The slitter rewinder machine was patented by Frances Meisel in 1908. Apart from transforming the manufacturing of toilet papers, the onset of slitter machines played a key role in shaping the production of other soft materials. Slitter machines are primarily used in the packaging sector to perform basic tasks that are critical for the mass production, packaging, and transportation of soft materials. In addition, owing to significant advances in slitter machines and its monumental role in industrialization of the western world, at present, slitter machines is one of the most essential components of modern day commercial production machinery. Further, with automation and digitalization of slitter rewinders, soft material manufacturers can tune the various parameters of products to the required width with high-degree of accuracy – a next to impossible task if performed manually. In the last decade, owing to the growing apprehensions over the use of plastic, a notable shift from flexible plastic films towards flexible paper packaging solutions in the packaging sector was observed. Over the past few years, the demand for surface wider slitter has increased at a rapid pace as surface wider slitter is more cost-effective than the center-surface slitter. In addition, the growing demand for paper tissues worldwide has influenced the demand for surface wider slitter in recent years.
New Advancements Focus on Safety and Wind Quality
In recent years, slitter rewinder machines have consistently improved in terms of functionalities, efficiency, and more owing to advancements in technology. At present, new advancements in slitter rewinder machines largely focusing on numerous aspects including, safety, wind quality, and turrets. Safety concerns within the slitter rewinding space are not new, and with the adoption of new technologies, the aforementioned concerns are being addressed. For instance, programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are being installed in premier buildings. In addition, although installing programmable logic controllers involves some initial investment, the long-term benefits in improving safety and process controls cannot be ignored.
Further, wind quality is another aspect that has gained significant attention. Besides, progress in shaft technology and tension control directly impacts the development of edge quality. With the advent of accurate taper-tension programs, the quality of roll build has illustrated drastic improvements than ever before. The quality of turrets can be maximized by incorporating new technologies at the start and end of the roll rewinding. In the current scenario, manufacturers are focusing their efforts to minimize downtime of slitter machines to boost efficiency.
Slitting and Rewinding – Entering the Era of Industry 4.0
Manufacturers operating in the slitter rewinder machine market have increased research and development activities to enhance the process of converting and most importantly, slitting & rewinding. In 2018, Kampf, one of the most established suppliers of rewinding and slitting machines announced that the company is working focusing on Kampf “ Converting 4.0 ~ @vanced Integrated Data Collection and Process Control System. According to Kampf, the system is likely to open new avenues for the future of smart converting factories in which cyber-physical systems are likely to regulate slitting and rewinding. Moreover, the company stated that the new system will significantly assist manufacturers and operators to make decisions based on real-time data. The shift towards Industry 4.0 is largely influenced by some key trends such as low costs associated with data collection, declining costs of improved computing power, enhanced analytical capabilities, and significant progress in transferring digital commands into physical actions in converting machines. Although the development of Converting 4.0 is at a nascent stage, the trend is expected to continue in the foreseeable future. The slitter rewinder machine market is gradually making its way towards Industry 4.0 leveraging the advancements in technology and innovations. Manufacturers operating in the packaging equipment space are focusing on the development of ‘smart slitter rewinder machines’ that are expected to enhance the quality of soft materials.
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