Static control and web cleaning and handling equipment go hand in hand, as clean and well-handled webs eliminate static. What follows are details about some of the newest and best products from leading industry suppliers that can optimally clean and handle narrow webs and eliminate static.
Polymag Tek manufactures innovative contact web cleaners for the converting industry, custom designed to remove dirt, contamination, slitting dust and converting debris. The company’s products are designed to be simple and robust designs with a low cost of ownership.
Polymag Tek offers web cleaners of all sizes, to accommodate everything from small label presses to wide web film lines. “We make each machine to our customer’s specifications because we understand that each process, press and substrate is unique,” explains Joe Rodibaugh, technical sales for Polymag Tek. “A one-size-fits-all approach is not our method.”
In 2000, Polymag Tek commissioned the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to study the efficiency of different web cleaning methods. The company published its findings and have based its web cleaner design off of the knowledge gained from this study. (The study is available at http://www.polymagtek.com/dirt-report.html)
Polymag Tek manufactures single-sided and double-sided web cleaners for narrow web applications. In its most basic model (2RNWC), a 3" OD Contact Cleaning Roll “nips” the substrate against an existing idler roll. The Contact Cleaning Roll (CCR) removes the contaminants from the web, and then transfers them to an adhesive tape roll. Most models include pneumatic separation of the nip and the rolls when the press stops in order to prevent any conveyance issues.
“Our two-sided units operate on the same principle. Our 4RNWC-IIA provides two-sided cleaning at a fraction of the cost of competitors clamshell units,” Rodibaugh says.
He continues, “Some suppliers mass produce a particular model of a clamshell web cleaner. Although we do produce a clamshell model web cleaner (4RNWC-CD/6RNWC-CD), we only propose this model for customers that run their presses continuously for six hours or more without stopping.”
The clamshell has drawers for the adhesive tape that allows on-the-fly tape change. “Although this feature is great for continuous operations, it adds to the cost of the machine and may be overkill for your application,” Rodibaugh says. “Our basic open frame 4 Roll Narrow Web Cleaner (4RNWC-IIA) provides the same cleaning functionality at a reduced cost, as well as having additional features.”
Polymag Tek’s Open Frame Narrow Web Cleaners can utilize its patented Extender Self Oscillating Adhesive Tape Roll. This roll moves back and forth across the face of the CCR, collecting particles for permanent removal. The Extender spreads contamination across a 1-inch area to avoid saturation of the adhesive tape along the “line of travel” of the web. With the Extender, the consumable adhesive tape lasts up to 12 times longer with respect to slit edge contamination. This helps reduce consumable costs.
Additionally, Polymag Tek uses oversized contact cleaning rolls. Instead of purchasing an entirely new roller, CCRs can be touch ground or polished up to five times before a recover is needed, reducing the overall cost of ownership.
For customers that have unique constraints or processes, Polymag Tek and its partners can provide solutions for the most complex challenges. The company has formed a strategic alliance with Static Clean International (SCI). This alliance gives both companies access to a full suite of products that include Contact and Non-contact Vacuum Web Cleaners, Static Elimination bars and Ionizing Air Blowers.
Simco-Ion offers label converters the V-Force 30, an industrial vacuum cleaning system for narrow web machines. It combines the power of static neutralization with high vacuum, high volume and high velocity – allowing for ultimate cleaning. The complete system includes a non-contact cleaning hood with active static neutralizing bars, a ducting kit, and a self-contained Air Control System. It can be easily installed onto the open web in most narrow web presses and machinery, including those running thin films.
V-Force 30’s compact clamshell hood design incorporates an optimized air management chamber that balances a high velocity air agitation curtain with dual vacuum slots, providing high efficiency cleaning. The hood also incorporates shockless static bars to quickly neutralize and break the bond between charged particulates and the running web at up to 2,000 fpm.
The Air Control System is an all-in-one blow-off, vacuum, and collector support cabinet that connects to the hood through an integrated hose design. The ACS’s stainless steel enclosure incorporates enhanced acoustic isolation, resulting in extremely quiet operation. Most importantly, the ACS incorporates a non-regenerative blower design with dedicated turbines and a filtered fresh air intake providing powerful performance without the use of costly compressed air. The quad turbine vacuum source is strategically designed so that there is no degradation of vacuum suction as each filter accumulates particles. Its flexible design and small footprint makes the V-Force 30 system an efficient cleaning system for any demanding application.
Simco-Ion’s Teknek NWP (Narrow Web Cleaner) uses a Teknek Cleaning Core to remove surface contamination prior to the printing, coating or laminating process. Teknek’s formulated elastomer rollers are manufactured in-house and have much higher performance and cleaning properties than ordinary tacky rolls or tacky rollers, the company says. The Narrow Web Clean Machine, also known as NWP, is designed to remove contamination from a moving web of material. The machine uses the Teknek elastomer contact cleaning rollers. The large diameter elastomer rollers lift dry unattached particles down to a micron and transfer them to a reverse wound pre-sheeted adhesive roll. When the adhesive is full of contamination, a layer is easily removed refreshing the roll. The operator has full side access to the Teknek Pre-Sheeted Adhesive Rolls for purging. This ensures the NWP can be fully integrated into the line or process. Threading up of the web is made very easy with the opening top half of the NWP. This feature also allows the operator full access to the elastomer rollers for cleaning. Easily removable side covers give great maintenance access. The “QRH” system within the NWP provides the operator a fast, safe and simple method of replacing the Teknek presheeted adhesive rolls. No tools are required to change out the rolls. Flexibility in mounting position ensure the NWP can be fully integrated into many applications. The machine can be mounted in both vertical and horizontal positions depending on the requirements of the application. The NWP has the option of two different anti-static systems, active and passive. Mounted on the exit of the machine, each system will greatly reduce the risk of re-contamination of the web after cleaning. The flexible design of the NWP allows for optional diverter rollers to be fitted either to the entry or exit of the machine. The ability for different web paths in and out of the NWP provides the customer with many options on mounting position.
Roll-2-Roll Technologies’ line of web positioning sensors were introduced to the market in 2015 with a patented technology that provides accurate and precise web detection without the need for calibration when web materials or environmental conditions change.
With sensing windows from 48 mm up to 440 mm, the ARIS WPS sensor line continues to grow in sensing range, and along with the ARIS SCU sensor control unit, provides multiple features including edge, contrast, line and threat detection to provide applications such as web edge and center monitoring and guiding, web width measurement and monitoring, contrast within a web monitoring and guiding, line monitoring and guiding, single and multiple thread position monitoring, counting, and width monitoring. All these features and applications are available by pressing an icon, without having to perform any time-consuming calibration procedures. Any material can be detected, monitored or controlled with the web position sensors from Roll-2-Roll Technologies.
ARIS WPS 48 is the most versatile of the sensor line with options of Infrared light source for most applications, White Light source for contrast and edge sensing and UV for ultraviolet mark detection. It requires an ARIS SCU sensor control unit.
ARIS WPS 221-IR provides a 221 mm sensing window for web edge detection, monitoring, guiding, center guiding, width monitoring and measurement, and thread monitoring, counting and width measurement. For web widths below 8", the ARIS 221 IR can be used for width monitoring or center guiding. The long sensing window allows for guiding without having to move the sensor when web widths change in a converting line. It also equires an ARIS SCU sensor control unit.
ARIS WPS 440-IR provides a 440 mm sensing window and all the features of the ARIS WPS 221-IR. Best of all, the company says, it includes its own sensor control unit within the sensor enclosure, making it one of the most compact complete sensor solutions in the market, including communications through EtherNet/IP.
ARIS SCU control units provide the brains for the sensor applications. With options to operate one or two sensors, icon based operator interface, analog and digital outputs and communications options for EtherNet/IP or Profinet, the intelligent control makes what used to be complicated sensor control operations into a simple and easy task for operators.
Roll-2-Roll Technologies LLC is focused on providing the smartest and easiest to use technology to simplify the operation of converter lines. Aravind Seshadri, president of Roll-2-Roll Technologies LLC, comments, “As a young company we are quick to respond to customer needs, and these product are the result of customer feedback. We leverage advanced technologies to make our products simple and easy to use. Our simple solutions save a tremendous amount of time for our customers while improving their process efficiency. That is the best way we can apply our knowhow of web handling.”
Meech offers the label market a range of web cleaning systems and the Hyperion range of anti-static bars. For web cleaning there is the CyClean and TakClean. The CyClean is a compact non-contact system designed to remove and extract contamination and is optimized to remove contamination to below 1 micron. It is best suited for high speed presses and can handle virtually any substrate. “With more and more inkjet printable webs becoming available, the system provides a future proof solution,” says Adam Battrick, sales director at Meech.
TakClean is a contact web cleaner used within the label printing sector and features the specifically formulated TransTak elastomer contact cleaning rollers and perforated adhesive rolls, which make it ideal for narrower and slower presses.
Meech’s range of anti-static bars include the Hyperion 971IPS, 929IPS and 924IPS anti-static bars. Providing long-range and mid-range ionization, respectively, the 971IPS and 929IPS bars offer extremely powerful static control, while the 924IPS is one of the most compact pulsed ionizing bars on the market, Battrick says.
“The Hyperion range provides industry-leading static elimination, with the bars' default settings allowing quick and easy installation for use on converting lines,” Battrick adds.
Maxcess recently released three advanced tension control products from MAGPOWR, the CSR Cantilevered Tension Sensing Roller, the ISR Integrated Sensing Roller and the TLCB, a larger size of the Thin Load Cell. “With the ISR and CSR Tension Sensing Rollers, we are building upon the strengths of our precision roll knowledge from Webex and MAGPOWR’s deep understanding of tension control to create two unique rollers that will be faster, easier and less expensive to install than a separate roll and tension sensors,” says Chris Harper, global product manager for MAGPOWR Tension Control. “For the TLCB Thin Load Cell, we took a popular European-style load cell that allows for minimal machine space requirements and created a larger size, which has been a major request from our customer base.”
Maxcess also recently unveiled two new Fife sensors at Labelexpo Europe. “With the release of the SE-26B Line Guide Sensor and four additional DSE Digital Sensors, we are entering a new era of sensing technology by incorporating LED displays, LED light sources and data information from the sensor itself,” says Shomari Head, global product manager of Fife Guiding.
“In addition,” Head says, “the digital connection between our advanced D-MAXE Controller and the DSE sensors allow for automatic setup and opens the possibility of adding additional functions such as contamination alarms and more.”
The new DSE Digital Sensors feature a built-in LED display, which displays web position, making setup easier and faster. The SE-26B uses an LED light source, resulting in 100,000 lifetime hours.