Watershed Packaging Install a High Performance Universal X6 Slitting Machine

Monday, August 24, 2015

Watershed Packaging are a fast growing adhesive label and flexible packaging producer with three production sites, including a recently completed  custom-built factory in Leeds. Watershed needed a slitting machine with fast set-up times to slit material used within its conversion operation. Watershed chose the Universal X6 for its automatic shear knife set up, ease of operation and closed loop tension control.  The X6 automation systems and fast, easy job set-up enable Watershed to respond quickly to customers’ requirements with minimal downtime and reduced waste.

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The Universal X6 slitting machine is designed for processing flexible materials. A typical specification includes digital web guiding, automatic knife setting (ComputaSlit), an 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.  The X6 is a high-performance slitter with a footprint considerably smaller than competitive machines.

Commenting on the investment, Stephen Walker, Managing Director of Watershed Packaging  said “Our business is built on service and quality. Being able to produce high quality slit rolls with a quick turnaround allows us to respond quickly to the needs of our customers. We had purchased a used machine but the quality and service was poor. The Universal X6 has been excellent since its installation  We slit a lot of PET films which require shear slitting to obtain a good edge. The automatic shear knife setting system removes the need for our operators to handle knives and heavy shafts and is both very quick and very accurate. Job changes now take a few minutes. The recipe system ensures the operator always sets the machine correctly and closed loop tension control means all the rolls are wound at the correct tension. This raises the productivity of our converting operation as we always have good rolls.”

Alan Jones, MD, Universal Converting Equipment added “Watershed Packaging are a forward-thinking company and decided to invest in technology which both reduces cost and improves product quality. Many companies accept the downtime during set-up and the waste produced whilst the correct settings are found. Watershed wanted a better solution and we have proved the X6 slitter rewinder is the ideal machine. Load cell tension feedback, automatic knife positioning and core alignment dramatically reduce downtime and increases the time the machine is making money. By integrating the technology, we are able to offer a high performance machine at a very competitive price”

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