Zünd Systemtechnik AG, Switzerland’s textile machinery firm that specialises in manufacturing digital cutting systems, has launched the new cradle feeder, a new roll-feed system that permits wrinkle and distortion-free unwinding of stretch fabrics. Integrated edge control ensures precise and reliable positioning of the material on the cutting surface.

Simple handling, automated processes, and high-quality results, these are the basic requirements any state-of-the-art roll-handling system has to meet. It also requires the kind of flexibility that is indispensable for complying with increasingly individual customer needs. To address all of these demands, Zünd has added a cradle feeder to its assortment of automated material-handling devices.

At the core of the new feeder is a cradle equipped with an array of conveyor belts. For ergonomic loading, the back of the cradle tilts down. A dancer bar continually registers fluctuations in web tension. If necessary, the system automatically regulates the feed rate, which is also in synch with the cutter and further minimises tension and wrinkles.

Intelligent edge control continually governs the precise positioning of the web on the cutting surface. If the sensor detects any irregularities, the cradle feeder adjusts automatically by correcting the alignment of the cradle. Because of this capability, even less than perfectly wound rolls can be fed accurately onto the cutting surface. When the roll comes to an end, the unwinding/advancing process stops automatically, which permits error-free feeding of textile rolls even in cases where the end of the material is attached to the core. As no shaft is needed to hold the roll in place, there are no particular requirements in terms of core diameter or characteristics. Even rolls with crimped, broken, or missing cores are suitable for processing with the cradle feeder.