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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