Textile Technology section
Coloreel: advancing new coloration technologies for threads
Dyeing and finishing currently involves many washing and drying process steps which add a huge burden to the overall carbon footprint of finished garments and textile products. The latest fully digital technologies are making a big difference, such as the instant thread coloration technology of textile finishing company Coloreel AB, Jönköping/Sweden.
Initially targeting the embroidery market, Coloreel technology enables the high-quality and instant coloring of a textile thread while it is actually being used in production and can be paired with any existing embroidery machine without modification.
Based on a CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) ink system, Coloreel’s advanced rapid color formulation software and high-speed drive technology allow a single needle to carry out what previously required many multiples of them to do – and with much more consistent stitch quality.
Coloreel enables complete freedom to create unique embroideries without any limitations in the use of colors. Color changes along the thread can either be made rapidly from one solid color to another, or gradually, to make smooth transitions or any coloring effect desired.
This provides big benefits when it comes to sustainability. There is a significant reduction in wasted inks, while water usage is minimized, and production speeds are increased. The technology allows set-up and lead times to be reduced as well as significant flexibility in production schedules, while eliminating the need for large thread inventories.
Pili: production of bio-based pigments and colors
The start-up company in the development of renewable colors, Pili Inc., Paris/France, will begin the industrialization of the first bio-based pigments for paints and inks. A new €4 million financing round is expected to scale up production of bio-based pigments.
By using local renewable raw materials (the French territory being rich in biomass, i.e. straw, oil, molasses), these processes will make it possible to significantly reduce the color industry's CO2 emissions on a global scale as well as the use of fossil materials (oil, coal). They will also make it possible to reduce the strong dependence of several industrial sectors on Asian imports while recreating a European supply. Producing bio-based textile dyestuffs remains a major objective for the company. Pili will start to send textile dyestuff samples in 2022 for customer qualification tests.
Since the start-up was founded in 2015, €10 million has already been invested in the company.
International Cotton Conference: latest trends around cotton
450 participants from 32 countries attended the 35th International Cotton Conference on March 17-18, 2021, which this year was organized by the Bremen Cotton Exchange, Bremen/Germany, and the Faserinstitut Bremen e.V. (FIBRE), Bremen, as a hybrid event. 90 speakers and panelists with topical presentations as well as discussion panels ensured a lively exchange of information on all aspects of cotton.
The conference sessions were divided into 2 parallel lecture strands, intended for visitors with different information interests. In the “Conceptual Track”, it was all about conveying information on a more political, strategic range of topics. These were, for example, sustainable cotton cultivation, transparency in the supply chain and corporate responsibility. In the more subject-specific “Technical Track”, the leading role was given to technological advances in cotton cultivation through digitalization, increasing yields, improving fiber quality, quality testing and standardization.
Alongside the sessions, there were poster presentations or poster talks and exchange discussions with experts. These partly followed on from the content of the lectures or extended the range of experience with informative impulses on other subjects. To achieve this, special virtual rooms were set up on the conference platform, which were open to participants during the conference for communication purposes of all kinds.
The next International Cotton Conference will be held on March 30-31, 2022, the year of the 150th anniversary of the Bremen Cotton Exchange.
Uster: intelligent yarn quality control with new clearing technology
An innovative yarn clearing technology has been launched by the provider of textile testing and quality control solutions, Uster Technologies AG, Uster/Switzerland, that combines both capacitive and optical sensors in one.
The Smart Duo system from the new Quantum 4.0 clearer generation offers the best of both systems. The Quantum 4.0 enables full security in quality control through a simple capacitive/optical switch. This allows greater flexibility in the types of yarn which can be produced, while also dealing with factors such as humidity variations.
The capacitive and optical sensors work intelligently in tandem through an innovation known as Cross Clearing. This locates and eliminates hidden defects by means of a double check, in which the main sensor’s signal is supported by the assistance sensor. This deals with issues such as unnoticed fluff events, which might otherwise cause breaks downstream. The Smart Duo also has the advantage of monitoring yarn density continuously and after every splice.
Further innovations with Quantum 4.0 are the Blend Mix-up option, which now enables mills to identify mix-ups of different types of raw materials, higher processing power of the new sensors and focus on contamination.
JEC Group: trends in the global composites industry 2020-2025
The JEC Group, Paris/France, has published the new 2021 edition of the JEC Observer: Current trends in the global composites industry 2020-2025, written in collaboration with Estin & Co., Paris. JEC Observer is the annual barometer of the composites industry. This new publication seeks to give a perspective and outlook of the industry for the next 5 years using graphs, key figures, market dynamics, and insights to illustrate the state of composites globally.
2020 was an exceptional year. Composites suffered from the impacts of the Covid-19 health crisis and there are no signs that indicate that it will be any different once this has abated, although the demand remains strong in some regions.
The composites market should decrease in all regions in 2021. There should be a stronger decrease in Europe and North America, than in China due to the Chinese economy recovering faster. The global composites market grew at 8% p.a. over 2010, 4% p.a. from 2010-2019, and should remain at -14% for 2020, due to the corona crisis and its impact on the economy. For the next 5 years (2021-2025), the composites industry should resume growth, at between 2% and 9% p.a. across regions.
The new 2021 JEC Observer edition has a special focus on composite recycling and the growing development of hydrogen and its impact on the industry. Globally, composite materials are recycled at a much lower rate than other prominent materials, but it has been improving. Thus, the recycling processes are gaining momentum with increasing numbers of companies entering the market and creating tremendous growth opportunities. Although the penetration rate of composites in the automotive industry has been slowly increasing over the past 40 years, hydrogen car manufacturing will certainly ramp up composites production worldwide in the long run.
For further information: www.jeccomposites.com
Sandler: sales growth in 2020 despite corona
Notwithstanding the corona pandemic, nonwovens manufacturer Sandler AG, Schwarzenbach/Germany, can look back on a successful year 2020. The company achieved an increase in sales from 322 to €328 million.
To contribute to the fight against the corona virus, Sandler utilized as much capacity as possible for the production of nonwovens for face masks.
In the automotive industry and furniture production orders declined in the 2nd quarter 2020, while demand in other segments, such as nonwovens for disinfection wipes or personal protective equipment, increased markedly. At the same time, the company substantially invested in the modernization of workplaces and factory buildings. Furthermore, it continued to expand all of its market segments, among them applications in construction or hygiene products, also extending its range of efficient sound-absorbing materials for interior acoustics.
At Sandler Nonwoven Corporation in Perry, GA/USA, a new production line was set up inside a new building constructed specifically for this purpose. In late December 2020, first trial runs of the new production line were conducted; commissioning is now in its final stages.
Index20: new dates announced for October
Due to on-going travel restrictions and unforeseen delays in vaccination programs, the organizers of the Index 20 in Geneva/Switzerland have been forced to recognize that the lifting of the Swiss federal governmental restrictions regarding sizeable gatherings of people and a consequent return to normal business, may take a little longer than anticipated.
For this reason, the Index 20 will be postponed to October 19-22, 2021. Delaying the event for an additional 6 weeks will increase the opportunities for a broader range of participants to attend the event in person.
Furthermore, a comprehensive virtual platform is being introduced for the fair. This digital tool will enable the over 14,000 exhibitors and visitors to interact directly if they wish, extend the event’s reach both in terms of geography and applications, and provide live and on-demand product content and information. A data-driven matchmaking facility will assist participants in contacting and networking with like-minded attendees in their particular sector.
For further information: www.indexnonwovens.com
Devan: bio-based fragrances for textiles
A new range of bio-based fragrances that uses traceable raw materials is being launched by the supplier of specialty chemicals Devan Chemicals NV, Ronse/Belgium. An external lab has confirmed that the bio-content of the fragrances is above 85%.
SceNTL is a range of encapsulated fragrances that can be integrated onto the fabric and are gradually released over time. Upon release, the fragrances appeal to the senses, promoting relaxation, wellbeing and feel-good sensations.
While synthetic fragrances are composed of synthetic, man-made ingredients, natural scents and oils are created by isolating natural aroma components from raw plant materials. Although aromatherapy is still a young and understudied domain, recent studies have shown that essential oils can indeed have neurological effects.
The new range is intended for low-wash items such as mattress ticking, decorative pillows, upholstery, curtains, carpets, etc. It can also be used as a natural ‘masking scent’ for products that have a strong artificial smell caused by the production process.
BASF: outdoor trousers made from old tires
In the new product line of the outdoor apparel company Vaude Sport GmbH & Co. KG, Tettnang/Germany, the trousers are sustainable, as chemically recycled scrap tires are used as a raw material. With this innovation, chemical company BASF SE, Ludwigshafen/Germany, and Vaude seek to make a contribution towards reducing waste and preserving valuable resources.
Ultramid Ccycled is an innovative polyamide (PA) 6 that can be used to manufacture high-quality textiles. During production, fossil-based raw materials are saved while also offering customers a reduced carbon footprint.
BASF feeds pyrolysis oil from old tires into its production network in Ludwigshafen, and in doing so partially replaces fossil resources. The share of recycled raw material is assigned to certain products manufactured in the network using a certified mass balance approach. As products with “Ccycled” in their name have the same properties as the equivalents made from fossil raw materials, customers can process them in the same manner and use them in their conventional processes. Accordingly, Ultramid Ccycled can also be used in applications with high quality and performance requirements, such as in the textile industry.
Mayer & Cie.: market recovery after 2 challenging years
Once again in 2020, sales of the knitting machine manufacturer Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG, Albstadt/Germany, saw a 20% decline on the previous year to €72 million. In 2019 sales were already down 12% on 2018 despite the launch of a new product range of braiding machines in Albstadt. Comparing 2018 and 2020 sales directly, the downturn was all of 32%. At the end of 2019 the personnel structure was adjusted to the decline in demand.
Since late summer 2020, after the first wave of the corona virus, Mayer & Cie. has benefited from a significant recovery in the market. Further expectations for the 2021 business year are positive. Managing Director Benjamin Mayer expects the company to exceed the originally planned annual production of circular knitting machines. The sales target for 2021 is around €96 million and will lead the company back into the black.
The production of braiding machines at the Albstadt site was intended to compensate for fluctuations in the textile machinery market. In 2019 and 2020, the new business division could claim a 10-20% share of sales at full capacity. In terms of machines produced, an increase of 14% was recorded from 2019 to 2020.