1987 The Yarn Spinners Of Tomorrow
By Karl Rudy
The Yarn Spinners Of TomorrowThe history of textiles is filled with the innovative and imaginative thoughts and actions of the human race. The first yarns were probably rope-strands of material found in nature. Once man learned how to interlace these various materials, he no doubt found himself to restricted in design and texture and began to look for other materials for yarn.Eventually, spinning evolved to include natural fibers from animal, vegetable, and mineral sources. To make the design more interesting or artistic, yarns were dyed.Will the pace of development in the future be any different You can bet your cotton logo it wont!Mind-Boggling ChangesSome aspects of the future are simple to project if a comparison is made between production methods now and just 30 years ago. The exercise will be nothing short of mind-boggling.The plant of the future will operate on the principle of no break or run/stop, where all systems will be monitored continuously and corrections made automatically as required.Automation will be the keyword from bale to yarn. Quality control will be much more sophisticated and will be part of the computer network built into the artificial intelligence and expert systems necessary to operate the plant.There will be higher spindle speeds than ever thought possible on, yes, ring spinning. Believe it or not, ring spinning will still be around din the future because it is the only machine which will produce true twist, the type of twist so necessary to manufacture a strong yarn.As part of the evolution of yarn manufacture as we know it today will be the opportunity to modify natural fibers through a chemical coating. This will make it possible to build into natural fiber the characteristics desired very much the way synthetic fibers are made, and still retain the natural characteristics demanded by the customer.Worlds Best IndustryChanges in the people areas will also be part of the evolutionary process. Within the next 15 to 20 years, the U.S. textile industry will offer their employees the best work environment of any industry in the world.The spinning mill of the future will have temperature, humidity, and static controlled by computer. Installations like this are in operation today multi-story included.Dust will be a thing of the past. Cotton, wool, and other natural fibers will be as clean as our current man-made fibers and, in all probability, in greater demand than the synthetics.Look for irrigated cotton demands to increase worldwide. There will also be demand for finer cotton, but, because of the high speeds in spinning, the length will be in the 1-inch range.The Cellular MillMills of the future will have combined the processes of carding/drawing and sliver/spinning/winding. These are natural combinations which will afford the plants the opportunity to operate their process as automated cellular units. These units will be capable of making rapid changes in weight, count, twist, blend, and the like to make for greater versatility and competitiveness.Machines will have self-regulated intelligence and will make self-adjustments necessary for the specialized production we which will find domestically. The cellular units just mentioned will also fit into this concept of specialized production.The commodity or bread and butter items will be produced for the most part by under-developed countries which are just now emerging as textile producers.Knowledgeable MachinesPerhaps the biggest change in the nest 10 to 15 years will come in technical technology rather than machine technology. This will come through the incorporation of knowledge into the machine system itself, thereby giving the machine the ability to interpret its own state or condition, diagnose and understand the situation, and make the needed corrections.Stock will move to and from machines without the help of human hands. Changes in twist, count, and the like will be made through the computer network by sending instructions from the keyboard.A New Type Of EmployeeAll these developments will require changes in the type of worker used in the industry. Workers will be more self-directed, better educated, and more accountable.There will be fewer levels of workers also. At one end will be the highly skilled technician, while at the other will be the entry level, unskilled worker, with no on in between.Therefore, if a skilled technician allows his or her skills to deteriorate, that technician will drop to the entry level work, probably to never return.Bigger And SpecializedAs to the size of the textile industry of the future, look for growth!It will not be the industry as we know it today.It will be bigger, more specialized in products, and capable of competing worldwide.No matter what the prognostications are for the future of textiles, the years to come will be exciting, innovative, and fulfilling.