Universal Converting Equipment https://www.universalconvertingequipment.com Slitter Rewinders & hot melt coaters Mon, 29 Apr 2019 19:23:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 136016754 InfoFlex 2019 /infoflex-2019 Mon, 29 Apr 2019 19:22:30 +0000 /?p=7457 We are pleased to announce that we will be exhibiting at InfoFlex again this year. InfoFlex is hosted by the Flexographic Technical Association (FTA). InfoFlex is being held from May 6-7 2019 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. 2019 is already a record year for Universal Converting Equipment, following on from […]

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]]> We are pleased to announce that we will be exhibiting at InfoFlex again this year. InfoFlex is hosted by the Flexographic Technical Association (FTA). InfoFlex is being held from May 6-7 2019 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

2019 is already a record year for Universal Converting Equipment, following on from an exceptionally successful exhibition at ICE 2019 we are looking forward to the opportunities that exhibiting at InfoFlex 2019 will bring.

At Infoflex 2019, we will be unveiling a range of additional automation systems to further reduce operator input required in setting and running the Universal X6 slitting machine.

Please contact us if you would like to book an appointment to speak with us at InfoFlex in New Orleans.

infoflex 2019 logo

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7457 Universal X6 Slitting Machine Designed for Industry 4.0 Factorywide Integration /universal-x6-slitting-machine-designed-for-industry-4-0-factorywide-integration Tue, 12 Mar 2019 13:44:59 +0000 /?p=7446 Industry 4.0 is an industry ‘hot topic’. It is being discussed alongside the ‘Internet of Things’ (IOT) as the future for process equipment, allowing integration of a range of processes that facilitate and improve the sharing of data. Industry 4.0 is not a new concept. It originated in 2011 as a way of fusing the […]

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Industry 4.0 is an industry ‘hot topic’. It is being discussed alongside the ‘Internet of Things’ (IOT) as the future for process equipment, allowing integration of a range of processes that facilitate and improve the sharing of data.

Industry 4.0 is not a new concept. It originated in 2011 as a way of fusing the online world with the world of industrial production. Correctly implemented, Industry 4.0 it will drive future productivity growth for each company that invests in the technology.

The four principles behind Industry 4.0 are:

  • Interconnection
    Communication between machines, devices, sensors and people – for example using the Internet of Things (IOT) or the manufacturing equivalent; ‘Industrial Internet of Things’ (IIOT). This technology enables devices to collect and exchange information.
  • Information Transparency
    Visibility of data from a range of processes to provide accurate information for management, empowering intelligent productivity and innovation strategy. For example, information on Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) made instantly available to decision makers.
  • Technical Assistance
    Firstly, the ability of assistance systems to support humans by aggregating and visualizing information comprehensively, for making informed decisions and solving urgent problems at short notice. Secondly, the ability to physically support humans by conducting a range of tasks that are unpleasant, exhausting, or unsafe for their human co-workers.
  • Decentralized decisions
    The ability of industrial systems to make decisions on their own and to perform their tasks as autonomously as possible. Only in the case of exceptions, interferences, or conflicting goals, are tasks delegated to a higher level for human input.

The principles of Industry 4.0 run parallel with concepts already in use by Universal for the strategic direction of the development of converting machinery. The concept of intelligent design working symbiotically with human operators together with the transparent flow of information, streamlining productivity and enhancing profitability has been core to the development of machinery at Universal for well over five years.

Why use people to do tasks that are better done by machines?

Industry 4.0 slitter

Linked to specific automation systems, significant productivity improvements are being achieved. Some examples of Industry 4.0 development in practice are as follows:

MQTT Communication Protocol
The IIOT requires devices to communicate with one another and exchange data. In order to effectively communicate with a wide variety of different devices, MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport) becomes a standard communication protocol in IIOT.

The Universal X6 and X6 VT slitting machines support MQTT. This communication protocol is a lightweight publish/subscribe messaging protocol for M2M (machine to machine) communications and is already being widely implemented in different application service such as Facebook messenger, and Amazon web service.

Unlike traditional request-response polling protocols such as HTTP or Modbus, MQTT is based on the principle of publishing messages and subscribing to topics, where every HMI publishes messages to a MQTT server that functions as a broker. Every MATT message is also classified by one topic. In this manner, the MQTT broker is capable of reliably and precisely sending the message out to those clients who have previously subscribed to this topic. With the capability of communicating over 250 major manufacturers of PLC and controller, the Universal X6 efficiently integrates diverse data between different devices and effectively publishes needed data to the MQTT broker.

OPC UA Communication Protocol
OPC UA (Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture) is a communication technology often used in industrial automation fields. It simplifies communication between higher level devices such as a Universal X6 slitting machine and the customer’s Management Information System (MIS). OPC UA features cross-platform interoperability, unified access, standardized communication, and security.

In this architecture, the Universal X6 with built-in OPC UA server plays a key role as Communication Gateway, and allows OPC UA clients to access HMI or PLC data by subscribing to tags to receive real-time updates. OPC UA can be used to transfer recipe or product data to the Universal X6 from a customer database with quality and productivity data being sent in the other direction.

SQL Database Integration
Structured Query Language (SQL) is a standard system for managing data held in relational databases. Equipped with easy-to-use database integration, the Universal X6 can send machine metrics, production data or recipes to a database system directly without any middleware system. This data can then be managed in a larger scale using batch database operations. Plus, the built-in database-related viewers enables smooth operations using data on the databases. These features can simplify your processing works and save your precious time.

Collecting machine metrics is always a challenge for integration. In the past people used USB drives or FTP services to retrieve files (such as CSV files) from a machine, convert the file formats, and then save them to separate tables or spreadsheets. This cumbersome work can get compli­cated once more files or more machine metrics are added to the system. A better option is to save machine metrics directly to a database. This has several benefits includ­ing simpler batch operations, no more file conversion, more storage options, and spaces, and finally, use intuitive SQL commands to customize your read/write/modify/delete operations on the database.

The Universal X6 built-in database integration can send real-time machine data, alarms and events to databases, and this data can also be displayed on HMIs or remotely (PC/mobile re­mote-control app). This can be done without writing any program code, an easy database solution. After saving the data into databases, IT/MIS experts can further analyze and make decisions based on those data, such as report generation, energy usage, manufacturing record tracking.

The SQL Query feature provides a more general way to access databases. It can send and change recipes in a database like a shared Recipe Database when multiple machines use the same recipe. Batch recipe change can be applied to all machine at once using databases. SQL Query also accepts customized SQL commands for filtering and statis­tics, such as OEE calculation (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), unit production rate, averag­es of numbers, standard deviations, etc.

Machine Diagnostic Systems
The Universal X6 has extensive diagnostic systems translating data from all the devices on the machine into simple to use fault diagnostics. The Live electrical drawings show the status of all the inputs and outputs to the system for detailed diagnostics. Machine use data allows knife life to be measured and if required, the machine can indicate when knives should be changed.

Secure Remote Communication
The Universal X6 uses a secure 128 bit SSL encryption mechanism, as commonly used for on-line banking, to ensure the reliability of its remote data transmission. When connected remotely, a Universal engineer can connect to all the drives and HMI’s on the machine for real time diagnostics. The same connection can be used to remotely view the machine operation on tablets, mobile phones and PC’s.

Replacement of Operator Tasks
As companies strive to improve the OEE of their processes, one option is to increase the level of automation. The Universal X6VT has a number of linked automation systems allowing the machine to set most of the parameters required for a job change. Automatic guider sensor positioning, automatic knife positioning (razor and rotary shear), automatic roll unloading and automatic core loading and positioning are standard. These minimise the time taken to change between one order and the next as well as minimising the stopped time between sets of rolls. As well as dramatic productivity gains, there are other benefits as well. Health and safety is improved as knife handling is reduced and repetitive tasks such as pushing cores onto differential shafts and locking in position are removed. Quality also improves as the knives and cores are always placed in the correct position.

Machines Designed for the Future
Universal Converting Equipment has been building slitting and rewinding machines for a long time. The thinking behind Industry 4.0 follows the development route already chosen by Universal. The four principles described at the start of this article are evident in a lot of the detail contained in the Universal X6 slitter range. In particular, the Universal X6VT has a comprehensive automation and communications package as standard.

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PT Surya Multi Indopack reduce stoppage time and increase productivity with the Universal X6VT Slitter Rewinder /pt-surya-multi-indopack-reduce-stoppage-time-and-increase-productivity-with-the-universal-x6vt-slitter-rewinder Thu, 07 Mar 2019 11:22:45 +0000 /?p=7437 PT Surya Multi Indopack (PTSMI) are a leading converter in Indonesia with dedicated factories for Flexo printing and Rotogravure. As part of their ongoing expansion they needed additional slitting capacity with the flexibility to handle a wide range of substrates. Universal Converting Equipment recently installed a Universal X6VT slitter rewinder in the Rungkut Rotogravure facility. […]

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PT Surya Multi Indopack (PTSMI) are a leading converter in Indonesia with dedicated factories for Flexo printing and Rotogravure. As part of their ongoing expansion they needed additional slitting capacity with the flexibility to handle a wide range of substrates.

Universal Converting Equipment recently installed a Universal X6VT slitter rewinder in the Rungkut Rotogravure facility. The production plant is certified to conform to ISO 22000:2005; a standard requirement for suppliers of food packaging materials. The new X6VT is located in a clean room to ensure standards are maintained.

Commenting on the installation, Mike Wilkinson, Universal Converting Equipment Sales Executive said,
“I have known PTSMI for many years. They are a tough customer; wanting the best equipment and high efficiency. The Universal X6VT has automatic knife positioning (rotary shear and razor), automatic unloading of the finished rolls and automatic core positioning. These automation features greatly reduce set up time for new jobs and dramatically reduce stopped time between sets of rolls. Roll quality is improved due to the accurate setting of knives and cores. Closed loop tension control guarantees that finished rolls are always wound at the correct tension. I worked closely with Rijanto Joesoef, Owner of PTSMI, and his team to ensure that the machine met their current and future needs.”

Rijanto Joesoef added,
“Dealing with Universal was very easy. They have a large installed base of machines around the world and so were able to understand our needs very well. Installation went very smoothly with a comprehensive training package. We have had a few minor issues following installation that have been quickly dealt with using Universal’s remote diagnostic system. As a backup, it was also good to know that Mike Wilkinson was only a phone call away. We are already seeing the benefits of the automation systems on the X6VT and expect it to be a highly productive addition to our factory.”

X6 Slitter at Indopack

Universal service engineer Billy Porter with some of the team at PT Surya Multi Indopack

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ICE Europe 2019 – Universal Converting Equipment stand /ice-europe-2019-universal-converting-equipment-stand Wed, 13 Feb 2019 09:02:24 +0000 /?p=7421 The ICE Europe exhibition is a great opportunity to spend time with many of our customers. Exhibiting at ICE Europe also gives us a good platform for showcasing our slitting expertise. At the previous ICE Europe show (in 2017) our X6 Slitter Rewinder drew a lot of interest, so this year we will be exhibiting […]

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The ICE Europe exhibition is a great opportunity to spend time with many of our customers. Exhibiting at ICE Europe also gives us a good platform for showcasing our slitting expertise. At the previous ICE Europe show (in 2017) our X6 Slitter Rewinder drew a lot of interest, so this year we will be exhibiting the very latest iteration of the X6 slitter.

The latest version of the Universal X6 shares the same heritage as every X6 we have built, and has some key developments that we are looking forward to discussing with delegates at ICE Europe.

The Universal X6 Slitter has been designed as a fast changeover machine with a range of options designed to reduce setup time, maximise running time and running speed and guarantee consistent quality. The automation systems ensure that the required setup is achieved from the first set of rolls as you know the tensions, slit positions and core positions are all correct. These machines are sold worldwide with a comprehensive diagnostic and support system. The machine at ICE 2019 incorporates features such as:

  • Fast loading unwind, including floor pick-up, with remote control
  • Constant geometry lay on rollers for precise control with tail clamps
  • Closed loop rewind tension control ensuring rolls are always wound at the correct tension
  • Easy operation with 22” operator interface and two additional touchscreens for fast operation
  • Automatic positioning of shear (knives and anvils) and razor blades
  • Automatic positioning of rewind cores
  • Automatic positioning of guider sensor
  • Additional slit tension zone
  • Extensive diagnostics
  • FREE internet and phone based support for the life of the machine

At ICE 2019, Universal will also be unveiling a range of additional automation systems to further reduce operator input required in setting and running the Universal X6 slitting machine. In addition to the X6, Universal will also be displaying its CCA automatic core cutter and will have information on its range of rewinding equipment, laser perforation and scribing systems, hot melt coating and laminating machines and roll handling trolleys.

Slitter Rewinder Universal X6

The Universal X6 Slitter Rewinder

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Skymark re-enforce reputation as a flexible packaging innovator with the purchase of a Universal X6 Laser Perforator /skymark-re-enforce-reputation-flexible-packaging-innovator-purchase-universal-x6-laser-perforator Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:18:09 +0000 https://www.universalconvertingequipment.com?p=6452 Since forming in 1987 Skymark Packaging Ltd have strived to put themselves at the forefront of innovation. In the competitive world of flexible packaging Skymark are one of a select group of companies who are prepared to prove their commitment to constant innovation. One of the most tangible ways that Skymark has made their position […]

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Since forming in 1987 Skymark Packaging Ltd have strived to put themselves at the forefront of innovation. In the competitive world of flexible packaging Skymark are one of a select group of companies who are prepared to prove their commitment to constant innovation. One of the most tangible ways that Skymark has made their position clear is by publicly announcing details of investment programs. The company recently announced that they have invested in a Universal X6 Laser perforation Slitter Rewinder.

The Universal X6 Laser perforation Slitter Rewinder gives Skymark the capacity to process a wide range of flexible packaging films. During the slitting process films can be either perforated to modify the atmosphere within the package or scored to make packing easier to open for the consumer.

The laser scoring technology on the universal X6 enables packaging films to be perforated to a high level of accuracy at speeds of 350m/min. This gives Skymark the ability to selectively score one or more layers of laminated film. This enables the production of ‘easy peel’ packaging that won’t compromise the barrier properties of the complete packaging. Commenting on the investment, Skymark Director, Paul Neath said, “The investment in laser perforation and scoring capacity is part of a larger expansion programme. We chose Universal as they are able to offer local support for both the slitting machine and the Rofin laser system. Universal also have over 20 years experience with similar laser systems”

In addition to laser perforation and scoring technology, the universal X6 is fitted with the same hyper-productivity technologies as the popular X6 Slitter Rewinder. Including automatic knife and core positioning. Other common features, including on-screen diagnostics and remote support ensure that the X6 is consistently productive. As with all Universal Slitters the new Universal X6 at Skymark comes with free lifetime support.

2017 has been a year of great progress for Skymark Packaging Ltd. News of the purchase of an X6 closely followed news of an important award for sustainability. The new machinery will be installed at the Skymark facility at Scunthorpe in the UK. Alan Jones, Managing Director of Universal Converting Equipment commented “The growth of Skymark is mirrored by the growth of Universal. Having acquired additional buildings, Universal is set to double its output of X6 slitter rewinders in 2018. Although most of the machines are exported it is always good to supply companies that are closer to home.”

Find out more about the Universal X6lp…

X6lp Laser slitter rewinder

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Universal Continue to Grow /universal-continue-grow Mon, 11 Sep 2017 15:08:19 +0000 https://www.universalconvertingequipment.com?p=6228 2017 has been a record year for Universal Converting Equipment with sales 60% higher than in 2016, which was also a record year. This development has been driven by the rapid growth in sales of the Universal X6 slitting machine. To accommodate this growth, Universal have recently purchased an additional manufacturing unit on the same […]

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2017 has been a record year for Universal Converting Equipment with sales 60% higher than in 2016, which was also a record year. This development has been driven by the rapid growth in sales of the Universal X6 slitting machine. To accommodate this growth, Universal have recently purchased an additional manufacturing unit on the same industrial estate and are actively looking for a further unit. Although the new unit is only 8,000 square feet, it has allowed the manufacture of subassemblies and automatic CCA core cutters to be moved out of the main production area.

Commenting on the expansion, Alan Jones, Managing Director, said “Sales of the Universal X6 slitting machine have been tremendous over the last two years and we are set for another year of growth next year. The additional building together with some re-organisation of our existing buildings will allow the manufacturing area to be increased by 50%. We are currently negotiating for another similar building as we can see ourselves outgrowing the space again. The Universal X6 slitter rewinder is available with a complete package of automation systems to maximise both quality and productivity whilst being simple for the operator to use. We have exciting plans to continue this development of automation systems to ensure our machines offer the highest productivity available. These systems have been cost engineered so they become the standard systems for most of the machines we produce. Offering FREE lifetime on-line and telephone support has given our customers the assurance that if they have any problems in the future they can call on us for help without any upfront costs or contracts. The result of this friendly approach and the high quality machinery has been multiple orders from several of the major global flexible packaging companies.”

Slitter rewinder X6t

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Parkside Flexibles invest in two Universal X6 slitting machines for Malaysia and the UK /parkside-flexibles-invest-two-universal-x6-slitting-machines-malaysia-uk Mon, 13 Mar 2017 12:27:33 +0000 http://www.universalconvertingequipment.com/?p=5727   Parkside Flexibles are a leading edge flexographic printer with manufacturing in the UK and Malaysia. As a supplier to global brands, Parkside uses advanced processing systems to create value added packaging. This requires the highest quality slit rolls to send to its customers. In many cases, the complex structures are difficult to process and […]

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X6 Slitter Rewinder

Parkside Flexibles are a leading edge flexographic printer with manufacturing in the UK and Malaysia. As a supplier to global brands, Parkside uses advanced processing systems to create value added packaging. This requires the highest quality slit rolls to send to its customers. In many cases, the complex structures are difficult to process and required a long setup to achieve satisfactory results.

Parkside invested in two Universal X6 slitter rewinders to meet these developing needs. The Universal X6 slitting machine has a range of features to ensure product consistency and minimise changeover times. Some of the Parkside laminates, including aluminium foil based structures, were particularly difficult to achieve satisfactory results. Key to the success of the project were the following machine features:

  • Tension control – The Universal X6 has closed loop rewind tension control with load cells providing feedback. This ensures that the winding tension is exactly as required, especially through machine acceleration and deceleration. Once the ideal settings for the material were found on the first machine, they were copied to the recipe system of the second machine which then worked immediately.
  • X-Slit slitting system – This system uses automatic positioning to control the position of knives and anvils to very tight tolerances. It can also automatically position razor blades. A closed loop measuring system is used to set the sideload on the shear knives. A tension zone through the slitting section allows the slitting tension to be optimised. Adjustable height rollers are used to set the amount of wrap around the cutting shaft to suit the material type being processed.
  • Wrinkle free operation – The Universal X6 slitter rewinder has a “Quad” wrap material drive system to isolate tension between the unwind and rewind. Unlike nip roller and vacuum roller based systems you do not have slippage, scratches, noise, energy wastage or crease formation.
  • Constant geometry contact rollers – unlike pivoting lay on rollers, the constant geometry contact rollers move horizontally as the rewind roll increases in size. The rollers are built into a rigid structure so they always stay parallel giving the best quality finished rolls.
  • Print repeat measurement – built into the X6 slitter rewinder is a system to measure the length of each print repeat and then generate a report and graph showing the variability through the roll

Both X6 machines were delivered on time with a Universal engineer commissioning the machines and providing training. Both machines have FREE telephone and internet based support for the life of the machines.

Commenting on the installations, Alan Jones, Managing Director of Universal Converting Equipment said:”Parkside challenged us with some of their requirements. Although the Universal X6 machines supplied to Parkside were our standard model, some of their specifications had tighter tolerances than normal. It was very satisfying when Parkside visited for the machine acceptance trials that the products were all processed without problems. The X-slit slitting system provides a lot of flexibility as well as fast and accurate set up. Rather than dedicating products to machines, Parkside found they could run their range of materials through the X6 without problems. Precise knife setting and closed loop control ensures reproducible results.”

Brian Harper, Global Technical Manager, Parkside Flexibles added “At Parkside, we take on technically difficult projects. Universal rose to the challenge and we have been extremely pleased with the results. From day one, the machines have been producing product of a quality we could not achieve consistently on our other slitting machines. Universal have worked with us to optimise the settings and due to the closed loop control systems we can swap recipes between machines and achieve identical results.”

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Pulse Flexible Packaging Install Three More Universal X6 Slitter Rewinders /pulse-flexible-packaging-install-three-universal-x6-slitter-rewinders Wed, 22 Feb 2017 17:15:04 +0000 http://www.universalconvertingequipment.com/?p=5602   Pulse Flexible Packaging was formed in 2014 following a management buyout of the UK packaging businesses of Printpack. After the buyout, Pulse has invested heavily in new production equipment to update its manufacturing base and expand its capabilities. Pulse already have machines from Universal at both of its factories. As part of this expansion, […]

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X6 slitter machine

Pulse Flexible Packaging was formed in 2014 following a management buyout of the UK packaging businesses of Printpack. After the buyout, Pulse has invested heavily in new production equipment to update its manufacturing base and expand its capabilities. Pulse already have machines from Universal at both of its factories.

As part of this expansion, Universal Converting Equipment have supplied three Universal X6 slitter rewinders to Pulse. Two were installed at their Bury facility and one at Saffron Walden. All three machines included the following features:

  • Fast loading unwind, including floor pick-up, with remote control
  • Constant geometry lay on rollers for precise control with tail clamps
  • Closed loop rewind tension control ensuring rolls are always wound at the correct tension
  • Differential friction shafts that do not require lubrication
  • Easy operation with 22” operator interface and two additional touchscreens for fast operation
  • Extensive diagnostics
  • FREE internet and phone based support for the life of the machine
  • Automatic positioning of shear (knives and anvils) and razor blades
  • Automatic positioning of rewind cores
  • Additional slit tension zone

The Universal X6 slitting machine is designed as a fast changeover machine. The mix of work processed through the machines at Pulse requires frequent knife set ups. The X6 has automatic positioning of both shear knives and razors. These are positioned faster than a new roll can be loaded into the machine. At the same time, the cores are automatically positioned on the rewinds. The system has to cope with a wide range of products from narrow bottle labels wound on 152mm cores to cold seal product wound on 76mm cores.

Commenting on the installation, Alan Jones, Managing Director of Universal Converting Equipment said,
“We had several discussions with Pulse before the project proceeded. They had undertaken extensive analysis of their existing slitting operation and realised that the running time of their slitters was low due to the downtime when changing from one order to the next. We proposed the Universal X6 slitter rewinder due to its range of features that drastically reduced the time the machine is stopped between jobs. The automation systems also ensure that the required setup is achieved from the first set of rolls as you know the tensions, slit positions and core positions are all correct. Since installation, we have also worked with Pulse to further maximise output from the machines. All three X6 slitting machines have extensive diagnostics and are supplied with our guaranteed FREE lifetime telephone and internet based support.”

Adrian Rowbotham, Engineering Manager at Pulse adds,
“The installation of the Universal X6 slitter rewinders took place at a time of great change in our business. The Universal X6 machines have both expanded our slitting capacity and greatly improved our efficiency with three X6 machine producing the same as seven of our existing machines. We bought our first Universal slitting machine ten years ago and have purchased other machines and systems from them since. We know how well Universal support their installations which made this decision an easy one.”

Find out more about the Universal X6…

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The future of Slitting /the-future-of-slitting Mon, 19 Dec 2016 14:48:45 +0000 http://www.universalconvertingequipment.com/?p=5505 Over the last four years, Universal Converting Equipment has invested heavily in the development of a range of systems to improve the productivity of slitting machines. The key target has been to reduce downtime or the time the machine is not running. If you analyse the operation of a slitting machine, it can often spend […]

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Over the last four years, Universal Converting Equipment has invested heavily in the development of a range of systems to improve the productivity of slitting machines. The key target has been to reduce downtime or the time the machine is not running. If you analyse the operation of a slitting machine, it can often spend more time not running than running.

The two main areas of downtime are due to a job change and a roll change – either finished rolls or parent roll. However, even within these causes, there are many items that build up to contribute to the total downtime. It is also necessary to ensure that the machines are producing good and consistent quality when they are running. To understand the approach that Universal has taken, it is easiest to move through the slitting process from unwind to rewind.

Fast Loading Unwind
In common with most slitter manufacturers, Universal offers a shaftless unwind with floor pick up on its X6 range of slitting machines. The Universal unwind moves vertically up/down to pick up the roll from the floor. Unlike pivoting pick up unwinds, the roll will always be in the same position on the floor, regardless of diameter, for the arms to engage with the core. The operator is provided with a remote control to operate the unwind arms so they can easily check that the chucks are entering the core correctly. This may only save 30 seconds per set up, but over a year, that adds up to a lot of time.

Automated Slitter Rewinder - X6

The Universal X6 Slitter

Automatic shear knife and razor knife set up
Correctly positioning knives, especially shear knives, can result in considerable downtime. Universal have developed an automatic knife setting system that can set 20 male and female shear knives in under two minutes. By the time a new parent roll is loaded into the machine, the knives are already in the correct position. The system can also position the guiding sensor so the material will be lined up with the knives. As well as saving time, the accuracy of the setup is improved and as the knife position is known, the cores can be accurately positioned to line up with the knives. Although shear knives take the longest to set, these benefits still apply to razor slitting. The male knife holders used as part of this system can be hold either razor or shear knives making it quick to change cutting system and allowing a mixture of shear and razor if required.

Closed Loop Tension Control
Most slitting machines are supplied with differential friction shafts to control rewind tension. These shafts rely on the control of friction to give you the correct winding tension. This can change with time. Using load cells to measure and control rewind tension is the only way to ensure your finished rolls are wound at the correct tension. Correct winding tension is essential to ensure good quality rolls are produced. The actual winding tension profiles can be recorded as part of the quality assurance record for the rolls produced. Universal also add an extra tension zone through slitting so you can increase the slitting tension without changing the rewind tension.

Fast Finished Roll Unloading
When a set of rolls is complete, the machine comes to halt and the operator then unloads the rolls. To reduce this downtime on a duplex slitting machine, Universal now offers a system that reduces the time from when the machine stops to when it starts winding again to under a minute. This is a huge time saving compared to the time an operator normally takes to remove finished rolls, re-core and re-start. The machine will repeatedly run at this speed – the machine doesn’t get tired or need to go for a break. As well as saving time, the system ensures the cores are always lined up accurately with the slitting knives and manual handling of the finished rolls is reduced.

The fast unloading technology can be incorporated into Universal’s X6T turret slitter for the ultimate high productivity machine. However, for most applications where flexibility is required, the system is supplied with the Universal X6 duplex slitter giving the level of performance which could only previously be achieved with a turret slitter.

The Future of Slitting
We believe that this is the future for slitting. It will not suit all applications, but for a large proportion of slitting requirement it offers the chance to greatly increase the output from a single slitting machine and also reduce the labour required to run the machine. The technology has been cost engineered to make the system affordable.

How much is this technology worth? As an example, if you saved 30 minutes per set up and you have four set ups a day, you now have two additional hours of production per day. If that time is worth £100/hr you have saved £200/day. If you assume that the machine operates for 250 days a year that is a saving of £50,000 per year. Over a ten year period the technology has saved £500,000.

This is why we think this is The Future of Slitting

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Universal offer free lifetime support on all slitters /universal-offer-free-lifetime-support-slitters Thu, 01 Sep 2016 15:07:34 +0000 http://www.universalconvertingequipment.com/?p=5480 Universal Converting Equipment manufacture class leading slitting machines and other converting equipment that is sold worldwide. The Universal X6 slitter offers a range of technically advanced features to ensure production of high quality product while minimising the amount of time the machine is stopped. However, to achieve repeat sales, Universal decided they must also offer excellent reliability […]

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X6 Slitter photo

The Universal X6 Slitter – with free lifetime support

Universal Converting Equipment manufacture class leading slitting machines and other converting equipment that is sold worldwide. The Universal X6 slitter offers a range of technically advanced features to ensure production of high quality product while minimising the amount of time the machine is stopped.

However, to achieve repeat sales, Universal decided they must also offer excellent reliability and customer support. To achieve this, Universal has focussed on four areas within its business:

Designing reliability into the machine.
Our approach is to focus on future reliability as part of our initial design process. We do not make our own drives or circuit boards – we buy our drives from a global supplier with worldwide support.

Our bearings and standard mechanical components are purchased direct from the manufacturer to avoid the risk of supply of counterfeit components. We provide easy access to lubrication points so it is easy to keep components correctly lubricate to prevent premature failure.

Internal manufacture of mechanical components.
Over the last three years, we have invested heavily in CNC machining centres to allow us to make our mechanical components ourselves. This has both improved product quality and reduced our manufacturing lead-time.

As the component drawings now go directly from our 3D CAD/CAM system to the CNC controller there is no risk of data entry error and it ensures repeatability. As part of this process, we have also standardised our components.

Should there be a need for a mechanical component, we will nearly always have it in stock and if not we can make it quickly. We also have extensive stocks of pneumatic and electrical components allowing us to respond to any need for spares quickly.

Comprehensive on-machine diagnostics.
The X6 slitter rewinder can be supplied with a range of automation systems to position the unwind, position the guider sensor, position shear knives and anvils and position the cores.

As the automation grows, so does the complexity of the control system. To make it easy for local engineers to support, we have developed the diagnostic system to give clear reasons if the machine will not operate.

We use a 22 inch colour touch screen as the main operator interface so all the information required can be clearly displayed. If the operator presses the start button and the machine will not start because, for example, a guard is open, a pop up will explain in simple terms what needs to be corrected.

We also provide dynamic electrical circuit drawings which are viewed on the display. They show the status of components such as inputs, outputs, voltages and current meaning that diagnostics which an electrician would do with a meter can be undertaken without even opening the control panel.

Remote diagnostic systems that work.
If we have completed the first three steps correctly then the need for remote support is greatly reduced. Universal is so confident in the reliability of its X6 slitting machine that it offers free telephone and internet based support for the life of the machine.

Sometimes a local engineer can struggle to resolve an issue. All our Universal X6 slitter rewinders have remote access capability via either VPN or port forwarding. The control system has been integrated to a level where when we connect to the machine remotely it is almost the same as being next to the machine. We can see the status of all the control components on the machine and look at the settings on the three touch screens. we can even watch as the operator changes settings on the touch screen.

Instead of the local engineer having to have a laptop with software and interfaces to connect to the machine, we offer this service free to our customers for the life of the machine.

Alan Jones, Managing Director of Universal Converting Equipment adds
“I am always amazed when talking to customers, the number of times I am told that they have purchased equipment that performs well but the ongoing support is poor. Since the launch of our X6 slitting machine, we have seen sales increase rapidly with orders from around the world. Although we will not stop developing the features of the X6 slitter rewinder, our biggest challenge is ensuring that we maintain our reputation for excellent support. Not only are we seeing repeat orders but some customers are ordering two or three machines at a time so the formula appears to be working. We have recently announced a showroom and support centre in the USA which will help consolidate are growing position the the Americas. We always have several X6 slitting machines in build so customers can visit and test their material on a machine. We will also have an X6 slitter rewinder at our showroom in the USA.”

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