United Kingdom-based Tatham Ltd. — a global supplier of drive and control equipment for woolen and
nonwovens processing — has developed a system that provides higher production speeds and improved
product weight distribution for crosslapper control while offering substantial energy savings.
The TSX control system, which can be retrofitted to all makes of crosslappers, uses ABB
high-performance machinery drives and servomotors. Depending on the existing crosslapper
configuration, several panel combinations are available. The system is linked to the master process
control using Profibus, an ABB AC500 programmable logic controller (PLC) that provides positioning
data to the drives, which then convert the data into control signals to maintain servomotor speed.
According to Tatham, when the TSX system was retrofitted to an existing crosslapper, the
energy usage dropped from 60 Amps to 15 Amps. The company reports the software offers precise,
repeatable positioning to provide complete control of the batt profile. The ABB PLC, drives and
servomotors are used to vary the speed at which the batt is laid down, offering a more accurate and
controllable buildup of the layers. The TSX system can adjust carriage speed at the edges of the
batt to avoid distortions and maintain the required density across the entire width. The parameters
may be adjusted using the touchscreen operator interface, and the batt density may be adjusted
across its width to suit the product requirements with coefficient of variation values of around 1
Tatham also offers a closed loop control system to automatically adjust the batt profile to
the preset requirements. The system can be extended to link with Tatham’s own TS weight control
system if required.
Tatham has installed TSX systems at a geotextile manufacturer in Malaysia, papermaker felt
producer in China, and an automotive textile producer in the United States, among numerous other
April 11, 2011