JÄGER Busi­ness Blog

Eas­i­er instal­la­tion of edge pro­tec­tion

pro­files by roll forming

03.08.2022   | Sascha Winter

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Assem­bling edge pro­tec­tion pro­files is time-con­sum­ing, error-prone and, in some cas­es, phys­i­cal­ly demand­ing. For this rea­son, it makes sense for com­pa­nies to sup­port the assem­bly process with tech­ni­cal aids. This can be achieved, for exam­ple, with roll-form­ing devices that work accord­ing to the roll-form­ing principle.

How does roll form­ing work?

While U‑shaped gas­ket pro­file is fit­ted with closed sides dur­ing man­u­al assem­bly, these sides ini­tial­ly remain open dur­ing roll form­ing. The pro­file sits loose­ly on the edge and is only fixed in place in a sec­ond work step. For this pur­pose, a met­al band is incor­po­rat­ed into the sides, which holds the seal in place after it has been pressed together.

For the fix­a­tion, a device is used which is equipped with two ver­ti­cal rollers that press on the gas­ket from both sides. Mean­while, a hor­i­zon­tal roller press­es on the pro­file from above and holds it in place. The rollers rotate in oppo­site direc­tions, caus­ing the tool to trav­el along the edge and even­ly press the legs togeth­er. The tool is designed for hand use. The employ­ee only have to guide it.

The force required for this oper­a­tion is low. The tool does have a per­cep­ti­ble dead weight, but this can be com­pen­sat­ed for with strain relief. As a rule, the tool is oper­at­ed by a pneu­mat­ic motor. How­ev­er, for high­er mobil­i­ty require­ments, the use of a recharge­able bat­tery is also conceivable.

What are the advantages?

The biggest advan­tage of seal assem­bly via roll form­ing is the time saved. Putting on edge pro­tec­tion pro­files man­u­al­ly is always a fid­dly job, espe­cial­ly when there are defects or uneven­ness­es to be removed. With the roll­form­ing method, the fit­ters only have to loose­ly attach the pro­file and then run the tool over the edge. This takes much less time, which is par­tic­u­lar­ly rel­e­vant for series production.

Assem­bly with equip­ment sup­port also offers qual­i­ta­tive advan­tages. It results in a more uni­form con­tact edge com­pared to the man­u­al pro­ce­dure. This is asso­ci­at­ed with force, often using aids such as ham­mers. The result is a wavy pro­file with inden­ta­tions where the ham­mer struck. This impairs seal­ing per­for­mance, as the edge no longer clos­es com­plete­ly and gaps are created.

Roll form­ing, on the oth­er hand, results in a uni­form seal­ing pro­file. In addi­tion, the pull-off force is high­er than with man­u­al­ly struck pro­files, even with dif­fer­ent flange jumps caused by sheet met­al or cladding parts.

Last but not least, equip­ment-assist­ed assem­bly is good for the health of the employ­ees. Mount­ing a pro­file requires force and is a strain on one side. With dozens of such oper­a­tions per day, there is a risk of long-term mus­cu­loskele­tal dis­or­ders. In fact, ten­dini­tis is a com­mon clin­i­cal pic­ture in assem­bly. When used cor­rect­ly, roll­form­ing equip­ment relieves the strain on employ­ees, reduces the risk of injury and thus pre­vents staff absences.

What are the weak­ness­es of roll form­ing assembly?

The equip­ment-sup­port­ed assem­bly of edge pro­tec­tion pro­files is not suit­able for all areas of appli­ca­tion. For exam­ple, tight radii (small­er than R25) and cor­ner pro­files are prob­lem­at­ic because the device can­not go around them.

Cer­tain pro­file types are also not com­pat­i­ble with the tool. This applies, for exam­ple, to seals with sol­id rub­ber pro­files, as these absorb some of the pres­sure exert­ed by the rollers. As a result, the legs are no longer suf­fi­cient­ly com­pressed and the gas­ket sits too loose­ly on the edge, com­pro­mis­ing seal­ing performance.

Tip: 

In order to opti­mal­ly match the roll form­ing tool, a num­ber of fac­tors must be tak­en into account, includ­ing pro­file cross-sec­tion, flange thick­ness, radii, height jumps, cladding parts if applic­a­ble, and the loca­tion of use. If in doubt, it is advis­able to con­sult experts who already have expe­ri­ence with the method. 

Anoth­er dis­ad­van­tage con­cerns the finan­cial side. Roll­form­ing equip­ment involves invest­ment costs that must first be amor­tized. There­fore, this method is less suit­able for com­pa­nies that assem­ble edge pro­files only in small quantities.

How­ev­er, this dis­ad­van­tage must be viewed in rel­a­tive terms. In terms of time sav­ings, a roll­form­ing unit may not be worth­while for small quan­ti­ties. How­ev­er, if the health of the employ­ees is tak­en into account, the use of these tools is well worth­while, even with a longer pay­back period.

Con­clu­sion

Sup­port­ing the assem­bly of edge pro­tec­tion pro­files with roll form­ing equip­ment has a num­ber of advan­tages. The time required is reduced, errors occur less fre­quent­ly, and the col­leagues respon­si­ble are phys­i­cal­ly relieved, which pre­vents staff absences. It is true that these devices are not suit­able for all areas of appli­ca­tion and are asso­ci­at­ed with cer­tain invest­ment costs. How­ev­er, these costs are amor­tized with the appro­pri­ate num­ber of units. In addi­tion, the health of the work­force is worth the finan­cial outlay.

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Secure the Start of Production 

Learn which fac­tors influ­ence your SOP!

Author: Sascha Winter

Sascha Win­ter is an expert for prod­uct and process devel­op­ment at Jäger. The trained mold mak­er and tech­ni­cian orig­i­nal­ly comes from the auto­mo­tive sec­tor and has been work­ing with rub­ber and plas­tics for more than 30 years.

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