Converting Today recently spoke to Pavla Kusa, sales director of Czech-based manufacturer Soma Engineering. Busy gearing up for the launch of the company’s latest compact slitter rewinder, the Pluto III, Kusa talked about expectations for the new machine and Soma’s plans for the year ahead
Converting Today: What was the thinking behind this latest product launch by Soma?
Pavla Kusa: With ICE Europe on the horizon, we are set to launch a new version of our compact Pluto III slitter rewinder, complete with automatic knife positioning system. We designed this new machine to offer a compromise between economy and automation and as a result, the system resonates with the company’s new brand concept, which is "Profit Making Technology". This focuses on enhanced quality, efficiency and added value.
CT: So what is new with this model?
PK: Soma Engineering has been manufacturing slitter rewinders since 1992 and we consider the Pluto III as one of the best machines in its performance category. New efficiencies include automatic knife positioning to reduce job setting times from between eight and 10 minutes, down to 90 seconds, and a semi automatic blade positioning assistant.
The Pluto III is designed for processing order volumes from two to three tonnes down to as low as 500kg. The machine is targeted towards users that convert smaller quantities of previously printed reels that need fast job turnaround. Our company realises that in today’s market time is money and in keeping with our new brand concept of profit making technology, our focus was on enhancing the quality and technology of the Pluto III with features normally only supplied on larger, high performance models.
CT: What other features have been added to the Pluto III?
PK: The Pluto III features an automatic knife positioning system that allows operators to set 10 knives accurately in 80 seconds. The exact position of each knife is stored in a file menu in the main touchscreen control panel.
Operators can recall repeat jobs at the touch of a button and the slitter automatically configures the correct running parameters and positions the knives in their precise locations. Blade positioning is through fast clamping grooved segments and is set automatically without manual adjustment. The upper blade holders are set manually on laser holding rods with the help of the blade positioning assistant.
These all work in combination with the automatic laser core positioning system that enables the operator to re-load new cores quickly and accurately, minimising set-up time and eliminating re-starts, due to incorrect alignment.
CT: What configurations is the new machine available in?
PK: Operating from a maximum parent roll diameter of 1,000mm, the Pluto III is available in 1,100, 1,350 and 1,600mm web widths (minimum 300mm). The slit roll diameter is up to 635mm with a minimum slit width of 25mm. New 50mm wide machine side frames permit speeds up to 600m/min. and greater stability and productivity. All operating software has been optimised to cut preparation and running times.
Standard equipment for increased efficiency on the Pluto III include Tenzomat II for precise rewind tension control through PLC to measure real tension values at each work phase and job saving menu software. Shaft-less unwind with integrated reel loading and automatic laser core guiding system for fast and precise job setting combine to provide greater operator comfort.
AC servomotors replace air brakes at unwind to permit processing of very thin films and foils. Ionisation bars to reduce static, individual lay-on rollers and a slit roll unloading system with stand complete the package. An optional work station for web splicing can be located behind the unwind unit to streamline order processing.