Considering converting to prepainted metal? The National Coil Coaters Association in Cleveland offers companies assistance in determining the process changes needed at their plants if they switch to prepainted coils.

Prepainted coils are very forgiving, according to the NCCA, and only minor process changes are required for specifying, handling, storing and setting up coated coil processing. To ensure success with finished metals, the NCCA suggests you follow these practices:
  1. Specifications. Work closely with your coil coater to determine the best specifications for the product. It is important to consider the proposed manufacturing processes, the product’s lifecycle and the consumer’s expectations. Try not to overspecify.

  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 coils in great shape. Cushioning materials such as 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 do not snap back on the coil and damage it. If possible, store coils in a climate-controlled weatherproof building.

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

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

  8. Setup and Cleaning. Consider each point in a coil processing line where one finished surface touches another. Check clearances and alignments. Add padding for extra protection or rubber bonding strips 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. Protective films and papers can decrease manufacturing damage. Your coil coater can help you determine which processes best suit your situation.
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