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An Ounce Of Prevention

Rieter's Integrated Grinding System restores card cylinder wire sharpness.

An Ounce Of Prevention  Rieter's Integrated Grinding System restores card cylinder wire sharpness.With the introduction of the Rieter card C51, a new technology has found its way into the card rooms of textile manufacturing plants worldwide, namely the computer-controlled Integrated Grinding System (IGS). After extended practical experience, satisfied customers testify that Rieters unique card wire touch-up principle really works. Rieter officials emphasize that the IGS has been designed to prevent a problem, instead of correcting a problem, which makes a lot of sense, especially when considering the increase in the amount of fiber material processed by high-performance production cards. These machines process about twice as much fiber material in the same amount of time as do conventional cards that were sold approximately 15 years ago. Even though the IGS is an option rather than a standard feature for the C51 card, Rieter reports that it was included in nearly 100 percent of all recent card orders. In this article, TI examines the advantages and the technological principle of the IGS system. Technologically UniqueTwo independent systems are available as options on the C51 card: the IGS-classic for automatic sharpening of the cylinder wire; and the IGS-top for grinding of the flats. Rieter emphasizes that no other card manufacturer currently has anything comparable on the market. Rieters IGS principle is not a conventional grinding process, in which a significant amount of metal is shaved off; rather, it is more a very fine touch-up and sharpening, which is performed approximately 400 times over the planned life cycle of the cylinder clothing. In comparison, conventional grinding is performed only after every 80 to 100 tons of material throughput using a manual grinding process that actually alters the physical shape of the wire. The results of this manual process cannot compare to the superior results of the IGS principle, according to Rieter. Maintaining the best possible original shape and sharpness of the wire is the key factor for high-quality carding. Resharpening and grinding of the card wire has become a somewhat touchy subject to high-performance wire manufacturers. Most claim that grinding should be avoided, as it alters the physical shape of the wire profile and, therefore, cannot restore the original performance of the wire. Although Rieter does not dispute this claim, the company points out that the touch-up process restores a high percentage of the original wire sharpness. However, IGS apparently works in practice, as is confirmed by customer comments. How It WorksThe IGS-classic features a grindstone that moves across the cylinder wire under computer control during the regular production process of the card. Therefore, damage to the cylinder clothing is completely eliminated. In conventional grinding, improper operation of the grinding unit can cause severe performance and lifetime loss of the cylinder wire.The IGS-top is installed on the card so that it is positioned over the returning flats after the flat cleaning unit. During production, more than 100 touch-up grinding cycles per clothing life cycle are automatically performed. The individual flat bars are raised by spring force one after another and pressed against a rotating grinding brush having two different types of bristles: short, hard bristles to grind the tips of the flat wire; and longer, softer bristles to keep the lateral edges of the wire sharp. Economical AspectsRieter states that even initially skeptical customers confirm that the IGS-classic prolongs the service life of the cylinder clothing by approximately 10 to 20 percent. In addition, the typical out-of-production loss related to machine downtime necessary for conventional grinding is eliminated. Unlike conventional methods, the IGS-top unit not only sharpens the tips of the flats, but also restores the original condition of the sides. Rieters IGS-classic and IGS-top feature a considerably higher frequency of grindings that are much less aggressive than the conventional grinding processes. This approach results in a much more consistent card-sliver quality from the beginning to the end of the lifetime of the wire with respect to low nep count and sliver impurities. As well, this advantage is reflected in the final yarn quality. Customer CommentsTI called a few of Rieters customers and asked them if the IGS really works as well in practice as Rieter claims.The customer response was a clear yes.For example, Jean Claude Allemann, Chief Operating Officer of Buhler Quality Yarns, Jefferson, Ga., had already publicly testified in Rieter advertising about the advantages of IGS. Allemann stated that he had based his testimony on Buhlers company experience, and the benefits he saw then still hold today. He said that, as a fine-yarn spinner using Supima cotton, the company has found the advantages of IGS for fine yarn counts are even greater when compared to its advantages for medium-to-coarse yarn counts.Allemann said until now, Buhler has had experience only with the IGS-classic for the cylinder wire. He testified that the nep level was much more consistent and lower over the life of the wire when using cards having the IGS-classic option than when using cards without it.In addition, the cylinder-wire life cycle was significantly extended, which, of course, also depends on such influencing factors as production speed, cotton crop, initial trash level, card settings, and many more. He said that, as a rule of thumb, Buhler was able to extend the wire life from 1.5 times up to 2 times, based on nep-level data. Because the system does its automatic grinding during the actual carding process, there are significant savings vis-a-vis production downtime and labor. In summary, Allemann seems happy with the installed IGS-classic system and is looking forward to getting the cards retrofitted with the IGS-top system.TI also interviewed Jim Booterbaugh, vice president of manufacturing, HarrietandHenderson Yarns Inc., Henderson, N.C. Booterbaugh also confirmed that the nep levels are very consistent over the entire life of the wire. His plant also has experience only with the IGS-classic system, but it was in the process of installing the IGS-top system on approximately half of the Rieter C51 cards. The installation of the IGS-top system was made as part of a controlled trial setup that should deliver production data comparing cards with and without IGS-top. Booterbaugh laughed because his plant manager apparently had complained: Why dont we fit IGS-top on all cards We know it works on the cylinder! Such a comment makes it easier for Booterbaugh to justify the investment, because his plant manager is apparently convinced that IGS-top will work.Booterbaugh said the IGS-classic fulfilled all expectations and was perhaps more effective in extending the wire life than Rieter had originally estimated. HarrietandHenderson is working in cooperation with the Institute of Textile Technology (ITT), Charlottesville, Va., on a controlled supervision and evaluation of IGS-classic and IGS-top systems. So far, all results confirm a more consistent nep level, longer wire life, less maintenance and production down time, and less required labor. Proof In The Pictures . . .  Figure 1 (below): shows the effects of the touch-up process using IGS-classic:1.Tooth of new cylinder clothing.2.After approximately 1/3 of its service life.3.After approximately 2/3 of its service life.4. At the end of its service life.As can be seen in this picture series, the basic shape and the sharpness of the wire are maintained to a very high degree.
 Figure 2 (below): shows the comparison of conventional grinding versus IGS-top:1.New flats clothing.2.Flat-wire after 500 tons material throughput ground two times conventionally.3.Flat-wire after 500 tons material throughput ground several times with IGS-top.The basic shape and close-to-original sharpness of the wire maintained by IGS-top proves the technological advantage of IGS.
  April 2001