Textile Technology section
Karl Mayer: new machine for grid warp knitted fabric in China
Specifically designed to produce light to medium-heavy grid structures, Karl Mayer Technische Textilien GmbH, Chemnitz/Germany, a segment of Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik GmbH, Obertshausen/Germany, has developed a new warp knitting machine with weft-insertion and thus further differentiated its range offer in this field.
The new model, the Wefttronic II G, handles technical yarn extremely gently. Geogrid fabrication is now 60% more productive compared to the previous version. In addition, less expensive yarns can be processed into high-quality textiles: the textile glass fiber material can cost up to 30% less than leno fabric production.
The first Wefttronic II G was ordered by the Polish manufacturer Halico Sp. Z.O.o., Pogwizdów Nowy, in early 2019, followed by orders from Shandong Qiyad Fiberglass Products Co., Ltd., Heze City, Shandong/China, and Zibo Glasstex Group Corp. (Shandong Fiberglass), Zibo, Shandong/China. After purchasing one machine each, they hinted that they may invest in further Wefttronic II G models.
Shandong Qiyad uses around 750 rapier looms in total for their production and thus offers efficiency potential. Depending on product quality, between 13 and 22 rapier looms can be replaced by just one Wefttronic II G.
Zibo Glasstex is a manufacturer of glass fibers, rovings and textiles. It is among the top 5 manufacturers of glass fibers in China and plans to invest in further machines. According to the company’s own information, it intends to work a market with an annual volume of 2 billion m² of textile glass fiber material and to achieve a significant market share.
Loepfe: new R&D lead team
Thomas Schlegel (photo L) and Roger Hilzinger (photo R) will jointly head the R&D team of the textile quality control provider Loepfe Brothers Ltd., Wetzikon/Switzerland, effective from May 18, 2020.
Thomas Schlegel has well-founded know-how in hardware, electronics, production quality and project leadership. He has also held deputy head of R&D and quality management roles in the past. Roger Hilzinger has been leading the Loepfe software group over the past 3 years. He has been working for Loepfe for a total of 9 years and is well acquainted with the applications for the company’s products in the textile market.
The 2 appointments are made to replace Lorenzo Occhi who will leave the company after 13 years, 8 of which were spent as Head of R&D.
ARTA: advantage to reusable in environmental footprint
A life cycle assessment (LCA) on behalf of the textile services industry has found that reusable surgical gowns provide a significant improvement in energy, environmental footprint, water, and energy-associated emissions. In asddition, reusable gowns offer an 83% reduction in waste stream.
The study commissioned by the American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA), Shawnee Mission, KS/USA, and the International Association for Healthcare Textile Management (IAHTM), Powell, OH/USA, was conducted by Environmental Clarity, Inc., Glen Allen, VA/USA, and compared the life cycle of reusable versus disposable surgical gowns.
The study found that choosing reusable isolation gowns instead of disposable alternatives decreases the environmental footprint by:
• 64% lower natural resource energy consumption,
• 66% lower greenhouse gas emissions,
• 87% lower total water consumed,
• 83% lower solid waste generation at healthcare facility.
The reusable and disposable gown systems were compared on a cradle-to-end-of-life basis. The starting point for analysis was natural resources in the earth, such as fossil materials and ores. The entire supply systems required to manufacture a final surgical gowns and packaging were included. The use phase included laundry and wastewater treatment for reusable gowns and sterilization for all gowns.
Picanol: 100,000th rapier weaving machine in Ieper
In 2020 the manufacturer of weaving machines Picanol NV, Ieper/Belgium is celebrating 45 years of manufacturing rapier weaving machines. In May its 100,000th rapier weaving machine rolled off the production line at its plant in Ieper. This machine (an OptiMax-i) will be delivered to Saitex Fabrics, Long Tho/Vietnam.
Picanol has an extensive experience in the production of high-tech rapier machines. In 1975, it launched its 1st weaving machine with a rapier insertion, which was named the PGW. Since the launch of the 1st rapier machine all that time ago, the company has introduced various new generations of rapier machines. These include, amongst other machines, the GTM in 1983, the Gamma in 1996, the GamMax in 2002, and the OptiMax and the GT-Max in 2007.
Its current flagship rapier weaving machines – the OptiMax-i (launched in 2015) and the GTMax-i 3.0 (launched in 2018) – cover a complete range of applications and they are generally recognized as being very versatile and good-performing rapier machines.
Berry: new meltblown capacity in South America
The producer of nonwovens Berry Global Group, Inc., Evansville, IN/USA, invests in its global meltblown nonwovens fabric capacity for South America.
This line is Berry’s 1st meltblown asset, based on its Meltex technology, to be located in South America and continues to support the demand for health and wellness products.
With continued demand for face masks globally, Berry has been working closely with customers to help ensure production and supply. The investment will bring more than 400 tons of Meltex meltblown nonwovens material to the region, which will enable production of more than 500 million surgical-grade masks per year.
The new asset will be operational in the 1st quarter 2021, will be placed at an existing Berry production facility in South America. The new line will be upgraded with Berry’s patented charging technology post installation.
Centexbel: kick-off for new project on advanced composite manufacturing
Centexbel: kick-off for new project on advanced composite manufacturing Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine is a potential hot-spot for the further development of advanced material and process technologies. Technical Centers and Institutes around Aachen/Germany, Liège/Belgium and Eindhoven/The Netherlands were awarded with the new project AACOMA (Accelerate advanced composite manufacturing). Innovative material design and advanced manufacturing provide large opportunities for SMEs. The AACOMA project kick-off took place in Aachen at the Campus of the RWTH University of technology in Q1/2020. The aim of the project, which is running for 3 years until 2023 with a budget of €3 million, is to connect SMEs with innovation hot-spots like institutes and technical centers. 7 partners from all 3 regions will carry the project out: the textile research center Centexbel, Gent/Belgium, is the project leader and gets support by University of Liège, Sirris and Flanders Make from Belgium, as well as Fontys University of Applied Science and AMIBM of Maastrich University in the Netherlands and AMAC in Germany.
Edana: Outlook 2020 will go online
The international association serving the nonwovens and related industries, Edana, Brussels/Belgium, announced that Outlook taking place on September 23-25, 2020 will go online. Each day a 3-hour webinar will feature an outstand program with keynotes speeches, presentations, discussions. The recent development in the different nonwovens applications contributing directly in the fight against Covid-19, the industry’s efforts and the long-term plans regarding the European Union supply will also be part of the program. Outlook 2021 will take place in Lisbon/Portugal on April 21-24, 2021, featuring a new session on healthcare and medical developments, a sector in which the role of nonwovens has been highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic. Index 20, the leading nonwoven exhibition, has been rescheduled to September 7-10, 2021.
Oerlikon Nonwoven: 50 million protective masks made in GermanyFrom autumn 2020, up to 50 million masks of protection classes FFP1 to FFP3 will be produced and sold in Germany each month for the European market. The 2 newly founded companies FleeceforEurope GmbH, Düsseldorf/Germany, and Lindenpartner, ein Angebot der Bechinger & Heymann Holding GmbH, Berlin/Germany, primary will focus on quality. These virus-absorbing nonwovens will be manufactured by the new venture FleeceforEurope in Germany using an Oerlikon Nonwoven meltblown system of the technology group Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland. With the masks, protection against infections such as corona virus can only be guaranteed with the right quality. On the one hand, this relates to how the masks are made. On the other hand, it is above all about what is inside. Because the nonwovens used in protection class FFP1 through FFP3 respiratory masks plays a decisive role. The electrostatic charging ensures that even the smallest particles, and therefore also viruses, are drawn in and absorbed by the nonwovens fabric for several hours. As a result of the comparatively loose formation of the fibers, the wearer can nevertheless breathe in and out easily. Those responsible at Oerlikon Nonwoven and FleeceforEurope, which will primarily focus on producing high-end nonwovens, and Lindenpartner, which will manufacture and distribute the protective masks, are certain of one thing: the market for protective masks has a very promising long-term future in Europe. What has been commonplace in Asia for many years now will also become normal in Europe. People will be increasingly wearing face masks when venturing out, in order to better protect themselves against health risks such as the current pandemic and also against increasing environ-mental pollution in the form of fine particles and exhaust fumes in the future.
Borealis: meltblown production on pilot line in Austria
The manufacturer of polyolefins Borealis AG, Vienna/Austria, transformed its meltblown pilot line in Linz/Austria, in short time to increase supply of polypropylene (PP) filtration fabrics for high-quality face masks.
The company has managed quickly to convert the way of working from pure development to smaller scale pilot production to regularly produce rolls of fine fiber fabrics for face masks. Recently developed by Borealis, a new proprietary polypropylene (PP) meltblown resin has boosted filtration properties due to its capability for finer fibers. By exploiting a robust network of co-operation partners in the country, Borealis is helping bolster the supply of filtration media to increase face masks production.
The newly developed Borealis HL912FB is being used to produce meltblown fabric to be applied for customised inlays in cotton-based mouth-nose masks, for conventional mouth-nose masks, and also for high-end face masks worn by medical professionals (FFP1 to FFP3). It can be processed at higher processing temperatures allowing the production of even finer fibers. According to in-house testing, the use of Borealis HL912FB results in a significant improvement in filtration efficiency. All 3 grades are manufactured at Borealis facilities in Europe and made available to customers worldwide.
Freudenberg: Low & Bonar is now part of the Freudenberg Group
The European Commission has authorized the planned acquisition of the technical textiles manufacturer Low & Bonar Plc, London/UK, by Freudenberg Performance Materials Holding SE & Co. KG, Weinheim/Germany, on April 17, 2020.
The global technology group Freudenberg acquired 100 % of the shares in Low & Bonar. Freudenberg submitted an offer in September 2019. The Low & Bonar shareholders approved the sale in November 2019. The company will be integrated in the Freudenberg Performance Materials Business Group.
Both companies use leading edge technologies to develop and manufacture its fabrics and textiles and for refining textiles and materials. The products from both companies are top quality and the goal is to be responsibly sustainable in their actions. Sustainability is integrated in the entire product cycle, including the use of raw materials and energy as well as the entire manufacturing process. International standards are not merely satisfied but exceeded.