Slitting and rewinding review15 January 2007
Off-wind capability proves a winner
Ghezzi & Annoni’s production facility in Garbagnate, near Milan, is reaching is busiest period since opening in 2003. Five of the new RSE180 model - “the world’s first four cycle/min, fully automatic slitter rewinder” -have been installed at several leading European tape manufacturers, as well as in the USA.
Mike Attard, director of UK and Eire agent Eurograv, says this machine was chosen for its extremely high output and exceptional rewind control that can guarantee certain users a fixed “off-wind” tension, needed for manual application of adhesive tapes.
He adds: “Several of these clients supply their products to automotive and aerospace industries and some of the high value tapes are hand applied to core components. In order to minimize the effects of RSI, these hand applied rolled tape products must have rewind characteristics that provide an even, consistent tension, no gapping and a light off-wind tension.”
To achieve this, G&A developed its differential rewinding system to incorporate lateral pneumatic loading which, combined with a new multi position torque curve, provides “consistent guaranteed off-wind tensions between 1.5 and 2.5Nm across the full web width and from cycle to cycle”.
“It’s all about meeting the specific demand of each individual client,” adds Mike Attard. “One particular market sector was causing several of our clients severe headaches in competing with cheaper imported product. We found that its product, although technically more sophisticated, was losing out on price, and the need to add greater value to this was seen as key to regaining market share.”
He continues: “The main issue with most hand applied tape rolls is that the off-wind tension can vary dramatically throughout the roll, and end users were reporting problems with RSI and inconsistency in manual applications which all lead to added costs.”
G&A’s technical experts suggested that the product presentation could be vastly improved as well as offering control over the off-wind tension between a pre-defined range.
“It’s this ability to provide slitting processing solutions for companies using potentially problematic materials that has stood G&A in good stead, resulting in a steady stream of orders from both the European domestic market as well as from overseas customers,” concludes Mike Attard.
Helios holder Skates along
A major refurbishment of one of the largest privately owned Masson Scott Autotorque winders in the UK was recently completed by the retrofit of new Helios S4-75 pneumatic knife units supplied by UK and Ireland agent Webtek.
The winder, at specialist paper converter CT Paper Sales, near Walsall, had already undergone extensive upgrading that included a new drive and tension control systems, a new unwind stand, and complete mechanical refurbishment of the machine. The existing cutter section was badly worn after many years of constant use and CT Paper decided that a knife unit upgrade was necessary.
The company chose the Helios S series shear cut holder for its “excellent balance between quality, innovation and price”. The units fitted to the winder are manually positioned by a rack and pinion mechanism. Also incorporated in the knifeholder is the Skate system, with sealed bearings that run on precision ground hardened slideways set into the knife unit support beam. This allows the operators to position the knife units with little effort, despite the S4 being the largest Helios knife unit.
Winder speeds stretchwrap production
The Converting Systems Group of Davis-Standard recently introduced a high speed winder for the stretch film market. The Black Magic S4-2CS 3000 BTL, or BMW S4, is designed to improve efficiencies for handwrap and stretch film production with features such as an integrated automatic core and roll handling system, and capabilities for producing six-up rolls on a 25s cycle time, roll change to roll change.
Based on upstream capabilities and 80 per cent line uptime, this winder can produce up to 2,700 roll sets or 16,588 rolls/day. In addition, Davis-Standard says it can reduce the cost of off-line equipment and labour with configurations that eliminate bleed trim, and automation that can be customized to meet production requirements.
The BMW S4 is a four-spindle surface/centre winder with two centre core shaft supports for 3m width films. This arrangement, in conjunction with continuous, dual surface driven lay-on rolls, enables production of 'flat-tail' film rolls. These rolls are wound from the top side of the web (the side against the chill roll) into the roll to produce inline-slit films that are virtually scrap-free from the core to the last wrap for both hand and machine wrap stretch films.
Six individual BTL (Bleed-Trim-Less) web steering assemblies, one per lane, enable in-line slitting with core extensions without the need to pull bleed trims. With a simple change-over, the BMW S4 can run either 50 or 75mm cores. It is supplied with a tape-less automatic roll transfer system, AC vector digital drive system and PLC controls.
Colines claiming a ‘world first’
Latest machine from Colines is a modular type winder for stretch film. This equipment, first applied in the company's Handrollex lines, is able to wind up 2 and 3in reels for both manual and machine use, with a complete change cycle of just 18s.
Colines claims it is the only line in the world that allows production of film with a width of 900 or 1,000mm, with the possibility of in-line cold recovery (as ground film) of the edge trims at negligible cost. It is possible to set the length of the wound-up film on the single reel, and a quick shaft change operation permits flexible, on-demand production.
The winder can be supplied with an integrated reel handling system, to prepare pallets with the reels arranged in boxes. Modularity makes the machine suitable for the expansion and modernization of existing extrusion lines.
In recent years, Euromac has extended its range of primary slitting equipment from 4,000mm to 5,000mm film width. The TB-8 series machines are designed for heavy duty performance running various film types. They feature independently driven rewind arms and lay-on rollers, rewind diameters of 800-1,200mm, and mechanical speeds up to 1,000m/min. Various options are available, from knife positioning systems to roll offloading carts.
Euromac has three TB-8 slitters for demonstration in its plant at Villanova Monferrato. These machines are designed for different applications: calendered PVC in web widths of 4,200mm, a new 4,500mm bio film application, and a new 4,200mm PP application.
More than presses
When Canadian pressure sensitive label and tag manufacturer Labelco purchased another 10in, 10 colour Mark Andy press, it also chose a complementary slitter rewinder to handle the increased production - one of Mark Andy's own VSR machines for finishing rolls.
Gord Joyce, president of the Mississauga, Ontario, based company, comments: “We've had great success with our Mark Andy press acquisitions and considered the VSR100 a natural fit for our latest purchase. The VSR's longer web path and larger inspection table has made the inspection and removal of offending product and replacing of missing labels easier.”
The VSR100 is an inspection rewinder that allows the operator to see the unwind and rewind rolls while inspecting. The proximity of the slitter cartridge to the rewind and the use of separator rings is said to ensure effective winding of narrow webs.
Currently, Labelco has Mark Andy presses ranging from a 7in, three colour model to a 10in, eight and 10 colour. “The VSR complements our existing print production,” Gord Joyce says. “It's allowed us to keep pace with a demanding shipping schedule.”
Story courtesy of Converting Magazine, USA
Spooling system claimed special
New from IMC is Spool-Mate, said to be the first low cost, driven spool unwind with closed loop tension control. According to the company, the growing popularity of spooling narrow width material to get exceptionally long lengths on a single package without splicing has created a need for a reliable unwind system for the next step in the process. The web path of the Spool-Mate is said to provide the same precision positioning as traditional pancake unwinding with the advantages of spool usage.
The compact 12in x 12in modular unit is easily mounted to a press or laminating operation and requires just a 220V power source and speed reference signal to follow. IMC's Dancer Tension Controller has the same adjustable precision tensioning used in the company's Smartwinders spooling 'cubes'.
Other features include: an AC vector follower drive with a speed range up to 250ft/min, core chucks for most core sizes, simple interface capability, and a range of mounting brackets for “almost any operation”. A speed interface assembly to simplify set-up is also available.
Log production raised and waste reduced
A brace of log slitters from Lever Manufacturing is said to have reduced wastage and boosted production for Phoenixville, USA, based tape and film products converter TB Philly.
Explains TB Philly general manager Tom Kirby: "We needed to have greater flexibility and more productivity to meet our customers' needs. We needed to reduce our waste factor in order to remain competitive."
"Lever allowed us to bring our own material to their site and they showed us how to slit each of the various widths, liner types, and materials. Each and every log of material worked to perfection. They actually delivered on the day they said that they would."
Story courtesy of Converting Magazine, USA
Tidland adds more safety to slitters
Now available from Tidland is a retrofittable blade guard designed to protect operators from injury as part of a wider initiative to increase safety at the slitter. The new guards are available as an option to all new and existing Performance Series knifeholders from the company.
Designed as “an affordable way to further reduce the likelihood of a slitting injury”, the new blade guard acts as an additional barrier between an operator’s hand and sharp blades. It is said to be made from durable materials, using low cost manufacturing methods to ensure affordability, and will attach easily to an existing Performance knifeholder. Additional material at the front of the knifeholder deflects the motion of an operator’s hand away from the web and provides critical reaction time, the company states.
“For too long our industry has not paid enough attention to operational safety issues,” argues Peter Wood, product manager for Tidland Slitting. Yet, the most valuable asset any company has is a healthy, skilled workforce. “That’s why we are continually looking for innovative, affordable ways to increase the safety of our slitters without compromising cut quality or productivity at the web.”
Duplex diminishes downtime
Bimec's “highly successful” TCA and the new MT series of high speed duplex turret slitter rewinders are designed for high productivity and minimal downtime.
The TCA series is suitable for finished rolls with maximum diameters of 450, 600 or 800mm. Claimed to be highly efficient, these machines are available in several web path configurations. The new MT series is designed for the production of rolls for use in packaging lines. Featuring a single face design, presenting both unwind and rewind on the same side, it is suitable for rewinding rolls of up to 320mm diameter.
Bimec's slitters have features to streamline set-up and job cycles that include automatic tension control, programmable touchscreen control systems, shaftless unwinds and rewind unloading facilities.
In the USA, with both the housing market and home improvement industry flourishing, the demand for a wide variety of construction materials continues to increase. With the constant pressure from the large home improvement chains to keep prices low, many suppliers to this industry are turning to automation for improved productivity and reduced labour costs.
Jennerjahn says its new JLS-120 slitter rewinder is proving to be the most cost effective answer to this ever increasing problem. Since its introduction last summer, six orders have already been secured, the company reports. Typical applications include rolls of roofing material, floor underlay, house wrap, landscaping underlay, and erosion control barriers.
The machine’s ability to run webs up to 10ft wide is said to give converters the flexibility to log wind typical house wrap materials or produce smaller 6in rolls of flashing material from the same web width. In addition to this flexibility, suppliers are also able to improve roll quality, it is claimed.
Latest log slitter
The new ED500/NM5 automatic log slitter from CMC Cevenini recently sold to a major American converting company is designed for medium and large sized slitting operations, on logs up to a maximum 500mm OD.
Extensive use of stainless steel is said to give the ED500/NM5 life long life durability, trouble-free maintenance, and corrosion resistance. For operator safety, an additional flip guard closes automatically to shield the blade from the operator when the main guard protection is opened.
In addition, the full guard protection cage and the lift-up guarding shield have been strengthened.
The machine also uses brushless technology for blade carriage indexing. This is said to have increased the working speed and reduced the maintenance needed. The blade sharpening unit has also been completely renewed. A more user friendly swivel arm control panel system is also new.