In industrial settings, tooling operations hold value during the fabrication of metal parts. Today, a variety of devices permit manufacturers to transform work pieces into useful shapes. From bores and drills, to jigs, fixtures, patterns and dies, inventors have developed an impressive array of items to enhance tooling and machining.
Rollers have become one of the most useful and widely adopted types of devices employed in high volume commercial and manufacturing facilities. An impressive variety of industrial rollers exist on the marketplace today. These devices facilitate production objectives in a number of industries. Inventors have developed highly specialized machinery to perform roller functions. The metal parts, paper and textile fabrication industries use this equipment.
Fabricators utilize rollers widely in modern industrial facilities. In its most basic form, a roller serves as a revolving cylinder. Manufacturers may use this tool either as a means of transport in a conveyor, or as a mechanism for pressing, shaping, or smoothing material. This dual functionality lends a unique quality to industrial rollers.
For example, consider two common situations in which industrial rollers of radically different circumferences promote product fabrication within the metal parts manufacturing industry. In some settings, oversized industrial rollers (well over 20 feet in length) help companies create metal mesh and webbing. This manufacturing process may involve the application of proprietary heat transfer films unwound automatically from a turning metal roller, for instance. In others facilities, metal parts manufacturers employ thin metal rollers to help bend sheet metal in desired ways. An incredible diversity of industrial rollers and specialized industrial rolling machinery enhance manufacturing facilities around the world in this century.
Principles of Roller Design
Industrial roller design may involve the use of a variety of cylindrical shapes and materials in order to create a roller capable of performing a desired function during manufacturing. Inventors have developed many different types of excellent industrial rollers and industrial rolling machines. Several factors enter into the creation of these devices.
For instance, all industrial rollers will encounter some degree of friction. In certain settings, design teams must pay particular attention to protecting the roller surface (and, frequently, the surface of a work piece undergoing finishing or machining) from the impact of friction. The extend to which a specific revolving roller will deflect when contacting another surface may affect roller design.
The hardness of the constituent materials used in industrial rollers figures prominently in industrial roller uses today. Some types of very hard rollers may damage soft work pieces, for instance. Manufacturers must consider this issue carefully during the design of industrial rolling machinery, conveyor units and individual rollers.
Another important roller design consideration involves the conformation of the roller itself. Some roller designs involve the use of completely symmetrical cylinders, while others envision rollers displaying grooves, projections or other shapes. When manufacturers use a series of adjoining rollers, for instance on a conveyer belt, the areas of contact between two or more industrial rollers can affect the balance of the system. These borders create "nip pressure" points which requires the use of specially shaped or "crowned" rollers in order to maintain an even distribution of pressure across the surface. The balance of an assembly line of industrial rollers will ultimately affect the useful lifespan of this equipment.
Types of Industrial Rollers
Depending upon the manufacturing project, industrial rollers may consist of metal, rubber, silicone or other constituent materials. Production parameters may require the use of specific layers of material on the exterior of the roller, such as copper, chrome, nickel or Teflon. Additionally, manufacturers sometimes use special abrasion-resistance coatings and lubricants to help the roller withstand the impacts of friction more effectively and to minimize the gradual loss of surface materials during use.
Automation increasingly controls the operation of industrial rollers during fabrication; today many designers use software tools in conjunction with these devices. A computer program may control the revolutions of the roller, for instance. A manufacturer may also employ a variety of specialized roll covers to modify or change the impact of the roller's surface on a work piece. Some popular types of industrial rollers include:
Coating Rollers: There widely used rollers occur in many sizes. They help manufacturers apply decorative or functional coatings to work pieces.
Feed Rollers: Manufacturers often rely upon specialized feed rollers as restraints to help prevent work pieces (or other materials) from sliding out of position.
Grinding Rollers: These specialized rollers perform an abrasive function during manufacturing.
Mandrel Rollers: When a manufacturer desires to create a bend in pipe or other tubular material along an assembly line, a mandrel roller can offer assistance with this task. Mandrels typically facilitate pipe bending by inserting inside the pipe and helping to maintain the integrity of its circumference, preventing compression.
Heat Transfer Rollers: Together with chill rollers, these specialized types of rollers permit manufacturers to accurately control the temperature of a roller as it contacts material along an assembly line. This equipment may assist manufacturers in applying temperature-sensitive films or adhesives to the surface of metal parts.
Crowning Rollers: Rollers in a conveyor system shaped in a way that permits the even distribution of nip pressure points across the surface.
Advantages of Using Rollers
Rollers have achieved widespread use in high volume manufacturing settings because they offer numerous advantages. Revolving rollers expedite the conveyance of parts along an assembly line. Their use may enable a company to move heavy, bulky, or very hot or cold materials more easily through a facility. Additionally, these devices sometimes perform vital smoothing, shaping or pressing functions.