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Coat


ating&Laminating ng


Coating and laminatingmachi nery: Trends and opportunities in flexible packaging


Coating and laminating machiner


Extrusion coating and lamination technology from Davis-Standard


tensions. The consistency of splicing these rolls without disturbing web tension is paramount to keeping scrap low, and productivity high.


Missed splices are extremely costly in terms of lost production, scrap losses fromweb breaks, re- threading, and time lost in getting the process back online. Processorsmust be able to introduce new rolls of webmaterial into the operation with a splicing accuracy close to 100 per cent. This demands accurate web transfer tensions, reliable pasting and cutoff operations, and repeatable splicing for a variety of speed s and roll diameters.


COMPONENTS OF A SPLICING OPERATION In order to achieve this degree of splicing y, each component of the splicing


COMPONENTSOF accuracy,


t is an extraordinary time to be involved in the flexible packagingmarket, saysDavis- Standard. The global value for thismarket (depending on definition) is estimated at approximately $90billionwith an annual growth rate between 3.5 and five per cent. In some geographic areas this number extends to double digits.With somuch at stake, flexible packagingmanufacturers are seeing an ever-increasing demand for improved quality aswell as innovative and cost-effective manufacturing techniques. This includes the use of newmaterials, high-performance designs for packaging structures, and continually creative applications.


I


With these considerations on the table,many converters are evaluating the viability of upgrading existingmachines beforemaking a significant capital investment in new equipment. Since the benchmark for quality is often dictated by the latest product on themarket produced by the newest equipment,meeting the goals set by this new equipment can b e a risky proposition. Understanding the near termdirection for performance in yourmarket is a key part of the evaluation. One needs to understand the current capabilities of new equipment before venturing blindly into spending capital to upgrade a poor baselinemachine.When considering options, several processing factors such as performance, scrap and qualitymust be evaluated in order to make a smart business de cision.


TRENDS OR HIGHER PRODUCTIVIT raised the bar for the entire industry.


TRENDS FOR HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY Global purchasers of packaging products have y. Production


speed benchmarks fofor current state-of-f-the-art laminationmachinery rang 700mpmfor commodity p


ackaging structures, e from550 to


such as snack food and simple wraps. Quality criteria at these speeds includes web uniformity, adhesion levels, and roll geometry; all dependant


y, 22 November 2016 www.convertermag.co.uk


design. Hi on extrus


ion controls and web processing gh-speed web transport is challenging


Tomeet these goals, industry demands thinner products at faster rates. Profitability is determined by consistent production of


and requires precision bearings, roll balancing, and tighter alignment specifications. Additiona y,lly, the productivity aspect at high speedsmust be considered to ensure roll-to-roll splices and roll- starts are smooth, even, and repeatable at a 100 per cent success rate. Unwind splices should haveminimumtails of a few centimeters, and winder roll-starts should have zero fold-over to ensure a flat roll is started at the core. To


premiumquality web products using fewer raw materials at higher rates, whileminimising scrap costs.Web coating, laminating and/or converting operations need to ‘splice-in’ the process for producing thinner web rolls at lighter web


SPLICINGOPERATION


operation needs to be optimised for specific products and production requirements. This is the best way to attain splices that are


consistently suitable. These components include: 1 - preparation of the incomingmaterial roll; 2 - the speed of the incoming roll; 3 - the splice tension; 4 - the paster operation; 5 - the cut-off operation; and 6 - the tail-length control. On the opposite end of themachine, the winding of the finalweb determineswhether a sealable roll is produced. In considering the winding operation, it is important to note that if all filmwebswere perfect, producing perfefect rolls of filmproductswould be simple.Unfortunately, du e to natural variations in resins, non-uniformities of the filmformation processes, coatings and printed surfaces, “perfefect” filmdoes not exist. The challenge is towind filmwebswith slight


imperfections, being sure flaws do not stand out in appearance and are not amplified during the winding process. Then, it is the responsibility of thewinder operator tomake sure thewinding


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