The Power of Roof Panel Roll Forming Machines

Metal roofs have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their durability, longevity, and energy efficiency. Standing seam metal roofs in particular are known for their water-tightness and ability to shed snow quickly. Roll forming machines have revolutionized the production of standing seam metal roofing panels, offering several key advantages over traditional roofing methods.

What is a Standing Seam Metal Roof?

A roof panel roll forming machine refers to a roof with vertical joints between the metal panels that rise above the roofline. The raised vertical seams allow for expansion and contraction of the metal due to temperature changes. Standing seam metal roofs can be made from various types of metal including galvanized steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc.

Compared to traditional asphalt shingles or tile roofs, standing seam metal roofs have higher upfront costs but can last 50 years or more with little maintenance required. Over the lifetime of the roof, a standing seam metal roof is often more cost effective than an asphalt shingle roof that needs replacing every 20 years.

roof panel roll forming machine
The Power of Roof Panel Roll Forming Machines 4

Benefits of roof panel roll forming machine

There are several advantages to choosing standing seam metal roofing:

  • Durability – The raised vertical seams are very strong and not susceptible to pull apart from high winds like some traditional roofing methods. Standing seam metal roofs can withstand winds up to 140 mph.
  • Weather resistance – The metal itself is resistant to weathering effects like moisture, snow, hail, and UV rays from the sun. Metal reflects solar radiation rather than absorbing it, helping reduce cooling costs.
  • Fire resistance – Metal roofing is non-combustible and can help a building achieve a Class A fire rating. This is especially important for commercial buildings.
  • Longevity – With proper installation, a standing seam metal roof can last 50+ years with little to no maintenance required. This makes it very cost effective long-term.
  • Sustainability – Metal roofing contains a high percentage of recycled content. At the end of its life, it is 100% recyclable.
  • Aesthetics – Standing seam metal roofing comes in many colors and textures. It can enhance curb appeal and match various architectural styles.

How Roll Forming Machines Work

Roll forming is an automated manufacturing process used to create metal panels for roofing and siding. Roll forming machines incrementally bend and form the profile of the metal panel by passing flat sheet metal through a series of roller dies.

The roll forming process involves:

  • Feeding – Coiled metal sheeting is loaded into the roll former feed. Electric powered drives slowly pull the material through the machine.
  • Forming – As the metal sheet moves through the machine, it passes through a series of roller dies that gradually shape the panel to the desired profile.
  • Cutting – After forming, the panels are automatically cut to length by a cutting component of the roll former.
  • Output – The finished formed panels exit the rear of the machine ready for installation or packaging.

Roll forming allows for high volume, continuous production of metal roofing panels in a fast, efficient, automated process. Operators simply have to monitor the equipment and finished panels.

Benefits of Roll Forming Standing Seam Roofing

There are several advantages to using roll forming machines to produce standing seam metal roofing:

Consistent Quality and Precision

  • The automation of roll forming ensures consistency and precision in the finished panel profile. There is little risk of human error or variance in quality using this process versus manual fabrication methods.

Customization Capabilities

  • Roll forming machines can be tooled to produce panels in many different sizes, shapes, and styles. This includes popular standing seam profiles and dimensions. The process is very flexible to accommodate custom architectural designs.

High Production Volumes + Fast Speeds

  • Roll forming lines have very high output volumes, capable of producing hundreds or thousands of linear feet per hour. The automated process also enables faster production versus manual fabrication.

Reduced Labor Requirements

  • Roll forming lines require just 1-2 operators to monitor the process versus the larger crews needed for manual production. Labor costs are greatly reduced.

Lower Long Term Costs

  • Though the equipment requires a high initial investment, over time roll forming is proven to be more cost effective than manual fabrication of metal roofing. The efficiency gains lead to lower overall costs in the long run.

Quality Assurance Capabilities

  • Roll forming equipment can be integrated with quality assurance systems to automatically detect any flaws in the finished panels. Defective sections can be flagged and removed prior to packaging.

Minimal Waste

  • The automated roll forming process produces metal panels with very minimal waste versus manual cutting and fabrication methods. Less waste leads to lower metal costs.

Safer Working Conditions

  • Roll forming equipment is fully enclosed and automated, minimizing risks associated with manual metal working such as lacerations and repetitive strain injuries. The process is inherently safer for workers.
roof panel roll forming machine
The Power of Roof Panel Roll Forming Machines 5

Types of Standing Seam Metal Roofing Profiles

There are several different standing seam profile designs produced by metal roll forming machines. Some of the most popular include:

Single Lock Standing Seam

  • This has an simple vertical seam with a single fold, or lock, between adjacent panels. It provides a clean, straightforward aesthetic.

Double Lock Standing Seam

  • Double lock standing seam profiles have two folds at each vertical seam for enhanced strength and water tightness. There is very little possibility for water intrusion.

Batten Seam

  • A batten seam profile has overlapping seams between panels with visible fasteners attaching the raised seams. This style has bold lines and dimension.

Vertical Seam

  • Vertical seam metal roofs have very narrow seams running up and down between panels. Panels can have light striations or a flat surface.

Trapezoidal Seam

  • The trapezoidal profile gets its name from the angled, trapezoid shape of the standing seams. The angled seams promote water runoff.

Important Components of a Roll Forming Line

A complete roll forming production line contains a sequence of equipment responsible for the process:

  • Coil Cradle – Holds the coiled sheet metal at the start of the line.
  • Feed Assembly – Feeds the metal sheet into the roll former at a precise speed and tension.
  • Forming Stations – Series of rollers that gradually form the panel as it advances through the line.
  • Hydraulic System – Provides power to the forming rollers.
  • Punching Station – Optional for punching holes for fasteners along the panel length.
  • Shearing Station – Automated blades cut panels to specified lengths.
  • Stacking – Formed panels are neatly stacked at the discharge end.
  • Control Panel – Controls line speed, forms the desired profile, and monitors operation.

Proper maintenance of these components is key for achieving continuous production runs and quality finished panels. Regularly replacing wear items like roller dies maintains forming precision.

Roll Forming Machine Manufacturers

There are a number of equipment manufacturers that engineer and produce roll forming equipment for metal roofing:

BestRoll Machines

BestRoll is an India-based manufacturer of roll formers for various industries since 1995. Their roofing and panel roll forming lines can achieve speeds up to 130 feet per minute with 30 ton forming power. These heavy duty machines can run 24/7 with precision tolerance levels.

Metform

Metform is an international manufacturer of roll forming equipment based in the U.S. They fabricate efficient, high-quality roll forming lines for architectural metal panel production. Their innovative designs include quick change tooling for flexibility.

Formtek

Formtek has over 50 years of experience building roof panel roll forming equipment. They offer sturdy equipment built to handle heavy gauge metal coils. Formtek machines include separate stations for punching and corner forming.

SuperDoor

SuperDoor supplies high speed roll forming lines capable of producing 20,000 square meters per day. They offer customizable equipment for various metal building product applications. Fast tool changes enable frequent profile changes.

Samco Machinery

Samco Machinery is a Taiwanese company manufacturing quality roll forming equipment for over 30 years. Their long lasting lines incorporate high precision CAD tools to develop superior metal forming capabilities.

Roll Forming Production Tips

Here are some helpful tips when setting up a roll forming line for standing seam metal roofing:

  • Choose an appropriate material gauge and grade for the application – 24 or 22 gauge coated steel is common.
  • Select machine power and roll tooling to properly form the material without defects.
  • Dial in precise feed speeds based on linear footage requirements. Faster speeds result in higher output.
  • Schedule regular roller die maintenance and replacement to maintain forming accuracy.
  • Inspect initial panels from each production run for proper form fit.
  • Use tooling guides to avoid scratching or marring panel surfaces.
  • Ensure shear blades are sharp for clean cuts to specified panel lengths.
  • Stack panels carefully on wood skids to avoid damage after exiting the roll former.

Roll Formed Standing Seam Roofing Installation

Once formed by the roll forming line, installation of standing seam metal roofing involves a few key steps:

  • Metal roofing panels are transported to the job site on flat bed trucks.
  • Panels are either lifted to the roof by crane or conveyors, or passed up by hand. Safety harnesses prevent falls.
  • Panels are laid into place over purlins and loosely fastened with clips.
  • Seams are tightened and interlocked per the manufacturer specifications.
  • Trims pieces are installed around roof edges, penetrations, and walls.
  • Sealants are applied as needed to prevent moisture getting underneath panels.
  • Finally, panels are checked for proper water tightness.

Compared to asphalt shingles, standing seam metal roofing requires more care during handling and installation to avoid damage to the panels. But the long term performance makes it a worthwhile investment.

roof panel roll forming machine
The Power of Roof Panel Roll Forming Machines 6

Conclusion

Roll forming technology has revolutionized the production of standing seam metal roofing. Roll formers provide a fast, efficient, automated forming process to manufacture strong, highly precise, uniform roofing panels. Roll formed standing seam roofing offers many advantages including durability, weather resistance, fire resistance, and longevity. With lower long term costs and minimal maintenance required, this sustainable roofing solution delivers excellent return on investment – especially when using productive roll forming equipment. Carefully choosing reputable roll former manufacturers and following proper setup and installation practices will result in successful standing seam metal roofing jobs.

FAQs

Some frequently asked questions about roll forming equipment:

How quickly can a roll forming line produce roofing panels?

Production speeds vary based on machine power but commonly range from 50 to 150 linear feet per minute. Larger 11-13 ton machines may achieve speeds up to 200 ft/min.

What sheet metal thicknesses can be roll formed?

Roll formers can produce panels from thin metals gauges around 28 gauge up to 3/16″ thick steel on high tonnage machines. Typical roofing gauges are 24 – 22 gauge.

How long does it take to change roll forming dies?

On modern equipment with quick change tooling, die changes can take as little as 10-15 minutes. Manual changeovers may take 1-2 hours.

What length of panels can be produced?

Many roll formers can produce metal panels in lengths ranging from 8 feet to up to 65 feet long, accommodating various building requirements.

Do roll forming machines require special power?

No, roll forming equipment typically only requires standard 3-phase 480V electrical supply. No special high voltage connections necessary.

How many roofing panels can a coil of metal produce?

The coil capacity depends on material thickness. A typical 30,000 lb. coil of 22 gauge steel may yield over 15,000 linear feet of typical 12″ wide roofing panels.

What safety precautions are important?

  • Enclosing machines, electrical safety, shutdowns, and guards near moving parts.
  • Rollers and cutting blades present pinch and amputation hazards.
  • Ensure proper lockout/tagout procedures.
  • Provide hearing protection from equipment noise.
  • Mandate approved eye protection and close-toed shoes for workers.

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