Intelligent roll forming processes through monitoring of drive torques

The research project focuses on increasing energy efficiency by eliminating decelerating torques. In order to analyze the energy demand, a sensory monitoring of the profiling process is necessary (Fig. 1). The obtained data will be used to investigate optimization methods. An implementation of the results into the control system is planned to display real-time process states as well as identified optimization potential.

Fig. 1: Concept of improving energy efficiency in roll forming through process monitoring


In times of climate change, efficient use of energy is a global objective. The industrial sector accounts for more than half of the energy consumption worldwide. A large part of the annual steel production is processed by roll forming. In this process, the sheet metal is conveyed through the forming line by frictional contact with the roller tools. Since the diameter of the upper and lower rollers varies in the contact zone with the sheet, the peripheral speed differs locally from the sheet speed. As a result, the sheet is decelerated locally within the forming stand.


In cooperation with the project partner, an intelligent roll forming line will be developed. Each shaft will be equipped with a sensor for an inline monitoring of drive torques. In addition to uncoupling complete roll forming stands, local measures such as rotating roll segments, modifications of forming gaps, controlled lubricant application, roughening or smoothing of certain roll segments and gear ratio adjustments are investigated. Building a numerical simulation model allows the investigation of different roll geometries as well as a systematic adjustment of the tribological system.


The PtU would like to thank the “Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen ‘Otto von Guericke’ e.V. (AiF)” and the project partner DREISTERN GmbH & Co. KG. for their support.