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Acafintex looks to a bright future with new Monforts technology (c) AWOL Media
Acafintex father and son ownership team Don Francisco and Lic Francisco Moyano at the new Monforts installation.
14.09.2020

Acafintex looks to a bright future with new Monforts technology

At a total length of over 71 metres, the Montex finishing line that has just been installed by Monforts for Acafintex at its plant in Puebla, Mexico, is one of the highest capacity stenters the German technology leader has delivered to date.

Puebla is known as the epicentre of Mexico’s textile and clothing industry and is ideally placed for supplying both the USA and Europe, being three hours from the Gulf of Mexico for shipping via the Atlantic, and five hours from the Pacific coast as well.

Mexico's textile and clothing industry spans the entire production chain – from cotton growing and man-made fibre production to the manufacture of yarn, fabric, finished clothing and accessories. The industry is estimated to directly employ around 640,000 workers and to provide livelihoods for many more people indirectly. The country is a key supplier of textiles and clothing to the USA, but has faced fierce competition from China, which has until recently been the largest supplier of textiles and clothing to the US market.

At a total length of over 71 metres, the Montex finishing line that has just been installed by Monforts for Acafintex at its plant in Puebla, Mexico, is one of the highest capacity stenters the German technology leader has delivered to date.

Puebla is known as the epicentre of Mexico’s textile and clothing industry and is ideally placed for supplying both the USA and Europe, being three hours from the Gulf of Mexico for shipping via the Atlantic, and five hours from the Pacific coast as well.

Mexico's textile and clothing industry spans the entire production chain – from cotton growing and man-made fibre production to the manufacture of yarn, fabric, finished clothing and accessories. The industry is estimated to directly employ around 640,000 workers and to provide livelihoods for many more people indirectly. The country is a key supplier of textiles and clothing to the USA, but has faced fierce competition from China, which has until recently been the largest supplier of textiles and clothing to the US market.

However, the position of Mexico in the US import market has become more stable following the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which came into force in July this year. The country has also been a key beneficiary of the current trade war that is raging between China and the USA.

In addition, there is scope for higher sales in Mexico’s domestic market. The country has a population of 129 million people who are becoming increasingly prosperous, with a large proportion of younger people who are spending more on clothing.

Flexible operation

Founded in 1986, family-owned Acafintex operates as a commission dyehouse, finishing both knitted and woven fabrics for local companies in Mexico, in widths of between 100cm to 3.6 metres. The company is run by father and son team Don Francisco and Lic Francisco Moyano.

“We have very flexible operations for fabric finishing and also produce and sell our own fabrics for both the fashion industry and for the uniforms market,” says Don Francisco. “These days, we are increasingly finishing materials for technical textiles and for the automotive industry too. We have both local and international suppliers of both yarns and base fabrics and make sure we choose the best and most reliable sources. Exports now account for over 40% of our sales.”

European contract

With a  width of 3.8 metres, the new Monforts Montex line at Acafintex is equipped with no less than 12 double TwinAir drying chambers to meet the requirements of specific technical textiles to a European customer, in a contract secured following the company’s ISO 9001 certification in 2019. The line is equipped with an integrated heat recovery system and also benefits from an exhaust air cleaning system to ensure the most resource-efficient processing available on the market.

On the Monforts TwinAir system, the airflows above and below the fabric being dried can be regulated completely independently of each other, with Optiscan Auto-Balance fully controlling the distance between the fabric and the dryer nozzles via variable-frequency fan motors and CCD chip evaluation. As a result, the evaporation rate of the stenter and its energy utilisation are always fully optimised. Contact-free drying eliminates the possibility of fabric marking or stitch draft.

Highly-intuitive Monforts Qualitex visualisation software allows all machine functions and process parameters to be assessed and controlled easily, and thousands of article specific settings and formulations to be called up at any time – with 100% reproducible results.

In combination with an existing Montex stenter, the new line has expanded finishing capacity at Acafintex to an annual 20 million linear metres.

Modifications

“From the installation to the start-up, we were supported by a team of Monforts technicians and local representative Arnulf Thaler at Sattex here in Mexico,” says Lic Francisco. “Of course, every installation has its challenges and with such big machines we needed to modify several things inside the factory and also required certain modifications from Monforts which were all carried out successfully.”  

Forced, like much of the textile industry globally, to temporarily suspend operations at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Acafintex is now back to full production, having installed the necessary safety measures for its employees, and is anticipating a bright future.

“We are passionate about developing new materials in search of mutual benefit for both our clients and suppliers, as well as our own workforce and the environment,” Don Francisco Moyano concludes. “Investment in the latest technology like this new Monforts line plays a key role in helping us achieve our long-term goals.”

Sustainable leadership for GtA with new Monforts Montex wide width lines (c) AWOL Media
GtA Managing Director Andreas Niess
27.07.2020

Sustainable leadership for GtA with new Monforts Montex wide width lines

Following the successful commissioning of two new Monforts Montex wide-width stenter lines and additional environmental management equipment at its plant in Germany, GtA – Society for Textile Equipment GmbH – is aiming to be the first textile finishing company to become entirely CO2-neutral in the manufacture of all of its products by 2025.

GtA is a partner company to Germany’s large-format digital printing fabric leader, Georg and Otto Friedrich GmbH, which has has this year been able to considerably expand its portfolio due to the new Monforts lines.

Headquartered in Gross-Zimmern, close to Frankfurt, Georg and Otto Friedrich GmbH and its partners in Germany have an annual production of 37 million square metres of warp knits for a range of end-use applications, including garments, automotive interiors and technical textiles, but increasingly with a concentration on digital printing substrates.

Fault-free textiles

Following the successful commissioning of two new Monforts Montex wide-width stenter lines and additional environmental management equipment at its plant in Germany, GtA – Society for Textile Equipment GmbH – is aiming to be the first textile finishing company to become entirely CO2-neutral in the manufacture of all of its products by 2025.

GtA is a partner company to Germany’s large-format digital printing fabric leader, Georg and Otto Friedrich GmbH, which has has this year been able to considerably expand its portfolio due to the new Monforts lines.

Headquartered in Gross-Zimmern, close to Frankfurt, Georg and Otto Friedrich GmbH and its partners in Germany have an annual production of 37 million square metres of warp knits for a range of end-use applications, including garments, automotive interiors and technical textiles, but increasingly with a concentration on digital printing substrates.

Fault-free textiles

A new standard in pure white, 100% clean and fault-free textile substrates has been demanded by this market in recent years due to the rapid growth in digitally-printed banners and billboards – often referred to as ‘soft signage’.

The substrates of choice for digital printing are 100% polyester warp knits which are resilient and allow excellent take-up of inks, and vibrant colours and clear and precise images to be achieved with digital printing techniques. The knitted construction also has the advantage of elasticity, which is a plus in terms of flexibility for installers.

Critically, the warp knitted fabrics have extremely smooth surfaces which is becoming increasingly important due to the general move away from PVC coatings which were the standard in the past.

It was to finish these fabrics for Georg and Otto Friedrich GmbH as well as providing such services for many other customers, that the GtA plant in Neresheim, Baden-Württemberg, was established in 2015.

The purpose-built plant on a greenfield site was initially equipped with a fully-automated, 72 metre long Monforts installation comprising a washing machine integrated with a 3.6 metre wide, seven-chamber Montex stenter. The line quickly went from single to double shift production and then to 24/7 operation  to meet demand.

Expanded widths

Building on the success of this installation, GtA has now installed two more Montex stenter lines – both in expanded working widths of 5.6 metres and purpose-built at Montex GmbH in Austria.

A six-chamber Montex unit is combined with a washing machine to guarantee the purity of the substrates, while a five-chamber line is integrated with a wide-width coating machine. This new coating capability at GtA has led to a number of new additions to the Georg and Otto Friedrich DecoTex range for digital printing, including wide width fabrics with flame retardant, antimicrobial and non-slip finishes.

The new Montex stenter lines benefit from all of the latest innovations from Monforts, including the Smart Sensor system for the optimised maintenance planning of key mechanical wear components on the stenters. A comprehensive overview of the condition of all parts at any time is now available for operators within the highly intuitive Qualitex visualization software.

With Qualitex, all article-specific settings can be stored and the formulations for thousands of treatment processes called up again at any time. Individual operators can also personalise their dashboards with the most important machine functions and process parameters.

Environmental commitment

GtA is run by a seasoned team of textile professionals led by Managing Director Andreas Niess.

“We have received excellent service from Monforts from the outset and we were happy to place the order for these two new lines as part of our ongoing cooperation,” he says. “With all of the latest Monforts advances in technology we are fully in control of all production and quality parameters with these lines, as part of our significant commitment to innovative environmental technology.”

The GtA plant, which operates in near-cleanroom conditions, has also been equipped with proprietary technology to fully exploit the Monforts air-to-air heat recovery systems that are now standard with Montex stenters.

“Around 30 per cent of our investment volume at the site goes to energy-saving measures and we are sure that this commitment is worthwhile,” Mr Niess says. “As an example, our integrated heat recovery system fully exploits the waste heat from the process exhaust air and the burner exhaust gases of the Monforts stenters, allowing us to achieve an exhaust air temperature of  between 30 to 34°C, compared to what would conventionally be between 140 to 160°C. Another focus has been on exhaust air purification technology and here too, the latest technology has been installed with integrated heat recovery elements.”

This, he adds, saves 52% of the energy that would normally be used – equating to 5,800,000 KwH per year. The necessary audits for energy-efficient companies are also carried out annually.

In addition, GtA has purpose-designed the automatic chemical mixing and dosing systems that feed the padders for the key treatments that are carried out on the fabrics through the stenters.

The company is going further, however, in its pursuit of clean production and raw materials.

"We want to be an asset and not a burden on our immediate environment and therefore do not use any additives containing solvents," Mr Niess says. “We were the first to use fully halogen-free flame retardant chemistry, and we use bio-based, finely ground alumina products for the washing process instead of surfactants. PES polyester yarns made from recycled material are also increasingly used and the latest additions to our raw materials portfolio, the RC-Ocean products, are made from recycled sea plastic.

“We are now planning a combined heat and power plant for the production of electrical energy and heat and we will also build a photovoltaic system that converts solar radiation into electrical energy. GtA wants to be the first textile finishing company to be CO2-neutral in the manufacture of all of its products by 2025. The complete heat supply and heating for the 13,000 square metre production hall, as well as the office building and the hot water supply for the domestic water, is already energy-neutral. We are convinced that this commitment will pay off in the long term and our positive business development proves that sustainability and business profitability are perfectly compatible.”

In addition to the products for Georg and Otto Friedrich GmbH, GtA  offers its manufacturing capacities for other customers as a contract service.

All products are manufactured in accordance with Öko-Tex Standard 100, product class 1 and the company is also involved in the research and development of new sustainable manufacturing processes, in cooperation with many regional universities and funding project partners.

Source:

AWOL Media for A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG

Monforts denim mills move hemp into the mainstream © Cone Denim
Cone Denim Sweet Leaf jeans.
30.06.2020

Monforts denim mills move hemp into the mainstream

  • There is an urban legend that hemp canvas was used to make the very first pair of Levi’s jeans.
  • While this is a myth that originated in the counterculture of the 1960s, hemp is without doubt the fibre of the moment for the denim industry.

At the second Kingpins24 virtual denim show that was broadcast from New York on June 23rd and 24th, the sustainable benefits of hemp fibre were referenced by many Monforts customers who are now including it in their collections, including AGI Denim, Artistic Milliners, Black Peony, Calik, Cone Denim, Naveena Denim Mills (NDM) and Orta.

“Hemp is an easy to grow fibre which requires no irrigation, no fertilizers, no herbicides and no chemicals,” says Allan Little, Director of Product Development for Cone Denim, which has recently launched its Sweet Leaf collection featuring the fibre. “Significantly, it also uses fifty per cent or even less water than cotton in cultivation.”

It can also bring some new aesthetics to denim too, he adds.

  • There is an urban legend that hemp canvas was used to make the very first pair of Levi’s jeans.
  • While this is a myth that originated in the counterculture of the 1960s, hemp is without doubt the fibre of the moment for the denim industry.

At the second Kingpins24 virtual denim show that was broadcast from New York on June 23rd and 24th, the sustainable benefits of hemp fibre were referenced by many Monforts customers who are now including it in their collections, including AGI Denim, Artistic Milliners, Black Peony, Calik, Cone Denim, Naveena Denim Mills (NDM) and Orta.

“Hemp is an easy to grow fibre which requires no irrigation, no fertilizers, no herbicides and no chemicals,” says Allan Little, Director of Product Development for Cone Denim, which has recently launched its Sweet Leaf collection featuring the fibre. “Significantly, it also uses fifty per cent or even less water than cotton in cultivation.”

It can also bring some new aesthetics to denim too, he adds.

“Hemp has a unique colour and adds a different cast to our indigo, the drape and texture of the fabrics is different and it even adds  a bit of a unique hand, so combined with its sustainable credentials we are proud to be bringing the Sweet Leaf collection to the market.”

US supply chain

Cone is currently sourcing its hemp from France, but with much of its manufacturing now in Mexico – and with the introduction of the US Farm Bill in 2018 which has legalised the growing of legal hemp – is exploring the possibility of investing in the US supply chain.

“With US hemp we’re really at the R&D phase,” Little emphasises. “It’s a unique crop, so coming up with the right stalk to provide the right fibre is challenging. We’ve experimented with different types of seed and various methods of decortication.”

Decortication, he explains, is the mechanical removal of the outside layer of the hemp stalk to useable fibre on the inside. A second process, cottonization, is necessary to make the fibre suitable for spinning, because compared to cotton, hemp is longer, stiffer, and less flexible.

100% success

At the end of 2019, Naveena (NDM), headquartered in Karachi, introduced fabrics featuring up to 51% hemp content in blends with Tencel and recycled polyester and this year has developed the first 100% hemp denims.

“The response to the fabrics we showed last year was incredible and we were looking forward to the response to this latest development – which everyone was asking for – at the Kingpins show in Amsterdam, which unfortunately was unable to go ahead,” says NDM’s Director of Marketing Rashid Iqbal. “We produced initial samples in an undyed state because we were not sure how the wet spun yarn would react in the dyeing, but I’m happy to say we have had success in this respect and are now able to provide one hundred per cent indigo dyed hemp denim.”

Environmental benefits

“Differentiation is the key in the highly-competitive denim industry and we have assisted our customers with trials and optimised processing parameters for a range of different fibres, including hemp, both at our Advanced Technology Centre in Germany and at their own mills around the world,” says Hans Wroblowski, Monforts Head of Denim. “Given the environmental benefits of hemp, and the liberalisation of its cultivation in many parts of the world, the interest in it now comes as no surprise. We have the technologies and know-how to help our customers to fully maximise their hemp denims at all post-weaving stages of production.”

Monforts has a dominant position in the field of denim finishing with its well proven Montex stenters. It has been enjoying further recent success with its Eco Line concept based on two key technology advances – the Eco Applicator and the Thermo Stretch.

The latest Monforts innovation for denim is the CYD yarn dyeing system. This technology is based on the effective and established dyeing process for denim fabrics that is now being applied for yarn dyeing.

The CYD system also integrates new functions and processes into the weaving preparation processes – spinning, direct beaming, warping and assembly beaming, followed by sizing and dyeing – to increase quality, flexibility, economic viability and productivity. A full CYD line is now available for trials at the company’s Advanced Technology Centre.

Monforts at Techtextil India (c) Monforts
A recent Monforts texCoat installation.
20.11.2019

Monforts at Techtextil India

Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG will be providing information on its extensive range of coating and finishing technologies for the production of nonwovens and technical textiles at the forthcoming Techtextil India exhibition.

“India is already a very important market for Monforts and there are exciting prospects ahead for Indian manufacturers of technical textiles, who are well positioned to capitalise on growth opportunities,” says Monforts Head of Denim Hans Wroblowski, who will be at the Monforts stand in Hall 4, booth C52 at the show. “India has one of the largest working-age populations in the world and a complete textile value chain for both natural and synthetic fibres.”

In addition, he adds, India’s government, through its Ministry of Textiles, has been actively promoting the growth of technical textiles through various programmes based on investment promotion, subsidies, the creation of infrastructure and the stimulation of consumption.

Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG will be providing information on its extensive range of coating and finishing technologies for the production of nonwovens and technical textiles at the forthcoming Techtextil India exhibition.

“India is already a very important market for Monforts and there are exciting prospects ahead for Indian manufacturers of technical textiles, who are well positioned to capitalise on growth opportunities,” says Monforts Head of Denim Hans Wroblowski, who will be at the Monforts stand in Hall 4, booth C52 at the show. “India has one of the largest working-age populations in the world and a complete textile value chain for both natural and synthetic fibres.”

In addition, he adds, India’s government, through its Ministry of Textiles, has been actively promoting the growth of technical textiles through various programmes based on investment promotion, subsidies, the creation of infrastructure and the stimulation of consumption.

As a result, India’s Ministry of Textiles is forecasting that the growth of technical textiles in the country will be over 18% annually in the next few years, from a value of US$16.6 billion in 2018 to US$28.7 billion in 2021.

Value addition

High value-added technical products such as wide-width digital printing substrates, carbon fabrics for high-performance composites, filter media, flame retardant barrier fabrics and heavy-duty membranes are now being coated on Monforts texCoat ranges and finished with the company’s industry-leading Montex stenters.

“Since we acquired the technology that our coating units are based on in 2015, we have made a lot of refinements,” says Hans. “All of these developments are reflected in higher coating accuracy and the resulting quality of the treated fabrics. At the same time, our latest multi-functional coating heads offer an unprecedented range of options, with a wide range of modules available.”

The texCoat user interface is now equipped with the unique Monforts visualisation system and the magnetic doctor blade has greater power reserves. Options include a carbon fibre-reinforced composite coating drum with a more scratch-resistant surface and maximum rigidity and remote control which simplifies exact adjustment for the operator.

Montex stenters in special executions are meanwhile ideal for the drying and finishing of both technical woven fabrics and nonwovens and characterised by high stretching devices in both length and width.

“The European-built Montex range of stenters has earned its leading position in the technical textiles market due to the overall robustness, reliability and economy of these machines,” Hans concludes. “Whatever the intended end-product – and we continue to discover potentially new areas in which technical textiles can be utilised all the time – we have the machine specification and know-how to turn ideas into reality. In India we also benefit from the strong sales and service support of A.T.E. Enterprises.”

Texchtextil India takes place alongside World of Composites at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai from November 20-22.

Source:

A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG by AWOL Media.

(c) A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG
12.07.2019

Further benefits and savings with the new Monforts MonforClean

A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG presented an energy-optimised new version of its industry-leading Montex stenter for the first time at ITMA 2019 in Barcelona from June 20-26th.

With the introduction of the new MonforClean exhaust air treatment system and other unique process innovations, Monforts has been able to further reduce the energy consumption of Montex stenters by a further 13%.

Exhaust air treatment on stenter frames has posed particular challenges over the years, since the air can contain significant amounts of oil, fibre and even wax particles that may see emissions limits being reached in the processing of certain fabrics, depending on the legal specifications.

In addressing this issue, Monforts is now incorporating the MonforClean module into the stenter frame, so there is no additional space requirement. At the same time, the costs for laborious secondary installations and the piping of the exhaust air treatment components, as well as supporting structures are eliminated due to the machine configuration.

A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG presented an energy-optimised new version of its industry-leading Montex stenter for the first time at ITMA 2019 in Barcelona from June 20-26th.

With the introduction of the new MonforClean exhaust air treatment system and other unique process innovations, Monforts has been able to further reduce the energy consumption of Montex stenters by a further 13%.

Exhaust air treatment on stenter frames has posed particular challenges over the years, since the air can contain significant amounts of oil, fibre and even wax particles that may see emissions limits being reached in the processing of certain fabrics, depending on the legal specifications.

In addressing this issue, Monforts is now incorporating the MonforClean module into the stenter frame, so there is no additional space requirement. At the same time, the costs for laborious secondary installations and the piping of the exhaust air treatment components, as well as supporting structures are eliminated due to the machine configuration.

Jürgen Hanel, Head of Technical Textiles at Monforts. (c) A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG
04.04.2019

Peak performance, whatever the technical fabric…

At next month’s Techtextil 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany, A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG will be highlighting all of the innovative features that have made the Montex stenter the undisputed leader in the field of technical fabric finishing.

“Techtextil is a very important show for us, because technical textiles are a key pillar of our production programme and many of our existing customers will be exhibiting or attending, as well as those we have yet to meet,” says Jürgen Hanel, Head of Technical Textiles at Monforts. “The show provides us with an opportunity to explain the diverse end-products that can be successfully finished on our stenters, as well as with our coating units.”

A number of successful recent Monforts Montex stenter installations in Europe, for example, are dedicated to the production of wide-width digital printing substrates, to high volume automotive fabrics and to heavy duty filter media, to name just three advanced technical materials.

At next month’s Techtextil 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany, A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG will be highlighting all of the innovative features that have made the Montex stenter the undisputed leader in the field of technical fabric finishing.

“Techtextil is a very important show for us, because technical textiles are a key pillar of our production programme and many of our existing customers will be exhibiting or attending, as well as those we have yet to meet,” says Jürgen Hanel, Head of Technical Textiles at Monforts. “The show provides us with an opportunity to explain the diverse end-products that can be successfully finished on our stenters, as well as with our coating units.”

A number of successful recent Monforts Montex stenter installations in Europe, for example, are dedicated to the production of wide-width digital printing substrates, to high volume automotive fabrics and to heavy duty filter media, to name just three advanced technical materials.

Digital print
Three Montex stenters have just been installed at the plant of a leading finisher of substrates for digital printing substrates in Germany – two of them in extra-wide widths of 5.4 metres – for drying after both washing and coating processes.

A new standard in pure white, 100% clean and fault-free textile substrates has been demanded in recent years by the rapid growth in digitally-printed banners and hoardings – often referred to as ‘soft signage’.

“The substrates of choice for digital printing are 100% polyester warp knits which have extremely smooth surfaces,” says Hanel. “This is becoming increasingly critical due to the general move away from PVC coatings which were the standard in the past. Quality inspection and control systems analyse every square metre of fabric to ensure completely uniform and blemish-free production.”

The fabrics produced are resilient and allow excellent take-up of inks for vibrant colours and clear and precise images to be achieved with digital printing techniques. The knitted construction also has the advantage of elasticity, which is a plus in terms of flexibility for soft signage installers.
These fabrics are being supplied fully finished, in weights of between 50-350gsm and in rolls of up to 600kg or 1,800 metres.