Splicing for High-Slip Films: New Tape Changes the Game
Metin Ozsobaci· October 23, 2020
As anyone processing high-slip films will attest, splicing these films at high speeds (think bread bags, toilet paper wraps and the like) often requires some serious troubleshooting. But fixes like liquid glues and additional tapes are complicated and cumbersome. They can create a real mess in press and lamination machines, causing stops and starts, and ultimately lowering the ability of the equipment to splice at speed.
In short, it’s a frustrating situation up and down the line. The good news is, all of this is about to change.
A trouble free, high-slip film splicing solution
After working with customers to analyze this long-standing problem, our engineers got to work on a solution. But it had to be one that not only simplified the process of splicing high-slip films, it would need to improve speed and efficiency, as well.
They set out to develop a flying splice tape with an integrated, multi-layer splitting strip specifically for low surface energy substrates, such as low-density or high-density polyethylene films with a high amount of slip additives. This new tape, tesa® 51948, would need to consistently and reliably achieve lower coefficients of friction on high-speed machines.
Putting tesa® 51948 to the test
After years of difficulty with high-slip films, our customers were naturally a bit skeptical that we had a silver-bullet solution, but our R&D team had a prototype and needed to see how it performed. A group of customers agreed to host trial runs on their high-speed flexo printing presses. Each trial started out at the customer's everyday splicing speed, ranging from 700 to 800 ft/min. The result: smooth sailing, smiles all around.
But that was only the beginning. From there, the capabilities of tesa® 51948 were really put to the test. Our engineers increased the splicing speed, step-by-step on each splice, shooting slow-motion video in order to see, in detail, the effectiveness of the new tape on the splicing process. At each interval, tesa® 51948 performed flawlessly.
Skeptics no longer, our customers were convinced when speeds then increased to 3,000 ft/min., the maximum speed of most flexible press machines, with no slowing, no adjustments, no interruptions on the printing line, conversion line or lamination process.
>> One press technician even tried to hide the sample roll once the trial was over. You know, in order to keep it there so that they could continue splicing at top speeds because they weren't able to do that previously! <<
Trial after trial, our R&D team met with success. A 100% success rate, in fact, with any high-slip film we tested, any extrusion process, any customer substrate. And that is, quite frankly, almost unheard of for new product launches in any industry.
Great story, but what specifically sets tesa® 51948 apart from other solutions?
Good question, and here are 6 answers:
- tesa® 51948 adheres to high-slip films in a very short amount of time with a very small amount of pressure, enabling splices up to 3,000 feet per minute.
- tesa® 51948 eliminates the hassle and mess of glues and additional tapes.
tesa® 51948 enables splicing at actual process speed, increasing productivity and efficiency.
- tesa® 51948 eliminates web breaks.
- tesa® 51948 reduces waste due to the black PET backing that makes splices easily observable.
- tesa® 51948 even performs well on recycled films and non-woven materials.
So overall, and to the point of this post, tesa® 51948 is a game changer.
What’s the feedback been like?
Conversations with our customers’ operation and engineering teams have all had a similar tone, with the prevailing question being, “How soon can we buy it?”
Tip from our team: How to ensure tesa® 51948 works 100% of the time
Always be sure your equipment is calibrated. Check that the unwinder’s timing is good and rollers are balanced and up to date. If there's any problem mechanically that’s throwing off the timing or causing the roller to let up on pressure, you’ll still have problems. If your equipment is in good shape, then tesa® 51948 will work 100% of the time, every time.