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Common Problems of Steel Slitting Machines

Common Problems and Solutions of Slitting Machine

Common Problems of Steel Slitting Machines: A list of common problems and examples of solutions to solve these challenges:

  • Tension Problems Create Quality Control Issues
  • Slow Slitting Line Setup
  • Extended Downtime for E-Stop
  • Operators’ performance problem
  • Bearing Wear in the Slitter Head
  • Edge Trim Control
  • Legacy Control System


Tension Problems Create Quality Control Issues

For slitting lines, tension is an important variable. If the tension is not controlled properly, material defects become a problem. Often the material is too taut going in and out of the slitter resulting in a host of quality issues from burring to scratching of the material. A slitting line makes a much better-quality cut at controlled low tension at the entry and little or no tension at the exit of a slitting head. To achieve optimal cut quality, adding a loop going in and a loop coming out of the slitter can solve the tension problem. If you have an entry and exit loop currently and are experiencing quality issues, the control system should be evaluated for potential adjustments.
Entry Loop Solution – To solve taut entry tension problems, can be controlled implement controls to provide an entry loop section to the machine allowing for low tension slitter entry, which will assist in making a better split off. It can be also added a sonic sensor above the loop for feedback to the control system to adjust the speed of the motors to maintain optimal loop position.
Also, Exit Loop Solution – If the exit loop doesn’t exist it would have to be dug in a pit that’s 30 feet deep which is not practical in many cases. Another solution can be the implementation of Traverse winding.

Slow Slitting Line Setup

Traditionally, slitting line setup is not a quick process and can hamper the ability to meet production goals. Setting up automated recipe management can significantly reduce setup time. Operators can easily select the appropriate recipe from a user-friendly touch screen, significantly reducing the setup process and improving product consistency between shifts.

Extended Downtime for E-Stop

There are cases when an e-stop is required during an operational anomaly. When this happens too quickly and is not controlled properly, it can cause extended recovery time and possible damage to the line.
It can be incorporated a coordinated, rapid stop utilizing safe torque-off, web break sensors, and control algorithms to maintain web integrity, saving valuable minutes in setup recovery.

Operators’ performance problem

These days, the progress of science and technology has made lever automation technology replace the old human operators; Because some factors caused many errors in the performance of machines.
Automating previously manual tasks (i.e., automating loop tension) will enable a less skilled operator to quickly complete training and smoothly transition into taking ownership of running the line. Automating allows new operators to achieve the same or better results as the retiring operator. Modern user-friendly touchscreen operator interfaces with built-in troubleshooting diagnostics will also help attract, train, and retain the younger generation of workers who have grown up with intuitive smartphones and computers.

Bearing Wear in the Slitter Head

Bearings in the slitter head will start to wear over time, causing loss of precision and other operational difficulties and quality degradation. To solve this problem the slitting machines manufacturers, have to facilitate an upgrade of the mechanical portion of the slitter to bring it back to the original tolerances needed for precise slitting.

Edge Trim Control of slitting machine

All slitting lines produce some scrap due to edge trim. Whether you are using a scrap baller or a scrap winder to collect your edge trim, proper control of your edge trim motor can limit the amount of scrap produced. Limiting the amount of scrap adds to your bottom-line profitability. The solution to this problem is that it can be addressed this often-overlooked inefficiency by fine-tuning the motor and controls in your scrap winding section.

Legacy Control System

Many of the first six problems it was discussed could be related to operating the machine’s equipment with legacy controls. Slitting lines are true workhorses; the physical equipment well exceeds the operating life of the control systems that run the equipment.
Running the slitting line on a legacy control system that it has retired is unpredictable when it will burn. The longer the control system has been retired by a controls manufacturer, the higher machine’s chances of extended downtime.
Legacy control examples include Allen Bradley’s PLC5, SLC-500, Siemens’ S5 and S7-300, GE 90-30, as well as many other obsolete AC and DC drives.
Evaluating a retrofit is highly recommended and you may be surprised at how the advancement in technology can offset the cost, yielding a favorable return on investment. So, it is better that the General Electric control systems will be replaced so that it will be reported a 40% improvement in productivity after replacing an outdated one.

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