Manufacturers of roll-form products such as roofing panels, studs and tracks, purlins and joists, trusses and cladding, are sometimes faced with the decision of whether to produce their products on their existing equipment, or whether the return on their investment justifies the purchase of a completely new roll form line. As a rule of thumb, consider that purchasing a new roll forming system is usually worthwhile if at least half a million linear feet of sheet metal must be run. If a manufacturer has an existing roll form system and will be running fewer than half a million linear feet of sheet metal, then the present capacity of the roll forming line must be calculated in order to determine whether new components can be run on it. It could be a significant cost savings to retool the existing roll form line rather than to invest in new equipment. Naturally, the particular type of product which will be run, and its particular requirements such as the roll space, horizontal spacing, number of passes, etc., will determine whether existing equipment is sufficient to handle the run. Here is where it is crucial for the manufacturer to consult with a tooling vendor with wide experience.
Samco tooling is the world leader in innovative design of every facet of the roll forming process. Samco can also replace the tooling on any roll former, even if it is not made by Samco. Tryout mills on Samco’s shop floor are used to assure that replacing a roll tooling set is easy for the customer to implement – all the trial and error has been done already. When a new set of rolls is made, it is installed and run on a tryout roll former first. That way the customer’s only downtime is how long it takes to change the rolls.
For manufacturers who are just starting up, or who lack sufficient production capacity on their present equipment, it will be necessary to purchase a completely new line. These can be designed in many different configurations, such as high speed, in-plant lines; or feed to stop and portable machines which are less expensive, and which are more adaptable to on-site product fabrication. Samco employs Copra Finite Element Analysis sotware for custom roll former lines, which enables test tooling on the computer’s virtual tryout mill even before the mill is built. That way potential roll forming problems can be anticipated, and also the actual strip-shape at each stand of rolls can be predicted. Copra FEA is particularly valuable for products with profiles which are potentially challenging, since unproven tooling can be extraordinarily expensive on roll formers which require many passes. Samco is unique in being the only roll form manufacturers in North America who apply Copra FEA to its maximum potential.