Coil transport and handling at a strip treatment unit

For an internationally active company H+H Herrmann + Hieber developed and supplied a complete coil logistics system in the area of a strip treatment plant.


The strip treatment line is arranged next to a high-bay warehouse. The pre-material, in coils weighing up to 5 tonnes, is first held in store. When required, the coils are recovered from the high-bay store and stored intermediately ahead of the preparation unit.

The objectives are wide-ranging and complex: at a partially automated unpacking station the wrapping of the coil can be removed. For processing, the coil needed in each case is transported to and deposited in the unwinding station. After passing through, the coil with the now coated strip is removed from the winding station and either returned to store or taken on directly for further processing. The finished product – stacked on pallets – is the transported to the dispatch area. 

All the transport equipment is designed to avoid damaging the sensitive surface of the material. The transport units, weighing up to 5 tonnes, have to be moved with a positional accuracy in the millimetre range. For the complete range of mechanical equipment supplied, H+H promised an availability of 99.5 percent.

The in-house material transport begins with unloading off a truck. For this, a stacker vehicle has been equipped with an adapted gripper device, which deposits the coil on a lifting trolley. At the transfer position the coil transferred by a gantry gripping mechanism to a mobile trolley with system pallets, and taken for storage. The pallet needed in each case is taken from a pallet magazine that can hold 10 pallets, and positioned automatically.

As required, the coils are recovered from the store and transported to the treatment unit. At a transfer station the coil recovered from store is first transferred by a second storage and retrieval machine to a coil gantry (with a mandrel pick-up device), which deposits it in an intermediate buffer directly ahead of the treatment unit. Newly delivered coils are unpacked in advance; the transport from and to the unpacking station is carried out by a third coil gantry gripper.

For the transfer into the strip coating plant a new “parent-auxiliary distribution trolley” was developed. The coil needed is taken from the buffer and placed on the distribution trolley. The vehicle with the coil on it moves automatically to a position in front of the unwinding station. There, the parent trolley stays in its standby position while the auxiliary trolley moves with the coil in the transverse direction until it is under the spool.

In this position the coil is raised to the working height, held in the spool by a mandrel holder, and can then pass through the unit. The empty auxiliary trolley moves back and stays ready to pick up the next coil. The idea of this special design is to enable a direction change without again having to transfer and handle the coil. At the far end of the line this process is repeated in the converse sequence.

To be able to transport the coated coil from the store for further processing, a conveyor gantry with integrated heavy-load conveyors and an additional vertical conveyor has been installed.

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