The Difference Between Roller Forming and Crimping
When it comes to choosing assembly equipment, the process selected depends heavily on the desired outcome. Some processes may “get the job done” but lead to quality issues that can negatively impact throughput. This is especially true for cylindrical parts where retention and aesthetics are important, such as with water pumps, bearings, ball joints, air bag canisters, electrical sensors, and pistons, to name a few. Many manufacturers turn to crimping for their cylindrical parts, but Roller Forming may be the optimal process solution.
What is Crimping?
Crimping is a common method for joining two or more cylindrical parts together. A single focal point applies force perpendicularly along specific points around the part. This will deform one or both components to hold the parts together. While this can be an effective method for assembling components, the finished form is not aesthetically pleasing and each point of force during crimping can introduce quality issues into the assembly.
What is Roller Forming?
Orbitform’s Roller Forming process is a non-impact processes that uses a spinning roller head with two or more rollers to apply a symmetrical force to a cylindrical part. The resulting form of the part depends on part geometry, roller geometry, and the direction in which the force is applied. Static Roller Forming applies downward force, or axial force, to form the edge over creating a lip or flaring material outward. Articulating Roller Forming applies the force from the side, or radially, and can be used to form a groove in the part or to clear obstructions to form a lip.
Why Choose Roller Forming?
Manufacturers often replace their crimping process with roller forming for increased quality and a more aesthetically pleasing finished form. The spinning roller head applies symmetrical force to the part with 360 degrees of contact. The force is distributed evenly across the part and can eliminate stress cracks induced by multi-point crimping. This also minimizes scuffing as the material is rolled around a controlled diameter and results in a smooth, aesthetically pleasing finished form. The non-impact nature of the process, combined with its inherent precision and accuracy, also make it possible to form delicate or brittle materials that may not be able to be crimped.
Advantages of Roller Forming
- Minimizes rocking by distributing force evenly across large diameter parts.
- Reduces scuffing, galling, and material pickup.
- Allows for forming powder, zinc, or Teflon coated parts.
- Able to clear obstructions with our Articulating Roller Forming process.
- Can form thin-walled, large diameter parts in both inner and outer directions.
- Optional Through Spindle Pressure Pad to compress material before forming.
- Smaller tooling for forming larger diameter parts.
- Process monitoring capabilities for force and distance monitoring.
While there are many ways to assemble a part, the more common methods may not be the best fit for every application. For cylindrical parts, Roller Forming can increase efficiency and accuracy while creating an aesthetically pleasing lip or groove in the part. If your current crimping process is negatively impacting the quality of your part, it may be time to consider another process. Contact Orbitform’s assembly experts today to discuss if Roller Forming can address your current assembly challenges.
Watch a video that demonstrates how our static roller forming process can replace your crimping process.