Textile Technology section
Loepfe: WeftMaster SFB increases weaving productivity
Nowadays productivity and maximizing return on investment is important worldwide. The textile quality control provider Loepfe Brothers Ltd., Wetzikon/Switzerland, has launched the new WeftMaster SFB. It represents the first of several planned technology products aimed at maximizing productivity in weaving mills.
The WeftMaster SFB weft thread brake has now been upgraded with new electronics to control up to 4 brakes. Designed for fitting to projectile and rapier looms, it controls the tension for all yarn types and thus minimizes weft thread breaks. Braking start is optimized through precise projectile detection allowing increased loom speeds and promoting higher output.
The WeftMaster SFB brakes also feature reduced yarn abrasion and higher wear resistance.
Heat-MX: further insulations in compliance with Clean Recycling Initiative
To make all of its product categories fully in compliance with the Clean Recycling Initiative, the supplier of thermal insulation products, Heat-MX Worldwide, Laval/Canada, has completed a major upgrade project. The products comply to the initiative in thermal insulation material technology and can be cleanly recycled without any use of chemicals.
As a result, the company’s product categories Compact MX, iDown and nDown are now in line with the other product categories, i.e. Loft MX, Stretch MX and Vegan Down MX, which have always complied with this important environmental program.
Heat-MX is a brand of innovative thermal insulation material offering a wide range of products based on performance and application needs of such consumer products as apparel, footwear, sleeping bags and home textiles.
nDown is patent-pending technology which matches or even exceeds the performance of natural down feather material without using any animal-based ingredients. The technology can be easily adopted for a wide range of products using down feather material, e.g. apparel, sleeping bags, home furnishing textiles.
iDown is a patent-pending technology which also provides many performance benefits for a wide range of products using down feather material.
Manufy: European sourcing platform for apparel industry
Due to the global corona pandemic, uncertainty is rising concerning if and when trade fairs will take place again. For this reason, European apparel manufacturers are searching for online possibilities.
The start-up company Manufy, Amsterdam/Netherlands, an online platform for sustainable fashion sourcing, was launched in 2019 after a group of Dutch entrepreneurs saw that there was a lack of representation of European manufacturers on online marketplaces.
Manufy aims to connect European buyers, manufactures and freelancers in an efficient, transparent and – most importantly – sustainable way. By doing this, the company hopes to strengthen the European textile and apparel industry and create more support for local sourcing. It sees a sharp rise in the number of manufacturers.
The platform is open only for European manufacturers. To gain access, manufacturers must have sustainability certifications and pass screening by the Manufy team.
RadiciGroup: focus on sustainability with set up of a non-profit consortium
The manufacturer of synthetic fibers and yarns, RadiciGroup, Gandino/Italy, has announced the founding of Radici InNova, a non-profit consortium. The new company’s main object is the development of new research and innovation projects for the chemical, high performance polymers and advanced textile solutions sectors, in accordance with the Radici Group sustainability strategy.
Radici InNova renews and strengthens RadiciGroup’s commitment to a development model that balances economic profitability with environmental sustainability and social equity.
By leveraging international competencies and targeted relationships with 3rd parties, Radici InNova will manage and coordinate all the Group’s strategically essential research activities, with the objective of strengthening the role of innovation as a driver for RadiciGroup development. Furthermore the new company will actively foster the continual improvement of products and processes, while optimizing the use of resources and lowering the environmental impact of its activities.
Zünd: automated textile cutting for efficient workflows
Consumers enjoy the affordability of tailor-made clothing and custom-made upholstered furniture. With more design and configuration options available, manufacturers are streamlining their production processes through automation and increased flexibility. With MindCut Studio, the producer of flatbed cutters Zünd Systemtechnik AG, Altstätten/Switzerland, offers a modular software solution that largely automates digital textile cutting – from capturing materials, to creating production markers, and facilitating parts removal – in a well-designed, thoroughly integrated, comprehensive digital workflow.
In the first step of the process, a camera system captures the material, its exact position and dimensions. It makes no difference whether the fabric is patterned, plain, or digitally printed. For printed textile applications, an Over-Cutter Camera (OCC) system captures all registration marks simultaneously. In case there are no register marks, the OCC can alternatively record the position of images based on printed outlines. If no cut data is available, there is an option to generate it automatically in MindCut Studio. Material defects can be marked in advance to avoid being noticed only after cutting.
The system can also automatically recognize patterns and any distortions that may have occurred. When compensating for distortions, the dimensional accuracy of the parts and their exact placement on patterned fabric are precisely maintained. The software also provides pattern-matching options, regardless of whether the textile has a stripe pattern or is plaid.
FibrXL: bio-based high-performance fiber
To create a more sustainable future in the technical textile industry and to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within 10 years, the supplier of fibers FibrXL Almere/Netherlands, has introduced the first bio-based ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber, a bio-based Dyneema fiber manufactured by DSM Protective Materials LLC, Greenville, NC/USA, as of October 2020.
For the production of the new bio-based UHMWPE Dyneema fiber, a by-product from the wood pulp industry is used as a sustainable resource to produce renewable ethylene feedstock. Based on the mass balance approach, the bio-based fiber is manufactured in such a way that the final product is identical to the fossil-based yarn. Bio-based Dyneema fiber will help customers further reduce their carbon footprint while continuing to rely on the same established performance.
In August 2020, FibrXL organized a hackathon that marked the start of their ambitious approach towards a brighter and greener future called Project Helix. Together with industry partners covering the complete value chain from yarn spinners, manufacturers, logistic partners, recycling companies and related authorities they shared experiences, insights and visions to jointly shape the future conditions to stay successful in business.
Stoll: collaboration with meepl for combining sustainability with personalization
The retail technology company meepl ⎜ Fision AG, Zurich/Switzerland, and the manufacturer of flat knitting machines Stoll, a business unit of the Karl Mayer Group, Obertshausen/Germany, have partnered to offer made-to-measure knitwear for the fashion industry on a global scale.
This collaboration will be a first for the knitwear fashion market – combining sustainability with personalization. Coupling meepl’s 3D body scanning app with Stoll’s “knit and wear” innovative technology will provide a customer-centric solution to tailor-made clothing production. It will allow knitwear to be customized on an automated and scalable level, using meepl’s highly accurate measurements fed straight into the “knitelligence” software controlling Stoll’s machines.
meepl’s smartphone-enabled 3D body scanning technology uses body reconstruction algorithms to produce an almost 100% accurate body image from just 2 pictures, instantly obtaining up to 100 measurements of the body. With this body scanning technology the consumer’s personal body measurements can easily be connected to the knitelligence platform. The platform automatically adjusts the knitting pattern based on the body measurements being provided making it possible to knit tailored garments in a very short time without any manual intervention.
The partnership will offer a benefit for the end-user in terms of both accuracy of sizing and quality of fit, leading to a level of automatic customization of knitwear which can be scaled to a high level.
Over the last few years, there has been a notable global increase in demand for knitwear products, with a recent report recognizing knitwear as a major segment of the fashion industry.
Performance Days: focus on circular economy in functional textiles
Nothing to Waste – Closing the Loop is the focus topic of the 25th edition of the trade fair for functional fabrics Performance Days on December 9/10, 2020 in Munich/Germany. Closing the loop means nothing is wasted, not even time, as recycled clothing gets recycled again and again.
Despite all recycling ambitions, there are still challenges to make more efficient use of textile waste as a resource. Difficulties include the fact that production, consumers and disposal are far apart in a global world, there is a lack of expert knowledge from the other industries, and there is an absence of international standards or political support.
With the new Focus Topic, the Performance Days have chosen a subject that not only affects their own industry. The textile industry has long been recycling its own waste for more efficient production, and it also recycles PET bottles, i.e. materials from outside the industry.
In line with the topic, facts but also visions will be discussed in expert panels. The Performance Forum jury will choose a selection of recycled materials, such as PET bottles in yarns, recyclable mono-component materials or even blends, shirts that decompose to biomass in a cradle-to-cradle approach, etc., which will then be presented at the Performance Forum.
Suominen: 100% plant-based wipes
Global environmental concerns, such as climate change and marine plastic pollution, are creating new market expectations and demand for sustainable nonwovens. To meet the growing demand in sustainable, plastic-free wipes, the nonwovens producer Suominen Corp., Helsinki/Finland, has launched Biolace Pure for wipes, nonwovens made of biodegradable, compostable, and renewable plant-based fibers and wood pulp from certified forests.
The Biolace Pure wipe material is a 3-layer solution that guarantees optimal liquid management. The soft outer layers ensure that the wipe cleans effectively and softly.
Compared e.g. to 100% viscose product for wipes, Biolace Pure brings high cleaning power with a lighter carbon footprint and a lower environmental impact.
ITA: high-performance warp knitting machine for reinforced textiles
On January 21, 2021, the Institute of Textile Technology of RWTH Aachen University (ITA), Aachen/Germany, plans to unveil a new warp knitting machine, the Biaxtronic CO of the Karl Mayer Holding GmbH & Co. KG, Obertshausen/Germany, with a one-day industry event in Aachen.
With the procurement of the high-performance warp knitting machine with course-oriented weft-insertion system, further development and production of reinforcement structures for concrete matrices are aspired. Furthermore, the new machine will also be used for the development of functional samples/prototypes in other application fields such as:
• production of hybrid knitted fabric structures over a nonwovens,
• manufacture of unidirectional (UD) fabrics for fiber-reinforced plastics and plain knitted fabrics for thermal textiles in the mobility sector,
• reinforcement of wound dressings in the medical textiles sector,
The new machine platform comes with new features which open up new research avenues for ITA and its research partners. The possibility to feed in base substrate will allow ITA to fundamentally research applications in the field of geotextiles.
Also, the installed Karl Mayer Command System “Kamcos” includes an ethernet interface for integration into an existing network, which fulfils the requirements for research topics in the field of Industry 4.0, inline quality control, sociology, networking of the process chain etc. The newly developed electronic guide bar control system and the possibility to vary process parameter inline will improve the product quality substantially and help in producing locally adapted tailored textiles.