Original Date: 05/08/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Large Extrusion Contour Roll Forming
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA)-St. Louis has installed a precision contour roll machine system that is capable of rolling and forming complex shapes in long extrusions of uniform or variable thickness and unlimited length (greater than 3 feet). Previous operations to shape these long extrusions had to be accomplished manually using complex stretch dies, and were dependent on the skill and experience of the mechanic.
In 1993, MDA-St. Louis obtained a 6-axis, CNC-controlled contour rolling machine from a sister division. Only one of five in existence, the machine was constructed by L&F Industries, Huntington Park, CA. It was refitted with new controls that utilized a 486 PC with Windows-based software in the fourth quarter of 1994. This upgrade significantly improved the accuracy of the machine and increased its capabilities to accurately measure the length of the extrusion as it is fed through the rollers, thereby ensuring exact bend locations throughout the entire length of the part.
With a maximum capacity rated at section modules of 4 inches by 4 inches by 3/16-inch thick in mild steel, the machine is capable of rolling parts with complex shapes extruded from aluminum, steel and titanium. Structural sections that can be contoured include tees, angles, zees, channels, jays, hat sections as well as pipes, rods and heavy wall tubing. Current application of the machine includes programming parts at the machine using CNC control and storing the data for future repeat operations. Future plans include downloading the part’s engineering data directly into the machine control.
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