Let’s take a close look at how the cut-to-length process works. Whether you’re a skilled operator or new to the industry, a quick refresher can provide value.

The cut-to-length process can be considered straightforward. Processing lines take lengths of uncoiled sections of flat rolled steel and cuts them into various lengths. Then, intense pressure is applied to compress and flatten the material into a sheet or plate, depending on its thickness. This pressure also elongates the piece, removes stress, and creates a more uniform thickness across the whole material.

Let’s look at three different types of cut-to-length machines and how each works.

1. Flying Shear Machine

What makes this machine unique is how the shear travels with the metal to position itself for the actual cut.

When the coil is ready to be processed, it’s taken from storage and transferred to the uncoiler. After being set up in the leveler, the operator will review the order and check for shear clearance or for special order needs. One test cut is done, with the head being scrapped, to ensure that the length and flatness are to the standards of the order and that there are no surface defects. The line then resumes running until it reaches its desired piece count.

Check out the video below for walk-through of the flying shear machine.

 2. Hump line or Feed to Stop line

On this machine, material runs under a shear to a limit switch that’s manually adjusted to set the length of the part. The material humps up when the line stops (hence the name) and is sheared in the middle.

Check out the video below for quick look at the feed-to-stop line.


3. Row Feed line with Looping pit

This machine controls the length using rotary and coders and only stops the coil at the shear, while allowing the rest of the metal to run continuously into the looping pit, therefore eliminating any marks caused by stopping the leveler.

Check out the video below for a quick look at the row feed line with looping pit in action.


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