If you work in the aerospace, shipbuilding, or windmill manufacturing industries, then you already know how valuable an advanced plate roll is. However, the importance of plate rolls extends well beyond these industries.

Plate rolls are integral machines in metal fabrication across countless industries. Understanding the mechanics and applications of plate rolls is essential for optimizing their usein your manufacturing processes. In this guide, we explore what plate rolls are, how they operate, and the diverse applications of plate rolls.

Whether you’re an experienced professional or new to metalworking, this blog about plate rolls will provide you with the knowledge necessary to leverage their capabilities effectively.

What is Metal Plate Bending/Rolling?

Metal plate bending, or plate rolling, is a fundamental process in metal fabrication. This process offers immense versatility in shaping flat sheets of metal into curved or cylindrical forms. The transformative technique involves applying force to a metal plate to gradually bend it to the desired angles. Through precise manipulation of the material, complex shapes can be achieved with remarkable accuracy, making plate bending indispensable in manufacturing. 

The process of sheet metal rolling relies on the principle of plastic deformation (talked about in this blog), where the material undergoes permanent changes in shape without fracturing. As the plate is fed through the rollers of the bending machine, pressure is applied, causing the metal to yield and bend. The curvature of the bend is determined by factors such as the diameter of the rollers, the thickness and composition of the metal, the position and pressure applied by the bending rollers, and the speed at which the plate is fed through the machine. This used to be a very skilled process, but innovations have made this easier. 

One of the key advantages of metal plate bending is its ability to produce uniform and consistent curves across large metal sheets. This makes it an ideal method for creating components such as pipes, cylinders, tanks, and structural elements with smooth, continuous contours. Additionally, plate bending allows for the fabrication of complex geometries that would be challenging or impossible to achieve using other machines such as press brakes. Whether it’s shaping metal for architectural structures or crafting specialized components for machinery, metal plate bending offers unparalleled flexibility and efficiency in transforming raw materials into functional products.

How Does a Metal Plate Rolling Machine Work?

  1. Setting bending force according to the desired radius
  2. Placing the metal plate on the table to maintain uniform bending/rolling
  3. Pre-Pinching/Pre-Bending the tails of the metal plate
  4. Passing the metal plate through the Plate Bending/Rolling/rolling machine

Setting Bending Force on the Plate Bending/Rolling Machine

The first step in bending the metal plate is to assess the workload of the plate rolling machine. This initial assessment ensures that the plate roll machine applies the appropriate amount of pressure to achieve the desired inside diameter or outside diameter of the bend. During this process, the operator will also take into account variables such as thickness and material used to effectively control the formation of the metal. This first step can not be overstated as it lays the foundation to guide the plate roll to an accurate and effective bend.

Placing the Metal Plate on the Table to Restrict Unwanted Movement

Once the bending force is set, the next step in the metal plate bending process is to place the metal plate securely on the table of the bending machine. This step is important to restrict any unwanted movement of the metal plate during the bending operation. By ensuring that the metal plate is properly aligned and supported on the table, operators can maintain uniform bending throughout the process, minimizing the risk of distortions or irregularities in the final product. Additionally, securing the metal plate in place helps to enhance safety during operation, reducing the likelihood of accidents. With the metal plate firmly positioned on the table and securely clamped using the upper and lower roll, operators can proceed with confidence, knowing that the bending process will proceed smoothly and yield precise results.

Pre-Pinching / Pre-Bending Before Starting the Bending Process

Before starting the actual bending process, operators employ a technique known as pre-pinching or pre-bending to refine the shape of the metal plate and facilitate smoother bending. This involves bending the edges of the metal sheet slightly inward before feeding it into the plate roll machine. By pre-pinching the tails of the metal plate, operators can mitigate the risk of wrinkles or imperfections along the edges of the curved sections, ensuring a more seamless transition between the flat and curved areas. This preparation step helps to optimize the bending process, allowing for greater precision and control over the outcome. Additionally, pre-pinching reduces the strain on the metal plate during bending, minimizing the risk of distortion.

Bending the Workpiece through the Metal Plate Bending/Rolling Machine

With the bending force set, the metal plate securely positioned, and the edges pre-pinched, the workpiece is ready to undergo the bending process. As the operator initiates the machine, the metal plate is fed through the rollers, where a controlled pressure is applied to gradually shape it according to the desired curvature. Throughout this process, minor adjustments are made as needed to ensure that the bend conforms precisely to the project specifications. The rollers exert uniform pressure along the length of the metal plate, resulting in smooth and consistent bends without compromising the integrity of the material. With each pass through the bending machine, the workpiece transforms. The bending process is crucial, so having an experienced operator is advised as plate rolls are a major investment.

What makes the Haeusler Plate Roll Different?

Plate Roll Closed Lopp

Autonomous bending – Closed Loop

Plate Roll Control Calculator

CNC software BENDtronic® CAPACITY CALCULATOR

The EVO Plate Roll is the latest innovation from Haeusler. It is equipped with numerous patented features that increase productivity while having the lowest total cost of ownership. The high-quality construction coupled with the cutting-edge BENDtronic control system included with all EVO purchases, stand out against the competition.

The highlight of the BENDtronic control system is the integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI) which enables autonomous bending. With the help of information feedback, a closed loop is created in the bending process. This helps the workpiece to be bent autonomously, which helps alleviate the need for extensive training for a plate roll operator. This innovative technology not only improves production efficiency and repeatability but also widens the options for suppliers as material fluctuations are compensated for by the intelligent system.

With the EVO Plate Roll from Haeusler, you save time and money while increasing your flexibility and efficiency in production.

Conclusion

In conclusion, metal plate rolling is a meticulous process that combines craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology to transform flat metal sheets into intricate curved or cylindrical shapes. From setting the bending force to pre-pinching the edges and finally guiding the workpiece through the bending machine, each step requires precision and attention to detail. As we’ve explored, metal plate bending offers unparalleled versatility, enabling the fabrication of everything from ship hulls to monopiles with precision and efficiency. With a deep understanding of the process and the right machinery, manufacturers can unlock endless possibilities, shaping metal into forms limited only by imagination.

If you need an upgrade to your plate rolling capabilities, contact us today to talk about your custom solution offered by Moore Machine Tools in partnership with Haeusler!