The deliberation between upgrading and replacing a roll forming machine is a common challenge for many manufacturing industries. A roll forming machine is a vital component of the production process, requiring regular maintenance and sometimes major upgrades or even the acquisition of a new machine.
This article addresses the key aspects of renovating roll forming machines, considering economic, production, and safety factors.
Aging of the machine and decline in Quality
As a machine ages, its parts inevitably wear, reflected in the deteriorated performance of cutters and decline in profile quality. When bends no longer maintain desired dimensions and the corners of rolls show excessive wear or deformity, it becomes evident that the machine cannot produce the required quality level. This can lead to decreased production efficiency and an increase in rejected pieces.
When the roll forming machine‘s cutter wears and loosens, a roughness or so-called ‘edge burr’ appears on the cutting surface. This roughness poses handling problems and safety risks with the final product, particularly the sharpness of the edges, which can cause injuries. Acquiring a new, compatible cutter is possible but can be costly if a suitable cutter is available.
We have also encountered new roll forming machines that failed to meet production quality standards in terms of bending and cutting finish, even after numerous adjustments and repairs. The design and construction of a roll forming machine thus directly impact the quality produced throughout its lifecycle.
Importance of operational safety
Operational safety is an essential part of the production process. The lack or inadequacy of safety features in old machines not only poses risks to workers but may also violate current safety regulations. Safety standards are continuously evolving, and modern machines are designed to meet stricter requirements.
Upgrade or acquire a new roll forming machine?
The central question in decision-making is whether the old machine can still be upgraded or if investing in a new machine is more economically viable. This depends on several factors, such as the current condition of the machine, the extent of needed upgrades, and future production needs.
Benefits and challenges of upgrading
Upgrading can be a cost-effective solution if the machine’s basic structure is still in good condition and the required improvements are relatively minor, like replacing or updating individual rolls. Upgrading can extend the machine’s service life and enhance its performance without the need for substantial initial investments.
Advantages of a new machine
A new machine offers several advantages. It is designed with modern standards in mind, meaning better performance, higher production quality, and compliance with stricter safety regulations. Additionally, a new machine may provide lower maintenance costs in the long term. Acquiring a new machine is particularly justified if there is pressure for production growth and a likely future need for increased capacity.
Worker well-being, affecting work ergonomics and comfort, should not be overlooked either. Worker welfare has a more significant impact on long-term production efficiency than machines. Modern roll forming machines consider ergonomics, as well as factors affecting work fluency and machine usability.
Economic factors weigh in
In economic considerations, it’s essential to account for not only immediate costs but also long-term savings and production efficiency enhancements. While acquiring a new machine requires a larger initial investment, the benefits it brings can be significant. This includes reduced maintenance costs, a lower rejection rate, and improved production efficiency.
When contemplating the upgrade or acquisition of a new roll forming machine, it’s crucial to evaluate the current machine’s condition, safety requirements, production needs, and economic factors. An upgrade may be sensible if it can meet current production demands and safety standards.
On the other hand, investing in a new machine can be justified if it enables production growth and brings significant long-term benefits. The final decision depends on the specific needs and future plans of the company.
For assistance in decision-making regarding new machine investment calculations or in servicing and renovating roll forming machines, our experts, with experience in both projects, can help.
We offer a maintenance and spare parts service for all our new machines, ensuring uninterrupted operation throughout the machine’s life cycle. This service is available worldwide.