Roll forming sheet metal can be accomplished using both plate rolls and press brakes. There are pros and cons to each machine type, and neither one is necessarily better for the job—it really depends on the application.

Knowing the job specifications and material type in advance will help greatly as you decide whether to use a plate roll or press brake.

Plate rolls are usually great for large quantities of cylinders

RBD-3H 15/8 Three-roll plate-roll

Hydraulic three-roll plate roll

If your fabrication shop mainly needs to roll a lot of cylinders, then you want a plate roll. If you’re rolling at least 20 large-diameter tubes each day, then a plate roll becomes an esstential machine to have in your fab shop.

Plate rolls can come with 3 or 4 rolls, and can be mechanical or hydraulic.

The size and kind of plate roll you would want to get are determined largely by the capacity needed for the job that you’re doing. If your fabrication shop goes through a lot of jobs involving a particular range of lengths and plate thicknesses, then you will have a pretty good idea of what your needs are.

Our KAAST fabrication experts can also help choose the right size plate roll based on your needs, and they can be reached by calling directly (610) 441-7317 or by sending us an email.

Press brakes allow a wider variety of bending for diverse applications

HPB 6100 CNC Press Brake

CNC hydraulic press brake

If your work load is a lot more diverse, and you can anticipate using different kinds of bends as well as different varieties of parts, then you will want to have the flexibility needed to work on a series of assorted jobs.

In this case, a press brake provides the flexibility to bump form cylinders and perform many other kinds of bends for various applications.

CNC controlled hydraulic press brakes are perfect for complicated, sensitive, single or multiple bendings at high speed.

The bending length and tonnage needed when purchasing a press brake are determined by application and what size and thickness of metal you are bending.

Having a wide variety of tooling options available for different applications makes a press brake the ideal machine for fabrication shops with a diverse work load which changes frequently.

Choosing between a plate roll or press brake

The specifications of the job, and the material to be rolled or bent, will determine which kind of machine you need for the job.

You also want to consider if you will be running the same kinds of jobs consistently, or if you need something with more diverse capabilities. Hopefully this brief overview has helped as you consider what your needs are.

If you would like to speak with our fabrication experts to determine exactly which kind of machine to purchase, we’re just a phone call away, and we would be happy to help you think through the different options: (610) 441-7317.

For a more detailed read about the differences between a plate roll and a press brake, check out this article from titled Is a press brake or plate roll the right tool for the job?.

Additional tips about machine types

Do you have tips for others about how to choose a plate roll or press brake? Leave a comment below with your best tip for other readers. Have a question about this article? We do check the comments below, and we’ll be happy to get back to you with a quick reply.