Hot Off the Press
Manufacturing Layoffs Down in April
Thursday, April 25, 2002
Layoffs for the month of April have been reduced by 8 percent compared to levels in March, according to data collected by PMA, via its monthly Business Conditions Report. Of 209 manufacturing companies participating in the survey, 36 percent reported that some of its plant workforce was on short time or layoff, compared to 44 percent doing so in March. Only 6 percent of respondents predict a downward trend in general economic activity, compared with 54 percent who expect an upturn is on the way, and 59 percent expect an increase in incoming orders over the next 3 months.
Slug Transporter Cuts Jams at Tate Access Floors
Wednesday, April 24, 2002
Vibro Industries, Port Royal, PA, has supplied a Model 320 Air-Operated Transporter to Tate Access Floors, Inc., Red Lion, PA, for installation on a line producing perforated access-floor panels. The transporter removes slugs created during perforation. As a result, the daily one hour of downtime needed to unjam the old conveyor has been reduced to 5 min. per day.
The line, led by a 1000-ton Danly press, produces 24-by-24-in. perforated vinyl-laminated-steel panels at a rate of 200 /hour. As the slugs are punched out, they fall into metal trays that carry them to the end of the line for automatic discharge into takeaway containers. The transporter simultaneously operates two discharge trays and can transport as much as 60 lb. of material at 15-40 ft./min. The slugs move with a slow-acceleration forward stroke, but remain stationary during the rapid return stroke, progressing steadily toward the waste container. As a result, conveyor chains, belt or springs aren’t needed. In this case, their elimination prevents jams.
Steel Coil Services Installs
High-Speed Oscillate Coil-Winding System
Tuesday, April 23, 2002
Steel Coil Services has installed a high-speed oscillate coil-winding system, from Braner USA, Inc., Schiller Park, IL, at its Port of Catoosa, OK, coil-processing plant. The system can produce jumbo oscillate-wound coils at line speeds to 1500 ft./min. Oscillate-wound coils are said to contain ten times or more lineal strip footage than narrow-ribbon-wound slit coils, reducing metalforming production losses related to fresh-coil threading.
The new system can take 70,000-psi-yield-strength carbon and stainless-strip steel in gauges from 0.028 to 0.060 in. and from widths of 3/8 to 3/4 in. and rewind it into 6000-lb. 21-in.-wide oscillate coils. It can generate coils to 60-in. dia. without side plates or coil spools for coil containment. The system is equipped with a vertical payoff uncoiler capable of handling a 15,000-lb. stack of narrow-width slit coils. A flash butt welder and weld annealer connect the tail end of one slit coil to the lead end of a fresh coil. A microprocessor servo system controls the rewind oscillation rate, helix pitch, gap between strip widths and overall oscillated coil width.