The various looms on display at ITMA enable manufacturers to go from basic products to popular niche fabrics and 3-D structures.
Author: Dr. Abdel-Fattah M. Seyam
The weaving and weaving preparation booth of ITMA 2015 was very busy throughout the exhibition. The main feature of this event is to demonstrate the advantages of the previously developed weaving technology, but there are also some new developments in the weaving and weaving preparation technology.
Groz-Beckert KG, headquartered in Germany, continues to occupy a place in the drawing-in and tying machinery market. The company demonstrated its WarpMaster automatic drawing-in machine, which loads the warp from a single yarn package and performs the warp tying process. Using this method, the setting time of the warp beam of the loom behind the drawing machine is eliminated; the use of a yarn is not so complicated; and the drawing-in speed is higher than the warp beam drawing-in, especially when the warp yarn contains different specifications And performance of different yarns. The design of WarpMaster has the smallest footprint and requires only simple training. The machine is equipped with a computer system with a touch screen user interface with operator-guided visualization.
Groz-Beckert showed different versions of KnotMaster automatic knotting machines, suitable for different types of warp yarns, and capable of detecting double ends from leased or unleased warp yarns. They are also equipped with a warp yarn break detection system.
Stäubli International AG of Switzerland exhibited its Safir, which combines the Delta automatic drawing-in machine and the Opal automatic leasing machine. Safir S80 was first introduced at ITMA 2007 and was also exhibited at ITMA 2011. At the recent ITMA, the company showed off the Safir S60. This machine was commercialized before the exhibition and was successfully used in weaving factories.
Recognizing the different needs of different fabric types, Stäubli offers a series of Safir versions-S30, S40, S60 and S80. Safir machines can handle leased or unleased warp sheets. Unleased warping sheets can save time during the indirect warping process and eliminate the direct warping process after lease. Safir S60 and S80 machines are equipped with a color management system to detect and correct the required color sequence. The system also includes a storage area to retain out-of-order yarns before they are needed; and to identify yarn structure, including twist direction, hairiness and yarn denier. When yarns of similar denier are used and the thickness measurement is not accurate, force measurement can be used to distinguish the yarns. Table 1 illustrates the characteristics of different Safir versions.
It is worth mentioning that the Safir S30 and S40 drawing-in machines are movable and can be used to serve two drawing-in stations, saving the preparation time for drawing-in setting. The setting of the spare drawing-in station is carried out at the same time that the movable drawing-in station is performing the drawing-in. Generally speaking, the preparation time for drawing-in may be longer than the drawing-in process itself, so having two drawing-in stations is almost equivalent to having two fixed drawing-in machines and their drawing-in stations. S30 and S40 machines are suitable for factories that require frequent style changes and/or a large number of looms.
Global competition requires constant innovation and product development, which in turn requires samples and prototypes to be evaluated before production. Traditionally, woven fabric manufacturers used mass production looms to produce small samples. This method leads to production losses and a large amount of waste of raw materials. In order to overcome this problem, machine manufacturers have developed weaving equipment dedicated to the production of samples and small orders.
Taiwan's CCI Tech Inc. specializes in sample warping machines, sizing winders and dobby weaving equipment. At ITMA 2015, the company showed various prototypes, including Mini Lutan warp prototype, which is a smaller version of Lutan v3.6 (which can produce warp yarns from 11 to 200 meters in length) and Lutan v5.0-which can be produced Warp yarns with a length of 15 to 500 meters. Mini Lutan provides automatic color change and lease at the beginning and end of the warp, capable of producing warp yarns up to 30 meters long.
CCI Tech also showed two versions of single-rapier jacquard prototypes-Evergreen J500 and J900, which are capable of weaving fabrics up to 500 and 900 millimeters (mm) in width, respectively. The company also exhibited two versions of single-rapier towel-like looms-Evergreen 500 and 900, which are capable of weaving fabrics with widths of up to 500 and 900 mm, respectively. The prototype is equipped with an integrated controller and CAD system, with a user-friendly interface for weaving and pattern creation.
Lindauer Dornier GmbH, headquartered in Germany, exhibited a total of six rapier and air-jet looms-four at its own booth, one at the Stäubli booth, and one at the Belgian Bonus Textile Machinery Company On the booth-weaving all kinds of clothing fabrics, home textiles and industrial textiles. One of the highlights of DORNIER is the new generation of positive rapier P2 Type TGP 6/S G18 machine, which is about to be commercialized. Demonstrated the use of two polypropylene (PP) monofilament warp yarns with a width of 320 centimeters (cm), 240 wefts per minute (ppm) or 770 meters per minute filling and insertion rate (FIR) weaving a heavy-duty structure filter fabric (m/min) minute). Features of the P2 model include a beating-up force of 5 tons or 5,000 kilograms (kg), which is required to handle heavier tight fabrics, a separate dobby synchronous drive motor, electronic warp let-off movement and electronic take-up movement.
The company displayed three P1 rapier looms that use Bonas jacquard machines with separate drives mounted directly on the loom frame to weave upholstery and women's clothing fabrics, as well as carpets and tapestries.
It showed two A1 jets using Stäubli Jacquard machines equipped with independent drives to weave men's clothing and seamless airbag fabrics. Install the jacquard machine directly on the frame of the loom without a huge gantry, so there is no need for a high ceiling. The separate jacquard drive eliminates the complex coupling between the loom and the jacquard head-a trend pioneered by Stäubli.
GITEC Grosse Internationale Technologie GmbH (Grosse), headquartered in Germany, continues to expand the application of its Unished 2 jacquard machine. At the ITMA exhibition, Unished 2 was displayed on a water jet of Tsudakoma, Japan, which uses high-strength polyamide yarns provided by Invista in Wichita, Kansas to weave seamless side airbag fabrics. 12,672 warps are individually controlled using actuators. The water jet runs at 700 ppm over a width of 280 cm and has an FIR of 1,960 m/min.
Itema SpA, headquartered in Italy, showcased its six rapier and air-jet looms, producing a series of fabrics for clothing, home textiles and technical textiles. Two of these machines belong to the new generation of R9500 rapier looms. One model, R9500p, uses a Stäubli 3060 dobby machine to weave 180 cm wide denim at a speed of 750 ppm; shows the R9500terry weaving at a speed of 550 ppm using a 2,688 hook Stäubli jacquard machine with an independent drive 234 cm wide terry cloth. The Itema headquarters showroom also displayed two other R9500 machines-one is using Stäubli 3020 dobby weaving 520 cm wide coated fabric; the other is using Stäubli LX 3202 jacquard weaving 271 cm wide Seamless airbag fabric. The features of the new R9500 include: a sturdy frame that can achieve low vibration at high speeds and reduce floor space; powerful beating-up; quick style changes, such as quick beam release and single support template for quick changes when needed; wiring harness closer to the reed , In order to quickly form the shed and increase the speed; longer beating-up stroke allows high beating-up force; and separate electronic warp let-off and take-up actions.
Italy-based PTMTSrl (Panter) demonstrated at ITMA 2015 six machines-two Maxi, two Hercules and two Unirap-weaving multifunctional fabrics for apparel, home furnishing and technical textiles. The Unirap machine is a single positive rapier. At the exhibition, the Unirap 160, which is in the prototype stage, uses 3 mm wide PP belts to weave fabrics in the warp and weft directions, and is equipped with a side weft retraction device with a rotating package to keep the belt flat without increasing twist.
The weft feeder was developed by Panter and is comparable to the WF-510 untwisted weft feeder from Izumi International Inc., based in Greenville, South Carolina, which can handle tapes and fiber bundles up to 20 mm wide. Izumi stated that its weft feeders are limited to 1.7-meter-wide machines running at a maximum speed of 300 ppm.
Another Panter machine on display at ITMA is Unirap J 190, which showcases woven decorative jacquard fabrics. The advantages of a single rapier include elimination of weft transfer and related mechanical settings, elimination of weft tension changes during transfer, and the ability to weave almost any type of weft. However, compared with the double rapier machine, the weaving speed and FIR of the single rapier machine are much lower.
Two double-rapier Hercules machines-a Hercules 320 and a Hercules 550-were shown weaving technical textiles for filtration and geotextiles respectively. The Hercules machine can quickly change the rapier from the front to the back in 20 to 30 minutes-this is Panter's specialty; it can handle a variety of weft yarns with a linear density ranging from 10 dtex to 48,000 dtex; And a high beating force of up to 10,000 Newtons per meter or about 500 kg (for a 5 meter wide machine), this allows the construction of compact fabrics for industrial applications.
A double rapier Panter Maxi 190 machine is weaving shirt fabrics, and a Maxi 230 is shown weaving fancy dress fabrics. The MAXI 230 can handle a wide range of weft yarns from very different yarn types.
The Picanol Group, headquartered in Belgium, exhibited a total of 12 air-jet and rapier weaving machines-10 of which were in its booth and two in the Bonas and Stäubli booths. These machines have been proven to be able to weave a range of fabrics, including shirt fabrics, denim, terry cloth, thick filters, linings, automobiles and intricately patterned jacquard fabrics. Picanol has introduced the OptiMax-i rapier loom, TerryMax-i rapier loom and Terryplus Summum air jet with new and improved functions.
The width of the OptiMax-i machine ranges from 190 to 540 cm, which is comparable to the width of the projectile. An OptiMax-i 4-P 540 runs at a speed of 280 ppm with a reed width (WIR) of 491 cm — 1,375 FIR — to produce technical textile fabrics.
Picanol has introduced a new development in rapier design called Free Flying Positive Gripper (FPG). In a traditional rapier loom, the clamps are mechanically opened and closed by fingers located in the transfer area. Set and fix the opening and closing time of the gripper before weaving. This presents challenges when using different weft yarns that require different times. In this case, the time to open and close the gripper must be optimized to process different weft yarns, which takes time and leads to production losses. The opening and closing of the FPG rapier gripper is electronically controlled, and can be timed differently for each weft yarn type, which provides new opportunities for mixing almost any weft yarn combination in the same fabric. At ITMA, FPG was introduced to the new OptiMax-i 8-J 190 machine, which uses various wefts from eight different feeders to weave complex jacquard patterns. Although Picanol successfully demonstrated FPG technology at the exhibition, it has not yet been commercialized. It is worth mentioning that in this setup, the PES tape is fed in from the fixed package-excessively withdrawn-which causes the tape to twist. In this case, zero distortion is not necessary. If zero twist is required, use a second weft feeder to remove the twist from the belt before insertion. Compared with the use of side-draw technology, the method of using two weft feeders for tape insertion provides higher speed and productivity.
Picanol also showed an improved version of its Pick-and-Repair Automation (PRA) for jet aircraft. The new PRA II Plus can be used on Omniplus Summum machines and can also be installed on previous Summum machines. PRA II Plus uses a rotating pneumatic clamp with a suction chamber, which can pick up defective wefts in 15 seconds, much faster than the previous model.
Picanol also introduced a jet system that eliminates the drawstring on the right side of the machine, thereby reducing raw material waste. The feature of this system is that there is a ring jet suction device to fix the newly inserted weft yarn, and then the weft yarn is clamped by the clamp installed on the sley, and the yarn is brought to the loom of the fabric, where it is cut. The cut part is then brought into the waste container by air suction. The advantages of this system include the elimination of the capture rope/semmage, the capture of the selvedge packaging and its holders, and the capture of selvedge waste disposal system, including guide rails, drives and tanks; and improved recyclability of the filling waste, because if one is used This type of fiber does not mix with the different materials used to capture selvedge.
In addition, Picanol demonstrated an improved adaptive relay valve driver (ARVD) called ARVD II Plus. In this system, each relay valve is individually controlled, thus shortening the blowing time of the relay nozzle. Depending on the type of weft, ARVD II Plus can reduce air consumption by up to 20%, compared with 7% for ARVD and 12% for ARVD Plus. ARVD II Plus can be used on Omniplus Summum and Terryplus Summum jets.
Trinca, headquartered in Italy, specializes in the production of shuttle and shuttleless looms with customized functions according to the requirements of the final product. At ITMA, Trinca demonstrated the Fastrong TEM2AR.3200 double rigid rapier loom, which used polyester monofilament warp and weft yarns for the first time to weave filter cloth. The machine has a rotary dobby shed movement, can individually control 2 to 52 wire harnesses, can choose to open or close the shed, the warp let-off and take-up are driven separately, the variable speed is up to 250 ppm, and the maximum beating force is 3,000 deca N /m, the maximum warp tension is 2,000 deca N/m, and the three-roller winding and warp tension are monitored at four positions to keep the fabric and warp tension at the required level. These features make the machine suitable for heavy fabrics.
Toyota Industries, headquartered in Japan, showed off the new JAT 810 jet, which evolved from the JAT 710 machine. Four JAT 810 machines demonstrated side-by-side bath towels woven at 850 ppm/2,270 m/min FIR; 170 cm wide fancy corduroy, 1,200 ppm/2,040 m/min FIR; 190.2 cm wide plaid shirt, 1,000 ppm/1,902 m/min FIR; and 312.4 cm wide fine pleated curtain fabric, FIR is 700 ppm/2,187 m/min. The company continues to develop its E-Shed independent harness control dobby opening system. E-Shed is integrated into Toyota's terry and wide-width machines to provide flexibility in the number of wire harnesses according to customer requirements. This is a function that cannot be found in a traditional dobby with a fixed number of wire harnesses.
In terms of reducing air consumption, Toyota designed a new relay nozzle design with an optimized cone angle to reduce air pressure. The new Alien e-Reed also reduces the air pressure. JAT e-Reed was launched as a prototype at ITMA 2011 and has now been successfully commercialized. Due to the reduced size of the bottom of the reed wire, the new design of the special-shaped reed allows the relay nozzle to be placed closer to the reed. The tighter setting allows the air to blow the weft more effectively and consume less energy.
Toyota and Uster Technologies AG of Switzerland have launched the jointly developed ALPIN, a new adaptive control system that reduces air consumption and is currently in the prototype stage. In this system, Uster sensors are located between the weft yarn feeder and the weft yarn package to monitor the characteristics of the weft yarn and adjust the airflow accordingly.
Tsudakoma demonstrated a new prototype jet, its model is Concept Model-190-2C-S4, which operates at a speed of 2105 ppm while weaving a 159 cm wide pongee fabric. The FIR is 3,204 m/min, which is the highest weaving rate shown at ITMA 2015. Combine slow start/stop to absorb shock and avoid damage to loom components, yarns and fabric; crank off motion; and fabric structure. Although the machine is attractive in terms of productivity, it is limited to plain weave and Palin weave.
Tsudakoma also exhibited the ZAX9200i Master air-jet loom, which is an upgraded version of the ZAX9100 professional machine. According to the company, this version has a wider range of versatility. Provides a variety of shedding motion systems; powerful let-off and take-up functions can weave fabrics of different tightness; dual auxiliary main nozzles allow insertion of thick weft yarns. Tsudakoma reports that because the wire harness and reed are located closer to the weaving mouth and a lighter hollow sley is used, the machine can run at a higher speed and consume less power by reducing the beat-up stroke. By using a new special-shaped reed design and the patent-pending new automatic injection control (JC-S), the blowing time of the relay nozzle can be controlled, thereby reducing air consumption. This machine is weaving a complex 313 cm wide jacquard fabric for internal applications at a speed of 850 ppm/FIR 2,660 m/min. The FIR shown on ITMA is a record of jacquard weaving.
Schönherr Carpet Systems, the Stäubli business unit, presented its new Alpha 500. Features include a width of up to 5.3 meters; the ability to build high piles up to 14 cm; high warp density with a reed of up to 120 dents per cm; and up to 12 weft yarn feeders. The Alpha 500 machine on display at the exhibition is producing carpets with 3,000,000 dots per square meter/7,620 dots per square inch. The Alpha 500 Leantec version can produce carpets for printing and artificial grass. In addition to the jacquard head, the Unival 500 dobby has a separate harness control function, which can be used to form ground tissue. Alpha 500 is equipped with two independently controlled ground beams for ground warp. The position and design of the beam can be changed from the side when the pile warp is threaded.
At its booth, Stäubli showed 3D fabric samples with high-performance fibers to demonstrate the ability of jacquard weaving. The samples were woven on the TF20 loom in the company's Technical Weaving System (TWS) department.
Samples include stitched multilayer fabrics; 3-D orthogonal fabrics; spacer fabrics; meshed 3-D variable-thickness fabrics; and unstitched/sewn double-layer fabrics for inserting devices, or electronic ballistics Or ceramic plate. These woven forms are suitable for composite materials, soft and hard body armor, embedded electronic textiles and preforms for sensors.
Belgium-based NV Michel Van De Wiele highlighted various products at ITMA 2015, including its more traditional carpet products and machines for technical textiles and 3-D fabrics, such as spacers and stitched/unstitched multilayer fabrics . According to the company, the combination of the VSi42 long-distance loom and Bonas H3D provides a variety of options for industrial textile structures.
Switzerland-based Jakob Müller AG-the largest manufacturer of narrow-width weaving, knitting and crochet machines since the acquisition of Comez SpA in Italy-highlighted two narrow-width machines-NHJM2 53 and NH2 53 on ITMA.
The NHJM2 53 6/42 z4 version displayed on ITMA is equipped with an electronic jacquard shedding system driven by an independent motor, an eight-wire electronic dobby shedding system with independent harness control, an independently controlled yarn feeder and six heads, which can form up to The six belts are up to 40 mm wide each at the same time. At ITMA, the machine runs at a speed of 1,000 times/minute/2,000 ppm to produce elastic tape with hidden letters, which will appear when the tape is stretched.
ITMA also displayed the NH2 53 6/27 S2 SNO2B type needle punch. It is equipped with six heads that can form up to 6 belts at the same time, each belt is up to 27 mm wide, 16-wire dobby movement, with separate wire harness control, and electronically controlled filling feeder and fabric winder . This machine is weaving gift ribbons with braided ropes, called "simple bows"-so called because the bows can be easily formed by pulling the ropes. The machine uses PES monofilament, Lurex gold and silver tape and PES monofilament weft yarn to weave six 22 mm wide belts at a speed of 1,000 times/min/2,000 ppm.
ITMA technology focuses on jacquard weaving capabilities, suitable for the growing field of 3D fabrics for automobiles, aerospace, defense, and embedded electronic devices.
The jacquard and dobby single drive pioneered by Stäubli is becoming a trend. Mounting the jacquard machine directly on the loom frame to eliminate the need for huge gantry and high ceilings was originally implemented by Grosse. As the jacquard head size matches the width of the loom, this is also becoming the standard. Other companies are also exploring Stäubli's separate harness control of the dobby movement.
The ITMA strengthened the disappearance of multiphase weaving, marking the disappearance of projectile weaving technology, and continuing the return of weaving from mageba. Although woven is limited to a few applications, such as tubular fabrics for medical arteries, fire hoses, endless belts, and hydraulic hoses, these end uses are very specialized and profitable niche markets.
Editor's note: Dr. Abdel-Fattah M. Seyam is a professor in the Department of Textiles and Apparel, Technology and Management in the Department of Textiles and Apparel, Technology and Management of the School of Textiles, North Carolina State University, in Raleigh, North Carolina.