Roll forming services create metal shapes with uniform cross-sections. Sheets, strips, coils, wires or foils are fed between successive pairs of rollers that progressively bend and form the metal until the desired shape and cross-section is obtained. The roll forming process adds strength and rigidity to ferrous metals, nonferrous metals, exotic metals and alloys, and composite materials. Roll forming services produce many different shapes. Roll-formed angled shapes are usually bent at a 90° degree angle. C-shapes and U-shapes are three-sided channels with ends that are rolled inward or unrolled, respectively. Hats are similar to C-shapes and U-shapes, but have ends that are rolled outward 90° to the sides. Round, rectangular, hexagonal and square tubes are similar to pipes, but have thinner walls. Other standard metal shapes include rings, S-shapes, and Z-shapes. Some roll forming services also provide specialized or custom shapes for specific applications. Material thickness, width, and diameter are important specifications to consider.
Roll forming services perform several rolling processes. Cold rolling is performed below a metal’s softening point in order to create strain and achieve work-hardening. Hot rolling occurs above the metal’s softening point, but at temperatures which do not create strain hardening. Temper rolling subjects metal sheets and strips to a slight amount of cold rolling after annealing in order to prevent stretcher strains. Roll forming services also provide manufacturing capabilities such as bending or curving, corrugating, embossing, machining, notching, painting, powder coating, plating, press braking, slitting, and stamping. Punching produces holes before, during or after the roll forming process. Toll processing, tool making, and welding services are commonly available. Roll forming services that provide support and production services may offer assembly services, computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), prototyping, low volume or high volume production, just-in-time (JIT) capabilities, or packaging and shipping services.
Roll forming services provide several types of certifications. ISO 9001:2000 establishes requirements for company quality management systems and covers standards ranging from manufacturing to services such as design, development, production, and installation. AS 9000 is a set of quality guidelines and requirements published by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in cooperation with major aerospace manufacturers. AS9000 is based on ISO 9001 but maintains a particular focus on the aerospace industry. QS 9000 is a quality standard for suppliers of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation. QS-9000 is based on the 1994 edition of ISO 9001, but contains additional requirements that are particular to the automotive industry. Specifically, QS 9000 applies to suppliers of production materials, production and service parts, heat-treating, painting and plating and other finishing services.