Weaving & Weaving Preparation At ITMA 2007

he great success of ITMA 2007 proved that ITMA is still the leading textile machinery
exhibition. Weaving and weaving-preparation machine manufacturers competed to advance technologies
that provide weavers with more digital controls and flexibility to produce versatile, high-quality
woven fabrics for a broad range of products that are geared toward vast markets. New developments
in winding, sample and indirect warping, adaptive control systems in air-jet weaving, reduction of
selvage waste in weaving high-performance fibers, and jacquard and dobby shedding systems are
examples of show highlights in weaving and weaving preparation technologies.

Winding Technology

Savio Macchine Tessili S.p.A. showed its Polar automatic winders. The Polar
winders are available with different variations designed to meet customers’ needs in different
countries. For example, the Polar I is designed for use in countries with high labor wages.

The company has developed several new elements for the Polar automatic winders including
Computer Aided Density, Computer Aided Metering, a heat splicer, and a doffing concept that doffs
in 13.5 seconds. The package density is controlled by yarn tension and the contact pressure between
package and drum. The density system is designed to control the contact pressure using an
electronically controlled pneumatic system that adjusts the pressure of a counterweight piston to a
predetermined value suitable for the required package density. Today’s winders are equipped with
metering systems to get equal yarn length on each package — a must to avoid waste in downstream
processes such as warping. The metering system developed for the Polar winders meters the packages
using a combination of a laser detector for the package and speed sensor for the drum. According to
Savio, air splicing combined with heat give an excellent appearance and good strength of the joined
yarn. The main applications of air/heat splicing are high twist, mule spun, wool and wool blend

Oerlikon Schlafhorst, Germany, showed its new fifth-generation Autoconer 5
automatic winder, which was introduced in 2006 and has been sold to Egyptian and Indian textile
companies so far. The new features of the machine include wax disc consumption monitoring, separate
drives and a package metering system called Ecopack FX.

Wax consumption is monitored by a sensor, and the system signals the operator when it’s time
to load a new disc. The disc is mounted 90 degrees to the traditional direction and the traverse
motion of yarn allows it to rub against the wax disc. The amount of wax required on the yarn can be
controlled by the disc’s rotational speed, direction of rotation and angle of contact. The sensor
is a magnet that detects the movement of a spring-loaded element named the wax adopter. As the wax
is consumed, the adopter, which is pressing on the wax disc, moves backwards when the thickness of
the wax disc reaches a small, critical thickness and a signal is shown to the operator to replace
the wax disc. The winder is equipped with several motors to independently drive the package, wax
disc, upper splicer arm and lower splicer arm.

Ecopack FX is a system for measuring yarn length to produce packages of equal length within
1-percent deviation. In this system, the yarn length is optically measured.

The Autoconer 5 is currently offered with a grooved drum. The Autoconer 5 on display at ITMA
had several spindles with grooved drums and some spindles with a smooth drum. The company is still
developing machines with a smooth drum to be marketed in 2008. The yarn traverse is achieved by a
reciprocating element with a U-shaped right short leg. It is termed “wiper” since its motion is
similar in nature to wiper motion. The wiper is driven independently by a separate drive so its
motion can be changed. This enables control of the traverse speed, traverse stroke and winding
angle; and precision winding or random winding. The wiper motion can be controlled to work as an
anti-ribboning mechanism by changing traverse speed at critical package diameters.

Warping Technology

Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik GmbH introduced its newly developed Smart Beam at
ITMA. The warp beam data — including style number, order number, number of warp ends, number of
beam rotations during the warping process to form the entire warp, warp length, number of beams in
the size set, beam number, yarn thickness and count, number of yarn plies, material, warp density
and a list of missed yarns — is transferred wirelessly using radio frequency technology from the
warper computer to a chip attached to the warp beam. When the smart beam is loaded to the sizing
machine, data are wirelessly transferred from the beam chip to the sizing machine’s computer. Based
on the information transferred to the computer, the size recipe is determined using data in the
existing database. Size recipes for a new style are proposed by the system.

Warping machine manufacturers responded to the need for companies to transform from mass
production of a few styles to much shorter order lengths of numerous styles. The only sample warper
that was shown at ITMA 2007 was Karl Mayer’s GOM 24 Gir-O-Matic sample warper, which is an upgrade
of the company’s GOM series in terms of creel capacity. The number following “GOM” indicates creel
capacity. Features of the GOM 24 sample warper include: automated processing with minimal operator
intervention; automatic leasing for drawing-in and size rod separation; programmable leasing
pattern; programmable color selection; minimal waste; sample and small-order production
possibility; 24-packages-capacity rotating creel; creel equipped with feeders to handle high
beaming speed; magazine creeling for high efficiency; computerized color selection for intricate
patterning; and warp length capability of up to 1,000 meters.

Benninger AG showcased its new Versomat sectional automatic warper, designed to
form extremely narrow warp bands with few wound packages. It can handle a broad range of yarn
counts as well as yarn types, and can be used for extremely short or long production runs.
Warp-band formation is continuous without cutting after the completion of each band. The cutting is
done after all bands are warped. This system obviously can compete with sample warpers. In sample
warping, as little as one package can be used to form the entire warp. Additionally, the color
order is totally flexible in sample warping, a feature not possible in the case of other sectional

Ira L. Griffin Sons Inc., Charlotte, showed its newly developed ball warper and
long chain beamer for sectional beams for denim fabric production. Ball warper features include
stops at the center to avoid slough-off, an anti-patterning mechanism, and electronic tension
control. Long-chain warper features include an AC motor to control the warp-band tension level, and
an endless accumulator to put the warp back in the tub in case the beamer motion is reversed to
find and repair broken ends.

Sizing Technology

Karl Mayer Rotal S.r.l., Italy, showed an ergonomically designed beamer for sized
warp beams. The comb can be moved forward toward the operator to thread the ends so the operator
does not have to extend his or her arms and bend his or her back to reach to the comber. After
threading, the comber is moved backward to its running position. The easy beamer also is equipped
with a movable operator panel that can be moved to any position across the front of the machine.

Sucker Textilmaschinen GmbH highlighted a new size box for its Sucker Comsize II
sizing machine. The warp sheet passes under a tension-measuring roll connected to a control system
for constant warp sheet tension. The size box is equipped with three rollers with two squeezing
nips. The size solution is applied on the warp sheet by a spraying system to provide enough time
for solution application; then the size is squeezed by the first nip, and the warp sheet is
immersed in the solution and squeezed again by the second nip prior to exiting the size box to
enter the drying zone. The size box is smaller than traditional boxes, and the amount of size
solution in the box is small. A short pass of the warp sheet provides improved guidance, reduced
waste, improved control of size solution temperature and reduced heating energy. The size feed
inlet provides flow of the solution in one direction to continuously bring fresh material to the
size box. The excess solution overflows into a container connected to the size box and the size
solution storage tank for recycling after filtration. The temperature of the solution is controlled
by two systems. When the temperature has reached the required level, one heating system may turn
off while the other keeps heating the solution to allow less fluctuation of the desired

Drawing-In And Tying-In

Knotex Maschinenbau GmbH, Germany, showed its new double end detector for warps
without lease. The double end is detected by a pressure sensor that measures yarn tension during
tying up to 10 times per second. For double end, the detected tension will be much higher compared
to single end. Knotex also has developed a system to detect whether the warp is leased. The machine
then adjusts itself and prepares for detecting double ends if there is no lease — otherwise, the
double-end detector is not activated.

Another innovation introduced by Knotex is the Autoframe® fully automatic tying-in system.
The operator enters the warp and material, then the system automatically adjusts the required
pretension using servo motors. This concept enables the operator to spend only a short time setting
the machine.

The new Basic S tying machine — S for speed — is designed for tying solid-color warps of
cotton, wool linen, or their blends. The machine is preset for such warps, and is ready to tie up
to 600 knots per minute.

The company also showed the new RS 1HPlus reeding machine. The reeding is conducted using
compressed air, and the machine is equipped with a yarn break detector.

Stäubli International AG
, Switzerland, introduced Magma, a new tying-in machine to
complement the Topmatic tying-in machines. The Magma handles coarse yarns that could not be handled
by the Topmatic. The machine is equipped with a new, patented system for separating yarns from the
lease. It can tie spun, multifilament, monofilament and polypropylene ribbon yarns in a count range
from 0.3 to 50 Ne. The machine detects double ends using an optical sensor. It may perform single
or double knots by a push of a button. The knot end’s length is adjustable and can be set as low as
5 millimeters (mm). The machine is designed to have minimal mechanical parts and requires minimal

Stäubli also exhibited a new automatic drawing-in machine, the Safir, which builds on the
proven Delta drawing-in technology. Safir draws in warp yarns directly from the warp beam. Yarn
separation is achieved using a vacuum gripper, the same one that is used in the Opal leasing
machine. A double yarn detection system is incorporated into Safir. It is also equipped with color
recognition for each thread at the separation stage. Safir can draw in warp yarns from two warp
beams, and each beam may contain up to eight layers without the need for lease. Thus, the leasing
step is not required. The Safir combines the Delta and Opal technologies into one machine, which
increases the efficiency of the preparation processes. With the Safir, striped patterns in the warp
direction can be produced easily. Stäubli will offer the Safir commercially in 2008.

Weaving: Shedding Systems

Stäubli commercialized the Unival 100, designed for jacquard shedding, in 2003. The Unival
100 controls each harness cord using an actuator. In 2007, Stäubli expanded the Unival range,
adding the Unival 200 and 500 shedding systems for narrow jacquard and dobby weaving, respectively.

The Unival 200 jacquard system for narrow fabrics was shown at ITMA weaving labels. It
features the same actuator as the Unival 100, but with different power and size. The actuation is
not limited to controlling the shedding motion, but also controls the main motions of the machine
including: weft tension with individual control for each weft yarn, which can be preprogrammed
digitally; weft feed rate; warp tension; cloth take-up rate; latch needle for securing the filling
yarn; and filling selection — up to eight colors — selected filling introduced to open hook rapier
for insertion.

The principle of shed formation in Unival 200 is shown in Figure 1. Each warp yarn is
controlled by an actuator and toothed rack whereby the yarn is threaded through an eye at the top
end of the toothed rack. The selection of warp yarns to be raised or lowered depends on the
rotational direction of the actuator control gear. The gear is turned to a certain angle in a
counterclockwise direction to raise its associated warp end, or is turned in a clockwise direction
to lower the warp end. This is a positive shedding system, as the lower and upper sheds are
controlled with the actuation and no returning springs are used. The Unival 200 system can be
extended to weave wide jacquard fabric using any insertion system. Obviously, such a system
eliminates the gantry, comber board, pulleys, magnets, springs and harness cords.


Staübli’s Unival 500 uses more powerful actuators to control harness movement in a dobby
shedding system. Each harness is controlled by an actuator that controls links connected to the
harness. Again, clockwise and counterclockwise rotation of the actuators determines which harnesses
will be raised or lowered to form the shed according to the weave design.

At ITMA 2007, Italy-based
Smit S.p.A. showed the Twin Direct Drive independently driven dobby shedding
system on its new GS920 – S 200 N 8 SP rapier weaving machine. The Twin Direct Drive system uses
two motors. There are a main drive and a dobby shedding motion drive, which are synchronized
wirelessly for proper timing of shedding motion, filling insertion and beat-up motions. The use of
two drives provides independence of shed timing from other events on the weaving machine. It is
possible to have different shed timing for each pick in the repeat of the weave design. For
example, if the construction requires filling yarns containing spandex and standard yarns, the
spandex yarns can be inserted with early shed and the standard yarn can be inserted on normal
timing. Another advantage of the system is noise reduction because there are no parts connecting
the main motor to the dobby motion.

At ITMA ’99, Germany-based
Grosse Jac Webereimaschinen GmbH introduced the first UniShed prototype — now
known as UniShed 1 — and showed it again at ITMA 2003 with some improvement. At ITMA 2007, an
improved version of the machine was introduced with the name UniShed 2, which is still in the
prototype stage and is expected to be commercialized within a year. The UniShed shed formation is
achieved using buckling leaf springs. A set of leaf springs is connected to a heddle wire that
controls one warp end. The leaf springs, which are controlled by actuators, control the bottom shed
by buckling downward and the top shed by buckling upward, according to the open-shed principle. The
difference between UniShed 1 and UniShed 2 is in the way the spring leaf set is deformed. UniShed 1
uses the Euler 2 mode of deformation in which the leaf spring is hinged from both sides, while
UniShed 2 employs the Euler 4 mode of deformation in which the leaf spring is clamped from both
sides. The deformation of the leaf springs in the Euler 2 mode creates a half-sine wave, which
causes the ends of the leaf springs to slide past each other in a manner that causes instability
between the heddle wire and the leaf springs. Euler 4 creates a complete sine wave, which
eliminates the instability.

The configuration of the jacquard head and the individual control of each heddle wire allows
the heddles to be set vertically. These settings permit the elimination of harness cords, magnets,
hooks, pulleys, springs and the gantry, resulting in reduced building and air conditioning costs.
The jacquard head can be mounted directly on the side frames of the weaving machine, thus making
quick style change possible in jacquard weaving because it is easy to exchange the entire jacquard
head including the heddles. The preparation of the new style can be done in the drawing-in room
with the desired number of warp yarns and warp density.

Jakob Müller AG Frick’s Digital Direct MDLA label-weaving air-jet machine equipped
with the new jacquard concept — shown for the first time at ITMA 2003 — was one of the main
attractions at ITMA 2007. The patented shedding system allows the elimination of gantry, pulleys,
harness cords and comber board. In this system, each warp yarn is individually controlled by a
special heddle and retaining hook. The heddle element is a hollow structure that accommodates the
hook element inside. Shed formation is achieved using a roller that moves down and up in every
weaving cycle. The initial warp sheet position is in the upper shed, and the bottom shed is formed
when the roller pushes the warp sheet down and the selection is made for warp yarns for the lower
shed. The selected warp yarns are retained at the lower shed by the hook elements. The heddle
element is kept in its upper position using an activated magnet, and, as a result, the hook does
not obstruct the warp end that moves up with the roller. If the magnet is not activated, the heddle
is kept down by a spring, and thus, the hook retains the corresponding warp at the bottom shed.

While the MDLA machine was shown weaving labels, the concept can be extended to weave any
type of fabric using any type of filling insertion system.

Weaving Speed

And Range Of Fabric Types

Weaving machine manufacturers exhibited a range of machines capable of weaving a broad range
of fabrics at high speeds. Switzerland-based
Sultex Ltd. did not show its multiphase weaving machine M8300, which had been
shown at every ITMA since 1995. This may be because of low demand as a result of the machine’s
limited weave structures and warp and pick densities. Water-jet machines also were absent at ITMA

Air-Jet Weaving Machines

Air-jet weaving’s ability to adapt to new markets continued to be demonstrated at ITMA 2007.
This is related in part to further improvement of adaptive control systems that control the air
speed, and the rate of filling yarn insertion through the shed. Companies with air-jet weaving
machines on display at ITMA included Japan-based
Toyota Industries Corp., Japan-based
Tsudakoma Corp., Smit, Sultex, Germany-based
Lindauer Dornier GmbH, the Italy-based
Itema Group with its Somet and Vamatex brands, and Belgium-based
Picanol NV.

Toyota’s JA2S-340TP-ET-T170 air-jet machine was demonstrated weaving 3.11-meter-wide bed
sheeting at a rate of 750 picks per minute (ppm) with four insertions. The four yarns were fed from
four weft packages to one filling feeder. While this is a much simpler way of handling the filling
yarn compared to using four feeders, the fabric hand may be affected due to twisting of the four
weft yarns while being unwound from the feeder during insertion — every coil on the feeder causes
one turn in the weft yarns. Additional turns may be added during transport of the weft yarns
through the profiled reed. Analysis is required to check whether this setting may produce thicker,
rougher fabric compared to other multi-weft insertion techniques.

At this ITMA, Picanol’s OMNIplus 800 4-P 190 air-jet machine ran at the highest speed — 2,007
ppm — a record for single-phase weaving. The record of 3,222 meters per minute rate of filling
insertion (RFI) of Tsudakoma’s ZAX-190-2C machine shown at ITMA ‘99 was not broken. This is
obviously due to the difference in the warp width in the reed.

Dornier’s new CLS air-jet machine with Stäubli dobby is equipped with a new drive termed
SyncroDrive, designed for a machine equipped with dobby shedding motion. The drive focuses on the
stability of rotational speed. The SyncroDrive system concept separates the large dobby mass from
the drive at the starting moment. This permits a high-speed start and elimination of start marks.
The CLS machine was shown weaving fine worsted menswear at speed and filling insertion rates never
before reached for such a fabric.

Rapier Weaving Machines

There were more rapier weaving machines on display at ITMA than any other type of weaving
machine — thanks to the versatility of this technology in handling filling yarns. This technology
can handle any type of filling yarn and can switch from very thin yarn to heavy yarn, slub yarn,
fancy yarn, or multiple insertions in the same fabric without the need for a complex control
system. Companies exhibiting rapier machines included Smit, Sultex, Dornier, Itema, Picanol and
Panter S.r.l.

Projectile Weaving

Machines, Selvage Technology

Projectile weaving continues to be dominated by Sultex. Only one machine — model P7300HP V8 B
390 N 2 EP weaving heavy denim at 400 ppm and an RFI of 1,497 m/min — was exhibited. The declining
number of projectile machines is an indication of the growing popularity and demand for air-jet and
rapier machines because of their versatility and speed.

Smit showed a new tuck-in selvage-forming system for centers and edges. The system is
developed for terry fabrics and was shown with Smit’s new GS920 – B 260 F 8 J rapier machine,
equipped with drop back reed. The tuck in works when the reed moves forward to beat up and develop
the loop. It can be adjusted to tuck-in for different terry designs — three-pick and five-pick, for
example. The company also showed a tension-control mechanism designed for terry fabrics that uses a
three-roller system — including the back rest — to monitor and control pile warp tension. The
mechanism guarantees loop height consistency by monitoring and maintaining constant tension.

Looking at the weaving speed and RFI at this and previous shows, it can be said changes are
not a significant indication of reaching the limit for single-phase weaving. One way to exceed
these limits is to develop multiphase weaving machines that can be equipped with dobby and jacquard
shedding systems.

Reduction In Energy Consumption

Energy costs are dramatically increasing. At ITMA 2007, several developments for saving
energy in air-jet weaving were exhibited — energy consumption is known to be high in air jet. It is
well-documented that filling yarn arrival times get shorter and shorter as the filling yarn package
gets smaller because of yarn structure changes from the outside to the inside of the package.
Variation of yarn surface structure from pick to pick also is possible. Adaptive control systems
have been developed to address this issue. More developments in these systems have been reported by
several machine manufacturers.

Adaptive relay valve drive (ARVD) is an automatic system from Picanol that controls the
closing time of the relay nozzles on a pick-by-pick basis because these nozzles consume 75 percent
of the air used during weaving. The system monitors the winding information of the filling feeder
and decides the closing time of each relay nozzle for each pick accordingly. The relay nozzle
valves close early with package size reduction. Consequently, compressed air consumption is
reduced. Picanol reported the system works well with a broad range of spun and filament yarns.

Another development by Picanol is the Autospeed system, which automatically increases weaving
speed to keep the arrival moment fixed, thus reducing energy consumption per fabric unit produced.
The pneumatic catching device (PCD) is a new system that mechanically arrests the filling yarn at
the arrival end. The device is operated by two air-controlled plungers. The first plunger is for
clamping, and the second is for stretching the filling yarn and keeping it under constant tension.
The device is located on the reed next to the filling sensor. The devices replace the relay nozzles
for holding and stretching the filling yarn and also reduce air consumption by up to 30 percent,
according to Picanol.

Active Weft Control (AWC) is a new system from Sultex that optimizes air consumption by
placing the relay nozzle valves close to the nozzles. The system was shown on air-jet machine L5500
at ITMA 2007. In traditional versions, four relay nozzles are controlled by one valve. Optionally,
two nozzles are allocated to one valve. The main component of the system is the Real Time
Controller (RTC), which monitors the yarn’s progress during insertion and controls the relay
nozzles to optimize their blow time accordingly. Sultex claims the system may reduce air
consumption by 10 to 40 percent depending on the yarn type and machine width.

Toyota introduced the Automatic Pick Controller on its JAT710 air-jet machines. The system
automatically synchronizes air injection of the conical tandem main nozzle with the arrival of the
filling yarn. It is claimed the system reduces air consumption by 20 percent.

Tsudakoma introduced the Twin Nozzle Valve designed with a secondary chamber. The system
allows sharp air jetting for a quick response to speed. The company reports air consumption is
reduced by 10 percent.

Dornier introduced new relay nozzles, special stretch nozzles, and TandemPlus main nozzles.
According to the company, the new designs reduce air consumption by up to 28 percent.

Picanol and Dornier showed new mechanical clamps for air-jet weaving — both companies have
applied for patents. Picanol’s clamp is a mechanical device operated by air. The system clamps the
filling yarn when it is not being inserted. The recognized advantages of the system are:
elimination of continuous or significantly reduced air flow; prevention of filling yarn damage
resulting from air flow; reduced snarling of high twist yarns containing spandex, resulting in
fewer defects and/or stops; and low twist and slub yarns processing without blowing the tip off at
the start of insertion. Dornier’s mechatronic Positive Weft Clamp (PWC) eliminates the use of
compressed air and clamps the filling thread until it is ready to be inserted into the shed.

Material Waste Reduction

Dornier showed its new DuoColor device for rapier weaving, which reduces filling waste by
reducing the length of fringe. Depending on yarn type, selvage waste can be reduced by more than 50
percent. The DuoColor is limited to two types of yarns. It was shown on the PTS 2/S 20 rapier
machine weaving ballistic fabric from aramid yarns to demonstrate waste savings for such expensive

Sultex also showed a filling-yarn waste-saving device on one of its new rapier machines, the
G6500 W 190 F 4 SP, which was weaving protective aramid fabrics. The machine features a special
filling brake system to reduce its speed and thus control filling length precisely, reducing waste.

Fancy Effects

Bulgaro Officina Meccanica S.n.c. showed a weaving machine equipped with a fan
reed that can be preprogrammed to provide design effects. The reed’s vertical movement varies the
warp density from high to low along the design in the warp direction. The loom was also modified to
produce pleated effects by reversing the fabric take-up and let-off to allow high beat-up force.
The combined effect is a pleat that protrudes out of the fabric surface.

Transport Systems

Genkinger Hubtex GmbH showed its new material handling equipment for weaving and
knitting with a range of applications — from transporting empty beams, full warp beams, sized beams
and cloth rolls to drawing-in systems for warp beams, drop wires, harnesses and reeds. The
battery-operated KEFU 30 transport system can quickly — at 8 to 11 kilometers per hour, depending
on load — transport empty and full warp beams weighing up to 3,000 kilograms (kg) from one room to
another. The servo steering of this system allows maneuvering in tight spaces, and the system can
handle wide beams ranging from 700 to 1,300 mm in diameter.

Genkinger Hubtex’s EE-KHUR 25 system is ideal for transporting full beams made of sensitive
yarns to the weaving room. The system supports the beam from the bearing ends without touching the
warp yarns. The maximum load it can handle is 2,500 kg, and it is equipped with smooth lateral and
extended movements for easy transfer of the beam from the system to the loom.

The EE-GYR 25 system, with a capacity of 2,500 kg, is designed to deliver warp beams to terry
weaving machines that require two beams. The design of this truck is compact, with narrow transport

Heddle Wires

The demands on high-performance weaving are on the rise, and traditional heddle wires with
sharp edges are harmful to high-performance fibers. There is a desperate need for heddles with
rounded edges. Responding to this demand, Switzerland-based
Grob Textil AG developed new heddles, termed TWINtec, for such brittle yarns. The
heddles also are suitable for weaving tapes, keeping the ribbon orientation without twisting. The
heddle eye is formed between two small, smooth rods that provide a low friction, round surface of

Shuttle Weaving Is Back In Demand

Shuttle looms — last shown at ITMA ’79 — have been replaced by the advances offered by
high-speed shuttleless weaving machines. Though declining, the number of shuttle looms operated in
the world is still higher than the number of shuttleless weaving machines. The number of shuttle
looms will continue to decline, but they will not disappear. Many specialty fabrics produced using
shuttle looms cannot be produced by shuttleless weaving, including fire hoses, endless belts and
artificial blood vessels. With the availability of parts from old looms waning, and the outdated
technology found on shuttle looms, weavers are demanding that manufacturers produce new looms
featuring today’s electronics and technology.

Mageba Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. OHG has responded to the demand with the
development of the new SSL MT and SL series looms. At ITMA 2007, the company showed two shuttle
looms producing tubular fabrics. The SL loom is designed for single narrow fabrics up to 80 mm in
width, and is equipped with a 200-ppm-maximum-speed variable drive. The SSL MT 170 model is
designed for multiple narrow fabrics up to 150 mm wide. Multiple shuttles — up to four for each
fabric — are available to permit production of medical fabrics for implants such as bifurcated
implants. The looms can be equipped with dobby or jacquard shedding systems to produce intricate
fabrics for labels.

It is believed that more weaving machine manufacturers will follow suit and begin
manufacturing wide shuttle machines for special needs.

Future Opportunities

The new developments in weaving and weaving preparation equipment provide a range of
opportunities for woven fabric manufacturers. The growing use of electronic controls has led to a
reduction in heavy mechanical parts and provides machines that can be maintained easily. Some
manufacturers have responded to the need to reduce the environmental impact through reduction in
energy consumption and raw material waste. Future ITMA shows are expected to reveal more advances
in this direction because of the mounting pressure arising from energy and raw material cost
increases. The continuous demand in developed nations for equipment to handle much smaller orders
with minimal waste has been met by developing new sample and sectional warpers.

January/February 2008