Shear class with slitting and rewinding3 February 2015
From 10-12 March 2015, the international converting community will gather in Munich, Germany, at ICE Europe 2015, to explore the latest manufacturing solutions and discuss prevailing industry trends. Our foreign correspondent Marco Siebel spoke with four industry players in slitting and rewinding to find out more about how their market is changing in 2015.
With ever-increasing worldwide demand for flexible packaging solutions and a strong market for added-value products, the converting industry has become a highly specialised, dynamic industry sector. For suppliers and manufacturers of machines, systems and accessories for the conversion of flexible, web-based materials, there are exciting business opportunities as the market needs innovative, efficient and environment-friendly solutions. The first company Marco Siebel asked to give its vision on trends in the slitting and rewinding industry was Euromac in Italy.
Euromac has been the Italian leader in slitter and rewinder machines for more than 40 years. The family run business is headed by the two brothers Massimo and Maurizio Miglietta. Massimo discussed the company's views on trends in the slitting and rewinding industry.
Massimo Miglietta, vice president Euromac: "Machine safety has become by far our top priority. We aim at a zero risk policy and total elimination of any potential hazards and danger. Next to safety and security, high technological, efficient and eco-friendly solutions are of enormous importance. Customers are demanding machines with automatic regulations and as little human intervention as possible.
"For 2015 we foresee that sales of many of our models will accelerate, in particular our compact slitters, for example the model called TB3 P. Due to a change within converting methods, we expect that demand for our Euromac Doctor Rewinders and Reel-to-Reel rewinders will increase as well."
Converting machinery that remodel production efficiency, reduce waste and most importantly, reduce the number of claims from customers. The company believes to achieve this with its new CB and RB series, which are high speed doctor rewinders and reel-to-reel rewinders that can be equipped with 100% inspection systems, label scanners and even slitting units.
Massimo Miglietta: "From a demographic point of view we are operating worldwide. We expect sales to increase not only in Asia, but also in the USA and South America. Euromac has sold nearly 2.000 slitter machines to customers in over 60 countries. In Europe, Germany is an important market where Euromac machines are appreciated for their innovative solutions, mechanical excellence and technological superiority setting the trend by offering innovative solutions time after time."
Later this year Euromac will put to market two new rewinder and slitter machines.
One recent example of succesful integration of slitting and rewinding equipment by a converter is Raimondi & Son, Inc from New Jersey. The family owned business has expanded from Caramel Apple production lines for other catering suppliers across the United States to becoming a significant contract film slitting business.
All of the ER610 slitters installed at Raimondi include an integral edge trim extraction system and a laser core positioning system.
"The Titan ER610 slitter is a great performer for our business," commented Frank Raimondi, Vice-President of Raimondi Films, Inc. "We are very happy with them. They are robust and reliable and very simple to operate which is just what we need for our 24/7 operations."
The ER610 is a more sustainable solution with reduced power consumption, no hydraulics for oil-free, hygienic operation, un-lubricated compressed air for zero oil/air emissions and its 'one-piece' design also enables rapid installation and commissioning.
"These features work great for our plant," Frank further explained. "Our power bill is affordable and we do not need a very big space to operate these machines. This helps because we keep our slitting room climate controlled for both the operators and the film. We are also budgeting for another ER610 - hopefully in the mid to later part of 2015," he revealed.
Ashe, Ipswich, north-east of London, have been manufacturing slitting and rewinding machinery for over 25 years. The family run business has significantly expanded its ranges that now cover any width between 300mm and 8700mm. Key areas of supply is to the self adhesive label industry, flexible packaging converters, film manufacturers and paper and labelstock producers.
Matthew Godbold, Sales Manager: "New products and enhancements are currently being developed for 2015, which will give our users production benefits from a speed and machine downtime aspect. New automated knife positioning systems for all of our duplex slitters have been developed along with winding enhancements to our primary and secondary film slitters. A new duplex slitter is also on the way which we believe will give our customers maximum efficiencies whilst the machine is running and when finished rolls are being extracted from the machine."
Matthew Godbold: "Being a family run business, we have a 'no borrowing' philosophy when it comes down to investments. During the past 2 years we have made investments in all areas of the business, enabling us to be at the forefront of engineering capabilities and to ensure the quality of our products. We cover the whole slitting and rewinding industry due to the unique set up of our business. Main core markets tend to be the flexible packaging markets - wide web - and self adhesive label industry - narrow web."
2015 and beyond
Ashe has recently exhibited its products in India, Central America and the Middle East. The company already has a subsidiary in the USA, and a sales and service office in China. In 2015 the company will exhibit in the USA, Europe, and China.
Matthew Godbold: "This gives a perspective of current markets we supply, although some are more established than others. Historically, the US and Europe have been principle markets for us, however during the last decade we have been able to enter into developing markets, whilst increasing our installation base in US and Europe. The slitting and rewinding industry is saturated with machine manufacturers of different scales, so we may see some acquisitions on some fronts, Ashe would not be part of this though, our future growth will come from organic expansion."
Kampf, headquartered just east of Cologne, Germany, has a huge product range that includes slitting and winding machines, winder, narrow-slitting and special machines for manufacturing and processing web-shaped plastic film, composite materials, laminated and aluminium foil, as well as non-wovens, label stock and refined paper. The portfolio focuses on roll slitting and winding machines for plastic film up to 11 m in width, converting slitters as well as doubling, separating and slitting machines for aluminium foil. We spoke with the company's Sales Director Markus Vollmer.
Among the more recent innovative developments are the slitting machines of the Microslit series for narrow-width slitting. The Microslit CAP is dedicated to metallized ultra-thin film for capacitor applications, whereas, separator films for lithium ion batteries and others are processed on the Microslit CON. These cutting-edge materials are used to advance new, modern energy concepts. The extremly fast development steps place extremely high demands on cutting and winding processes. The Microslit CAP produces narrow cuts from a width of 4 mm and material thicknesses from 0.9 µm at speeds of up to 700 m/min while adhering to close tolerances. Along with the usual straight-edge cuts, the innovative 'Wave Cut' cutting unit produces wavy contours with a choice of amplitudes and continuous dimensional accuracy.
Markus Vollmer, Sales Director: "Luckily we are part of a growing industry. Flexible packaging and technical films are constantly growing segments with bright future perspectives. In addition we are developing new technologies for new applications, e.g. battery applications. Our latest acquisition of the machine manufacturer LSF, south of Berlin, shows that we are on the right track for continuing growth."
In addition to the German locations Wiehl (headquarter), Dohr (production of components and the assembly of converting slitters) the company has branches in China,Hong Kong and Shanghai (Shanghai - assembly of slitters) India, Baroda and the USA, Windsor CT as well as service and sales offices all over the world. The company recently invested 11 million euros in a new assembly hall at the headquarter site to expand the production area, in addition to the modernisation and restoration of the existing buildings, totalling 6.400 m². In addition a new modern training workshop was build.
Expectations of the future
Markus Vollmer comments: "The flexible packaging is on the move and is constantly replacing traditional packaging habits like paper, metal or aluminium. Technical films will help to reduce the cost for the new energies opportunities for our company and consumer alike. Kampf is already part of this new world and contributes to this industry as well." ?