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Slitting and rewinding technology geared to flexibility, speed and precision

At CMM, in April, Elite Cameron will be launching the Vision – a centre winder claimed to have many special features to provide total flexibility for changing market conditions. The company says its modular construction will enable customers to specify the level of options they require today, knowing they can upgrade the machine with minimal cost at a later date.

“The Vision will bring a whole new dimension to centre winder applications, offering huge benefits and total flexibility to customers,” says managing director Tim Self. “Over 50 different options are available to provide a tailored solution for all aspects of the process.

“The standard specification already offers many advantages over our competition,” he claims. “A typical job change on the Vision 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!”

He says packaging film converters will also benefit from the machine’s maximum speed of 500m/min and overhead web path for cleanliness and improved inspection. Options include duplex turret rewind, auto reel ejection, auto core cutting and insertion, auto knife setting, core and label printing, web cleaning and video inspection.

Key to the machine’s flexibility is the control system: it uses Flex IO control modules that can be added with the mechanical options and plugged in for direct integration with the PLC. All of the control screens are pre-loaded.

Tim Self adds: “The mechanical modules, such as rewind and reel handling – most of which will be available from stock – lend themselves to volume production, minimizing costs”. He says Elite Cameron has already secured orders for the Vision from both Europe and the USA.

Valmet Converting’s Midi range of equipment has been re-engineered and upgraded to provide more efficient finishing solutions for aluminium foil and strip production.

The Midi range, now fully integrated within the Valmet Atlas offering, includes high precision slitters, doubling and separating lines, automated coil loading and handling systems, and shaft extraction equipment for light gauge aluminium foils.

The design improvements have focused on the control and accuracy of output coil density, higher running speeds, better winding precision and increased slit width accuracy. Valmet says the Midi slitters are now also able to provide much reduced side-weave during the slitting cycle – featuring more efficient and accurate AC vector drives as standard and high precision, linear bearing mounted slitting elements.

Other improvements include reduced installation times on site, as a result of improved machine frame and sub assembly design. These changes are also said to enable more rapid roll removal (or replacement) and to simplify machine maintenance.

According to Valmet, a direct and highly sensitive web rewind tension system, combined with continuous computation of coil density throughout the winding cycle, has vastly improved the quality of Midi slitter output reels. Application of direct drive to the coil periphery of rewind packages, as well as to the centre, has also helped provide much improved quality.

The rewind coil is said to be controlled more sensitively by the application of drive to both the centre and the surface of the coil in a pre-determined share-ratio.

Programmable

US specialist in reeling and traverse winding equipment Progressive Machine Co has introduced the Model MS 102 to provide programmable control in a versatile, dual spindle modular design. The modularity allows for multiple configurations of up to 12 individual spindles to be used in winding multiple strips simultaneously. Each winder module incorporates two individual speed, tension, control dancer systems to maintain wind characteristics for each strip produced by a common feed process.

The machine incorporates the Accu-Wind computer control system to manage all the functions and winding patterns. Five infinitely variable computerized patterns are provided to optimize winding characteristics for a wide variety of products.

The Accu-Wind system is said to improve several aspects of winding, including the formation of more level and tighter packages for profile or strip materials. Specifications include: package width up to 21in, winding diameter up to 16in, and line speed up to 500ft/min.

The PEP twin-drum centre surface slitter rewinder from Uteco Usimeca has been designed to give precision performance on a wide range of materials. It offers processing speeds of up to 600m/min and is available in standard web widths of 1,200, 1,400, 1,600 and 2,200mm. The PEP is provided with shear and/or razor slit facilities, and automatic web tension control to ensure an even wind.

This four-motor driven machine can be supplied with PLC and digital dialogue display or a touchscreen panel, and photocell web guiding. Other options include an automatic slit positioning system, edge trim removal unit, splice table, unloading carriage, separate shaftless unwinder, and unloading carriage. All models in the Uteco Usimeca range are said to be operator intuitive, and offer high levels of production flexibility and product throughput.

Advanced inspection and rewinding equipment was supplied recently to UK based Links Labels & Tapes by the Burton Group UK. The package included a Vectra LCTR330 four-turret rewinder and an Omega SR330 inspection slitter rewinder manufactured by the group’s subsidiaries Holmdale Precision and Burton Engineering.

The Omega SR330 is designed for speeds up to 300m/min and features a PLC control panel with integrated functions for ease of operation, including HMI for new job set-up data, labels in labels out selection, label length control and process counter, slow down and stop. The Vectra LCTR330 rewinder was supplied with ‘just in time’ hot melt core gluing.

Tony Bell, general manager of Burton subsidiary AB Graphics, reveals: “The type of glue we supply for hotmelt applications cures and leaves very little residue on core gluing – a distinct advantage when the finished reel has to be further processed such as in thermal printers. Where zero tolerance is critical to smooth operation, we also offer a glueless turret rewinder.”

Vectra Systems, another Burton group member, has just supplied an SGTR glueless turret rewinder to a major label and forms converter in Scandinavia. It will be used for applications that will not tolerate any traces of glue on the web, such as in thermal printing.

The SGTR is designed to rewind from a completely glueless start. It can also rewind without the need for cores, just by changing the rewind mandrels. Designed to run at speeds up to 150m/min, it is available in web widths of 330, 410, and 510mm, and can be specified with a closed loop tension control system to enable delicate and perforated webs to be rewound without breaking.

Slimmer Sapphire

Due to customer demand for a narrow web machine, Ashe Converting Equipment has extended its Sapphire range of slitters to incorporate a machine with a 600mm width and a rewind capacity of up to 650mm. According to the company, it is capable of operating at speeds from core up to 450m/min “where most competitors do not reach line speed until approximately 200mm rewind diameter”.

The new machine features Ashe’s latest differential techniques and incorporates a shaftless unwind stand with reel lift. It also promises safe access to the slitting station, all electrical operation, a driven pull roller vacuum drum “isolating tension perfectly between the unwind and rewind”, and no maintenance or setting.

The slitting station incorporates dovetail mounted razor and driven or dovetail rotary shear with waste disposal either by venturi or the company’s own tension controlled trim winder. The rewind section features its AADS differential rewind shaft and driven self levelling lay-on system. The slitter drive is identical to the standard Sapphire, with a full PC touchscreen control with job menu set-up screen, maintenance programme and on-screen manual.

Aldus Engineering, based in Sydney Australia, has been manufacturing Dusenbery slitters for the Australasian market since 1969. While it uses the Dusenbery logo and name, much of the development and design is done in-house. Due to market demand in Australasia, special emphasis is placed on twin spindle, flexible packaging style machines.

Several hundred Dusenbery slitters have been built by Aldus for clients in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, but due to various mergers and relocations, Australian built Dusenbery slitters have found their way to the UK, Europe and South Africa over recent years.

The model 735AM or FAM (front unwind) is offered as a “cost effective” duplex slitter for the smaller converter who wants a compact and versatile machine for converting flexible packaging products with the minimum of downtime. It is available in widths up to 1,400mm, with either a front or rear 800mm diameter self loading unwind, 450mm duplex rewind, 300m/min top speed and fitted with shear and/or razor slitting.

Friendly

The larger model 835/6 is a high speed duplex rewinder, again mainly aimed at flexible packaging, and said to be very operator friendly. Designed for a maximum 2,000mm web width, 800mm or 1,000mm unwind diameter, 610mm or 800mm rewind diameter, and speed of 460m/min, it features touchscreen controls, razor and/or shear slitting, automatic tension control and a variety of options. Rewinding can be either cantilevered, lift-out or a combination of both. The 835 can be equipped with either shafted or shaftless unwind stands.

Rotomac has introduced an automatic rewinding machine to produce rolls of plastics film for household use. The model RTC 128 is claimed to maximize output while producing rolls of the highest quality. It features automatic parent roll change-over, while use of a series of pre-set working programs is said to make set-up for the production of different rolls easy and fast. A self diagnostic system also allows rapid fault diagnosis to minimize downtime.

According to Rotomac, the RTC 128 can operate at constant or variable speed, with reduced speed during cutting. It can also be equipped with a pre-cutting unit to obtain material sheets of pre-established length; and to facilitate roll opening, the machine can apply a self adhesive label or make an easy-start curl with the same material on the final part of the roll.

Laem System manufactures high speed slitters to clients’ requirements – ranging from narrow web models to complex 3,300mm wide machines where computerized quick change-over and high speed productivity are paramount considerations.

The company’s Model TR 425 is said to be particularly suitable for converters aiming for very high productivity of narrow web rolls, slit in small lots on a just-on-time basis. It is fitted with friction driven shafts and eccentric rollers to reduce change-over time.

Laem’s range also includes centre folding machines, web inspection doctor machines, core cutters with automatic loading and unloading, and roll handling devices.

Static specialist Arrowquint, UK/Eire agent for Eltex, is offering improved core pinning systems to match the higher speeds and greater tensions of modern rewinders.

Using the latest Eltex static charging systems, a static charge can be induced into the web as part of the rewind process. This causes the tail on the full reel to stick to the reel, preventing flailing and slackness. It also ensures the web sticks securely to the new core without the need for tapes or adhesives.

As a result, says Graham Dawson, Arrowquint’s sales manager, the reel change process can be accomplished with less operator input and fewer consumables.

More capacity

Italwork has completed construction of a new factory to manufacture its range of automatic re-reelers for household and catering rolls, roll packaging lines and slitter rewinders.

The company’s latest offering is the VIK range of duplex centre rewinding slitters. Designed for fast unloading of finished rolls, these machines are claimed to offer “the highest production performance” through programmable PLC control. Automatic unwinding and rewinding tension controls allow rapid threading operations and fast production changes.

Independent Machine has developed a system for slitting and traverse winding hook and loop, and other non woven material to as narrow as 0.125in. The 14in wide system features 16 computerized modular traverse winding cubes capable of different winding patterns. The slitting station and separate two-position unwind are modular and completely separate from the spooling section.

Each unwind supports a roll up to 48in diameter with programmable tension controlled by ultrasonic diameter measurement. Speed range is up to 1,000ft/min. Each cantilevered position produces spools up to 20in wide x 25in OD on 3in and 6in cores and reverse taper spools.

“Differential control on the rewind that depends on movement between the inside of a core and its shaft is inevitably imprecise and a potential dust hazard,” warns Parkland’s Douglas Uttley. “The design of our air differential shaft takes a different approach to overcome these problems. Cores are gripped by either ball or roller type self expanding torque chucks and all mechanical slippage takes place within these chucks.”

This gives precise and individual tension control to each slit finished reel, leading to improved quality and greater reliability, he claims. Parkland shafts have been retrofitted to other manufacturers’ machines, including Titan, Ashe and Dusenbery.

IES supplies slitter manufacturers with close tolerance, high precision knifeshafts and differential rewind shafts. The company claims its rewind shafts offer significant advantages over other types, including: no dust generated; easy loading and positioning of cores; no spacers required; slit widths down to 25mm; easy release for rapid change-over; and easy friction element replacement. The shafts are custom made for each machine type.

Nick Duffy Converting Services is expanding the range of services it provides to the industry and relocating to larger offices at the beginning of 2003.

In addition to continued growth in its traditional spares and service business the company is expanding its regular service contracts worldwide, along with its machinery refurbishment and installation business. It also represents Precision Products in the north of England for the design and supply of airshafts for most unwind and rewind applications.

Swiss connection

Other major growth is said to be coming from the company’s relationship with Swiss manufacturer Faes, whose range of slitters it markets in the UK and Ireland.

“According to customer reports,” says Nick Duffy, “the Quadro 400 series of thermal transfer film slitting and rewinding machines from Faes is setting new standards of reel quality at production speeds once only dreamed about.” This machine features four dynamic individually controlled servo drives and auto turret, and is now available with an auto leader applicator and cross cutting section.

Pelikan Hardcopy Scotland, who recently purchased a Quadro 400 complete with the auto leader applicator and automatic cross cutting, says it is already making huge improvements in quality and efficiency for the company’s rapidly growing thermal transfer ribbon business.

More information from Keith Fordham, Ashe Converting – TEL: +44 (0)1473 710912.

More information from Aldus Engineering – TEL: +61 2 98090363. EMAIL: Aldus@aldus.com.au WEBSITE: http://www.aldus.com.au

More information from Suzanne Rendall, Arrowquint/Eltex – TEL: 01242 604555. EMAIL: arrowquint.sales@talk21.com WEBSITE: www.arrowquint.co.uk

More information from Burton Group – TEL: +44 (0)1262 671138.

More information from Nick Duffy, Nick Duffy/Faes – FAX/TEL: +44 (0)1254 877129. EMAIL: Nick@convertserv.demon.co.uk

More information from Tim Self, Elite Cameron – TEL: +44 (0)1823 283411. EMAIL: sales@elitecameron.com WEBSITE: www.elitecameron.com

(IES) More information from Hugh Morris, Engelmann & Buckham – TEL: +44 (0)1420 82421. EMAIL: hmorris@buckham.co.uk

More information from Robin Ulanski, Independent Machine – TEL: +973 882 0060 ext 26. WEBSITE: www.independentusa.com

More information from Italwork – TEL: +39 02 9728 8405. EMAIL: itworks@tin.it

More information from Gianni Carandino, Laem – FAX: +39 0142 782872.

(Midi) More information from Valmet Converting – WEBSITE: sales.midi@valmet.com

More information from Douglas Uttley, Parkland Machines – TEL: 0161 762 9737. EMAIL: sales@parkland-machines.com

More information from Bob Brellis, Progressive Machine – TEL: +1 973 962 7700. WEBSITE www.progressivewinders.com

More information from Alberto Beldì, Rotomac – TEL: +39 02 33260381. EMAIL: rotomac@rotomac.it WEBSITE: www.rotomac.it

(Uteco-Usimeca) More information from Eurograv – Email sales@eurograv.co.uk WEBSITE: www.uteco.com