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Oklahoma State University

Scope of the International Conference

Web Processing & Web Handling

A web is a thin and flexible material which is transported continuously under tension through processes including printing, coating, laminating, etc. prior to being converted to a final product.

Web processing pervades many automated industries. Web handling is the engineering science underlying the transport of webs through processes successfully without incurring material defects and losses.

As the science of web handling has progressed and the knowledge base has grown, the domain of web processing in manufacturing has expanded. Products which were once made in discrete form at high cost can now be made in continuous processes with cost savings. Many new products may be manufactured directly through web processing without first being manufactured through discrete processing.

New Trends

Roll-to-Roll (R2R) manufacturing is being increasingly seen as an efficient and scalable method to manufacture flexible and printed electronics in rolled form. New products that are beginning to emerge include flexible displays, flexible panel lighting, solar panels, fuel cells, etc. R2R processing of screen displays and printed electronics is projected to require print registration precision in the 1-2 mm range, presenting extreme challenges in lateral mechanics, guiding and tension control. For R2R manufacturing of these products to become feasible, new and innovative ways of transporting and controlling the lateral and longitudinal behavior of complex composite webs are needed.

The trends toward the use of new web materials and processes also present unusual demands on web handling. Increasingly, web process designers are called upon to develop machines which will successfully transport thinner webs and webs of complex structures at higher speeds. Such trends place extreme demands on the precision of tension control and machine design to prevent web wrinkling. For example, nonwoven webs are becoming increasingly popular for many new and innovative products. Such webs are complex structures that do not behave like materials used in many applications. Greater web non-uniformity is becoming common, leading to new challenges in both lateral and longitudinal web transport. These new web materials can exhibit material behaviors ranging from elastic, to viscoelastic, to plastic. Conventional analytical methods are not adequate for these new complexities.

IWEB - The International Forum for Web Handling

The International Web Handling Conference was initiated in 1991 as a forum for engineers and scientists interested in exchanging technical information on concepts and innovations in web handling. Since inception, this biennial conference has served to expand the science and the knowledge base in Web Handling, and has provided engineers and researchers from throughout the world an opportunity to present new ideas and discuss future directions.

Keynote addresses and state-of-the art surveys will provide all participants with new perspectives on the tools needed to address challenging problems. Like the previous conferences, this conference will provide participants many opportunities to interact within and outside technical sessions. For example, paper presentations will be followed by question and answer periods, and discussion sessions will be held at the end of each topical session which will focus on addressing current challenges of web handling. The conference will not be organized simply to recast known practices and technology. Rather, the conference will provide a forum for discussion of new methods for formulating and solving web handling problems in well known and conventional applications, as well as new problems that present themselves in emerging areas such as R2R manufacturing of flexible and printed electronics and transport of thin non-woven materials.

Types of contributions that will be presented: fundamental, analytical and experimental studies of web behavior, design methods which will improve the handling characteristics of non-ideal webs, industrial applications of web processing where innovative approaches to web handling are required in order to produce final products in cost effective ways, and state-of-the-art surveys which benchmark the science as it exists today and project the goals of tomorrow.