Roller Forming an Oval Part

A Wide Flat Roller Solution

Posted on 01/30/2019 | by The Orbitform Blog Team


When you need to assemble round, thin-walled, tubular, metal parts, there are some unique challenges to overcome. Typical assembly processes like crimping can result in cracking, an inconsistent form, or part failure. Orbitform's Roller Forming process is a solution to the challenges possible with these parts.


What is Roller Forming?

Roller Forming is a non-impact assembly process utilizing two or more spinning rollers. The rollers apply consistent force around the full 360-degree revolution of the part. Traditionally in a vertical application, Static Roller Forming applies downward force only. Articulating Roller Forming allows the force to be applied horizontally, perpendicular to the part; perfect for forming around features that obstruct straight-on access to the forming area. Roller Forming is often used to flare, form a lip, crimp, or form a groove in cylindrical parts.

An Even More Unique Challenge

Customer inquiry: “Can you roller form the edge of an oval shaped part to create a lip that retains a thin flat plate?” Their existing process used a plastic cap that snapped onto the part, but they were looking for a more secure forming process. Our Lab Technicians, excited by the challenge, reviewed the application and agreed that a wide flat roller might be a solution.

Since our roller forming process spins in a perfect circle, our biggest concern was how to maintain full contact with the oval part. We were also concerned that too much downward force could cause the thin plate to buckle in the middle.

Providing a Solution

Orbitform tested samples in our Solutions Lab using the Static Roller Forming process. Using rollers wider than our standard rollers, we maintained contact with the part edge throughout the spinning process. The inside edge of the rollers contacted the edge across the width of the part, while the outside edge contacted the part across the length.

We also tested how far we could form the edge before the plate buckled. Our lab technicians adjusted the stop position on the powerhead, changing how far the powerhead advanced during the forming process. We ran several parts at longer distances until the plate bulged in the middle. From this data, we determined the right forming distance to properly retain the plate without it buckling.

Equipment Recommendations

After lab testing, we were able to specify the necessary equipment options required to assemble their part:

• Custom wide rollers to maintain contact with the part

• A Thru-Spindle Pressure Pad to hold the plate in place during forming

A Servo-Z Hard Stop Mechanism and Process Monitoring Package to ensure that the powerhead advances to the correct position to consistently form their parts.

If you are facing challenges during part assembly, our Solution's Lab is an invaluable resource. We can run your sample parts using any of our core processes to find the solution that delivers the desired outcome for your assembly needs.

If you have a unique assembly challenge, contact us to work with our Solution’s Lab at