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Background of the invention roll forming machine

Prior art machines are adept at forming metal strips or sheets into desired shapes. However, certain prior art machines such as those disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. The basic Colbath machine, manufactured by Monitor, Inc. of Sherman, Texas, is composed of two parts. A lower frame supports a plurality of sets of drive rollers. An upper frame or spine supports a plurality of sets of forming rollers which are interleaved with the sets of drive rollers. The spine and its forming rollers are replaced by another spine to form another shape. The various spines and the overhead crane necessary to replace them add greatly to the expense of the machine and the use for forming of only every other station (those on the spine) renders the machine unnecessarily long, all for the purpose of rapid adjustment. The separation of the driving and forming functions also results in the leading edge of the workpiece being pushed through the forming rollers it encounters, causing buckling in lighter gauge metals and restricting effective use of the machine with lighter gauge metals to continuous strips rather than precut lengths.