From innovation to legend
"Slitter 5" set new standards for cutting strip
Commissioned in 1996, the CNC-controlled "Slitter 5" in the Voehringen strip rolling mill has become the epitome of innovative solutions. It was specially designed for thin strips with high demands on dimensional accuracy and surface quality – and is still in operation today.
In the mid-1990s, the Rolled Products Business Area faced two major challenges: On the one hand, cutting capacities at the Vöhringen plant were reaching their limits, and on the other hand, customer requirements with regard to width tolerance and strip surface quality were increasing. The decision was therefore made to replace an outdated slitting line with two modern new plants that met both requirements.
One of the two lines was to be designed specifically for very thin strip and the most sensitive surfaces. For this purpose, the highest possible standard was defined - the result should be the best slitting machine in the world. And indeed, the line commissioned in 1996 as "Slitter 5" set a new standard in the non-ferrous metal industry. Instead of the mechanical eccentrics that had been common until then, "Slitter 5" was equipped with six CNC-controlled, electromotive axes with high-precision position measuring systems, as they were usually used in toolmaking. And a vacuum roller was used to generate the retraction for winding up the strips. Although this component is relatively expensive to purchase and involves high operating costs, it is the most suitable for processing strips with sensitive surfaces.
The innovation was so ground-breaking that the designation "Wieland Slitter 5" has now become a standing term which continues to define the state of the art in the field of slitting lines. This is also because more than 20 years after its commissioning, the line is still cutting strip of the highest quality and continues to be an essential part of the finishing process at the Vöhringen plant.