L & N W recently sat down with Al Spendlow, US Sales director at A B Graphic International and Marc Planella, Flexible Packaging specialist at Enprom Solutions.
We discussed the latest trends and how ABG and Enprom can meet the market need for slitter rewinders.
Perhaps now more than ever, taking advantage of the latest enhancements to slitters rewinders is of utmost importance for label converters.
With the continued presence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the addition of modular and automated functionalities has enabled converters to accomplish more with less. Printers can better handle increased workloads while also relying on the machine to accommodate growing demand with less manpower. The ability to convert finished rolls with fewer workers enables management to better deploy their staff throughout the facility.
When the concept of automating label printing is broached, slitter rewinders are one of the first functions that should come to mind. And as press technology has evolved, so too have slitter rewinders. The increased speeds of today’s presses necessitate converting equipment that can thrive with faster speeds.
Slitter rewinders have no doubt increased in importance. A B Graphic International and Kocher + Beck recently joined forces to acquire Enprom Solutions. As part of this partnership, customers have access to a product range that includes single shaft, two shaft, one turret and two turret slitter rewinders, as well as a double turret nonstop fully automatic configuration, where widths vary between 800-1650 mm. The triumvirate has emphasized the changing needs of the modern label converter, which highlights the shift to shorter run lengths.
“Our clients’ work orders have changed in recent years, from a few orders of many meters to many orders of a few meters,” explains Marc Planella, flexible packaging specialist at Enprom Solutions. “The mindset of customers in the past has been focused only on the maximum machine speed. Nowadays, due to evolution and market demands, this approach has been expanded to focus also on less machine downtime for job changes and to more automated processes with just the required personnel.”
The industry’s latest slitter rewinders also benefit from modularity, as converters can upgrade equipment to better suit their needs.
A B Graphic’s line of SRIs (Slitter Rewinder Inspection) have been engineered to work for each customer’s specific production needs. Converters can add fleyeVision, ABG’s camera inspection with 8k resolution and 100% print, UV barcode, ultraviolet and braille inspection, as well as auto slit, auto cut, and an optional leader trailer, all in their choice of web widths. By tailoring the machines to a converter’s specific applications, Al Spendlow, US sales director at AB Graphic International, notes that the equipment has become popular in specific production environments such as pharma, security and luxury goods.
“A multitude of options can be added to adapt the machine to the customer’s requirements,” adds Planella. “These include a splicing table, inline printing/coating, automatic knives positioning, reel extraction, automatic core positioning, unloading handling, pushing plate to reception table, reception table and also any kind of inline process such as mechanical perforation or laser for micro/macro-perforation.”
With fewer employees required to run modern slitter rewinders, the label business has also been able to absorb the surge in orders that was presented in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A B Graphic International has highlighted the inspection element – fleyeVision – on its equipment. The inspection of the label is done at the first camera system, and defect labels will be stopped at the second splice table to be accepted or exchanged by the operator. Re-inspection of exchanged labels then takes place at the second camera system. Finally, defect labels will be stopped at the third splice area, where acceptance or exchange will be signed by a supervisor.
ABG offers converters a variety of machines depending on their needs, ranging from the basic Omega 150 – a servo driven, compact, bi-directional, single lane, tabletop inspection slitter rewinder – to its core SRI, which features slitting, rewinding and inspection.
The company also provides bespoke options for pharmaceutical workflows with enhanced inspection and higher productivity, as well as for rewinding, converting, inspecting and numbering. Handling foil, blister material and booklets are also available options.
“Our SRIs have become faster, more efficient and we have added more bespoke modules, which allow our machines to be used in particular environments such as pharma, security, luxury goods,” notes ABG’s Spendlow. “We can easily add RFID tags, of which the popularity has grown significantly in recent years.”
Enprom, features the latest technology to increase operator efficiency. Less operator manipulation, automation of the operator jobs, improved acceleration ratios, an agile HMI interface, fast and automatic unloading cycle, automation of the knives’ positioning and reduction time to start the new rewind cycle are all key areas for this range of slitter rewinders.
“Enprom Solutions’ slitter rewinders have been designed for high speeds and built with strong and robust benches to avoid vibrations during the slitting and rewinding process,” explains Enprom’s Planella. “Slitter rewinders include rollers with different surface finishes, depending on the material to be worked, and dynamically balanced at the maximum speed of the machine. The products also present excellent tension control between the unwinding and infeed unit by means of a highly sensitive pneumatic dancer roller and independent tension control for each rewinding shaft through load cells, thanks to which we have the possibility of working with different decreasing pressure curves. This allows for working with standard materials as well compatibility with the most complicated ones.
“Our machinery is designed and built with the modular concept, giving the possibility of integrating inline processes at that time or leaving them ready for the future, depending on the evolution of the customer and the market,” he adds.
Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest news