Buying a Roll Forming Machine vs. Manufactured Roll Forming

Manufacturing & Tooling CapabilitiesIf you are considering purchasing a roll-forming machine or a manufactured roll-formed panel, it’s essential that you understand the benefits and drawbacks of the two options. Roller Die + Forming makes custom roll formed parts and many of our customers originally had their own roll forming machines and found it was easier to purchase the parts from us then develop that expertise in house.

A Roll Forming Machine Vs. Manufacturing Roll Formed Parts – Which Is a Better Option?

Analyzing the pros and cons of both options would help you make a better business decision that meets your needs for metal roofing panel, solar panels, automotive parts, appliance parts, or other custom solution.

Benefits of Buying a Roll Forming Machine

  • Convenience: You gain control over the panel production process without depending on a third party.
  • Faster Turnaround Time: Assuming you have the ability to keep the machine running and make and maintain tooling, you don’t have to adhere to a supplier’s timeline or wait for your goods to be delivered. If you’re doing a high volume of a single part, then having a roll forming machine in-house can be an advantage.
  • Get Your Desired Length: Just like when we produce parts at Roller Die + Forming, you can produce the exact length you need rather than lapping panels to get the required length. After all, the reason you’re considering custom roll forming is to get the exact parts you want. Our engineering team has decades of experience helping our customers maximize their designs
  • Avoid Waste: Roll forming is a very low-waste process, but unless you’re using the machine frequently, it will likely sit idle and take up a lot of space in your facility. This is one of the main reasons many of our customers decide to outsource their roll forming.

Drawbacks of Buying a Roll Forming Machine

  • Financial Investment: This is one of the major drawbacks to buying a roll-forming machine. Whether you decide to rent, lease or buy outrightly, you’ll have to invest money. You’ll also need to perform regular maintenance, which can also cost you money. In addition, with each profile you want to roll, you’ll have to purchase and maintain tooling. Roller Die’s standard tooling library can cut this cost significantly, making the startup cost much lower.
  • Machine problems: When there’s a machine breakdown, work processes will be disrupted, which can affect your profit. At Roller Die, we have many machines that can run the same size parts, meaning that if one machine is down, we can run your part on a different line. In the meantime, our maintenance staff is very familiar with roll forming machines and our in house toolroom is on site and ready to perform all needed maintenance.
  • Training for the machine operator: You’ll need to hire and train a machine operator for your roll forming machine, which can increase your overhead cost. Roller Die + Forming not only has an experienced team on hand, we can also perform inline value added processes such as stamping and welding.

Benefits of Buying Manufactured Roll Formed Panel

  • No Need for Machine Investment: With a manufactured roll-formed parts available, you don’t need to spend money to buy a roll forming machine. Instead, take advantage of our Standard Tooling Library and only pay for any custom punches or cut-off dies you need. Even if you need to invest in custom tooling, we can amortize that cost over the life of your project, keeping your investment low.
  • No Need to Employ a Machine Operator: This is beneficial to small-scale businesses with smaller capital. They do not need a machine operator, so they save more money by not hiring someone with that unique skillset.
  • You Avoid the Cost Of Maintenance: Like every other machine, roll forming machines usually require regular maintenance, which increases cost. This can get quite expensive on a machine that isn’t being used all the time as machines don’t like to sit.
  • Quality Parts: Manufactured roll-formed parts are usually high quality thanks to our excellent in-house quality control team. They take quality seriously, always looking for ways to improve. Our team frequently brags about going for months without a single part being returned for quality reasons.

Essential Business Supply ChainDrawbacks of Manufactured Roll Forming

  • Reliance on the Factory Panel Supplier: Getting a reputable, reliable supplier can be challenging. Relying on suppliers leaves you at their mercy which can affect your business, especially when there’s a delay. You want to make sure you have a supplier that is in a strong financial position and can afford to purchase bulk raw material to secure good rates, especially in the current economic climate.
  • Shipping Problems: You will need to arrange your own shipping from our facility to yours. Thankfully, our team is experience with packaging and can help you design functional and re-usable packaging to keep costs low. You can also take advantage of our multiple locations by having your part made at the Roller Die + Forming plant closest to your location.

How to Know if Buying a Roll Forming Machine or Manufactured Roll Formed Panel is Best for You

  • Check your budget to know how much you can spend. Even if you can afford a machine, is it really the best purchase? How frequently will you use it? Do you have the skills in house to run and maintain the machine?
  • Analyze your timing expectations and determine if you can work with a manufacturer’s timeline or not. Roller Die ships parts just in time, making sure you have the parts you need but aren’t paying to warehouse or stockpile extra parts.

Final Thoughts

Your business needs would determine the best way forward. If you’ve purchased a roll forming machine and are reconsidering, Roller Die can discuss taking on your machine and tooling and handling production and maintenance for you. Unless you’re going to be doing a huge volume of a single part, it’s generally much better to allow a supplier like Roller Die to handle the roll forming while you focus on using those parts to create your final product. We have customers in the automotive, train, tractor-trailer, solar, appliance, office furniture, material handling, and conveyor industries and can handle their volumes with ease.

Contact us today at Roller Die + Forming to know more about our roll forming services. We produce high-quality, precise, strong, and durable parts to meet your different needs. We can handle all your large orders quantities, including prototypes and high volume productions.