Plate rolls have always been a hot selling item in the machine tool industry, but they’ve really taken off now with the spike in the aerospace and energy sectors in an otherwise anemic economic climate.
With the sizable investment cost of new rolls and tighter budgets for fabricators, the demand for used plate rolls has dramatically increased. Let’s be honest and save you some time – there are very few quality used rolls currently on the market. When you do find one it is usually a tired, well-worn machine that often requires a lot of work to get the machine up to production standards.
It is our recommendation that if you are rolling plate you might as well make the necessary investment in a new high-quality plate roll for your shop. Financing rates are historically low right now and you can write off a portion of your capital investment.
Make sure that you properly size your machine. There are very few things worse than purchasing equipment that doesn’t have the capacity for your demands. In fact, it is our opinion that you should buy a heavier machine than you think you might need. Even if you don’t roll to that larger size, the extra capacity will cause less strain on your machine to produce good parts in your standard sizes. Demand that your machinery sales consultant perform a complete parts analysis to make certain you are purchasing the right size plate roll.
You also need to consider the pre-bending capabilities of the roll you are looking to purchase. The pre-bending step is the initial bend on your plate when you begin the rolling process. Your better quality plate rolls will usually have the capacity to pre-bend about 1.5 to 3.0 times the top roll diameter. Using a 4-roll plate roll machine instead of a 3-roll will give you the benefit of a minimizing the flat spot on the part during pre-bending. Four-roll machines also do not require the operator to remove, flip and then try to square and reposition the plate a second time after pre-bending, as has to be done on a 3-roll. The material stays pinched securely in the machine, greatly reducing the chance of you losing your reference. For most applications we recommend purchasing a 4-roll machine.
You also need to employ good operators in order to attract and maintain new customers. Note that we said operators – with an “S” – as in more than one. You should be sure to have two or more people skillful in the art of rolling – and it is an art. This will insure that your business isn’t interrupted due to sickness, turnover, or any other employment-related situation.
Your investment in superior equipment and people will allow you to increase your profit margins as you produce higher quality parts and the dollars will keep rolling in for many years to come.
Call JMT today to order your very own quality plate roll at (855)773-7727.