The first two of a new generation of multi-function coil lifters can be seen in action in British Steel’s Port Talbot plant in South Wales.

They were developed jointly by British Steel and Somers Handling of Stourbridge in the UK.

Somers says that because British Steel’s customers are increasingly specifying coils for delivery with protective core liners, the challenge was to extend the sensing system to detect the coil core through any of the protective materials specified, but without damaging it.

Somer’s edge-sensing technology already provides protection from overclamping damage during coil production, but the added flexibility of the so-called S3 Sensing System means that just one type of coil lifter can be used in every area of strip manufacture, including coating, packing, warehousing and delivery.

The signals, received from the new sensor system, can also be used for data logging and automating the coil handling process in association with the cranage.

The joint development team believes that removing the need for different lifting technologies in different areas of production will also eliminate unscheduled stoppage downtime by giving British Steel the ability to interchange coil lifters between departments and cranes quickly.

The S3 coil lifter also incorporates a newly designed 300O slewing head, multi-element, high intensity LED status lights and full width telescopic arms to handle any standard coil sizes.