What Is Metal Manufacturing?
Metal manufacturing makes metal into parts through a series of machines and tools.
Metal manufacturing processes include cutting, bending, and welding.
After the parts are designed, the metal is processed by different machines.
These machines include the laser cutting machine, CNC press brake, turret press, and welding machine.
These machines are suitable for small batch parts manufacturing.
In the manufacturing industry, metal forming methods mainly include the following:
- Roll forming
- Press braking
This article will introduce the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of these metal forming processes.
It will also introduce the factors that need to be considered when selecting metal forming methods.
The metal manufacturing process we choose will be different according to the different products we need.
The following is a detailed introduction to different metal manufacturing methods.
What Is Roll Forming?
Roll forming is a metal forming process in which metal sheets or rolls are bent into longitudinal and uniform profiles.
This process needs to be completed with the cooperation of professional tools.
The raw material of roll forming is the metal flat plate or metal roll.
The roll forming process does not need high-temperature equipment to heat the metal, because it is a cold forming process.
The material characteristics of the metal plate determine the bending radius, and roll forming can complete 180-degree bending.
Roll forming can provide strict tolerances for complex profiles.
Welding, laser cutting, and other secondary processing can be integrated into a production line.
The roll forming machine includes:
Single task roll forming machine. The profile is connected with the spindle, and the roller gradually bends each specific section.
Standard roll forming machine. Easy to operate, the operator can easily remove the spindle.
In addition to these two types, there are parallel machines that can be equipped with a variety of rolling tools.
Advantages of Roll Forming
Rolling forming technology can complete mass manufacturing and complex parts manufacturing.
Roll forming is a gradual bending process, and can produce strict tolerances.
The profiles produced in this way will be very standard and accurate even if they are very complex.
Roll forming is suitable for mass production because the whole machine will not limit the length of the material.
Just coil the metal plates and send them to the machine, the strength of the material can be improved after spring back.
Roll forming machines can produce complex cross sections and bends.
Roll forming produces strict and repeatable tolerances.
The size of the produced parts is very accurate, and the surface is uniform and glossy.
There is no limit to the length of parts formed by roll forming.
The maintenance cost of rolling machine tools is not high.
Roll forming can also handle high-strength metals without breaking.
Roll forming produces less waste and can use fewer materials to produce stronger parts.
Disadvantages of Roll Forming
Roll forming is more suitable for the mass production of complex parts.
The cost of small batch production is high if roll forming is used.
The toolings of roll forming are complex and expensive, so the change of toolings will be high.
Roll forming may cause the port of the part to expand outward.
What Is Metal Stamping?
Metal stamping refers to the forming process of the metal by a large tonnage stamping machine.
The processes involved include stamping, bending, punching, flanging, and pressing.
Custom tools and machines make the workpiece into the desired shape to the pattern.
Stamping is suitable for the mass production of parts.
Stamping simple parts only need one stroke, while multiple strokes are required for complex parts.
Advantages of Stamping
Stamping operation steps are simple and easy to use, and the cost is appropriate.
The stamping process is fast and the requirements for operators are not high.
Disadvantages of Stamping
If the workpiece produced by the stamping machine is long, it will leave tool scratches.
After stamping, the workpiece will produce some damage.
Stamping only deforms the metal through the tools.
When a workpiece needs different lengths, it needs different stamping dies.
In this way, the production cost will increase, so stamping is only suitable for small batch production.
What Is Press Braking?
Pressure braking completes metal forming by bending the metal sheet with upper and lower dies.
The process of pressure braking is the process of repeatedly driving the mold bending through the driving system.
The upper die of press braking has different angles, and the lower die is generally V-shaped and U-shaped.
There are many factors that affect bending, such as tensile strength of materials, precision, and strength of toolings, tonnage, bending radius, stroke, back gauge distance, speed, etc.
These factors will affect the spring back of the sheet metal and the accuracy of the final profile.
Advantages of Press Braking
The efficiency of press braking is very high, but generally, it can only deal with small and short workpieces.
The operation and setting of the press brake are more convenient.
It only needs to replace the top dies or lower dies for different bending shapes and angles.
Compared with roll forming and stamping, press braking has lower costs and higher efficiency.
Disadvantages of Press Braking
The tolerance of press braking is not as strict as that of roll forming, so the accuracy of the final profile is not high enough.
The appearance and accuracy of the profile depend more on the accuracy and manufacturing method of the material used.
Press braking is suitable for small workpiece manufacturing in small batches.
The length of the press brake is limited, and the press brake cannot bend the metal beyond the body.
In addition, press braking is a process of repeated adjustment, which involves more steps than roll forming.
Press braking is only the first step in manufacturing parts, and cannot manufacture products with complex functions.
The operation process of press braking will also have higher requirements for operators.
The operation process involves different bending methods, such as air bending, bottom bending, and coining.
How to Choose the Appropriate Manufacturing Method?
When choosing different manufacturing methods, the following factors can be considered:
Size of Workpieces
Workpieces of different sizes and volumes require different manufacturing costs.
The manufacturing cost of small workpieces is lower than that of large workpieces.
In the manufacturing process of workpieces, different manufacturing technologies can be used.
Shearing machines and laser cutting machines can be used to cut sheet metals.
Then you can process it with a stamping machine or bend it with a press brake.
Different manufacturing processes are suitable for different materials.
The ductility and tensile strength of materials are different.
Press braking and roll forming are suitable for materials with low strength.
Because of the poor ductility of high-strength materials, it is difficult to bend and roll forming.
Unsuitable materials will produce a large amount of waste and damage the toolings.
Some workpiece designs are more suitable for stamping, such as holes, embossing, etc.
The cutting edge of laser cutting will be smoother, while the edge of stamping will have many cracks.
The shape and complexity of the workpiece also affect the choice of the metal forming method.
Roll forming can form complex linear shapes only once while bending requires many times.
In fact, all the choices are to reduce costs with the same quality.
The labor input cost of stamping automation is lower than that of manual bending.
There is little difference in tooling cost between roll forming and press braking.
Roll forming can save costs for the mass production of large workpieces.
Small workpieces and small batch manufacturing are more suitable for press braking.