Superba S.A., Mulhouse, France, receives ATIs Innovation Award for its KLP Automation Robot
that allows for the first time to close the automation loop in carpet yarn manufacturing.Introduced
at ITMA 99, the KLP was originally designed to be a winder-unloader and packer for Superba-specific
equipment only. However it has already created so much interest that customers are eager to use the
it. The KLP is one of the top representatives of the new generation of textile equipment, which is
high-tech, automated, and dramatically enhances product quality and production
consistency. Superba Once Again First

Superba has an impressive track record for being first in the industry with several of its
machines. The KLP continues the companys innovative tradition and is the result of Superbas
experience in the carpet yarn market. The KLP robot benefits from all advantages that automaton
brings with it. This includes the savings of manual handling at the exit of carpet yarn
heat-setting lines or dyeing lines.Until now, the removal of the bobbins from an automatic winder
had been performed via a conveyor belt. An operator had to remove the bobbins manually stage by
stage, knot the ends, stick a pre-printed label inside the tube, and place the bobbin in a
cardboard box, or on a pallet. Function DescriptionThe KLP robot is a reliable and safe
sliding overhead robot, with never touch the yarn handling for maximum quality achievements. The
KLP takes the packages from the exit position of the winding machines.Its first operation is to go
to one of the three positions per machine where a package can be located. The second operation is
to measure the diameter of the package, to determine the center of the tube to be picked up, and to
determine the matrix for palletizing. The robot then unloads one package, stops for a second over
the tail cutting device (just in case that there is a long tail), and takes the package to the AHD,
Superbas knotting and labeling machine for bobbins after the heat setting process.As soon as the
package has been taken from the BLA (automatic winder for carpet yarns) conveyor, the conveyor
restarts automatically to present a new package to be unloaded.After that, the robot travels to the
exit of the AHD and packs the package onto the pallet. When the layer is full the robot puts the
separator over the packages before restarting the palletizing operation again. When the pallet is
complete, the robot signals with an illuminated lamp for replacement of the pallet.If the AHD
communicates a rejection of the package, this package will be set aside and not packed.
 Automation Is RealityThe automation of heat-setting and dyeing lines was, for a long time, on
the wish-list of mills in this manufacturing field. Now, with the KLP, the complete automation
process is offered by automatically knotting, labeling and packing the bobbin into cardboard boxes
or placing it onto pallets by means of a robot. Even the position of the knot can be easily found
later on.The labeling features real-time data for each individual bobbin, based on the on-line data
provided by the heatsetting or dyeing line PLC.For packing, the KLP offers a programmable matrix
and number of layers and separator insertion.The KLP offers the immediate connection to two winders
with automatic doffing.Superba emphasizes that the KLP allows a quick start-up of new machinery and
helps in maintenance savings later on. Success Around The CornerEven though the KLP is stll
considered to be a brand new machine, first installations are already going into Europe. In the
United States, the KLP will have its official debut at the beginning of 2000.

November 1999