In most cases today a tube is a semi-manufactured product, which has to undergo further processing until it becomes the final product. Tube manufacturing itself is only one part of a comprehensive process chain. The concept of Multifunctional Roll Forming is based on an integration of down-stream processes into the tube mill. Both - tube manufacturer and his client - can benefit from this development. A reduction of the number of processes in a process chain always means cost reduction. The capability to supply value-added tubes opens up new market opportunities for tube manufacturers.
Multifunctional Roll Forming means to integrate additional processes like piercing, notching, embossing, fixing nuts or bolts and many other processes into tube mills. If such an integration was done in the past it was dedicated for one specific product only. Multifunctional Roll Forming is completely different. Because any of the above mentioned operations can be integrated highly flexibly at any position within the machine only by exchanging Work Modules.
Such Work Modules have the same size like a Dreistern Roll Forming Tool Cassette. In the same way like an operator is changing a roll forming tool cassette, he can now also change Work Modules. In order to achieve an even higher flexibility such Work Modules can be exchanged also between different tube mills or roll forming machines. For that reason they are equipped with separate control units with standard interfaces which can communicate with the main machine control.
The advantage of such a solution is obvious. Multifunctional machines can be configured precisely and rapidly according to the actual requirements of a new product. The foot print of such a machine can be reduced by 30% to 50% compared to conventional technology. No redundant line component whatsoever is increasing the machine-hour rate. Exactly this was the objective of the Dreistern development: More flexibility, but less cost and less required space.
At the TUBE 2014 in Düsseldorf Dreistern offers the opportunity to study a tube mill equipped with Multifunctional Roll Forming. The TUBE 2014 is an excellent opportunity to learn more about this promising technology.