Updated: Jun 29
Facilitating your workforce with a plate bending/rolling machine is a great way to multifold the output. Yet, a machine like that is a crucial investment and one to be made after assessing every parameter in an errorless manner.
Plate bending/rolling machines come with different capabilities. Therefore, once you have installed the machine, you need to determine the capacity and provide the workload according to your requirement and the machine's bending/rolling capacity.
Several industries that require pressure vessels, heat exchangers, food and pharma industries, equipment manufacturers, green energy, earth moving, and others presently utilize plate bending machines. The only question that makes them scratch their head every time is whether the machine can perform the required plate bending/rolling work successfully for them.
For this, we must first discuss the machines these industries use to perform plate bending/rolling.
Types of Plate Bending/Rolling Machine
There is not just one requirement among all the industries. Thus, various machines suit manufacturing setups for specific industries. We will discuss the 3 most used plate bending/rolling machines today.
There are two main rolls in this machine. One of the rolls, the top one, is a hardened roll. The bottom roll is coated with urethane. Next, the metal plate to be bent/rolled is fed to the machine between these two rolls to perform bending and get the required roll on the plate.
There is one steady top roll and two bottom rolls set parallel to each other so that the setup of these three rolls forms the conventional pyramid structure. The plate is fed to the two rolls, and the bending/rolling is performed according to the required shape and angle.
The four rolls of this machine hold the workpiece in place while the bending/rolling is being performed. 2 vertical rolls pinch the metal plate, and the two laterally placed rolls prebend the ends of the same. Therefore, the machine provides the most stability for manufacturing companies.
Determining the Capacity of a Bending/Rolling Machine
Metal plates/sheets come in different sizes and materials. However, the most known and generic workpiece the manufacturers have to work with is a plate/sheet named A36, which has a yield point (PSI) of around 36k.
“the stress beyond which a material becomes plastic.”
In terms of plate rolling, when a material is pressed, or any force is applied beyond the yield point, the metal plate/sheet starts to deform permanently irregularly.
Therefore, it is primary work to first note down the yielding point of the material and make sure you choose the hardest yielding material.
Here are some things you will have to keep in check:
Yielding material (hardest) that you need to roll
Thickness of the material
Width of the material
Smaller diameter that you need to roll this material to
Now, let's get on to the two ways to determine the bending capacity of the machine:
1) Maximum Bending Thickness
The thickness is a really important factor to consider since it is one that directly gets affected upon bending/rolling the plate.
A machine with a maximum capacity can bend/roll a 3000mm wide A36 metal plate/sheet that is 64mm thick. Considering these values, as the width decreases, the thickness that the machine increases can roll.
2) Minimum Bending Diameters
You don’t want to let the bent/rolled metal plate touch the rolls of the machine while it is moving. Even if you wanted to, you couldn’t.
The diameters of the top roll are threshold points for the minimum diameter at which you want to roll your workpiece. This is because you cannot roll a lesser diameter than your top roll’s diameter. Hence, the thicker the top roll is, the thicker will be the diameter at which you can roll the metal plate.
Consequences You Would Face For Pushing Over the Capacity
As a manufacturer, you don’t want to get into a machine-wrecking scenario. Machines do have a safe range, but that is for if something were to happen to the machine while the metal plate/sheet is still being bent/rolled.
Some machine owners and factories push their machines over their capacity and it is inevitable that the machine will either perform inefficiently or break down in the worst case. There is also a possibility of the metal plate getting deformed due to the operator pushing the machine over its capacity.
Modern-day machines are optimized and productive but they are also expensive. As a manufacturer, you should always look to generate the best for your clients and yourselves. Machines are not humans and then can’t grow their strength by going over their own capacity. They can get damaged severely. Determining the capacity is extremely important and a factor you should never unsee.