Versatility and modularity in slitting


Reaping the fruits of its technological know-how, in last months Tecnocoil has implemented a special plant, highly flexible and unique of its kind, intended for satisfying the specific and restrictive productivity criteria required by an outstanding company operating in the processing and production of semifinished metal products from coil.

Young and dynamic, Tecnocoil is a company with operational factory at Gordona (SO) that, thanks to its founders’ experience and complementary skills, represents a valid partner in the design and manufacturing of complete plants intended for the processing of sheet metal in coil form. Not only reliable high-quality press feeding lines, manufactured according to the standard concepts of the Made in Italy, but also and especially unique applications, purposely developed according to customized specific requirements, aimed at granting the utmost competitiveness to customers. «Approach, this one, – explains Massimo Cattaneo, managing director and Italy sales manager – that aims at granting the customer satisfaction by solving the most various problems and the attainment of precise productive and sales targets». A concrete example of this capability is represented by the slitting line, recently accomplished and manufactured by the company to implement the production potentialities of an outstanding international Group, operating in the world with numerous service centres. «An innovative highly flexible plant – explains Cattaneo – devised to offer new market opportunities to customers, then permitting to consolidate further the leadership in the sector».


Quality and flexibility, from uncoiling to the finished product stacking

The potentialities of the plant, designed for the production of bars of various sizes, are clear if we consider that the same can process with the greatest flexibility, with maximum speeds of 60 m/min, coils with width ranging from 15 to 150 mm and thickness included between 2 and 8 mm, to attain semi-finished products with variable length from 1,000 to 6,000 mm. «Semi-finished products – adds Cattaneo – that satisfy precise and severe requisites of planarity, camber tolerances and surface finishing». The plant, conceived, designed and implemented by Tecnocoil consists of modular units, further implementable in time, which unwind the coil, straighten the strip in various steps, flange the four edges of the material by stock removal, correct the eventual sheet metal camber, slit and stack with precision the machined products, then allowing the unload and the disposal from the machining area. The uncoiling task is entrusted to a powered decoiler with maximum loading capacity of 5,000 kg, equipped with containment rolls, pressing arm and translation for the alignment of the working axis, solutions aimed at granting utmost flexibility and the total work safety for the operator. Apart from the strap cut, the entire prearrangement and working cycle of the decoiler is controlled and managed by pushbutton panel. More downstream, we find the first of the two straightening groups in-line, whose task is to perform the strip feeding and its straightening, to eliminate the typical coil winding bend. This operation is granted by a pair of driving rolls and by five straightening rolls. The upper rolls are mounted on a tilting carriage whose position is adjusted by pushbutton panel through motorized jacks. The motion of the lower driving and straightening rolls is instead operated by electric motor and is controlled by an inverter. In output of this first straightening unit, two specific modules, not concerning the main working cycle the plant is intended for, are integrated with extreme versatility to assure a secondary machining required by the customer, in particular phases of the productive process. In fact, a pneumatic shears and a coiler, both translated in the background in the rear part of the plant when unused, provide the customer with the possibility of rewinding and cutting to size strips with maximum width of 20 mm and maximum thickness of 1 mm, in order to obtain small coils for specific uses. The main cycle prosecutes instead by-passing this last group and proceeding to the flanging of the strip edges. «In virtue of the broad dimensional range of the strips the customer intends to process and especially of the product range they want to obtain – underlines Cattaneo – we have decided to carry out the flanging operation by means of two distinct machining groups, to attain the best possible result with all combinations provided». The first group is composed by 4 pairs of idle pulleys, with 90-degree shaped groove, whose position is singularly adjustable and controlled directly by pushbutton panel. Each pair of pulleys is then equipped with two opposite rolls, with self-centring regulation, which decrease the bending zone on the material, preventing the eventual crowning in the pulley closing phase, especially with the use of 150 x 2 mm strips. The second flanging group allows instead chamfering the lateral edges of the strip through stock removal. In this case, the strip crosses 6 units equipped with interchangeable tools, distributed on the two sides. The independent regulation of the position of each unit, also in this case managed by pushbutton panel, allows carrying out all the necessary corrections to have an optimal output product, devoid of cutting edges and with a strong finishing homogeneity on the four contours. A second driving and straightening group assures the necessary trail for the correct execution of the previous machining operations, executing in the meantime a new straightening on the material. At the output of this group, an idle pulley unit takes care of correcting the strip camber before the final cut. Before reaching the device that will stack and unload the semi-finished products, the last production unit is the flying shears, extremely sturdy and performing unit that –perhaps better than any other in line- highlights the typical structural quality of Tecnocoil production. The flying shears, which allows granting continuous operation and the highest plant output without ever stopping the strip in-line, operates with a longitudinal stroke of 2,500 mm and can exert a cutting force of 50 tons. With translation managed by servomotor, cutting blades driven by a hydraulic cylinder and equipped with powered roll for the bar conveyance, the shears assures the utmost precision on the cutting length, corresponding to +/- 0.5 mm, thanks to an encoder that operates in contact with the strip. «The flying shears – proudly adds Cattaneo – is one of our feathers in the cap. Let us consider that we are dealing with a cutting time of just 1 second and of an overall cycle time of 4 seconds, with a productivity of as many as 15 cuts per minute for bars with maximum 8 millimetre thickness and 6 metre length». The terminal part of the plant consists of a device for the strap unloading with stacker. This unit, fully automated and programmable, based on the activity of a two-axis transfer, can grant customers the possibility of determining stacking sequences, positioning distances of semi-finished products as well as overall bundling heights and widths before the conveyance on unloading roller conveyors.

Not only immediate outcomes but also further development prospects

«This highly innovative design– ends Cattaneo – represents something extremely interesting. The modular structure, the strong customization and the great versatility with which the plant has been conceived since the early phases have demonstrated once more that a structured tailor-made design allows reaching notable productive benefits in terms of machining quality, optimization of machining times and applicative flexibility. Such results are more evident if the manufacturing programme we intend to face is more articulated». The potentialities of this plant were perfectly visible for the customer, too, which, as Cattaneo reveals, is already thinking of introducing integrative modules such as a units of leading-trailing end welding and other flanging stations, equipped with specific tools aimed at the attainment of new bar section profiles.


A serious and reliable partner with which sharing goals and targets

Established in June 2014, Tecnocoil is a young, dynamic and ambitious company, employing people with complementary technical skills who have already shared previously a significant experience in the sector of press feeding lines. A reality with headquarters at Gordona (SO) that employs about ten people coordinated by Massimo Cattaneo, managing director and Italy sales manager and by his brother Cristian, production manager, supported by the renowned engineering experience of their father Franco, company’s technical pillar, and by Linda Rossi, reference person for the foreign trade ambit. A streamlined structure, then, able to meet customers’ various requirements in effective and targeted manner. Grounding the quality of their work on a technical competence gained in decades of experiences and offering a complete service, today the company represents a reference partner in the design and manufacturing of customized plants intended for the working of sheet metal in coil.