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Roll Forming Post-Cut or Pre-Cut Advantages and Disadvantages | Custom Roll Forming | Post-Cut Roll

Roll Forming Post-Cut or Pre-Cut Advantages and Disadvantages

When roll forming producers are making serious decisions about new roll form products, it is critical to consider the best mill configuration to produce the desired product.  The options involve when to make the cut-off, choosing between roll forming pre-cut material or post-cutting the material.  With pre-cut material, the strip is cut before entering the roll forming mill, whereas with post-cut material, the strip is cut after the product is shaped through the roll forming mill.  There are advantages and disadvantages to each choice.  The following points should be helpful in choosing the best option for your roll forming application:

Advantages of a post-cut roll form line:

  • Increased production and less downtime, since material is fed continuously through the roll former
  • Typically, fewer forming stations are required, since there is no need for the material to self-thread
  • After a new coil is threaded, the leading edge of the profile does not get deformed
  • Tooling tends to wear longer between reconditioning, yielding more linear footage
  • End flare, twist, camber and bow defects are easier to control
  • Minor mill adjustments are possible with continuously fed material under load in the roll former
  • Part lengths are not limited by mill specs (i.e. horizontal centers); if floor space is an issue, the parts can be run directly to the outside of the building

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Disadvantages of a post-cut roll form line:

  • Edge condition from the cut-off die can leave a slight burr and/or distortion with hemmed parts or non-supported areas of a cross-section
  • More cut-off die inserts are required, when there are many sizes or combinations for a given product
  • Sometimes it is better to form a pre-cut strip, when there is a severely notched feature in the product
  • When pre-notching is needed, the mill system requires additional capital to add the cut-off press to the system

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Advantages of a pre-cut roll form line:Custom Roll Forming

  • Generally, it is less expensive to utilize an existing electronic feed system already used in the pre-shear, as opposed to adding a second post-cut press at the end of the mill
  • Hand feeding strips is more economical for low-volume production
  • Some notch configurations make it easier to run pre-cut strips
  • Combination roll tooling that forms multiple strip widths does not require shear die changeover
  • Parts with severe notches or complex cross-sections may not cut well after roll forming

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Disadvantages of a pre-cut roll form line:


  • Strips must self-thread without damage to the lead edges, normally requiring additional forming stations
  • Lead and trail ends of pre-cut strips are not supported against adjacent roll passes, resulting in straightening issues
  • Auxiliary guides may be required to control the material as it transitions from pass to pass
  • Tooling generally experiences more abuse and wear from lead-in edge of profile
  • End flare condition on exit and lead-in edge can be more prominent on pre-cut parts
  • Twist, end flare, and bow are harder to minimize, when forming pre-cut parts – especially asymmetrical profiles
  • Material can jam or double up in production and cause damage to the roll former and tooling
  • Producing shorter parts has limitations – the profile should be engaged in three forming stations at all times
  • If floor space is a concern, longer parts require a material conveyor between the pre-notch press and the roll former, equal to or greater than the longest part

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