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Skanem Hobro wraps up top label speeds with Prati Jupiter TC400

Automated inspection system increases productivity and quality at leading self-adhesive label converter

Complementing the company's existing label production facilities and designed to comply with its strategic commitment to cost- and waste-reduction policies, international label converting specialist Skanem has invested in a PRATI JUPITER TC400 slitter rewinding inspection machine. Installed in its Danish premises at Hobro, the PRATI label inspection unit features Varycontrol tension management software, and offers fully automated tensioning and cutting, improving overall productivity and throughput.

As one of Europe's largest suppliers of self-adhesive label products, Skanem currently has 12 production sites in 8 countries, employing around 1,100 people, 85 of whom are based in the Hobro plant. The company celebrated its centenary in 2005 and has undergone steady growth and development throughout its history. The acquisition of SE Labels in 2002 cemented the decision to channel priorities into the self-adhesive label converting sector with the main focus being on brand owners in Europe and South East Asia.

Increasing throughput and accuracy

With a steadily growing share of the label supply market, Skanem needed to streamline its automated processes so that it could increase throughput and accuracy whilst continuing to offer cost efficient and quality results. The JUPITER TC400 installed at Skanem's Danish facility has three rewind tension stations, all controlled by the Varycontrol software which keeps the material at the correct, constant tension without stretching. The system supplied to Skanem was tailored to the company's specific needs and features a web width of 430 mm, which is 30 mm wider than the basic machine.

Dan Panduro, Production Manager for Skanem Hobro, comments: "We chose to invest in the PRATI JUPITER TC400 because in our assessment it was the best in the market for wraps and other special materials. Previously we used to spend too much time cutting this material as our other machines could not coil up with precise tension, and our aim in this purchase was to eliminate that problem. Not only has it done that but it has also improved our operational speed, from the competitors' machines we were using at 35 m/min to the JUPITER's very impressive 312 m/min."

Eliminating errors and reducing waste

For label printers requiring an accurate inspection solution for self-adhesive materials, the JUPITER TC400 represents an innovative approach. Job set-up and other operational parameters can be defined quickly and easily, with automated supervision enabled for every working phase. PRATI's Varycontrol software provides the TC400 with its three different rewind tension settings, activated by the device for inspection of self-adhesive media. This also eliminates errors and reduces waste by forcing any active web containing omissions or unwanted elements to the correction table.

Automation is enhanced with full electronic control of speed, position and torque, via brushless technology. All settings are carried out and stored on computer, with web inspection assisted by special sensors for traditionally difficult materials. A self-sharpening feature prevents unnecessary wear and tear, and rewind accessories include separators, web advance arms and a double rewinder shaft, all of which are suitable for narrow web applications.

As well as being suitable for use with traditional opaque stocks, an integral ultrasonic alignment device enables working with transparent substrates , further enhancing the JUPITER TC400's production options.

"Although we hadn't bought equipment from PRATI in the past," concludes Mr. Panduro, "Skanem is greatly satisfied with the solution the company has provided. The machine is highly reliable and comply with our strategic commitment to cost- and waste-reduction policies."