Textile Technology section
Lectra: fabric zero-buffer cutting solution for automotive interiors
New solutions for the mass production of fabric car seats and interiors have been launched by the supplier of integrated technology solutions for textile and flexible materials Lectra SA, Paris/France.
The latest additions to the already-extensive Vector Automotive fabric cutting machine range, the iP6 and iP9, combine cutting equipment innovation with an optimized software application and specially designed consumables to enable automotive suppliers to achieve zero-buffer cutting on a very wide variety of automotive materials.
Constant, real-time control of the cutting equipment is integral to Vector Automotive iP6 and iP9’s ultraprecise cutting. Sensors on the cutting-head camera detect stress and instantly adapt cutting parameters. The new algorithm, an add-on to the equipment software pilot, manages common lines in real time for the greatest possible accuracy while cutting parameters are continually adjusted to the blade’s dimensions.
In addition to substantially reducing material consumption, there are also lower consumable replacement costs and increased cutting time. Just as with materials, the new solutions enable an equivalent gain in paper and plastic films for each 1 mm reduction in buffer. Improvements in the bristle block, sharpening band and blade lifespans reduce maintenance time by half, thereby drastically increasing machine availability. Both solutions come with Vector Dashboard, a cloud-based application to monitor the equipment through daily key performance indicators.
Spinnova: world’s first wheat straw-based clothing
Together with the company for sustainable fiber technology Spinnova, Jyväskylä/Finland, the energy company Fortum, Espoo/Finland, introduced the first prototype product born out of their joint development of using wheat straw in the production of highly sustainable textile fiber.
Fortum and Spinnova are showcasing the world’s first clothing made from agricultural waste, namely wheat straw, at the Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference from 15-17 October, 2019, in Vancouver/Canada. The showpieces include a knitted t-shirt, as well as a jacket and skirt made of a woven fabric on organic cotton warp.
The parties announced their partnership earlier this year after testing various biomasses. The showcased straw was first processed with highly sustainable fractionation technology, developed by Fortum’s associate company Chempolis Oy, Oulu/Finland. Spinnova’s technology, presently in a piloting phase, turns microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) directly into fiber mechanically without any dissolving or harmful chemical processes. Fortum and Spinnova plan to establish sustainable fiber production in Fortum’s future biorefineries that will use residual biomasses such as agro waste. The biomass will be processed into materials for bioproducts of lignocellulosic origin, as well as cellulosic products. The refineries will be based on fractionation technology, enabling highly resource-efficient utilization of wheat straw and resulting in significantly lower environmental impact compared to other processing technologies.
UCMTF: new Secretary General.
At the ITMA in Barcelona/Spain in June 2019, the French Textile Machinery Manufacturers’ Association (UCMTF) announced the appointment of Christian Guinet as Secretary General. Guinet took over from Evelyne Cholet, who went into retirement, on September 1, 2019.
Guinet, a textile engineer, has a large amount of experience as export manager in charge of the sales financing and credit insurance. Within the UCMTF he has been President of the Promotion Committee, where he organized road shows, seminars and national pavilions in many fairs and managed relations with the textile press along with Evelyne Cholet.
Cholet joined the association in 1985 to organize the ITMA 1987, where she then stayed for 34 years.
HeiQ: sustainable dyeing and finishing solutions significantly reduces waste
To significantly reduce waste in their apparel production supply chain, the textile technology supplier Twinery, Innovations by MAS, Colombo/Sri Lanka, has partnered with the supplier of finishing technology, HeiQ Materials AG, Zurich/Switzerland, in developing a low impact supply chain by reducing energy and waste across the entire value chain – Truecycled.
2 steps in this supply chain lifecycle include improving the dyeing and finishing stages. To improve the dyeing stage by using less water and energy and save CO2 during the polyester dyeing process, Truecycled has implemented HeiQ Clean Tech for more efficient and ecological processing of textiles.
HeiQ Clean Tech is eco-friendly and efficient, with time, water and energy savings of 30-40%. It enables a faster polyester dyeing process with disperse dyes as well as optimizing the textile product quality. This technology permits high process flexibility thanks to its suitability for most standard polyester dyeing machines and can be applied to woven fabrics, knits and yarns. Among other benefits, the system can also help lower CO2 emissions by 30%, increase productivity and improve ecological footprint by 30%,
reduce polyester dyeing time by 35% and reduce manufacturing costs by 30%.
ITMF: yarn production up in Q1/2019
Between Q4/2018 and Q1/2019, global yarn production increased by 17%. Higher output levels where observed in Asia (+18%), Brazil (+18%), the USA (+3.2%) and Europe (+1.6%). The overall Asian result is due to a 27% increase in Chinese yarn production which outperformed the contraction registered in Japan (-1.7%), India (-3.1%) and South Korea (-9.2%). A decreasing trend has further been observed in South Africa (-5.3%) and Egypt (-7.9%), but the forecasts for Q2/19 are optimistic in Japan, Taipei and Turkey.
Global yarn orders increased by 12% led by Brazil (+18%), Egypt (+11%) and Asia (+9%).
Global fabric production increased between Q4/2018 to Q1/2019 by 3.8%. This reflects an output raise of 19% in Brazil and an overall improvement of 3.6% in Asian countries. Europe saw its production shrink by 0.85% with the biggest drop registered in Spain (-10.1%). A strong decrease of 42% was also witnessed in Egyptian fabric production.
Freudenberg: hard-particle increases friction coefficient of coatings
The technology group Freudenberg SE, Weinheim/Germany, has acquired the activities of the startup Frictins GmbH from Wolnzach/Germany – including Frictins’ innovative technology to increase the friction coefficient.
This allows lightweight and more compact component designs as well as the transmission of up to 5-times higher torque and shear forces. These features are of high relevance in applications within E-mobility and its increasing performance requirements regarding the connection of parts.
This technology combines an innovative hard-particle coating process with a special nonwovens from Freudenberg. The patent pending solution is using a multi-step-process to coat hard particles in various dimensions onto the surface of special nonwovens. When applied in the friction joint, the hard particles penetrate into both parts of the joining components and create a micro interlock. Compared to existing technologies on the market, Frictins’ technology offers a great flexibility in the design process, e.g. due to lower material thickness, while also providing high friction coefficient. By using 100% inert materials, this new technology cannot cause any corrosion between the joining parts
This technology is utilized by automotive manufacturers and suppliers in engine, chassis and powertrain applications.
Currently, the products are manufactured in pilot production scale in a facility near Munich/Germany. Freudenberg has acquired all assets and will set up an industrial scale production within the next few months.
A&E: new facility in Vietnam
The manufacturer of sewing and embroidery threads and technical textiles, American & Efrid LLC (A&E), Mt. Holly, NC/USA, has celebrated the completion of its 28th global manufacturing facility with the grand opening ceremony of its new site in Dong Nai Province/Vietnam.
Strategically positioned to provide expanded services and regional support for apparel, footwear, handbags, and other sewn products in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, this new site aligns the company with the high growth of the sewn products industry in this region and provides the ability for future expansion.
Construction of A&E’s new state-of-the-art facility began in June of 2018 and was completed and operational on June 1, 2019, adding more than 150 new jobs to the region.
At the end of September, A&E introduced its 100% recycled sewing thread line, Eco100 to the textile market.
Stoll: innovations and developments within the field of knit and wear
The manufacturer of flat knitting machines H. Stoll AG & Co. KG, Reutlingen/Germany, has introduced 2 new knit and wear machines.
In addition to the enhancement of the intarsia capability, the CMS 830 ki knit and wear offers the gauge E9.2. This machine is an economical entry-level machine for flexible use, both for conventional production and knit and wear divisions.
The ADF 830-24 ki W knit and wear offers even greater flexibility in coloring and patterning – providing greater productivity and covering the entire spectrum of technology and functionality within the knit and wear range. Key features include reverse plating, Ikat Plating, selective plating, and intarsia plating. In addition to weft knitting, which gives the textiles a loom-like appearance, the ADF 830-24 ki W knit and wear also offers the intarsia technique within the knit and wear range – a completely new feature for a knit and wear machine.
One of many advantages the ADF machines offer are the yarn carriers that move independently from the carriage – both horizontally and vertically. Thanks to the large working width, it is also possible to knit garments in one piece.
Reifenhäuser: First RF5 line starts spinning
The first line of the new RF5 generation for the production of spunbond, meltblown, and composite nonwovens from machinery and components manufacturer Reifenhäuser Reicofil GmbH & Co. KG, Troisdorf/Germany, has successfully extruded the first filaments at the nonwovens producer PFNonwovens a.s. (formerly Pegas Nonwovens a.s.), Znojmo /Czech Republic.
The spunbond and meltblown technologies were totally revised for the RF5 technology. The line is also equipped with digital solutions from the Reifenhäuser Digital Business Platform. This paves the way for intelligent machines and intelligent production.
The line offers operators a productivity analysis that predicts exactly when a wear part will fail. It warns the operator of spinning dysfunction before it occurs and provides a troubleshooting guide. In addition, the RF5 line is equipped with an anti-contamination package providing an extremely high-purity end product. It also reduces noise, which improves working conditions for operators.
When it comes to sustainability, Reicofil has also tuned energy consumption for efficiency. The Blue Package reduces energy consumption to achieve greater sustainability in production. For example, the extruders and calenders are specially insulated and the fans are equipped with high-efficiency motors.
Lenzing: announcement of climate targets
The producer of cellulosic fibers, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, announced its climate targets. By 2030, the company aims to reduce its specific CO2 emissions per ton of manufactured pulp and fibers by 50 %. By the year 2050, the Lenzing Group will no longer generate any net CO2 emissions.
Lenzing‘s Management Board has also resolved to invest € 40 million to expand the production of the raw material sulfuric acid at the Lenzing site. In the future, a new air purification and sulfur recovery plant will not only optimize the company’s self-sufficiency for this raw material and enhance process reliability but helps to ensure an even higher level of environmental compatibility of all production operations at the Lenzing site.