Timothy J. Walker, President
T. J. Walker and Associates Inc.
I have worked with many different web processes from wide, high-speed operations for commodity products to small, precision manufacturing for battery, solar, flexible electronics, packaging, printing, and biomedical applications. Though my specialty is thin film web handling, I find the engineering principles of web handling apply to any web product, including papers, films, foils, nonwovens, textiles, tissues, and any combination of these in coated or laminated form.
Since 1999, I have worked with over 220 companies and over 270 plants to improve their web handling processes or train their technical staff. I keep my client information confidential, but will gladly provide references from past clients upon request.
In 2020, I was delighted to see the fruition of five years of work with the publication of The Web Handling Handbook that I co-authored with Dr. David R. Roisum and Dr. Dilwyn P. Jones.
Web Handling Philosophy
The goal of web handling is to transport and store a web product while minimizing waste. Winding, unwinding, and rewinding are inherent waste generators. Process integration eliminates winding waste. There is a practical limit where width, speed, complexity, or other incompatibilities prevent integration, but otherwise, web handling should not limit integration.
Web handling engineers must also work with process and product challenges. Webs are inherently imperfect, with both thickness and length variations. Good web handling processes are designed with an understanding of the web, process, and equipment imperfections.
The best place to start designing a web process is the product development stage. I believe in design for manufacturing; knowledge of web handling and roll-to-roll processes will pay dividends in production costs and yields.
I am also a strong advocate for assessing profitability. I believe teams responsible for technology planning and prioritization should also understand revenue, costs, and market share. Just as manufacturing knowledge helps product design; profit strategy knowledge helps engineering design for profitability.