Home' FLEXO iQ : July 2016 Contents 12 FLEXO iQ 2016 | ISSUE 2
finished roll pushers. They also include shaftless floor pickup driven
unwind stands. These features result in no lifting of shafts and rolls or
the need for overhead hoists. This increases efficiencies, and improves
ergonomics and safety for the operators while working around the
machine. For years, the loading of master rolls and unloading of the
finished rewind rolls, and the handling of shafts, have caused head-
aches and potential injuries for converters. The machines of today
have solved these issues.
Along with the cantilevered differential rewind air shafts, there are
now means to locate the rewind cores through laser positioning
systems. This feature is extremely helpful during rewind set cycle
times. This allows the operator to place the new rewind cores properly
and correctly onto the shaft after unloading. Again, it increases the
efficiency of the machine, and reduces waste and time spent setting
the rewind cores.
Included with your slitter/rewinder should be material handling
features and options that will increase the pure productivity and
profitability of the machine. You could have the fastest slitter/rewinder
available in today’s market, but if you can’t get the finished rewind
rolls off and reload the new cores onto the shafts, then the money
spent for that speed is totally lost. The material handling options can
include rewind shaft finished roll pushers that will automatically move
these rolls off the cantilevered shafts and onto an unloading unit. The
unloading unit then automatically marries up to the rewind shafts,
pivots away and turrets over for the proper height. These rewind
unloading units can even be designed to marry up to a conveyor or a
robotic roll handler that incorporates palletizing and wrapping.
On the subject of cycle times, a converter must understand there are
two very distinct measurements associated with a slitter/rewinder.
First is the rewind cycle time, which is related to the time required to
remove the finished rewind rolls and recore the rewind shafts for the
continuation of that specific slitting job.
Second, and as critical, is the job changeover cycle time. This is asso-
ciated with the changing of slit width patterns and, usually, materials.
Many converters fail to account for the time it takes to accomplish
this task. Here again, the use of automation and technology, and also
similar job scheduling, play important roles in minimizing this job
changeover cycle downtime. The PLC with PDF storage, along with
other options such as automatic knife positioning units, will mini-
mize the time required to change over a slitter/rewinder. The settings
from when the job was last run successfully are in the PDF and, in
conjunction with an automatic knife positioning unit, can reduce job
changeover downtime by up to 75 percent.
The last part of the answer would be to consider an automatic duplex
center wind turret slitter/rewinder. If you are currently running two
to three standard duplex machines in your plant, then the next logical
progression would be to consider and understand the advantages of
a turret slitter/rewinder. Turret designs have been available for many
years but the recent advancements in automation, technology and
material handling have enabled them to reach their full production
With automatic cut off, automatic rewind core placement and liner
tracking contact rolls, rewind cycle times are now a fraction of the
time it takes a standard slitter/rewinder. Such features as automatic
roll taping/closure, coupled with a full range of custom designed
material handling systems, prove turret slitter/rewinders can increase
productivity by 50 percent to 100 percent or more over a standard
In conclusion, the slitting department of today no longer has to be
thought of as a negative or a loss center. With the numerous ad-
vancements and the acceptance of automation, technology, material
handling and the proper training of operators, the converters of today
can now focus on pure productivity and profitability. n
About the Author: Randy Wolf is director of business development at
KAMPF Machinery Corp. USA. For more information, or to receive a
cycle time study using a printer’s numbers, comparing a standard duplex
slitter/rewinder to an automatic duplex turret unit, contact Randy at
email@example.com or visit www.kampfusa.com.
“For years, the loading of master
rolls and unloading of the finished
rewind rolls, and the handling of
shafts have caused headaches and
potential injuries for converters.
The machines of today have solved
“There still remains a mentality in the
converting industry that whatever
errors occur in the printing, coating
and/or laminating departments will
be automatically corrected in the
slitting department. This is where
the troubles begin!
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