Types of Cladding Roll Forming Machines

Cladding roll forming machines are essential equipment for manufacturing clad metal sheets and panels used extensively in the construction industry. This comprehensive guide provides a detailed overview of cladding roll forming machine types, components, specifications, applications, installation, operations and maintenance.

Overview of Cladding Roll Forming Machines

Cladding roll forming refers to a continuous bending operation that forms metal coil stock into shaped sheet or panel profiles by progressively bending the material through a series of roller dies. It is an efficient, high-speed process for producing straight or curved panels from coiled aluminum, steel, or other alloys.

The key benefit of cladding roll forming is the ability to permanently bond thin metal cladding onto heavier gauge metal coils through simultaneous forming and high pressure roll bonding as the materials pass through the machine. This creates bi-metallic composite sheets with a decorative or corrosion resistant cladding layer metallurgically fused to a structural metal core.

Cladding roll forming lines utilize a sequential set of roller stations to shape the incoming flat coils into formed sections which are then roll bonded together under pressure into a single composite panel. The process integrates decoiling, feeding, pre-forming, roll bonding, final forming and cutting functions.

Table 1: Key Features of Cladding Roll Forming

FeaturesDescription
High speedsUp to 100m/min production rates
Continuous processCoils processed continuously for high output
FlexibleVarious materials, thicknesses and profiles
Durable productMetallurgical bond between cladding and core
Quality finishSmooth, consistent and blemish free panels
AutomatedReduced labor, changeover faster
Cost effectiveLower capital and operating costs than other methods

Roll formed cladding sheets have advantages of design flexibility, durability, low maintenance and light weight making them ideal for interior and exterior building facades, wall liners, curtain walls, roofing, canopies, shutters, etc.

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Types of Cladding Roll Forming Machines 4

Common Types of Cladding Roll Forming Machines

There are two major classifications of cladding roll forming equipment – single sheet lines for solid sheets and two sheet lines for clad sheets. Cladding capabilities, production speed, and profile complexity vary across the different machine types.

Table 2: Cladding Roll Forming Machine Types

Machine TypeDescription
Single sheet linesRolls and forms solid metal sheets
Two sheet linesRolls cladding + core sheets together
In-line processUncoils + forms continuously
Stop-start processIncremental decoiling + forming
Portable roll formerLightweight for on-site forming
Fixed forming linesFor high volume factory production

Single Sheet Roll Forming Lines

These simpler lines are used for rolling solid aluminum, steel, etc. coils into various formed sections for roofing, wall panels, garage doors etc. They consist of a decoiler, pre-forming stands, finisher rolls and a cutoff press.

  • Advantage is simplicity and lower cost for high speed forming of single sheets.
  • Limitation is inability to produce multi-layer composite panels.

Two Sheet Cladding Roll Forming Lines

These are integrated production lines designed specifically for cladding processes. They create metal composite sheets by bonding thin coil cladding to heavier gauge coil core stock as the materials pass through the equipment.

  • Key benefit is the ability to permanently fuse different metals into a composite panel.
  • Additional functionality comes at a higher cost vs single sheet lines.

In-Line Process Roll Forming

In this continuous process, coils are uncoiled, pre-straightened, gradually formed in a series of stands, roll bonded and finished in one uninterrupted in-line operation for high volumes.

  • Benefits include very high production speeds and process control.
  • Inline machines have high initial cost and require significant factory space.

Stop-Start Roll Forming

In this incremental style, metal coils are decoiled in batches, then fed intermittently through multiple start-stop passes to complete the forming process.

  • Allows roll forming with lower cost equipment, smaller footprint and easier operator control.
  • Production rates are lower than continuous in-line rolling.

Portable Roll Forming

Lightweight, mobile roll formers that can be moved and operated on-site for direct forming of building panels.

  • Allows custom or special architectural elements to be created on construction site.
  • Limited by profile complexity, slower speeds vs in factory equipment.

Fixed Forming Lines

Large automated roll forming lines installed in high production facilities for continuous high speed output.

  • Ideal for rolling high volumes of standard profiles.
  • Require major capital investment and factory space.

Cladding Roll Forming Machine Components

Modern computerized cladding roll forming lines integrate a series of automated stations to handle the dual sheet cladding process. Typical components include:

Table 3: Cladding Roll Forming Machine Sections

SectionDescription
DecoilerFeeds metal coil stock into process
Coil carLoads fresh coils for continuous runs
StraightenerCorrects coil curvature for proper feeding
AccumulatorControls line tension, allows speed changes
Pre-formingRolls sheets to gradual curved shape
Pre-cuttingCuts sheets to length before bonding
Roll bondingJoins cladding and core under pressure
Final formingFull roller die forming stations
Post-cuttingFinishing cut to length after bonding
StackingStacks cut panels for easy offloading
ControlPLC automation controls line functions

Decoiler and Coil Car

  • Decoils and feeds the cladding and core metal coils into the roll former
  • Coil car allows quick loading of fresh coils for continuous production runs

Straightener and Accumulator

  • Straightens any coil curvature and corrects minor defects
  • Accumulator controls line tension and material speed for a smooth process

Pre-forming Roll Stands

  • Gradually start to bend the sheets using a series of roller dies
  • Sequential bending avoids sheet cracking or tearing

Pre-Cutting Station

  • Pre-cuts sheets to finished length prior to bonding
  • Permits precise positioning and joining of cladding to core

Roll Bonding Mill

  • Cladding and core sheets joined under heat + pressure
  • Creates metallurgical bond between the component layers

Final Forming Stands

  • Full profile is formed sequentially using contoured roll dies
  • Closely controls final dimensions and surface quality

Post-cutting Station

  • Finishing cut to exact length after bonding and forming
  • Leaves clean, square sheet ends

Stacking Table

  • For neatly stacking cut panels for easy offloading
  • Reduces labor and improves process flow

Control System

  • Automated PLC logic controls and interlocks machine functions
  • Allows monitoring, speed changes, to prevent mishaps

Cladding Roll Forming Machine Specifications

Cladding roll formers are fully custom engineered to client requirements in terms of production speed, sheet width, materials used and panel profile. Key technical parameters include:

Table 4: Cladding Roll Forming Machine Specifications

ParameterTypical Range
Line speed10 – 120 m/min
Sheet widthUp to 3m (10ft)
Metal thickness0.3 – 2.0mm (26 – 14 gauge)
Sheet length1 – 15m (3-45ft)
Cladding ratio1:4 to 1:10 (core:cladding)
Roll stations10 – 50 stands
Main drive7.5 – 75 kW (10 – 100 hp)
Line power25 – 250 kW (30 – 350 hp)
Machine weight10,000 – 50,000 kg (12 – 60 tons)
  • Faster speeds generally require more horsepower and roll stations.
  • Wider sheet capabilities need heavier machine frames and components.
  • Thicker metals require higher roll tonnage and downstream handling capacity.
  • Longer sheets may need additional support and straightening.
  • Higher volumes need more accumulator capacity and automated coil changing.
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Types of Cladding Roll Forming Machines 5

Cladding Materials Used in Roll Forming

Common metal cladding and core combinations include:

Table 5: Metals Used for Cladding Roll Forming

Cladding LayerCore LayerBenefits
AluminumAluminumLightweight, corrosion resistant
ZincSteelSacrificial zinc protects steel
AluminumSteelLightweight + structural strength
CopperSteelDecorative, naturally antimicrobial
Stainless steelSteelAesthetic, higher strength
TitaniumSteelVery high strength and toughness
BrassSteelAttractive gold color, durable
  • Softer more formable metals like aluminum used for the thin cladding.
  • Harder stronger metals like steel for the structural core layer.
  • Compatible materials and melting points are required.
  • Surface treatments like anodizing improve cladding durability.

Cladding Roll Formed Product Applications

Clad metal panels produced on these efficient roll forming lines are used in diverse architectural, commercial and industrial applications:

Table 6: End Use Applications for Cladding Roll Formed Panels

Market SegmentExample Uses
Building exteriorsFacades, curtain walls, roofs, canopies
Building interiorsPartitions, wall liners, ceilings, doors
TransportationTrailers, truck bodies, rail cars
InfrastructureBridges, waste/water treatment, shelters
AppliancesRefrigerators, washing machines, ovens
FurnitureOffice furniture, storage, medical carts
ElectronicsServer racks, control boxes, lighting
  • Building cladding sees the largest demand due to aesthetics and corrosion resistance.
  • Transportation uses include high durability liners and panels for vehicles.
  • Diverse profile shapes, curves possible to support innovative designs.
  • Formed metal perceived as higher quality than plastic panels.

Cladding Roll Forming Line Installation

Proper installation of these heavy industrial lines requires meticulous planning and coordination. The key steps include:

Table 7: Cladding Roll Forming Line Installation Steps

StageDescription
Site preparationLevel floor, power supply, layout
UnloadingUse forklifts, cranes, chains/slings
PositioningLocate per approved drawings
LevellingPrecision level machines on base plates
AssemblyBolt machines together per design
AlignmentAlign roll shafts and dies accurately
UtilitiesConnect power, pneumatics, hydraulics
Trial runsTest individual sections then full line
DebuggingRefine settings to achieve design output
Safety guardingInstall guards for pinch points
  • Floor must support machine weight and withstand vibration.
  • Lifting equipment rated for full machine loads to avoid tipping or dropping.
  • Utility capacity must meet peak power, air and fluid requirements.
  • Initial test runs identify any issues prior to full production startup.
  • Safety guards mandatory for all moving parts and roll openings.

Setting Up Cladding Roll Forming Lines

Efficient setup and changeover between cladding product runs minimizes downtime and material waste. Steps include:

Table 8: Cladding Roll Forming Setup Procedure

StepDescription
1. Die changeStage new profile die sets for quick swapping
2. Material checkVerify clad coil thickness, surface quality
3. Feeding alignmentEnsure web centering and tracking
4. Speed setupEnter new speed setting in controller
5. Guide adjustmentPosition guides to suit new sheet width
6. Trial runTest run new profile and monitor quality
7. Inspector approvalGet signoff on sample panel conformance
8. Begin productionRapid changeover with minimum scrap material
  • Schedule die changeovers when current coil batch is depleted.
  • Monitor initial panels to ensure tight tolerances are held.
  • Watch for sheet tracking issues, edge cracks, surface defects.
  • Confirm inspector approval before full production restart.

Operating Cladding Roll Forming Machines

Consistent quality output relies on proper operation following standard procedures:

Table 9: Cladding Roll Forming Machine Operation

ActivityDescription
SafetyEnsure guards in place, PPE worn
Coil loadingLoad coils on unwind stands via coil car
ThreadingFeed sheet through rolls and leveling stations
Trial runRun machine at slow speed and inspect panels
Speed adjustmentSet line speed per supervisor direction
MonitoringWatch for defects, listen for irregular sounds
Sheet trackingUse edge guides to center sheets in rolls
LubricationGrease bearings, apply roll release agents
Quality checkVerify randomly sampled panels meet specs
Shift handoverUpdate logbook on output, issues, maintenance
  • Review safety procedures and wear protective equipment.
  • Monitor newly formed panels closely until quality validated.
  • Lubricate equipment frequently to prevent accelerated wear.
  • Document any abnormal observations or deviations for troubleshooting.
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Types of Cladding Roll Forming Machines 6

Maintenance of Cladding Roll Forming Machines

Preventative maintenance avoids unplanned downtime and disruption to customer orders:

Table 10: Cladding Roll Forming Maintenance Activities

FrequencyTasks
DailyInspect panels, check safety guards
WeeklyLubricate bearings/gears, clean deposits
MonthlyCheck belt/chain tension, fastener torque
3 monthsRoll surface inspection and refinishing
6 monthsHydraulics inspection, fluids change
YearlyReplace wear items – seals, spirals etc.
2 yearsGearbox oil change, shaft/bearing replacements
5 yearsMajor overhaul, ring roll replacement
  • Monitor wear on consumable items like spirals, guides, seals.
  • Refinish or replace rolls when surface defects appear.
  • Schedule major repairs during planned annual maintenance shutdown.
  • Keep maintenance logs to track work history on each machine module.

Choosing a Cladding Roll Forming Machine Supplier

Key factors in selecting reliable equipment manufacturers:

Table 11: Cladding Roll Forming Machine Supplier Selection Criteria

FactorDescription
ExperienceYears in business, number of installations
CapabilitiesRange of machines and line speeds offered
CustomizationAbility to engineer lines for exact requirements
QualityStringent manufacturing and validation processes
SupportInstallation assistance, operator training provided
ServiceTimely response for maintenance, repairs
CertificationISO and industry certifications held
ReferencesFeedback from existing customers
PricingEquipment quality relative to proposed budget
  • Look for extensive industry application expertise.
  • Require supplier validation data on machine capabilities.
  • Evaluate ease of maintenance and spare parts sourcing.
  • Consider geographic proximity and service infrastructure.
  • Balance purchase price versus production output and durability.

Cladding Roll Forming Machine Cost Considerations

Pricing is driven by production speed, line configuration, and customization level:

Table 12: Cladding Roll Forming Machine Price Ranges

Machine RatingPrice Range
Entry level$150,000 – $500,000
Mid-range$500,000 – $1,500,000
High production$1,500,000 – $3,000,000
Turnkey installation+20% cost
Custom engineered+30% cost
  • Entry level machines for low volume workshops.
  • Mid-range for cost sensitive fabricators.
  • High production for continuous operation.
  • Turnkey includes installation and commissioning.
  • Customization requires engineering charges.
  • Regional factors also influence pricing.
  • Request itemized quotes accounting for all specifications.

Cladding Roll Forming Machine Comparison

Table 13: Cladding Roll Forming Machine Pros and Cons

Machine TypeAdvantagesDisadvantages
Inline high speedVery high volumes, consistencyExpensive, major factory space
Stop-start incrementalLower cost, smaller footprintSlower production rates
Single sheet roll formerSimple design, low costCannot produce clad panels
Two sheet cladding lineClad materials togetherComplex, higher maintenance
Portable roll formerForm onsite for custom shapesLimited profiles, slower
Fixed factory linesOptimized for 24/7 productionInflexible, major installation
  • Consider required production rates and capabilities.
  • Evaluate initial cost versus operating costs long term.
  • Customized lines maximize performance but have higher price.
  • Simple entry level machines lowest cost but sacrifice speed.
  • Select technology level that aligns with business objectives.

FAQs

What materials can be roll formed?

  • Most ductile metals including steel, aluminum, copper, titanium etc. Certain alloys with low malleability are not formable.

What thickness range is possible?

  • Roll forming typically handles lighter gauges from 0.3 to 2.0mm (26 ga to 14 ga). Thicker metals become too hard to form without cracking.

How long does a cladding roll forming line last?

  • Properly maintained lines have a typical lifespan of 15-20 years. Major rebuilds may be needed after 10 years. Key components like gearboxes, roll bearings, hydraulics require replacement over time.

How are different metals joined in roll bonding?

  • The metallurgical bond relies on applying high pressure while heating the material interface just below the melting point. This breaks up surface oxides enabling atomic interdiffusion.

How many operators are required?

  • Modern automated lines need 1-2 operators. One oversees the process and offloads finished panels while another handles material feeding. Advanced AI-assisted systems further reduce labor.

How often are roll dies changed for different profiles?

  • For high mix lower volume production, die changes can occur weekly or several times per shift. For long production runs, die changes may only be needed every few weeks or months. Quick die change capability minimizes downtime.

What safety measures are mandatory?

  • Equipment safeguarding for pinch points, interlocks on doors, E-stops, worker training. Proper PPE must be provided and worn. Work zones should be clearly designated to avoid hazards.

How is sheet alignment maintained?

  • Edge guides and roller dies are machined to precise tolerances to track sheets. Sensors provide feedback for automated minor adjustments to web position. Accumulators allow stretching or slowing material to prevent skew.

How are operating speeds controlled?

  • AC variable frequency drives adjust motor speeds. Production rates are entered into the HMI panel. The PLC automatically sets individual station speeds to match the target output.

How is coil stock loaded and fed?

  • Coils are brought near the line on trucks or coil cars. Then they are lifted into position using lifting beams and powered decoilers or payoff reels and threaded into the process.

What factors affect roll forming costs?

  • Key drivers are line speed, sheet width capacity, material thickness, automation level, and degree of customization. Higher volumes and throughput lower overall costs.

How should I budget for a new cladding roll forming line?

  • Typical budget percentages: Equipment 60%, Installation 10%, Building 20%, Ancillary Equipment 10%. Factor in adequate room for future expansion or additional lines.

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