The Wind-Up and Pitch
Look to press suppliers' suggestions, as well as material and tension specs, to make the best unwind/rewind purchase.
By Susan Friedman
Why venture beyond the standard unwind/rewind system supplied with a press? For package printers, the mission is often to reach a loftier tier of efficiency, productivity or safety.
'Herb' Herbert, president of CTC International, says CTC frequently sells automatic winding equipment to converters seeking a higher level of press automation. "A printing press will always have an unwind and a rewind. But they are not always automatic, unless specified. What comes standard might be a single-arbor unwind and a single-arbor rewind that must be stopped for each roll change," he notes.
FlexoExport sells most individual winding equipment to customers in search of ancillary winding capabilities, reports VP Scott Beaudoin. "This additional capacity is often for customized products, particularly for marrying multiple webs," he relates.
At Parkinson Machinery, wide-web winding needs make up the majority of individual system sales, says Sales Manager Dave Rumson. Converters may also look beyond standard unwind equipment if they are seeking an upgrade that can be more easily coupled with material handling devices such as lift tables and roll manipulators, he says.
So what is an interested buyer to do?
Press manufacturers can be a valuable source of winding equipment guidance. But converters shouldn't necessarily just take a vendor's advice and run with it.
"If a press manufacturer has worked on multiple installations with a specific vendor and has a good relationship with that vendor, the likelihood of running into start-up issues or technical problems should be minimal," comments James Ward, division manager, light-web products at Martin Automatic. "However, if the application calls for materials or process requirements that are slightly different from that past experience, it may be wise to look at other options."