content provided by orbitform

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 solves the possible difficulties with these parts.


What is Static Roller Forming

Static roller heads are used when forming a lip around a cylindrical part. These heads have spinning rollers that use down-force from one of Orbitform’s standard powerheads to create an aesthetically pleasing lip on a surface. These roller heads are consistent and efficient, and the non-impact nature combined with precision and accuracy allows for forming delicate and brittle materials. Using an o-ring or gasket makes it possible to create sealed caps on the end of cylindrical parts.


An Even More Unique Challenge

Material: 6160 Cast Aluminum

Requirement: Form Oval Lip to Retain Cover

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

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

Workpiece without cover plate

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 border across the width of the part, while the outside edge contacted the workpiece across the length.

Our lab technicians adjusted the stop position on the powerhead, changing how far the powerhead advanced during the forming process. We also tested how far we could form the edge before the plate buckled. 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 buckling.

Equipment Recommendations

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


B-750 with Static Roller Forming Head


  • Powerhead: M-750
  • PSI: 80; Dwell: 1.0; Force: 1033; RPM: 300
  • 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 form their parts consistently.

Our Solution’s Lab is invaluable if you face challenges during part assembly. 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.

Contact us today to discuss your next assembly application and utilize our Solutions Lab.