How Air Web Guides Reduce Down Time During the Production Process

Friday, October 25, 2013

Downtime is the enemy of production. Every second your machines are being cleaned and repaired is time taken away from potential profit. For years, electronic web guide systems have been standard in the manufacturing industry, and the headaches that come with them seemed to be necessary evils. However, most production processes are dirty, dust-filled environments that can block electronic sensors. Once the sensors have been compromised, they must be cleaned, and in extreme cases, repaired. This creates excessive downtime that could otherwise be used to create product. In order to keep your production process going with less downtime, consider using all-air web guide systems. 

Dirty Environments Lead to Costly Downtime

During the production process, maintaining an accurate web path is essential to creating a quality final product. In order to maintain this path, guide systems are incorporated into the manufacturing process. These guides help maintain a fast, smooth path for webs being guided through the production process allowing for a more efficient workflow. However, most manufacturing processes generate dust in the environment, and this debris then blocks the sensors on electronic web guides and leaves them incapable of providing an accurate read on the web.

In order to continue production, the machines must be stopped until the sensors are cleaned. Although this may seem like a necessary downside to such an advanced system, the constant need for cleaning and maintenance can significantly interfere with production time. Worse yet, the downtime these electronic web guides create means less product made, and therefore, decreased profits.

All-Air Web Guide Systems

In order to reduce downtime during the production process while maintaining an accurate edge read, an all-air web guiding system uses no electronic parts and operates solely on low pressure plant air. Like electronic web guiding systems, all-air web guides provide an accurate read and make minute adjustments to the web to ensure a quality product is created. The system works by reading the edge before it passes through the production process. If the web alignment is off, opposing streams of air used for edge detection readjust the web to ensure it is fed into the production process properly. The benefit of these opposing streams of air is not only for accurate edge detection but also self-cleaning of the sensor itself by blowing debris away from the sensors. This allows the all-air web guide system to maintain an accurate read without the need for cleaning or maintenance. 

Reducing Downtime During the Production Process

The all-air web guide system has proven to be an essential tool in the manufacturing industry due to its reliability and accuracy. What sets this system apart from electronic-based web guide systems is its ability to perform at its highest level even in dirty/dusty production environments. Industries like label manufacturing that create excessive dust and debris during the production process no longer have to compensate for extended downtime when using an all-air web guide system.

Through the opposing steady stream of air mentioned above, sensors remain clean even in the dirtiest of environments. Without the need to halt the production process for cleaning and maintenance, downtime is significantly reduced, allowing for a more productive process. According to Duro Bag Manufacturing Company, one of the world’s largest producers of grocery, retail, and specialty paper bags, not only was downtime greatly reduced after incorporating the all-air web guide system into their production process, but the overall quality of their product was also improved.

Creating an efficient production process begins by reducing downtime. If your manufacturing process creates excessive debris creating the constant need to maintain your web guide system, consider using an all-air web guide system. Through easy installation and its fail-safe operation, you will save money and stress in the long run.

About the Author:

Thomas Marks, of Coast Controls Inc. in Sarasota, Florida, is a veteran of the converting industry. Mr. Marks began his career with Coast Controls in 2000 and worked his way through the ranks to his current position as president and owner. A graduate of Oklahoma State University, he also enjoys hunting, fishing, photography, and motorcycles in his spare time.