Minor changes lead to major dividends with coated coil.

As more companies are discovering the benefits of converting to prepainted metal, the NCCA offers assistance to companies in determining what process changes are needed at the plant when using prepainting coils. Most companies are pleasantly surprised at the simplicity of most of the adjustments.

Prepainted coils are in fact very forgiving, and only minor process changes are required for specifying, handling, storing and setting up for coated coil processing. The following best practices should be implemented to ensure success with finished metals.

  1. Specifications
    Work closely with your coil coater to determine the best specifications for the product. It’s important to consider the proposed manufacturing processes, the life cycle of the product and the expectations of the consumer. Try not to over-specify the requirements.

  2. Tooling
    In most cases you do not have to change tooling, but dies should be polished and die clearances should be adjusted to fit prepainted metal.

  3. Transporting
    Prepainted coils can be shipped on flatbeds and moved with forklifts while still retaining a flawless surface.

  4. Handling
    In the plant, ensure forklift masts are padded to protect coil edges. Padding on hooks and other handling devices helps keep coil in great shape. Cushioning materials like feltboard and polyurethane protect coils while they are moved, placed in inventory or shipped.

  5. Storing
    Leave stocked coils banded until they are needed for processing, and use care when removing bands so they don’t snap back on the coil. If possible, storage in a climate-controlled, weatherproof building is preferable.

  6. Wrapping
    Wrapping coils with stretch wrap, coated paper, fiber-based wrap or particleboard helps protect stored coils. Use care not to create an airtight seal.

  7. Processing
    Close attention to gauge must be paid when feeding and processing material, as the coating can significantly change material thickness. Remove any burrs that could damage sheets or parts as they flow through the manufacturing cycle.

  8. Set-Up and Cleaning
    Each point in a coil processing line where finished surfaces touch another surface should be considered. Be sure to check clearances and alignments. Add padding for extra protection, or bonding strips of rubber to the faces of sheers, press brakes, carry tables or bench tops. Watch out for rough dies that can gouge or scratch the prepainted surface.

  9. Protective Films
    The use of protective films and papers can significantly decrease any manufacturing damage. Your coil coater can help you determine what processes may be right for you.

  10. Resources
    Be sure to check out www.coilcoatinginstitute.org/ for additional help including tutorials, toolkits, videos and more. For more information about processing coated coil, visit www.coilcoatinginstitute.org/ or call the National Coil Coating Association at 216/241.7333.