Coil Handling Equipment | What are the Different Types?

What are Coil Handling Equipment?

Coil is a type of conductor wire, such as copper, in a form that is cylindrical. It is wrapped around an iron core which creates an inductor or electromagnet that stores magnetic energy. Companies that focus on coil processing solutions cater to various metal-working industries around the world since they are aware that one size does not fit all. In process applications, it is the energy transfer efficiency that is the most important performance factor for coils.

Industrial coils work great in industries such as grain processing, process drying, generating food processing, paper/ paper pulp, and chemical/ petrochemical, among many others.

Since there is a wide variety of applications and processing for coils, there are also different types of steel coil material handling equipment. These types will be further discussed in the following sections.

Types of Coil Handling Equipment

Coil Reels

coil reel

Coil reels are frequently used in uncoiling and recoiling applications because they prevent problems that involve stock deformation. In coil reels, the stock is supported on the coil’s center core and is unreeled as required. These reels are the best option for materials that are thin, prefinished, and are sensitive to marks. Coil reels are easily adapted to uncoiling and recoiling. They are also less costly as compared to coil cradles.

This type of equipment has weight capacities that range from 2500 lbs to 60000 lbs. The stock widths of coil reels also range from 12 inches to 84 inches. These coil reels have customized configurations (such as motorized or pull-off reels) that are best suited for your application.

For example, motorized reels have controls in order to improve the drive response for the material that is being worked on. Like cradles, reels are made out of materials and components that are heavy duty and durable.

Coil Cradles

coil cradle

Cradle-type uncoilers have the advantage of easy and fast loading of coils. Coil cradles are usually used along with coil straighteners in order to have lower power requirements and maintenance. Coil straighteners are made to remove coil set and cross bow, as well as to pay out material to the accumulation loop for the feeder. Straighteners that range from five to seven rolls are used for most materials and flatness requirements.

Cradles can be used as a separate uncoiler or can be used in combination with a straightener in order to form a cradle-straightener. Load capacities of this equipment ranges from 4000 to 60000 lbs. They can handle stock widths that range from 12 inches to 84 inches.

Coil cradles are more suited to process thick materials, are self-contained, and are easy to set up and relocate.

Standard features of cradles include an expansion that is either wedge or link type, a machine that is manual or hydraulic, pillow block bearings, coil keeper arms, and loop controls with different speeds.

Disadvantages of using coil cradles include the possible difficulty of rewinding unused material. They are also not recommended for use with thin materials.

Coil Stackers

coil stacker

A coil stacker further improves the overall production efficiency of coil processing. Additionally, stackers prevent the safety and ergonomic issues that lack in handling manual sheets of the coil. A coil stacker allows materials to be moved from the production line’s end onto an orderly pack.

Advantages of coil stackers include lower employee costs, minimized scrap as well as floor space, more uptime, and balanced packs.

Standard features of stackers are magnetic and vacuum options, buttons for width and length adjustment, buttons for scrap discharge as well as side/ end pack discharge, and fast speed. For surface critical materials and sheets, stackers have non-marking rollers and an air float cushion.


Various types of coil handling equipment are commercially available, as each equipment caters to a specific industry and/ or type of coil to be handled and processed. Each of the equipment mentioned in this page will have a separate article and will be thoroughly discussed.