Mate's Rollertall toolingClick image to enlarge

Mate’s new Rollerball tooling enables punch press operators to create stiffening ribs and decorative beads in sheet metal without secondary operations.

The Rollerball forms the rib by pinching the metal between two omni-directional ball bearings in the upper tool assembly and a single ball bearing in the tool’s lower assembly. The shape of the rib is created by the punch press programming system and can be placed anywhere on the part surface.

“When the material is deformed to create the ribs, the effected material thickness increases, strengthening the material,” says John Ripka, Mate Precision Tooling application specialist. “The tool allows part designers to reduce sheet metal thickness without compromising the strength and rigidity of the final product. These ribs can make all the difference if you are using the minimum material thickness to control costs. Also, these applications allow the fabricators to eliminate secondary operations that result in material and labor cost savings with reduced production time.”

The Mate Rollerball is designed to be used in machines that can hold the ram down while simultaneously moving the sheet around the X and/or Y axis. When used in machines with accurate stroke control, a simple adjustment to the machine’s stroke length can create a deeper or shorter form. In other thick turret machines, using the Mate Rollerball in a Mate Ultraform enhances adjustability as the operator can change the length of the holder with a few clicks of the tool.

Using the Rollerball tool is also a better option than using a standard forming tool to make the ribs. Standard forming tools may require tens to hundreds of hits and several minutes to produce strengthening ribs over the length of a sheet. Mate Rollerball reduces machine time to seconds and produces a better looking end result.

Stiffening ribs are particularly helpful in large unsupported metal panels typical in duct work for heating and air conditioning systems. Also, the Rollerball tool can create an emboss to provide additional clearance for a feature or hardware. And it can add visual or cosmetic enhancements to fabricated products.

Mate Rollerball is available in most popular tool styles including Mate Ultraform for Thick Turret, Trumpf style, Murata Wiedemann, Thin Turret, Salvagnini punch presses and more.

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