Now We Can Cry – Intermittent (but regular as rain) Web Problems

Kevin Lifsey

Presented by Dr. David Roisum, Finishing Technologies, Inc.

Certain problems occur intermittently and regularly not only in the web industry at large, but also on a specific web machine.  This list is huge and includes things like baggy webs, wrinkling and winding defects.  I call these intermittent but regular problems, ‘perennial problems’ which, much like dandelions, can be counted upon to sprout up every year on your lawn and in your garden.  Yet, frequency does not imply familiarity.  It also does not necessary imply effective troubleshooting responses.

Two common problem solving methodologies are as likely to fail with intermittent problems as succeed.  The first is the ‘what changed’ (that ended our string of good product) quest.  Likely nothing that you will ever be able to identify.  A thousand dandelion seeds will arise from a single parent flower, yet only one is likely to grow to another plant.  We simply do not have the data nor the knowledge to know which specific seed that will be.  Instead, we will focus on long proven strategies starting with identifying the specific weed species and corresponding weed prevention and weed eradication techniques.

The second is Root Cause Analysis, or RCA for short.  RCA’s foundation is identifying THE root cause, while there may in fact be more than one.  RCA then insists on mitigating THE root cause, which may in fact be quite unpleasant.  For example, THE root cause for hygrothermal wrinkles is the very coating and/or drying process that enables your product to be made.  Instead, a more effective approach is identifying root cause mechanics or physics which then has multiple factors of varying strength that serve as a remedy option list.  Knowing the mechanics also allows us other options not related to root cause, such as inserting an effective spreader immediately following our coater and/or dryer.

This paper presents a single problem solving methodology, recipe if you like, alternative for more effective troubleshooting and mitigation of our most common web handling issues related to waste, delay and customer complaints.

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