Recent Developments: Weaving Technology
Textile World presents some recent technologies that provide improved efficiencies in the weaving mill.
Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor
In times of increasing energy costs, it is of utmost interest for fabric producers to use weaving machines that offer reduced energy consumption.
The Adaptive Relay Valve Drive (ARVD) for Picanol’s OMNIplus 800 air-jet weaving machine lowers air consumption and thus reduces energy costs.
Adaptive Relay Valve Drive
Picanol NV, Belgium, provided the following information about its Adaptive Relay Valve Drive, which is featured on its OMNIplus 800 air-jet weaving machine:
"Adaptive Relay Valve Drive (ARVD) automatically adapts the closing timing of the relay nozzle valves to the behavior of the filling yarn. Instead of applying one setting for all the different picks, ARVD applies the best relay valve timing for each individual pick, thus reducing the overall air consumption.
"At each insertion cycle, the winding timings from the prewinder are compared with a reference value by the machine's microprocessor. Since the filling insertion speed varies from one pick to another, it is not necessary for the relay nozzles to blow for the same amount of time at each pick. Consequently, the machine adapts the closing timings for the relay nozzle valves automatically. For a fast pick, the relay nozzle valves do not stay open very long. ... For a slow pick, they stay open longer. ... This is done from the second relay nozzle valve onwards."
Picanol notes that decreased air consumption reduces energy costs, and reduced blowing on the filling yarn reduces the number of broken picks. Also, Pick Repair Automation has a higher success rate because the type of filling stops changes.
Itema Weaving’s Sulzer Textil™ L5500 air-jet machine features several recent upgrades.
Italy-based Itema Weaving has recently upgraded its Sulzer Textil™ L5500 air-jet weaving machine, suited primarily for applications such as quality apparel and home textile fabrics made with natural or man-made fibers or blends.
Key benefits of this machine are said to be the fabric quality and low running costs. According to Itema Weaving, the L5500's strength is its competitiveness in terms of its capacity to conveniently weave fabrics that comply with superior quality standards, while also maintaining a high degree of efficiency even at top performance levels. The company adds that "conveniently" also means producing with reduced off-quality rates and reduced air consumption per meter of fabric, which improves profits. The L5500's RTC (Real Time Controller) function enables the machine to adapt to various weaving conditions, thereby obtaining significant air-consumption savings.
Targeted customers are weavers interested in superior production to enable entrance into new, highly profitable markets. The L5500 can be adapted to different production requirements. Easy operation, widest range of application and shortest setting times are key factors.
Recent upgrades in the L5500 technology have increased the machine's efficiency and performance. For standard weaving, the maximum speed now is 1,200 revolutions per minute, and the maximum weaving width is 4,000 millimeters (mm). This is equal to a production capacity in excess of 2,500-meters-per-minute weft insertion rate.
Stäubli’s upgraded Safir automatic drawing-in machine can be configured to draw in one or two warp beams, each having up to eight thread layers.
Drawing-in: An Important Cost Factor
Switzerland-based Stäubli AG reports that automatic drawing-in machines for the weaving harness have long helped weaving mills around the world stay competitive. Automatically drawn-in warps are characterized by zero defect and high quality, and they are available as required for production in a fraction of the time compared with manual drawing-in.
According to Stäubli, the upgraded Safir automatic drawing-in machine offers new opportunities regarding flexibility, thanks to the refinement of proven system components from the Delta line combined with established state-of-the-art technologies, particularly the Opal leasing machine. Since its introduction at ITMA 2007 in Munich, Germany, and after several upgrades, the machine can be configured to draw in one or two warp beams, each having up to eight thread layers. A camera system checks the yarn to be drawn in during each cycle and ensures against drawing-in of double threads or threads of the wrong color.
Stäubli reports there also is flexibility with regard to the weaving harnesses that can be used, as virtually all heddles used in shaft weaving can be handled freely. Heddle distribution can be programmed on up to 28 frames. It also is possible to use two different types of drop wires for the same weaving harness - an application that is especially interesting for terry weaving with upper beams and varying drop wire weights for the ground threads and pile threads. With virtually unrestricted application potential, Stäubli says Safir sets new standards in automatic drawing-in. The machine also features user-friendly ergonomics and convenient operation using a color touchscreen.
Warp-tying is another cost factor in the weaving mill. Stäubli reports its Magma warp-tying machine is especially suitable for tying coarse yarns. A patent-pending system that works without yarn-specific settings enables separation of threads to be tied at the lease, which considerably simplifies operation and changing from one application to the next. A built-in camera system monitors the separation of the threads, thus eliminating doubled threads. Magma also can be set easily to tie double knots, and therefore can tie even very slick yarns reliably, according to the company.
The Magma warp-tying machine for coarse yarns complements Stäubli's Topmatic tying machine line. The machines feature a new, patented separating system that reliably separates threads from the lease completely without using thread-specific separating elements and without making special adjustments. Optical sensors check every separated yarn pair before tying, thus preventing a false double yarn from being tied. The fault can be corrected simply. Depending on yarn material, single or double knots can be tied, as selected by a simple push of a button. Optimization of the tying rate is accomplished using the adjustment wheel.
Magma can tie a range of yarns including wool, cotton, linen and other staple yarns, as well as mono- and multifilaments, polypropylene ribbons, and many other yarn types. The yarn count for staple fibers ranges from Ne 0.3 to 50 for warps with 1:1 lease. The machine comes equipped with an optical double-yarn sensor, and single or double knots can be selected easily. The length of knot ends is variable, with a minimum of 5 mm. The tying frame can be used on all Stäubli type TPF3 tying frames, and easy maintenance is guaranteed, with only regular lubrication needed.