3 FREE Tips For Purchasing Slitting Lines

(Metal slitting line layout - source: Rockwell Automation)

Semi-continuous metal slitting machines, whether single loop or double loop, fully robotic or semi-automated, are one of the largest capital investment projects for metal forming companies.

Considering that the lifespan of a metal slitting line can be measured in decades, making the right choice the first time for every part of the process is critical.

From the coil turnstile, coil car, uncoiler, shears, slitting heads, tension rollers, until the final recoiling, there are specifications that must be met for achieving consistent performance.

Metal slitting machines come in a wide variety of capabilities, therefor with the following recommendations you will be able to choose the one that works best for you.

These steps apply to purchasing heavy duty slitting machinery lines with slitting cutters, slitting heads, etc

Following these three general recommendations can assure a suitable semi-continuous metal slitting machinery purchase.

Tip #1 - Research your metal slitting needs thoroughly and in detail.

Slitting systems have detailed specifications for their capabilities. Determining both the current needs and anticipating future needs drives the cost of the slitting line purchasing decision.

This is a balancing act to a degree.

A basic needs definition will include: coil weight ranges, diameters of the coil stock, stock widths, lengths for feeds, processing or line speeds desired, the shear strokes per minute, tolerances for all dimensions produced, gauge of material, and types of material that will be processed.

These specifications can even go so far as setting ranges for material yield strength, surface finish quality limits, or the friction coefficient of the material.

Mild steel specifications are the default used by most semi-continuous metal slitting line machine builders. Alternative materials will require test runs, and perhaps modifications to slitting heads, slitting cutters, etc.

Tip #2 - Use coil slitting machinery consultants or industry specialists

With a major purchase like semi-continuous metal slitting lines, bringing in a specialized adviser makes economic sense.

For a modest portion of the overall cost of the metal slitting line, the adviser can narrow requirements and potentially avoid a costly purchasing mistake.

These advisers do not have to be paid consultants.

Material suppliers, other metal slitting operations, and the coil handling equipment representatives can all provide valuable insights for what to focus on.

They can also tell you where there could be problems between project requirements and slitting capabilities.

You may decide to visit several metal slitting  lines, or bring slitting equipment suppliers to your own facility.

Building and utility limitations can dramatically affect how a coil slitting line can be implemented.

Having advisers inspect a facility well before any designs or proposals are tendered, avoids early mistakes.

Tip #3 - Narrowly focus the capability of the metal coil slitting line.

The first recommendation involved balancing current needs and potential future sheet metal processing needs.

This recommendation is for exercising caution when dreaming up all of the options your new coil handling and metal slitting operation might perform.

The “why not” complex, where a buyer agrees to add on an option with the often heard “why not” agreement, can often lead to over investment in a single line with too many unused capabilities.

It is both economically and operationally smarter to narrow down the metal slitting line requirements for standard operations.

Slitting cutters, slitting heads, tension leveling sections, and coil handling equipment can all be upgraded when there is sufficient business incentive to do so.

Biting off too much slitting machinery with out the business to support it's wide capabilities leads to wasted capital and inefficient machine use.

These seeming simple recommendations will assist any company with their critical semi-continuous metal slitting line design and investment. Making the right choice the first time certainly on slitting technology will lead to years of profitable operation.

To return from this Tips For Slitting Lines 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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