Electrolytic cleaning line (ECL) serves the purpose to clean the cold rolled sheet coming from Cold Rolling Mill (CRM). The process of cleaning the sheets is shown in Figure 1. The cold rolled sheets are un-coiled from point 1 and 2 which are coil loading points- raw material for ECL. The coil is sheared and detached into two consecutive coils at point 3 and 4. Point 5 is the welding unit to attach new coil at the un-coiler end. The welded coil is fed into the cleaning tanks Alkaline Dunk Tank (ADT) and Electrolytic Cleaning Tank (ECT), where the coils are dipped in an alkaline solution followed by electrolytic cleaning using a scrubber. Post this, the coils are rinsed and dried by passing it through a dryer. The electrolytic cleaned coil is finally recoiled at point 7 at the re-coiling unit. The spool is wrapped around the mandrel on which coil is finally loaded at point 7. This spool is needed to give support to inner diameter of the coil and prevent coil collapse due to radial load as shown in figure 2.
Currently, the loading of spool on the mandrel is completely manual. The operator drags the spool drum (cylindrical drum made out of steel, weight - 25-30 kgs and size - Diameter - 120cms) from stock to the loading point, lifts the drum to feed the mandrel and rolls it around the mandrel, till coil lifter position as shown in Figure 3. The spool is loaded onto the mandrel at a frequency of 15-20 times a day and is a very tedious and time-consuming task for the operators.
We are looking for an automated spool loading system where the spool should be picked up from the stock (which is at point 1 in figure 3) and should be loaded at the said location (point 2 of figure 3) without any manual intervention. The entire loading process should not take more than 2-3 minutes. This will help in reducing the workload on workers, make the job safe and will ultimately reduce cycle time.