Roll to Roll Manufacturing: How Simple is The Process?
It’s very possible that you were unfamiliar with roll to roll manufacturing until it became a term that you needed to be aware of. Perhaps, it’s only recently that your small business required this process. While you could potentially invest in the equipment, material, employees, and training necessary to handle roll to roll manufacturing on your own, you’re most likely considering working with a contract manufacturer instead.
There are many benefits to working with a contract manufacturer like CTI rather than handling roll to roll manufacturing individually. It is usually less expensive to work with contract manufacturers in the long term. We provide the roll to roll machine required for this kind of production, as well as the manpower and materials. Your role as the client would be to tell us exactly what you need and provide feedback on initial pilot runs. However, if you’re in the beginning stages of roll to roll manufacturing, you first need to understand how the process works.
What is Roll to Roll Manufacturing?
Roll to roll manufacturing, which is sometimes referred to as roll to roll coating or processing, is a fabrication method. Through this process, products are laminated, pressed, coated, or embedded. Typically, we use several different rollers under the roll to roll method, expending a significant amount of product at one time. We process a substrate through the rollers, with materials that either add or take away from it being applied during. During the application of materials, a product is “rolled” out.
In part, due to the way the materials stretch in a web from “roll to roll”, this technique is sometimes referred to as web processing. It’s common for the materials used during this process to include everything from paper to metals, and much more. The roll that is initially fed through the rollers is the input roll. Once the materials have been properly pressed, the resulting roll is the output roll. We call this process “conversion”.
The benefit of roll to roll manufacturing is that the process is continuous. It doesn’t change unless adjustments are purposefully made. Furthermore, the continuity means that production can be quick and efficient. In terms of producing consistently high-quality product in large quantities in a relatively short period of time, it’s difficult to compete with roll to roll manufacturing.
What Kind of Industries Need Roll to Roll Manufacturing?
Like we said, it’s not overly surprising that you would be looking for help with roll to roll processing. It’s a process that many industries rely upon. A variety of different businesses benefit from roll to roll manufacturing. It’s common for those in the medical device manufacturing field to require this method, as well as those in IT, computing, and energy, among other things.
The applications of roll to roll webbing are vast as well. Roll to roll methods are associated with manufacturing solar panels, as well as applying agents to textiles. While it could seem like a good idea for those in need of such a commonly required process to invest in the equipment necessary to complete it in-house, this isn’t actually the case. The issue with handling roll to roll processing in-house is that it can take quite a while to fully implement manufacturing processes.
When executing your own roll to roll processing, you will need to first invest in the roll to roll machines. However, you will also either need to train your current employees to handle these machines, or (preferably) hire new employees ready to process. Additionally, you must purchase the materials necessary, and refine your methods. The reality is that there is a lot of trial and error involved in mastering this process. This is why many business owners prefer to have their roll to roll manufacturing tackled by a contract manufacturer.
Contract Manufacturer Benefits
Not only can a contract manufacturer handle your roll to roll processing needs; they can also effectively manage other manufacturing processes. As a business owner, you may very well need other processes executed and products made. Once you have a contract ready and executed by a good contract manufacturer, you may want to work with that manufacturer on additional products.
What Types of Services Can Contract Manufacturers Offer?
At CTI, we pride ourselves on being capable of offering many individual services. While not all contract manufacturers offer the same types of services (and some stay rather limited in scope) we try to cover as many as possible. This way, you can rest assured knowing that all of your manufacturing needs are satisfied under the same company’s umbrella. Furthermore, our facilities are diverse and well-equipped to handle different manufacturing orders.
In particular, we are adept at processing coating and converting orders. Among our many services, we offer:
- Slot die coating
- Hot roll coating
- Powder coating
- Hot gravure
- Hot melt spray coating
And more beyond that. The broad scope of our services also allows us to address adjustments required for your order. CTI always offers a test run for initial orders, through which you can “try” the product and see if it suits your needs. If something in the formula used needs alterations, we’ll work with you until it is exactly what you’re looking for. Our commitment to flexibility reflects in the many services we provide.
Ready to see if we’re a good fit? Contact CTI here or give us a call at 419-924-5566. We could make roll to roll manufacturing much simpler for you.