Technical Report

What’s new in converting: industry leaders respond

Gambini and PCMC replied to Tissue World´s questions on what their most recent converting technical developments are, and how they give customers a competitive edge

What technical developments can we expect in converting for 2012 and beyond?

Catoni: “The main issues are technical developments that ensure a high quality finished product that doesn’t neglect the converting line’s flexibility and efficiency. This means that for 2012 and beyond, our focus is on our latest innovation, the TOUCHMAX, on which a pattern change is achieved in three minutes directly from the HMI control panel. The selected roll configuration settings are completely automatic, no manual operation is involved, which maximises safety at work and reduces changeover time.”

Spinelli: “The Forte Industrial is with no doubt the most important innovation among our recent developments. Two complete lines are already installed and in production, while two more are scheduled for delivery in the first and second quarter of 2012 respectively: each of them has been specifically developed, involving a dedicated R&D effort that day by day adds new features, continuously enhancing every single component of the Forte Industrial line.

“Among the most innovative aspects of the Forte Industrial are: the TNT system (tension nip torque) for a uniform winding tension, and the special core chucks with two degrees of freedom. In the course of 2012 our R&D team will be dedicated to the study of further enhancements focused on every single unit comprising our lines, and in most cases these will be considered confidential projects carried out for specific customers.”

What are the latest opportunities/challenges for converting companies and their customers in 2012?

Catoni: “The main challenge is to be able to meet market needs and demands. For example, retailers are now increasingly demanding various embossing patterns in order to increase and diversify their products range. The main challenge facing converting companies is to have the right equipment to achieve maximum flexibility without increasing the production cost.”

Spinelli: “PCMC’s challenge in recent years and for the ones to come is to provide the highest level of technology even to mediumlevel converters: we apply our top-of-therange standards and the consequential benefits are also beneficial to lower-capacity machinery ranges.

“We are currently developing a Forte line for a speed range of 600 mpm that is able to offer exactly the same benefits as the wellknown Forte 800 line: maximum accessibility and design simplicity, operator friendliness, lower maintenance, supreme product quality, complete reliability, material and energy waste reduced near to zero. A line for medium-size converters that will be profitable not only at the moment of purchase but during the entire course of its production life.”

What new ways are you ensuring that the quality of cut is consistent?

Catoni: “We put a lot of attention into the sharpening unit and our products are equiped with a servo motor that ensures accurate movement. We strongly believe that our stationery cut combined with our sturdy universal log clamps are ideal for higher quality.”

“We are helping our customer’s costs by providing reliable and efficent equipment designed to ensure constant quality.” Luca Catoni, Gambini

Spinelli: “PCMC has recently introduced the Ecotrim®, a highly innovative patented system built into PCMC continuous motion log saws. The two clamps holding the log being cut follow the movement of the blade and are placed very close to one another. The benefits are improved cut quality, especially the end cuts; reduced length of trim cookies on BRT and HHT (max 15 mm); improved product appearance; less cut length variation, which improves downstream reliability.

“Last but not least: shorter trim length (saving transport and/or recycling costs) meaning either an extra roll per log (when combined with a slightly shorter cut length), or same productivity with narrower paper; or a slightly longer cut length with the same paper.

“Ecotrim® provides these benefits with no additional floor space and ease of changing web width.”

What features are you incorporating to minimise downtime between changes in print design, embossing design or roll format?

cantilever system and gearless technology ensuring a quick sleeve change-over and a fast accurate colour phasing, reducing machine downtime and minimising waste. “Our embossing machines are designed to reach maximum flexibility, and our solution allows a quick roll change without any mechanical intervention directly from HMI, therefore reducing to the minimum machine downtime.”

Spinelli: “For years PCMC has been offering customers effective devices for reducing change downtime, such as the well known Easy Change and Quick Change series of embossers, the Net technology, the quick change of cliché on printers, cantilever systems and automatic cleaning after colour change. “Today we are working on some confidential projects that will lead to a further evolution of the embossers, through increased adjustment precision of the rolls and further maintenance reduction.”

Which particular automation features distinguish your converting technology, and how do they improve productive efficiency?

Catoni: “The main features are the automated roll positioning on our embosser combined with the loading pressure control adjustment from HMI. The innovative embosser-laminator TOUCHMAX allows pattern change in three minutes reducing machine downtime and therefore improving efficiency.”

Spinelli: “The Forte Industrial rewinder features the core diameter change from panel thanks to which, in a few seconds, the threefreedom- degree winding nest is reconfigured in a completely automatic way from a core diameter of 35mm to 90mm. The complete automation of this tool-free operation allows reduced access to the machine for higher safety, while at the same time increasing productivity thanks to the rapidity of the changeover.”

Identify one or two areas of technology in which your converting systems really stand out.

Catoni: “Definitely embosser-laminators. All Gambini units are designed and manufactured to guarantee an easy, quick and safe product changeover, and they have common predominant features: simplicity, flexibility and reliability. The embossing units can all be equipped with automated loading pressure control and our latest development, FlexLess embossing rolls, ensure a constant nip at any working pressure, therefore there’s no need for crowned rolls and/or skewing devices.”

Spinelli: “Again three devices featured by the Forte range. First of all the reduced foldback length, adjustable from panel in a range from 20 to 45 mm.

“Secondly the TNT (tension nip torque) system, a technology dedicated to the converting of high-density rolls. While on traditional rewinders it is possible to control only the position of the riding roll, the TNT system allows control of the overall nip exerted on the log during its growth. This means a uniform control of rider roll, upper and lower rolls during winding, that translates into consistent winding and uniform winding tension. This system will be available in 2012, with the first installation being planned in a new line in early 2012.

“PCMC’s challenge in recent years and for the ones to come is to provide the highest level of technology.” Stefano Spinelli, PCMC

“The third aspect is the active core position control allowed by special core chucks with two degrees of freedom (horizontal and vertical). The core does not follow the free movement of the growing log but can be controlled and adjusted in position, with great benefits on the quality and characteristics of the winding.”

How are you helping your customers with their costs and quality requirements?

Catoni: “Providing reliable and efficient equipment designed to ensure constant quality.”

Spinelli : “Guaranteeing profitability for the customer while at the same time maintaining high quality of the product is the main target of PCMC R&D activities.

“In particular, in recent years we have successfully worked to reduce energy consumption on all machinery and the waste of material at all levels: some examples of this are the minimised consumption of glue for core gluing; the elimination or remarkable reduction of the trim on the final cut of the log, thanks to the no-trim system. This is a consequence of the anti-coning effect of the log allowed by the active core position control on the Forte rewinders.”