As its name suggests, an inspection slitter rewinder (ISR) machine does many things—although not necessarily in the expected order. ISR machines made by Oakville, Ontario-based KOR Engineering Inc. are specifically designed to slit, laser perforate and inspect a wide range of pressure-sensitive labels, flexible packaging and shrink sleeves.

Printing companies throughout North America have used KOR machines since the early 1990s. Each machine features HMI control panels in several operational areas, and each panel controls multiple tasks.

Last year, KOR decided to improve ISR machine performance by upgrading HMI panels in three ways. First, they were made more robust to better withstand regular exposure to harsh chemicals, oils and cleaning agents. The panels also are easier to use and more attractive. To meet all of these challenges, KOR designers and engineers worked closely with those at HMI specialist EAO Corp.

“Instead of suggesting the standard process of marking panels by engraving, printing or silk screening, our team provided a rugged HMI design solution,” explains Dan DiGioia, marketing manager at EAO. “We [used] photosensitive, anodized aluminum finishing that [is] durable enough to withstand exposure to harsh environments. Although hesitant at first because it wasn’t familiar [with the] process, KOR was ecstatic with the final products.”

KOR makes seven series of ISRs, including its original J series; FW5, 6 and 7 machines; a mid-size (M) unit; and two series (V and B) for pharmaceutical labels. Other company services range from retrofitting and software engineering, to integrating vision inspection systems, supplying spare parts, performing remote diagnostics and roll mapping (the process of getting on-press inspection equipment and a post-press ISR to communicate via software).

One of KOR’s most popular machines is the FW7-820, which offers large roll handling capacity, precise tension control and high-speed defect determination at the editing station. These capabilities enable the operator to slit, edit, inspect and rewind various flexible packaging substrates in one step. This machine also features an automated roll pusher and unloader, and performs shaftless unwinding of substrates.

Panels on all of the machines now feature actuators from EAO’s Series 04 modular switching system. These actuators, which come round or square, are used as standard or illuminated pushbuttons, keylock or lever-operated switches, and indicators. They install flush or raised, and include special designs, such as mushroom heads or emergency stop switches and buzzers.

Up to three elements, as snap-action or slow-make switches, can be clipped to an actuator. Each element is equipped with a normally closed or open contact, made of hard silver and IP65 rated to withstand oil and water exposure in harsh environments.

The panels also have a Series 84 E-Stop (emergency stop) switch that meets electrical machinery safety standards ISO 13850 and IEC 60204-1. The switch has a red plastic lens and unlocks when twisted clockwise. It features a flat ribbon cable (300 millimeters long) or plug-in terminal (2.8 by 0.5 millimeter) and connectors, all of which can be customized.

For more information on HMI control panel components, call 203-951-4600 or visit