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Tessival Group

Tessival's Ghedi plant selected U.T.I.T.'s package palletization system for a recent plant upgrade.

Tessival Group Tessival's Ghedi plant selected U.T.I.T.'s package palletization system for a recent plant upgrade. At the end of 2001, Italy-based Tessival Groups Ghedi plant installed, alongside its impressive sets of latest-generation spinning frames and winding machines, an ultra-modern package palletization system supplied by Italy-based U.T.I.T. Wagner Automation a system with which spinning mill Manager Roberto Baldassi declares himself entirely satisfied.Accompanied by engineer Giovanni Vaccari of U.T.I.T.s Textile Division, Baldassi led a thorough two-hour tour around the plant, providing TW with the opportunity to examine in detail the companys impressive achievements. The yarn we produce here [around 4.5 million kilograms (kg) per year] is destined for clothing fabrics and encompasses a range of materials for the high-quality segment of the market, said Baldassi. We have a workforce of 135 people, and the factory works 335 days a year, operating three eight-hour shifts. The staff work for three days and then have two days off.

U.T.I.T.'s automated palletizing system forms a layer of cones. We process combed American cotton, using approximately 30,000 ring spindles, of which around one-third are currently condensation spindles [Rieter K44 and Marzoli Olfil compact spinning spindles], which help to boost the end quality, Baldassi continued. All the spinning frames here at Ghedi are directly linked with latest-generation automatic winding machines. From here, the packages are transferred to the U.T.I.T. system, to the overhead pickup and distribution track. It is a highly flexible system, and it has proven able to handle yarns with finenesses ranging from Ne 16 to Ne 50 for pure cotton articles, and from Ne 14 to Ne 40 in the case of stretch yarns. But the main feature, the one that convinced us to invest in the U.T.I.T. system is its simplicity, not to mention its complete reliability and high efficiency. These are essential features in a system that has to handle around 6,000 packages daily, and in a setting that must take into account both the need to keep running costs down and the modest skills of todays workforce, Baldassi said. The original reverse catenary solution deserves a special mention, as does the ingenious [spiral] system for the continuous feeding of the palletization sections, and the computerized process control of all the final stages from the conditioning to the weighing and automatic labeling operations, he added. A Model SystemThe automatic transportation system is linked with 26 winding machines, supplied by Savio and Schlafhorst, located in two rooms. This system handles the packages through the pickup, palletization, conditioning and packaging stages. The strengths of this new, patented package pickup system are:optimal handling of packages, which, placed in special trays, are not likely to be struck or rubbed while they are being moved;no risk of mixing up different production batches, as packages transported are always of the same type;extreme flexibility in the creation and adaptation of the circuits that link the spinning area with the palletization zone;no problem with circuits arranged on different levels, thanks to the spiral device that allows continuous vertical ascent and descent;possibility of setting up suspended storage on different levels for the contemporaneous management of yarn batches of different fineness; andhigh transport capacity.The arrival of this automatic system has, for this spinning mill, marked an important turning point in terms of efficiency and resource optimization. Savings on staff, and reorganization of assignments have allowed more attention to be devoted to production machinery, which in turn has meant an increase in production capacity and, above all, greater attention to yarn quality. Rationalization of product flow, especially from the handling point of view, has led to a notable improvement in the state of the spinning rooms, which are now cleaner and more orderly. It also has increased safety and, above all, released staff from heavy duties. Automatic pallet packaging also has improved the quality of packages, and the management and control of warehouse data via management PC. Tessival's Requirements, U.T.I.T.'s SolutionsTessival was prompted to install U.T.I.T.s palletization and yarn conditioning system by the outcome of an in-depth analysis of different aspects of the internal organization of its spinning mill.This investment in package automation coincided with a change in the type of packaging used: from boxes to pallets. The costs involved in both systems are similar, but while boxes are usually disposed of, pallets have the advantage of being, where possible, recyclable. In Tessivals case, all the packaging from yarns that are sent to the groups own weaving mills can be recovered, and this obviously represents a savings over cardboard boxes.In the past, spools were removed manually from the winding machines and loaded onto special peg carriages ready to be fed into the conditioning cell. Once they had been loaded, these carriages were managed by an automatic guided vehicle (AGV), which conveyed them and fed them into the conditioning cells. Wear, plus growing production volumes, had created a need to update or replace this carriage handling system. The new pickup and palletization equipment was seen as the most efficient and complete way of replacing the old system.The conditioning cell, too, needed major restructuring and also needed to be adapted to changing production requirements. The decision to replace it with two autoclaves that could be integrated into the automatic palletization system was based on the greater performance and energy savings that the latter offered.The problem of safety in the workplace was an important factor in the decision to opt for the automatic transportation system. Now, indeed, the quality of work in the spinning mill is no longer compromised by the handling of the yarn produced each day; and the incidence of work-related illnesses and injuries linked to load handling also has dropped markedly all of which has simplified the management of staff assignments.Automation also has meant considerable savings in terms of personnel: one person per shift who previously unloaded the winding machines (over three shifts), and another five who handled the spools in the conditioning and packaging stages eight people who can now be used more productively elsewhere.By Giovanni Vaccari

November 2002