Without adequate web guiding, it becomes infinitely more difficult for the end converted product to be created to the required specifications and quality. What’s more is that a good web guiding system can be a strong ally in terms of achieving desired throughput, sustainability and waste-reduction goals, and profits at a company.

Yes, the right web guiding equipment is something that your converting or printing business doesn’t want to be without, as efficiency and end product is likely to suffer. This, of course, leads to unsatisfied customers and lost business.

With that being said, is your web guiding equipment up to par? Does it need to be re-evaluated? We’ve compiled some of the latest innovations in web guiding to help you get a better idea of what’s currently out there when it comes to this all-important component of printing and converting.

D-MAX Enhanced Web Guide Controller

Fife, a subsidiary of Maxcess, recently released a comprehensive update to its D-MAX flagship web guide controller in the D-MAX Enhanced. Building on the power of the original web guide controller, the D-MAX Enhanced includes notable features, such as dual rail power, single- or dual-drive options and ISaGRAF-based state machine programmability.

Key features: Power input reverse polarity protection, standard PTP-2 and PTP-1, DLR (device level ring) connectivity, AOP for Rockwell Automation PACs, C-script programming language and backward compatibility with existing D-MAX controllers.

On a related note, Fife also recently released the Wi-Fife interface for its Fife-500 web guides, which is designed to allow operators remote access. The company says the Wi-Fife can connect up to 30 devices on a single network, thereby permitting operators to control networked guides wirelessly from anywhere on the factory floor.

KOIOS Data Analytics

Roll-2-Roll Technologies has developed an advanced data analytics system to help detect problems in the process based on the behavior of the web and the data gathered through web guide intelligent control and diagnostics. This offering, the KOIOS Data Analytics system, is designed to be integrated into its ARIS Web Guiding system to help provide greater accuracy in edge, line, contrast and UV-marking detection. The analytics system, which includes a display indicating the health of the operations – and indicates what is causing problems – is designed to help make the converting process more efficient through reduced downtime.

WideArray Edge Detectors

Though Accuweb’s WideArray edge detectors were originally introduced to the market some 15 years ago, the company continues to improve and update the technology with advanced capabilities. Currently available in both ultrasonic and infrared models, both are designed to accurately detect any web material regardless of its opacity. Another recent update is that the edge detectors can now centerline guide narrow webs up to 18 inches when integrated with the EVO 150 controller. The WideArray edge detectors are available with detection ranges from 1.2 inches to 18.4 inches.

Also of note from AccuWeb is its Micro 4000NET web guide controller, which is now able to interface with BST’s CLS Pro 600 laser-guided digital line and edge sensor to improve web guiding. Specifically, the Micro 4000NET works to recalibrate the web guide system every 4 milliseconds to improve the process.