Double E recently worked with a customer who was having inefficiency problems with one of their slitting sections. The company is a producer of technical, filter, and specialty papers that runs a variety of materials and setups for a wide range of customers. Often, they will run one setup for each master roll, requiring several knife setups per shift. The facility runs two shifts during the day; each with two operators. Setup time often takes half an hour as the tolerances required as tight as +/- 0.015". Unfortunately, this setup would be done by the human eye and a set of calipers. It would require the operators to make setup changes until their computer system accepted a sample slit that was in tolerance. Running up to seventeen master rolls per shift proved that there was a significant amount of wasted time, and ultimately, wasted money each day.
Double E assisted with the company's inefficiency problem by providing a new fully automatic Mario Cotta "Expando" slitting system. This system consisted of a custom "Expando" slitting station that would be retrofitted to the customer's existing Menzel machine. The station would be installed with twenty Mario Cotta "Gold" series holders connected to a new computerized control panel.
The setup proved tricky since the web path needed to be changed to tangential with individual anvils which is required for any automatic system. To begin the installation, the old knife rail and anvil shaft had to be removed. Then a section of the back panel of the drive side cabinet and tending side cabinet had to be cutout in order for the new slitting station to be fit into position. Once the station was securely mounted, the chain drive system had to be rerouted to accommodate the new position of the knife shaft. Next, two new electro-pneumatic control boxes were mounted on brackets over the drive cabinet and the hoses were fed into the machine through the cutout in the cabinet's back panel. Once the system was connected to the control panel, and the holders and anvils were installed, the system could then be fully calibrated.
The Double E / Mario Cotta fully automatic positioning solution allowed the customer to reduce setup time to less than three minutes and allowed the customer to reassign one operator from each shift to other responsibilities in the plant. The customer will realize the return on their investment in just a few months since they can increase the throughput of the machine each day and also reduce the overhead of their employees on that machine. Additionally, they no longer have to rely on the ability of an operator to set the knife holders to a tolerance of +/-0.015" as the system will do that for them. The customer only has to enter the number of slits and slit width into the computer and the system will automatically position the knife holder and anvil relative to each other. The system also allows the customer to realize additional time and cost savings by using the "Gold" knife holder and "Expando" style anvils.
The customer's initial reaction to the system was pure amazement. Once the operators were trained on the new software, the customer could see firsthand how this new system would save them time and money. Double E is now discussing with the customer about a similar system, with a smaller number of knife holders, for their adjacent slitter.
Mar 14, 2018
Mar 14, 2018
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