3 Tips for Improving Coil Handling and Slitting Machine Operating Efficiency

(A slitting machine line operating efficiently.)

Coil handling and slitting machine processes already offer built in high efficiency because of the semi-continuous nature of the process.

Compared to the predecessors of automated semi-continuous metal slitting machine lines, we are already at undreamed of levels of productivity, quality, and overall efficiency.

Apples-to-apples comparisons between the efficiency level a heavy duty slitting machine is actually producing at and what it may be capable of producing at bring the possible improvements into focus.

Tip #1: Use appropriate technology and by-pass manual labor where possible for the roll and coil changeovers.

Changeover bench marks for switching reals are an often used indicator of one portion of line efficiency.

Switching coils is a routine process that can potentially add hours of unproductive time for a round the clock metal slitting company.

Benchmarking a switchover from one coil to another coil may seem to be important when the coil-to-coil transition takes 15 minutes or more, but this is missing the bigger picture.

Employing a double spindle stock reel, or even quad spindle stock reel, can take a 15 minute NASCAR- like metal coil changeover and turn it into a 10 second non-process.

The manual labor issues and lack of consistency disappear. If at all possible, use robotics or invest in coil handling equipment that minimizes manual efforts in such error prone sequences as coil changes.

A dual coil spindle can be releasing one coil in the slitting process while another is being loaded.

Once the first coil has been depleted through the slitting machinery, the fresh coil can be indexed into operation in a matter of seconds.

Tip #2: Coil cars can also cut transition and changeovers.

At 82,000 pounds, coils already require specialized transfer equipment.

The newer coil slitting machines, coil and roll handling equipment, and general sheet metal production equipment are trending towards robotic handling carts.

The reason for moving to coil cars and robotic roll and coil handling involves not only consistent performance, rapid changeovers, and efficient timing sequences tied to the rest of the metal slitting line, but significantly improved safety.

A coil and roll handling car can displace the need for a metal coil transfer crane.

Even if you do not have the factory space for Tip #1 of getting a dual coil spindle, a coil car and track can keep the changeovers to a minimum and offer similar levels of consistency.

Tip #3: Consider material handling elements such as coil storage racks if there is not a crane installed for keeping a coil car active.

Having a 3 or 4 coils, or even a whole days supply of rolls or coils readily available for fast switch overs onto the uncoiling section can assist with smooth transitions.

This staging concept is far less costly than the fully robotic approach, and certainly less efficient, but it wins out over stop-and-fetch manual coil handling.

In order for the coil storage rack to deliver more efficiency, there needs to be a loading system in place matching the roll and coil storage rack to the coil car's set-up.

Every percent increase in efficiency of a coil handling and metal slitting line can go straight to the bottom line of profitability.

It is even possible to regenerate a lost competitive advantage with a slitting line operation by making smaller investments in key technological improvements such as described in these three tips.

Optimizing roll and coil handling, keeping the slitting cutters, tension levellers, uncoiling station and recoiling station all synchronized, and generally getting the highest level of efficiency out of the equipment defines quality, as well as profit.

Small improvements made station by station, deliver the holy grail of top system efficiency that we all expect from our investment in heavy duty metal slitting machines.

To return from this Improving Coil Handling page to the Strip Metal Coil Processing Home page, click here.

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Top 3 FREE Tips

to increase efficiency

  1. Use appropriate technology and by-pass manual labor where possible for the roll and coil changeovers.
  2. Coil cars can also cut transition and changeovers.
  3. Consider material handling elements such as coil storage racks if there is not a crane installed for keeping a coil car active.
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