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From Farm To Fabric: The Many Faces Of Cotton - The 74th Plenary Meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC)
12/06/2015 - 12/11/2015

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12/07/2015 - 12/11/2015

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Smooth Operation

Versatile high-speed machinery helps weaving industry adapt to fast market changes.<

Smooth Operation Versatile high-speed machinery helps weaving industry adapt to fast market changes. Weaving technology has made tremendous strides over the past few years, a fact evident by the display of versatile, new, high-speed machinery at the recent American Textile Machinery Exhibition-International (ATME-I) 2001 in Greenville, S.C. In the June 2001 issue, Textile Industries reported on the latest developments in dyeing and finishing. This month, weaving and related technology takes the spotlight. A separate story about knitting technology, including developments presented at ATME-I 2001 as well as FAST 2001 and Tecno TMA Textil, appears elsewhere in this magazine (See, Meeting Fashion Demands, TI, this issue). Weaving MachinesDevelopments in weaving range from new machines to enhancements of existing equipment already proven in production facilities around the world. Germany-based Lindauer Dornier GmbH, for example, now has available a new, automatic back shed setting feature on its weaving machines that allows the electronic setting of the whip roll and warp stop motion to achieve the best possible weaving parameters. Dornier representatives say this warp tension optimization significantly reduces warp-related stops, increases overall machine efficiency and enhances fabric quality.Another new feature for Dornier is FDC, which stands for fast dobby change. Dornier recognized an increase in versatility of its air-jet weaving machinery can be achieved by quickly exchanging the positive cam motion unit with a dobby. A full exchange can take place within the time frame of a regular style change.Dorniers world-premiere offering was the new EasyTerry air-jet weaving machine, which excels in ergonomics and performance, and offers a significant reduction in the number of mechanical components. Further, it features a completely new pile-warp path, separate warp stop motions for ground and pile warp, and Dorniers PneumaTuckers® for outside and center selvages.Through DoNet, a global communications network, the company offers help in style-setting, remote machine diagnosis and trouble- shooting, spare-parts-ordering, and technological assistance.On the finishing side, Dornier offers its EcoSinge® singeing machine, EcoMerc® mercerizing machine and EcoCombine® combined mercerizing and bleaching equipment. The finishing machinery range also includes the circular squeezing machine, EcoSqueeze®; and the circular heat-setting machine, EcoFix®.Another terry offering comes from Belgium-based Picanol the new TERRYplus air-jet weaving machine with Sumo main motor. Even though its based on acquired Guenne technology, this terry weaving machine now features a drive system completely adapted to Picanols system technology. Special features include air-tuckers, an Alexco off-loom batching system and a Stli 2861 dobby with 18 harness frames.The 340-centimeter (cm)-wide OMNIPlus air-jet weaving machine was demonstrated weaving percale sheeting with two different fillings at a speed of 850 picks per minute (ppm) and 750 ppm, depending on the actual filling material insertion.Picanols 190-cm-wide OMNIPlus jacquard air-jet shows versatility with the insertion of chenille yarns, multi-filament yarns and slub yarns. The machine features a cyber-display that allows via a contactless electronic data card, a hand-held programming unit or direct Internet access transfer of all important data for the weaving process.Picanols Gamma rapier machine demonstrated its sturdiness at ATME-I by producing a heavy canvas. The machine was equipped with Barco Cyclops on-loom fabric inspection and Alexco off-loom batching system.The Barco Cyclops can be connected with the central monitoring system. All defect information can be statistically used to optimize efficiency and quality as well as for the generation of an exact defect-map on individual pieces and the automatic calculation of fabric grades. 
Italy-based Promatech, which now encompasses the Somet and Vamatex brand names, showed for the first time at a show in the United States its heralded Mythos air-jet weaving machine with eight filling colors and electronic jacquard shedding. The machine shown at ATME-I had 190-cm nominal width and was showing its capability on an upholstery fabric at 800 ppm. Further, a 340-cm-wide Mythos demonstrated its capability with double filling insertion at 630 revolutions per minute (rpm) weaving a bed-sheeting fabric.All Somet machines now feature many detail improvements for handling reduced downtime, increased efficiency and speed. Both rapier and air-jet varieties demonstrated greater versatility and flexibility to adapt to fast-changing markets.Somets sister brand, Vamatex, demonstrated the capability of the Leonardo rapier weaving machine. Two machines were exhibited: a 340-cm-wide Leonardo with jacquard head that was weaving difficult patterns with different filling yarns; and the Leonardo Super Excel weaving a technical glass fiber fabric at 320 cm. Vamatex competes in the market by positioning the Leonardo as a high-productivity machine at a very reasonable price. Company officials mentioned, for example, that the 190-cm Leonardo is capable of weaving quality shirting at 650 rpm, and a 210-cm version can be set up at 640 rpm to weave denim with stretch filling yarn. Tsudakoma, Japan, has available the ZAX-230-4C-D20 terry-weaving machine with Tesco III terry speed control and WBS weft brake system that allows higher productivity. A demonstration machine, running at 750 rpm, was equipped with needleless tuck-in devices, producing three bath towels side-by-side. Tsudakomas machine also included multiple pile and ground warp tension control features designed especially for terry weaving, and the independent sub-nozzle timing control for each individual filling color to reach highest speeds and efficiency.The ZAX-340-2C-C4 air-jet weaving machine with 303-cm drawn-in fabric width ran at 850 rpm and featured needleless tuck-in devices for the selvages. It featured further the APR-II automatic defective pick remover, double-pick insertion and the large iT-Board touch-screen control.Sulzer Textil, Switzerland, presented for the first time at a North American exhibition its G6300 rapier-weaving machine. Originally introduced at ITMA 99 in Paris, more than 4,000 machines have been sold, proving the G6300 to be very successful in a wide variety of applications. However, at ATME-I, Sulzer Textil presented an even wider range of applications, especially for the field of technical fabrics. The exhibited G6300 was weaving a high-quality home furnishings fabric and was equipped with electronically controlled let-off and take-up and a speed-inverter system. It was further equipped with an electronically controlled eight-color filling selector, electronic weft breaks, a new Roto Cut weft-cutting device and independent leno devices. The 220-cm-nominal-width machine was demonstrating its capability at 650 ppm.Sulzers Customized Weaving Technology (CWT) offers from ultrawide to extremely heavy beat-up projectile weaving machines for special industrial applications. The collaboration between Sulzer Textil and Japan-based Toyoda Automatic Loom Works Ltd. continues, with focus on the latest technology in air-jet weaving. Latest improvements include: performance enhancements; new shedding mechanisms with e-shed and an electronically controlled taper motion; and improved operator friendliness. The M8300 multi-phase weaving machine was demonstrated running a 2/1 twill apparel fabric at a 4770-meters-per-minute (m/min) insertion rate, which reflects approximately three times more output compared to that of conventional weaving machines. Because a significant number of M8300 machines are now installed in pilot plants around the world, the machine has now become a mature weaving machine.Van de Wiele, the Netherlands, has introduced the Shadow Velvet weaving machine without creel for jacquard velvet. By programming the top and bottom velvet fabric patterning separately, two different designs or two legible names and logos can be woven face-to-face at the same time without the effect of mirror images.The new Velvet Tronic Vtr23 promises 20- to 30-percent higher production output, less vibration, user friendliness and easy access for velvet style changes. The false selvage on the insertion side is eliminated, which results in significant material savings. Equipped with three servo motor drive pile feeders and a Dtr rotary dobby, it produces a typical car seat and upholstery fabric at 2 x 450 ppm.Toyoda Automatic Loom Works Ltd. displayed for the first time in the United States two of its LW 600-series water-jet weaving machines. The Model LW1RA-190C6-EP-601 was weaving a heavy industrial fabric with an unsized nylon filament warp at 1,050 rpm. The machine was equipped with crank shedding, a 1,000-millimeter (mm) warp beam and Alexco off-loom take up. The Toyoda water-jet machines have several electronic features that allow efficient high-speed weaving at low cost and ensure high fabric quality.Jakob Muller, Switzerland, offers a wide array of narrow fabric production machines. The new MuJET® MBJL2(S) is a high-performance air-jet label-weaving machine with optimized filling insertion through a vario-pressure system that allows an even higher number of different yarn types to be inserted at speeds of up to 1,400 rpm. Due to storage of predefined yarn values, it is no longer necessary to set the yarn values manually when changing the article. The S stands for silent. The machine emits about 10 decibels less noise when the noise cover is closed over the insertion area.The new MDR42 crochet-knitting machine from Jakob Muller sets new standards in productivity and versatility, according to the company. To increase the range of patterns, the number of weft bars was raised to 24. Typical applications for the MDR42 are the production of elastic and non-elastic tape, underwear tape, bandages, lace tape, and womens outerwear.Eltex, Sweden, displayed a sample-weaving machine with electronic jacquard head. The German jacquard machinery manufacturer Grosse is now a part of Eltex. Grosse products were demonstrated with the new sample machine. Eltex also has available a wide range of stop motions for weaving and weaving-preparation machinery. Weaving AccessoriesWeaving machines, though, werent the only equipment attracting attention at ATME-I 2001. Stlis products were prominently displayed both at its own booth and on equipment throughout the show. However, Stlis own display of the LX 1600 jacquard head was probably most impressive, as its smooth operation was demonstrated at 1,200 rpm with different harness components.New for the United States were the positive cam motions 1651/1661 for up to eight lifting units at 12-mm pitch and for repeat lengths of up to six picks. The difference between the two models is that they are equipped either with or without an automatic leveling device.Stli also demonstrated its Topmatic warp-tying/knotting machine with new features, as well as the Delta 100 and Delta 110 drawing-in systems. Delta 100 is used for filament applications. The Delta 110 draws in the warp threads through the drop wires, the heads and the reed in one operation. Fimtextile, Italy, has available the RD 3000 positive electronic rotary dobby that drives up to 16 harness frames and can reach speeds of 750 rpm. The company also has a positive cam motion that will perform at speeds of up to 1,400 rpm. The RD 860 electronic rotary dobby was designed for rapier weaving machines with up to 20 harness frames and up to 650-rpm speed.Zellweger Uster, Switzerland, recently introduced the Uster® Fabriscan D-3000 advanced automatic fabric inspection system. After the successful introduction of the Uster Fabriscan in the greige and piece-dyed sectors, Zellweger Uster now has available Fabriscan units for denim that automatically inspect the quality requirements of this fabric. The new Fabriscan D-3000 produces clearly defined reports and can mark faults on the selvage of the cloth by means of a paper tag or an ink-jet mark. This system can be fine-tuned and set to the customers own specific quality standards by detecting important faults and ignoring insignificant ones. The system operates at inspection speeds of 80 m/min and up to 120 m/min by using linear high-resolution cameras. After the initial setting, Fabriscan does not require any further adjustments. It takes only 30 seconds to one minute to learn the characteristics of a new article. Fabriscan stores all data in a central data bank and does not require the constant attention of a computer wizard. Environmental Controls
In air filtration and environmental control, Luwa Bahnson, Winston-Salem, N.C., demonstrated its patented LoomSphere® weave conditioning system over an operating weaving machine. The system creates a microclimate around the weaving machine and is effective in humidification and dust removal. It reduces overall plant energy consumption and, because of few yarn breaks, increases weaving efficiency.Luwa Bahnson exhibited a new, increased-capacity model #2736 Multi Drum Vac® (MDV) filter and a new Weave TravClean® travel cleaner that is installed over the weaving machine and costs about 25 percent less than previous models.Germany-based LTGs philosophy as an air-conditioning system component supplier is to offer its equipment technology directly to customers at low cost. LTG, as before, offers a wide variety of air-filtering and air-conditioning systems, as well as a diffuser system for direct conditioning of weaving machines. Because of its simplicity, LTGs systems and components can be installed either by the customer or by contractors. Another best-selling unit is the stand-alone CPS compacting power screw for compacting and discharge of fine dust and short fibers in connection with separators such as cyclones and filters. The company also has available a traveling cleaner that can be installed up to eight feet above the weaving machine.Charlotte-based Pneumafil officials were excited about the companys Weave Direct weaving machine humidification system that is successfully installed in weaving plants. Pneumafil also displayed Abington high-vacuum and fiber-recovery systems. Pneumafil acquired the company to broaden its product line.Electro-Jet, Spain, markets its LT-2 travel cleaner, a product especially designed for weaving machines. As well, the company has a semi-automatic cloth-roll handling system.Ernst Jacobi GmbH, Germany, is promoting its automatic traveling cleaner, KWK 900, for weaving machines. This combined blowing/suction unit has two independent lint and filter boxes. Emptying the two boxes is done automatically by reversing the airflow at a short stop of the unit. Other EquipmentIn other areas, Germany-based Genkinger has a new motorized cloth beam truck that can pick up cloth rolls up to 600 mm in diameter and 4,000 mm in width. Genkinger also offers a new heavy-duty electric warp-beam truck for 6,500 pounds lifting capacity, and a laser-aided positioning device.Ira L. Griffin Sons Inc., Charlotte, N.C., has introduced a new handheld wireless operator control unit for its sizing system. The unit accesses all machines through the main control panel, and a voice-recognition operator control unit allows voice commands to be given to the sizing unit. This feature permits a single operator to control the entire sizing system while also performing other tasks such as fixing broken ends.Willy Grob AG, Switzerland, has an electronic let-off system with frequency converter for narrow and wide warp beams, or any feeding unit that requires precision tension and yarn delivery. Some of the typical applications are in the field of selvages for airbag weaving, elastic narrow fabrics, filter ribbons, fabrics for medical care and others.Hubtex, Germany, has available several warp beam trucks. The motor-driven KHW-TESEL-III K 2000 features power steering and is physically smaller than its predecessor. It possesses the same lifting capacity for full beams and twin beams.Hunziker AG, Switzerland, has introduced a new-generation full-width temple that requires no screws. Just by clamping the upper profile onto the lower profile and arranging the fabric path, the temple is ready to weave.IRO, Sweden, is offering the new 1131 and 2231 generations of weft feeders that can be used as upgrades on Picanols WeaveUp program to retrofit older prewinders. These upgrades reduce air consumption and increase weaving efficiency.Karl Mayer, Germany, is marketing its new ROB 2200 automatic sectional warping machine. This machine is suitable for the production of short- to medium-length warps. It offers several high-tech features such as laser diameter control that guarantee high-efficiency production at highest warp quality.
 Positive ATME-I For Sulzer TextilThe future is anything but clear for Sulzer Textil. After an announced plan last year by its parent company to sell the textile division, Sulzer has been waiting in limbo to see what its fate is to be.Business, however, continues, and TI took an opportunity at ATME-I 2001 in April, as well as at the TI Innovation Award luncheon in June, to catch up with Fritz Legler, the new president of Sulzer Textile Inc., the Spartanburg, S.C.-based U.S. subsidiary of Switzerland-based Sulzer Textil.Legler declined comment about potential suitors for Sulzer, but he was optimistic about the state of the companys business. Of course, the U.S. market is not what we would like, but from a worldwide perspective Sulzer is doing very well, Legler told TI at the Innovation Award luncheon.The company had a stellar show at ATME-I 2001. The G6300 rapier weaving machine has attracted a lot of interest in an industry that needs to become more versatile with a wide variety of fabrics. Even difficult industrial applications are covered by the G6300, as well as by Sulzers projectile weaving machines. Legler said he thinks that if the U.S. textile industry wants to maintain its competitive position, it will need to tackle more difficult applications and yarns in order to counter imports and to promote exports.Legler was pleased with the result that ATME-I brought for the company. Sulzer was able to write eight contracts during the first three days. However, he said that, like many other textile machinery manufacturers, Sulzer believes that a combined ATME-I that incorporates both spinning and weaving would be in the best interests of the industry. The most important element, though, is how a combined show would affect customers. Sulzer will analyze what the next American textile machinery show may need to look like by examining how many people came to its booth, who they were and what products were attracting attention. Legler emphasized that in the end, it should be the will of the U.S. textile mills that takes precedence.
Sulzer Textil's outgoing CEO Phillp Mosimann (left)hands over reins to incoming CEO Dr. Ulrich Bolleter. August 2001