Printing Tape

Printing Industry - Shark Wheel Tape

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Shark Wheel's newest innovation. When Shark Wheel started the company, a list of industries was made. It was a long list ranging from small luggage wheels to large farming wheels and many in between. Wheels for the printing industry made it onto that original list. Shark Wheel was recently presented with information that flexo printers, wide web printers and narrow web printers would be a perfect entry point for the technology. In researching these machines, it was clear these printing machines often sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Clearly companies would not buy these machies with high frequency. That would mean Shark Wheel would not see high volume purchases. The idea seemed to come from the ether, but the decision was made to create tape. Yes, tape. Shark Wheel never imagined when we manufacturing tape.

The idea was to outfit all existing retraction rollers (wheels on the machines) with Shark Wheel Tape. Tape would be inexpensive for businesses with these printers to buy. Tape would eventually fail and buyers would need to replace it with more tape. And the hypothesis that Shark Wheel Tape would solve one of the industry’s largest issues was the driver for us to move it to the top of our priority list and begin testing.

Problem and Solution

In the printing world, a spool of material (could be a newspaper, labels printed on everyday food products, etc) moves over retraction rollers, where the material is printed on. After the printing is completed, the material moves over more rollers before feeding into a final printed spool. All of this occurs in one machine with 20-30 rollers on average. 

The issue: the faster the material goes through the machine, the more the material moves off-center. (To envision this, think of a printer at your home or work where the scanner or the printer starts printing paper at an angle and gets jammed) This is a huge problem and the only way to mitigate this is to tension the material. This means that tension rods stretch the material tightly on the long ends so the material is forced toward center. The stretching of the material creates a whole host of other problems where the printing has to be reconfigured and many other things are compromised. Overall, the issue of centering makes printers have to move slowly and be tensioned.

Enter Shark Wheel Tape. The hypothesis was that the left-right-left-right oscillations of the sinusoidal design would naturally push the material toward center. The same way the left-right-left-right shape of the wheel averages to perfectly center and our wheel moves effectively in a straight line.If we could outfit all existing rollers with tape that had a raised Shark Wheel pattern on top, the material would only touch the Shark Wheel portion.

The Test

In the past few months, Shark Wheel’s first test on prototype 1.0 was conducted. Tension was put on the lowest setting and the machine speed was turned up high. The result? Shark Wheel Tape produced a 20% improvement over every other solution that exists in the industry today. Shark Wheel will optimize from here to hopefully create more improvement, but industry experts are already telling us it is ready to start selling. The margins are expected to be very high. It is not in Shark Wheel's interest to publicize cost and pricing for this, but it is the highest margin item in the portfolio. The tape will be be revealed at the Labelexpo in Brussels, Belgium in 2019.

Contact for more information and for ordering

See Video Links Below

Shark Wheel Tape Animation
Multiple Shark Wheel Tape Rollers
Printing Machine with Shark Wheel Tape
Zoomed in Shark Wheel Tape in Action