AddisonMckee comes out of its ShellRoller

  • 19-Jun-2008 07:38 EDT
AddisonMckee has launched its first shell-rolling machine for forming the outer round and oval shapes of catalytic converters and mufflers.

Used to feed pre-cut flat sheets through a configuration of four position-controlled programmable rollers, AddisonMckee’s ShellRoller machine can form the outer shell of a muffler or catalytic converter in virtually any round, oval, or asymmetrical configuration and is suitable for use with carbon steel, stainless steel, and titanium.

Each forming work cell has a feed system that uses a vacuum pick-up to lift the sheets from an incoming stack and load them into the roller section of the machine for forming. The load station incorporates fanning magnet technology to separate all incoming sheets to prevent feeding multiple sheets into the machine rollers.

In the forming section of the machine, four precision rollers work together to form the various required cross sections. The top and bottom rollers are used to pinch the incoming sheet and feed it backward and forward as dictated by the program to create the shell shape. These two rollers are driven by electric servo gear motors and are electronically synchronized to reduce the risk of slippage during forming.

The front and rear rollers then act in conjunction with the feed rollers to create the required part shape. These rollers are positioned using electromechanical linear actuators (as opposed to the hydraulic rollers often used on competitors' models) for clean, quiet operation. The control system controls the position of the front and rear rollers in relation to the feed position of the sheet to generate the required bend radius in the sheet throughout the operation to ensure the correct finished shell shape.

Designed for what the company describes as “maximum manufacturing flexibility,” the standard system is capable of forming shells ranging in length from 75 to 350 mm (3 to 14 in). Cross sections up to 180 mm (7 in) are possible, in either round or as the major axis of an oval section. The minimum radius available is about 65 mm (2.5 in), although this is somewhat dependent upon the material being formed. Machines with larger or smaller capacities are available to create shells of significantly larger lengths or cross sections.

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