Roller investments open new markets for Pronexos

After completing a comprehensive program of investments in new technology and machinery as well as process and layout improvements, leading European carbon fibre roller manufacturer Pronexos is now able to offer significantly increased capacity and capabilities for the manufacture of large carbon fibre rollers.

“We are already supplying CFRP rollers up to 6 metres in length to customers” explains Philipp Kroschner, Pronexos Sales Engineer. “There are many potential applications for rollers of this size. They are frequently used in plastic film applications and the non-woven textile industry. There are very few manufacturers worldwide capable of producing CFRP rollers of this size.”

These significant investments now place Pronexos amongst Europe’s most capable, cost-effective and efficient CFRP roller manufacturers. The investments include:

  • A newly-designed production line, optimized to improve efficiency and throughput of higher-length and higher-diameter rollers
  • A new coating machine capable of applying a range of composite coatings to rollers of any length
  • Two new curing ovens capable of curing long-length CFRP rollers
  • A turning lathe for inserts and end caps suitable for long rollers and large-diameter rollers
  • Highly accurate measuring and balancing assemblies offering significantly more accurate measurement, for example for rollers with a length tolerance of just 0.01mm, and fine balancing for all rollers
  • Significantly optimized layouts for the winding lines and assembly stations to ensure quicker throughput of rollers.

The investment program was started in Q1 this year and was fully completed by the end of July. Pronexos is already delivering longer rollers, including a significant order of 5.5m length carbon fibre rollers for an application in cast film lines.

“Not only have we invested in new machinery but we have also improved the process flow in production, separating our processes into ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ areas” explains Philipp. “This enables Pronexos to produce rollers even quicker than before. With the addition of our highly accurate measuring and balancing capabilities we can offer significantly improved accuracy in manufacturing as well. Pronexos has significantly increased its output capacity for larger orders with these investments and we are now well placed to deliver orders of larger numbers of rollers in shorter time frames.”

Rollers for cast film lines

A key application of longer CFRP rollers is in cast film lines and extrusion systems, which are used in food packaging, medical packaging, and other industrial applications such as LCD display screens. “These machines require rollers which are between 4 and 6 metres in length” explains Philipp.

Rollers for Flexographic Printing

The flexographic printing industry requires high volumes of guide rollers. Pronexos’ capabilities allow us to manufacture using 2-on-1 winding on two spindles, or even up to 4-on-1 winding. This enables Pronexos to fulfil large orders more rapidly and cost-effectively. “Pronexos is now able to produce rollers of greater lengths and diameters to meet these needs” adds Philipp. “We are able to fulfil roller orders quickly by using a two-in-one winding approach, which means that four rollers can be produced at one time. Pronexos can now offer quicker delivery on higher volumes.”

Coating

Pronexos’ in-house coating competency encompasses the application of composite coatings, either conductive or non-conductive, in a range of colours and configurations, including grooved and smooth. These coatings can be used as a final surface or as an intermediate layer for another specialist coating. “The key benefit for our customers is that Pronexos can produce complete roller orders faster, more efficiently and cost-effectively than other suppliers” says Philipp. “This is especially relevant to customers looking to replace old aluminium rollers with CFRP. As a hard-anodizing coating is not possible, Pronexos can produce rollers with a composite coating as the perfect alternative.”‎