Thursday, September 6, 2012

Rollforming 3D

Rollforming in 3 dimensions!

Australian rollformers have problems with some of the roof rollforming mills that run in 2D! Imagine some of problems with these? But the ORTIC machines utilise a completely different method - roll in 3D once only and !

Lars Ingvarsson: the world expert on 3D rollforming has a great article on the ORTIC Group and discusses the future of 3D rollforming.

3D rollforming is not new - but the latest developments by ORTIC Group that supplied the BEMO mobile panel roof and wall system used in the Budapest Arena below is different in many ways.
Bemo Mobile Mills with the ORTIC 3D rollformer.
This is not the same as the tapered sheets that some of the Australian rollformers manufacture! The 3D sheets can be designed to suit architectural lines and some samples of the sheets are displayed:
The sheets are rolled to suit the building in 3D!
By only having to machine the sheet once is a tremendous timesaver by utilising the rolling process to carry out the 3D capabilities - this uses a complex system of integrated servo drive units linked in series. The ORTIC Group one here uses 24 rollers that shape the roof sheet up to 150 meters long.

Twenty-four rolls shape the components, up to 150 meters long, along four axes.
   The Rexroth group supply all the motors & drive units etc in conjunction with the ORTIC Group - that enable roofing companies like BEMO to supply, manufacture and install on site some of the buildings like below:
The bicycle races at the 2004 Olympics in Athens were staged in this velodrome.
The “Le Tarmac” events arena in Déols, France.
When can we expect to see real 3D rollforming in Australia - well shortly - as early as next year for some new projects rumour has it!


  1. That is machinery porn right there....

    1. Stop thinking of curved steel stud walls Peter!

      Yes! It's great to see someone like Lars Ingvarsson lead in this field! Although New Zealand has more than it's quota of innovative rollforming mill manufacturers!

    2. Coincidentally, I came across this today...

      Good to see innovation in Australia recognised & rewarded.

  2. This type of specialized roll forming has been available in Australia for years. Spencer St Station (Southern Cross) in Melbourne is a great example. The Adelaide Oval Western Grandstand, Mt Stromlo RSAA for ANU in Canberra, Gippsland Water Factory in Morwell, Cardinia Aquatic Centre in Packenham. All great examples that this has been done in Australia already, just not by the big local companies.

    1. I think you'll find the examples you gave are all in Kalzip standing seam - they used two and more machines to get the shape - the one in the article above does it in one pass only.
      The first is the rollformer - then the curver then the tapering machine. Up to three handling of the one sheet.
      Look at the Madrid airport roof video on this page:

    2. All these companies now have the single pass technology (Adelaide Oval was certainly a single pass taper machine) but they all need to do the curving as a separate machine run. Once they get past spring curve limitations the curving is always done as a separate process.
      Madrid was done in 2004-6. The technology has advanced a bit since then. Maybe Kalzip need to update their video section...

    3. What's the cost difference between one machine and two machines?
      Is Peter Blythe's comment right - is this story more about machine porn (what one cool device can do), as compared to what someone that actually buys an interesting roof design experiences (novel design at low cost)?

    4. Anon:

      Absolutely correct - economics will determine the process. Peter Blythe's comment is correct also in that this is machine porn.

      But what about innovations such as one machine, ten coils (multiple colour feed) that can do fascia, ridge cap, guttering, barge moulds and all flashings. The reason for the article was not to downgrade the importance of the current systems - but to look to the future of metal and its applications.

      3D rollforming will come at a price - but it needs to adapt to become economical. The current rollforming innovations have essentially been the same for the last 15 to 20 years. 3D rollforming to current technology is similar to comparing the 20 year mobile portable phone brick to the iPad.

    5. Roofer, I understand where you're coming from... but isn't there a difference between process (2D vs 3D rollforming vs other sheet forming methods) and outcome (brick phone vs iPad)?

    6. Yes, you're right!

      Probably a bad comparison with the phone analogy!
      But current rollforming ie corrugated is in reality only 1D - a tapered profiled sheet is 2D - a tapered profiled and curved sheet is 3D. Imagine all in the one machine.

      I just think that such technolgy as variable drive units running top, bottom, side and profiling at the same time would be a sight to look at.

      Counting the profile as a dimension probably clouds the 3D terminology a bit.

  3. Anything 3D made with metal has to start is 1D flat sheet, transform to 2D shape, and then to 3D form.
    Stages 1 and 2 are standard production for those that have invested in the technology.
    Creating the form is the specialist domain.
    Imagine an orange peel slice. the 1D flat sheet needs to be an elliptical shape to create the final double curve shape of the orange slice. (cut one, bite out the orange and lay the skin flat).
    Creating this form in a finished metal skin is the final domain. Still not possible in a single process, only 1 and 2.

  4. In the following video you can see how the BEMO monro rollformer is working, enjoy...