times   2015-11-26
Metal fabricators and other manufacturers have long dismissed rollforming. Steep upfront costs, high-volume production requirements and absence from collegiate engineering curricula have made the process foreign at best, and cost-prohibitive at worst.
Instead, metalformers turn to aluminum extrusions, press-braking and stamping, and miss out on the inline processing and economies of scale that rollforming offers.

Given the right applications, rollforming may be the most cost-efficient production method available to metalformers—reducing weight, simplifying production and cutting costs along the entire supply chain.

Slew of Benefits

A highly stable and efficient fabrication process, rollforming runs coiled material through a series of roll tooling, gradually forming it into the desired cross-section profile. The process efficiently produces parts of any length, fabricates light and strong custom shapes, and eliminates secondary operations through inline processing.

Rollforming’s benefits include:
Heightened efficiency—Through inline processing and automation, rollforming consolidates multiple manufacturing steps into one efficient operation while reducing excess labor and vendors.
High-quality results—Rollforming can manufacture countless shapes from ferrous and nonferrous materials, and form complex linear shapes, rounded or burr-free edges, and uniform cross-section profiles.
Cost reductions—Greater production efficiency and high-volume production translate to lower cost per part and economies of scale. And dropping the gauge decreases material, inventory and freight expenses.

How do these benefits add up? Switching to rollforming may reduce product weight by one-third, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars saved annually. But to get the most out of rollforming, heed the advice that follows.

Take the Time to Simplify and Optimize

A comprehensive analysis of product design identifies where improvements and inefficiencies lie. A metalformer may need to fully redesign a part to optimize it for rollforming, but this upfront time and effort has long-term-payoff potential.
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