The line being examined consisted of a Minster E4H-800 fourpoint press -- a precision press that can deliver 800 tons capacity at up to 80 SPM -- with a coil feeding line supplied by Minster’s Automation Division. COE examined the current setup, and saw opportunity to provide its tailout-feeder design. Also known as a micro- or secondary-feeder, this piece of equipment is positioned downstream of the servo-feed and is designed to telescope through the press columns into the die area, helping minimize scrap from the coil.
Within a coil line, primary feeders must be positioned out of the press column area and remain within the safety zone in order to accommodate the room needed to roll in bolsters for a die change. This can result in a significant gap, sometimes as much as 12 – 15 feet, between the feeder and the die, which can lead to a high material scrap rate.
A tailout feeder offers the advantage of being retracted within the safety zone during die changes, but then can extend out close to the die when the line is running. By closing up this gap, less material is wasted. Additionally, COE’s design results in less material being left in the die, making the remaining material removal quicker and safer.
The feeder extension is manually operated via an air cylinder. During normal operation the primary feed indexes the coil into the die. Once the tailout sequence is initiated, the secondary feeder takes over the feed cycle. COE custom-designed the equipment frame so that it would attach directly to the existing servo-feed. The upper rolls of the feeder are 4.00” diameter, and can be raised and lowered via air cylinders. The lower driven roll is 5.00” diameter -- all the rolls feature a #3 matte chrome coating.
Additionally, COE incorporated an Allen Bradley drive package designed to interface with the existing AB SLC 505 PLC in the Minster servo feed. The services included a COE technician to connect the micro-feed drive to the primary feed drive in order to communicate the current feed length.
Overall, a tailout feeder option provides a manufacturer with increased flexibility, safety and material savings, helping to quickly prove out its worth on the pressroom floor.