Home > contract manufacturing > Explore Surface Winders and What Makes Them Different

contract manufacturer near meSurface winders, center winders, coreless winders—there are so many different winding processes to choose from. Which one is best for your needs?

If you’re uncertain, no worries—Conversion Technologies International is ready to offer some insight.

What are winding machines?

Let’s cover the broader points first. What are winding machines, and why do we use them?

The industries that most often use winding machines are textile and paper. The reason why they turn to winding machines is that they usually work with large spools of material. These materials naturally require—not always, but frequently—winding and unwinding. Winding machines work quickly and efficiently. We can apply them to paper, fabric, rope, tape, twine, cord, string, yard, wire, and thread, among other materials.

So, yes, on the most basic level, winding and rewinding equipment wraps and unwraps product. However, when you dip into the different types of machines, you’ll find different nuances.

What are the different types of winders?

One easy way to categorize winding machines is through the material being wound and unwound. By this logic, some of the most common types of winding machines include:

  • Paper winding machines
  • Spool winding machines
  • Rope winding machines
  • Film winding machines
  • Foil winding machines

However, we sometimes also categorize these machines based on how they operate. In that case, the categories include:

  • Carriage-style winding machines
  • Cantilevered turret winding machines
  • Shaft and shaftless winding machines

How do more specific types of winders work?

If you want to get a little more granular, we can dig into certain winding machines and their functions.

Drum winding machine. This machine winds materials into a cylindrical drum, usually working with fabrics. By using a large drum, the machine creates a continuous length of fabric; however, it can also wind wire or cable, specializing in larger spools.

Toroidal winding machine. The machine works primarily with wire, winding it onto a toroidal core. This creates a toroidal coil. Typically, users utilize toroidal coils in high-frequency applications—think filters and power supplies. These machines normally function on an automated scale, and can wind multiple wires at once. We can rely on this machine type to create highly consistent, precise spools.

Rewinding machine. As the name suggests, this machine rewinds material originally wound onto a spool or reel. The recycling industry relies on rewinding machines—this process can be vital to the recycling process on a basic level. With the help of rewinding machines, we can actually salvage or revitalize “used” materials.

Tension winding machine. When we use tension winding machines, we can control the tension of the material as the machine winds it onto a spool. Typically, we use this machine when working with films or fabrics. The more precise the tension, the higher-quality the final product. Due to the consistency and damage-safe approach of these machines, we can also use them to produce cable and wire.

Coil winding machine. A coil winding machine specializes in working with wire or conductive materials, winding them onto a core. Depending on the degree of speed and precision required, we can operate this machine manually or through automation.

Precision winding machine. Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like—these machines prioritize precision, producing cables and wires, among other electronic components.

How do surface winders work?

Now, let’s go back to surface winders. Usually, we use surface winders to create large-diameter rolls, made up of both extensible and non-extensible materials. These materials can’t be overly sensitive. As such, they typically comprise products like textiles, specialty composites, nonwovens, and paper. These machines can produce heavy finished packages on smaller diameter cores. If you’re looking for something with a looser packing, we wouldn’t normally recommend this type of machine.

How do center winders work?

Let’s look at a contrasting machine—the center winder. This winder is primarily supported through and driven by its core. We use center winders when trying to produce high quality rolls of sensitive webs with uneven thickness. You can expect small- to medium-sized finished roll diameters. With these machines, we can handle the webs with greater degrees of finesse. This makes it easier for us to work with “soft” rolls. Just as surface winders work best with materials that aren’t sensitive to being nipped, center winders function best with materials that are sensitive to being nipped.

When you have options, you’re more easily able to find a machine that fulfills all of your professionals needs. If consulting with a slitter rewinder manufacturer, make sure you know what’s available to you, as well as what best fits the products you’re working with.

What are coreless winders?

We use coreless winding machines when producing coreless rolls. What makes these machines special is that they don’t require inner cores. The products associated with coreless winders include POS receipt rolls, void fill, and floor underlayment, among other things.

Why do we want to work with coreless rolls (sometimes)? Check it out:

  • They offer a simplified production, which lowers production costs.
  • Coreless rewinding can increase the amount of product per roll.
  • They’re smaller, which allows us to save space.
  • We can replace them more quickly and easily.
  • The coreless process cuts unnecessary waste.

In conclusion:

Ultimately, whether surface winders, center winders, coreless winders, or another type of winder is better for your project, it’s important that you feel confident in the process you select. That’s why we recommend consulting with the experts before making a selection. A third party manufacturer like CTI offers the kind of knowledge you can only gain through experience. We’re happy to help you choose a winding process and identify whether or not you should use a third party. Give us a call at 419-924-5566 or contact us here. We’re always happy to help!