Slitting and rewinding review

22 December 2005

Titans take Amcor to new levels

This month sees the completion of a three-year programme to upgrade the entire slitting and rewinding operations at Amcor Flexibles Preston, in Melbourne, Australia. Six new Titan slitters will bring higher running speeds and "dramatically reduced" job change-over times, with fully automated slit reel handling systems said to ensure substantial improvements in productivity for the plant.

Equipment already supplied includes three Titan SR7 and two Titan SR8 cantilever machines. One of the SR8s incorporates an embossing station for both aluminium foil and paper laminates, capable of speeds in excess of 400m/min.

The final two machines to be commissioned during January are a Titan CT610 automatic turret slitter (pictured) and a full width inspection rewinder. The CT610 is a high speed, high volume machine providing automatic cut-off and taping, automatic knife positioning and a fully automated slit reel unloading and handling system - which will be fully integrated into Amcor's existing end-of-line reel packaging operations.

The major benefit of the CT610 is the minimal machine downtime between finished reel sets, which is claimed to be consistently less than 20s – this one machine will process higher volumes than the three older slitters it is replacing, says Bobst.

The full width inspection rewinder will be used to detect (and remove) any printing or laminating faults in the parent reels prior to slitting on the CT610 machine.

Amcor Flexibles Preston is one of the group's largest flexible packaging converting plants in Australia, producing printed and unprinted mono and multilayer films, laminations and converted products for consumer and industrial applications.

Italian innovations

The RS-70 automatic slitter rewinder, recently unveiled by Ghezzi & Annoni, is designed for medical industry applications that use H-Type spool cores. The cores are automatically loaded onto a specially developed rewind shaft, believed to be a "world first". The RS-70 also applies the new tail onto the core and then automatically end-cuts the tape at the end of the cycle, while stripping the rewind rolls and reloading the new cores.

A benefit of providing greater automation is uninterrupted workflow and cycle times approaching four per minute, says G&A. Improvements have also been made in unloading/loading and knife positioning, hydraulics, drives and tension control, to ensure consistency of final product quality.

The Italian company has also developed an automatic log winder for processing rolls of self adhesive foam, laminated vinyl, films/labels, cloth, and other self adhesive materials. This model RBA-300 has recently been installed at one of Europe's largest vinyl film producers, linked to a G&A packaging system, with room for a second RBA-300 to be added at a latter date. The packaging line applies labels to the inner core, wraps the log in film, applies a label to the wrap, then inserts core bungs at either end, wraps a box around the log - and finally the product is palletized and stretchwrapped.

Orders on a high

TS Converting Equipment reports a record sales month for Elite Cameron and Deacro slitter rewinders.

A $4M order for a 3.5m wide T6800 model for NCR paper will be supplied to APP, in Indonesia. The machine (pictured) runs at 2,000m/min with a rewind capacity of 1,500mm, and uses the latest nip control when rewinding pressure sensitive products. The package of equipment includes a reel handling system, which will integrate with the mill's existing wrapping and packing line.

A multiple machine order has also been received for two Deacro T610 automatic turret slitters, for a large flexible packaging manufacturer in the UK. Both have automatic knife setting, web cut and transfer, finished reel ejection, core loading and tape-down. According to TS, each machine will produce more than three times the volume of a conventional centre winder, with a single operator.

The company also reports several retrofit differential rewind shaft installations on other machines, and a new Elite Cameron CC100A semi automatic core cutter has been supplied to Herma UK.

Latest in lathes

Next month, FEBA will unveil a "world's first" at the Ipack-Ima/Plast show in Milan. The company promises a "brand new concept in machine control and automation that will revolutionize lathe slitter operation and provide even higher levels of slitting accuracy and dependability".

The company says it has taken a concept from the industrial transportation field and applied it to the mechanical and electronic efficiency of the new F400 lathe slitter – "effectively removing mechanical servicing and lubrication from the most critical parts".

UK agent Eurograv has recently installed several FEBA lathe slitters to tape distributors, the F400 is equipped with a 10in touch screen display and data recall system. All the machines are fitted with modem control for remote diagnostics; this enables FEBA, located in Milan, to take control of the machine in an emergency.

Control counts

"Greater levels of automation combined with new advances in electronics, software and controls have turned slitting and rewinding into a new profit centre," states Ashe Converting Equipment's chief engineer, Keith Fordham. "Having our own control division has enabled us to take the lead in many areas. The Jade primary film slitter rewinder for example - an individual arm machine - has been designed to optimize winding quality, not just for film and flexible packaging, but also for quality papers, aluminium and heavyweight products."

Featuring individual on-board AC digital drives with built in PLC control for each arm, the use of Profibus communication technology to local drives is believed to be an industry first. Ashe says this machine avoids all of the problems associated with the demanding requirements of this application and yet retains minimal operator intervention. For example, there are no cables or air connections to be made to the individual rewind arms, no individual lay-on rollers, automatic rewind arm selection and configuration; and rewind arms are "easily repositioned on smooth linear bearings with the lightest touch".

Small rolls a speciality

As the POS roll market continues to move toward standardization, small roll converters are beginning to realize the benefits of fewer machine set-ups, notes Jennerjahn. The US company's DJJF design allows two basic rewinders to share several common components. By adding an automation package, the basic rewinders are transformed into two fully automatic units and the user's investment is "significantly reduced".

This concept allows both machines to produce rolls simultaneously with a single operator. It also allows the operator to independently work either machine while the other unit is being set up on another product, or having its master roll(s) changed.

To keep up with the high output of the DJJF, German manufacturer P&S offers a high speed roll processing line to separate and align the cores of each roll prior to packaging. A roll sleevewrapper and shrink tunnel system is also available.

Better than expected

A Bimec TCA/64 duplex turret slitter rewinder installed at a major Dutch company in October is said to be performing "beyond expectations".

The TCA incorporates automatic rewind spindle change, shaftless unwind, semi automatic shear knife slitting system and automatic roll pusher assembly for rapid unloading of rewound rolls. A touchscreen operator panel manages all phases of the automatic operating cycle, including recipe retrieval and tension control.

The machine is available in a number of different web path configurations, together with maximum unwind diameters of either 1,000 or 1,500mm, and rewind diameters of 450, 600 or 800mm.

Italian manufacturer Bimec has specialized in the design and construction of slitter rewinders for over 30 years.

For the budget conscious

Romtech-UK has launched a duplex slitter rewinder for self adhesive materials and tapes - the model 1635 SD - designed "for the converter who needs quality end results without all the 'bells and whistles' and a high capital outlay for the plant".

Shear slit, razor and crush cutting are all available, working width up to 1,600mm, unwind diameter of 800mm and up to 500mm rewind with either differential or lock core rewind to ensure full flexibility. Controls are said to be straightforward, with modern drive units, and a robust all steel construction that is extremely quite in operation. Romtech is also the UK agent for Mandotti, manufacturer of slitter rewinders for processing jumbo rolls into narrow width tapes down to 9mm. Thew company also represents Italwork, a specialist in high speed automatic re-reelers and slitter rewinders for foil, film and paper.

Venus rising

New to Czech manufacturer Soma's Planet series of slitter rewinders is the Venus ll, a "robust, high performance" servo driven machine designed for slitting thin foils at high speed. Soma claims this model combines automation with both high quality engineering and performance at a very competitive price.

It operates from an unwind diameter of 1,500mm and is available in widths of 1,100, 1,350, 1,600 and 1,850mm, for speeds up to 700m/min. Features include automatic knife and laser core positioning, intuitive touchscreen controls and a new automatic web holding system that provides ease of operation for splicing.

Latest in log slitting

The new NM5 generation of automatic log roll slitters from CMC Cevenini caters for small to medium production needs, using one circular rotating blade on one mandrel to cut logs of 250-600mm OD.

The NM5 machines feature a full width drip collection tray made of stainless steel, as are the blade shaft and flanges. For operator safety, the blade carriage indexes to a preset hold position and a flip guard automatically closes to shield the blade from the operator when main guard protection is opened. The lift-up guarding shield has been strengthened and guarding around the base of the machine has been extended.

New brushless technology used for blade carriage indexing has increased the working speed and reduced the maintenance requirements, the company states. The blade sharpening unit allows adjustment of the grinder from either the back or front of the machine. A new swivel arm control panel system is said to be easier to use when inputting programming data and making adjustments.

Holder as good as…

Mario Cotta's new Gold Series pneumatic knifeholder can cut flexible materials up to 450g/m2, at speeds up to 1,450m/min. Minimum slitting width is 50mm with a standard 150 x 80mm circular knife. The new holder is said to be easily interchangeable with most other existing knifeholders.

Operator friendly features include easier and safer knife changing. The whole of the bottom section can be easily removed from the front of the holder, it is claimed, and there is an integral knife protection guard.

AlphaMatic automates finishing

Alpha Converting has developed two new AlphaMatic units - one in-line, the other free standing - to automate the production of web to reel, cut to length rolls, that are labelled, bagged, boxed and wrapped in one operation. The new units are said to minimize operator involvement by automating the winding, cutting and packaging operations to suit individual products with short cycle times and reduced unit costs.

For continuous production, the AlphaMatic incorporates integrated accumulators, automatic cut-off and reel closure by label or tape, which can be printed with bar codes and other variable information in-line to maintain product integrity and traceability. Cores can also be loaded automatically and the finished roll bagged or boxed with minimal operator input.

Simon King, Alpha's managing director, says: "Our objective is to increase finished roll conversion throughput dramatically with machines that will improve productivity as well as the quality and presentation of the end product."

The choice of in-line or free standing machines offers converters a tailored solution to suit their production needs. Web widths available range from 640-1,600mm, material thicknesses from 25 micron to 2.2mm, and production rates up to one roll every 25s.

Range from Rumania

Rumanian based manufacturer SC Converting Inginery introduced its extensive range of slitting, rewinding and die cutting machinery at the recent ICE show. It includes systems to handle applications from film to foam, labestock and tapes to fax rolls

An example is the EST adhesive tape slitter, a twin shaft centre winding machine available in widths of 1, 1.3, and 1.6m. Maximum unwind OD is 800mm, rewind core ID 77mm, minimum slitting width 25mm, and rewind OD 400 or 600mm. Slitting is by air score knife and razor blade, designed for multi materials converting, and the machine will run at 200m/min.

Unwind tension is controlled by powder brake with auto tension controller. It is driven by three connective AC motors and the rewind tension system is changeable for tension control on airshaft and linear speed control on differential shafts. The rewind arm is movable to keep the same distance between finished roll and main roller - for a "perfect rewind". There is also a connected swing-out type rack for unloading finished rolls.

The trim unit is a traverse winding type (a centre winding driven type is available as an option). The central control system is a PLC unit with LCD touch panel for all data setting. All electrical components are said to be CE compliant.

A labelled gift for Greeks

Bar Graphic Machinery says its Elite range of slitter rewinding and die cut units are popular with Greek label converters. Since the UK company partnered Thessalonica based converting machinery distributor, Max's Coding Marking & Labelling in 2004, over a dozen units have been sold.

Costas Zachariades, the distributor's managing director, explains: "The typical Greek label converter faces familiar challenges today. Intense competition and pressure on profit margins mean they must keep productivity levels as high as possible, and offer a very flexible service without compromising on quality. The Bar machines are competitively priced, easy to operate, and reliable. For a small business especially, that is a very powerful combination."

Many label printers have found that investing in an Elite finishing unit has improved overall workflow, he claims. "Before they had the Elite, our customers would do all the finishing on the main printing press. They would constantly be stopping and restarting production just to get say, 1,000 labels onto one or 1.5in cores. Now, downtime is reduced drastically, as fast change-overs and running speeds are possible. And the printing can run almost seamlessly. Overall, the new workflow is a great boost to productivity."

Aid to recovery

Launched at ICE 2005, Universal Converting Equipment's X2 doctor rewind machine employs the company's closed loop tension control system "to produce rolls of the highest quality". The machine on show has since been sold to a major US converting company.

The latest vector controlled AC drives are said to allow operation with very low energy usage. A ConverterGuide 3 digital web guiding system is simple to set up yet precise and fast in operation. The touchscreen operator interface provides recipe storage for operating parameters to be re-used. The machine has an auto reverse function so when running printed material it will run to the end of the roll and then reverse to correct the print orientation.

Metallized a speciality

Laemsystem has designed a machine for precision slitting of metallized film and other delicate materials. The TR555 has a maximum working widths of 3,400mm and a top speed of 1,200m/min. It features lightweight, AC driven carbon fibre rollers, fully automatic positioning of rewind arms and knives, a web inspection system to detect defects on the metallized surface, and remote diagnosis for trouble shooting.

Eikon earns Ehrno's approval

Danish based company Ehrno Flexible has installed a new Eikon double turret slitter rewinder from Proslit to cope with increasing demand for its flexible packaging products. A major supplier to the food industry in Denmark, Ehrno has BRC/10P and ISO 14001 certification.

Production manager Michael Nielsen says of the new slitter: "It was certainly the best value for money, but the machine has also already proved to be much more efficient than others. It is very user friendly and has excellent performance and with the addition of automatic roll change on the rewind shafts, has proved popular with the operators by preventing any heavy lifting. An added bonus of reducing manual handling is that hygiene is also improved – we found Proslit had some very innovative ideas in this area."

Ehrno's Eikon has a web width of 1,350mm, 76 and 152mm unwind and rewind facilities, automatic knife settings and fully automatic handling. Maximum master roll diameter possible is 1,250mm, and speeds of up to 600m/min can be achieved, while minimum slit widths are 40 and 25mm.

The way the company's production is geared up ideally suits the Eikon, whose double turreting rewind system is said to offer significant increases in productivity compared to other rewinding systems.


Alpha Converting Equipment Tel: +44 (0) 1767 692244 Ashe Converting Equipment Tel: +44 (0) 1473 710 912 Bar Graphic Machinery Tel: +44 (0)1274 680020 Bimec Tel: +39 0331 307491 Bobst (Titan) Tel: +44 (0) 1234 852553 CMC Cevenini Tel: +39 039 604 2569 Mario Cotta Tel: +39 02 97966 1 FEBA Tel: +39 0331 306482 Ghezzi & Annoni Tel: +39 02 9944161 Jennerjahn Tel: +1 765 998 2733 Laemsystem Tel: +39 014245 5719 P&S Tel: +49 9131203066 Proslit Tel: +34 972 477 744 Romtech-UK Tel: +44 (0) 1908) 218730 SC Converting Inginery Tel: +40 259 411501 Soma Engineering Tel: +420 465 350 825 TS Converting Equipment Tel: +44 (0) 1823 283411 Universal Converting Equipment Tel: +44 (0) 1473 403333

External weblinks
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Alpha Converting Equipment
Ashe Converting Equipment
Bar Graphic Machinery
Bobst (Titan)
CMC Cevenini
SC Converting Inginery
TS Converting Equipment
Ghezzi & Annoni
Mario Cotta
Soma Engineering
Universal Converting Equipment

Titans for Amcor Titans for Amcor
Big order for TS Big order for TS
Ashe and automation Ashe and automation
Bimec beats expectations Bimec beats expectations
Economy from Romtech Economy from Romtech
Soma's Venus Soma's Venus

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