Lean Flexibles are a fast growing supplier and contract slitter of flexible packaging materials based at Hinckley, UK. Lean offer short lead time supply of a range of materials including PET, OPP, PE, CPP and multi-layer laminates. In choosing the Universal X6 slitting machine, Lean needed a wider web machine which minimised job set up times, produced consistent high quality rolls and was able to run at high speed.
The Universal X6 machine is designed for processing flexible materials. A typical specification includes digital web guiding, automatic knife setting (Computaslit), additional tension zone through slitting, closed loop rewind tension control, constant geometry contact rollers, automatic core alignment (Computacore) and a running speed of 600m/min. The machine is designed to be simple to operate with a 22inch touch screen interface. A typical changeover, including setting 20 shear knives can take less than two minutes making the machine ideal for short run work. The integrated drive and control system offers precision and repeatability with extensive diagnostics including dynamic circuit diagrams. All this performance in a machine with a small footprint.
Commenting on the investment, Darren Beardsley, Technical Director of Lean Flexibles said “To achieve our business objectives, we needed productivity, consistency,reliability and the ability to process thin extensible films through to rigid APET films.The Universal X6 has met our requirements and more. Setting shear knives used to take two people to lift the cutter shaft out and back in and the knives would take a long time to set. Now we programme the next slit pattern whilst the machine is running. Once the machine stops, the knives are set faster than we can load a new parent roll into the machine. The additional tension zone through slitting has helped us achieve consistently good quality slit edges even when running low rewind tensions. During our acceptance trials at Universal, we tailored the machine to our specific requirements, ran a range of materials and saved the settings in the recipe system. With load cell measurement of rewind tensions we know that we can return to these settings and achieve exactly the same tension profile allowing us to run at 600m/min with confidence.”
Alan Jones, MD, Universal Converting Equipment added “Lean chose to spend more than they originally planned by investing in technology that will pay back for years to come. To compete in their markets they needed to minimise downtime and maximise running speed in the knowledge that rolls will always be good quality. This is what the Universal X6 has been designed to achieve year after year. Although the X6 incorporates a lot of technology, it is based on fundamental design principles - keep the web path as short as possible, use feedback devices to ensure the machine is doing exactly as required, make the structure rigid so alignment stays perfect and ensure the machine is easy to set up and operate. Load cell tension feedback, automatic knife positioning and core alignment dramatically reduces downtime and increases the time the machine is making money.”