industrial paper rollsSlitter rewinders are specialized machines that are used to cut a large roll of materials into smaller ones. These machines are widely used in the plastics, paper, film and foil industry. You can cut any thickness of paper, film, foil or plastic your these machines. The process by which materials are run through a slitter rewinder is called roll conversion.

These machines are very heavy. They are capable of cutting rolls as small as one inch to as wide as 1370 inches. Some machines can hold rolls that weigh up to 13,000 pounds. Installing a machine of this size can cost you $1 – $4 million depending on the manufacturer, technology, and if it’s new or used.  Be wary about purchasing used slitter machines, as they can come with hidden costly surprises that you don’t need and will slow down production.

How it is operated

A parent roll is first placed into the front end of the slitter rewinder or slitting machine. This is called the unwind stand. It can hold the roll in place and let the roll spin. The tension of the spin needs to be managed to maintain consistency in the finished rolls. It takes about an hour to set up, cut, rewind and remove the finished rolls or less depending on the technology. Two to three technicians are required to operate the rolls.

Advantages of slitter rewinders

Slitters are the industry standard for converting rolls for more than a century. They are used to cut or trim rolls regularly. Many workers are needed to operate and maintain the rewinders. Specific models of slitters have specific purposes. Some machines can cut very thin film, while others can cut very thick plastic. You can also change the diameter of rolls in these machines. So, you can roll paper or film of multiple sizes by simply changing the diameter of the slitter rewinders.


The major drawback of these machines is that they are expensive. They can produce inconsistent results and are sometimes slow. Paper has a rough surface and a smooth surface. If the rough surface is rolled then the finished product will have imperfections. The process of slitting creates lots of paper dust as well. When this dust gets on the surface of the paper, more defects are formed. Finished rolls with imperfections get rejected. So, it is required to repeat the process.  Slitters are best applicable where it is necessary to convert multiple smaller rolls from a single parent roll. But slitting or converting becomes more difficult when you need to cut a larger roll to a narrower size. The time required to setup is too much just to cut a large roll into a narrower shape. In this case, it is not productive at all.

Check out the newer technology in the industry shown in this video below:

If you have to make multiple small rolls from a big roll, the slitter is worth an investment. But in the case of just trimming larger rolls, it is not a good option. Manufacturers are coming up with innovations in the development of slitters. Hopefully, it will be much faster to roll and will be more productive for industries.  There is newer technology on the market from a company called RollRazor – they produce a slitting machine that is capable of very precise cuts and operates in 1/10th the time traditional machines do – exploding productivity and making it much easier on the operators and company bottom line.  Find our more about RollRazor at and their paper conversion technology.

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