An Introduction to Steel Cut to Length Machine

Posted on Apr 30, 2021

Steel Cut to Length Machine

A steel cut to length machine is also called the CTL line machine, cut to length lines, and heavy gauge lines. The steel cut to length machine is used for unrolling and cutting the heavy gauge strip material into the desired length, creating the final profiles.

What Is a Steel Cut to Length Machine?

A steel cut to length machine is also called the CTL line machine, cut to length lines, and heavy gauge lines. The steel cut to length machine is used for unrolling and cutting the heavy gauge strip material into the desired length, creating the final profiles. The steel cut to length machine is utilized for applications in the food and beverage industry, electronics, and construction equipment today. The CTL line machine typically processes the wide steel coils with high-performance cutters that can cut to precision lengths, quick tooling change system, decoiling, and stacking systems to produce the steel sheets or steel plates. Some cut to length machines also involves recoiling systems to achieve unique contours. 

The basic work principle of the automatic steel cut-to-length machine is to load the strip material to a determined area beyond the slitter, stop and cut the heavy gauge strip to plate. Steel-cut to length line machines are generally available for heavy gauge materials ranging from 10 mm to 25 mm in thickness and 60 cm to 300 cm in width. The slit-to-width steel plates or sheets manufactured by the cut to length line are sheared with minimum burrs by the critically machined circular cutters, making the machine a reliable system to produce high-quality steel plate products with precision dimensions.


How Does a Steel Cut to Length Machine Work?


● Uncoiling Process

The steel cut to length machine typically involves uncoiling devices prior to slitters to first ensure the surface quality of the strip materials. The uncoiling operations in the steel cut to length machine begins with loading the master coil of heavy gauge stock automatically onto the decoiler, which comes in two styles: dual cone form or expanding mandrel single end form. The dual cone decoiler is suitable for heavy loads applications like cutting steels to lengths, and a mandrel type is a versatile option for both light and heavy-duty tasks.

The coil feeding car threads the mandrel with the master steel coil’s inside diameter, then the master coil is rotated off the cone or mandrel. The heavy gauge stock is peeled to let the coil head be able to enter into the edge guides prior to the flatteners. The uncoiling and flattening process of the steel strips is exceptionally essential if flatness and surfaces without defects are important in other stages of production.


● Heavy Gauge Cut-to-length Process

After uncoiling the steel strips, the heavy gauge materials are loaded to the slitting area which consists of 2 arbors positioned parallelly and blades, which automatically slit the steel strips under rotation. The cutting action performs as the stock is momentarily paused after it is loaded to the predetermined length beyond the cutting point through the feed roller system or a grip feed tool. In the steel cut to length machine, the slitting blades partially enter into the stock, and then cracks as well as fracture occurs on two sides of the steel strips. 

The sharp cutters slit the stock highly accurately, to provide more perfect outside edges of the products, rubber stripper rings, and scrap winder can be helpful for steel cut to length machines. The scrap winder can be used for edge trims and rubber stripper rings can be used to remove any burr or other defects, ensuring the high quality of steel plate products and smoothness of further downstream processing operations. 

Prior to the stacking process or optional recoiling process, the tensioning system is required to handle the master coils of heavy gauge material, which have a bigger diameter in the center area than the edges. The typical tensioning device used in steel cut-to-length machines is the tensioning stand, which prevents the problems that the strips are taken up faster from the center parts while the two sides are held loosely. In some applications, the stock is really thin, the looping pit can be useful in this case, which can handle the materials having edges greatly thinner than the center area before using the tensioning device. 

:: Read more: Understanding the Cut to Length Line


Benefits of Steel Cut to Length Machine


● High Level of Automation: 

The steel cut to length machine provides the steel plate manufacturers simple manipulation and quick set up to complete cut to length applications with high-level automation. The automatic machine system provides ease of manipulation and monitoring and easier maintenance.


● High Productivity: 

The automatic feeder system and stacking devices both further enhance the production efficiency and accuracy of the steel cut to length machine. To keep a consistent average loop depth of the highly automated cut-to-length system, the feeder system accelerates to high velocities in the machine. The consistent cutting at high speed by the dynamic cutters and the high-speed feed system allows the steel coils to move continuously.


● Low Material Cost: 

The steel cut to length machine can provide high-speed cutting with high precision, effectively reducing the material cost or waste for the users. The user no longer needs other secondary material handling tools, since the steel cut to length machine has the flattening and stacking systems that can complete the entire steel coil handling process. The customers of the steel plate or sheets can also find the products of standard and precise widths and lengths. 


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