Georgia-Pacific’s West Chester (USA) sheet feeder facility recently completed the installation of the new SmartLine system from Erhardt+Leimer Corrugated. This corrugator upgrade enables GP’s West Chester operation to take full advantage of their Hummingbird business unit’s HP T1100S digital press, giving Georgia-Pacific a market-leading end-to-end capability.
SmartLine accurately and reliably synchronises the corrugator’s setup changes to the changing print with no restriction on the minimum run lengths (300 ft. setups have been run without issue) or the number of setup changes within a single roll of pre-print. Its design does not require any special job-separator between different print jobs, thus reducing waste to the absolute minimum – as little as four feet.
The SmartLine embeds job information into the pre-print guiding line. This information is read at corrugator speeds of up to 1500 ft./min. on all paper types (brown, white, coated and flood varnished) and across all deckle variations without any adjustment. This encoding does not affect the existing line following equipment on the corrugator. When coupled with E+L’s Generation 5 TrimMaster, the guiding line’s width can be shrunk from the usual 5 mm to 3 mm, thus reducing the ink required by 40%, along with a corresponding reduction in trim waste. “It allows GP Hummingbird to better automate the end-to-end process seamlessly for numerous short-runs and varying jobs across multiple print/corrugation lanes (deckles) per roll.” said Robert Seay, director – digital business ventures for GP Corrugated.
The SmartLine cameras can be positioned to either look up when running the printed roll at the double backer liner splicer, or down if the pre-print is run on the single facer liner. In both locations, paper path compensation is made due to the position of the wrap arms. The system gives un-rivalled reliability, unaffected by corrugating issues such as delamination and bridge breaks or any pre-corrugator roll editing. It is also able to remove print waste at the rotary shear or, where available, the cut-off knife’s waste removal system.
SmartLine is designed to be ‘stand-alone’. The basic system has no data interface, only a simple hardware interface with the corrugator which requires no modification to the existing dry end control system. It can easily turn a corrugator into a digital corrugator – the simple push of a button when a roll is loaded is the only input required by an operator.
The premium system has various integration options to allow verification of the print read by the vision system with the corrugator’s schedule, roll manifest checking and production reporting. Measurement of the print’s ‘repeat length’ provides valuable operator information to ensure that the ‘cut to mark’ system is configured correctly. A touch screen interface allows operators to monitor the system operation and a detailed alarm system assists operators in identifying potential problems. Comprehensive remote support and diagnostic features enable E+L to provide rapid and effective technical assistance worldwide.