Recent Developments: Weaving Technology

abric manufacturers are under pressure more than ever. Weavers around the world are
fighting against higher costs in terms of labor, raw material, production time and reduced energy
consumption to remain competitive. In turn, the machinery suppliers are challenged to provide
up-to-date machinery.

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.

Air-Jet Weaving

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

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

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

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.

January/February 2010