Take The Right Path
Are electronics the major factor in keeping webs in line? Or are other, more conventional options the answer?
By Chris Bauer
THE WORLD HAS gone digital. That statement has been beat to death, pushed down your throat, and probably gone in one ear and out the other countless numbers of times in the past few years, especially when it comes to printing equipment. Isn't there anything left that can be done without bits, bytes, or megs? Makes you wonder how we ever got anything accomplished before the "digital revolution."
Simpler equipment designs still have a strong appeal. Many printing companies report experiencing difficulty in finding experienced personnel. And for this reason, a simple approach to web guides is often the answer. "As an alternative to complicated electronic guides, the all-air guiding system offers a simpler approach to web guidingwithout sacrificing anything when it comes to accuracy," announces Bob Duffy, sales and marketing manager for Coast Controls. All-air guiding systems, he says, use only low pressure plant air for both web edge sensing and guiding actuation.
But the real benefit of an all-air system comes back to simplicity, Duffy explains. "Production and maintenance personnel appreciate the fact that all-air guiding systems are easy to hook up, virtually maintenance free, and rarely ever need adjusting after installation. In fact, they're so uncomplicated that most people understand exactly how they work in just a few minutes."
Coast's all-air guiding systems are intrinsically explosion-proof and do not require modifications or special provisions when guiding in explosive environments, Duffy adds. Worries of interference problems when installing near a corona treater, an electron beam oven, or other devices are also eliminated.
With that said, there are other schools of thought concerning web guides. There is no denying the strong market for electronic web guiding equipment. And suppliers are lining up to provide more intricate systems to ensure substrates remain on the correct path.