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Posted on Jan 6, 2020
In the metal processing industry, the cut to length line is abbreviated as C.T.L. or blanking line. This operation involves rolling the flat steel on the wheels of the rolling mill into a coil. Cut To Length Line unrolls and flattens, and then cut into precise length sections, and the finally the person or automated system will stack the sheets into bundles.
The required equipment in the cut to length lines will vary according to the width of the sheet, the thickness of the sheet, and the weight of the feeding coil. Materials, working conditions, and many other variables are also considered to be the key issues of cut to length solutions. In addition, flatness may also be a critical point, so sometimes it may be necessary to install a double leveler or a stretcher leveler in the production line.
There are four main types of cut to length production lines on the market, but there are two main types in Taiwan. In this article, we will introduce several of them. Trapezoidal cut to length line (trapezoidal CTL) can shearing cut at a specific angle, from a 90-degree perpendicular angle to a 30-degree tangent angle. These cut sheets and blank sheets are mainly used in the automotive and taper pole industries because most of the components in these two fields require great versatility and agile nature.
Therefore, due to their features, these cut sheets or blank sheets are used primarily in the automotive and taper pole industries as the applications in these two industrial sectors are widely used best known for the great versatility and agile nature.
There is another stop-go cut to length solution (tight line mode), which is lower in cost than continuous CTL models, but we will not discuss it in this article. Regarding stop-go cut to length lines, the metal strip quickly fed through the production line, then be decelerated, and finally stop. In this model, the stationary shear fires, and cut sheet or blank is made to a predetermined length. If the factory space is limited, this tight-line configuration will be ideal. Compared with other cutting line types, the overall design of the tight-line configuration is shorter.
The foundation expense for the tight-line machine is even lower because a looping pit is not necessary. The thickness capacity of the tight-line machines is virtually unlimited, which ensures them as the perfect model for heavy gauge applications in the industry. In addition, the tight-line machines with stationary shears have a lower price in any cut to the length production line, but at the same time, the productivity is also the lowest, making it less effective.
Therefore, when considering the production line arrangement of the CTL solution, the existing production model of the business owner is the key. More importantly, the tight-line machines may even damage thinner materials, because visible roll marks may appear where the leveler stops.
:: Read More: Cut to Length Line Manufacturers at a Glance
The process of cut to length line is integrated with many machines and equipment to make perfect flat steel plates. The key components of a solution for cutting steel coils into fixed lengths may include coil car, stacker, de-coiler, head leveler, coarse leveler, loop, vertical roller device, fine leveler, cut shear, delivery conveyor, hydraulic system, electric control system, bolts and bury components, shear and etc.
The material of the steel coil changes from time to time. It can be plain, hot rolled steel, rolled cold steel, galvanized steel (GI, GP), colored steel(PPGI), stainless steel, silicon steel, aluminum, copper, etc. Many suppliers of cut to length lines can provide more than 40 cutting numbers. Installing additional flying shears can increase productivity, especially in the case of the heavy gauge model.
The ASP flying shear should ideally be synchronized with the speed and position of the moving strip. But this will make the cost very high. Therefore, many manufacturers may try to adjust it by themselves instead of buying time-saving but costly automation systems.
The cut to length production line has many steps including coil loading, uncoiling rolled metal material, straightening of the strip end of the material, rough straightening, loop, and fine straightening by the vertical roller. After these procedures, the shear cutting is performed. Finally, it is possible to stack the cut materials by human or automated systems to easily load them onto delivery trucks or put them in stock.
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