Web Handling - Web handling is the science, engineering and associated equipment necessary to transport flexible materials through various converting processes.

Proper web handling, achieved with best practices and use of appropriately designed, engineered and manufactured equipment will insure transport of webs through various converting processes without defect.

Most converting processes include several tension zones within one machine. Tension zones fall into one of three categories; unwind, internal and rewind. Web handling equipment is utilized in all tension zones. This equipment includes:

Converting - The term converting industry refers to the manufacturing practices behind the processing of materials in thin layer form. These materials may be:

  • Plastic films
  • Foils
  • Papers
  • Textiles
  • Nonwoven materials

These materials are typically stored and shipped in wound, roll form. Rolls can be as small as a few inches in diameter and as large as many feet in diameter. Material width can vary from a fraction of an inch to many feet wide.

Examples of converting processes are:

  • Printing
  • Laminating
  • Coating
  • Slitting (making narrow rolls from wide rolls)
  • Drying
  • Die cutting (cutting pieces from the web)
  • Extruding
  • Packaging

These processes can run from very slow speeds; less than one foot per minute to very high speeds; thousands of feet per minute. Processes can include high levels of technology and sophistication. Most processes are somewhat custom in nature.

Material rolls are typically unwound from roll form in a single layer. They are processed and then rewound into roll form for shipping or further processing. This single layer of material is referred to as a “web” as it flows through a machine or process.

Simply put, “converting” means that a roll of material is processed and becomes a roll of something else… it is converted. For example, an unprinted roll of paper becomes a printed roll of paper, a wide roll of film becomes several narrow rolls of film or an uncoated textile becomes adhesive through a coating process. There are countless converting processes, these are just a few examples.

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