Pillowing Puzzle

Creative thinking and a wrinkle remover from CAC resolve a perennial problem for Relizon Co.

Relizon Co. needed to solve a nagging problem in its Charlotte, NC, forms, labels, and envelope production facility. The problem was pillowing, which occurred while converting polyester linered material with a clear polypropylene facestock on a 9¼-in.-wide web. A patterned adhesive covered 20% of the material; 80% was not covered. To satisfy a demanding customer, the completed product needed to offer high quality printing with minimal flaws.

According to John Siejkowski, label production supervisor, as the material was run, especially as the diameter of the feed rolls decreased and tension increased, the material pillowed in the areas where there was no adhesive. Downstream, the material folded over and creased into sharp-edged folds. With constant attention and adjustment, the material could be run successfully, but production rates and waste amounts were unacceptable.

“We were throwing away a lot of material,” says Siejkowski. “We could fix the problem with tension control, but when we did that — as rolls got smaller we had to reduce tension so much we had impaired print registration. This was a very annoying problem.”

Siejkowski was tenacious and tried several possible solutions. In addition to tension control, another promising solution was to use a perforated material to release the air and flatten the “pillows.” This solution proved unacceptable to the customer and also failed. Instead of pillowing, as the roll diameters decreased, the adhesive-free areas also folded over and the surface was not acceptable for printing.

Creative Thinking
The solution came when a Converter Accessory Corp. (CAC) agent, Louis B. Batson Co., showed Siejkowski the WrinkleSTOP wrinkle-removing device for another application. Siejkowski looked closely at WrinkleSTOP and realized that though his problem was outside the conventional application of this wrinkle-removal technology, it just might offer the solution.

“In a way,” Siejkowski said, “part of me was always working on the pillowing problem. So I was alert to anything I came across that might work.”

WrinkleSTOP reportedly is capable of speeds that reach 1,000 fpm. It employs a stretchable rubber sleeve supported by a series of rubber support disks. Spreading amount is adjustable from 0% — 100%. Adjustments can be made from each end of the roll while the machine is running. The recommended wrap angle for this roll is from 90° — 180° — the greater the wrap angle, the greater the stretch.

“When the CAC agent brought in information about WrinkleSTOP, mainly for us to look at for other applications, I realized that though it was not an exact match for our printing line, it might work,” Siejkowski says. “I hoped it would pull the material laterally, flatten the pillows, and do this without downstream creases. We gave WrinkleSTOP a try, and it worked. In fact, it worked so well we've ordered another.”

The Relizon Co.

220 E. Monument Ave.
Dayton, OH 45402;
937/228-5800; relizon.com

Converter Accessory Corp.
, Wind Gap, PA; 800/433-2413; handleyourweb.com

Louis P. Batson Co., Greenville, SC; 864/242-5262; lpbatson.com

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