Dec 15

Universal Converting Equipment appoint top slitter sales executive

Mike Wilkinson with a Universal X6 SlitterUniversal Converting Equipment are pleased to announce the appointment of Mike Wilkinson as Sales Executive. Mike has a wealth of experience in the converting industry having worked in senior sales and general management roles for Titan, Atlas, Comexi and Kampf.

Commenting on the appointment, Alan Jones, Managing Director said, “Mike is one of the top salespeople in the industry. His experience and knowledge are second to none. He was responsible for Titan during its rapid growth phase and most recently he has worked for Kampf who are probably the largest worldwide supplier of slitting and rewinding machines. We have ambitious growth plans over the next three years and Mike will help us reach our targets.”

Mike Wilkinson added “When I first visited Universal, I was excited by the potential of their machine range and in particular, their X6 slitter rewinder. I could see the investment that has taken place particularly in the machine and control system design. It was good to see features being incorporated to simplify the operation and maintenance of the machines which others have talked about but Universal Converting Equipment has actually done. Although Universal has always had a reputation for high quality machines its sales effort has been limited. I intend to help Universal grow to be a major worldwide supplier of slitter rewinders.”
Universal Converting Equipment are a fast growing manufacturer of slitter rewinders, rewinding machines, hot melt coating equipment, core cutters and other ancillary systems used in the converting industry. These machines are sold globally. The Universal X6 slitter rewinder is a machine with a compact footprint that has proved particularly successful as a high performance yet cost effective slitting machine for slitting flexible materials. It incorporates automatic knife setting, core alignment, closed loop tension control, additional tension zone through slitting and constant geometry contact rollers to allow high speed operation, minimising changeover time, with consistent high quality output.

Dec 09

Universal Converting Equipment complete Phase 2 of their expansion strategy

Slitter partsIn the last two years, Universal Converting Equipment has doubled its turnover. To support this turnover growth, Universal invested in additional manufacturing space, designers and assembly staff (Phase 1). However, Universal found that the business was being held back by the lack of capacity of its sub-contractors to meet their increased demands. In the last 12 months Universal undertook an ambitious plan to install its own machine shop so it could be self-sufficient in machined mechanical parts. This Phase 2 investment plan is now complete following the installation of £1m in CNC controlled machine tools. The investment has included a CNC mill for the manufacture of machine side-frames, a CNC lathe for production of rollers, PC controlled roller balancing equipment and a range of CNC machining centres for the manufacture of other parts. Special foundations were built for some of the equipment. For example, the large mill sits on a solid reinforced concrete base over 1000mm deep. Levelling the machine bed to the tolerances required took a specialist team over a week to achieve.

Commenting on the investment, Alan Jones, Managing Director of Universal Converting Equipment said “We have been using 3D CAD systems to design our machines for the last 10 years. We have now invested in CAM software systems so that the part drawings can be converted into files that can be downloaded directly into the CNC machine tools. This prevents errors caused with manually controlled machines and eliminates data entry mistakes. The CAM system ensures we have consistently high quality components with the minimum of downtime when new designs are entered. Since installing this equipment, we have changed the design of some components so that the machining time can be reduced resulting in cost savings that can be passed onto our customers. We have used our own resources to fund this investment without the need for borrowings, increasing the financial strength and stability of the company. We are now commencing Phase 3 to increase our global sales and support infrastructure.”

Universal Converting Equipment are a manufacturer of slitter rewinders, rewinding machines, hot melt coating equipment, core cutters and other ancillary systems used in the converting industry. These machines are sold globally. The Universal X6 slitter rewinder is a machine with a compact footprint that has proved particularly successful as a high performance yet cost effective slitting machine for slitting flexible materials. It incorporates automatic knife setting, core alignment, closed loop tension control, additional tension zone through slitting and constant geometry contact rollers to allow high speed operation, minimising changeover time, with consistent high quality output.

Nov 24

Lean Flexibles Install a High Performance Universal X6 Slitting Machine

Slitter operatorsLean Flexibles are a fast growing supplier and contract slitter of flexible packaging materials based at Hinckley, UK. Lean offer short lead time supply of a range of materials including PET, OPP, PE, CPP and multi-layer laminates. In choosing the Universal X6 slitting machine, Lean needed a wider web machine which minimised job set up times, produced consistent high quality rolls and was able to run at high speed.

The Universal X6 machine is designed for processing flexible materials. A typical specification includes digital web guiding, automatic knife setting (Computaslit), additional tension zone through slitting, closed loop rewind tension control, constant geometry contact rollers, automatic core alignment (Computacore) and a running speed of 600m/min. The machine is designed to be simple to operate with a 22inch touch screen interface. A typical changeover, including setting 20 shear knives can take less than two minutes making the machine ideal for short run work. The integrated drive and control system offers precision and repeatability with extensive diagnostics including dynamic circuit diagrams. All this performance in a machine with a small footprint.

Commenting on the investment, Darren Beardsley, Technical Director of Lean Flexibles said “To achieve our business objectives, we needed productivity, consistency,reliability and the ability to process thin extensible films through to rigid APET films.The Universal X6 has met our requirements and more. Setting shear knives used to take two people to lift the cutter shaft out and back in and the knives would take a long time to set. Now we programme the next slit pattern whilst the machine is running. Once the machine stops, the knives are set faster than we can load a new parent roll into the machine. The additional tension zone through slitting has helped us achieve consistently good quality slit edges even when running low rewind tensions. During our acceptance trials at Universal, we tailored the machine to our specific requirements, ran a range of materials and saved the settings in the recipe system. With load cell measurement of rewind tensions we know that we can return to these settings and achieve exactly the same tension profile allowing us to run at 600m/min with confidence.”

Alan Jones, MD, Universal Converting Equipment added “Lean chose to spend more than they originally planned by investing in technology that will pay back for years to come. To compete in their markets they needed to minimise downtime and maximise running speed in the knowledge that rolls will always be good quality. This is what the Universal X6 has been designed to achieve year after year. Although the X6 incorporates a lot of technology, it is based on fundamental design principles – keep the web path as short as possible, use feedback devices to ensure the machine is doing exactly as required, make the structure rigid so alignment stays perfect and ensure the machine is easy to set up and operate. Load cell tension feedback, automatic knife positioning and core alignment dramatically reduces downtime and increases the time the machine is making money.”

Find out more about the X6 Flexible Packaging Slitter…

Find out more about Lean Flexibles…

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.

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