Large rolls of material are used in the manufacturing process of many of the products we use today. These large rolls need to be processed into smaller ones that can be used by manufacturers in many industries. When processing large rolls into smaller ones there are several pieces of equipment manufacturers turn to.
Slitter rewinders are roll converting machines used to process very large rolls of material into smaller ones. They can cut the ‘web’ into narrower widths and uniquely, they are able to rewind these smaller sections onto new cores of cardboard, plastic or metal. The new, smaller rolls go on to be used in the manufacturing process for a wide variety of consumer goods from simple plastic bags to books and magazines in the print industry and fashion goods such as shoes.
The Origins of the Slitter Rewinder
Google patents (http://www.google.com/patents/US929876) show the original patent submission for a slitter rewinder machine, made in 1906 by John R. Pulsifer of the Pulsifer Paper Company, located in Portland, Maine. This patent, granted in 1909 was for a machine that has been the stalwart of the paper converting industry for more than 100 years.
Development of New Types of Rewinder
To meet the growing demands of the industry, new paper converting machines have been developed, these include:
- Duplex Slitter/Rewinder – this machine has two slitting stations, enabling two different rolls to be processed at the same time
- Drum Slitter Winder – these are less expensive than some other machines with a simple design structure requiring low maintenance. They are easy to operate and have a variety of applications
- Turret Slitter/Rewinder – this machine allows different areas of the slitter to be manipulated and controlled without the need for stopping the machine and without danger to the operator
- Shaftless Slitter Rewinder – this machine is easy to operate with an automatic loading and unloading system for processing rolls of all types of paper and non-woven fabrics
- Shafted Slitter Rewinder – this machine has a shaft fitted with chucks to enable the inside of the roll core and the shaft to lock together. This prevents sideways movement during winding and allows for precision control of tension during cutting.
- Narrow Web Slitter Rewinder – this machine is able to slit the web into very narrow ‘slices’ – down to around 25mm suitable for labels and so on. It is able to process a wide range of materials including films, papers, laminates and foils
- Wide Web Slitter Rewinder – this machine is able to process ‘jumbo’ rolls with large steel cores that often have to be loaded by crane or hydraulic platform
These machines are fundamentally the same technology because they unroll the material, cut it into narrow widths then rewind the material into new, smaller rolls. The variations in designs reflect the need to cope with a wide variety of materials processed in the converting industry.These include paper, plastic, film, metal foils, non-woven materials, carbon fiber, tape – and more.
Modern Alternatives to Slitter Rewinders
Despite the passing of more than one hundred years since its invention, no machine has been invented that can supersede the slitter rewinder machine. However, the demands of modern business in terms of increased production and cost savings have led to some new developments in paper converting machines, the most exciting of which is probably a machine called a RollRazor.
According to this recent article ( http://rollrazor.com/blog/slitter-rewinders-rollrazor-best-roll-converting-solution), this type of converting machine complements the capabilities of a slitter rewinder and provides a faster, more cost effective way of dealing with large rolls that need conversion into smaller sizes without being rewound onto a core of a different size. For this reason, it could never take the place of a slitter rewinder but as the manufacturer states, it excels in applications where slitter rewinder technology is slower, less efficient and more expensive, both in terms of production time and man hours, and as such, provide the perfect complement to a slitter rewinder in a modern, streamlined converting industry.