Ashe automation drives company expansion

Ashe Converting Equipment is currently undergoing a 12,000sq ft expansion at its headquarters in Ipswich, UK. The additional floor space will lead to further capacity for the company’s various models of slitter rewinders and expand its existing machining centre.

Presently, up to 90 per cent of machine parts are manufactured in house for standard models and further development in this area will ensure that over 1,100 machines can be fully supported without third party manufacturers making items obsolete.

Automation enhancements within the company’s machinery range have proved to be popular. Keeping machine stoppages to a minimum is essential and Ashe currently has features in place to keep this time as short as possible.

On the Sapphire S2 series of duplex and duplex turret slitter rewinders, the automatic knife positioning system can position up to 20 rotary shear knives (top and bottom) within 120 seconds. This saves eight minutes when compared with a manual process, which takes up to ten minutes. Throughout the life of the machine a significant saving can be made, the machine operator can be carrying out other tasks whilst the machine sets itself.

A new feature the company has recently developed is a duplex turret slitter rewinder with dual unwinds. Another time consuming factor on any slitter rewinder is the loading of a master roll. Enabling a new master roll to be loaded whilst the machine is running reduces machine stoppage time, making the machine more productive and producing greater output.

The Diamond model, part of the Ashe range, has a small footprint and price tag. Ashe has now expanded on this machine to make an automatic Turret Slitter Rewinder, which eliminates the downtime involved in offloading finished rolls and having to re-core rewind shafts. This machine has also been designed to be modular allowing for separate unwinds so other associated equipment, such as that for perforation and embossing, can be placed inline with the machine.