Addressing the growing demand for precision slit polymers, optical films, composite laminates, and other precision-coated substrates, Preco has opened a Polymer Clean Slitting (PCS) Center in their Somerset, WI facility. The PCS Center provides toll converting of master rolls in a work center specifically designed to provide debris free slit rolls. This slitting enhancement is achieved by controlling work center variables, employing non-contact slitting, and facilitating stringent roll handling protocols.
Preco’s integrated approach to Polymer Clean Slitting is designed to deliver substantial improvements over mechanical slitting. The process provides a converting platform that eliminates "angel hair" (slivering) of particulates and reduces contaminates that scratch high value materials in downstream processes. In addition to developing this proprietary process, significant effort has been made to provide specific equipment in conjunction with a clean work environment that incorporates HEPA filter air handling.
David Johnson, Preco’s key account manager responsible for PCS Center sales, states, “Clean slitting of master rolls of high value materials was a recurring market need expressed by my customer base. Mechanical slitting causes poor yield due to debris generation typically caused by mechanical slitting, dull slitting knifes, mechanical stresses induced by the knifes, and cross contamination debris caused by non-dedicated slitting equipment. Our market analysis indicated strong interest in the PCS Center and as a result we have multiple programs lined-up prior to our opening to take advantage of this proprietary process. We have expectations of improving our customer’s yields 50% in some cases with the results we have been able to generate to date.”
Randy Schuster, Preco’s COO, says, “Based on the market interest and commitment we were experiencing from our customer base, it became apparent Preco’s investment in the PCS Center would greatly benefit our customers by improving their product quality and material yields. The scope of this center fits well with Preco’s primary focus’ of contract manufacturing, web handling, laser processing, and clean room operation, along with a seasoned staff of applications engineers that thoroughly understand and can support the Polymer Clean Slitting process. It was important that we take a leadership position in this segment of the contract slitting market.”
The Polymer Clean Slitting Center (PCS) was introduced at the recent Flexible Conference & Exhibition, February 3-6, 2014 in Phoenix, AZ. "The market demand for this service was evident by the strong interest expressed at this show for this process," Schuster says. The Flexible Conference is organized yearly by the Flex Tech Alliance for Display & Flexible, Printed Electronics.