Converting Qatar: Tunnel Boring Machines

Still not sure why an article about spending US$35 billion over ten years to bore 200 miles of subway tunnels appears in Converting Today (Europe’s Leading Converting Magazine), but here it is:  Qatar set for next tunneling boom.

Converting Industry Overview

Changes in packaging technology, security requirements, safety requirements, consumer expectations, and the increasing need for information and efficiency on the production floor all mean new opportunities for converters and their control systems.  But what is “converting?”  Converting is a family of loosely-related processes that occur at or near the end of a web forming line to improve the characteristics of the web, or to “convert” it into products.  A web usually refers to a continuous sheet of relatively flexible material, like paper or film.  A web is usually formed by pouring or extruding liquid material onto moving belts and/or rotating rolls which dry it, heat it, cool it, tangle it, and, in general, form it to a point where it can be wound into large rolls.  A large number of converting operations don’t occur on the web forming line itself; they are a separate operation, in a separate location, beginning with the large wound roll of material from the primary operation, often called a “parent” roll.

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