Italian finishing equipment specialists, Rollmac, have designed a complete line which can be used to upgrade crusted

wet-blue splits. The technology has been inspired by the company’s involvement in the textile (synthetic leather) business and they have just installed the latest Uniline (see Figure 1) at a purpose built facility in Bangkok.

The Thai plant was due to come on stream at the end of last month. Rollmac have tailor made ten versions of the Uniline system in tannery finishing plants throughout the world.

Uniline system

The Uniline consists of a linear series of equipment complete with Rollmac rollercoating machines. The process works by a number of layers of polyurethane film being applied to a specially formulated release paper.

The paper is coated up to three times with a pu film on a Uniroll single or double cylinder rollercoater.

Once the required numbers of coats have been applied, they are dried and cooled. The splits are then added manually and the pu film transferred from the paper to the split by passing through a coupling calender.

After drying and cooling, the split is detached from the release paper with the pu coating bonded to the split. The release paper can then be recovered and reused.

Uniline, with its roller application, operates in reverse and represents a new system of transfer operation to upgrade splits or other corrected leathers.


Following the initial outlay of equipment and installation, the Uniline system is very economical. The equipment has the ability to coat up to 250 croupons an hour or 2,000 over an eight hour shift. The system has a number of benefits:

* Value added production on poor quality raw materials and splits

* The use of aqueous based chemical products

* Low running costs after installation

* Lower quantities of chemical products (especially compared with spray coating)

* Reduced labour force = lower running costs (4/5 workers to run a complete line)

* Improved finished article, ie enhanced appearance which is softer and a more natural finish with high chemical and physical properties

* The possibility of operating with a wide range of materials such as corrected leather, full grain upgraded leather as well as splits etc

All these advantages can be achieved with the application of a perfectly level and uniform film with a minimum thickness of 0.8mm.

Uniline is available in working widths of 380, 760 and 1,520mm. It is available from Rollmac, not only as a plant but also as a fully comprehensive project, including technical assistance and installation.

The line can be tailored to suit the tanners’ end-use or physical restrictions. Rollmac also offer a structured service for converting or updating present lines, with the assistance of personnel technically specialised in planning and running such operations.