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Articles > Roll Forming Industry Terms: What You Need to Know

Roll Forming Industry Terms: What You Need to Know

The terminology of metal roll forming and roofing can be complicated and difficult to understand. If you are in the roll forming business or in the process of setting up a company that will require metal roll forming, understanding the industry terms can be helpful.

Posted by Ben Browne on Sunday, 3rd May 2020

Roll Forming Machine

Metal roll forming is useful in a considerable number of industries, including agriculture, architecture, transport, and so many more. If you don’t work in the trade or are new to the industry, the language used can be baffling at first, but educating oneself can ensure that employees, customers, and partners can make the best business decisions for their individual and unique needs.

This useful guide will help pick apart some of the more complicated industry jargon and can be used to refer back to as needed.


Hemming in metal forming describes where material is folded back on itself.

A machinist is an individual whose role involves assembly, fabrication, operation or machinery repairs.

Metal coil. Metal coils are sheets of metal wound into a tight loop to help transport them using minimal space.

Controller The controller is a device (usually computer operated) that prompts the metal roll forming machine to function in the way it has been instructed.

Drive rollers
Drive rollers are the parts that move the metal through the roll forming machine.

Forming rollers
Forming rollers are where individual metal parts are bent into a specific shape or form.

Forming stations
The forming station is the area where the metal is manipulated by the forming rollers.

Shear or guillotine
The shear or guillotine is the part of the roll forming machine that cuts the metal at a particular length.

Post-cut shear
A post-cut shear describes a roll formed product that is firstly formed and then cut to a specific length or size afterwards.

Pre-cut shear
A pre-cut shear describes a roll formed product that is cut into a specific length or size before going into the forming stations.

Portable roll forming machine
A portable roll forming machine is a metal roll former that is smaller in size and can be transported from place to place. Usually powered by gas or electricity.

Portable seamless gutter machine
A portable seamless gutter machine is a smaller, transportable machine for roll forming seamless gutters.

Portable roof panel machine
As above – a portable roof panel machine is a compact and easily transported machine that cuts metal coils into metal roof or wall panels.

Run-out table
A run-out table is a platform that supports and keeps roofing panels level as they come out of the machine.

Slitting. Slitting is cutting metal sheeting into narrower strips.

Tapering is narrowing the metal panel at one end.

Hydraulic tanks
Hydraulic tanks are not to be found on every roll former, but are often added to speed up the process for greater efficiency and productivity.

Notching is a shearing process in which a metal scrap piece is removed from the outside edge of a blank strip.


This glossary will help interested parties understand the typical terms used in the metal roll forming industry. Knowledge of the terms can help you to make more informed decisions for your business and to educate your team.

Roll Forming Companies

Roll Forming Machines, LLC is a leader among roll forming companies globally since 2009. We have a fantastic selection of high-quality machines to choose from. All roll forming machines come with a 1 year warranty for parts & labor and technical support from our team in Orlando, FL. Browse our collection here, or get in touch, and one of our customer support team would be delighted to help you.

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