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Fully automated Titan slitter easily accommodates increased PVC film capacity for Plásticos Industriales

In a bid to increase PVC production capacity by 60 per cent this year, Plásticos Industriales, in Valencia, Spain, has commissioned a new calender and a Titan SMA 900 fully automated slitter rewinder from Valmet Converting.

Plásticos Industriales was established in 1986 and is currently one of Spain’s largest manufacturers of hard and soft PVC. It supplies products for the electrical and pharmaceutical industries, packaging, construction, toys. Sixty per cent of company’s output is used in the Spanish domestic market, 35 per cent goes to the rest of Europe, and the remainder to other countries.

The first calender for PVC manufacture came into operation in 1989. Prior to expansion of the plant in 2001, the machine line-up comprised a three colour rotogravure press installed in 1992 and a self adhesive coating line installed in 1990. Embossing was carried out with a 2,000mm working width, 1992 model machine, and three slitters were used for cutting.

Expanding

Since 2001, Plásticos has invested heavily with the aim to increase the 24Mm produced in 2001 by 60 per cent in 2002, and eventually by 100 per cent. The expansion means that new jobs are being created – this year alone has seen the workforce grow from 106 to 117 employees.

The production line installed in the new machine room comprises: one 2,500mm working width calender; a four colour gravure press; an eight colour flexo press; an embossing machine; and the SMA 900 slitter.

The Titan machine has a 2,200mm working width, a 900mm maximum finished reel diameter, and a top speed of 800m/min.It features automatic blade positioning and laser core positioning. Finished reel change is said to take 60s – achieved by a fully automatic reel unloading system – and job change time is under 10min. The further reduction in ancillary process times was a key factor in the Spanish company’s decision to acquire the Titan slitter.

Ancillary process times play a particularly important role in short production runs, typically from 1,000-10,000m or 20,000m. The SMA 900 can handle 18,000-20,000m/hour, depending on order length – easily out performing Plásticos’ three old slitters, which together produced about 40,000m/day.

The fast finished reel change time and a wide working width mean that, with a slit width of 50mm, up to 44 reels can be unloaded very rapidly. Location of the unloading station next to the machine frame is said to cut unloading time by up to 50 per cent. In addition, the new design of the unloading station reduces machine installation time to a minimum, according to Valmet.

Easy to operate

Although the machine speed is high, operatives are said to find that increased automation and simplified control systems make their work much easier. The machine program is designed to be operator friendly, so after a brief training course staff quickly become familiar with the new automatic techniques.

The latest SPC control technology in the form of a Siemens S7-300 Industry touchscreen PC, digital Lenze 9300 drives, all networked via ET stations and Profibus, are said to provide a highly technical and efficient system.

The arrangement of the unwinding station enables the machine to process the full range of flexible packaging materials. It features a 1,500mm maximum jumbo diameter, pick-up unwind, with unwinding possible from above or below the parent reel.

Oscillation adjustment and touchscreen control panels are standard; and electronic web tension control using dancer rollers is provided. Parallel arrangement of the control terminal and unwinding makes one-man operation possible, even with over-sized parent reels.

Other features of the Titan SMA 900 include overhead web guidance; a splicing table; easy access by way of hinge-down steps and operation panels; and clear visibility of all important elements. Blade adjustment can be simple, digitally aided or automatic.

The commissioning period at Plásticos Industriales was “amazingly short”, reports Valmet, due to extensive testing carried out at the Titan production facility in Biggleswade, UK, prior to delivery. A wide range of substrates were slit and rewound on the machine during the testing phase, ranging from eight micron aluminium to 600 micron hard PVC.