The Brain of Roll Forming Machine: PLC Control system
A roll forming machine roll forms steel sheets into desired shapes automatically and continuously. It is because of the PLC control system that the roll former can work fully automatically.
What is PLC control system?
PLC is the abbreviation of Programmable Logic Controller. It is an industry specialized computer control system used to control machines and processes. Unlike personal computer, PLC is designed to continuously monitors the state of input devices and makes decisions based upon a custom program to control the state of output devices. PLC shares common terms with typical PCs like central processing unit, memory, software and communications. It survives in a rugged industrial atmosphere, very flexible in how it interfaces with inputs and outputs to the real world.
PLC is widely applied for so many industrial applications that we can not list all of them. In many occassions, PLC control system tends to work as the brain of the production line, such as Roll Forming Machine.
PLC- The brain of Roll Forming Machine Line
If rolling tool is considered to be the heart of a roll forming line, then PLC contorller is the brain. As the brain, PLC gives orders that a roll forming machine must obey to work. Take an IBR sheet roll forming machine for example. When operator needs to produce IBR roofing sheets, two numbers are needed: Length and Quantities.
Operator types into HMI required cutting length and quantities, then PLC tells the machine when to stop and cut down. After cutting, PLC controls the cutoff blades back and tells the machine contiue to work. Only in this way, can the whole roll forming production process including cutting be continuous and automatic.
The program is easier for the metal roofing sheet machine, like the above mentioned ibr sheet roll forming machine. It will be much more complicated if there are more processes on the roll forming line, such as punching, notching or bending.
A highway guardrail roll forming machine typically has pre-punching tool and that will require punching program with the PLC controller. Operator types into HMI required holes code, holes numbers or distances, as well as cutting specifications, and PLC will give the order to the roll former for continuous and automatic production.
Brands of PLC controller
For roll forming applications, manufacturers have their own favorite brands. For example, some manufacturers use Chinese brand for domestic markets, and uses Panasonic or Mitsubishi for middle eastern or south American markets, and in Euorpean or north American markets Siemens brand is prefered.
MTC is big fan of Panasonic and Siemens brand PLC control system, and if you demand a customised brand, we are ready for a discussion.