<b>Ashe reports annual achievement</b>
2004 was an outstanding year for Ashe Converting Equipment. The company introduced five new machines claimed to have “many never been seen before” features, and clocked up record sales months and a record individual sale of over £1.5M for eight machines, five of them automatic turret Sapphire S2 models. The customer cannot be named but is believed to a major US based company.
According to Ashe, “the new machines have been received exceptionally well within the marketplace, with many businesses in the converting industry realising the benefits of new ideas to help them maintain their competitive edge”. Claimed to be “pushing forward the existing limits”, the five machines are: the Jade, a primary film slitter; Sapphire S2 new generation duplex slitter; Sapphire S2t new generation high speed automatic turret slitter; Emerald 100, a 100 per cent inspection rewinder; and the Onyx, low cost duplex slitter.
All five are said to feature new concepts. For example, the Sapphire S2 has a running speed of 700m/min, closed loop rewind tension control, a new concept of shaftless female knife setting – “drastically reducing set-up times” – and an all-electric lay-on system with new geometry for more precise and accurate control at elevated web speeds.
With a top speed of 1,000m/min, the Jade individual arm centre surface machine is said to have “turned convention upside-down by eliminating all the normal problems associated with this type of machine and yet retained a minimum operator input”. For example, there are no cable or air connections to be made to the individual rewind arms, and no individual lay-on rollers. With automatic rewind arm selection and configuration, the rewind arms are “easily repositioned on smooth running linear bearings with the lightest of touches,” according to Ashe.
<b>DCM sets turret target</b>
The French DCM Converting group recently acquired turret slitter specialist Usimeca, complementing its own range of simplex and duplex machines. Usimeca supplies manual, semi and fully automatic turret slitters, with 60 installations throughout Europe in the past few years. DCM says it has noticed an increase in the demand for turret slitters and believes the flexible packaging marketplace “is ready to consider a reasonably priced turret slitter, with both duplex and simplex rewind shaft alternatives”.
The main benefit of the turret design is the automatic sequence of operation that increases production output. DCM says sales of these machines have increased since it acquired Usimeca. A Tigre DAB automatic duplex turret slitter has been installed at a UK flexible packaging company, following the successful installation of a standard duplex slitter at the same site. A Leopard LMA fully automatic simplex turret slitter for film and paper, complete with a fully motorized rewind off-load system, has also been installed in the UK.
The Panthere duplex slitter has an integral shaftless unwind stand making a minimum web length into the machine and maintaining direct operator access to the slitting knives. The rewind shafts are air differential design and the change per slit width is said to be immediate. Rewind diameter is up to 800mm as standard and operating speeds 600m/min. Motorized ‘push off’ and lowering pedestals are also available.
DCM also supplies a low cost slitter – the Super Lynx – effective up to 450m/min and complete with the tension system and AC drive package found on all its slitters. Also available are the fully reversible Babycat and Bobcat BRM inspection, rewinding and ‘doctor’ machines.
Independent Machine Co has developed a precision custom unwind/slitter for narrow widths of PTFE and laminates. The 12in wide modular machine works in-line with an existing winding system. It is the main speed reference for the system and is driven by an AC vector drive with a speed range to 950ft/min.
The cantilevered unwind includes auto edge guiding and programmable constant tension through diameter measurement and loadcell feedback. The interchangeable slitting assembly accommodates razor, score, rotary die and shear assemblies. Entry ‘S’ wrap pull roll and three roll nip sections are driven by the main speed reference drive through individual clutches to provide tension isolation and adjustable ‘draw’ control during slitting.
The unit also incorporates a special die for folding and flattening the slit strands. Other features include pneumatically actuated doctor blades on all contact rolls, Allen-Bradley PLC, special alarms, a pneumatic ‘peel-off’ roll and an A-B pendant mounted touchscreen for operator controls.
<b>Knives put in their place</b>
Parkland International has fitted its latest automatic knife setting system to a new rotary shear slitter rewinder delivered recently to a manufacturer of performance label products. The pneumatically operated system re-positions a total of 50 top and bottom knife sets without any intervention from the machine operator. In addition to eliminating the risk of human error, it is said to save valuable time which translates into higher productivity where slitting patterns are frequently changed.
Knife positions are input using a menu driven touchscreen and the data is then stored and called up as required. The 1,600mm wide machine is designed for future addition of razor-in-air slitting to a minimum width of 30mm.
A rail mounted indexing carriage, running across the machine, engages with the knives to move them into position. A servo motor and accurate ball screw transmission provide the lateral movement for the indexing carriage, using a laser positioning device and closed-loop feedback system to ensure accurate control and precise location of the knives.
Knives not needed for a particular set-up are parked at the side of the machine. The system can be disabled for manual positioning of the knives for cleaning or removal. It can be supplied as original equipment or retrofitted to existing slitters “with minimum modification”.
<b>Slitting without rewinding</b>
Log slitting as a result of slitting without unwinding/rewinding is becoming increasingly popular, says CMC Cevenini. The company has developed a range of over 24 different machines for this work.
One of the most significant advantages of this slitting technique, its says, is that log rolls from 100-700mm diameter and up to 3m wide can be slit into narrow reels without altering the original tension settings within the material itself. This feature is vitally important for sensitive substrates and extensible materials. Also, roll width changes “take literally seconds”.
A recent client to take advantage of the latest CMC Cevenini technology is Adhere Industrial Tapes. The brief was simple – maximum production output at the best achievable quality, slitting 6mm width tapes, 350mm diameter.
Within two hours of delivery to Adhere’s factory in Colchester, UK, the machine was slitting customer orders and “earning its corn”, according to company director Alan Shepherd.
<b>Mini reel system cuts out cores</b>
CG Automation has developed a high speed, automatic rewinder claimed to be the UK’s first machine of its kind to produce coreless mini reels of film. The new HollowrapT process, which cuts out the need for a board core in the centre of every film roll, is being supplied to Northallerton based STC Film Converters
CG managing director David Greig says: ”We are very much the pioneers of this process. We believe that our patented design makes this product the first of its kind on the market and signals a new system for stretchwrapping which we predict will become commonplace.” He claims the new system will help to remove the need to dispose of – usually by landfill – some 10M board tubes/year, cutting the amount of waste needing disposal by 500t.
STC converts and distributes an extensive range of industrial and commercial packaging film. A key part of its work involves bespoke slitting and film rewinding, so its equipment must have a high level of flexibility. The new machine will stand alongside three 1m wide slitter rewinders, two perforator-slitters and four high speed automatic rewinders – all from CG.
STC founder and owner Stuart Thompson says: ”We already champion the supply of ‘fit for purpose’ films, which mean customers use only the minimum material necessary. And we have been looking at ways of eliminating waste even further – without, of course, any reduction in our packaging standards. Now we have the HollowrapT, we believe we have found what we are looking for.”
<b>Ring rules tension</b>
Knife manufacturer Neuenkamp, a member of the Dienes Group, has developed a pressure distribution ring for longitudinal spacing devices. It is claimed to allow an absolutely even axial tension distribution of the tools arranged on the knife shaft.
The distribution ring absorbs the uneven tension pressure on one side to convey it to the precision slitting tools on the other side exactly and evenly on every point. As a result, the lateral runout of the rotary shear knives is said to be reduced considerably. Slitting tasks demanding highest concentricity and eccentricity precision as well as the request for higher and higher numbers of strips on one machine were the basis for Neuenkamp’s development.
<b>Time-saver from Titan</b>
Titan says its new CT610 fully automatic turret slitter rewinder provides a more advanced specification than the CT600 model, with a speed of 600m/min and levels of automation to increase productivity for high volume slitting applications. Change-over times of less than 20s between sets are promised.
A linear tracking system is claimed to give perfect web geometry for handling a wide range of materials at high speeds. It can be supplied with automatic tape-down, core loading and unloading of finished slit reels, and various optional automatic reel handling systems.
Titan has already sold four of the CT610 models to converters since the machine was introduced three months ago.
<b>Touch of Genious</b>
New from Dienes Werke is the PSG-DF knifeholder with Genious automatic slit adjustment. A touch panel allows easy selection of the material to be slit and the Genious finds the optimum adjustment automatically.
The Genious is based on the patented PSG-DF shear cut knifeholder which features double axle guidance DF (vibration absorbing guiding systems), 360 degree hand protection and constant side load. It also offers automatic depth adjustment – a claimed world first – as well as integrated knife size recognition and control through BUS technology (industrial standard).
According to Dienes, the new system increases knife life dramatically, reduces regrind costs, and ensures constant slit quality.
<b>Shafts save time</b>
When Ilford decided to retrofit an existing slitter with differential rewinding shafts, to both improve slit quality and eliminate possible repetitive strain injury to operators in the changing of chucks and spacers on the rewind shafts, it chose Svecom shafts supplied by Jarshire.
Following commissioning, the machine performance not only fully met Ilford’s requirement for improved slit quality and increased safety, but also enabled a much faster order change time – down from hours with the earlier chuck and spacer system, to minutes with the Svecom differential shafts, it is claimed.
The material to be cut was photographic paper of 238g/m2. Slit widths varied between 80 and 150mm from a web width of 1,600mm and there was a need to rewind different slit widths on the same shafts. To enable the best fit to the machine, Jarshire designed and manufactured a special rotary union along with the shafts.
<b>Easy to manipulate</b>
SCM Materials Handling has built a manipulator that can be integrated with any make of centre winder. The CW10 manipulator is to be installed in the UK with a Titan SR7 centre winder.
The CW10 is designed for mounting on an overhead gantry system, allowing the operator to move it with ease. Maximum capacity is 250kg. Safety features include a host of interlocks such as locking onto the end of the centre winder shafts using a special design of engagement which has a positive lock indicator.
The manipulator is a pneumatic unit operating totally independently from the slitter, enabling easy retrofitting to existing machines where manual handling is a health and safety concern. With the ability to raise, lower, rotate through 90 degrees in two axes and position rolls onto pallets by varying the widths of the probes, it is claimed to be the most versatile centre winder manipulator on the market.
<b>Robots cut downtime cut drastically</b>
Mandotti Machinery has developed a robotic mandrel loading and unloading system to work in conjunction with any semi automatic slitter rewinder. The patented UFOS tandem arm robot is claimed to eliminate operator fatigue completely and “transform the production output to levels hitherto only available from expensive fully automatic lines”.
A complete cycle takes just 22s and the slitter operator only has to supervise the working cycle, replenish the core hopper and change the jumbo. Mandotti can supply a complete automatic slitting and rewinding line together with integrated packaging for bulk or individual rolls.
<b>Success served up</b>
In addition to continued growth in its traditional spares and service business, Nick Duffy Converting Services is expanding its regular contracts world wide, along with its machinery refurbishment and installation business. Constant demand for a small, low cost slitting machine to convert hot stamp foil has led to the introduction of the Compact 150 (pictured), which is said to have generated interest across Europe.
Other major growth comes from the company’s relationship with Faes, the Swiss manufacturer whose products it markets in the UK and Ireland. “According to customer reports,” says Nick Duffy, “the Quadro 400 series of thermal transfer film slitters is setting new standards of reel quality at production speeds once only dreamed about.” This machine features four dynamic individually controlled servo drives and an auto turret, and is available with an auto leader applicator and cross cutting section.
<b>Making its mark</b>
Black Clawson Converting Machinery has received domestic and international patent allowance on its new winding technology for high speed slitting and winding of large diameter rolls on small diameter cores.
The Advanced Technology SurfaStart (ATS) winder is said to eliminate the shaft critical speed and deflection challenges posed by in-line slitting and winding large diameter rolls on cores with inside diameters as small as 77mm. It winds films, non wovens, papers, paperboards, and composites – up to 1.55m in diameter at production widths of up to 5.5m and speeds up to 750m/min on 100mm OD cores, or 120m/min on 175mm OD cores.
<b>Better based on a budget</b>
A new budget priced slitter rewinder from PW Merkle, the MSR 1500/C is said to suit plastics films, paper, coated textiles and other materials in rolls up to 1,500mm wide and 750mm diameter, with 76 or 152mm cores on a low level shaft for easy loading. Slitting is by circular crush cutting or razor knives, to widths as narrow as 20mm which rewind onto dual air expanding mandrels. A luminous laser beam provides precise and rapid alignment of the knives, rewind cores and parent roll.
The machine is powered by a 2.2kW geared motor with variable high speed and ‘soft start’ to avoid snatch or tearing of delicate webs.
<b>Better on the border line</b>
A coreless border rewinding machine said to offer “significant improvements” in the packing of wallpaper border rolls has been introduced into the UK by Isopak. Designed and built by Norwegian converting specialist Bragernes
Maskin, the rewinder is capable of rolling, cutting and labelling up to 240 rolls/min and can be adjusted to handle borders 100-150mm wide and from 25-120g/m2. Other applications include wrapping paper, greaseproof paper and posters.
The machine is controlled from a central touchscreen that features an error alert system, enabling the operator to identify any problems before the production output is affected. It can be connected to a printer or PC to collect production data, and is prepared for internet connection for remote service from the manufacturer in Norway, or for connection to the user’s production management.
The centre winding machine automatically cuts to length, discharges the finished roll, loads new cores and restarts the rolling without using glue.
The mother roll is fed through a knife system that perforates the paper into smaller, border-sized rolls, which is monitored by a following camera to ensure the perforations are in line with the border pattern. After the rolls
have been perforated and discharged from the rewinder, a labelling system applies one label per border. The logs then run over a breaker system where the perforations are split to produce individual border rolls, and finally
fed out by hand into a flow wrapper for packing.
AB Graphic International offers the Vectra SGTR glue-less turret rewinder for label converting applications that will not tolerate any traces of glue on the web. Designed to rewind from a completely glue-less start, it can also rewind without the need for cores just by changing the rewind mandrels.
Available in web widths of 330, 410, and 510mm, the machine can be specified with a closed loop tension control system that utilizes the latest servo drive technology coupled to loadcell rollers to enable delicate and perforated webs to be rewound without breaking. It can also be supplied with a print and apply system to close the finished rolls with a printed label.
The system is programmed through a touchscreen interface with menu driven graphics and icons that permit ease of operation. An automatic core loader enables transfer of the cores from a vibratory bowl feeder directly onto the
rewind spindles. A delivery conveyor can be specified to take the finished roll from the rewind spindle directly onto a packaging conveyor, eliminating the need for handling the finished rolls between operations.
Swedish manufacturer of rewinders for single face corrugated webs Pivab Machinery, says its specialist machines can be easily installed with basic connections to dedicated single face operations or at the end of existing
corrugators. They will operate fully automatically at production speeds of up to 250m/min. Standard working widths are up to 2,500mm.
High production speed can be achieved by means of fully automatic reel changes during operation, along with the rapid, simple transition between production batches. The fully automatic rewinder is also said to offer a significantly improved working environment, with user friendly software and automated functions eliminate the manual lifting of heavy loads. A semi automatic rewinder is also available.
Ghezzi & Annoni recently supplied an RBA300 fully automatic log winder to one of Europe’s largest vinyl films producer. It is linked to a &A packaging system with room for later addition of a second RBA3OO. This special line applies labels to the inner core, wraps the log in film, applies a label on the outside of the wrap, inserts core bungs in either end, wraps a box around the log, and finally palletizes and stretchwraps the boxes.
G&A has also unveiled a fully automatic slitter for the medical industry. This RS70 machine uses H-Type spool cores that are automatically loaded onto the specially developed rewind shafts believed to be a ‘world first’ by the company. It also applies the new tail onto the core, then automatically end cuts the tape at the end of the cycle, while stripping the rewind rolls and reloading the new cores. Cycle times of four/min are claimed.
FEBA roll slitting systems convert rolls of material without rewinding. Capable of processing rolls of up to 2,500mm width with outside diameters of 1,000mm, all have PLC touchscreen control and can be supplied with sonar
facilities for measuring the outside diameter of the log, and a laser that reads the outside diameter of the blade.
FEBA produces automatic roll slitters offering single and double-blade penetration. There is also a system that can accommodate four rolls at a
time. In addition, three-headed sawing machines are also available for protection films.
A recent development is the model 4L/400 automatic electronic lathe slitter. This slits self adhesive tapes, polyester, kapton, as well as open and closed cell foams. A revolving turret fitted with four shafts is designed to reduce log change-over times dramatically. While two of the shafts are performing the cutting operation, the other two can be loaded/unloaded, creating a non stop slitting cycle. A fully automatic front guard and a fixed inner guard protect the operator during unloading and reloading.
Core pinning systems to match the higher speeds and greater tensions found in the latest generation of film rewinders are available from Arrowquint, UK/Eire agent for Eltex Elektrostatik.
The Eltex systems induce a static charge into the web on the rewinder, either immediately before, or as part of the parting knife. This charge has two functions. It causes the tail on the full reel to stick to the reel, preventing flailing and slackness; at the same time, the lead of the web sticks securely to the new core without the need for tapes or adhesives. As a result, reel change can be accomplished with less operator input and fewerconsumables.
Where slackness, telescoping or inconsistent web tension is a problem, core pinning can be used to improve the standard of the finished reels, reducing the waste and reprocessing often needed to meet customer requirements.
| AB Graphic
Tel: +44 (0) 1262 671138
Tel: +44 (0) 1242 604555
Ashe Converting Equipment
Tel: +44 (0) 1473 710912
Tel: +1 315 598 7121
Bobst Group – BA Flexible Materials
Tel: +44 (0) 1234 852553
Tel: +39 039 604 2569
Tel: +44 (0) 1162 760206
Tel: +33 01 41 37 52 70
Tel: +49 (0) 2206 6050
Nick Duffy Converting Services
Tel: +44 (0) 1254 814141
Tel +39 0331 306482
Ghezzi & Annoni
Tel: +39 02 9944161
Tel: +44 (0) 1780 410093
Independent Machine Co
Tel: +1 973 882 0060
Tel: +44 (0) 1753 825122
Tel: +39 02 9373147
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8640 8631
Tel: +49 (0) 21 91 93 510
Tel: +44 (0) 161 762 9737
Tel: +46 11 391160
SCM Materials Handling
Tel: +44 (0) 1823 325544
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