, and final adjustments by technicians.
Q: What are the end applications for double layer parts?
A: Construction framing, equipment housings, vehicle panels, appliance liners, and general fabrication.
Q: Should I purchase or lease the equipment?
A: Purchasing provides full ownership while leasing can offer more flexibility. Consider tax implications.
Q: How can I maximize line efficiency?
A: Choose reliable equipment, train operators, prevent downtime, optimize material flow, and track overall equipment effectiveness.
Q: How often are new roll toolings required?
A: With proper maintenance, roll sets may last over 5 years. But budget annually for tooling replacement.
Q: What expertise does the manufacturer need?
A: Look for extensive roll forming experience, in-house engineering design, machine building capabilities, and metallurgy expertise.
Q: What does the line integration involve?
A: Seamless integration of decoiler, roll stations, pre-cutter, joiner, post-forming, and exit conveyors through smart controls.