It increases throughput, even on fewer machines. It reduces the need for labor, and customers prefer the finished product.
There are a plethora of other advantages as well, but the most important is that all of the improvements will reflect dramatically on the bottom line.
If you are in the pipe-making business, officials from Pipe Coil Technology Ltd. will say that you can't afford not to buy it.
The ``it'' is the high-speed automatic coiling systems made and sold by the Wallsend, England-based firm.
The accelerating automation market in North America has helped make the U.S. the company's biggest export market.
The company continues to increase the speed of the coiling system, which is now achieving coiling speeds of 500 feet per minute, said Iain Wallace, Pipe Coil Technology's director of sales and marketing. The company has a system that it plans to launch in the first quarter that can coil 650 feet per minute.
Declining to identify the client, Wallace said one of the company's customers, after installing automatic coiling, was able to reduce its number of extruders from 20 to 16, yet produce 50 percent more pipe. Once the new automatic coilers were installed, the company only needed three workers for every 12 it had prior to the equipment integration, he said.
Pipe Coil Technology officials credit both the automation boom and the surging U.S. cross-linked polyethylene pipe market as its primary growth drivers.
The coiling unit can put 15 miles of half-inch diameter pipe on a drum.
``And we can do it as fast as anyone wants to extrude,'' Wallace said.
Company officials recommend one automatic coiling unit for every three extrusion lines. It is a technology, they say, that Europeans view as a natural extension of a pipe extrusion line.
The coiling units are geared toward PE pipe ranging in diameters of a half inch up to 8 inches.
Sam Mascorro, president of Dallas-based Kraloy Inc., which represents Pipe Coil Technology in North and South America, said that one of his customers went from producing 3,000 feet of pipe per week to 15,000 feet per week without adding any extrusion capacity.