Wipak UK Expands Flexible Packaging Production

BEDFORD, UK | Atlas Converting Equipment Ltd. has recently commissioned a "next generation" Titan SR9-DT Dual Turret slitter/rewinder at Wipak UK Ltd. at its production facility in Welshpool (Powys), in central Wales. Wipak UK Ltd. is part of the Wipak Group, which has extensive operations in plastic film production and converting in ten locations throughout Europe.

The new Titan SR9-DT Dual Turret rewinder at Wipak UK will be a 1,650-mm-wide machine with the capacity for up to 700-mm rewind reel diameters, a servo core positioning system, and an integral moving splice table to meet the expanding production requirements of the group’s UK facility. The slitter also will have an unwind and rewind static control system and will be capable of processing materials at a minimum slit width of 50 mm.

Titan SR9-DT slitter/rewinder

As part of the Finland-based Wihuri Group, the Wipak Group holds a leading rank in the development and manufacture of multilayer films (especially barrier films) and high quality packaging solutions in Europe, in both the food industry and the medical/healthcare sector. This covers fresh and processed meat, dairy products, bakery products, confectionery, ready meals, fish, and coffee, together with a wide variety of re-closing systems for food packaging. Wipak also supplies a wide range of sterile barrier materials and packaging systems for the medical device industry and health care institutions, including substrate films for sticking plasters and PVC-free materials for pharmaceutical packaging.

In addition, the group also provides specific flexible packaging solutions for the tobacco industry and supplies films to other converters.

In the development of the new Titan SR9 Series, Atlas reportedly focused its product development strategy on achieving significant reductions in machine downtime for printers and converters, with lower operator intervention and also reduction of costly waste materials—which it says added up to outstanding gains in productivity and sustainability.

“We saw the Titan SR9-DT slitter/rewinder demonstration at the drupa exhibition in Germany last year,” explained Dennis Nee, factory manager at Wipak UK. “We were impressed by the machine’s performance and could see that it would provide us with the flexibility, high efficiency, and high quality product we need to support our expanding operations. It is also excellent to have a machine supplier in the UK who can provide full technical support at any time it may be needed,” he confirmed.

The "new generation" Titan SR9 Series technology platform was launched at the end of 2011 with the Dual Turret (DT) slitter/rewinder. This was then followed by the Duplex Shaft (DS) slitter/rewinder introduced during 2012 with both machines featuring three separate machine modules of unwind, slitter, and rewind sections. Innovative engineering design has led to the application for three patents (one granted and two in process) on the Titan SR9 Series and has made significant improvements in the quality of slit reels and reductions in set-up procedures.

A newly designed Linear Tracking Slitter (LTS) section ensures the shortest and a constant web length between the knives and the rewind shafts for improved web control giving the highest possible side wall quality of rewind reels and also reducing the possibility of waste material. Many other new features provide exceptional performance and productivity at running speeds of up to 1000 m/min. The SR9 Series is also available in a 2250-mm machine width.

To maintain focus on its objectives for sustainability, the Titan SR9 Series has many features for achieving reductions in the cost of energy and of waste materials. Elimination of all hydraulics helps to provide a cleaner environment and the use of high efficiency motors and regenerative braking enables a considerable reduction in energy consumption and makes the SR9 Series the most efficient slitting-rewinding solution in the Titan range.

Wihuri Oy, the Finnish parent company of the Wipak Group was established in 1966 and has 3 production facilities in Finland together with operations in the UK, Netherlands, France, Germany, Poland, Spain, and Italy. Wipak also has a North American sister company Winpak which completes the Wihuri Packaging Div. with approximately 3,600 employees.

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