Roll drive arms ‘revolution’
UK based specialist manufacturer of control technology for converting machines Sigmala has introduced a new series of roll drive arms for slitter rewinders. The RDA series arms are said to be based on a “revolutionary concept” which employs embedded high torque AC servomotors and fully enclosed mechanical transmission systems, said to enable very precise and smooth control of roll dynamics.
According to Sigmala, RDAs give machine builders and users a simple, cost effective way of improving the performance of their equipment and offer advantages “which could result in them replacing virtually all existing designs of roll arms used in slitter rewinders”.
Technical director Arthur Chilcott explains: “We spent a long time talking to our customers to understand the limitations of their machines and the improvements they would like to see. A major limitation of existing arms has always been due to the length of the drive motor. In our design, the motor is built into the arm and the roll couplings are symmetrical so the arm can perform in left or right handed operation. This means that when the arms are retrofitted to an existing machine, it can convert up to 50 per cent more rolls than is possible using conventional arms. In addition, larger diameter rolls can be driven because there are no space limiting motors on the outside of the arms. Our customers report that RDAs produce very high quality rolls.”
All RDAs are available with ATU automatic traverse units, which use electrical actuators to automatically position the arms and provide doffing to the floor for loading and unloading rolls. Both RDAs and ATUs are said to be very low maintenance and simple to set up and operate. As they use no hydraulics, they are very clean and suitable for converting food grade materials.
Sigmala says that Dusenbery, in the USA, is using RDAs and idler arms, all mounted on ATUs, to provide traverse and doffing on its machines.
The company also claims its new SL knifeholder range is the first in which all parameters, including the cant angle, can be set up remotely. The patented knifeholder is entirely electrically driven and incorporates embedded servomotors for the up-down, side load, traverse positioning and cant angle axes. Each of these four motions is infinitely variable and is controlled remotely, eliminating the need for operators to reset the knife parameters manually during product changes.
The SL range has been in development for two years and incorporates a number of intelligent control features, including automatic set-up, knife wear detection and compensation as standard. Real-time diagnostics and predictive maintenance functionality are available as options.
Another development from the company is the Purrs servo driven roll winding stand, which can be used for unwind, rewind and roll salvage – all without the use of hydraulics.
Available in a number of sizes up to a maximum roll diameter of 2m and roll weight of 5,000kg, this unit incorporates electrically driven doff-to-floor and lift-from-floor functionality, as well as automated traverse positioning and de-chucking.
With no hydraulic actuators or pneumatic brakes, the Purrs is said to be low maintenance and suitable for food-safe installations. The electrical braking system can be operated in regenerative mode, offering power savings over traditional pneumatically braked unwind installations.
One size fits all
Kampf’s new Unicon slitter is claimed to provide outstanding performance in processing hard or soft packaging film, papers or laminates up to a finished roll diameter of 1,000mm and slitting widths starting from 50mm.
The Unicon is a ‘universal’ machine said to bridge the gap between the two established winding concepts and offer great flexibility for film and packaging manufacturers. Suited to a broad range of applications with its modular design, the machine is designed for working widths from 1,750-2,550mm. The slitting element is variable: depending on customer requirements, modules with razor blade or scissor cut can be mounted.
An optional automatic slitting width adjustment device is said to shorten downtimes substantially. Set-up times are also reduced by the use of ball friction winding shafts.
A special feature of the Unicon is its operating and drive elements. HMI operation is performed through a 15in colour touch panel PC 477 B with embedded WinCC flexible. The latest Synamics S120 drive technology with Drive Cliq system is integrated. The control system is a safety PLC with the S7 CPU 317-F2. TeleService is available through a modem or by VPN.
The Unicon is also promoted as a compact unit. Operator panel and switch cabinet, with all the electronic and pneumatic systems, are integrated components of the machine, making installation fast and simple, the company promises.
Kampf also offers handling systems to increase productivity. An integrated transportation device facilitates the unloading of finished rolls using an unloading trolley so that the winding shafts can be immediately re-loaded with new cores.
Burcas brings Dienes range of knifeholders to the UK market
Following the recently announced partnership between Dienes Germany and UK knife specialist Burcas, customers in the UK and Ireland are now offered from a greatly expanded range of premium knife holding systems.
Dienes has developed a number of innovative pneumatic knife holding systems for sheeters, winders and slitting lines – including narrow slit lines. Supported by the technical expertise of Burcas, it says UK customers can now achieve precise knife guidance, with the use of knifeholders for winders starting at a slit width of 16mm, sheeters up to 1,000g/m2 and slitting lines operating at up to 3,000m/min.
The Dienes DF family of knifeholders incorporates pre-loaded, caged ball bearing sets, with zero clearance, supporting both the vertical and horizontal stroke travel of the holders. The dual caged ball bearing sets on the vertical stroke prevent torsion, or side twist, of the knife blade lower head, while a pre-loaded caged ball bearing supports the knife blade on the lower housing, also preventing blade twist.
This is said to provide precise adjustment of knife depth and reliable and exact positioning of the knife with an integrated 360 degree knife guard.
CMC offers ‘best of both’
UK tape converter RA Wood Adhesive Tapes has invested in another CMC Cevenini E2/190 I II automatic log slitter. This model can slit two logs of PSA tape up to 190mm diameter simultaneously. It can also be used to convert single logs up to 350mm diameter.
This flexibility coupled with an automatic blade sharpening and de-burring unit is said to give converters the ‘best of both worlds’ – high productivity when required and adaptability to slit large rolls of foam, non wovens or textile materials. Size change can be performed “in seconds” from 2-999.9mm with claimed blade carriage indexing accuracy of within 0.1mm as standard.
CMC Cevenini says the latest
E-series machines are “future-proof” and can be tailored to exact individual requirements, either from the initial build or at a later date to keep pace with market changes. Touchscreen control systems, pivoting blade angle, multi width pre-selection, laser blade positioning, programme storage, modem links and special chucks are all available to complete the full machine specification.
Empire sticks with Ghezzi & Annoni
Doncaster, UK, based Empire Tapes has purchased its third slitter from Ghezzi & Annoni, a newly developed FA300 model. Supplied through UK agent Eurograv, this fully automatic, high output machine will handle 1.5 and 3in cores as well as being able to change to log winding within 20min. The ‘FA’ acronym stands for “Flexibly Automatic” whilst the ‘300’ refers to the machine’s maximum rewinding diameter.
Fitted with ‘plug and run’ size change components, the machine is said to allow for an extremely flexible production with dedicated slit widths. It is also available with a universal change part that allows the user to accommodate less requested sizes up to 300mm.
Empire Tapes purchased its first G&A semi automatic slitter five years ago, followed within six months by a second machine, this time a BA400 for 1in ID cores. Now the company aims to expand with the purchase of the FA300.
Says managing director Dean Sherrif: “G&A’s philosophy of offering greater flexibility and higher outputs matched our own internal desire for an automatic yet more flexible machine that can cope with and deliver slit rolls in the various widths, together with an efficient output of logged roll material. After performing trials on the FA300 we immediately decided to purchase our most expensive investment in machinery. We predict our turnover will grow from this year’s £5.5M to nearly £8M after we have installed the new machine.”
The new slitter will allow Empire Tapes to produce rolls of extremely high quality “guaranteeing the correct tension control of each roll, thus preventing the on-going issues that arise when using the more traditional ‘log and lathe’ process,” the company states. It can rewind rolls up to 12in OD with widths ranging from 9-1,650mm .
Rewinding speed is up to 350m/min and only one operator is required to supervise the machine. It is expected that a fully automated packaging machine will be put in line with the FA300 to automatically shrinkwrap, label and pack the rolls into boxes.
It’s been a record year for SRC
2007 has seen a record number of machine installations around the world by SRC Systems. In addition to Europe, thermal transfer ribbon slitters have been installed in Mexico, Porto Rica and Turkey. According to SRC, this underlines the market’s acceptance of its high speed duplex turret machine used for slitting 6-8 micron coated polyester films.
Stamping foil slitters have also been highly successful, with installations in the UK including 1,600mm wide machines for use with 25 and 76mm cores. In addition, a specialized duplex turret machine for 9mm slit widths is said to give high production and quality edge reels by using a differential control system for 25mm cores.
A high speed jumbo reel slitter for 1,600 by 800mm rewind diameter reels on 76 and 152mm cores was also installed in the UK.
Centre surface slitters have again been successful, the company says. One installation had a rewind design incorporating the front arms with pneumatic pivots to allow the unloading to be cantilevered with a motorized push-off system, and motorized trolley removal of the reels and lowering to the pallet.
Duplex centre wind slitters still remain popular with the Model 590SU, which has an integral shaftless unwind, plus the ease of operator access to the slitting knives with visual aids to ensure quick and accurate knife setting.
Miscellaneous slitting equipment has also continued to be popular, recent installations including a 3m wide machine for processing a range of building materials, and a 12 head spooling traverse winder for a thin foam product.
Aids to ensure ease of operation have been a top priority, the company adds. These have included a knife setting unit with a digital visual aid for razor and rotary shear slitting, and a shear slitting section that incorporates a pneumatically operated slide draw mechanism for rapid change-over.
Secondhand machine sales have continued to rise for Nick Duffy Converting Services. The company attributes this largely to the complete installation and training programme it offers, as well as competitive prices.
In its capacity as sole UK distributor for Faes, of Switzerland, it recently sold two Quadro 400 slitters to Thermal Transfer Solutions, in Redditch. Supplied complete with auto leader applicator, cross cutting, tail winding and many extras, the machines are capable of running 80,000m per shift.
Laem System to lessen downtime
Alfaplas, an extruder, printer and converter of flexible packaging in Hereford, UK, has installed a Laem RB4 twin turret slitter rewinder. Supplied through Eurograv, the UK agent for Laem System, the 1,500mm wide machine was purchased to reduce downtime after rewinding and increase the overall throughput of finished slit reels. The twin turret employs four differential rewinding shafts and a laser core alignment system for quick change-over at the end of the cycle.
Offering the possibility to rewind in both directions, up to 600mm in diameter, the RB4 can handle very thin films through to complex multilayered and laminated products thanks to a four vector drive system from Siemens with AC driven technology.
The machine at Alfaplas features a separate shaftless unwind stand with reel pick-up from the floor for rolls up to 1,200mm in diameter. Unwind tension is controlled through sonar reading with direct control on the split proportional unwind brake and drive system.
Quick change facilities include an off loading system which will allow the operator to rewind material whilst offloading preslit and rewound rolls; and quick position razor blade holders and scissor cut knives combined with the laser locating pointer are said to ensure that slit width changes are performed with the maximum of efficiency and uptime.
A robust dual shaft unloading arm provides quick removal of the finished rolls – particularly important for removing the heavy large diameter reels or when rewinding very short meterage.
Müller’s machine offers multiple possibilities
Combining several operations on one machine, Adolf Müller’s new traverse winder family is claimed to improve winding quality and “outperform most conventional technology”. The new SSM – LQ slitter in line with the SPR three level winders will keep running longer than ever before, the company boasts.
Müller custom designs systems to slit, spread, laminate, secondary split, planetary or traverse wind product in line, increasing the final roll length, reducing downtime, and increasing total efficiency of downstream processes, it states.
The new fully NC controlled spooler allows converting of various materials on one single machine. Each spooling unit has its own brushless NC winding motor, which is said to rewind with the lowest possible tension. All winding parameters for different materials and products are stored in the machine’s memory system.
Müller also offers a high speed narrow slitting and spooling machine for banknote security stripes and tear tapes. The slitter, with cantilevered unwind, features a splicing table for register splicing of printed webs. A duplex edge guiding system is said to ensure slitting tolerances of 0.05mm.
A cassette system is provided to allow easy and fast change to a new slitting width. Knife setting and maintenance is performed outside the machine on a convenient unloading trolley.
Tension controlled rewinding is provided on up to 82 Sahm E 412 independent traversing rewind stations. Rewinding is possible for both flanged rectangular and diabolo spools. Self expanding rewind shafts are available for 3 and 6in paperboard cores.
Spooling – ‘the way to higher productivity’
According to Double R Controls, one way to increase efficiency and reduce downtime when processing narrow width products is to convert them into spools, (also known as traverse wound and level wound packages). A spool typically has at least 10 times the continuous material length of a conventionally wound roll of material. The narrower the web is, the greater the length that can be produced in a single package by spooling/traverse winding or level winding it.
Tear tapes for cigarette packs and threads in banknotes have been spooled for many years, however, the range of materials that are being handled in this way is increasing on a daily basis, says Double R. Spooling is in fact no longer restricted to narrow width materials, with foam and non woven materials up to and in some cases in excess of 100mm wide being processed into spooled packages with dimensions of 1.5m diameter by 1m wide.
These ‘jumbo’ spools are said to enable very high speed, long runs of unwinding, (de-spooling) into the final application process.
An increasing number of adhesive materials, such as finger lift tapes and foams are also being wound in a spooled format. The techniques used for winding the various materials have increased and been developed over the years, and with the advent of digital drive technology these can be incorporated very easily, claims Double R.
The actual winding characteristics are of paramount importance to optimize transportation and unwinding of the spooled product. Technical information on spooling formats can be found on the company’s website.
To allow converters to enter the spooled product market, a low cost, single station, high performance, entry level spooler has been developed by Double R. It is said to be self contained and allows the user to convert a conventionally wound roll (a pre-slit roll from a slitter rewinder) into a spool – providing the customer with a longer, continuous length of product, which reduces roll change downtime significantly.
Simple techniques for de-spooling are also available on this equipment, so that the traversing action is removed during the de-spooling process.
Centre winders selling well
TS Converting Equipment has supplied a large number of centre winders to customers in Europe and North America. “These machines were developed as a low cost alternative to customers that would not have previously considered purchasing new,” explains managing director Tim Self, “We are building one or two a month, which complements our build programme of the high performance machines.”
A recent 1,600mm wide machine with a 400mm rewind diameter was shipped to GE, in North America, to slit delicate film products down to 6mm reels. The machine is said to be very compact with an exceptionally short distance between the slitting section and rewind. Conventional centre winders can only typically achieve 10-12mm minimum slit width on stable, non extensible products.
This particular machine is also used for some non wovens and was the first to be shipped with crush, razor and shear slitting.
A 2,000mm width machine has also been delivered in the UK, to slit a wide range of films and non wovens used in composite manufacturing. Its set-up time is reduced dramatically with the Elite Cameron Lazerset system for rapid knife and core set-up. Web tension is controlled precisely using the latest SSD digital drives and touchscreen controls.
TS reports a record sales year with many new slitters supplied to the medical, flexible packaging and adhesive tape industries.
“We have noticed a substantial increase in demand for our ancillary products which reduce downtime on slitters,” says sales manager Spencer Davies. “We have supplied a large quantity of our differential rewind shafts and Lazerset systems for retrofit onto other manufacturer’s machines.”
Xtra on film slitting
Introduced at K 2007, Goebel’s xtraslit machine is said to offer flexibility for film manufacturers and converters, with a range of technical innovations to minimize downtime. The machine exhibited was sold straight from the fair and will start production in Mexico early this year.
The xtraslit is designed for a variety of applications. It can be used to convert papers and films such as BOPP, BOPET and CPP, as well as slitting and rewinding of composite materials for the packaging industry. In its basic form, the machine is equipped for manual positioning of the slitting and winding units; the ‘high efficiency’ version offers automatic set-up functions.
Materials that can be processed include plastics and metallized films, coated, SD/inkjet/thermal and technical papers, and flexible and selfadhesive laminates. Widths from 1,600-4,000mm can be run at speeds up to 1,200m/min. The machine offers unwind diameter from 1,000-2,000mm and rewind up to 1,250 mm.
Titan recently introduced the twin shaft ER610 cantilever slitter rewinder to complement its SR8 model. This “eco-logical rewinder” has been “carbon footprint approved” as helping to make a contribution towards the reduction of carbon emissions. Its environmental credentials include reduced power consumption; hydraulics eliminated for oil-free, hygienic operation; and use of unlubricated compressed air for zero oil and air emissions.
The ER610 is aimed at converters who produce lower volumes of flexible materials. It can also be offered as part of a Titan ‘combined slitting solution package’ in conjunction with the automated SR8 machine, for larger converters.
The ER610 is designed to process 1,350 and 1,650mm web widths at a top speed of 450m/min. Minimum slit width is 50mm with a rewind diameter of 610mm on twin cantilever differential rewind shafts. The new machine also features an integral edge trim extraction system and a shaftless fixed height unwind stand with pneumatically controlled braking system. A digital edge/line guide system controls lateral movement of the unwind reel to within 50mm.
Astraflex buys Bimec
Leading South African flexible packaging converter Astraflex recently installed a high speed Bimec STM/63 slitter at its facility in Pinetown, near Durban. Due to increased demand, Astraflex has embarked on a capacity expansion programme, which included the purchase of the Bimec slitter. The STM/63 unwinds mother rolls up to 1,000mm in diameter and rewinds finished rolls of up to 600mm. It is equipped with a number of options to streamline set-up and job cycles. These include automatic tension control, programmable touchscreen control systems, shaftless unwinds and rewinding unloading facilities.
Omega operates with SA’s Ultraflex system
AB Graphic International has sold its first Omega FSR film rewinder to UK based SA Labels. The line is designed for inspecting, slitting and rewinding unsupported films and was developed in response to the increasing demand for servo driven presses for flexible packaging.
SA Labels will use the Omega FSR to convert substrates produced on its Ultraflex system, which offers a choice of print process configurations and decorative effects such as foils, tactile finishes and varnishes across a wide range of pressure sensitive substrates and flexible packaging materials.
Tony Coulthard, production manager at SA Labels, states: “We had a need for a machine that would enable us to process films plus all of the label substrates we handle. The AB Graphic machine fitted the bill and will enable us to supply finished product to both the pressure sensitive and unsupported film markets.”
The Omega FSR includes driven unwind, closed loop taper tension control, a slowdown festoon with splice table and web clamps, twin rewind module with twin lay-on rollers and dancer tension control.
It can be supplied with a range of converting options, and both unsupported films and traditional label substrates can be converted in maximum web widths of 330, 410, and 510mm, at speeds up to 300m/min.
It’s Alpha again
A major European labelstock manufacturer has ordered its second AlphaTwin slitter rewinder in 18 months from UK based Alpha Converting. The new HR twin shafted model was developed specifically to meet the demand for increased roll sizes from this customer and other labelstock print houses, to help them achieve higher operating efficiencies.
Able to wind 4,000m rolls of up to 1m diameter at speeds of 600m/min, the HR complements Alpha’s standard 800mm rewind diameter format AlphaTwin, which is already used for winding labelstock.
The AlphaTwin HR (HR stands for horizontal displaced rewinds) is said to ensure optimum formation of large diameter rolls with independent control of both the centre drive and surface drive to the two shafts. It is equipped with captive differential shafts for winding paper and plastics based pressure sensitive products. An overhead web path keeps the floor clear for automated unloading of the rewind rolls on powered trolleys with built-in scissor lifts.
As labelstock converters also require fast change-over for different slitting patterns, the machine automates the whole process. Slitting patterns can be stored in the computerized recipe system, downloaded from the factory management system or entered directly at the machine by the operator.
On completion of a job, top and bottom slitting knives are automatically repositioned for the new slitting pattern by Alpha’s patented knife setting system. The operator has only to load cores on to the rewind mandrels, positioning them to a laser line projected from above, which is automatically set from the slitting pattern.
This particular machine includes a full roll handling system with the roll lifter and manipulator positioned to the side for placing rolls directly onto shipping pallets.
The AlphaTwin HR can be supplied with shaftless unwinds for mill rolls up to 1,600mm diameter and 4t in weight, and vacuum splice tables for easy joining of the rolls.
Polish manufacturer of slitter rewinders for flexible packaging, inspection label rewinders and rotary die cutting label rewinders Jurmet has appointed Dorsch & Sturm to represent its slitter rewinders in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and The Netherlands.
“I was impressed by the technical level of the slitter rewinders Jurmet manufactures,” avows Dorsch & Sturm chief Martin Sturm. “In my opinion, it is one of the most dynamic slitter rewinder manufacturers in Europe. That is why there is no doubt that it will be successful in the German market.”
During the recent K show, the Polish company presented its latest slitter, the Master2. This machine can process 1,000, 1,300, 1,600, 1,850 and 2,000mm web widths at up to 700m/min.The maximum rewind diameter is 800mm on twin differential rewinding shafts and the minimum slit width is 30mm.
A gem from Ashe
The Diamond slitter launched recently by Ashe Converting Equipment is designed for processing thin films and laminates.
The machine has a small footprint and features a shaftless unwind with integral reel lift. Capable of speeds up to 500m/min, it can accommodate unwind diameter reels of 1,000mm and rewinds of 600mm.
Slitting possibilities include wrap and tangential, and a swing-out female knife bar provides for easy slit width changes. Other features include flange mounted interchangeable rewind shafts and a pneumatic lay-on system. A vacuum ‘hug drum’ as the main pull roller gives full tension isolation between unwind and rewind.
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