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Automation Solutions for Roll Forming

May 21, 2019

Samco Machinery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, supplies roll forming machines and related products. Don Fanstone, the company’s senior manager, provides examples of control and material-handling solutions that allow roll formers to get the most out of their lines.

An automated count and stacking mechanism eliminates the need for operators to stop the line for part counting.
Programmable logic controllers that change roll former settings at the touch of a button, converting from one product to another in a matter of minutes, and automated material handling solutions that improve worker safe and reduce labor costs are advancing roll forming in a range of industries.

Presented here: two examples of new technology in action.

Automated Part Stacking and Counting Mechanism

A drywall cornerbead manufacturer recently upgraded a production line to a significantly higher operating speed. It did not take long to realize that one operator would not be able to stack, count the number of pieces to be boxed and staple the carton at the increased machine speed. Instead, the operator found it necessary to stop the line to double check the number of parts.

Using an automated count and stacking mechanism, periodic unscheduled line stoppage stopped. With increased machine speed and automated material handling of the upgraded line doing the counting and stacking of the parts, one operator now can insert and seal parts into a carton, boxing bundles of 20, 25 or 30 pieces without having to stop to check the count. As a result, production soared standpoint, eliminating manual handling of each part averted potential carpal-tunnel injury.

Automated Dual-Feeding and Part-Removal System

An automated dual-feeding and part-removal operation helps a continuous roll forming line achieve maximum output.
A manufacturer required that a roll former located within a continuous line operation help achieve maximum line output. The solution: an automated dual-feeding and part-removal operation for greater roll-forming efficiency. With this, blanks were positioned into the roll-former entry by a robot. The alternating blank-feeding and exiting mechanisms were labelled A and B.

With a blank positioned within the entry guide, the A blank-feeding and exiting mechanism latches onto the blank and drags it from the entry guide, into and through the roll former. It then transfers the formed blank to a specific location and releases the gripping mechanism. This enables a second robot to remove the roll-formed part and transfer it to the next operation.

As a double unit, the moment the portion of the two-part transfer mechanism exits the roll former, the B portion of the transfer mechanism grips the succeeding blank in the entry guide, dragging the blank into and through the roll former and onto the succeeding robot pick-up point before releasing the gripping mechanism and returning to its home position.

The alternating grip and feed mechanisms ensure maximum operating time of the roll former, eliminating operators at the load and unload positions of the roll former on each shift, as well as eliminating any potential safety hazards of working around robots or rotating machinery.

The result: The roll former operates continuously, unimpeded by operator absenteeism, temporary breaks or numerous potential machine stoppages or operator delay.

Industry-Related Terms: Blank, Forming, Insert, Point, Roll Forming, Transfer Mechanism, Transfer
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: Samco Machinery Ltd.

Technologies: Other Processes


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