If you’ve ever torn the shrink wrap off a package of meat or worked hard to remove a price label off a gift, you’ve seen the end product produced by the converting industry. Rolls of plastic shrink wrap and labels arrive at factories in huge rolls that need to be cut and shaped to each client’s specifications. These factories use slitters and turret rewinders to slice apart the material and make it a usable end product. In order to effectively run large amounts of material through different pieces of machinery, it’s important that a good web guiding system is in place.
What Is a Web Guiding System?
A web is a large, flat piece of material, for example, a piece of laminate sheeting, that must be processed before the finished product is produced. Because the pieces are so large, it’s not uncommon for it to bump or go off track when being run through different pieces of machinery. The guiding system helps prevent the material from falling off course. Some machines that use web guiding systems include printing presses, turret rewinders, slitters, coaters and laminators. To prevent the web from becoming damaged, many guiding systems do not have contact with the actual materials.
How a Web Guiding System Works
Many of the newer systems are digital that allow the operator to use a touchscreen interface to control the system. If the system detects that the material is sliding off track to a point where the guiding system cannot redirect it, the system will alert the operator who can fix it if necessary. The other type of web guiding system for turret rewinders and slitters is the active guiding system.
This type of system is often placed near the rollers of a machine because it’s imperative that the guiding mechanism is placed at a critical point in the slitting and rewinding process. The system feels for the edges of the material and redirects it should the web begin to slide or fall off track. The system is technically feeling for any areas where there is curling or movement on the web, which indicates that the operator may not get a smooth cut or rewind action. By using a web guiding system, converter operators decrease the risk of improperly slitting large pieces of material, like plastic or laminate.
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