In 2002, McNeilus Steel, Inc. of Dodge Center, Minnesota, was looking for ways to improve the quality of their existing Coil Processing Lines. They looked at several alternatives, including a Temper Mill, to improve their quality and efficiency. After an extensive study, they decided to purchase a Precision Multi-Blanking Line from Red Bud Industries of Red Bud, Illinois. The new line included Red Bud’s Heavy Gage Stretcher Leveler which Red Bud claimed would provide better quality finished material more competitively than a Temper Mill.

The line was installed in early 2003 and soon proved that it was more than a match for any Temper Mill produced product. McNeilus was able to expand existing accounts and explore new markets. The Stretcher Leveler is used to elongate the material sufficiently to exceed the yield point in all the fibers-top to bottom and edge to edge. This produces the most stable product that can be produced by a mechanical process. By greatly reducing internal trapped stresses in the material, the stretcher leveled material can be used in downstream operations using laser cutting without the worry of the material reacting to the release of trapped stresses during the cutting process and damaging expensive laser heads. The Stretcher Leveler produces the ultimate in flatness and can also be used to reclaim secondary material.

The McNeilus Line can process material up to 72″ (1829 mm) wide and thicknesses up to .312″ (7.9 mm). After running the new line for a year, McNeilus realized there was a segment of the market that could benefit from stretcher leveled material that they had not yet addressed. This included material in the range of .375″ (9.5 mm) to .500″ (12.7 mm). McNeilus contacted Red Bud and asked them if they would be willing to build a Stretcher Leveler Line for them that could meet these specifications. Red Bud agreed and work began on the new line. It had to be capable of processing material up to 72″ (1829 mm) wide at coil weights up to 80,000 lb (36,288 kg) and thicknesses up to .500″ (12.7 mm) at yields up to 75,000 PSI (517.1 N/mm²).

The new line was installed in early 2005 and has lived up to every expectation. It includes an 80,000 lb (36,288 kg) Uncoiler/Coil Stage & Load System, Heavy Gage Peeler Breaker, Crop Shear, Bradbury Leveler, Pop-Up Flatness Table, Heavy Gage Stretcher Leveler, Variable Rake Shear, Drop Stacker, Automatic Lowering Stack Table, and End Discharge Rollouts.

Stretch Leveler