Jun 11

Universal Converting Equipment expand

Slitter machine running rolls Slitter, winder and hot melt coating equipment manufacturer grows into new premises.

Slitting and coating equipment manufacturer Universal Converting Equipment have announced they have purchased an additional 4000sq feet of manufacturing space adjoining their existing Ipswich-based facility.

“The additional spacewill be used to complement our existing production areas and also to house a 2000sq feet show / demo room that customers will be able to visit for trials.”

says Managing Director Dave Ward.

Apr 23

Energy efficient adhesive coating

Energy efficient adhesive coatingThe next generation of ITW Dynatec Dynamelt™ S Series Adhesive Supply Units have been designed to reduce the amount of energy required to operate efficiently, thereby also reducing their TCO (total cost of ownership).

Reducing energy consumption.
The new Dynamelt™ S unit consumes 20% less energy and significantly less air than similar adhesive supply units while advanced diagnostics, quick-change components and a larger filtration surface significantly reduce maintenance cycles and required labour. Modular parts – including pumps, filters and electronics – combined with simplified maintenance procedures reduce the amount of time operators and engineers need to spend keeping this already efficient adhesive supply unit running at maximum capacity.

Dynamelt

Longer lasting parts.
Nanotechnology has been used with a new nano ceramic hopper coating which is 5 times more durable than competitive PTFE coatings to withstand wear.


All system parameters at a glance.
The display on the new ITW Dynatec Dynamelt™ S Series Adhesive Supply Units is intuitive and easy to read, which combined with the significant energy saving features makes the Dynamelt™ S Series a smart choice for the cost and energy conscious coater.

Efficient coating and laminating.
Universal Converting Equipment recommend the Dynamelt™ range of hot melt adhesive supply units for use with Universal range of coating and laminating equipment. ITW Dynatec equipment and parts are supplied in the United Kingdom by Universal Adhesive Systems Limited.

 

 

Actively reducing energy usage

Apr 18

Reducing energy consumption and costs with a Slitter Rewinder

Efficient slittingIndustrial machinery has a reputation for being noisy and it’s taken for granted that ear protection needs to be worn when working with very large machines, but how often have you walked past a noisy machine only to realise it doesn’t appear to be actually doing anything? The energy consumption of large processing, printing, packaging and converting facilities can be so large that it puts a dent in a company’s bottom line, and by reducing energy consumption companies are not only helping protect the environment they are also protecting their profitability.

Most companies would love to be able to claim they are actively reducing their energy usage, but making these claims a reality can be a big challenge, especially in a large company with an established culture of process routine (which in themselves are by no means a negative effort). There are very easy ways in which companies can instantly reduce their energy usage, by powering down inactive machines between jobs (for example), but such simplistic moves can be very low impact and the resulting dent in productivity can be damaging to profitability.

If companies can’t make big savings by changing the way they work maybe they can actively reduce their energy usage by carefully choosing the tools they work with. Energy efficient slitter rewinders can reduce energy usage by powering down components not being used for some jobs, but there are more ways that the machinery manufacturers can fundamentally reduce energy usage, and most start on the drawing board.

Here are Universal Converting Equipment we design the majority of our slitters and winders to use the brake energy from the unwind shaft to power the rewind shaft, thereby drastically reducing the overall energy consumption of our machinery. This is just one example of the innovative ways Slitter Rewinders are designed and built at a controls level and how these ideas can reduce your energy costs, there are also many mechanical ways that waste can be reduced.

It may seem unusual to discuss slitter rewinders without talking about the materials they process, and by carefully handling and processing the material web as it is processed further savings can be made. Material waste can be reduced by using a machine designed to have a very short web path, this reduces the amount of material wasted when setting the machine up for each job. Ensuring that knives and cores are accurately set up (perhaps with automated systems) greatly reduces the amount of material that is spoilt, and therefore wasted. Reducing energy consumption with your Slitter Rewinder requires a holistic approach.

Slitter Rewinders designed with closed tension control, knife alignment, laser core alignment and web-guiding don’t only ensure an exceptionally high quality of wound rolls, they also reduce energy usage and material waste.

So when purchasing a new Slitter Rewinder ask your supplier what they are doing to reduce the energy consumption of their machines, it could make a big difference to your profitability. But these savings aren’t only available to companies investing in new machinery; here at Universal Converting Equipment we help our customers reduce energy consumption while improving reliability and profitability by building new control systems for old and third party slitter rewinders, after all one of the best ways to reduce overall energy consumption is to actively recycle!

 

Further reading on slitter efficiency:

Ideas for efficient converting…
BPI Films achieves 66% slitter energy savings… 
Low-voltage induction motors according to the new efficiency standard and new efficiency classes… 

Apr 17

Laser core alignment, what’s in the kit and how does it work?

Laser core alignmentThere has recently been a surge of interest in our laser core alignment system, so we have written this post to explain how the system is installed and how it works.

Core positioning.
We fit our ComputaCore Laser Core Alignment System to many of the slitters we manufacture, and we also offer our laser core alignment system as a kit for installation on slitters made by other manufacturers.  A measurement is taken from a fixed point (a ‘datum’) to ensure that the position of the cores is correct in relation to the slitter knives.  We have a great deal of experience in upgrading third party machinery and if you feel you would benefit from a more integrated approach to controlling your slitter rewinder we can replace the control system.

Installation.

The ComputaCore Laser Core Alignment System has been designed to be very easy to install on almost any slitter and while the majority of our customers use their own engineers to install the system one of our engineers can install the system for you if required.

The laser core alignment kit consists of four main components:

  1. Laser pointer
  2. A linear actuator rail (manufactured to the correct width for your slitter)
  3. A control box with touchscreen
  4. Instruction manual

We do not provide the support arms that hold the laser core alignment system above the slitter rewind shafts, but can fabricate these for you for a small additional cost.

 

Core sizes.
We are often asked which cores sizes the laser core alignment system is compatible with, and the short answer is ‘all of them’ – because the laser pointer beams a line of light across the rewind shafts it does not matter what diameter your cores are, the line of light will still be in the correct place for your operator to correctly align them.

 

Conclusion.
Installing a Universal ComputaCore Laser Core Alignment System is simple and will greatly reduce job set up time while increasingly accuracy.

 

Core alignment using the ComputaCore Laser Core Alignment system:

Mar 01

Slitter web guiding made simpler and greener

Energy efficient converting machineryUniversal Converting Equipment focus on re-usable energy and ease of use for their web guiding system.

As a part of their commitment to ‘actively reduce energy usage’ Universal Converting Equipment have developed a ‘regenerative’ web guiding system. The ‘Converter Guide 4’ is a simple to use web guiding system designed as an upgrade for slitters and winding machines, or as a replacement for obsolete or inefficient guiders. The guider is operated via a touchscreen interface which is very simple to use.

The Converter Guide 4 web guider is energy efficient partly because it uses electric linear actuators instead of dirty and inefficient hydraulics. A typical guider actuator spends as much time braking as it does motoring, we store the energy produced by braking to be utilised during the motoring phases of operation, thereby reducing the overall energy consumption of the web guider.

The Converter Guide 4 web guider is designed to retrofit onto a wide range of slitting machines such as Atlas, Titan, Kampf, Goebels, Parkland, Cameron, Elite, Dusenbery, Ashe Converting, and many others. It can also be used on other converting machines including coating and laminating machines, sheeters, unwinds, presses and hot melt coating machines. It can be used to replace web guiding system from Fife, Erhard+Leimer, BST or built into new installations.

 

More information – http://www.universalconvertingequipment.com/web-guiding

Feb 24

Reducing roll handling risk and increasingly productivity

Roll handling trolley

Universal Converting Equipment have extended the the range of attachments available for their popular roll handling trolley

Safe roll handling is essential not only for the health and well-being of machine operators, but also for efficient job setup and turnaround, but not all rolls need handling in the same way. To ensure that customers have the right tools for the right rolls Universal Converting Equipment now offer a wide variety of attachments for their electric raise/ lower roll handling trolley.

The most popular roll handling attachment picks up a roll that is standing on end and (after lifting the roll) the operator can rotate the roll to horizontal position ready for loading onto slitter shafts, or vice-versa for unloading finished rolls from a slitter unwind shaft. This type of roll handling attachment grips rolls of material by their cores, the additionally available attachments hold and lift rolls via a range of different means including cradles, v-beds (trays) and twin-arm systems.

Universal now offer a range of handling attachments for their roll handling trolleys, including lifting platforms, crate forks and pallet forks.

With the Universal Converting Equipment roll handling trolley and the correct attachment material handling is not only very safe, but also a lot more efficient.

 

More about our roll handling trolley…

Feb 21

Minimised energy usage – ideas for efficient winding

Actively reducing energy usage

Universal Converting Equipment are actively reducing energy usage

The need to reduce energy consumption in industrial processes is well established and often discussed and the motivation is strong; being both ecological and financial. Universal Converting Equipment have introduced a package of energy consumption reducing features into their range of Slitting and winding machinery.

Technical Director Dave Ward explains.
“We design our machinery to be a frugal as possible with energy and have identified significant areas where energy savings can be made; in some cases functionality and performance has been increased as a positive side effect. One of the ways we achieve this saving is by using the latest high efficiency (Efficiency 1) AC motors, with the most up to date AC Vector Drives. Commonly we design in regenerative motors rather than more traditional pneumatic brakes so rather than braking energy being lost (as heat) it is turned into electricity and used by other systems within the machine. In some applications the brake energy is enough to reduce power consumption of the machine by 40% or more. Our machines intelligently turn off unused systems (how often do you walk past machines with hydraulic packs (sometimes on guiders) that are running whether the machine is in use or not) and avoids fan systems that run even when not required. Wherever possible we have engineered hydraulic systems out of our equipment. Even our touch screens are set to go into power save mode when not used for a period.“

All considered the complete range of energy saving steps Universal Converting Equipment have taken will translate into lower energy bills for their customers, and a lower impact on the environment.

Nov 18

Record sales month for hot melt adhesive coating module for printing presses.

Hot Melt Coating Machine touchscreen

Universal Converting Equipment sold six HMCS 420’s during November 2011, a modular device that enables hot melt adhesive coating capability to be added to print presses and other web fed processes.

The Universal HMCS 420 allows printers to coat hot melt adhesive in-line on their print presses, enabling them to service customers requiring adhesive coating without incurring the costs associated with installation of a dedicated line. The coating systems are designed to give the same precision of coating normally only achieved on dedicated hot melt coating lines.

The hot melt adhesive can be applied either as a continuous coating, as striped coating or patch coating in registration with the print design. A complete range of hot melt adhesives can be applied including pressure sensitive, heat seal, dry peel and UV curing. Applying adhesive on a press or finishing line allows special products to be manufactured which cannot be produced on standard label stock. End uses have included liner-less labels, security labels, promotional labels and fold out labels. Several high profile labelling companies were among the recent orders and interest in this innovative product continues to grow.

“The secret to high quality coating is precision positioning of the coating die. Safety regulations restrict access to the coating system when the machine is running. As a result, we have designed a motorised adjusting system so the key settings can be adjusted via the touch screen display. These positions form part of the product recipe and can be recalled at a later date when the product is run again. In essence, we’ve taken the ‘black art’ out of in-line coating while making the process both accurate and flexible.” Explains Managing Director Alan Jones.

The Universal HMCS coating system is available in a number of standard widths. It can also be customised to suit special applications.

Find out more about the HMCS 420…

Sep 26

MACtac U.K. Ltd improve both quality and customer service by installing the latest highly automated X9 Slitter Rewinder from Ipswich based Universal Converting Equipment.

Universal Converting Equipment have sold a highly automated duplex centre wind Slitter to Bemis group company, MACtac U.K. Ltd for use at their Northampton facility.

MACtac U.K. have a reputation for fast delivery of quality, label product, maintaining this requires periodic investment in emerging technologies.

“When the decision to invest in a new slitter rewinder was taken, our principle considerations were short run productivity and the capability to process label stock and some open adhesive substrates – The Universal X9 with its auto-knife setting, laser core-alignment, auto-roll offloading and automatic tension control (along with the Universal’s experience in handling label stock) made Universal’s X9 a clear contender in our procurement process.  The more aspects of the converting process that we can automate, the better service and quality we can offer our customers.” says Rachel Barton of MACtac U.K.

“Working with our sister company Universal Adhesive Systems Limited has given us considerable experience in handling label stock and substrates with open adhesives.  We applied our experience to ensure issues surrounding knife cleaning, web-path geometry and roller covering performance were minimised.  Also the X9 features closed loop rewind tension (load cells) control as standard, this always gives superior results compares to equipment with open loop control.” says Universal Converting Equipment Technical Director Dave Ward.

The transport that delivered the new Universal X9 also removed the redundant slitter, it was therefore essential that the new slitter was commissioned immediately and without problems.  This was achieved and throughout the the commissioning phase not a single scrap roll was produced.

Sep 14

Lithium ion and solar cell manufacturers increasingly embracing web processes

Lithium Ion and Solar Cell web manufactureUniversal Converting Equipment are exploiting their substantial knowledge in web-based manufacturing processes to facilitate customers’ development in emerging energy technologies.

Lithium Ion and Solar Cell manufacture are two fields enjoying exponential expansion and with such rapid expansion comes a greatly increased need for innovative manufacture processes. Universal’s extensive experience in developing new manufacture processes places the company in an increasingly strengthened position when it comes to assisting Lithium Ion and Solar Cell manufacturers in refining and improving product lines.

“Lithium Ion and Solar Cell technologies have proven themselves and are widely accepted by both manufactures and end-consumers as being ‘the way forward’. We specialise in integrating technologies such as web handling, tension control and coating, with other systems to provide a complete production cell offering an efficient and cost effective solution to the processes required to manufacture these emerging products. One of the challenges is reducing the manufacturing cost of these products to increase their acceptability.” says Managing Director Alan Jones.

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