Centenary Bulletin 21 – Web Control Guiding Systems Bulletin No 21

February 20, 2019

For years Norman G Clark were deeply involved in the processing of open width fabric and film. Apart from our own manufactured products for tensioning and crease prevention, we had a variety of distributor arrangements with overseas companies who built special equipment for such operations.

The first of these was Erhardt + Leimer of Augsburg, West Germany. Our relationship commenced in the early 1950’s, and we had an excellent association for many years. During this time we sold and fitted a substantial quantity of E+L products.

When we first started with E+L, their fabric guiding equipment was totally mechanical. This was a long time before electronics became an important part of fabric or film processing.

What was interesting, however, was the efficiency of their unit, which reflected outstanding design features. The equipment was good enough to handle warp knit fabrics in open width, which was something no other guiding system at the time could even contemplate.

During our period of involvement, E+L added electrically powered selvedge uncurlers and an overfeed system. This was a great boost to efficiency and enhanced their reputation. These improvements kept us well ahead of the competition.

The E+L system was very effective, but being mechanical, it required contact with the fabric or film to sense the edge position. With the increasing sophistication of product being processed, this soon became an unacceptable requirement. Unfortunately, E+L had no plans to change their very efficient system. They still had a very big market, however, this did not help us, so we started looking around for an alternative.

We eventually contacted Fife Corporation, a US company based in Oklahoma City. Their speciality was a guiding system for open-width fabric or film, which was very close to being a custom-built arrangement, with control systems providing the options of photo electric, air or contact sensors.

Fife guiding equipment was considerably more expensive than E & L, but it was much more sophisticated and could handle almost any sort of material that was being processed in open width, from plastic film to steel sheet.

Fife were the market leaders through the 1970’s and 1980’s. The company was finally ‘bought-out’ and merged with other compatible companies.

By this time Erhardt and Leimer had upgraded their sensing range and had once again assumed market leadership. Again, Norman G Clark were able to promote their products.

Web Control Tension Control

An inherent part of web control is tension control. Winding and unwinding of rolls needs a constant tension to allow a machine to maintain the required quality during a manufacturing process.

Norman G Clark have consistently been able to provide industry with the best products and technical support to cover the wide range of applications which present themselves.

Nexen’s Air Champ Clutch and Brake products are the best way to maintain tension over a variable range. Different sensing methods from electronic to diameter measuring can be used to control these clutches and brakes. Lockable shafts and safety chucks allow the rolls to be firmly fixed to the machines.

IBD Safety Chuck

Companies like IDB Wickeltechnik, with winding shafts and safety chucks by Boschert, are the best available.

Coupled with Erhardt and Leimer guiding systems, and Nexen clutches and brakes, these products allow for perfect tension control of web processes, and are still endorsed by the major web processers across Australia.