Coil handling equipment is very valuable for machining operations. A coil handling system loads, stores, positions, discharges, feeds and secures material of different sizes and masses into the tooling section of a manufacturing machine. The equipment itself is located within the machine shop, but is not visible from the outside. It is often situated just inside the machine shop in an area called the logistics or supply room.
In addition to being used to load and position large assemblies, servo feed systems are also utilized to feed material into smaller areas. In addition to providing a safer environment for workers, servo feed systems can improve the ability of the assembly line to perform at its best. These types of coil handling equipment use air feeds, which are similar to the types used for servicing electric motors. An air feed contains compressed air, which is supplied through a hose to the work area. When the compressed air reaches the work area, it forces the material along the work path, which helps to position the work piece in the appropriate position.
Coil handling equipment is available in two basic styles – vertical and horizontal. Both styles have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, vertical feed machines are designed to handle very heavy items, including many of the multi-fruitcake products that are processed at bakery shops. These products require large, deep compartments that are wide enough to accommodate even the largest of cakes.
The biggest drawback of vertical feed machines is that they are difficult to store. They are difficult to move from one location to another, and once loaded they must remain in this same location until the cake is removed from the receiving oven. Most manufacturers recommend that this type of coil handling equipment be placed in storage rooms or cold rooms, where temperatures are controlled. Most bakeries will also purchase motorized versions for specific tasks, such as shortening the length of the coiled reels.
Another type of equipment used with coil handling equipment is the upender. An upender is a special device that is able to lift the completed product from the receiving pan. Some of these upenders can support heavier products, including rolls of pastry and cake. These lenders can be motorized in most cases, but some are still manual in nature. A good lender will be designed to handle heavier loads without coming close to the edge of the work surface.
Finally, there is the roller pallet, which is designed to transport rolls of pastry or cake with complete ease. Some roller pallets are provided with handles, which allow the user to lift the roll without worrying about coming in contact with the sides of the work area. Rollers can be powered either by electric motors or by an external source. In addition to providing support when lifting the rolls, they also protect the coils from damaging and heat damage.