Innovations, installations and news from the slitting and rewinding scene
Compack performance boosts Britton
PE film manufacturer The Britton Group regularly invests in the latest equipment technology and has worked closely with Spain’s Comexi Group for over 10 years. Most recently, the Louth plant of Britton Merlin received a new generation Compack2 machine from Proslit – Comexi’s slitter rewinder manufacturer. Installed last December, it is the first Proslit machine to be purchased by the Britton Group.
“We had decided to move away from our previous slitter supplier,” explains Bob Jenkins, site engineering manager at Louth, “but before that decision was taken, we conducted trials at Proslit’s plant on a Compack2 with our own material. The performance criteria we laid down was fulfilled, but we also took into consideration the price of the machine, its delivery and our on-going relationship with Comexi.”
The machine was duly installed and commissioned and, since then, performance is said to have been exemplary. “This one slitter completely outperforms our existing machines,” he says.
The Compack2 is regularly run at its maximum speed of 500m/min by Britton. “The only thing that holds us back from always running at optimum speed,” affirms Bob Jenkins, “is the customer’s particular requirements on rewind reel width and diameter.”
In developing the Compack2, Proslit wanted to offer a performance equivalent to many larger machines currently on the market. So the machine combines compact design with some interesting additional features.
Foremost among these is the patented Advanced Linear Tracking System, which allows high accuracy levels on the final output reel tensions. The system is fully automatic, with both lay-on rollers moving horizontally across the web through a double guided system installed on the frame. This is said to offer very stable reel tension and continuous, and accurate, reel rewinding tension during the rewinding process. This is achievable across all sizes of output reel or working speeds selected.
In practice, Britton Merlin has found the system works really well. “The ability of the Compack2 to maintain a constant, even tension in our materials is far superior to any of our existing machines”, says Bob Jenkins.
To help achieve high productivity rates, Proslit has integrated several design features into the machine. The new fixed height unwind accepts reels up to 1,000kg in weight, 1,000mm in diameter and with an 850-1,650mm width. Proslit can supply a trolley if the reel is being loaded from pallets, a pallet truck, or an overhead crane. The shaftless configuration adapts to the parent reel width and the design allows reel integration into the machine.
The compact design also permits good access to the slit area and simultaneous slit methods (razor and shear slit). Rewind core set-ups with laser adjustment and friction shafts with directional ball bearing rings along the shaft all help the operator to mount the cores faster and accurately.
“This in particular has really made a difference in reducing downtime and reel changing,” says Bob Jenkins.
Universal Converting Equipment has continued to expand the levels of automation available with its X9 slitter. The latest machine being shipped to a UK customer includes: an integral shaft-less unwind with automatic roll pick-up and positioning; automatic shear and razor knife positioning; automatic tension setting and control using the Universal Total Tension Control System; automatic core positioning; and automatic roll off-loading to a robotic packaging system.
There is also a camera system that gives visibility of all aspects of the machine from any position.
Developed as “the ultimate high productivity slitting machine”, the X9’s integrated management information system captures both quality and production data which can be transferred into site wide networks. The Universal Total Tension Control System uses closed loop control algorithms to maintain web tension at the required level.
Universal’s Alan Jones comments: “Development of the X9 machine has been a massive investment with more ideas in the pipeline. We can offer a fully integrated solution or customers can pick and choose the specific features they require. All elements have been cost engineered to allow us to sell at a very competitive price.”
The development of the X9 has also allowed Universal to offer elements of the technology as upgrades to existing machines. Universal Converting Equipment
Parkland focuses on productivity
A European adhesive materials manufacturer has installed Parkland International’s latest version of the SM100 Series III slitter. A duplex cantilevered design with centre driven gap winding, the machine has been developed specially for narrow width slitting. It can slit a wide range of materials including coated films, foils, paper, foam and vinyls, as well as pressure sensitive adhesive laminates and exposed adhesives.
This new model can accommodate parent reels up to 800mm wide and rewind up to 610mm diameter. Both integrated shafted and shaftless unwinds are available on the machine, with reel lifting facilities to minimize manual handling. For slitting exposed adhesives, as on this particular version, a peel-off roller assembly is fitted to the unwind.
Although the minimum slit width required by this customer was 15mm, the SM150 Series III can be configured to slit down to 10mm wide.
An automatic guiding system monitors and controls the web position to ensure consistent quality and trouble-free running. This is enhanced by automatic unwind tension control and automatic rewind tension control with tension readout, a standard feature on all models.
On the recently delivered machine, a splicing table fitted with pneumatic clamps and electrical interlocks provides facilities for making angled butt splices. The table is accessible from a walkway platform over the low level web path. On wider machines, customers can specify an overhead web path between the unwind and the slitting sections with the option of an integral splicing table and inspection zone.
A significant feature of the new machine design is the removable slitting section, which incorporates cantilevered knife shafts mounted on a trolley with an option of shear and/or razor slitting. Knives can be changed and set off-line to reduce machine downtime. While the machine is running with one set of knives, another trolley mounted knife set can be prepared.
The rewind section incorporates a duplex centre driven gap winder fitted with Parkland’s own air differential rewind shafts, full width lay-on rollers and web clamps for accurate slit positioning. This allows the machine to work in either gap winding or lay-on operation mode.
A motorized push-off system is included to minimize manual handling. It moves finished reels onto an unload trolley, a fixed column or an indexable column.
Foil wound in seconds
Automation plays a key part in the latest version of Kampf ‘s Roll-O-Fix high speed winding machine for household and aluminum foil, the Roll-O-Fix Evolution.
“Although we have retained some central design characteristics of the old Roll-O-Fix in the new concept, it was clear to us that something new was required,” explains product manager Peter Scholz.
Kampf’s long term automation partner Siemens recommended its Simotion motion control system, to ensure a consistent synchronization of all axes and actuators for the required high web speeds.
The Simotion has ready-to-use software standards said to simplify applications. For example, the Converting Toolbox contains software modules for winders, laying system, path control, and all-important processing technologies for continuous product paths. A library of industry-independent standard functions, the so called ‘Simotion Easy Basics’ (SEB), also provided several modules.
The first generation of the new fast running rewinders was designed for a 700m/min web speed and 45 rolls/min. At this speed, even the removal of the completed rolls became a challenge.
“As a consequence, we have integrated the roll removal in the position controlled synchronous group of the motion control, which also included the pneumatic system,” says design engineer Werner Müller. “In addition, roll extraction is now made in the web direction, at the rear of the machine. A simple standard transport belt now permits roll removal to the left, to the right, in the web direction or in any required angle.”
The axle-less design of the unwinding roller also allows integration of optional lifting equipment for the parent roll. The wrappers for the new winder are fed from above, which permits connection to an automatic central wrapper supply.
A new control avoids the need to thread the web and prevents the end flapping when the parent roll empties, or damage to the previously completed rolls should the web tear. Precise cutting and clean laying at web speeds above the 700m/min limit is also said to be provided by the task based automation system.
A Simotion D435 with Sinamics S120 drives is used as the CPU. This masters not only the sensitive control of the speed and tension of the foil between 10 and 20 micron thick racing through the machine at more than 700m/min, but also the precise control of the cutting blade, the adhesive applying equipment and the wrapper handling.
“At 700m/min web speed, we cut the specified web with an accuracy of 5cm”, states Werner Müller, “while every 1.2s a cleanly wound 15m roll falls into the collecting bin.”
Slitters with integrated packing and palletizing
IMS Deltamatic now offers its machines integrated with systems for handling, packing and palletizing the finished reels immediately after the slitting and rewinding process. Various types and levels of protection can be used, such as single/multiple packing with stretch film/bags, or protective boxes.
IMS Deltamatic will provide specific systems for each customer, according to the type of material, its production process, the logistics and the space available.
Features of the packing and palletizing lines include: reel handling; weighing; labelling on the inner side of the reel cores with data for traceability; packing of each single reel; labelling on the outer side of the reel; palletizing according to the desired layout ; and automatic loading of the pallet and of the protective sheets between the reels.
From printed roll to label in one step
Kmec and Blumer have collaborated to configure a new automated line for the production of die cut labels directly from a printed roll. Advantages claimed are significant savings in cost, time, labour and equipment, as well as reductions in waste. Their new line was presented at a recent Open House in Kmec’s Girona plant, in Spain, and three orders have already been received.
The line demonstrated included a Label CS small format sheeter from Kmec fully integrated with an Atlas 1110 label punching machine supplied by Blumer. Visitors to the open house witnessed the finished die cut and banded labels being produced in one process, as opposed to the traditional three, four and often five step process typical of the traditional large sheeter, guillotine and die cut systems.
Examples of the production of labels from a wide range of materials were shown, including metallized papers, BOPP, PE, shrinkable films, tobacco complexes, and inkjet photographic paper.
After being sheeted on the Label CS, pre-counted label strip stacks were presented to the Atlas 1110 on a delivery system that includes board placement stations, a pressure and turning unit, and a rotating conveyor section that can be programmed to deliver the stacks to the Atlas, for alternative processing or as a quality control facility.
Like the Atlas machines, the Label CS has already been widely sold to converters and printers who produce labels, photographic papers or cards. Capable of up to 2,000 cuts/min and with a size range of 50-300mm in length by 1,000mm wide, it is said to offer improved efficiency and productivity. In addition to label work, 10cm x 15cm inkjet photographic paper can be produced in finished stacks of 25, 50 or 100, for example, and delivered directly into the retail carton. Its modular design allows for optional units such as for embossing or perforating, when required.
Putting the two machines together now provides a completely automated line from the printed roll to the finished shaped and banded label stack. As Joan Carbó, Kmec’s business manager explains: “The line requires just two operators (one for each machine), which compares very favourably with the traditional methods that can need four people.”
Latest CW makes CMM debut
TS Converting Equipment says the CW800 high performance centre winder it launched at CMM this month is not “just another centre winder but has many unique features which provide total flexibility for the future, at a time of ever changing market conditions”. The new machine is modular in construction and will enable users to specify the level of options they currently require, with the knowledge that they can upgrade the machine “simply, with minimal cost” at a later date.
“The standard base specification already offers many advantages over our competition,” claims Tim Self. “We understand the importance of reduced downtime, especially as customer orders are getting smaller and deliveries quicker. A typical job change on the CW800 can be accomplished in less than three minutes with one operator, which includes slit change, cut cores, reel change and resetting of the machine parameters.”
TS claims its flexible packaging film customers will also receive tremendous benefits from the machine with a maximum speed of 600m/min and optional overhead web path for cleanliness and improved inspection. Other options include duplex turret rewind, automatic reel ejection, auto core cutting and insertion, auto knife setting, core and label printing, and web cleaning and video inspection.
The machine’s flexibility is said to be achieved through the control system, which uses either an Allen Bradley or Siemens PLC with control modules that can be added with the mechanical options as and when required. All of the control screens are pre-loaded and can be activated when needed. The mechanical modules, such as rewind and reel handling, lend themselves to volume production, minimizing manufacturing costs, most of which will be available from stock.
A number of these new machines have already been supplied to customers in both the USA and Europe.
“The CW800 will bring a whole new dimension to centre winder applications, offering huge benefits and total flexibility to customers,” says Tim Self. “Over 50 different options are available to provide a tailored solution for all aspects of the process.”
In addition to the patented differential shafts, the machines are now available with indirect differential shafts to eliminate the need for core spacers at low tensions. “These units are available down to 12mm,” states sales manager Spencer Davies. “Most of our competitors are restricted to a 25mm minimum slit width.”
At the recent ICE show in Munich, Euromac displayed a duplex slitter with new technical features including a motorized roll offloader, an overhead path system, and an improved web path layout. The main new feature, however, was an integrated electrics cabinet designed to save space and cut costs while avoiding the risk of hydraulic and electric contamination.
Euromac’s Hendrik van Rooijen told Converting Today: “The recent success of our duplex type of slitters has made us re-engineer this range of machines so that they can be delivered in a shorter time and at lower cost – without any quality loss or compromises”.
The machines are available as standard with 1,450 or 1,650mm widths (or customized widths, when required) and for 600 or 800mm rewind roll diameters. They can be delivered at Full Optional package with reduced price or with specified options such as laser positioning for core setting, semi or fully automatic knife setting, and motorized offloading of rolls.
Log slitter has universal appeal
ALS reports that its universal range of log slitters with S-Tec level technology continue to succeed in the international market. Already this year one customer has taken delivery of four S-Tec machines, increasing its total ALS machine installations to seven. This “major adhesive tape converter” selected the S-Tec model to meet the quality and technical requirements demanded by the aerospace industry.
Available from 300-700mm diameter and in widths up to 2.7m, the S-tec will slit foams, double and single sided tapes, non wovens, plastics, laminates, graphite, mica, DPC, cork, felt, textiles, rubber and many other rolled products.
ALS states: “The market’s response to this range has resulted in batch production allowing us to pass cost savings to our customers. The success of this economic model is also due to its flexibility, accuracy and ease of operation.”
All machines include a high level of safety with full blade protection, and the control program incorporates help screens for the operator and a fault diagnostic system. ALS offers free telephone advice for slitting techniques. Using a network connection, the machines can be programmed from its base in Wellingborough with slitting parameters for new products.
SRC’s centre surface ‘revolution’
According to SRC Systems, it is a generally held belief with experienced material converters that to slit and rewind by a centre surface technique allows a wider range of product to be handled by the slitting machine whilst maintaining the optimum rewind edge profile and quality of tension. The ‘hardness’ or density of a rewind reel is governed by the amount of air removed at the rewinding point and this is achieved by web tension and lay-on pressure, or a combination of both
A centre surface rewind gives both these abilities and a ‘hard’ rewind reel can be produced without using the amount of tension normally required which, for certain materials, can be an advantage. The closer the slitting point to the rewind point, and if this length is kept constant, then, the rewind profile is improved, as the slit webs have less chance of moving or slackening.
Centre surface winding techniques have both of these advantages and were for many years the chosen design of slitting machine for converters and printers until the advent of differential rewind techniques, improved drives and controls, and PLC control – all coupled to ‘cantilevered’ rewind and offload advantages. The duplex centre wind with these techniques gave two important advantages over the centre surface slitter: rewind reel handling and price.
SRC claims to have developed a range of centre surface slitters ”that give the choice back”.
The company’s Model 710CS has the ability for cantilevered rewind shafts to be lock bar or air differential with full support during the rewind operation – and these become cantilevered for rewind reel removal. Included in the design are a motorized rewind reel ‘push-off’ system and transportation lowering trolley for reel handling.
The Model 680 CS maintains the use of a driven shaftless unwind stand and floor pick-up, but these are contained within the footprint of the machine to minimize the web length. Slitting can be razor, rotary shear or score and has a semi automatic visual display setting arrangement for quick slit width changes.
Access to the knife system is made simple by a pneumatically operated ‘sliding-draw’ design. This allows the complete slitting assembly to disengage from the operating location and present itself directly in front of the operator. When in the operating position, the knives are a few centimetres from the rewind surface drum, which holds the slit webs in position to the rewind point.
The duplex pneumatically loaded arms can be lay-on, lay-off or constant gap mode and as the rewind reel diameter increases, the rewind point remains in a constant position irrespective of the rewind diameter increase.
SRC says these machines have a price range to suit the customer’s expectancy and “rekindle the art of centre surface rewinding”.
Gemini gives better spooling
French manufacturer Calemard has extended its range of spooling lines to launch the Gemini II. Designed for narrow and fragile products, this machine uses a numerical traverse winder, driven by a new generation of PLC that allows an individual control of each spooling unit.
According to Calemard, a high degree of flexibility in handled products and building-up of the spools is reached thanks to this electrical and electronic architecture combined with the company’s new traverse winding technology. This is said to enable conversion of a wide range of products on the same machine.
Adhesives, foams, films, and non wovens, in various thicknesses and widths, can be spooled in different dimensions up to a maximum of 400 x 400mm, and in various winding patterns (level wound, taper wound, reverse taper wound, and magnum wound). Improved product guiding and tension control is said to ensure very precise and finer winding, avoiding web twisting and product damage.
This new spooling line also features Calemard’s proven machinery functions. Based on a modular design, the production capacity of the Gemini II can be easily increased from four to 12 spooling units if and when required. Full automation of the line allows recipe storages and ensures consistency in package winding. Rapid set-up time and minimal maintenance are also promised.
Back for more
“It seems like only a year or two ago, but actually it is nearly 20 years since we installed our first CMC Cevenini auto lathe slitter,” recalls David Ogles, managing director of Hadleigh Enterprises, pictured (left) with Pasquale Romeo, operations director of CMC Cevenini UK. “So when it was time to invest in lathe slitter number five, having recently seen the latest developments at the ICE exhibition, we decided to order the new model E320 NM5. This machine really has proven to be a very useful and flexible piece of kit for our converting needs.”
Laem’s latest on show
Italian manufacturer Laem System staged an open house in Casale Monferrato this month, to show its latest generation slitters designed to reduce downtime and ensure optimal finished reel quality.
In co-operation with Israeli inspection systems specialist AVT, the company also ran test trials of materials on its TR415-1400 slitter rewinder with automatic change-over (turret system). An integrated AVT Apollo Print Vision system inspected the printing quality and detected defects on the entire width of the reel – in real-time.
Laem says this combination will provide valuable reports on each slitting cycle to identify the precise location of unacceptable defects, without compromising productivity or wasting sellable material.
Other machines on show included alternative RB2 models with integrated Compact unwinder and a separate unwinder.
Also on view were an RB4 dual shaft slitter with four friction shafts, a turret system with automatic change-over, and a separate unwinder; a TR 115 high productivity dual shaft machine for thick and laminated materials; and the TR 555, which has independent rewinding stations with lay-on rollers, for slitting and rewinding film or metallized paper.
Loading made easy
At CMM, this month, Jennerjahn Machine exhibited its 120in wide JLS and 54in wide JJF automatic slitter rewinders. Both units provide fully automatic roll production for a variety of materials including paper, film, and tape. The autoloader system on the JJF automatically picks up a set of cores using a pneumatic pick and place device. It is said to be easily adjusted to accommodate a variety of core widths.
All of the company’s automatic slitters feature a shaftless rewind system that eliminates the need for rewind mandrels.
By offering a full ‘turnkey’ service, Nick Duffy Converting Services claims to have experienced a huge increase in secondhand machine sales. All machines supplied are removed, checked, installed and commissioned by the company’s engineers. Any upgrades or refurbishment needed are carried out in prior to delivery. Operator training and preventative maintenance services are also offered.
As sole UK distributor of Faes, of Switzerland, the company recently sold a Quadro 400 machine to Thermal Transfer Solutions, a new company based in Redditch. It opted for the fully loaded Quadro 400, which comes complete with Auto Leader Applicator, cross cutting and tail winding, plus many other extras. It is capable of running 80,000m per shift
Soon to be released is a machine to convert hot stamp foil.
TCL takes to Venus
UK agent Engelmann & Buckham has supplied a Soma Venus II 1,350mm width slitter rewinder to TCL, Telford.
The machine features hydraulic unwind reel pick-up from the floor with shaftless operation at maximum unwind, reel diameter 1,200 mm. The slitting system is rotary shear knives, capable of operating at speeds up to 700m/min. Knife positioning is fully automatic and set-ups can be stored in the computer memory. Segmented lay-on rollers help to ensure high reel quality.
Twin rewind shafts are equipped with differential elements for accurate tension control and a laser system guides the operator in placing the rewind cores during reel changes. Finished reels are transferred onto a reelstand for easy handling.
An external trim extraction unit supplied by Soma is able to work with a variety of materials at full running speed.
Investment in inspection pays off
With increasingly stringent regulations requir¬ing the highest accuracy and security in pharmaceutical and medical product labelling, New Jersey based manufac¬turer of pharmaceutical labels and flexible packaging The Control Group has installed a 28in, eight colour Aquaflex FPC servo press complemented by a VLI-700 eDrive inspection rewinder from Rotoflex International..
The inspection rewinder is fitted with Rotoflex’s Advanced Machine Vision System, which uses a reference based inspection method for quality control. During a ‘learn’ process, the system stores a known good image and then compares it with each consecu¬tive image using tolerance for colour deviation, registration and defect size. All interaction with the vision sys¬tem is done through an intuitive Human Machine Interface.
The system identifies the defects on a monitor that allows the operator to locate and verify the problem quickly. According to Rotoflex, the system provides exceptional quality control by identifying various faults such as colour defects, oil defects, missing print, colour changes, register movement between colours, register movement print to die cut, missing labels, matrix, splice and flags.
“Developing a quality inspection process to guarantee accurate and secure labelling for our pharmaceutical clients has been an integral part of our success,” says Control Group partner Jeffrey Levine. “We are very impressed with how the Rotoflex vision system meets the strict demands of our SOP processes. The integ¬rity of the label is critically important and the Rotoflex system far exceeds human or strobe inspection capabilities.”
A gift from Elsner
Elsner Engineering Works has developed a new way to market giftwrap – perforated sheets on a roll. The company says converters can use its Model GS-4-Series rewinder, to offer giftwrap that is perforated in a repeat pattern in sheet form. During wrapping of the package, the ‘easy tear’ allows for the consumer to tear off a sheet to the desired length in a simple to use manner, eliminating the need for scissors.
To achieve this, Elsner has modified the machinery cut-off system to introduce a ‘micro perforation’ blade configuration with its current servomotor driven precision cut-off technology. Using the new blade configuration, product strength is maintained during the high speed rewinding, the company affirms.
With this modification, companies using the Elsner rewinder can now market the giftwrap roll by length or by number of sheets. In addition, the sheet length can be changed electronically.
Elsner says this option is easily field retrofittable for current users of the Model GS-4-Series.
Dienes wins innovation awards
Manufacturer of industrial slitting tools Dienes was recently awarded prizes for innovation at two International Exhibitions.
In March, during the International Converting Exhibition in Munich, the company received the ICE Innovations Award for its new Depth Control knifeholder with manual depth adjustment. This unit is said to offer a cost effective and simple method for overlap depth adjustment.
In April, the new, time saving Quik-Set automatic knife positioning system won the Achievement Award at the IDEA event in Miami. With this system, all knifeholders are placed simultaneously by computer control – within just five seconds, it is claimed.
ICE introduction by Bimec
Italy’s Bimec displayed the latest model of its STM/63 duplex slitter rewinder range at ICE 2007. The version shown was configured for streamlined production and reduction of machine downtime. It featured automatic female knife positioning, an automated rewind roll unloading system, automatic tension control, a programmable touchscreen control system, and a redesigned ergonomic operator control panel.
This Bimec slitter offers a maximum rewind diameters of 600mm and incorporates an integral machine mounted shaftless unwind stand with a maximum roll diameter of 1,000mm.
Peyer opts for Faes
Swiss company Peyer + Co is now the owner of a new slitter from Faes, which it will use for the production of hot stamping foils.
Andrea Cadonau, head of sales in Peyer’s foil division, explains: “We wanted a machine that guarantees the finest quality for the end product and at the fastest possible speed.” But, he adds, particularly decisive in the choice were user friendliness, the variety of application possibilities and a good price/performance ratio.
Faes specializes in the foil market and has expertise in the production of thermal transfer and dye sublimation foils, which are distinctly thinner than hot stamping foils.
“We willingly accepted the challenge,” says Andreas Kaufmann, head of the company’s slitting rewinding technology sector, “since we essentially work with even more sensitive materials.”
The machine’s shaftless unwinding system permits material widths of between 1,000 and 1,600mm, with a maximum outer diameter of 1,200mm and a roll weight of almost 1,000kg. There is automatic loading of the jumbo roll, and a two-stand design provdes easy access to the splicing table and slitting unit. Rewinding – with a maximum outer diameter of 600mm – is carried out with a winding tension of 40-200N per shaft.
“We were particularly impressed by the machine speed of 800m/min and by finished rolls of perfect quality,” concludes Andrea Cadonau.
External weblinksConverting Today is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.ALS Bimec Blumer Calemard CMC Cevenini Dienes Nick Duffy Converting Services Elsner Engineering Works Euromac Engelmann & Buckham IMS Deltamatic Jennerjahn Kampf Kmec Laem System Parkland International Proslit Rotoflex International Siemens SRC Systems TS Converting / Elite Cameron Universal Converting Equipment Faes