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6 questions and answers for choosing the right plate rolling machine

plate roller
plate roller

No other machine tool or piece of metal fabrication equipment has as many different names as does the everyday plate roller—a machine designed to put a curve into a long straight piece of metal.

While some will just call them plate rollers or bending rolls, in some places they are called plate rolling machines because they roll a section of metal that is usually going into a larger project.

6 questions and answers for choosing the right plate rolling machine

Like any machine purchase, there are several factors to carefully weigh when looking at acquiring a new plate rolling machine.

How much are you willing to spend?

Budget a reasonable amount but be prepared to exceed it. You need to keep in mind that while getting a good price is important if you don’t have the features necessary to do the jobs at hand, you will wind up spending far more in the future to make up the difference.

What capacity do you need?

You literally need to “size up” a plate roller to make sure that it is big enough to handle your largest jobs, yet capable of rolling your tightest diameters. One size doesn’t usually fit all, so you may need to consider eventually purchasing more than one plate rolling machine, depending on your production. You will also want to get machines that have a slightly larger capacity than the biggest jobs you plan to run on them. If you frequently max out the capacity of the plate rolling machine, you are putting unnecessary stress on it that will lead to excessive downtime for repairs and shorter machine life.

What metals do you need to roll?

A plate rolling machine that is designed to fabricate a particular size in a more malleable metal like mild steel will likely not be able to roll the same capacity in harder, industrial-grade steel. Be sure to match your machine to your metal.

What features of the plate rolling machines will you need?

Look carefully at the features and options of available machines to determine the perfect plate rolling machine for your particular projects. Some things to consider include:

Machine construction. How sturdy is the machine housing? Is the frame solid with post-welding stress relief? What material was used to make the roll shafts? Are the rolls ground and hardened?

Machine power. Smaller capacity plate rolling machines will be motorized, but most plate rolling machines are hydraulically powered. Size won’t matter if your new plate rolling machine doesn’t have the power to perform, so confirm the power source of the machine before purchase.

Control systems. Will digital readouts work for you, or will you want an NC control system? (Or a more specialized CNC upgrade?) Will you want a portable control unit that can be moved around to view the part from any angle during rolling?

Do you need the following six functions?

  1. Pre-bending function, most plate bending machines on the market still require pre-bending, but the straight edge caused by pre-bending is often not what customers need. This problem has been solved with the advent of new plate bending machines that do not require pre-bending and have controllable straight-sided sections.
  2. NC control, modern production often requires a high degree of automation of equipment, and CNC plate rolling machines are also an inevitable development trend.
  3. Product accuracy requirements, such as roundness, error, angle, opening size, etc., customers should choose according to their own needs.
  4. Requirements for safety protection devices. As the safety production specification becomes more and more strict, the requirements for the safety protection of the coiling equipment will inevitably increase.
  5. Integral structure, simple foundation, easy to move The equipment adopts an integral chassis, no anchor bolts are required, the foundation is simple, and it is convenient to move as a place.
  6. According to the requirements of the rolling shape, including U-shaped, O-shaped, polygonal, etc., you can choose the required rolling machine according to your own requirements.

Are there benefits to buying a 4-roll plate bending machine over a traditional 3-roll?

Not only are four roll plate rolls more precise than their three roll counterparts, but they are also more productive, more versatile, faster, safer, and easier to operate. They are less dependent on operator competence. Four roll machines are ideal for bending bigger plates, even up to 6″ thick.