The Rupp Report: Show Me Your Flag

It was quite peculiar when I recently mentioned that I will attend a press conference. “Why?”
people asked. This reaction was pretty amazing to me. This company probably wants to show it is
still around and its people do their homework: research and development resulting in new or
enhanced products for the industry — and, last, but not least, to be ready when the upswing will
truly start. Admittedly, this conclusion was only a guess; however, why not?

So I drove to Sargans, Switzerland, to visit Stäubli AG and realized that the company not
only invited the media but also people from the local authorities. And, yes, the event started as
expected: The management welcomed all attendees and mentioned that they want to show their will and
the ability of the company to carry on work even in a difficult market environment. This seemed to
be a clever move because not only is the market suffering, but the workforce as well. Information
is motivation.


But let’s have a look at the event’s technical news: The weaving preparation process was for
centuries one of the most time-consuming in a weaving mill. With the start of the electronic era,
this situation improved greatly. Old-fashioned jobs disappeared. However, drawing-in and tying
remained. Also here, advanced systems were needed. Today, modern weaving mills around the world
recognize the benefits of automatic drawing-in and tying machines. Availability, productivity and
flexibility of these machines are excellent, and the high quality of automatically drawn-in warps
are a prerequisite for successful weaving.

Drawing-in Machine

Stäubli, one of the market leaders in this sector, presented its Safir upgraded automatic
drawing-in machine. The system can be configured to draw in one or two warp beams with up to eight
thread layers each. A camera system checks the yarn to be drawn in during each cycle, ensuring that
no double or wrong-color yarns will be processed.

The great operational flexibility also relates to the weaving harnesses that can be used.
Virtually all heddles used in shaft weaving can be handled without restriction. In the maximum
configuration, heddle distribution is programmable on up to 28 frames. Another special feature is
the processing option of using two different types of drop wires for the same weaving harness. This
application is especially interesting for double-beam weaving such as for terry fabrics. With its
virtually unrestricted application potential, and user-friendly ergonomics and convenient operation
mode, Safir seems to be a big step ahead.

Warp-tying Machine

The second highlight of the presentation was the further developed Magma warp-tying machine.
The system is especially suitable for tying coarse yarns. Threads to be tied are separated at the
lease using a new, patent-pending system developed by Stäubli that works without any yarn-specific
settings. This development simplifies operation and changing from one application to another. A
built-in camera system monitors the separation of the threads and prevents doubled threads. By a
simple push of a button, Magma can also be set to tie double knots, even with very slick yarns.

Almost every kind of raw material can be used. For warps with 1:1 lease, the yarn count range
goes from Ne 0.3 to 50/1 for staple fibers. The length of knot ends is variable with a minimum of 5
millimeters, and the system is applicable on all Stäubli type TPF3 tying frames.

Stäubli reports its new, patented separating system reliably separates threads from the
lease, completely without thread-specific separating elements or special adjustments. Optical
sensors check every separated yarn pair before it is tied, preventing a false double yarn from
being tied.

Information Means Motivation

In a discussion at the end of the presentation, people from the staff welcomed the activities
of “their own” company and mentioned that every move is bringing up the level of motivation of the
staff. Information is motivation — this is still the first lesson in human relations. On top of
that, Stäubli highlighted its presence in the market by raising its flag. Gathering people under
the flag and showing your power and presence has been traditional for millennia. Cleverly, now is
the best time to mark presence, when everybody can see it and the territory is empty.

November 24, 2009