There are two main parts forming the machine:
1 The frame:
This is basically a hexagonal aluminium cage, with a gated section on two of the six sides to allow fitting and removal from the pipe. The frame is fitted with six wheels on adjustable legs, to suit the particular diameter of pipe, these are also adjustable in angle to determine the tape overlap as it rotates around the pipe. It should be noted that there are 5 sizes of frame, each with an 8” (200mm) operating range.
2 The Tape Head:
This holds the roll of tape at the correct angle and distance from the pipe and consists of 3 main parts;
2a Expanding Mandrel
This grips the 3” (76mm) core of the tape and so allows tension to be applied to the tape
2b Tension Clutch
Allows adjustable tension to be applied to the tape as it is pulled onto the pipe. The tension should also be reduced a little as the tape roll diminishes.
2c Paper take-off
This is driven by a ‘V’ belt and winds up the spent release paper as the tape is used. It is most important that this ‘V’ belt is left slack at all times to allow some ‘slippage’ to cope with roll diameter changes whilst in operation.
The principle of the machine is similar to that of threading a pipe. As the machine is rotated around the pipe, tape is drawn off the roll under tension and applied spirally around the circumference of the pipe. The overlap is determined by the angle of the wheels and the progression along the pipe, by the width of the tape. Tension is controlled by the cork lined clutch, mounted on the end of the tape spindle, and adjusted by the compressed spring and hand wheel bearing on it. The release paper is automatically wound onto the paper drum via the ‘V’ belt, for later disposal.
It is vitally important that the ‘V’ belt driving the paper drum is left slack. This is in order to cope with the diameter changes of the tape and paper with the machine in operation. Failure to do this will result in the release paper tearing and make it difficult to maintain a constant tension.
1 Slacken all of the pinch bolts that secure the legs in the frame with an 8mm Hex key. Insert the six legs into the machine and set the diameter a little larger than the pipe. Gently tighten the pinch bolts. Open the gate and lift the machine onto the pipe. Close the gate and secure with the long pin. The legs are all graduated along their length, all should be adjusted equally so that all wheels touch the pipe around its circumference. A small angle should now be set on each wheel towards the direction of travel, (approximately 10 Deg). The frame can now be revolved around the pipe to determine the correct distance of travelper revolution for the required overlap and width of tape. Small adjustments should be made to all six wheels in order to get this correct.
Note: This is the most time consuming part of setting up the machine. A little time and patience here will increase productivity and save wasted tape on an excessive overlap. Once this has been set, it does not need to be changed unless a different pipe diameter or tape width is needed.
2 Fit the Tape Head assembly onto the bracket as per diagram and tighten the M12 (17mm spanner) bolt. Mount a roll of tape onto the mandrel and tighten the knurled knob at the end to expand the rubbers and secure the tape. The tape should be mounted with the tape coming off the top of the roll towards the pipe, and the release paper of the bottom of the roll towards the operator. Pull some tape off the roll and stick to the pipe surface at an angle of approximately 10 degrees. Tear off any excessive release paper and stick it to the drum with masking tape. Revolve the machine by pulling it towards you, and note the overlap and the angle at which the tape leaves the roll. If there are any wrinkles, slacken the Tape Head bolt and re-align the tape head to correct this.
3 As the machine is revolved round the pipe, the backing paper is pulled onto the paper drum. If the paper appears too tight or starts to tear, slacken the two grub screws in the underside of the bearing block with a 5mm Hex Key, and slacken the ‘V’ belt a little more until there is just enough friction to wind the paper onto the drum without the paper becoming loose.
4 If the machine is fitted with an outer wrap spindle, it is operated in exactly the same way as the Inner wrap spindle, with the exception of the paper take-off system, which is probably not fitted.