Tape Put-ups in Pad vs. Traverse Configurations

Posted by Chase Corp Editor on Jan 23, 2020 1:03:23 PM
Chase Corp Editor
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Tape rolls for cable applicationsChase Corp. strives to meet the demand for diverse configurations of our tapes. We understand the need for varying sized put-ups, which is why we offer numerous options. Before we discuss the options and contrast/compare the traverse package versus “flat pancake pads” (pads), it should be noted that although Chase Corp has “standard” put-ups for both traverse and pad packages, we can also provide customer-specific put-ups to optimize your manufacturing processes. Specialty put-ups will have a different cost structure, but it should be noted that this option is available, and in fact, the potentially higher pricing may be offset if it optimizes your manufacturing processes, thereby reducing your overall manufacturing costs.

💡 Put-up: The specific configuration of a product. For example, a pancake pad would could be 1” 3X12, which is a 1” wide tape, on a 3” inner core, with a 12” outer diameter (OD). For a traverse 1” 3X12X3 would be a 1” tape, on a 3” inner core, with a 12” outer diameter, and a traverse width of 3”.

Pads represent the majority of the put-ups that we produce and sell to the industry.  Our standard pads for our Electronic Instrumentation (EIN) products range from 10 to 20 inches. For our Cable TV (CATV) products, the range is from 18 to 24 inches. The final dimensions can vary for several reasons.  The component material thicknesses (aluminum, polyester, polypropylene, copper, Nomex, etc.) will determine the length of material that we can provide within the overall outside diameter of the pad we can build. So for thinner substrates, the result is that you have a longer length of tape for a specified outside diameter of product vs. a thicker substrate.

Additionally, there are constraints that we may have due to the length of the component materials that we receive from our suppliers.  In some cases, like copper, we may receive only relatively short lengths of copper in master rolls, so this may result in smaller OD / shorter lengths of laminates we can produce. Splicing products will allow for longer lengths.

Another constraint could be the equipment a customer may be using to apply the tape to the cable. The equipment may handle only a certain OD pad. Yet another constraint can be the overall weight of large, heavy pads, and an operators ability to safely maneuver for placement on their equipment.

Traverse packages are also available as a standard put-up. Standard dimensions vary but in general for our EIN products, the packages tend to be small, especially for narrow materials under ½ inch, with 3-inch ID by 9- to 11-inch OD by 3-inch traverse as the common range of sizes. Some customers also order specific lengths of material. The cost structure for traverse packages varies from that of a pad; however, there are advantages inherent with the traverse package vs. the pad, should you choose that option. 

As the name suggests, traverse packages are wound on a wider core with the material traversing back and forth as the outside diameter builds. The same constraints apply to traverse packages as those noted above regarding pads, in terms of the overall thickness of the tape being wound affecting the OD and final length of the tape in a package.  The main advantage of the traverse package is that it results in a much longer length of material on a single core available for the customer to unwind.

There are two options for our traverse wound packages. The first is our standard traverse winding; the other is a “Step Wind” (SW) package configuration. Both are wound with a traverse configuration; however, the step wind method results in a firmer edge than the traverse wound package. This is because the process involves winding the tape like a pad for a few turns and then “stepping” over to the next position for the same number of turns while the tape traverses from one side of the core to the other. There is a price difference for the SW vs. our standard traverse package, and although the product has a firmer edge, it has limited commercial applications, so the vast majority of what we sell is our standard traverse package. 

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Comparison of pads vs. traverse packages:

As noted above, either package can be offered to specific length and package size requirements as requested by the customer.

Pads are the most common put-up we offer. Overall pad dimensions Outside Diameter (OD) are offered in many standard sizes and can be customer specific.

Pads should be handled by lifting from the OD of the pad, not from the inner core, to avoid the possibility of pulling the core out of a heavy pad.

Traverse packages present other handling issues, particularly the weight of the package to be handled by the operator. They are also packaged differently from pads to insure damage-free transport to customers’ facilities.    

Weight can be a factor in the size of the traverse package requested.  Again, weight depends on the component materials of the tape being wound.

Traverse packages offer longer lengths of tape vs. pads. Traverse packages may cost more; however, this may be offset by fewer changeovers from one tape package to the next, thereby optimizing the customer’s manufacturing process and reducing overall costs.

Tape width is not a limitation for pads. It is a limitation for traverse packages, with the widest width tape available being 1 ¼ inches.

Pads do not typically require a customer to have any additional equipment to run them in their taping process. Traverse packages require that the customer have an unwind stand in order to utilize that package configuration. This is an added expense but may be offset by the savings a traverse package may provide.

In both pads and traverse configurations, there will be splices made in the tape to maximize the package size for the customer, as well as this being a standard procedure for the products we sell.  See our blog on splicing for more information on that aspect of the packaging.    

In summary, Chase Corp supplies various put-ups that are commercially acceptable to the industry. The cost structure and advantages of each option can vary depending on the product width and component materials, but our goal is to consistently offer products that satisfy customer requirements and solutions that create value for our customers’ business models.

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Topics: Wire & Cable, coated tapes, Laminated tapes, tape cofiguration