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(c) Eton
22.04.2022

More localised and automated textile manufacturing with TMAS technologies

At the forthcoming Texprocess, Techtextil and Heimtextil shows taking place in Frankfurt from June 21-24 – members of the Swedish Textile Machinery Association TMAS will be showcasing a range of solutions aligning with the growing trend for more localised and automated textile manufacturing.

Digitalisation and the push for more sustainable, shorter and less expensive supply chains are currently making manufacturing in high-cost countries within Europe more attractive and there have been many other contributing factors to this over the past two years.

The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerability of many countries to shortages of essential items like PPE while at the same time making the full exploitation of new digital options essential during national lock-downs and long periods of restricted travel. The escalating cost of global transportation, as well as the growth of online retailing and the associated benefits of on-demand digital manufacturing, are further reinforcing the many benefits of short-run and near-shore new operations.

At the forthcoming Texprocess, Techtextil and Heimtextil shows taking place in Frankfurt from June 21-24 – members of the Swedish Textile Machinery Association TMAS will be showcasing a range of solutions aligning with the growing trend for more localised and automated textile manufacturing.

Digitalisation and the push for more sustainable, shorter and less expensive supply chains are currently making manufacturing in high-cost countries within Europe more attractive and there have been many other contributing factors to this over the past two years.

The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerability of many countries to shortages of essential items like PPE while at the same time making the full exploitation of new digital options essential during national lock-downs and long periods of restricted travel. The escalating cost of global transportation, as well as the growth of online retailing and the associated benefits of on-demand digital manufacturing, are further reinforcing the many benefits of short-run and near-shore new operations.

Secure supply
At Texprocess, for example, Eton Systems will be unveiling its latest Ingenious software solution which further enhances the company’s Opta Unit Production System (UPS) introduced in 2021.

“Our automated technology has already had a great impact on the productivity of thousands of garment production lines,” says Eton’s Managing Director Jerker Krabbe. “Our systems help producers across the world to reduce repetitive manual tasks and increase efficiency, which evens out some of the differences between production in high and low-cost countries, making reshoring a feasible option. Creating a diversified production portfolio with a mix of production facilities, some closer to home, makes for a more secure product supply.”

Flexibility
Imogo meanwhile recently installed the first industrial scale dyeing system in Sweden for many years. The Dye-Max spray dyeing line has the potential to slash the use of fresh water, wastewater, energy and chemicals by as much as 90% compared to conventional jet dyeing systems. It is capable of carrying out the application of a wide range of fabric pre-treatments and finishing processes, providing users with unbeatable flexibility in production.

“Here in Scandinavia, we are currently seeing an explosion of companies developing sustainable new cellulosic fibres – many from waste clothing – but a problem is that all of the environmental benefits they deliver can potentially be lost in the further processing, and especially in conventional dyeing,” observes the company’s Founding Partner Per Stenflo. “The Dye-Max system positively addresses this, but interest in it has not just been confined to Europe. We are currently seeing a lot of activity in Turkey – largely as a near-shore partner to European brands – but also in Bangladesh.”

Robotics at Heimtextil
ACG Kinna Automatic specialises in automation solutions for filled products such as quilts, pillows and mattresses and its live demonstrations of robotics in action have proved a magnet for visitors to Heimtextil. This year’s show will be no exception.

“The use of robotics is now standard across many industries dealing in solid goods, but the handling of soft materials such as textiles is a little more complex,” says Managing Director Christian Moore. “Nevertheless, it’s something we have successfully mastered, and our robotic systems are proving highly beneficial to their users. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to automation and our approach is always to carefully examine where it will make the difference in each bespoke system. A focus is on identifying and eliminating bottlenecks which will increase product flows.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, ACG Kinna drew on all of its automation know-how and extensive network of contacts to build a new nonwovens fabric converting and single-use garment making-up plant in a matter of weeks, in order to supply the Swedish authorities with urgently-needed medical gowns.

Instant colour
Localised textile production is also booming in the USA, where Coloreel has recently secured multiple orders for its instant thread colouration technology via its US partner Hirsch.

“Coloreel technology enables the high-quality and instant colouring of a textile thread while it is actually being used in production and can be paired with any existing embroidery machine without modification, while also making it possible to produce gradients in an embroidery for the first time,” explains VP of Sales Sven Öquist.

“Advanced rapid colour formulation software and high-speed drive technology allow a single needle to carry out what it previously required many multiples of them to do – and with much more consistent stitch quality. By instantly colouring a recycled white base thread during production, our system enables complete freedom to create unique embroideries without any limitations. Colour changes along the thread can either be made rapidly from one solid colour to another, or gradually, to make smooth transitions or any colouring effect desired. This provides big benefits when it comes to sustainability and design creativity.”

Milestone
Svegea will be promoting its latest EC 300 collarette cutting machine at Texprocess 2022. This machine is used by garment manufacturers around the world for the production of tubular apparel components such as waistbands, cuff and neck tapes and other seam reinforcements. With its E-Drive 2 system and fully automatic FA500 roll slitter, the EC 300 has an output of around 20,000 metres per hour.

“Advances in automation are only making the specialised, bespoke machines we engineer even more efficient and we are expecting a very busy year,” says Managing Director Håkan Steene. “The garment components our collarette cutters produce make it logical for them to be integrated into the operations of making-up operations, wherever they are.”

Sensors
The advanced yarn tension monitoring technologies of Eltex of Sweden meanwhile play an essential role in rectifying defects in  weaving, tufting and composite reinforcement operations.

“A correct tension of the warp and weft threads ensures proper machine operation,” explains Eltex Global Marketing and Sales Manager Anoop K. Sharma “The constant tension monitoring and automatic control of the tension of the thread help to overcome unnecessary problems.

“We continue to make advances in both the hardware and software of our tension monitoring systems, such as the EyE™ for the warping process. With the EyE™, the yarn tension values from all yarns are continuously updated and displayed on screen. In addition, tension values outside the warning level are indicated both on the sensor’s LEDs and on the screen for complete quality control. No fabric can be woven without the appropriate and correct tension.”

Source:

AWOL Media

16.03.2022

TMAS: TEXO AB sees Demand for Compfelt Weaving Looms

TEXO AB, a member of TMAS, the Swedish textile machinery association, is currently seeing a surge in demand for its Compfelt weaving looms for press felt base fabrics.

“These are far from standard machines,” explains TEXO President Anders Svensson. “Off-the-shelf industrial weaving machines generally range in their working widths from 1.9 to 3.2 metres, with those purpose-built for technical applications such as geotextiles extending to wider widths of six metres and beyond. Meanwhile, one of the machines we have recently successfully delivered and commissioned has a working width of 23 metres and is not even the widest of the many such machines the company has engineered and delivered worldwide since its formation.”

A second recently-delivered line has a more modest working width – in relative terms – of 13 metres.

TEXO AB, a member of TMAS, the Swedish textile machinery association, is currently seeing a surge in demand for its Compfelt weaving looms for press felt base fabrics.

“These are far from standard machines,” explains TEXO President Anders Svensson. “Off-the-shelf industrial weaving machines generally range in their working widths from 1.9 to 3.2 metres, with those purpose-built for technical applications such as geotextiles extending to wider widths of six metres and beyond. Meanwhile, one of the machines we have recently successfully delivered and commissioned has a working width of 23 metres and is not even the widest of the many such machines the company has engineered and delivered worldwide since its formation.”

A second recently-delivered line has a more modest working width – in relative terms – of 13 metres.

Paper machines
The demand for such machines comes from the suppliers of paper machine clothing (PMC) to paper mills, who in turn operate colossal machines for paper manufacturing.
On of the largest paper making machines is currently believed to be located on Hainan Island off the southern coast of China and is 428 metres long – roughly the length of four football pitches. Naturally, such machines require equally large-scale components, which is where TEXO comes in. All paper machines require a regular supply of PMC fabrics which are employed in three separate areas of the paper machine – the forming section, the press section and the drying section.

Press felts
TEXO Compfelt weaving machines are specifically employed for the production of endless (tubular) woven base fabrics for the press section of paper machines, where water is mechanically removed from the newly formed sheet of fibres. In the simplest press, the sheet is carried by the PMC fabric between two rolls, where water is squeezed out by the application of load and pressure. This can also be assisted by the use of vacuum and heat. The PMC fabrics here need to be replaced regularly, with a maximum lifespan of six months.

Press felts have become increasingly sophisticated over the years, consisting of complex woven base structures which are subsequently combined with nonwovens via needlepunching on equally huge machines. The woven base fabrics are primarily made from polyamide for its strength and hygroscopic and elastic properties.

Dobby harness
“A major refinement of the machine has been the ability to equip it with up to 24 dobby harness frames to meet the demand for sophisticated structures from the PMC manufacturers. Although the PMC business represents a small proportion of the total cost of manufacturing paper, it can have a significant impact on the quality of the paper, the efficiency of a machine and machine production rates.”

Another significant development has been that of a self supporting base pre-filled with concrete, which has eliminated the need to dig out foundations in a plant to support the machine.

Retrofits
TEXO’s looms are built to last, but technology moves forward, and the company is also currently active in the retrofitting of existing machines built as far back as the 1970s.

Integration
TEXO has also just integrated its offices and production centre at its base in Älmhult, Sweden, to create a unified 5,000 square metre site.

Source:

TMAS / AWOL Media

(c) Automatex / TMAS
03.03.2022

Automatex: Full automation from the roll to the finished product

Automatex, a member of TMAS, the Swedish textile machinery association, has recently supplied a number of its latest Industry 4.0-enabled automatic fitted sheet systems to customers in Europe.

The Automatex model FDC-77735-B90D-EC system enables the full production and folding of six fully-fitted sheets per minute – approaching 3,000 an average shift – overseen by a single operator and eliminating many of the repetitive cut and sew operations of the past. Elastics insertion –  usually a highly complex labour-intensive task – can be on all four sides of the sheet, two, or simply within the corners, depending on customer specifications.

Fabric is fed directly from the roll, with precise edge guiding and tension control, into a length-wise hemming and elastics insertion section with adjustable tension devices, before being measured and cross cut in an accumulator. It is then transferred to the cross hemming section, again with elastics insertion.

Automatex, a member of TMAS, the Swedish textile machinery association, has recently supplied a number of its latest Industry 4.0-enabled automatic fitted sheet systems to customers in Europe.

The Automatex model FDC-77735-B90D-EC system enables the full production and folding of six fully-fitted sheets per minute – approaching 3,000 an average shift – overseen by a single operator and eliminating many of the repetitive cut and sew operations of the past. Elastics insertion –  usually a highly complex labour-intensive task – can be on all four sides of the sheet, two, or simply within the corners, depending on customer specifications.

Fabric is fed directly from the roll, with precise edge guiding and tension control, into a length-wise hemming and elastics insertion section with adjustable tension devices, before being measured and cross cut in an accumulator. It is then transferred to the cross hemming section, again with elastics insertion.

A side drop forming unit pre-forms the sheet before it is transported by a multi-axis clamp conveyor system to the corner sewing section, consisting of left and right overlock sewing heads. Here, the corners are robotically sewn at 90 degrees and labels are also attached when specified.

Further customised systems for folding are also supplied as required.

Source:

TMAS / AWOL Media

13.12.2021

TMAS: Digitalisation demands streamlined solutions

Fully integrated production lines from single source suppliers have increasingly become the norm in the textile industry and make complete sense in meeting today’s complex supply chain needs, according to TMAS – the Swedish Textile Machinery Association.

“Over the past few decades, textile mills have transitioned from consisting of collections of individual machines serviced and maintained largely by in-house mechanics as well as separate supplier companies for each part of the production line,” says TMAS Secretary General Therese Premler-Andersson. “Those in-house engineering service teams have diminished over the years, while the introduction of electronic drive systems in the 1980s and 90s also put an increased emphasis on the need for third party electrical engineers, operating separately to the machine builders.

“Subsequently, mechanical machines and electronic drive systems became much more integrated, and more recently, with the advent of digitalisation, entire production lines are becoming centrally controlled with remote, instantaneous connections to their suppliers for service and maintenance.

Fully integrated production lines from single source suppliers have increasingly become the norm in the textile industry and make complete sense in meeting today’s complex supply chain needs, according to TMAS – the Swedish Textile Machinery Association.

“Over the past few decades, textile mills have transitioned from consisting of collections of individual machines serviced and maintained largely by in-house mechanics as well as separate supplier companies for each part of the production line,” says TMAS Secretary General Therese Premler-Andersson. “Those in-house engineering service teams have diminished over the years, while the introduction of electronic drive systems in the 1980s and 90s also put an increased emphasis on the need for third party electrical engineers, operating separately to the machine builders.

“Subsequently, mechanical machines and electronic drive systems became much more integrated, and more recently, with the advent of digitalisation, entire production lines are becoming centrally controlled with remote, instantaneous connections to their suppliers for service and maintenance.

“In this context, the integration of machinery and automation specialists as single-source suppliers makes perfect sense, while partnerships between machine builders and their customers have never been more important.”

The recent acquisition of Nowo textile machinery from its previous owner, Brandstones Ab Oy, by TMAS member ACG Kinna, she adds, is a good example of this general trend.

Nowo, headquartered in Turku, Finland, designs, manufactures and exports high-end textile production machinery mainly for the fibre processing industry. At the end of the 1980s it introduced the highly successful Nowo Vac pillow filling system, which has been its best-selling system, alongside the Noworoll ball fibre machine, introduced in the 1990s.

Nowo’s machine range covers the entire production process from bale opening to weighing and filling, and complete production lines are tailored to the specific needs of customers. The company can also deliver individual machines such as bale openers, cards, cross-lappers, pickers, mixing devices, material silos, sucking devices, anti-static units etc. Seven patents cover the company’s technologies.

Founded in 1977, ACG Kinna Automatic, based in Skene in Sweden, specialises in customised and cost-efficient solutions for the production of pillows and quilts. All of its design, manufacturing and final line testing is carried out in Sweden and the reliability and longevity of its machines has earned it the trust of the world’s largest furniture and home decoration retailers and Europe’s largest manufacturer of pillows and duvets, among many customers.

Source:

TMAS / AWOL Media

(c) TMAS
The new TMAS board members (left to right) Sven Öquist, Jerker Krabbe and Semir Pavlica.
08.11.2021

TMAS has appointed three new members to its board

Jerker Krabbe of Eton Systems, Semir Paclica of Baldwin Technology and Sven Öquist of Coloreel will contribute a wealth of experience from a wide range of industries to the Swedish Textile Machinery Association.

Jerker Krabbe joined Eton Systems, one of the leaders in intelligent overhead conveyor systems, as CEO six months ago, and has more than 25 years of commercial, operational and international experience within several well-known companies such as Electrolux, Husqvarna, Gunnebo and Assa Abloy, and most recently as CEO of Sector Alarm AB.

Semir Pavlica has a master’s in finance and started his career at the SEB banking group before joining Baldwin Technology five ago. He is now managing the company’s process improvement and performance.

Sven Öquist joined Coloreel as Vice President of Sales in April this year. He has an international background with previous positions as Managing Director/CEO for a number of Swedish companies. He has also led the global sales team at Polestar, the electrified brand of Volvo Cars.

 

Jerker Krabbe of Eton Systems, Semir Paclica of Baldwin Technology and Sven Öquist of Coloreel will contribute a wealth of experience from a wide range of industries to the Swedish Textile Machinery Association.

Jerker Krabbe joined Eton Systems, one of the leaders in intelligent overhead conveyor systems, as CEO six months ago, and has more than 25 years of commercial, operational and international experience within several well-known companies such as Electrolux, Husqvarna, Gunnebo and Assa Abloy, and most recently as CEO of Sector Alarm AB.

Semir Pavlica has a master’s in finance and started his career at the SEB banking group before joining Baldwin Technology five ago. He is now managing the company’s process improvement and performance.

Sven Öquist joined Coloreel as Vice President of Sales in April this year. He has an international background with previous positions as Managing Director/CEO for a number of Swedish companies. He has also led the global sales team at Polestar, the electrified brand of Volvo Cars.

 

25.10.2021

TMAS members showcase sustainable finishing technologies

Members of TMAS – the Swedish textile machinery association – are proving instrumental in pioneering new sustainable processes for the dyeing, finishing and decoration of textiles.

The wasteful processes involved in these manufacturing stages are only one component in the development of viable circular supply chains for textiles that are now being established in Sweden.

At the recent Conference on Sustainable Finishing of Textiles, held across three separate afternoons on September 30th, October 1st and October 7th, delegates heard that Sweden will introduce extended producer responsibility (EPR) for waste textiles and clothing at the beginning of 2022, ahead of the adoption of a similar European Union-wide EPR system in 2025.

New fibers
Swedish companies are also active in the development of new fibers derived from waste clothing, building on the country’s legacy leadership in pulp and paper production.

Members of TMAS – the Swedish textile machinery association – are proving instrumental in pioneering new sustainable processes for the dyeing, finishing and decoration of textiles.

The wasteful processes involved in these manufacturing stages are only one component in the development of viable circular supply chains for textiles that are now being established in Sweden.

At the recent Conference on Sustainable Finishing of Textiles, held across three separate afternoons on September 30th, October 1st and October 7th, delegates heard that Sweden will introduce extended producer responsibility (EPR) for waste textiles and clothing at the beginning of 2022, ahead of the adoption of a similar European Union-wide EPR system in 2025.

New fibers
Swedish companies are also active in the development of new fibers derived from waste clothing, building on the country’s legacy leadership in pulp and paper production.

At the Sustainable Finishing of Textiles Conference, however, it was said that all of the environmental gains made by such sustainable new fibers can potentially be cancelled out in the further processing they are subjected to – and especially in resource-intensive conventional dyeing, finishing and decoration.

TMAS members Baldwin Technology and Coloreel have both developed solutions to address this issue.

TexCoat G4
During the conference, Baldwin’s VP of Global Business Development Rick Stanford explained that his company’s TexCoat G4 non-contact spray technology significantly reduces water, chemistry and energy consumption in the finishing process. It consistently and uniformly sprays chemistry across a fabric surface and applies it only where needed, on one or both sides.

Instant coloring
Coloreel’s CEO Mattias Nordin outlined the benefits of his company’s technology which enables the high-quality and instant coloring of a textile thread on-demand and can be paired with any existing embroidery machine without modification. This enables unique effects like shades and gradient to be achieved in an embroidery for the first time.

TMAS: Swedish Group ACG turns 100 (c) Ismail Abdelkareem, ACG Goup
ACG’s Reimar Westerlind and Thomas Arvidsson at the company’s head office in Borås, Sweden
16.08.2021

TMAS: Swedish Group ACG turns 100

It is exactly 100 years ago on August 17th this year that Carl Axel Gustafsson returned from the USA to Sweden with a significant agency agreement from the Boston-based sewing machine leader Reece.

Back in 1921, Reece, along with its competitor Singer, entirely dominated the buttonhole machine market and were the world’s only manufacturers of these machines for jackets, trousers and coats.

Gustafsson’s license enabled his new company A C Gustafsson to become one of Europe’s first leasing organisations, hiring out Reece buttonhole machines and receiving payment per sewn buttonhole stitch.

This business thrived for many decades and formed the basis for the entire ACG Group as it exists today.

Forty years later, on September 2nd 1961 to be precise, Reimar Westerlind walked out of a restaurant after a long and enjoyable lunch with someone he’d never met before, having signed his intention to buy a company he knew nothing about on an improvised contract written on the back of a menu.

It is exactly 100 years ago on August 17th this year that Carl Axel Gustafsson returned from the USA to Sweden with a significant agency agreement from the Boston-based sewing machine leader Reece.

Back in 1921, Reece, along with its competitor Singer, entirely dominated the buttonhole machine market and were the world’s only manufacturers of these machines for jackets, trousers and coats.

Gustafsson’s license enabled his new company A C Gustafsson to become one of Europe’s first leasing organisations, hiring out Reece buttonhole machines and receiving payment per sewn buttonhole stitch.

This business thrived for many decades and formed the basis for the entire ACG Group as it exists today.

Forty years later, on September 2nd 1961 to be precise, Reimar Westerlind walked out of a restaurant after a long and enjoyable lunch with someone he’d never met before, having signed his intention to buy a company he knew nothing about on an improvised contract written on the back of a menu.

“What I didn’t know then was that my dining partner was the family lawyer of Carl Axel Gustafsson,” Reimar explains. “I had no money and knew nothing about the textile industry and I also quickly discovered the business was not doing so well at that time and tried to get out of the agreement, but he insisted I honour it. He told me he had money and would back me, but I’d have to work hard and pay him back in full.”

Reimar certainly took that advice, and at the age of 92 still travels to his office every day to oversee the operations of the diverse companies now operating under the ACG umbrella.

Although textiles remain the bedrock of the business, under Reimar Westerlind’s management, ACG Group has branched out into many other fields of activity over the past 60 years, and its diversity has also led to some highly unexpected developments.

Like many other European manufacturers, ACG also began to expand beyond its traditional borders from the 1970s onwards – initially into the former Soviet Union and subsequently establishing subsidiaries in Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, the Ukraine and Denmark.

14.06.2021

Swedish automation boosts Tritex sewing operations

Founded in 1952, Svegea of Sweden – a member of TMAS, the Swedish textile machinery association – has over 60 years of experience in exclusively designing, manufacturing and installing high quality collarette band cutting machines worldwide.

These are used by garment manufacturers around the world for the production of tubular apparel components such as waistbands, cuff and neck tapes and other seam reinforcements, such as Triteks Trejd.

Founded in 1994, this family-owned business employs over 280 people at its plant in Prilep, North Macedonia, where high quality cotton fabrics are expertly converted into the products of the Tritex Underwear brand.

The Prilep operation encompasses the processing of fabrics, design, cutting, sewing, quality control and packing in a fully integrated workflow.

With around 200 sewing machinists, the Tritex product range encompasses briefs, boxers, slips, t-shirts, pyjamas and body slips which are primarily sold to countries within the European Union, as well as the domestic market.

Founded in 1952, Svegea of Sweden – a member of TMAS, the Swedish textile machinery association – has over 60 years of experience in exclusively designing, manufacturing and installing high quality collarette band cutting machines worldwide.

These are used by garment manufacturers around the world for the production of tubular apparel components such as waistbands, cuff and neck tapes and other seam reinforcements, such as Triteks Trejd.

Founded in 1994, this family-owned business employs over 280 people at its plant in Prilep, North Macedonia, where high quality cotton fabrics are expertly converted into the products of the Tritex Underwear brand.

The Prilep operation encompasses the processing of fabrics, design, cutting, sewing, quality control and packing in a fully integrated workflow.

With around 200 sewing machinists, the Tritex product range encompasses briefs, boxers, slips, t-shirts, pyjamas and body slips which are primarily sold to countries within the European Union, as well as the domestic market.

The company has also just completed the digitalisation of its full production via the in-house DPC-SYS system, installing around 200 industrial PCs linking each of its workstations and departments.

Triteks Trejd currently operates three of the latest Svegea collarette cutting machines and is highly satisfied with their performance, as well as the service provided by the Swedish company.

Swedish machine builders set for Scandinavia’s Textiles 4.0 circular revolution (c) TMAS
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.
09.03.2021

Swedish machine builders set for Scandinavia’s Textiles 4.0 circular revolution

  • Several members of TMAS – the Swedish Textile Machinery Association – are actively advancing new coloration technologies as part of a wave of innovation that is currently sweeping out from Scandinavia.

New manufacturers of regenerated cellulosic fibers as alternatives to cotton and synthetics, for example, have been gaining a lot of attention recently, as they scale up to meet demands for a circular approach to the manufacturing of textiles and garments.

These companies have, in turn, been embraced by major Scandinavian brands such as the Danish clothing company Bestseller, Finnish fashion house Marimekko, Norwegian outdoor brand Bergans and Sweden’s own H&M Group.

Fiber journey
From the field or the forest to the retail shelves, however, the journey of every single textile fiber is currently a long one, in which it passes through many hands and moves around the world. The good news is that many of these individual stages are now being greatly simplified by digitalization.

  • Several members of TMAS – the Swedish Textile Machinery Association – are actively advancing new coloration technologies as part of a wave of innovation that is currently sweeping out from Scandinavia.

New manufacturers of regenerated cellulosic fibers as alternatives to cotton and synthetics, for example, have been gaining a lot of attention recently, as they scale up to meet demands for a circular approach to the manufacturing of textiles and garments.

These companies have, in turn, been embraced by major Scandinavian brands such as the Danish clothing company Bestseller, Finnish fashion house Marimekko, Norwegian outdoor brand Bergans and Sweden’s own H&M Group.

Fiber journey
From the field or the forest to the retail shelves, however, the journey of every single textile fiber is currently a long one, in which it passes through many hands and moves around the world. The good news is that many of these individual stages are now being greatly simplified by digitalization.

“Digitalization will lead to a significant reduction in garments that for one reason or another are never sold and end up in landfill,” says Therese Premler-Andersson, Secretary General of TMAS. “There will of course, be a huge ecological benefit.”

At the very center of any fiber’s journey, once it has become part of a knitted or woven fabric, are the dyeing and finishing stages of textile production. 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.

Coloreel expansion
Here is where the latest fully digital technologies of TMAS member companies are making a dramatic difference, such as the instant thread coloration technology, of Coloreel, which has just raised SEK 100 in new financing to support its market expansion and growth.

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, while also making it possible to produce gradients in an embroidery for the first time.

Based on a CMYK 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,

In addition, existing thread dyeing plants can add a single solid color to a thread, but by instantly coloring a white base thread during production, 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.

“Our system is allowing customers to achieve color effects that have never been seen before – and at a new level of efficiency,” says VP of Sales and Marketing at Coloreel, Mats Sjögren. “We are setting the new benchmark for the embroidery industry.”

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Coloreel, has recently successfully delivered units to companies in Europe, the United States and Asia, and has also partnered with the world’s largest distributor of embroidery machines, American Hirsch Solutions, which has already installed the technology at a number of customers in the USA.

imogo
Another TMAS member achieving rapid progress is imogo, which is currently installing its first industrial scale Dye-Max spray dyeing line at the plant close to Borås of Swedish commission dyeing company 7H Färgeri – the Nordic region’s most complete dyeing and processing plant.

The new line has a working width of 1.8 meters with an operating speed of up to 50 meters for the reactive dyeing of cellulosic fiber-based fabrics. In addition, it can carry out the application of a wide range of fabric pre-treatments and finishing processes, providing the company with unbeatable flexibility in production.

A proven Mini-Max laboratory unit for pre-determining application volumes and color matching has also been installed at the 7H plant.

With the potential to slash the use of fresh water, wastewater, energy, and chemicals by as much as 90% compared to conventional jet dyeing systems, the DyeMax has gained considerable attention since the concept was outlined and a prototype machine constructed in 2019.

The application unit of the Dye-Max consists of a closed chamber containing a series of spray cassettes with precision nozzles for accurate and consistent coverage, in combination with the patented imogo Pro Speed valve that controls the volume to be applied.

“We are achieving an extremely low liquor ratio of around 0.5-1 liters per kilo of fabric and we fully control the pickup, applying precisely what is required to the specific fabric,” says imogo founding partner Per Stenflo. “Compared to traditional padders there is no contamination of the dyebath or dilution of the dye liquor to worry about.”
Fast changeovers with virtually no waste, together with a high production speed, enable a high productivity and unmatched production flexibility.

“The Dye-Max will be implemented in 7H daily production and producers and brands are welcome to visit when the Covid-19 situation allows. They are also welcome to do test productions at 7H to verify the performance on their fabrics.”

Perfect bridge
“Such new digital technologies from TMAS members represent the perfect bridge for sustainable new fibers on their route to the finished garments of responsible brands on the retail shelves,” concludes Therese Premler-Andersson. “There is now a real momentum building industry-wide for new circular manufacturing, and TMAS companies intend to be very much a part of it.”

TMAS member imogo develops new sustainable spray application technologies (c) TMAS
The roundtable discussion, Sustainable Finishing Methods in Textile Finishing, during ITA 2020.
16.11.2020

TMAS member imogo develops new sustainable spray application technologies

In a roundtable discussion during the recent Innovate Textiles & Apparel (ITA) textile machinery exhibition, imogo Founding Partner Per Stenflo and representatives from a number of like-minded European companies discussed the opportunities for new spray application technologies for the dyeing and finishing sector.

These technologies can achieve tremendous savings for manufacturers compared to traditional water-intensive processes it was explained at the event, held online from October 15-30th.

Pioneer
imogo – one of the latest companies to join TMAS, the Swedish Textile Machinery Association – is one of the key pioneers in this area with its Dye-Max system. Dye-Max spray dyeing technology can slash the use of fresh water, wastewater, energy and chemicals by as much as 90% compared to conventional jet dyeing systems. This is due to the extremely low liquor ratio of 0.3-0.8 litres per kilo of fabric and at the same time, considerably fewer auxiliary chemicals are required to start with.

In a roundtable discussion during the recent Innovate Textiles & Apparel (ITA) textile machinery exhibition, imogo Founding Partner Per Stenflo and representatives from a number of like-minded European companies discussed the opportunities for new spray application technologies for the dyeing and finishing sector.

These technologies can achieve tremendous savings for manufacturers compared to traditional water-intensive processes it was explained at the event, held online from October 15-30th.

Pioneer
imogo – one of the latest companies to join TMAS, the Swedish Textile Machinery Association – is one of the key pioneers in this area with its Dye-Max system. Dye-Max spray dyeing technology can slash the use of fresh water, wastewater, energy and chemicals by as much as 90% compared to conventional jet dyeing systems. This is due to the extremely low liquor ratio of 0.3-0.8 litres per kilo of fabric and at the same time, considerably fewer auxiliary chemicals are required to start with.

Obstacles
Such technologies, however, face a number of obstacles to adoption and during the ITA discussion it was agreed that 2020 has not provided the ideal climate for adventurous investors. “The textile industry is quite conservative and is definitely in survival mode at the moment and it is not the time to be a visionary,” said Stenflo. “Day to day business is about staying alive – that’s the reality for many of our customers.” Nevertheless, all of the panellists agreed that sustainable production will remain top of the agenda for the textile industry in the longer term and spray technologies for dyeing and finishing processes will be a part of it.

“Any investment in something new is a risk of course, and we have to be able to explain and convince manufacturers that there’s a good return on investment, not only in respect of sustainability, but in terms of making good business sense,” said Stenflo. “Here we could use the help of the brands of course, in putting pressure on their suppliers to be more sustainable. Governments also have a role to play, in providing incentives for producers to move in the sustainable direction. Sustainability alone will never cut it, there has to be a business case, or it won’t happen.”

Marketing
The marketing of sustainable new fibers is comparatively easy for the brands compared to explaining the difficult textile processes and the chemistries involved in fabric and garment production, he added.

“These fibers, however, currently go through all the same dirty processes that we need to get away from, so it must happen,” he said. “In developing our technologies, it has been important for us to avoid disrupting existing supply chains, stick with using off-the-shelf chemistries and dyes, and involve the dye manufacturers who are an essential part in how operations are driven today. “In fact, collaboration across the entire textile supply chain – from the brands right back to the new technology developers – is essential in moving the sustainability agenda forward.

Business models
“We are also looking into new business models in terms of how to reduce or lower the thresholds for investment and minimise the risk for the manufacturers who are looking to be the innovators,” he concluded. Also taking part in the ITA roundtable discussion were Simon Kew (Alchemie Technology, UK), Christian Schumacher (StepChange Innovations, Germany) Tobias Schurr (Weko, Germany), Rainer Tüxen (RotaSpray, Germany) and Felmke Zijilstra (DyeCoo, Netherlands).

European innovations
“It’s fantastic that all of this innovation is taking place in Europe based on established know-how and forward thinking,” said TMAS Secretary General Therese Premler-Andersson.

“Spray application technologies are a perfect illustration of how new digital technologies can lead to more sustainable production, in this case by replacing water-intensive processes with the highly precise and controlled application of dyes and chemistries as vapour.
“There was a major project by the Swedish research organisation Mistra Future Fashion recently, involving many brand and academic institute partners. The project’s Fiber Bible 1 and 2 reports conclude that it’s very difficult to make assumptions that one fiber is better than another, because it’s so much about how fabrics and garments are being produced from them. The study also found that 55% of the chemicals used in a garment comes from the dyeing. This is where a number of TMAS companies can make a difference.
“An organic or recycled cotton t-shirt is not automatically more sustainable than a conventional cotton t-shirt, or even one made from synthetics – the alternative fibers are a good start but you have to consider the entire life cycle of a garment, and that includes the smart technologies in textiles production.
“TMAS members – backed by Swedish brands and advanced research institutes – are playing an active part in pushing forward new concepts that will work, and I have no doubt that digitalisation now goes hand in hand with sustainability for the textile industry’s future.”          

TMAS members ready to support digital textile transformations, post Covid-19 (c) TMAS
TMAS Secretary General Therese Premler-Andersson.
08.07.2020

TMAS members ready to support digital textile transformations, post Covid-19

  • Members of TMAS – the Swedish textile machinery association – have adopted a range of new strategies in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, aimed at assisting manufacturers of textiles and apparel to adjust to a new normal, as Europe and other regions emerge cautiously from lockdown.

“Many European companies have been forced into testing new working methods and looking at what it’s possible to do remotely, and how to exploit automation to the full, in order to become more flexible,” says TMAS Secretary General Therese Premler-Andersson. “Others have been taking risks where they see opportunies and there’s a new sense of solidarity among companies.

“It’s extremely encouraging, for example, that over five hundred European companies from across our supply chain are reported to have responded to the shortages of facemasks and PPE – protective personal equipment – by converting parts of their sites or investing in new equipment.”

New supply chains

  • Members of TMAS – the Swedish textile machinery association – have adopted a range of new strategies in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, aimed at assisting manufacturers of textiles and apparel to adjust to a new normal, as Europe and other regions emerge cautiously from lockdown.

“Many European companies have been forced into testing new working methods and looking at what it’s possible to do remotely, and how to exploit automation to the full, in order to become more flexible,” says TMAS Secretary General Therese Premler-Andersson. “Others have been taking risks where they see opportunies and there’s a new sense of solidarity among companies.

“It’s extremely encouraging, for example, that over five hundred European companies from across our supply chain are reported to have responded to the shortages of facemasks and PPE – protective personal equipment – by converting parts of their sites or investing in new equipment.”

New supply chains

Amongst them are TMAS members of the ACG Group, who quickly established a dedicated new nonwovens fabric converting and single-use garment making-up plant to supply to the Swedish health authorities. From a standing start in March, this is now producing 1.8 million square metres of converted fabric and turning it into 692,000 finished medical garments each month.

“In 2020 so far, we have seen new value chains being created and a certain amount of permanent reshoring is now inevitable,” says Premler-Andersson. “This is being backed by the new funding announced in the European Union’s Next Generation EU plan, with €750 billion marked for helping industry recover. As the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has stressed, “green and digital” transitions hold the key to Europe’s future prosperity and resilience, and TMAS members have new solutions to assist in both areas.”

Remote working

Automated solutions have opened up many possibilities for remote working during the pandemic. Texo AB, for example, the specialist in wide-width weaving looms for the paper industry, was able to successfully complete the build and delivery of a major multi-container order between April and May.

“Our new Remote Guidance software now makes it possible for us to carry out some of the commissioning and troubleshooting of such new lines remotely, which has been helpful” says Texo AB President Anders Svensson.

Svegea of Sweden, which has spent the past few months developing its new CR-210 fabric relaxation machine for knitted fabrics, has also successfully set up and installed a number of machines remotely, which the company has never attempted before.

“The pandemic has definitely led to some inventive solutions for us and with international travel currently not possible, we are finding better methods of digital communication and collaboration all the time,” says Svegea managing director Hakan Steene.

Eric Norling, Vice President of the Precision Application business of Baldwin Technology, believes the pandemic may have a more permanent impact on global travel.

“We have now proven that e-meetings and virtual collaboration tools are effective,” he says. “Baldwin implemented a home office work regime from April with only production personnel and R&D researchers at the workplace. These past few months have shown that we can be just as effective and do not need to travel for physical meetings to the same extent that was previously thought to be necessary.”

Pär Hedman, Sales and Marketing Manager for IRO AB, however, believes such advances can only go so far at the moment.

“Video conferences have taken a big leap forward, especially in development projects, and this method of communication is here to stay, but it will never completely replace personal meetings,” he says. “And textile fabrics need to be touched, examined and accepted by the senses, which is impossible to do via digital media today. The coming haptic internet, however, may well even change that too.”

Social distancing

The many garment factories now equipped with Eton Systems UPS work stations – designed to save considerable costs through automation – have meanwhile benefited from the unintentional social distancing they automatically provide compared to factories with conventional banks of sewing machines.

“These companies have been able to continue operating throughout the pandemic due to the spaced nature of our automated plant configurations,” says Eton Systems Business Development Manager Roger Ryrlén. “The UPS system has been established for some time, but planned spacing has proved an accidental plus for our customers – with improved productivity.”

“Innovations from TMAS member companies have been coming thick and fast recently due to their advanced know-how in automation concepts,” Premler-Andersson concludes.  “If anything, the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic have only accelerated these initiatives by obliging our members to take new approaches.”

The stand-alone Coloreel unit provides complete freedom in the creation of unique embroideries. (c) TMAS
The stand-alone Coloreel unit provides complete freedom in the creation of unique embroideries.
05.12.2019

TMAS welcomes two technology groundbreakers

Swedish textile machinery association TMAS is welcoming two new companies – both at the forefront of sustainable and Industry 4.0-enabled technologies – to its membership.

A new benchmark for embroidery
The first is Coloreel, the developer of a thread coloring unit which enables the instant and high-quality coloring, fixation, washing and lubrication of thread to take place simultaneously to the actual embroidering of a fabric, representing a bold and entirely new approach to this traditional field.

Based on a CMYK ink system, Coloreel’s advanced colorization software and instant thread coloring technology allows a single needle to carry out what previously required multiples of them, and with much more consistent stitch quality.

Swedish textile machinery association TMAS is welcoming two new companies – both at the forefront of sustainable and Industry 4.0-enabled technologies – to its membership.

A new benchmark for embroidery
The first is Coloreel, the developer of a thread coloring unit which enables the instant and high-quality coloring, fixation, washing and lubrication of thread to take place simultaneously to the actual embroidering of a fabric, representing a bold and entirely new approach to this traditional field.

Based on a CMYK ink system, Coloreel’s advanced colorization software and instant thread coloring technology allows a single needle to carry out what previously required multiples of them, and with much more consistent stitch quality.

Designed to work with any existing industrial embroidery machine without modification, the stand-alone Coloreel unit provides complete freedom in the creation of unique embroideries, imposing no limitations on the number of customized colors employed in designs. It 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.

With fewer trims required for color changes, the Coloreel unit can also reduce the total production time required for complex designs by up to 80%, as well as instant reaction to the specific color requirements of customers.

“Our system is allowing customers to achieve color effects that have never been seen before – and at a new level of efficiency,” says Magnus Hellström, VP Sales & Marketing at Coloreel. “We are setting the new benchmark for the embroidery industry and we are pleased to join TMAS to help us spread the word.”

More information:
TMAS
Source:

AWOL Media