Just as the machinery manufacturers that exhibited in Barcelona, Spain, at ITMA 2011 demonstrated
innovation and advances in automation, the suppliers of testing and quality control equipment also
presented improved products to the textile market.
Adaptive Control Solutions Ltd., United Kingdom, provides automated controls for the
entire textile wet process from preparation through coloration to finishing and inspection. The
company’s instrumentation provides a virtual image of the various process steps. One element of its
system is the use of Raleigh, N.C.-based Huemetrix Inc.’s technology to sample dye baths to measure
concentrations of individual dyes at any stage of dyeing. The ultimate goal is to have interactive
self-adjusting process controls at every step of wet processing to maximize productivity while
reducing energy, water and overall costs.
Datacolor, Lawrenceville, N.J., introduced the Viewport™, a light box outfitted
with a digital camera to provide high-precision digital images with a calibrated display. Included
software analyzes the images and computes color differences to allow approval and archiving of
sample data. This Web-based technology also allows suppliers and their customers to view the
samples simultaneously, which facilitates rapid decision making.
James Heal, United Kingdom, formerly James H. Heal & Co. Ltd., has rebranded
itself simply as “James Heal” and developed a new brand identity along with redesigning products to
emphasize the new brand. At ITMA 2011, in addition to the newest Martindale 900 Series for abrasion
and pilling testing, the company showcased the TruBurst burst-strength tester, the Elmatear digital
tear-strength tester, the completely redesigned TruFade lightfastness tester and the Titan
universal strength tester. Heal’s well-known line of testing materials was also redesigned as part
of the rebranding.
James Heal’s Martindale 909 abrasion and pilling tester features nine testing stations and
can be used to test specimens according to a number of international standards.
An innovation in light boxes was introduced by
Just Normlicht GmbH, Germany. The JUST LED Color Viewing Light provides adjustable
illumination through light-emitting diodes. The JUST LED colorControl system can simulate any
lighting environment and includes controlled ultraviolet content for viewing fluorescent samples.
Preprogrammed light sources can be stored and recalled when needed. A proprietary LED calibration
method provides consistent light quality.
Mahlo GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, exhibited a full range of online sensors to
provide real-time measurements of process parameters during continuous processes. Weight per unit
area can by determined with beta radiation by the Gravimat DFI or with X-rays by the Gravimat FMX.
Moisture content is measured using microwaves by the Aqualot AMF/HMF or using near-infrared
radiation by the Infralot IMF. Concentrations of specific organic compounds can also be determined
using the Infralot IMF unit. Web thickness can be determined using the Calipro DML non-contact unit
or the Calipro DMP air cushion contact device.
Pleva GmbH, Germany, and
Cintex AG, Switzerland, displayed a series of new and improved online sensors.
Fabric moisture levels can be determined with the traversing microwave heads of the AF120-Box and
RF110-Box systems. Online pick or course counts as well as width measurements can be made with the
Dual Structure Detector SD2C. Fabric temperature sensors TDS95 have been connected in a new
configuration to allow fast response times in measuring fabric temperatures online. The new RR-WB
device was designed to measure moisture levels in open-width goods.
Q-Lab Corp., Cleveland, presented its line of lightfastness and weathering testers.
The Q-Sun B02 Xenon Lightfastness Tester, designed to meet ISO 105 B02 test specifications,
features a rotating specimen rack and offers optional water spray; and measures spectrum,
irradiance, relative humidity, chamber temperature and black standard temperature. The Q-Sun light
stability and weathering testers offer affordable xenon arc testing, can operate around the clock,
and are completely automated and easy to install and use, Q-Lab reports.
SDL Atlas, Rock Hill, S.C., introduced a series of enhancements to its Ci series
Weather-Ometer line. The WXView data acquisition system allows remote access control of the unit.
An improved sealed lamp, temperature measurement system, and specimen holder all contribute to
improved efficiency and ease of operation.
Rite, Grand Rapids, Mich., and its subsidiary
Pantone LLC, Carlstadt, N.J., exhibited several new developments in the color
measurement field. The CAPSURE™ portable spectrophotometer enables designers to capture that
“perfect” color anywhere and match it to one of 10,000 Pantone® colors. The NetProfiler 3 software
package allows online or local calibration of spectrophotometers as well as comprehensive report
generation. Newly designed calibration tiles are economical enough to be replaced once a year to
guarantee accurate calibrations over time. The ColorMunki is used to calibrate computer monitors to
ensure accurate color reproductions on screen.
Getting It Right In The Yarn
Uster Technologies AG, Switzerland, has been developing and manufacturing yarn testing
equipment since 1948, when it introduced its first yarn evenness testing instrument. The company
introduced its USTER® Statistics yarn and fiber benchmarks in 1957, and has revised them
continually to provide up-to-date standards for the measurement of yarn evenness.
The Uster Tester 5 is the company’s newest-generation yarn evenness tester, and, according to
Uster, is the fastest and most accurate instrument on the market. The tester is available in
several iterations for both staple and filament yarn.
For staple yarn, the Uster Tester 5 equipped with OH module to optically measure hairiness
can be used with the Uster Zweigle HL400 yarn hairiness tester, which operates at a speed of 400
meters per minute (m/min). Other modules and sensors are available to measure diameter variation,
determine unevenness and imperfections, measure temperature and humidity, and provide other
functions. The tester is available in two models for staple yarn: Uster Tester 5-S400, which runs
at a speed of 400 m/min; and Uster Tester 5-S800, which runs at 800 m/min. The results generated by
these testers can be checked against the Uster Statistics benchmarks.
The USTER® Quantum 3 yarn clearer, installed on the winding unit, collects data on the
running yarn and recommends clearing limits to realize specified yarn quality.
The Uster Tester 5-C800 for filament yarn runs at a speed of 800 m/min and can be used with
the Uster Tensorapid tensile testing system, the latest version of which is the Uster Tensorapid
4-C featuring a purpose-designed software package.
The Uster Quantum 3 yarn clearer, the latest version of the company’s Quantum clearers,
offers what Uster calls “Smart Clearing Technology” including powerful capacitive, optical and
foreign matter sensors that together with the state-of-the-art processing electronics enable the
system to reveal the whole yarn body. The instrument collects data on the running yarn in two
minutes and recommends clearing limits to realize the specified yarn quality. The unit interfaces
with Uster Quantum Expert 3, a system that compares clearing settings at any winder and provides
synchronization across similar yarn lots.