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Promatech Introduces New Somet Loom Designed For Speed And Versatility

Promatech Introduces NewSomet Loom Designed For Speed And VersatilityFresh on the heels of its successful introduction last year of the Mythos, a high-speed air-jet loom, Italy-based Promatech has introduced a new Somet rapier weaving machine designed for versatility.The new Alpha series features excellent flexibility and speed and can weave almost any type of fabric, according to Fabio Mazzucchetti, Promatechs sales director.The Alpha was introduced to the media during a press conference in Colzate, Italy, on September 7. The official unveiling of the machine was at a Somet open house in late September. The machine also will be displayed at ITMA-Asia in Singapore.Alpha will not replace any existing Somet products, Mazzucchetti said, but will target markets in which both speed and versatility are key considerations.The objective of the Alpha project, according to Piermarco Arnoldi, Somets product manager for rapier looms, was to create a machine that combines advanced technology, ergonomics, versatility, reliability and low running costs. A major focus of the project was to create a loom that provides easier access for the weaver. To accomplish this, Promatech reduced the distance between the beating point and the operator in order to make it easier to fix breaks in both the weft and warp. Also, the visibility and the accessibility of the weft presentation zone have been improved, thanks to this nearness to the operator, he said.The rear access is convenient, as is the accessibility to the creel and the weft feeders, Arnoldi continued. For those who carry out fabric adjustments or mechanical adjustments, appropriate conveniences have been incorporated to facilitate these activities, particularly those carried out most frequently, such as the operations necessary for a style change.The Alpha features a new graphical interface that replaces a number of messages with intuitive, easy-to-remember graphics. The interface features a large color display and a functional keyboard. It is mounted on a portable stand and can be placed in any position convenient for the operator.Alpha was designed and built for maximum reliability, Arnoldi said. For example, the extraordinary robustness and rigidity of the structure, together with the precision of the mechanisms, results in a regular functioning, with very low vibration levels even at high working speeds and with heavy work loads. As well, the machine was designed with Promatechs FULLtrONIC electronic controller, based on CANBUS communications technology.For versatility, the loom features ease of style change, including mechanical settings; beam and heddle loading and unloading; as well as simple, precise and prompt textile adjustments, according to Arnoldi.Production speed is also a positive feature, he said. The 190-centimeter (cm)-width loom exceeds 600 insertions per minute. The wider 360-cm model can exceed filling rates of more than 400 insertions per minute on heavy articles.The Alpha is available in single-beam and twin-beam models, with upper-beam and double-beam models under development. The machine is available in dobby version featuring either the Fimtextile 3080 or Stli 2670 or in an electronic jacquard version.Fifteen different widths are available, ranging from 1,700 to 4,600 millimeters.Promatech, a unit of the the Itema Group, was created earlier this year by the merging of Vamatex and Somet. Research and development, manufacturing and sales for the two brands have been combined, although both will continue as separate brands. Also, Itema recently purchased Sulzer Textil, but will maintain the company as an autonomous unit.By Jim Phillips, Executive EditorOctober 2001