A cut above the roll

28 October 2014

2014 has seen a number of technological developments in slitting and rewinding equipment, as well as installations of new machines by converters of. Here Converting Today focuses on some of the latest news from this fast moving sector

Recent advances in slitting and rewinding technology have been numerous, not necessarily in basic machine design, but more in the
components within a slitter. Examples include cut-off and transfer technologies on turreted machines that provide both finished roll last wrap and automatic tail tie of webs to new cores, without fold over or ragged edges.

Additional advances include roll design to eliminate entrapment, allowing higher speeds; shaft design and controltechnology to achieve better roll edg equality and build and, in many cases, support common shaft rewinding of materials historically wound duplex; dual bowed roll systems for slit separation; and co-ordination between auto knife placement and laser core positioning systems to provide fast, accurate core placement, saving time and material. New roll discharge systems handle larger diameter,
heavier finished rolls, and tree-unloading systems now discharge directly to conveyors leading to remote packing stations.

Also, control systems now often incorporate systems that report machine performance directly to customer data collection systems, allowing management to have precise information on production timing. Perhaps the most important point to ensure proper slitting/rewinding is a comprehensive understanding of the overall mission of the machine. What is the primary purpose of the job?

Once that mission is identified, key elements can be identified to ensure the desired performance. The machine must have a web path optimized for all material, slit width, and core size requirements as well as all ergonomic and safety requirements. Some important considerations include elements to precisely control tension from unwind to rewind; things such as roll surfaces, loadcells,
unwind type, drive size and programming; and the right rewind shaft design for the work.

Among recent innovators is French manufacturer DCM Usimeca, which has developed several solutions for quick, easy and safe unloading of light and heavy slit reels.

A one-spindle trolley is available to unload heavy rolls onto a palette, or for movement through the plant for additional operation. A two-spindle trolley is offered for moving light rolls through the plant for additional operation, weighing or packing.

Also available are: a two-spindle beam with manual rotation, for light rolls; a two-spindle beam with two driven axes, for light or heavy rolls; a two-spindle beam with three driven axes, for unloading heavy rolls on to a palette or a conveyor; a two-spindle beam with five driven axes, for heavy rolls; and an optional pusher to insure the transfer of the reels onto the unloading system. The motorised unloading systems can be controlled automatically, from the machine panel or with a WiFi remote controller.

Catbridge claims its Model 900 duplex center winder for flexible packaging applications is a machine of great versatility. It is capable of running a broad range of materials including films, laminations, papers and various nonwovens. It can rewind to a maximum 32-inch diameter; run at speeds in excess of 2,500 fpm, depending on the material; provide either shear, score or razor slitting or any combination of the three; slit to a minimum of 1 inch and produce rolls of superior edge quality and roll consistency. This means converters who have been running on a 24-inch rewind machine at speeds under 1,500 fpm can now meet customer demands for larger rolls and run them much faster.

This is especially important when running thinner films and other products where there is a large amount of footage on a roll. Where finished rolls have lengths over 10,000 linear feet, the time savings of running at 2,400 fpm vs. 1,200 fpm add up to dramatic productivity gains. With the ability to slit as narrow as 1 inch with any of three slitting methods, the 900 canperform on a wide variety of jobs, often eliminating the need to maintain different machines for different jobs.

Comexi's Proslit S1 DT double turret slitter rewinder claims a 30% increase in productivity over its Proslit Eikon predecessor. The increase is due to the possibility of working at speeds up to 800m/min with new and shorter acceleration ramps, and to the improved
and faster turret change. In addition, Comexi says the Proslit S1 DT will reduce energy consumption, representing savings of between 4-6% over the previous model.

The tension range of the machine has been also increased to provide greater flexibility in the range of materials to be cut. A new
support arm system for the turret changeover rotation is standardised in all widths. This arm allows rotation on both sides, top and bottom. With this system, the shaft end in cantilever arrangement is supported during the turret's rotation on a base that keeps it level
and fixed. Shaft life is increased and operation is simplified, achieving a more versatile machine. Fully automated download and
palletising is also an option.

Euromac recently introduced the TB-3 series of Duplex slitter rewinders. The TB-3.08p is a semi compact Duplex slitter rewinder with the most advanced technical features for production improvement of the majority of converters. It features a semi-compact footprint with integated shaftless unwinder though maintaining an ergonomic overhead web path for cleanliness purposes and knife accessibility. The pneumatically operated knives, which are installed on linear guides, are positioned through the Euromac digital positioning aid for a tolerance within 0.1 mm on nominal value in a fast and precise way.

Tension control is effected through differential ball friction shafts (or air expanding shafts for torque control) looped through an integrated and patented Loadcell system allowing precise tension control settings. The machine features duplex rewind up to 850 mm rewind diameter but also allows Re-reeling on single shaft to 1.000 mm roll diameter. Handling of the rolls is optimised by using the integrated motorised pushing device and servo assisted twin bar device, in case of Duplex winding or the included trolley when doing re-reeling jobs.

This machine follows the worldwide successful TB-3.06p series with 610 mm rewind diameter and anticipates the Double Turret slitter rewinder TB-3.06T2 with similar technical concepts.

ASHE America has launched the Opal new patented 'glue-less@ 4 spindle turret rewind slitter into the North American market. Driven via all AC servo motor system, the turret allows for no tooling set up operation between slit and core size changes. In-line and off-line models are available as standard within the range.

Amcor Flexibles Asia Pacific (AFAP) is to partner with Atlas Converting Equipment for the supply of Titan slitter rewinders in the Asia Pacific region. Designed to support Amcor Flexibles' rapid growth throughout Asia, the preferred vendor agreement provides standard machine specifications and options, together with an optimised and simplified process for ordering, delivery, installation and commissioning.

AFAP president Ralf K Wunderlich comments: "This strategic partnership supports Amcor's growth agenda, enhancing our ability to rapidly respond to the needs of our customers in this high growth region."

Elite Cameron has supplied its new CW800 "clean" slitter rewinder to Worldmark Material Sciences, a global manufacturer of high security label and diecut products, for the conversion of its security laminates. The machine was recently installed in the company's Glasgow, UK, facility to increase productivity and quality of a wide range of high specification laminates.

"The new slitter has enabled us to guarantee the finished reelstock quality and cleanliness that is required for high quality printing," says Garry McLeish, operations manager "We selected most of the options available to reduce setup time, as we run many different products every day".

Worldmark is a Global manufacturing company with centres in 15 countries, manufacturing high security label and diecut products. The machine was recently installed in their Glasgow facility to increase productivity and quality of a wide range of high specification laminates.

The CW800 Slitter Rewinder was developed to slit and clean substrates for printing, medical and food grade applications. The ergonomic design has a dual sided Teknek contact web cleaner after slitting to guarantee the cleanliness of the web.

Zircon Technologies based out of Dehradun has made an investment of three million USD which will see it open a new plant in Dehradun that will sit alongside its existing headquarters in the same city and an established factory in Chennai.

Sanjeev Sondhi, director of operations at the company, said: 'This investment includes machinery and construction of the third plant in Dehradun, mainly for shrink sleeving. The new plant will be spread across an area of 29,000 sq ft, which will take the production area to about 65,000 sq ft across three plants.'

Zircon Technologies has ordered two slitter rewinders for its new factory in Dehradun, with a Rotoflex VLI 440 inspection, slitting and rewind system to be installed this month. The VLI 440 has a 100 percent inspection system and is suitable for unsupported films such as shrink sleeves, which are highly elastic. The equipment comes with multiple slitting options and gap control rollers.

A Rotoflex VSI 330 inspection and rewind machine has been ordered and shall be installed in the next two to four months. Both these units have been sold by Flexo Image Graphics (FIG), the Indian representative for Rotoflex machines.

www. zircontech.com

Slitting solutions for composite materials
Specialist abrasives supplier Engis UK provides a range of slitting solutions to tackle the challenges posed by hard-to-cut composites, including dry and pre-pregnated composites, fiberglass, Bakelite, melamine and other abrasive-filled materials,
nonwoven and technical textiles, foils and light gauge metals and custom laminates, which are often used in the aerospace, medical and consumer product sectors.

Production using these materials is often carried out on purpose-built machinery and, when a standard solution is not appropriate, Engis has the expertise to design and manufacture slitting blades to suit a client's specific requirements. Engis Electrogrip electroplated diamond slitting blades cut freely, quickly and efficiently (either dry or wet) and are available in a range of blade types and diameters from 25mm to 500mm - Engis also offers a strip and re-plate service.

Engis (UK). is part of the Engis Corporation, which provides products, services and technological advances in key areas including: diamond flat lapping/polishing, diamond and CBN-plated tools, bore finishing tools and machines, tool room products and accessories and R&D and technical support.


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