Lines can be engineered to mix and match, withstand high-level production, and take up as little space as possible

Above: CIDAN’s wide range of products and solutions help customers eliminate extra lifting and repetitive movements

September, 2023- Lines can be engineered to mix and match, withstand high-level production, and take up as little space as possible

For large capital investments, it’s essential to ensure upfront that the equipment is going to meet current and future requirements. In many machine tool applications, including coil processing, customers often begin their search by asking about the maximum thickness the machine can handle and the capability of automation, says Chandler Barden, president of CIDAN Machinery Inc., which has its U.S. headquarters in Peachtree City, Georgia.

“We consider the customer’s goals and ask application-driven questions—are they slitting, cutting to length, feeding any other type of system?” Barden says. “We take a consultative approach to our whole process, from sales to aftermarket support.”

CIDAN traces its roots back to 1907 and has undergone five mergers over its 115+- year history. One of the most recent was the acquisition of the Austria-based manufacturer Forstner Maschinenbau GmbH. Forstner brought with it an extensive line of cut-to-length lines, straighteners with rollers, feed functions, decoilers and recoilers, giving CIDAN the ability to offer its customers a modular series of products. These machines can be mixed and matched to create a customized, efficient production facility. “We have entry-level machines all the way up to full automated systems,” Barden says.

     CIDAN’s multiple coil system offers fully automatic shifting from one decoiler to another in less than a minute.

     CIDAN’s decoiler lines are demanddriven and process the right material in the right order

DUCKS IN A ROW

The ability to slit, straighten, store and organize material has made CIDAN coil processing lines popular among many different industries, says Barden, but a big market is architectural metals, due to the amount of different materials and coatings these companies handle—from light-gauge carbon steel and aluminum to copper, zinc and stainless. Companies that do a lot of coil changeover can opt for a system that has rows of coils sitting in mandrels. They decide how many places are needed—up to 45 coils—and can easily assemble the storage themselves.

“The metal building industry is kind of unique because of the requirements to process different colors of metal,” says Barden. “The coils are similar, typically going from 26 gauge down to 22 gauge, but there are a lot of different colors, a lot of volume and a lot of changeover. Our carrier system feeds into automated machines, so employees aren’t driving a forklift or using an overhead crane to switch out the coils for every single job.”

He also points out that a greater number of customers want to “set themselves up with automation.” Sometimes, that investment becomes costly. “With CIDAN lines, a customer doesn’t have to put everything in all at once. They can buy a CNC slitting knife machine that automatically adjusts the knives. Then, they can buy another system later and bolt it together.

“Not only continuing with our modular system strategy but also bringing in the automation portion of it is a big focus for us, and it makes the automation more affordable. Just a few years ago, adding automation came with a major price tag. Now, as the company grows, we can help them with each stage.”

AUTO-FEED

Barden says that CIDAN coil processing machines are widely used both for feeding automated laser systems straight from coil and for supplying flat sheet-lasers—a fast-growing market for the company.

“Prima Power is a great partner of ours, and we offer a system that’s feeding their materials storage tower system to supply equipment such as lasers and panel benders. The Prima lines can automatically communicate with our system and indicate how many blanks of material are needed. We have multiple decoilers set up that feed material off a coil, cut it to length and straighten it. This allows the customer to optimize their nests and buy material at the coil rate versus the flat-stock price, creating better economies of scale and condensed storage. Customers can communicate to the system that, for example, an 8-foot-long blank is best for nesting and scrap reduction, it gets cut, and “then they either stack it in their tower system or bring it right over to the flatbed laser.”

Barden says the uptick for this application started prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and continued to accelerate due to ongoing supply chain pressures. “We have one company that has bought 20 systems. They’re doing a lot of square footage with just a handful of different material thicknesses and types. That allows them to buy coils and move through them very quickly, keeping burning time on the lasers high.”

COIL PROCESSING

He says that the machines don’t need looping pits or require a highly experienced coil processing operator and can typically be installed in normal factory foundations without a lot of rework. “We also can integrate with a customer’s MRP or ERP and push over the information that they’re using already, which streamlines the automation quite a bit, as well. “We sell a lot of machines to customers that help them with the bulk of their volume,” Barden says. “They can save a lot of money and gain efficiency by looking at a coil system. They’d be surprised at the payback on it.”

 

CIDAN Machinery US Inc., 770/692-7230, http://cidanmachinery.com/