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Textile Innovation 2004: Technology Driving The Future

Textile World 2004 Innovation Award honorees represent the best of recent textile technology.

Jim Borneman, Editor In Chief

I nnovation is, and always will be, at the center of a thriving textile industry. It is the secret - the primary attribute missed in a quick analysis by an industry outsider. Textiles as a major process manufacturing industry has evolved by inventing and adopting technology for as long as fiber has been spun into yarn. On the heels of a year punctuated by major technology exhibitions, ITMA and ShanghaiTex among them, what better way to celebrate the best the textile industry has to offer than by looking at recent developments in textile technology available from around the globe.


Textile World 's Innovation Award is better known for recognizing a textile manufacturer that has demonstrated commitment to research and selective investment in applied technology - a company meeting challenges beyond product and process invention. Consider the track record of past honorees, including Springs Industries, Avondale Mills, Milliken & Company, Johnston Industries, Parkdale, Swift Denim, and Mount Vernon Mills - could they prosper in today's global marketplace without the innovative machinery and technologies that drive productivity, enable product development and add flexibility to the manufacturer's mix?

One of the most direct effects of innovation in industry is the sense of competition it brings - not just in ideas, but also in the form of real products. This competition, coupled with capital investments by the manufacturers, keeps the momentum of a volatile industry moving forward.

ITMA 2003 proved that machinery suppliers are working diligently to provide faster, more reliable and more technologically advanced machinery. The exhibition, better attended than anyone had expected, illustrated the importance of technology in the industry and the interest of textile manufacturers around the world in investing in the future.

During the past year, textile manufacturing in North America has had its challenges. Today, the textile landscape is evermore dependent on innovation and change. A piece of technology that can add a product, enhance an end-use, cut a cost, add flexibility, or help enter a market not only is welcome, but often makes the difference between a manufacturer's success and failure.

The companies honored this year have risen to the challenge. The Textile World 2004 Innovation Awards recognize industry leaders that have developed and are producing technologies that make a difference in plants around the world. The list goes on, but the companies on the next several pages have the track record, the industry acceptance and sometimes just the shear tenacity to strive to advance textiles into the future and beyond.

Dual System For Rapidstretch And Technodye Machines
Argelich, Termes Y Cia S.A. (ATYC), Spain

ATYC's Dual System enables a single machine to provide high circulation speeds for man-made fibers and softer treatment for natural fibers such as cotton and wool. The Dual System's double nozzle consists of a soft nozzle designed to process articles sensitive to felting, pilling and abrasion; and a hard nozzle for articles that are less sensitive and require higher circulation speeds. The injector type, flow and working pressure are selected from the machine's control system for optimal treatment of the fabric to be processed.

ATYC’s Dual System for its Technodye (above) and Rapidstretch machines features a hard and soft dual nozzle.

Spyra 6 Compact
Biancalani S.p.A., Italy

Biancalani's Spyra 6 Compact is the newest member of the Spyra family. Designed for small- to medium-sized textile manufacturers, as well as companies involved in mass production, the Spyra 6 Compact dries, softens and compacts woven, nonwoven or knitted fabrics in rope form. The six-tumbler machine features rotating or oscillating baskets that perform the softening and compacting action. The goods are delivered into the entry, where air jets convey them to the back of a tumbling chamber that oscillates from side to side. The machine's most interesting feature is that the continuous tumbling action compacts the fabric without introducing knots and tangles associated with traditional batch tumbling dryers. According to the company, the machine is versatile and can be used with continuous and discontinuous treatments, as well as in fragmented production cycles.

The Spyra 6 Compact from Biancalani uses tumbling action to dry, soften and compact fabric without introducing knots or tangles.

Brazzoli S.p.A., Italy

The Innodye® jet-dyeing machine from Brazzoli incorporates a variable-speed mobile basket that moves transversely to the direction of fabric advancement as the fabric moves through the Turbovario, a variable conical cross-section nozzle. The motion of the J-shaped basket plaits the fabric rope as it moves from the top of the machine into the immersion area. The basket's movement also permits rapid and uniform mixing of the dyes and chemicals with reduced foam formation.

A new double-injection dosing system allows natural or man-made fabric to be dyed in rope form with quick introduction of all chemicals for uniform results. The machine also is suitable for scouring, bleaching and washing fabrics. Each port offers a 440-pound nominal loading capacity.

According to Brazzoli, the machine offers time savings, as well as lower water and energy consumption.

Innodye® was designed to optimize and strengthen the hydrodynamics of the movement of the bath and fabric in relation to the velocity of the chemical reactions.

Flatbed Laminating Line
For Powder Adhesives
Glenro Inc., Paterson, N.J.

Dry adhesives are considered more user friendly because they do not produce smoke when heated, unlike some other adhesive types. Glenro's new flatbed laminating line was developed for use with powder adhesives. The laminator's coater evenly applies controlled amounts of dry powder adhesives to the bottom foam ply. The adhesive then is partially melted into the foam using an infrared oven to reduce powder shift as the material moves through the laminator. In a matter of seconds, a continuous plane of heat in conjunction with adjustable pressure bonds the material while eliminating insulating air gaps, for a uniform bond.

Glenro’s flatbed laminating machine for powder adhesives uniformly bonds material without air gaps.

Comez S.p.A., Italy

Comez's DNB/EL-800 double-needle-bed crochet machine features two needle beds and electronically driven weft bars for the production of double-faced fabrics. Each side of the fabric appears identical to the other, and the structure has good 3-D consistency, according to the company. The machine can process any type of yarn, and, with an 800-millimeter working width, can produce a variety of fabrics for apparel end-uses such as scarves and shawls, as well as netting, and technical and medical fabrics.

Fabrics made using Comez’s DNB/EL-800 are suitable for apparel applications, as well as more technical end-uses such as medical fabrics.

Carpet Star®
Fehrer AG, Austria

The high-speed Carpet Star® structuring needlepunching machine produces needled carpets using two needle zones that operate independently. Each zone is controlled electronically, so that a combination of rib and velour structures can be created in a single pass. Large repeat patterns are possible, as are surrounds or borders on all sides. Border and body patterns may differ, and carpets that resemble Oriental carpets can be produced. According to Fehrer, Carpet Star creates a high-quality finished product in which joins between patterns are not noticeable.

Fehrer’s Carpet Star® offers high-speed, maximum pattern design flexibility.

Dornier EasyLeno®
Lindauer Dornier GmbH, Germany

Dornier's EasyLeno®, available on both air-jet and rapier weaving machines, is suitable for all leno fabrics, from very light curtain fabrics to very heavy glass roving fabrics. The company's new system permits leno fabrics to be woven at much higher speeds. According to the company, production speed is not limited by EasyLeno, but rather by other machine functions. The system varies from a typical leno device because it uses two needle bars operated by the existing loom drive. The system exhibits minimum warp end needle wrap for gentle treatment of the warp ends, and low needle wear.

EasyLeno® schematic

AquaJet Spunlace Systems
Fleissner GmbH, Germany

Fleissner has developed a process using its AquaJet™ Spunlace System to significantly improve the surface structure of hydroentangled webs. High demands are placed on the surface quality of a hydroentangled web, especially when used in man-made leather coating applications. According to Fleissner, the new process eliminates the formation of straight lines on the surface, within the surface and within the web by the water jets. The highly uniform surface structure also enables even, level dyeing of the fabric.

Oscillating jet manifold of Fleissner’s AquaJet™ Spunlace System

Allwin High-Temperature
Package-Dyeing Machine
Fong's National Engineering
Co. Ltd., Hong Kong

Fong’s has made this package dyer more heat- and energy-efficient with the addition of an innovative pump design, coupled with a two-pass design of the heat exchanger. According to the company, the pump’s concentric pump discharge and suction opening allows it to deliver higher flow rates than traditional pumps under the same level of pressure head. The heat exchanger’s two-pass design reduces heat loss, which improves energy efficiency.

The design of the coupling pipe network is much simplified, which also reduces energy consumption. In addition, the new pipe network allows the machine to run as two single machines or as one large batch machine. The company has applied fuzzy logic control to the temperature control system for more accurate control. The machine offers liquor ratios as low as 1:4 and space savings of up to 30 percent compared to similar conventional machines, according to Fong’s.

Fong’s Allwin high-temperature package-dyeing machine features heat- and energy-efficient attributes.

Quick Change FluiDyer QCC
Eduard Küsters Maschinenfabrik
GmbH & Co. KG, Germany

When the Quick Change FluiDyer QCC is in injection mode, the carpet tuft is uniformly dyed from top to bottom. The overflow mode allows expanded styling capabilities. The QCC can change from one color to the next in just one second, thus reducing by a ratio of 10:1 the amount of carpet normally wasted during a color change. The machine also enables carpet manufacturers to run to order, saving on inventory costs.

Küsters’ Quick Change FluiDyer QCC is the first carpet-dyeing machine that enables both injection and overflow applications on the same machine.

UltraScan® PRO
HunterLab, Reston, Va.

The UltraScan® PRO is the first color measurement spectrophotometer to calibrate and control the light source in both the ultraviolet (UV) and visible regions of the spectrum. The technology enables it to achieve a CIE AB rating for D65 illumination for accurately measuring fluorescing agents that excite in the UV region (such as materials containing optical brighteners) and those that excite in the visible region (such as bright fluorescent colors). In addition, the spectrophotometer has an extended measurement range that permits measurement not only of visible color, but also measurement into the near-infrared range for camouflage materials.

HunterLab’s UltraScan® PRO calibrates and controls the light source in both the UV and visible regions of the spectrum.

YarnMaster & MillMaster
Loepfe Brothers Ltd., Switzerland

The YarnMaster digital on-line quality control system from Loepfe monitors yarn during the winding process. Using an exclusive clearing parameter, the Loepfe Surface-Index (SFI/D), YarnMaster can be used to detect and remove yarn faults including foreign matter and off-quality yarn with respect to hairiness, unevenness and other imperfections. Each YarnMaster system can be connected to Loepfe’s MillMaster central management system, which monitors and documents production data on-line for 100 percent of the yarn produced. If off-standard quality values are detected, an alarm is raised. Used together, MillMaster and YarnMaster can reduce the number of standard sampling tests and off-line quality tests required in a laboratory.

Loepfe’s YarnMaster system is a digital, on-line method of monitoring yarn quality during production.

Leatex Corp., Philadelphia

Leatex Corp.'s collaboration with Sauquoit Industries resulted in Contax®, a revolutionary new product for static control. Based on hyperconductive materials, Contax is a more efficient and more versatile, yet cost-effective replacement for traditional static control products.

The product reduces static on most substrates and can be used readily on most textile equipment and processes including drying, beaming and cutting. It is simple to use because it requires no electricity source and generates no effluent. Increases in productivity and product quality through increased line speeds, and reduced machine jams and reprocessing provide a quick return on investment.

In addition, employees' safety and comfort are greatly increased because extreme electrostatic shocks common in textile manufacturing are eliminated.


MULTIFLOW® Paggi Patent
MCS, Italy

Featuring single-rope technology, MCS' MULTIFLOW® Mod.SUPERIOR boasts uniform, repeatable reactive dyeing times of less than four hours. The use of a single rope allows the fabric to be moved from one dyeing channel into the next. Because all fabric passes through all channels, no one channel is favored or disadvantaged during dyeing. This factor reduces dwell times because it's no longer necessary to wait for all channels to reach the desired shade. By using a stepping motor, the MULTIFLOW is the first machine on the market to change jet pressure on its hydrovario jet nozzle without changing the nozzle's diameter. The machine is capable of processing knitted and woven fabrics including terry towels and upholstery fabrics.

MCS’ MULTIFLOW® Paggi Patent & MCS Patent Mod.SUPERIOR can complete a reactive dyeing process in less than four hours.

Econtrol™ Knit Process
For Monforts' Thermex 6500 Hotflue
A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG

This new technology makes it possible to dye knitted fabrics in a continuous rather than a discontinuous process in record time. According to Monforts, dyeing times of 12 to 24 hours have been reduced to just two minutes. Econtrol™ Knit was developed in cooperation with Germany-based DyStar specifically for Monforts' new Thermex 6500 dryer. The process uses reactive dyestuffs with no salt or urea and, according to Monforts, achieves 5- to 8-percent higher dyestuff yields than other processes. Results are reproducible and variation-free. Using Econtrol Knit, it is possible to dye cotton/elastane blends without sewing the fabric into tubular form. The Thermex 6500 is a loop dryer featuring Exxotherm indirect gas heating. The machine handles fabric capacities of up to 51 meters. Econtrol is a DyStar trademark, and the machine technology is available exclusively from Monforts.

Monforts’ Thermex 6500 Hotflue dryer uses DyStar’s Econtrol™ Knit process to provide quick, reproducible dyeings on knitted fabrics, achieving high dye yields and reduced production costs.

Müller MDL/C Direct Digital Weaving System
Jakob Müller AG, Germany

Jacquard weaving technology was developed some 203 years ago. It's taken a little while to improve the technology, but Müller recently introduced a jacquard machine that revolutionizes jacquard weaving for narrow fabrics. The development of Müller's MDL/C with direct thread guidance now makes it possible to create soft-edged, multicolored jacquard narrow fabrics without using harnesses, comber boards, retracting springs, dobby machine or treadling devices. Since it has no harnesses, the machine offers free access to all threads and allows up to 111 warp threads per centimeter. Warp thread tension setting and control are fully electronic, and the machine features a touch-screen monitor with open controller area network (CAN) Bus.

Müller’s MDL/C direct digital weaving system has removed many of the jacquard parts for more simple operation and maintenance.

Murata Vortex Spinner (MVS) No. 861
Murata Machinery Ltd., Japan

The latest-generation Murata Vortex Spinner (MVS), No. 861, features an increased spinning speed of up to 450 meters per minute. Tension Ruler, a new tension control system, in combination with the MSC yarn clearer and VOS visual monitoring system, makes it possible to wind a 5 degree 57 package limitation-free. The machine produces 100-percent cotton yarns, as well as man-made yarns and yarn blends, in counts ranging from 12/1 to 70/1. Murata claims the yarn is similar in quality to ring-spun yarn having excellent hand, as well as outstanding non-pilling, non-linting, wicking and wash-and-wear characteristics. A new attachment for MVS No. 861 is available for elastomeric core/filament yarns. An attachment for adding color during the spinning process also is available.

Murata’s Vortex Spinner No. 861 is a unique yarn spinning system that takes sliver to finished cones/tubes. The machine recently was updated to run at 450 meters per minute.

Morrison Textile Machinery Co.,
Fort Lawn, S.C.

Morrison’s Micro-Sat for high chemical pickup applications features a horizontal three-roll nip assembly, which consists of a rubber-covered squeeze roll, a stainless steel center roll and a urethane-covered micro-adjustable gap roll. The clever arrangement of these rolls provides a positive nip to ensure uniform liquor penetration — even on tight selvages — followed by a micro-gap-controlled exit nip for high chemical pickup. According to Morrison, chemical pickup of up to 140 percent has been measured on the Micro-Sat.

Driven rollers match the overall process speed, prevent the fabric from wrinkling during processing and avoid wiping of the fabric.

A magmeter ensures all chemicals flow as required within the system. A level control following the magmeter maintains a constant chemical level in the saturator during operation.

The volume of chemical in the Micro-Sat is low, resulting in high chemistry turnover, so the bath’s concentration does not require periodic titration as with conventional saturators.

In addition to uses in scouring and bleaching applications, the Micro-Sat can be used as a finishing applicator in various fabric finishing operations.

The Micro-Sat from Morrison Textile Machinery enables chemical pickup of up to 140 percent in scouring, bleaching and other finishing operations.

OPF Engineered Feeding Unit
Orizio Paolo S.p.A., Italy

Orizio Paolo's OPF engineered feeding unit for knitting machines monitors excessive yarn tension and can adjust the feed rate to avoid broken threads. Should a thread break, the machine stops automatically and the affected regulator reports the fault, which is registered by the motor. All information is stored and is available for later statistical evaluation. Each of the patented feeder heads has its own motor drive, with rotation speed set and controlled by a central computer. This new arrangement makes quality wheels and drive belts for the regulators a thing of the past, according to the company.

Orizio Paolo’s OPF engineered feeding unit stops the knitting machine automatically if a thread break is detected.

C 60 Card
Rieter Machine Works Ltd., Switzerland

Rieter's C 60 high-performance card produces output at speeds of up to 180 kilograms per hour. Its 1,500-millimeter working width is unique in the market. According to Rieter, the card can process all types of materials at production rates up to 50-percent higher than previous models without compromising sliver quality. A new optimized suction system along with the high centrifugal forces generated by the C 60 result in a reduced trash and dust content in the finished sliver. For open-end spinning applications, the C 60 may be integrated with Rieter's non-leveling SB model drafting system or its RSB autoleveler drafting system.

Rieter’s C 60 card has a working width of 1,500 millimeters.

Santoni S.p.A., Italy

The name Santoni has become synonymous with seamless knitwear. The company is focused on building machines that can manufacture ready-to-wear garments. The SM8-TOP2 exemplifies this focus. It is an eight-feed, single-jersey circular knitting machine for underwear, outerwear, swimwear, sportswear and sanitary knitted garments. Cylinder diameters range from 12 to 17 inches; with machine gauges of 16, 22, 24, 26, 28 and 32 needles per inch. The SM8-TOP2 runs at a speed factor of 1,430, which translates to a maximum speed of 110 revolutions per minute for a 13-inch-diameter cylinder.

Santoni’s SM8-TOP2 machine can be used to produce a variety of seamless apparel.

Athena™ With Wisdom
Sclavos International S.A., Greece

The Athenà™ with Wisdom optimizes process parameters by constantly monitoring and adjusting settings during the dyeing process for any shade and any batch loading size - from 60 kilograms (kg) up to 1,500 kg. Such features as Wisdom AquaChron rinsing, continuous flow dosing, a dry salt system and Sclavos heat recovery reduce water, steam, electricity, dyes, chemicals and labor.

Sclavos’ Athenà™ with Wisdom features process "intelligence" — a high level of automation for high quality and lowest operating costs.

Common Platform
For SMIT Weaving Machines
SMIT S.p.A., Italy

In order to standardize its production process and create high production volumes, SMIT has developed a common platform for its diversified series of weaving machines. This platform includes a versatile collection of castings and mechanical and electronic parts that can be utilized during manufacturing to construct one of a number of different machines. Using this platform, the company claims, its GS900 and JS900 machines offer great technological advantages at an economical price.

SMIT’s common platform allows the company to produce a diversified but standardized series of machinery with a high level of productivity.

Spinnbau DeltaCard
Spinnbau GmbH, Germany,
A Member of the Dilo System Group

The high throughput of the Spinnbau DeltaCard makes it suitable for thermobonding and hydroentanglement processes.

The machine has three main features: First, the Delta Transfer System features a triangular arrangement of the transfer rolls (hence the name Delta), adjustable transfer ratio and high throughput speeds. Second, the patent-pending Sigma Doffing System, designed using a perforated roll surface in conjunction with a negative pressure system, offers multi-web doffing of up to four doffers. Web design from carding is preserved because there is a draftless transfer of individual webs to the transport conveyor along with the multi-web doffing. Third, Spinnbau's random roll technology allows determined fiber reorientation.

The DeltaCard from Dilo System Group member Spinnbau takes its name from the fact that its transfer rolls are arranged in a triangular pattern in the Delta Transfer System.

Alpha Rapier Loom
Promatech S.p.A., Italy

Promatech's Alpha rapier loom is the first product to come out of Promatech's R&D center, which builds upon 30 years of experience from both Somet and Vamatex. Promatech highlights four main characteristics of the Alpha: quality; productivity; reliability; and versatility. The heart of the loom, the filling insertion system, is available in two ribbon race versions - the GFG, which guides the ribbon on both sides of the machine for maximum versatility; and the MFG, which offers high performance with a single guide on only one side of the machine. The Alpha's patented multipurpose rapier makes it possible to handle a wide variety of filling yarns.

A double central cross bar and new side frames make the machine more stable than its predecessors. The brake/clutch unit and other transmission parts have been eliminated with the addition of Promatech's HI-Drive direct motor. In addition, an easy-to-use operator interface with large color display makes the loom easy to maintain and monitor.

Promatech’s Alpha rapier loom features a HI-Drive direct motor.

FlexiRotorS 3000/Duo-Spinner
Savio Macchine Tessili S.p.A., Italy

With two fully independent machine fronts, Savio's FlexiRotorS 3000/Duo-Spinner can function as two separate machines. This enables easier planning and scheduling, spinning of different counts on the same machine, and quick lot changes. The machine features state-of-the-art Suessen SMC spinboxes, which operate at speeds of up to 150,000 revolutions per minute with a delivery speed of 250 meters per minute. Savio's patented electronic package building feature and automated thread guide movement produce high-density packages of up to 12 pounds in weight and 320 millimeters in size. According to Savio, the FlexiRotorS 3000/Duo-Spinner creates excellent packages to feed to weaving machines. One, two or four intelligent patrolling piecing/doffing trolleys can operate on either side of the machine, depending on which front requires attention. Operation of the machine is simple - it is fully computer-controlled and features wireless communication using a handheld computer.

The FlexiRotorS 3000/Duo-Spinner from Savio builds large packages, up to 12 pounds in weight, which can be fed directly to weaving machines.

CMS 340 TC-M Knit And Wear Machine
H. Stoll GmbH & Co. KG, Germany

The 84-inch working width of Stoll's CMS 340 TC-M knit and wear machine makes it possible to produce Stoll-knit and wear® garments in sizes up to triple extra-large. The machine is available in gauges from E2,5.2 to E7.2, with the option of gauge conversion. Fully Fashion, Stoll-multi gauges® and intarsia fabrics can be produced using the machine, which combines the advantages of comb machines with multi-piece knitting for added flexibility and profitability.

Stoll’s CMS 340 TC-M knit and wear flat-bed knitting machine has the widest working width on the market.

SSM Schärer Schweiter Mettler AG, Switzerland

Man-made fibers now can be spun into yarns directly from filament fiber, thanks to SSM’s Uniplex™ spinning machine. Using a stretch break zone, the machine can take low-orientation yarns, partially oriented yarns or fully oriented yarns and spin them into staple yarn in a single step. The machine can handle sometimes-difficult-to-process fibers such as microfibers, aramids, bicomponent fibers and blends of colored man-made yarns.

The six-zone process — pre-tensioning, drawing, stretch break, re-breaking, consolidation and SSM DIGICONE© preciflex™ take-up unit — is integrated into a single modular machine.

SSM’s Uniplex™ creates spun yarns from filament yarns in a direct one-step process.

UNIVAL 100 Single-End
Control Jacquard Machines
Stäubli AG, Switzerland

The UNIVAL 100 electronic jacquard machine controls individually each end of a jacquard harness - from 5,120 ends up to 20,480 ends - using stepping motors called Jactuator®s. The need for hooks, knives, magnets and pulleys is eliminated because each harness cord or heddle is attached directly to a Jactuator. Electronic control allows unlimited possibilities for shed formation and free choice of shed opening and motion for each warp thread or groups of warp threads. The UNIVAL 100 is driven independently of the actual weaving machine, but is perfectly synchronized with the loom's movement. A new JC6 control unit with simple touch-screen operation controls all programming and machine operation.

The UNIVAL 100 from Stäubli controls individually each end of a jacquard harness.

Sulzer Textil L9400 Air-Jet Weaving Machine
Sultex Ltd., Switzerland

Sultex's L9400 air-jet weaving machine represents the company's latest air-jet technology. At 213 inches wide, it is the widest air-jet machine manufactured by Sultex. Designed with technical textiles and carpet backing products in mind, the machine was built to be more sturdy, durable and economical than its predecessors. Its new air distribution system results in low air and energy consumption, even at the machine's top speed of 500 revolutions per minute and a filling insertion rate of 2,700 meters per minute. The weaving machine features PowerLeno - a patented device that uses a guide bar and eyeletted reed instead of traditional harness frames and leno heddles - for shedding and warp twisting. According to the company, PowerLeno subjects the yarn to low stress levels for faster output and uniform fabric appearance. Maintenance and spare parts costs are reduced thanks to the elimination of shaft drives and substructure.

TC 03 Card
Trützschler GmbH & Co. KG, Germany

The major design difference between Trützschler's TC 03 card and conventional cards is that the cylinder has been raised 1 foot, which increases the potential area available for carding. The TC 03 card brings a marked increase in productivity and quality with flexibility previously unavailable in short-staple spinning. Other significant new features include: self-optimization of waste quality at the licker-in; on-line nep assessment; digital motor controls with maintenance-free servo motors; precision setting systems controlled by servo motors for the flat and mote knife; easy accessibility for cleaning and maintenance; and simple color touch-screen control.

Trützschler’s TC 03 card offers a marked improvement in quality and productivity over earlier models.

Uster Technologies AG, Switzerland

The Uster® FABRISCAN ON-LOOM is a contact scanner system used on weaving machines to automatically inspect fabric as it is woven. The system prevents ongoing production of second-grade fabric, thus minimizing quality control work later in the production process. According to Uster, the system is capable of accurately monitoring even very complex weaves and colored patterns. The system can be programmed to sound an alarm or stop the machine when selected defects are detected, allowing faults to be corrected immediately.

Uster’s FABRISCAN ON-LOOM minimizes quality control efforts downstream by inspecting each pick as it’s woven.

Universal Cut And Loop UCL83
NV Michel Van de Wiele, Belgium

Using a face-to-face weaving technique, Van de Wiele's UCL83 three-rapier carpet-weaving machine is capable of simultaneously creating flatweave effects, cut pile, short loops or long loops all on one carpet. The  patterning flexibility comes from the rapiers, in addition to profiled lancets and a four-position Multihook jacquard machine. The top and bottom rapiers insert the filling for the ground structure of the carpet, while the middle rapier inserts a dummy filling between the lancets, around which loops are formed. During weaving, the dummy filling is removed and in the case of cut pile styles, a knife cuts the working pile, creating cut-pile sections as it separates the two carpets.

According to the company, the UCL83 offers productivity rates up to six times higher than conventional Wilton wire weaving machines.

Van de Wiele’s UCL83 machine can create multiple pile heights within the same woven carpet.

Weave Navigation System
Tsudakoma Corp., Japan

Tsudakoma has used a newly developed algorithm to create the Weave Navigation System (Navi), which automatically sets and monitors the loom in operation to determine optimal weaving conditions. The ZAX-Navi expands and enhances automatic setting functions for more detailed and easier operation.

Tsudakoma’s Weave Navigation System automates settings and monitors looms in operation for optimal weaving conditions.

Once the operator inputs a fabric style into the system, the system determines the necessary conditions to control weaving. It also recommends mechanical setting values to the operator. The Self-Navigation system provides self-diagnosis and troubleshooting tips in case of difficulties during weaving. In addition, the Weave Tips program offers operators advice based on the fabric being woven.

June 2004