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The Rupp Report: Toyota's And Trützschler's Joint Machinery Project

Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

On June 16, ITMA Asia + CITME 2012 closed its doors in Shanghai. There was little, but remarkable, news to hear from Shanghai. One of the highlights was the announcement of cooperation between Toyota Industries Corp., Japan (TICO), and Trützschler GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, to develop, manufacture, and market combing machines. After many takeovers by Chinese manufacturers, including the announced acquisition of Germany-based A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG by Fong’s Industries Co. Ltd., Hong Kong (see “ Fong’s Acquires Monforts,” TextileWorld .com, June 19, 2012), this is the first joint project between a German and a Japanese textile machinery manufacturer.

New Comber Generation
The prototype of a new generation of combing machines, the Toyota-Trützschler TCO 12, was introduced last week during ITMA Asia + CITME 2012 at the Trützschler booth. Toyota is mainly known around the world as an automobile manufacturer, but TICO, from which Toyota is an offshoot, has been producing textile machinery — including combing machines as well as weaving machines — since 1926 (See “ The Rupp Report: Executive Interview: Noriharu Teraoka, Group Manager Sales, Textile Machinery Division, Toyota Industries Corp.TextileWorld.com, June 12, 2012). Susumu Toyoda, managing officer and deputy general manager of the textile machinery business unit, explained to the Rupp Report that there is a long tradition in building textile machines in the company. “And the best from building weaving machines was now transferred into the new comber generation,” he added.

In the official press release, it is mentioned that “Toyota’s experience in building weaving machinery with special servo motor technology is reflected in the comber. As with weaving machinery, there are also many elements here that require a reversal of rotation several hundred times per minute. In the past, this was solved with complex oil bath gears. This conventional technology has reached its limit of performance.”

Individual Motors Are The Key Element
In the TCO 12, individual motors from Toyota drive the combing elements synchronously on both sides, thus minimizing torsion of the elements as well as machine vibration. The combing condition variance of the eight comb heads is reduced considerably, leading to significantly improved sliver quality, the companies report, adding that the machine’s performance potential is much greater than that of existing state-of-the-art technology.

Toyota’s partner, Trützschler, is one of the world’s leading suppliers for short-staple draw frames, and has been building spinning preparation machines since 1888. Trützschler says that “the extensive know-how of both companies is now flowing into the development of a new generation of combers.” Trützschler, with its experience in manufacturing draw frames with individual drives, equipped with highly dynamic leveling, has contributed a new head stock with draw box and can changer to the effort. The new system also integrates Trützschler’s newest draw frame quality sensor, Disc Monitor.

Unparalleled Evenness
Heinrich Trützschler, managing partner of Trützschler, mentioned to the Rupp Report that the individual drives are water-cooled and work in a closed circuit, and the permanent quality-monitoring provides the data for automatic self-optimization of the machine. Because of the individual drive technology of the combing elements, the piecing process, for instance, is automatically optimized. Furthermore, he said deviations in lap weight no longer present a problem, as sliver count is permanently monitored and corrected when necessary.

It Makes Sense
The get-together of two different companies such as Trützschler and Toyota may be a surprise, but only at first sight. On the one hand, this giant step in technology was only made possible by simultaneously integrating the know-how of both companies. On the other hand, both companies have the same background and tradition from being family-owned enterprises. And that’s why this joint effort is not a surprise. Susumu Toyoda as well as Heinrich Trützschler and Trützschler Managing Partner Dr. Michael Schürenkrämer confirmed with a smile that “we are looking forward to this very positive partnership.” One can be almost certain that this new generation of combers will shake up the market.

June 19, 2012