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WHAT IS THE CONVERTING INDUSTRY ?

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 elseā€¦ 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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