As converters seek efficiencies in production, our technical experts increasingly receive requests about automated methods to remove web waste and cut-outs from die cut shapes known as slugs. We’ll share a bit about it here, including links to a special section on our website where you can learn more and also to a new Waste Removal Guide in pdf form you can download, that includes drawings showing how different systems work.
First, what is a slug? Imagine your part is shaped like a donut. Our die will feature blades that cut both the outside and inside of the donut from your raw material. The hole in the donut is the waste or slug that needs removing. While donut holes are appetizing to many, when it comes to converters, most of the time no one wants the hole – it’s just waste material.
The trouble is, slugs are more than material waste. Slug removal can add labor costs, cause quality control issues on the web, and often slow down the speed of your line.
Manual slug removal can be especially challenging. Hand labor is slow, expensive, and subject to human error. If a worker misses a slug, downstream operations may be delayed or you get “dinged” from your customer for a quality error. We’ve seen converters hire extra quality inspectors to check whether all slugs have been removed on finished parts. Talk about waste!
Fortunately, there’s a better way. Add slug removal options to your die. Save time and money on your converting line, increase quality and efficiency, and reduce cost per finished part.
How Slug Removal Works
Slugs can be pushed away from the web, stripped from the web, or vacuumed off the web. The method that’s right for you depends on your equipment, material and other attributes of your converting process. We offer the most comprehensive slug removal solutions in the industry.
For converters, in-line slug removal eliminates manual slug removal and the challenges associated with hand labor. Instead of removing slugs from die cut products, your employees can perform tasks that add greater value. Importantly, you can also realize gains from faster operations.
Automated Slug Removal Adds Value
Reducing the amount of time spent handling die cut parts, for both manual slug removal and inspection, can provide significant gains in efficiency. For example, let’s say automated slug removal reduces your part handling times by a 1/2-second per part. On 1 million parts, that’s 138 hours saved! If your labor rate is $20 per hour, that equates to $2,760 savings. That more than pays for the additional cost of most automated slug removal options on a die you purchase from Midway.
If you’re an engineer, operations manager or purchasing agent/sourcing manager, give us a call and we’ll explain more about automated Slug Removal and the value advantage it can provide on your converting projects.
To learn more and watch Slug Removal at Midway in action, please visit our Slug Removal page