Textile Technology section
Dralon: comprehensive restructuring
Acrylic fiber producer Dralon GmbH, Dormagen/Germany, has already had to reduce its production severely in the 2nd quarter 2020. In addition to the effects of the corona pandemic, the company is also burdened by the continuing high price pressure in a shrinking global market. In order to make the company competitive again, Dralon has decided to comprehensively restructure the company as part of a protective shielding process.
The protective shielding procedure can only be initiated if the company is not yet insolvent at the time of application. The management of the company remains fully capable of acting in the proceedings. Production and delivery to customers will continue without restrictions.
Dralon is using the debtor-in-possession management for the restructuring with the aim of continuing the company. In doing so, the company management remains in office and carries out the reorganization itself.
The affiliated business of the fiber manufacturer Dolan GmbH, Kelheim/Germany, is not part of the restructuring process, as the business there is less affected and remains profitable in 2020.
Itema: acquisition of PTMT
The provider of advanced weaving solutions, Itema SpA, Colzate/Italy, has finalized the agreement for the acquisition of PTMT srl (formerly Panter), Grandino/Italy.
The acquisition by the company’s subsidiary Itematech srl, allows Itema to expand its product portfolio by adding PTMT technology, with the aim of consolidating improving their position in the field of technical fabrics.
With the launch of Itematech, the new division dedicated to technical textiles, in the first quarter of 2019, the company offers a complete technological portfolio for high-tech fabrics.
Avery Dennison: strategic partnership with Lampe Textiles
Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions Europe, Oegstgeest/Netherlands, has formed a strategic partnership with Lampe Textiles NV, Tielt /Belgium, and will become the sole distributor of Squid self-adhesive textile window films to the graphics industry in Europe, Middle East and North Africa.
Digitally printable Squid films are heat and moisture resistant, with sun protection, and are applied easily onto glass surfaces.
Installation can be DIY or by a professional. Woven Squid textile has a linen look and comes ready to print. It offers homes, offices and hotels a soft, minimalistic and elegant appearance and is available in 6 colors. Depending on color, the film deflects 25-36% of solar energy, for cooler rooms during the summer.
Mahlo: next generation pattern control system
Large, artistic graphics, timeless glen check or exact pinstripes. This presents an increasing challenge for textile manufacturers to produce straight weft and straightened patterns. Here, the alignment according to the design often plays a greater role than the weft insertion. The manufacturer of measuring, control and automation systems Mahlo GmbH & Co. KG, Saal a.d. Donau/Germany, solves this problem with its improved Patcontrol PCS-20 system for pattern recognition and warp control. It straightens bow and skew distortions in technical textiles just as reliably as in terry cloth. Even goods that cannot be detected with conventional scanning systems do not pose a problem for pattern recognition.
The system uses camera technology to detect the position of the pattern and automatically and continuously determines the pattern repeat, measures the product width, and together with a straightener straightens the product distortion based on the print pattern.
New long-life LED lighting generates the maximum brightness on the market, thereby extending the scanning range for darker goods. Improved cameras allow brightness control by gain and exposure time. More than 2 cameras can also be connected per measuring point. This allows a higher resolution and even more accurate results. A Gigabit connection allows the transmission of large amounts of data. Using a mounting aid, the exact camera adjustment can be done easily and quickly. A compact interface box at the measuring point integrates the Patcontrol PCS-20 even more easily into the existing plant.
The system is also integrated into the mSmart digitalization concept. Users, machines and processes are networked with each other and meet all the requirements of Industry 4.0.
Freudenberg/NCSU: face masks for universities and hospitals
In order to manufacture face masks for UNC system universities (all the public educational institutions granting 4-year degrees in North Carolina (NC)), NC government organizations and hospitals, the producer of technical textiles Freudenberg Performance Materials Holding SE & Co. KG, Weinheim/Germany, has partnered with the Nonwovens Institute at North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh, NC/USA.
As the fight against corona virus continues, the need for essential face coverings continues to rise. Together, the partners will begin production of earloop procedure masks and N95 masks. The 2 organizations are aligning their expertise and supply chains to bring PPE to universities and healthcare workers as quickly as possible.
Through this partnership, NC State is supplying Freudenberg Performance Materials with the necessary roll goods needed for production while Freudenberg provides the textile manufacturing expertise and work force needed to install, operate and maintain the four new production lines. Once fully operational the site will be able to produce more than 1 million masks a month.
In addition to the face mask lines provided by NC State, Freudenberg is also in the process of installing 6 additional production lines to manufacture surgical and N95 masks. Not only will the lines help provide essential face coverings, but the addition of the lines has enabled Freudenberg add 50 new positions within the company to operate the lines.
Monforts: sustainable leadership for GtA with new Montex wide width lines
Following the commissioning of 2 new Monforts Montex wide-width stenter lines and additional environmental management equipment at its plant in Germany, GtA - Gesellschaft für textile Ausrüstung mbH, Neresheim/Germany, is aiming to be the first textile finishing company to become entirely CO2-neutral in the manufacture of all of its products by 2025.
The substrates of choice for digital printing are 100% polyester warp knits. The knitted construction 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.
The purpose-built plant on a greenfield site was initially equipped with a fully-automated, 72 m long Monforts installation comprising a washing machine integrated with a 3.6 m wide, 7-chamber Montex stenter. The 2 new Montex stenter lines from the manufacturer of textile machinery A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG, Mönchengladbach/Germany are both in expanded working widths of 5.6 m. They include the Smart Sensor system for the optimized 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.
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.
RadiciGroup: positive results for 2019
The manufacturer of synthetic fibers and yarns, RadiciGroup, Grandino/Italy, closed financial year 2019 with consolidated sales revenue of €1,092 million (2018: €1,211 million). The group with 3,100 employees in 16 countries engages in the chemicals, engineering polymers and synthetic fibers businesses.
Crucial to maintaining the Group’s competitiveness and development in 2019 was the decision to continue allocating sizeable investments – totaling over €45 million – to the constant technological upgrading of plants and equipment, as well as to business sustainability. In particular, €7.6 million was earmarked for implementing Best Available Techniques, enhancing energy efficiency, emission abatement and R&D activities aimed at adding to low environmental impact processes and products.
At the beginning of 2020, the purchase of shares in Radici Plastics France SA, St. Priest/France, was completed, thus giving RadiciGroup a majority interest in the French company engaged in the sale of engineering polymers. The group also acquired Zeta Polimeri Srl, Buronzo/Italy, a company specializing in the recovery of synthetic fibers and thermoplastics.
Kelheim Fibres: new Head of Business Development
Effective July 1, 2020, Dr. Marina Crnoja-Cosic has been appointed Head of New Business Development at the cellulose fiber producer Kelheim Fibres GmbH, Kelheim/Germany. She will also serve as a member of the Management Board.
With a PhD in Chemistry, Crnoja-Cosic brings with her long-time experience in fiber and application development as well as in business development. Customized and market-oriented solutions, cross-company cooperation along the value chain and constant attention to long-term industry, and particularly to textile trends, have shaped her career path for the past 20 years.
Asahi Kasei: natural stretch linings
Specialized in the creation of linings for high quality menswear, womenswear and children wear, Gianni Crespi Foderami srl, Villa Cortese/Italy, has teamed up with Bemberg, the Japanese brand of regenerated cellulose fibers by the producer of fibers, chemicals and electronics, Asahi Kasei Corp., Osaka/Japan, to develop a precious 100% Bemberg lining with very good stretch performance.
Bemberg Natural Stretch achieves maximum flexibility, resistance, and comfort without the use of elastomers and polyesters. Elasticity is obtained thanks to a complex way of yarn twisting, weaving, and finishing. The yarns are smart, responsible and high-tech. Made from a cotton linter bio-utility material, the natural derived source does not deplete forestry resources. The high-tech natural fibers are characterized by unique touch and feel, as well as performance such as moisture control and antistatic properties.
DITF: intelligent tablecloths
Current hygiene regulations require restaurant operators to ensure sufficient distance between guests. Intelligent table cloths could soon help with this often complicated seating management. Furthermore, with the help of sensor technology, restaurant visitors could place their orders directly into the fabric without contact with the waiter and even use play functions after the meal. The German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf (DITF), Denkendorf/Germany, are conducting research on tablecloths that are not only smart but also feel like textiles and can be used despite having built-in sensors.
Intelligent textiles do not yet have the properties familiar from fabrics, such as flexible, pleasant feel and easy washability. Therefore, the DITF are developing a purely textile sensor technology as part of a research project funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. This will be separated from both the energy supply and the data processing and the measured values will be transmitted inductively, i.e. wirelessly. The tablecloths interact with the electronics integrated in the table. Central functions are the detection of seat occupancy, ordering functions and an event and game application. Specially developed wrapping yarns are used for this purpose. The first functional models have already been created using embroidery technology, which uses electronics to detect and show approximation and touch in a table. In the future, patterns that measure illuminance could control the blinds in the smart home and thus make the seating area glare-free.
To ensure that the research results can be transferred to the industry on a production scale, various influencing variables such as the sensor yarn structure or the embroidery pattern are being investigated.