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Safe, Efficient Packaging of Slit Coils is Critical – Metal Flow

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Contributed by the experts at Braner/Loopco

Coil processors commonly ship slit coils generated from a coil slitting line on wooden skids with coils packaged in the eye axis vertical position. Slit coil handling and packaging requires each coil to be individually separated from the slit coil group, and then each coil must be rotated from eye axis horizontal to eye axis vertical, radially strapped, sorted by customer order, stacked onto a skid, weather-wrapped, and weighed. Machinery systems that package slit coils for shipment are known as slit coil pack lines.

Modern coil slitting lines can produce 60 to 80 and more slit coils per hour, so the ability to safely and efficiently package slit coils is critical in today’s coil processing operations. To safely maximize productivity, modern slit coil pack lines employ state-of-the-art Bluetooth technology and PLCs with custom programming to automate what were formerly manual tasks that required separate hand-manipulated material handling equipment.

Eye axis horizontal slit coils are removed from a turnstile arm one at a time by an operator-less downender that automatically picks off and rotates each coil 90 degrees to eye axis vertical and sets the coil onto a conveyor. Because slit coil groups on a turnstile arm are commonly comprised of multiple coil widths destined for multiple customers, the downender must be programmed to recognize the width of each individual coil and the sequence at which the various coils are positioned on the turnstile arm. New Bluetooth technology developed by Braner/Loopco automatically programs individual coil widths and coil sequence into the pack line controller without time-consuming manual data entry and potential data entry errors.

After coils are separated and down laid, coils are automatically conveyed to a strapping machine where 3-4 radial straps are applied onto each coil. Motions of modern strapping machines are powered to maximize throughput, while minimizing operator fatigue. Each radially strapped coil can be individually weighed and recorded before being conveyed to an automatic stacker that grabs each coil from the conveyor and stacks the coil onto skids positioned on a multiple station package sorting turntable. With coil sizes and sequence already Bluetooth-programmed into the pack line controller, piece-per-minute stacking time is reduced by automatically tuning stacker motion and travel to correspond with the size of each incoming coil in the queue. A turntable with multiple color-coded stacking stations automatically rotates the shortest way CW or CCW to position the selected color at the stacking station for sorting coils into customer packages.

Completed coil packages are power-discharged from the turntable onto a weigh station conveyor where the pack weight is recorded. After weighing, the finished package is weather-wrapped, tagged for shipment and staged on a runout conveyor to await transport to the shipping dock. For coil packs that ship eye axis horizontal, an in-line coil upender that tips coil packs 90-degrees can be installed as an integral part of the runout conveyor.

In addition to labor- and time-saving features such as Bluetooth technology, modern slit coil pack lines can be equipped with electronics that record shift production by part or weight, customer package count and weight, strapping consumed and a wide range of production and expense related data.

Braner/Loopco, Schiller Park, Ill., builds coil packaging lines. The company can be reached at 847-671-6210 or by visiting www.braner.com.