What is material slitting?

Full conversion capabilities rely on high-quality, automated material slitting methods. Learn if precision slitting accommodates your business requirements. 

Conversion processes and materials are seeing positive growth in the flexible manufacturing industry. With a market value of $500 million in 2022, the global slitting machine market may reach $682 million in 2032 at a healthy CAGR of 3.2%. But what are the benefits of precision slitting, and can these advantages be applied to your desired material? 

In this piece, we’ll discuss definitions, benefits and why material slitting capabilities are a worthwhile manufacturing method for your investment.

Full conversion capabilities rely on high-quality, automated material slitting methods. Learn if precision slitting accommodates your business requirements.

What is the definition of material slitting?

Material slitting is a process that slices large rolls of material into narrower strips. Popularity for precision slitting has increased in the dawn of flexible packaging, where conversation capabilities benefit various printing, laminating, coating and slitting applications.

To help you visualise material slitting and slitting machines think of the everyday receipt you’ll receive after you purchase something. These receipts originate from a larger roll, known as the “master roll” that goes through a slitting machine. The final receipt we receive has been cut into a smaller roll from the master roll by a specific slitting machine before being utilised specifically as an individual receipt.

Now, translate these visions of a receipt across various materials and applications that can include rubber, sponge and even metals. Typically through a shearing process, material slitting involves cutting smaller, narrower rolls after being run through a slitting machine. Blades inside the slitter cut away material from the sides of the master roll.

The popularity of slitting machines has produced autonomous technologies that enhance slitting machine productivity while reducing downtime and changeover life cycles. The main appeal of a modern material slitting machine is how well it integrates with automated digital technology.

Numerous manufacturing companies will use slitting machines to convert raw materials into a finished process. The materials can vary across metals, rubbers, and fabrics for countless applications, with pliable capabilities expected.

What are the different types of material slitting?

We can divide material slitting into two main types:

1. Log slitting
Rewind slitting

Log slitting refers to the raw material as a whole or “log”. In this slitting method, slices take from the master roll without any rewinding or unrolling process required. Rewind slitting is the opposite and relies on a rewinding/rerolling process. The multiple strips that the rewind slitting process produces get called “mults” or “pancakes”. Pancakes occur when the diameter is much more than their width. 

Other types of material slitting depend on the machine and cutting techniques. For example, you can have razor and shear slitting alongside a hot knife and score or crush slitting.

Razor slitting is ideal for thin materials such as films and is the most cost-effective slitting technique. Shear slitting involves two knives cutting the material as it passes through the machine. Ideal for converting various thin materials, shear slitting is a great cutting technique if you require fast conversion. The most popular of the techniques is a score or crush slitting. This slitting technique involves a rotating anvil and rotating knife/knives, known as a “crush slitter”. Score slitting is a versatile method used to convert various materials of different thicknesses and rigidities.

Lastly, you also get hot knife slitting, where a heated blade cuts through your raw material before sealing the edge to prevent fraying.

Why is material slitting important?

Material slitting is a popular manufacturing technique used within the converter industry. Businesses that print, coat or laminate products alongside flexible packaging utilise material slitting alongside rubber, foam, sponge and felt manufacturers.

Rather than purchasing smaller, individual rolls, investing in large rolls of raw materials allows manufacturers to save money and operate more efficiently. However, making large rolls worthwhile requires adopting the necessary material-slitting machines and operational processes.

As with all automated machinery, material slitting presents a convenient, cost-effective, and fast solution to manufacturing. Slitting machines have the accuracy and reliability to produce numerous applications across multiple industries that require gasket, tape, leather, rubber, plastic, foam and felt products.

Pre-programming allows the machine to cut consistent widths and create complex and safety-critical applications, including self-adhesive products, insulation materials and gasket strips

6 benefits of material slitting

Here are a few benefits of how material slitting capabilities can help your business:

1. Consistent quality

Material slitting promises high-quality and consistent results. Automated technology and control systems have enabled manufacturers to reduce operational issues and drive productivity.

2. Customisation capabilities

Manufacturers can cut materials to specific diameters, lengths, and thicknesses from the master roll using the slitting machine.

3. Simultaneous multi-cutting capabilities

Material slitting enables manufacturers to complete multiple cuts simultaneously.

4. Increased production

The automated advantages of modern slitting machines will increase production productivity with minimal human error.

5. Faster delivery time

Get your products delivered to your clients/consumers faster with maximised automated slitting-cutting processing techniques.

6. Material versatility

Slitting machines can accommodate numerous materials with customised thicknesses, diameters, and lengths available.

Speak to your local material slitting specialists

At Ramsay Rubber, we’re UK leaders in providing enhanced material slitting solutions. Our material slitting capabilities include continuous rolls or individual sheets, twin loop splitting machines and automated slitting processes.

Regardless of your requirements, we can provide precise thickness tolerance control and client-specific applications across numerous materials. Our material slitting capabilities have served multiple industries, including automotive, industrial, HVAC, technology, and construction. For more information, get in touch today.


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Please feel free to get in touch, to speak with one of our team of experts or simply fill out our online contact form below. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Vulcan Road, Bilston
West Midlands WV14 7HT
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