Slitting Machine and Coil Handling Equipment Installation Considerations - Part 2

(Slitting machine line installed for easy access)

Slitting machine and coil handling equipment installation considerations Part I focused on the first three factors affecting eventual performance of a new slitting line. The first three factors were:

Factor #1 Free loop material space requirements

Factor #2 Easy access for adjustment and servicing the equipment

Factor #3 Laser align, or at least accurately align equipment

Taking care of the above three factors will set-up the slitting line process for consistent quality, easy maintenance, and open slitting machinery operator access.

The remaining four factors concern general safety and systems that allow for adjustments to a running metal slitting line, along with orienting the cabling, piping and such in a stable base without impeding access.

Slitting Machine Line Safety

A poorly aligned or a wandering metal slitting machine is a major safety hazard. The factors explained below can reduce the chance of vibration causing a machine to move off base.


Factor #4 Securely lag equipment to a solid foundation floor.

This factor cannot be stated emphasized strongly enough. Always lag equipment with certified bolts, into measured and tested foundations.

Cheap, sub-specification  lagging hardware combined with an insufficient foundation can lead to a wandering metal slitting line, shifting slitting cutter operations, and overall quality issues, as well as safety issues. 

Unsecured slitting equipment will cause misalignment. As explained in Factor #3, misalignment is a somewhat hidden source of cross tension and the ensuing problems.

There will be significantly more scrap, earlier roller failures, and a host of other ills. Even if slitting operations need to move occasionally, they must be securely lagged in place while they are operating.

The lagging bolts will also serve as quick alignment points for returning slitting machines into service.

Factor #5 Metal slitting machines can be installed on mounting plates.

Installing slitting cutter equipment and coil handling equipment on mounting plates serves a few purposes.

The mounting plates can act as vibration absorbers for the slitting machines, the uncoiling and recoiling operations, and the tensioner leveler stations.

They also reduce the load stress on the underlying foundation. This results in a more secure installation without generating foundation problems through years of high vibration delivered without any absorber present.

If and when a metal slitting line needs to be moved, mounting plates can make this considerably easier by allowing access and re-installation connections.

Coil Handling and Slitting Machine Adjustments

Even with a properly installed line, slitting machines produce enough force to move themselves out of alignment.

This next factor will allow adjustments to be made quickly to bring the slitting line back into specifications.

Factor #6 Use threaded rods for connecting machines.

As already highlighted, alignment between the coil loading, uncoiling, straightening, loop area, feeding station, and slitting cutters is critical.

The slitting cutter, tension leveler station, looping area, and shears if present, must all not only start out aligned, but remain so during their high speed and vibration service.

This becomes a challenge because the machines will tend to wander if not properly secured. The other aspect is running different materials that may need slightly different set-ups or distances.

Threaded rod mounted between structural points on the machines will allow both minor distance adjustments and major movement if required.

More typically though, threaded rods will keep the alignment between slitting machines and the coiling / uncoiling process from needing adjustment because they duplicate the force applied by the lagging bolts.

Factor #7 Establish a secure protective base for conduits with channels or I-beam rails.

All operator platforms, protective railings, covers, and machine bases can serve dual purposes if they are constructed from heavy channel iron or I-beams.

They can be both machine bases and support the installation of conduit by protecting it. Designing the structural machine base with this dual use in mind can save considerable cost as well.

Addressing these 7 factors for slitting machine and coil handling installation will prevent problems from start-up through reconditioning of a heavy duty metal slitting line.

Beyond preventing problems, properly secured and aligned slitter cutting heads and tension elements last longer while operating more efficiently. Starting off a new line correctly leads to a long and profitable running system.

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

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