Textile Technology section
Oerlikon: safe workplace through innovative distance-warning technology
In times of increasing coronavirus cases, the technology group Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland, is well-equipped with an innovative technology to minimize the risk of infection for employees, customers and business partners. Durijg the past few months, Oerlikon has successfully tested the sensor-based SafeZone technology from the start-up company Kinexon, Munich/Germany, as a pilot project at some of its Swiss and German sites, and is now introducing the system at locations worldwide.
With SafeZone technology, the distance between individuals is measured with centimeter accuracy. At Oerlikon's locations with the technology installed, employees can choose to either wear the sensor on the wrist or carry it around in a sensor holder. If the predefined minimum distance between 2 sensors, for example 1.5 m, is breached, audio-visual warning signals are activated.
Wearing a SafeZone sensor also enables the precise tracking of contact chains in the event of an infection,
By the end of the year, 8,000 distance-warning devices will be in operation at more than 100 locations in 20 countries in Europe and the USA.
Oerlikon: robust pumps for sophisticated special fibers
New solutions are required to reduce weight and replace heavy metallic parts. Aramid fibers and carbon fibers are processed into special yarns that are frequently deployed as compound materials and as lightweight composites.
Aramid fibers are produced in a highly-chemical process that is aggressive. The acrylic precursor used to manufacture carbon fibers is a different process, but again no less difficult. In these processes the gear metering pumps are not only responsible for the high-precision control of the melt transport. Durability, resistance and cost efficiency also plays decisive roles.
The process, the expected pump lifespan and the maintenance are the decisive factors for choosing the materials from which the pumps and their components are manufactured.
Oerlikon Barmag, Chemnitz/Germany, a subsidiary of the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment of Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland, offers solutions that combine the various materials and the latest technologies.
Surfaces with ceramic coatings, gears and shafts featuring DLC coatings, pumps made from cobalt alloys or robust and durable hybrid constructions comprising zirconium oxide ceramic and duplex stainless steel and the high-precision pumps are design-optimized depending on the intended use. Various seal systems and customized drive concepts round off the program. Thus reliable solutions for the high-precision metering of disparate media in complex processes for all applications are made available.
Oerlikon Manmade Fibers: digitalization helps to avoid errors
Smooth production processes are essential to avoid errors. Digitalization provides valuable support in this regard.
The Smart Factory is also the focus of the Manmade Fibers Segment of technology group Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland, as it ensures process reliability. The data are automatically entered into the system and the product assessed at each stage of yarn production at which values and data are recorded – such as during visual inspection and when weighing. In the event of anomalies in the intermediate laboratory and quality checks, this allows yarn producers to intervene in the production process and correct anomalies. Thus yarn manufacturers have a complete overview of the ongoing production process at all times, including comprehensive information on quality and production costs.
As a total solution provider, the Manmade Fibers segment of the Oerlikon group rounds off its Smart Factory concept with the associated services: operation, updates, further development of the software and services are part of the scope of services.
Oerlikon Manmade Fibers: Q3 results show positive market outlook
In the 3rd quarter (Q3) of 2020 the Manmade Fibers Segment of technology group Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland, delivered another quarter of strong and stable results. Sales increased by 18.1% year-on-year to CHF 313 million. Order intake was sustained at a high level of CHF 261 million.
The Q3 EBIT was CHF 40 million (Q3/2019: CHF 22 million) or 12.9% of sales (Q3/2019: 8.4%).
Looking back over the first 9 months, Jan.-Sept. 2020, the picture is quite different. Order intake was CHF 770 million, a decrease of 11% compared to the same period 2019 (CHF 870 million). Sales for Jan.-Sept. 2020 were CHF 765 million, down 8.8% (2019: CHF 839 million).
These strong orders and sales figures of Q3 are driven by the notable recovery in the filament equipment business in China and the continued pick-up in demand for meltblown nonwoven solutions used in face mask production. The Manmade Fibers Segment is on track to fulfil its planned 2020 deliveries.