Roller shutter doors are a popular type of door used in commercial and industrial settings. Their metal construction makes them durable, secure, and energy efficient. Producing the coiled slats for these doors requires a specialized machine called a roll forming machine. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at how roller shutter door roll forming machines work and the key factors to consider when choosing one.
How Roll Forming Creates Roller Shutter Slats
Roll forming is a metal working process that involves passing a flat strip of metal through a series of roller dies. Each die progressively forms the shape of the profile through bending and folding of the material. For roller shutter doors, this profile is the iconic “C” shaped slats.
The roll forming machine contains a coil of flat sheet metal loaded onto a de-coiling device. This sheet enters the machine and passes through a straightening mechanism to remove any coil curvature. It then moves through the roller dies at a constant speed, gradually taking shape with each station. Lubricants are often applied to the metal as it’s formed to reduce friction and prevent tearing.
The final formed slats exit the other end of the machine in one continuous piece. They can then be cut to the appropriate length for the desired door size. The consistency of the roll forming process allows for the mass production of uniform slats.
Key Components of a Roller Shutter Door Roll Forming Machine
Roll forming machines contain three main components – the decoiler, forming stations, and cutter:
- Decoiler – Feeds the flat metal coil strip into the machine. Contains tension controls and a straightening mechanism.
- Forming Stations – These stages progressively form the metal into the final C-shaped slat profile through bending and folding. The number of stations can vary based on the complexity of the profile.
- Cutter – Cuts the formed slats to the specified length as they exit the roll former. Can be a fixed or programmable cut-off saw.
Other aspects that may be included are guides to support the metal through the machine, punching or embossing stations, and a finishing station to inspect and stack the cut slats.
Key Factors When Choosing a Roller Shutter Door Roll Forming Machine
There are several important considerations when selecting roll forming equipment for roller shutter door production:
Profile and Material
- The machine must be engineered for the exact slat profile required. Common profiles include C, E, I, and round.
- It must support forming the appropriate metal material and gauge, such as galvanized steel.
- Higher volume applications require faster forming speeds, heavier duty components, and automated cut-off and stacking.
- For lower volume jobs, manually operated machines are more economical.
Accuracy and Consistency
- The equipment should consistently produce uniform slats within the tolerance specifications. This depends on precision engineering.
- Look for machines that give support along the full length of the metal during forming to prevent deformation.
- If producing multiple slat sizes, look for quick die change capabilities to minimize downtime.
- Tool-less changeover systems help reduce labor and opportunities for error.
Durability and Reliability
- Choose robust construction with minimal wear parts to withstand high production demands.
- Look for strong reputations and warranties to support reliability.
Automated vs. Manual Operation
- Automated machines increase efficiency and convenience but have higher upfront costs.
- Manual machines require direct operator involvement but have lower initial investment.
- Initial purchase price, operational costs, maintenance, and tooling all impact overall value.
- Consider long-term costs, not just upfront price.
By assessing these key factors, you can determine the best roller shutter door roll forming system for your production needs and budget.
Roller Shutter Door Slats You Can Create with Roll Forming
Roll forming’s versatility allows creation of various roller shutter door slat profiles. Some possibilities include:
C Shaped Slats
The most common and economical profile, providing good strength and wind resistance. The flat face attaches to the shutter curtain.
Insulated C Shaped Slats
Contains foam insulation inside the slat to improve thermal efficiency. Reduces sound transmission.
Double C Shaped Slats
Overlapping C profiles improve wind resistance. The outer profile has ventilation holes to prevent box effect.
Round Shaped Slats
Aesthetically pleasing profile alternative. Can have insulation filled tubes similar to insulated C slat.
Tiny holes provide airflow and transparency. Available in C, Z, or round profiles.
Special clear PVC slat option to allow visibility through the shutter. Usually combined with metal slats.
Embossed patterns or custom shapes provide decorative flourish.
With the range of profiles possible, roll formed shutter slats can meet both functional and aesthetic requirements.
Typical Production Process for Roll Formed Roller Shutters
Here is an overview of the full production process using roll formed slats:
- 1. Design – The shutter specifications are designed based on opening size, performance needs, and aesthetics.
- 2. Roll Forming – The slats are formed to the required profile, length, and quantity using a custom roll forming machine.
- 3. Assembly – The slats are assembled into interlocking shutter curtains and mounted onto barrels with retention clips.
- 4. Hardware Attachment – Guide rails, support brackets, and operation components like motors or cranks are attached.
- 5. Installation – The completed roller shutter unit is installed into the opening and any needed electric or controls are connected.
- 6. Testing and Adjustment – The shutter is tested for proper operation and adjusted as needed to ensure smooth and proper performance.
Roll Forming Advantages Over Other Shutter Slat Fabrication Methods
Roll forming provides a number of benefits compared to other manufacturing processes for roller shutter slats:
High Volume Production
- Roll forming is ideal for mass producing large quantities of slats efficiently and consistently.
- Automated roll forming reduces manual labor requirements compared to other fabrication methods.
- The efficiency of roll forming minimizes material waste and per unit costs at high volumes.
Consistency and Precision
- Rolled slats have uniformity and accuracy unmatched by other processes like extrusion or break forming.
- Roll forming machines accommodate a wide range of metal materials and gauges.
- Complex slat geometries and designs are possible, beyond what extrusion allows.
Speed and Efficiency
- High production rates up to 130 feet per minute minimize lead times.
For most shutter manufacturers, roll forming remains the optimal fabrication choice to reap these benefits.
Leading Manufacturers of Roller Shutter Door Roll Forming Machines
Some of the top global suppliers of roll forming equipment for roller shutter production include:
One of the most recognized brands in roll forming technology. They provide a wide range of standard and custom machines for various profiles, materials, and production volumes.
A leader in innovative roll forming manufacturing solutions, including precision roller shutter equipment. Focuses on flexible, automated machines.
An Italian manufacturer specialized in roller shutter roll forming machines for over 50 years. Designed for high productivity and quick size changes.
A Chinese producer of CNC equipment for roll forming lines. Cost-effective shutter slat roll forming solutions.
An American manufacturer focused on engineered roll forming systems of exceptional quality and reliability.
An Italian company providing technologically advanced roll forming machinery for product consistency and efficiency.
These companies combine for centuries of experience in roller shutter slat roll forming production systems.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Roller Shutter Door Roll Forming Machine
To maximize the value and productivity of your roll forming equipment, here are some key tips:
- Implement rigorous preventive maintenance and servicing routines to minimize downtime.
- Train operators thoroughly for proper setup, operation, and troubleshooting.
- Adjust forming stations carefully using test samples to ensure precise slat profile tolerances are met.
- Use tooling optimized for longevity, such as carbide roller dies, to extend service life.
- Employ effective lubrication of metal material and tooling to reduce friction and wear.
- Adjust feed speeds and production rate to balance output and quality.
- Keep area around equipment organized and uncluttered for efficient operation and maintenance.
- Monitor cut-off saw blades and cutting fluid levels frequently to maintain clean cuts.
- Document procedures for changeovers, adjustments, and maintenance issues.
With well optimized roll forming systems and practices, manufacturers can reap maximum productivity.
Roll forming technology provides an efficient and versatile method for producing the iconic C shaped slats used in roller shutter doors. When choosing a roller shutter door roll forming machine, carefully consider the production requirements, slat profile, automation needs, and manufacturer reputation. Leading global suppliers provide high quality equipment engineered specifically roller shutter door manufacturing. By optimizing the roll forming process, manufacturers can reap maximum productivity and profitability in their shutter slat production.
Q: What are the main advantages of roll forming for making roller shutter slats?
A: The main advantages are high volume production capability, labor savings from automation, cost effectiveness, precision and consistency, material and profile flexibility, speed, and efficiency.
Q: What should you look for when choosing a roll forming machine?
A: Important factors are ability to make the required slat profile and material, production volume needs, accuracy, changeover ability, durability, cost, and automation level.
Q: What maintenance is required on roller shutter door roll forming machines?
A: Recommended maintenance includes daily inspections, lubrication, cleaning, monitoring wear items, and scheduled preventative maintenance of components.
Q: How are the formed metal slats cut to length on these machines?
A: Most machines have an integrated cut-off saw at the output to cut slats to specified lengths automatically or manually.
Q: What safety precautions should be taken with roller shutter door roll forming equipment?
A: Guards, emergency stops, proper electrical controls, and personal protective equipment like eye and hearing protection should be used for safety.
Q: How fast can roller shutter slats be produced with roll forming machines?
A: Typical production speeds range from 16 to 130 feet per minute, depending on the machine capabilities. Faster speeds are used for high volume runs.
Q: What expertise is needed to operate roller shutter door roll forming machines?
A: Proper training in machine setup, operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting is important. Experience with roll forming helps maximize results and efficiency.