Menges Roller Co. has expanded its division handling industrial heat transfer and chilled rollers, having purchased and installed a $350,000 CNC machine to support the fabrication of the thermal rollers.

Over the past five years, the company says it has seen a substantial increase in orders for its hot and cold thermal-transfer rollers. (The products also are known as chill rolls for cold applications or heat-transfer rolls by hot application customers.) A steady demand for larger sized thermal rolls was the impetus for the larger CNC machine.

“Plant managers are under pressure to speed processes — which thermal rolls do — and increase sizes — which larger thermal rolls can do,” says Jim Cahill, senior sales engineer at Menges.

Most customers have opted for thermal rollers with a double-shell design that allows hot fluids such as superheated oil (or in cold rollers, chilled water) to flow through chambers within the roller unit. According to Wauconda, Ill.-based Menges, the double-shell design allows the roller to reach temperatures up to 350°F (177°C) and sustain the target temperature to within ±1°F.

Plants use the thermal rollers with new materials and process technology to satisfy a range of applications:
• New adhesives and coatings require exact temperatures in order to bond properly, and thermal rollers deliver temperature consistency.
• Some laminating processes require specific temperature ranges, applied directly to the substrate material, for optimal results to be achieved. Thermal rolls make direct contact.
• Faster line speeds cannot wait for natural cooling effects. For example, with steel coil-coating lines, after the coil ribbon has been coated, and baked or cured in the oven, some processors will run an “S-Wrap” of large chill rolls to cool the material.

The new CNC machine is a European-made Toolmex that will allow the company to fabricate rolls up to 30' long and up to 48" dia.