BACKGROUND: Pace Converting Equipment Co. Inc., Cleveland, specializes in the design and manufacture of high-speed, narrow-web systems that laminate, die cut, emboss, slit, and sheet at up to 600 fpm. Web-fed materials include films, paper, paperboard, non-wovens, rubber, and foam, which, when processed, become multiple component fabricated parts for the automotive, medical, gasket, and specialty markets.

DESIGN CHALLENGE: Web material has to be fed through the system smoothly and accurately. The material must align at each of six or more stations where the laminate, die-cut, emboss, slit, and sheeting operations are performed. Registration is critical because the process runs between 50 and 600 ft of web material per minute. Of particular concern are shudders which can occur when a die and anvil meet at one or more stations, creating a harmonic effect through the system and subsequent registration problems.

DESIGN GOALS: Absorb and dampen any harmonic vibration and backlash in the system

ENABLING TECHNOLOGY: Backlash-free CD couplings from Zero-Max Inc., Plymouth, Minn.

DESIGN IN ACTION: Aligned in series between the phase-adjusting materials, the couplings transmit torque smoothly so that each station performs its operation in-register and synchronized with the other stations. As a result, the system runs smoothly and trouble-free, even during advance and retard modes used to fine-tune the system’s registration.

The couplings’ open arm disk pack design is made from a rugged composite material that reacts to coupling forces with high torsional stiffness, with the ability to lessen reaction loads and absorb and damp shock and vibration.

The couplings also facilitate occasional registration adjustment while operating. This is done by manually turning a switch or full electronic registration control, which momentarily retards or advances and realigns the web material to the die cut. The system never stops for these adjustments; it merely increases or decreases in speed.

For more information: Zero-Max Inc.
(763) 546-4300
www.zero-max.com