How Automated Sheeting Machines Boost Your Business

8 March 2024 - 11:50, by , in Converting Equipment and Machinery, Comments off

Learn more about the ROI you’ll gain from switching to automated machinery

After safety, efficiency and productivity in manufacturing are two of the most important drivers of overall business success. In this context, automated sheeting machines are a game-changer, streamlining processes and significantly enhancing both efficiency and productivity over manual sheeting machines.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • How business owners can increase output in their production lines with automation
  • The role of automated machines in maximizing efficiency
  • Types of automated sheeting machines and their advantages
  • How to integrate automated sheeting machines into your existing processes

Understanding the Need for Automation in Manufacturing

Traditionally, sheeting processes are labor-intensive, time-consuming, and subject to human error. In addition, manual processes typically require a significant amount of time to set up, and production speed can be inconsistent, leading to unpredictable output levels. Oftentimes, clients start out by ruling things out on a table and manually cutting.

Automated sheeting machines bring significant benefits in terms of speed, precision, and cost-effectiveness. Automation accelerates production speed, while precision is enhanced by reducing the potential for human error and improving finished product tolerance, consistency and quality.

From a cost perspective, automated sheeting machines require less manual labor, reducing labor costs. This results in lower per-unit costs, driving overall cost-effectiveness in the long run.

Overview of Automated Sheeting Machines

Automated sheeting machines are advanced cutting and converting equipment that process large rolls of material into sheets. The process is fully automated, from feeding the raw material to cross-cut or perforate (in lieu of sheeting), and stacking the finished sheets. These machines can handle a wide range of materials, including paper, plastic films, foils, fabric, and laminates.

While automated sheeting machines come in a number of configurations for both narrow and wide web formats, Pinnacle Converting Equipment is able to create custom solutions designed for your specific production needs.
Pinnacle’s automated sheeting equipment includes:

  • Tabletop Sheeting Machine: A compact and portable option that can be placed on a work table or countertop. It is suitable for small-scale sheeting operations involving a single operator.
  • EZ Sheeting Machine: A sturdy, low-maintenance machine designed for maximum safety and simplicity. The EZ Sheeter has many available options, making it a versatile choice for manufacturers.
  • Custom Sheeting Machine with Conveyor: A machine that turns rolls of material into sheets with a high degree of accuracy. Models can be built with hole punch and detect features.
  • 86″ Perforator Slitter Rewinder: A machine designed to automatically sheet or perforate non-woven material and produce sheets of any length and width.

Types of Automated Sheeting Machines

There are three main types of automated sheeting machines:

Rotary Sheeters

Rotary sheeters use a rotating cylinder with cutting blades to produce sheets from continuous rolls of material. The process is fast and efficient, making it ideal for high-speed production lines.

Rotary sheeters are incredibly versatile, capable of handling a wide variety of materials such as paper, plastic, foil, and more. Their precision and consistency make them an excellent choice for industries that require exacting standards like printing and packaging.

Guillotine Sheeters

Guillotine sheeters use a sharp blade that moves across the material to cut it into sheets. This type of sheeting machine is suitable for thicker materials or multiple layers of material, including foam, rubber, and film. Often they are used to produce longer sheet sizes compared to rotary sheeters.

Guillotine sheeters are ideal for industries such as packaging for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, etc., where precise cutting is essential.

Round Blade Sheeters

Round Blade Sheeters are primarily used for converting wide or thick rolls of material into smaller sheets. Slitting prior to sheeting is also an option on this type of machine. Typically this sheeter has a slightly lower output than a rotary or guillotine style sheeter on narrow webs, but is capable of wide format sheeting. The finished product is generally discharged onto a large tray or chute and automatic stacking is optional.

These machines may also be adopted as perforating machines in lieu of sheeting. In this case, the round blade is exchanged for a perforating blade. The finished material is then rewound on an optional rewinder, providing finished rolls that are perforated to a 1/32” tolerance.

Advantages of Automated Sheeting Machines

Automated sheeting machines offer several advantages over manual units:

  • Cutting-edge technology and innovation: Advances in technology in the manufacturing industry have led to improved designs and features in automated sheeting machines, making them more efficient, reliable, and cost-effective.
  • Customization options to meet specific manufacturing needs: Automated sheeting machines can be customized to accommodate different materials, sizes, and production requirements, allowing them to meet the needs of any manufacturer. Some machines are designed for robotic material removal.
  • Reliability and durability for long-term productivity gains: Pinnacle automated sheeting machines are built to last, with high-quality materials and precision American engineering, manufacturing & assembly, ensuring consistent performance and minimal downtime.

Integrating Automated Sheeting Machines into Manufacturing Processes

We know that integrating automated sheeting machines into manufacturing processes increases efficiency, productivity, and margins. Still, integration must be done with careful planning.

Here are some considerations for a seamless transition:

  • Production needs: Evaluate your production requirements carefully. This assessment includes understanding the types of materials you work with, the sizes of sheets you need, production volumes, and any specific quality standards that must be met. This information will help determine the best machine for your needs.
  • Space considerations: Automated sheeting machines come in various sizes, so you’ll need to consider the physical space available in your facility.
  • Technical expertise: While these machines are designed for ease of use, some degree of technical know-how is recommended. Ensure you have staff with the necessary training to operate and maintain the machine, or consider whether training programs need to be instituted. Pinnacle Converting offers training to our customers so you can hit the ground running.
  • Budget: Automated sheeting machines can be a significant investment, but keep in mind that they often pay for themselves in the long run through increased efficiency and productivity. Still, consider both the upfront cost of the machine and ongoing costs such as maintenance and operation.
  • Vendor selection: Finally, selecting the right vendor is crucial. Look for manufacturers with a solid reputation in the industry, excellent customer support, and the ability to provide customized solutions if needed.

Return on Investment (ROI)

As mentioned above, automated sheeting machines do require an upfront investment, but in the long term, this investment will net you significant gains. Analyzing the financial benefits of investing in automated sheeting machines is something that can only be done on a business-by-business basis. That said, generally speaking, the ROI can be calculated by looking at:

  • Increased production efficiency: Automated sheeting machines speed up the production process, reducing the time needed to cut materials into sheets.
  • Reduced waste: Automation increases precision, reducing the amount of waste produced due to inaccurate cuts. Minimizing waste leads to savings in material costs over time.
  • Eliminate transportation costs: Transportation is a variable often overlooked when considering the total cost of ownership and often exceeds the actual costs of outsourced sheeting to a third party..
  • Lowered labor costs: The automation of the sheeting process reduces the need for manual labor, which in turn reduces labor costs. In addition, automated sheeting machines require less supervision, freeing up personnel for other tasks while improving the sheet tolerance.
  • Reduced downtime: High-quality automated sheeting machines are designed for durability and reliability. This means less downtime due to machinery breakdowns and maintenance.

Overall, the return on investment for automated sheeting machines is typically high, making them a financially sound choice for manufacturers across a range of industries.

The Bottom Line

Manufacturers are always seeking new ways to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase productivity. Automated sheeting machines offer a solution that addresses all three of these needs.

Streamlining the sheeting process can significantly impact a company’s bottom line and lead to long-term operational improvements. In order to be successful, integrating this new equipment into existing processes requires careful consideration and the support of a reputable manufacturer.

At Pinnacle Converting, we understand the importance of automated sheeting machines to your manufacturing processes. We’re committed to providing the highest quality converting equipment, support, and services to help your business thrive. Contact us today to learn more about purchasing from Pinnacle or, in the short term, using Pinnacle for contract converting services.

About author:
Pinnacle Converting Equipment of Charlotte, NC has been designing and building slitting machines, sheeting machines, and custom converting equipment since 1995.

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