Some textile machinery manufacturers and trade associations preferred not to present a preview. We take up their press conferences and complete in such a manner the guide to ITMA Asia + CITME (see Newsletter of October 9, 2018)
We will update the NEWS whenever new information is available, so check back from time to time.
Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Segment
Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment acquires PE Polymer Engineering Plant Construction GmbH
Polyamide is used in countless everyday items – from apparel, toothbrushes, carpets and automobile fittings all the way through to PC housings, dowels and pipes. For manufacturing extremely flexible, high-performance products from polyamide 6 (PA6), Oerlikon Manmade Fibers offers a broad range of machines and systems that the company has now further expanded.
At the end of March 2018, the group segment acquired the decades-long tried-and-tested technology of PE Polymer Engineering Plant Construction GmbH, based in Thuringia, Germany. This includes the entire polyamide 6 polycondensation systems division and its PA6/6.6 co-polymer and the patented dimer-hydrolysis procedures for feeding recycled-lactam with the very highest end-product quality. With this expansion of the product range to include the melt preparation process step, Oerlikon Manmade Fibers now covers the entire polyamide process chain for fibers and filaments – from the melt to the granulate through to the finished yarn. This guarantees the necessary knowledge base for entering the high-end PA6 granulate market for the engineering plastics and film packaging industries. Customers also benefit from an internationally tried-and-tested implementation concept that covers everything from sourcing investment through to securing operational availability throughout the entire lifespan of a system.
The challenge of digitalisation
Revolution or evolution?
Today, Industrie 4.0 is already making its mark at many companies across the globe – and is there to stay. The Age of Digitalization has also arrived in the textile sector – manifesting itself in the production of customized apparel within a mere few hours in microfactories or in the form of cost-optimized, self-controlled production based on networked systems and data analysis. At the same time, there are challenges that slowing down the advent of digitalization – data protection and data security being just two of these.
Analysts at the consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) were astonished: its 2016 study ‘Industrie 4.0: Building the digital enterprise’ revealed that many companies across the globe are already taking digitalization seriously. The more than 2000 participating companies from nine sectors of industry in 26 countries were planning to increase their degree of digitalization in 2015, the year of the survey, from an average of 33 percent to 72 % within the five following years leading up to 2020. To achieve this, these enterprises are planning to invest around five percent of turnover – equivalent to USD 907 billion a year. In return, they expect cost savings of 3.6 % and average annual sales growth of 2.9 %.
Huge investment in digitalisation
This tendency is not only evident within companies industrialized countries, but also in emerging economies and developing countries – however, the PwC study is able to filter out differing targets. In Germany, Scandinavia and Japan, it is primarily about expanding operational efficiency and product quality. In the US, businesses plan to develop predominantly new digital business models and to expand digital product and service ranges. China is hoping to benefit as a result of automating and digitalising labour-intensive manufacturing processes.
The study anticipates that the challenges for companies will above all lie in digitally qualifying staff or recruiting expert employees and in establishing an appropriate internal organization and ‘digital cul- ture’. This is necessary in order to use data analysis to improve and optimize planning and hence exploit the full potential of Industrie 4.0.
Textile Industrie 4.0: the status quo
Digitalisation is also creating a revolution within the textile industry: clients can today already configure and order customized apparel online and have it delivered with very short lead times. This form of manufacturing is also becoming increasingly profitable for manufacturers, as production and logistics processes will in future be extensively automated and self-controlled. However, some textiles experts are viewing the revolution more as an evolution: there is frequently currently still a lack of qualified manpower, reciprocal networking and interdisciplinary cooperation to realize these visions. When look- ing at digitally covering the entire value chain, not all links are in place yet for Industrie 4.0: they might be in sewing factories in China, but not at those in Ethiopia or Hungary. And the textile industry there- fore requires sector-specific solutions above all.
The fact that these are possible is meanwhile being showcased by ever more Industrie 4.0 pioneers. At its virtually fully-automated Speedfactory, Adidas is able – after a treadmill analysis of the customer at the point-of-sale – to design, and in part manufacture by means of 3D printing, trainers in a matter of a few hours rather than over several months. With their Microfactory, companies under the auspices of the Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf (DITF/German Institutes for Textile and Fibre Research Denkendorf) are demonstrating how an integrated production chain for apparel works, manufacturing sweaters and T-shirts using 3D simulation patterns in half a day – customized and profitably even for batch sizes of one. The project can be viewed as a fantastic example of the exchange of knowledge and technology transfer that Industrie 4.0 solutions require. And, it enables more flexible, more customer-focused business models away from conventional mass production. The well-known elite German university RWTH Aachen is pursuing a similar approach. In a Learning Factory 4.0, the so-called Digital Capability Center (DCC), the Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA/Institute for Textile Technology) housed there is showcasing how digital transformation can be successful on the basis of a networked textile process chain and using assistance systems, among other things.
On the way to the fully networked textile factory
And with that we move from the consumer product to the actual production and ultimately to the textile machine manufacturers. They are also focusing on digitalization and are intensively driving the development of an entire industry forward. But even the manufacturers of textile machines for mass production are looking at digitalization. The scenario of the future: textile production – from the supply chain through to dispatch – is autonomously controlled in the fully-networked Factory 4.0. The product being created controls and monitors the processes itself using embedded sensors. The manufacturing or order status is known at all times, raw materials are automatically reordered, wear and maintenance are planned as integral parts of the production process and error processes are identified, alleviated or displayed. This should cut costs, convert production lines more flexibly and help reduce downtimes and waste. For this, the machine construction sector has to provide correspondingly intelligent and Webweb-enabled production systems, capable of communicating using wired or wireless connections. No easy feat, as this requires interfaces between all systems involved and the collation, channelling and evaluation of tremendous volumes of data in real time.
The first steps on this journey have already been taken – with Oerlikon in the very vanguard. With its Plant Operation Center (POC) for process monitoring, Oerlikon Barmag, for instance, enables the collation of existing production data in a central location and to make these data available. On the occasion of the ITMA ASIA + CITME 2018 in Shanghai, China, the company also showcased the prospect of a development designed – on the basis of machine data – to identify error patterns or deviations as well as provide diagnosis support and help using artificial intelligence. An assistance system based on mixed-reality glasses (Microsoft HoloLens) has already been launched by Oerlikon – supporting predictive maintenance concepts and enabling virtual 360-degree tours through spinning systems. “The market is increasingly looking for more intelligent machine technology in order to more speedily and profitably collate and evaluate production data. And we are addressing this trend and are presenting solutions in a new, digital dimension”, comments Markus Reichwein, Head of Product Management for the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment.
Digital visions require the qualifying of employees
Digital visions indicate a future in which consumers are able to codetermine their textile products to a considerably greater extent. New business and production models are emerging that will also make smaller batch sizes profitable. This will once again make high-wage countries attractive manufacturing sites. But experts do not anticipate that intelligent, extensively-automated factories will not be able to dispense entirely with people. People will, however, assume other tasks – in part within the context of newly-created professions. Against this backdrop, qualifying employees and their positive (or negative) view of the opportunities offered by digitalization will be decisive in how swiftly the textile industry embarks on its digital future. And data protection and data security open up many questions that could slow down the speed of the revolution that is Industrie 4.0. Ultimately, many things depend on the textile companies themselves and their ability to embrace – and prepare themselves and their employees for – the opportunities offered by digitalisation.
With its Oerlikon Barmag and Oerlikon Neumag brands, Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Segment is the world market leader for manmade fibre filament spinning systems, texturing machines, BCF systems, staple fibre systems, solutions for the production of nonwovens and – as a service provider – offers engineering solutions for the entire textile value added chain. As a future oriented company, the re- search and development at this division of the Oerlikon Group is driven by energy-efficiency and sustainable technologies (e-save). With the continuous polycondensation and extrusion line systems and their key components, the company caters to the entire process with automated and digitally net- worked Industry 4.0 solutions – from the monomer all the way through to the textured yarn. The primary markets for the product portfolio of Oerlikon Barmag are in Asia, especially in China, India and Tur- key, and – for those of Oerlikon Neumag – in the USA, Asia, Turkey and Europe. Worldwide, the segment – with just under 3,000 employees – has a presence in 120 countries of production, sales and distribution and service organizations. At the R&D centres in Remscheid, Neumünster (Germany) and Suzhou (China), highly-qualified engineers, technologists and technicians develop innovative and technologically-leading products for tomorrow’s world.
Automation solutions made by Oerlikon
Oerlikon integrates the AC-Automation GmbH & Co. KG – which is headquartered in Bernkastel-Kues – automation solutions for large-scale systems into its technology portfolio. The company is thus taking an important step on its journey towards now being able to offer fully-automated factories digitally networked using Industrie 4.0 solutions from a single source.
For many, mechanical looms are the embodiment of the first industrial revolution. Today – following the introduction of production line manufacturing and the advent of electronics within the production chain – the textile and fiber industry is on the verge of entering the so-called fourth industrial revolution – or Industrie 4.0 for short. With the acquisition of AC-Automation in Bernkastel-Kues and Augsburg, Oerlikon Manmade Fibers – the leading solutions provider within the manmade fibre manufacturing sector – has now set a further milestone on its journey towards fully-automatic, digitally-networked fibre production. In the future, Oerlikon textile industry customers will receive production systems together with the automation logistics – including packaging and high-bay warehouse solutions – from a single source.
In the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment’s new automation division, in excess of 80 specialists draw on more than 30 years of experience in manmade fibre production automation. Here, they have been closely collaborating with the Oerlikon Group as far back as the early-1980s. With the help of its highly-developed and tried-and-tested robot handling, packaging, transport and warehouse systems, Oerlikon is now creating turnkey, integrated production and logistics solutions for all customers across the globe.
“With the takeover and integration of the automation solutions from AC-Automation, we are creating new impetus for the manmade fibre business. In conjunction with our new digitalization solutions, it will also enable us to clearly position ourselves as a supplier of Industrie-4.0 solutions”, states Georg Stausberg, CEO of the Manmade Fibers segment, talking about the reasons for the acquisition. The target is the so-called ‘digital factory’, where production systems monitor, control and optimize them- selves with the help of collated data and information. Here, the manufacturing process is becoming increasingly flexible.
“Industrie 4.0 is not just a marketing buzzword”, explains Rolf Gänz, Managing Director of the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment’s automation division. “Imagine a company requires fibres for airbags. Even the fibre producer has to be familiar with the precise safety-relevant composition specifications. The same applies to the downstream quality control, with the finished yarn packages ideally tagged in such a way that the machines used for manufacturing the airbag fabric notices whenever the incorrect yarn package has been selected for producing the warp beam.”
All this is now possible, as a result of the expanded product portfolio because Oerlikon is offering seamlessly-coordinated production, quality assurance and packaging systems without malfunction-prone and maintenance-intensive interfaces. All customers receive optimally planned, flexible systems from a single source from the very outset.
Rolf Gänz, Managing Director of the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment’s automation division “Here, what will become the new standard in future-oriented manmade fibre manufacturing is coming together. The automation solutions will be an integral part of an Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment Industrie 4.0 solution. It will assume the yarn product precisely at the point at which spinning plant solutions have extensively completed their work. This will create a coherent product chain – from the raw material through to final delivery. We are now offering all stages – from production planning, production tracking, quality control, packaging and palletizing – on a single, new Oerlikon platform. So, there are now no longer any annoying data interfaces. Yes, we can now also take all automation considerations into account when designing the systems, which means that our customers can now acquire the entire process chain from a single source.”
Oerlikon – En-route to becoming a digital trendsetter
Talking to Georg Stausberg, CEO, and Jochen Adler, CTO
How does a manmade fibre systems world market leader with currently more than 3,000 employees successfully undergo digital transformation? This first and foremost requires an economically solid foundation and numerous digital change modules such as organizational adaptability, agility and the qualifying of employees. Georg Stausberg, CEO, and Jochen Adler, CTO describe the exciting path the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment is embarking on to create new digital products and services with superlative customer benefits.
Mr. Stausberg, do you remember taking your first steps into the new Digital Age?
This was more of a creeping process than a conscious step. It started with me using the Internet and e-mail – first on PCs, then on mobile end-devices. Meanwhile, digital technology has invaded every aspect of our lives, be this in our homes or in our modern cars. About four years ago, the latter resulted in our company starting to consider how we could create additional customer benefits using artificial intelligence. And. automobiles are today increasingly differentiating themselves from each other more by means of digital assistance systems than through classical transmission or chassis technology. We want to become the textile machine construction trendsetter for technologies of this kind.
What have you done to successfully achieve this in collaboration with colleagues and customers?
Even in economically difficult times, we had the courage to invest in the future. Following detailed strategy discussions within the management team, we decided to set up an international project group two years ago. In discussions with research institutes, companies from various sectors, in-house experts and numerous customers, the group developed concrete ideas and analyses on which digital products and solutions could be interesting for our customers and what customer benefits could be generated with these. The result is numerous ideas that are meanwhile being marketed or are currently be trialled as prototypes. When putting together and organizing the project team, we also tested new forms of collaboration, which have proven to be effective and are now being rolled out in other divisions of the company.
Can you elaborate a little on these new forms of collaboration?
The speed and dynamism of the development of digital products and solutions is breath-taking. Agility is therefore an absolute prerequisite for an organization to be successful here. Our project group has been able to organize itself and – without any clear hierarchies – only had to interact with a functional steering committee. It was important that we also had representatives from China and India, two of our most important markets, on board. To this end, we were able to include local aspects early on. Departmental boundaries also have to disappear when developing digital products. The Development, IT, Customer Services and Operations departments can only develop multifunctionally-interesting digital solutions if they work together.
Mr Adler, you have been our CTO since 2017. What have you done to master digital transformation?
Very much in line with our ‘We drive the markets’ maxim, we are once again ramping up the speed. This means that we have established and expanded digital pacemakers on the basis of our product and service portfolio and tried-and-tested innovation processes. This has resulted in agile organizational units, innovative work methods such as design thinking and scrum and also in the utilization of virtual reality and augmented reality at the customer.
What can your customers now expect ‘digitally’ from Oerlikon?
I would say the digital refinement of our machines and production systems for manufacturing yarns, fibers, nonwovens along the textile value chain. Here, our pledge is: value-added beyond our excellent hardware. We want to further optimize the efficiency of the systems and the quality of the end products with digital solutions. True to our e-save philosophy, our mission is to protect the environment and to promote the sustainability of our solutions. For this, we are deploying the know-how of our newly-integrated partner AC-Automation – which specializes in large-scale systems automation, transport, packaging and warehouse logistics and end product automated quality control. We combine this with our process competencies and digital data handling using our Plant Operation Center, or POC in short. This has created innovative Industrie 4.0-solutions for our customers – with integrated storage and communication capabilities, wireless sensors, embedded actuators and intelligent software systems. In turn, this allows us to build bridges between data and material flows and between the virtual and real worlds.
Mr. Stausberg, what aspects of this will your customers already be able to see at the ITMA Asia 2018?
At our trade fair stand in hall H2, B24, we will be offering our visitors a digital experience that allows them to intensely discover and understand our machines, systems, components and services. Here, we will be deploying playful solutions to present the topic of artificial intelligence. We will be taking our 360-degree and augmented-reality applications as well as our virtual showroom with us, to allow visitors to experience complex systems live in 3D. The ‘digital factory’ is already in part becoming a reality in conjunction with our machine exhibits.
Wiping robot makes operator’s life easier
A prime example of an automated solution: cleaning spin- nerets. Thanks to its intelligent control system, the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers wiping robot not only saves production time, work and operating costs, it also generates benefits for HR and health management.
Sure, manual work also has its benefits. However, nobody – and particularly not operators – look for- ward to manually wiping the spinnerets in the spinning head. In a fiercely hot environment, it involves using a brass tool to remove residual melt from the extruded filaments from the spinneret. Here, lots of silicone oil is atomised from aerosol cans. In view of this overall extremely elaborate measure and the costs involved, production managers are hardly thrilled by the prospect of carrying out this task.
Because a maintenance job of this nature practically cries out for automation, Oerlikon Manmade Fibers has now developed a wiping robot. And a smart one at that, as its control unit is able to communicate with the production system. “This intelligent control system contains the solution’s actual expertise, which networks machines and processes – very much in line with the Industrie 4.0 concept”, explains Stephan Faulstich, POY Technology Manager at Oerlikon Barmag. Initially, this means: the information relating to all wiping positions, cycles and times can be saved in the management system. The robot accesses the saved wiping intervals in an automated and safety-relevant manner – without manual intervention, but accompanied by a whole range of advantages.
To this end, the robot can cope with up to 48 positions, corresponding to one entire production line. Both the wiping quality and the oil application remain constant around the clock. Furthermore, the silicone oil from canisters deployed here costs just a fraction of the manually-utilized 500-milliliter (ml) spray cans, which contain merely 12 ml of oil, as the lion’s share is made up of propellant gases that are harmful to health and environment. So, applying oil from canisters saves costs for the procurement, storage and disposal of spray cans.
However, more decisive here is the impact of the intelligent control system, with whose help the spinning pump can be moved up and down in an automated and ‘in-time’ manner. To this end, pump stops can be kept to the absolute minimum using a robot, considerably reducing the impact of the wiping on both the polycondensation system process stability and on the yarn data of the spun yarn. And production times can be increased between two cleaning cycles as well: whereas repeated wiping is required after 48 hours in the case of the manual process, utilizing the robot extends the interval be- tween two wiping processes to up to 60 hours. Customers have already been benefiting from such optimized times: Oerlikon Manmade Fibers wiping robots have been operating at two major yarn manufacturers in China for well over a year now.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Creating the digital yarn factory
Manmade fibre manufacturing is not being spared by the 4th industrial revolution. The Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment is already successfully digitalising its ‘From Melt to Yarn, Fibers and Nonwovens’ process chain. Once again, Oerlikon is expanding customer benefits with new technologies such as artificial intelligence.
Reliably and efficiently manufacturing superlative quality – that is the wish of every yarn, fibre and nonwovens manufacturer. However, optimally adjusting manufacturing with constantly-changing products is a huge challenge: because even small deviations can have a massive impact on the quality of the end product.
To better monitor and control production across all systems against this background, globally techno- logically-leading machine and systems constructor Oerlikon has expanded its Manmade Fibers segment portfolio to include new digital products and services. By integrating the know-how of the recently acquired German industrial automation solutions specialist AC-Automation, Oerlikon now offers Industrie 4.0 systems solutions from a single source: the entire manmade fibre manufacturing plant is – step by step – being automated, digitalized and expanded to include new functions.
This starts with human-machine interfaces (HMIs), which have enabled hugely interesting services – whether process monitoring via a service online app on smart phones and tablets or customer care and maintenance using the Microsoft HoloLens solution. The possibilities range from expanding the ‘From Melt to Yarn, Fibers and Nonwovens’ process chain to include upstream and downstream steps. Because it makes sense in the future to include those processes – such as automatic labelling or yarn package, fibre and nonwoven bale logistics – to date covered by means of third-party solutions.
Edge computing and cloud solutions
All these functions and services are – together with the Plant Operation Center (POC), which at Oerlikon assumes the function of a manufacturing execution system (MES), including the link to superordinate ERP systems – provided by the Oerlikon Digital Services platform. The machines, systems and third-party systems are networked and integrated by means of power edge computing and cloud solutions based on the OpenStack industry standard. This means that the data are utilised at the customer site as far as possible and only transferred to the central Oerlikon customer data centre if required – and only following customer approval. Here, data security, data minimization and transparency are extremely important: “Needless to say, we process all data in accordance with the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), taking all further international data protection standards into account. Our customers always know which data we use and why”, explains Mario Arcidiacono, Business Intelligence & Data Warehouse specialist for the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment.
Scalable IT architecture
This IT architecture guarantees infrastructure management without operational downtimes – while the system and virus protection are always automatically updated. A further significant benefit is the scalability of the hardware and software, which can be adapted as needed in the event of changing requirements.
Sensors in the polycondensation system, the spinning plant and the texturing unit generate huge volumes of data, further increased by additional information such as drive data and target values, for instance. Collating such a mass of data however only makes sense if they are also automatically, swiftly, intelligently and reliably processed. An example: In the texturing machine, the Unitens® monitoring sensor continually measures the yarn tension at all positions. An error is generated if a measurement value does not lie within the prescribed tolerances – easily creating 125000 graphs or more a day! In ever more cases, the form of the graphs can provide information on the error causes and ultimately provide targeted and efficient response to these. However: “Analysing the graphs is currently carried out manually, which is very time-consuming. Hence, comprehensive data analysis and optimisation of the production is in principle not possible using manual means”, states Jörg Huthmacher, Senior Manager Digital Transformation for the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment.
‘Our aim is your success’
How can these data now be sensibly processed? Here, new technologies such as machine learning reveal opportunities that have to date been locked. “In future, our latest digital solution – we are calling it ‘artificial intelligence manufacturing’, or ‘AIM4DTY’ for short – will provide help for texturing machine and systems solutions”, says Jörg Huthmacher. AIM4DTY is a digital system that is being ‘trained’ using trend charts and their respective errors. The result is a digital customer service that determines the probable causes of quality impairments. The information is instantly available to customers, there- fore allowing them to immediately optimize the quality during running production. New information is acquired by linking the most diverse production data. This allows not only the continual optimization of the production process, it also ensures that predictive maintenance is now a reality – for superior yarn quality, greater process reliability and improved system efficiency.
Unitens® is a trademark of Saurer Fibrevision Ltd.
A manufacturing execution system (MES) is a production control system directly linked to process automation systems. It enables the controlling, steering and monitoring of the production process in real time. It includes classical data acquisition and processing – such as operating, machine and personnel data acquisition along with all further processes – that have an immediate impact on production processes. At the Oerlikon Manmade Fiber segment, we call it the Plant Operation Center (POC).
Edge computing is the relocation of computing power, applications, data and services to the logical margins of a network. Data processing can take place in various places – in real time, or using central servers in networked factory halls.
OpenStack is an open cloud operating system (open source) with which companies can create flexi- ble and scalable private clouds based on standard hardware. OpenStack allows large pools of computing, storage and network resources to be controlled in a computing centre using a dashboard or programming interface.
The General Data Protection Regulation, abbreviated to GDPR, unifies how personal data is pro- cessed by private companies and public offices EU-wide for the protection of personal data within the EU as well as ensuring free data communication within the European domestic market.
Staple FORCE S 1100 – Flexible staple fibre production – made simple
Economical, flexible and compact – this is the motto with which Oerlikon Neumag will showcase the Staple FORCE S 1100 at the ITMA Asia + CITME 2018. The staple fiber system excels at two things in particular: it produces small batches (up to 15 tons per day) and can be swiftly reconfigured for various requirements, including poly- mer, dye and titer changes. Its process control system for easy operation is absolutely unique. And all this for a modest initial investment.
Large-scale staple fibre systems are only conditionally suitable for manufacturing smaller volumes of fibres. This is because frequent stopping and restarting of the system in order to switch raw materials and operating parameters results in expensive downtimes and high wastage. Nevertheless, small batch manufacturing is in demand – for instance, in the case of staple fibre products with changing fashion colours or various titres. And, new fibre materials are initially tested and launched in small volumes. “For this reason, manufacturers already producing staple fibres in large volumes are also interested in additional systems for smaller flexible production”, reports Stefan Schäfer, Sales Director Staple Fiber at Oerlikon Neumag.
The Staple FORCE S 1100 fulfils these requirements, and, also offers a special highlight: its innovative process control system. Operators are able to steer the system using just five buttons – ‘stop’, ‘back’, ‘next’, ‘pause’ and ‘acknowledge’, ensuring that operating errors are virtually ruled out. Parameters for the various operating modes are preset to ensure easy start-up. To this end, the operator now only needs to jump from one operating mode to the next using the control unit. And the process parameters for the various fibres manufactured are also stored as a recipe, allowing operators to access them at any time without re-entry. This results in a fibre quality that can be reproduced more accurately.
The Staple FORCE S 1100 is a one-step plant, which spins, draws, crimps, cuts and bales in a single process step. Here, the fibre tow is drawn using godets in a high-speed process. Sets of godets positioned above each other form a stretch duo with its own hood. This simultaneously provides several benefits: each duo has its own temperature zone under the hood. To this end, the temperatures re- main more constant, with no drop-in temperature between the two godets of each duo. Furthermore, the hoods act as steam chests, hence dispensing with the water and steam baths used for steaming the fibre tow in the conventional process. This ultimately also reduces energy costs.
Those investing in the system with its relatively low procurement costs benefit from the simple system commissioning: it is delivered as modular, preinstalled components and a spinning beam with integrated, low-maintenance HTM (Heat Transfer Medium) system. This means that an external boiler with all the corresponding pipes is no longer necessary, dispensing with expensive, time-consuming welding. The installed Staple FORCE S 1100 is 30 meters long, 12 metres wide and manufactures up to 15 tons of staple fibres of extremely even quality a day.
Godet coating as customer service – The positive aspects of orange peel skin
The quality of the manufactured yarns is also determined by the surfaces of all components coming into contact with the yarn – such as godet jackets, for example. It is here that Oerlikon Barmag provides support with special repair coatings and – often even more important – know-how of how these are deployed.
Depending on the process, yarns also acquire their properties through accurately-defined godet and separator roll temperatures and running speeds. Furthermore, this requires a defined, yarn-friendly surface in order to ensure there is no damage to the filaments. For this, the components in all newly- sold machines come with a chrome-oxide coating as standard. But plasma-coated godets are also used. “In the case of plasma spraying, the aim is to create a so-called orange peel skin with a defined layout of indentations and supporting surfaces. What may sound negative in other contexts can have a positive impact on the yarn quality here”, explains Marcus Köhler, Customer Support Service Manager at Oerlikon Barmag.
Although the surfaces of such coatings may be precisely tailored to the respective processes and products, they do however deteriorate sooner or later – depending on the polymers, spinning processes and process speeds in question. And, aggressive alkali cleaning agents can soften the coating over time. To this end, the result can be under-surface corrosion with blistering, which may cause flaking in the worst case.
In such situations, Oerlikon Barmag offers repair coatings, for which it has been collaborating with surface specialist Oerlikon Metco for more than 30 years now. The affiliate has a presence in the pri- mary Oerlikon Barmag markets across the globe. “Together, we restore the original surfaces with all the required tolerances. Depending on the customer request and market requirements, we can also add different qualities or surfaces – for example, hard plasma coatings”, states Marcus Köhler.
Whichever coating solution is chosen – it is important that this is implemented in good time, because it is not just the yarn quality that suffers if not. Faulty surfaces are also associated with higher yarn break rates and more waste per ton of finished yarn. And, because wear is usually a slow, gradual process, the reasons for fluctuating or slowly-deteriorating production quality initially often remain unidentified.
This is when Oerlikon Barmag Service can provide decisive and invaluable know-how. “Our experts have the necessary experience and specialized measurement devices to identify and assess wear. They know which surface profile with which roughness depth each godet requires”, explains Marcus Köhler. Here, it becomes clear that there can be many error sources. To this end, the yarn requires different surfaces depending on its position within the production process. If this is not right in the respective position, this will also adversely affect the yarn quality with, for instance, differing diametres or insufficiently balanced jackets and units.
Oerlikon Barmag is able to provide service life guarantees for its repair-coated surfaces – although only if the company’s own chemical godet cleaner is used. The service also includes the alignment and calibration of the components. And, it is particularly popular among customers: to date, Oerlikon Barmag has repair-coated around 4000 godets – without any subsequent client complaints.
USTER Technologies – The global language of quality gets appy
USTER® STATISTICS 2018 is published and available via app stores
Today, fibre purchasing, yarn development and trading would be virtually unthinkable without USTER® STATISTICS. This year, the global language of textile quality enters a new dimension with USTER® STATISTICS 2018 available as a mobile application – simply called the STATISTICS app – for PCs and all mobile devices. New quality characteristics as well as extended yarn count ranges and novel yarn types will further thrill the users of the USTER® STATISTICS 2018.
For the first time, USTER® STATISTICS is now offered in an app format – meeting the increasingly mobile requirements of the industry and the world. For this new era, the knowledge base and data in the app are portable and quickly accessible any time, even if no internet connection is available.
The USTER® STATISTICS 2018 app is ready to download now – for free – from the usual app stores. The easy-to-use concept of the STATISTICS app offers useful search mechanisms with customizable settings. Favorites – individual filters – can be stored to recall frequently-used benchmarks. All information – charts, tables and interactive tables as well as processing data – can be sent or printed, enabling direct communication between business partners via the STATISTICS app. The app serves users in 11 different languages and the built-in FAQ offers immediate support – which is continuously extended by the addition of new answers.
An outstanding feature of USTER® STATISTICS 2018 is a virtually seamless blended yarn range. Users can enter their chosen blend ratio in 1 % steps. A graph relating to the input value is then selected in the background. This fulfills requests by many users for more blended yarn options in USTER® STATISTICS.
Uster Technologies enters a new level of superlatives with USTER® STATISTICS 2018. The sheer number of diagrams illustrates the variety and diversity of yarns on the market today. The newly-released USTER® STATISTICS includes new quality characteristics, extended yarn count ranges and simply more yarn types – illustrated in nearly 4,000 graphs, with quality data on numerous fibers, yarns and processes. What began in 1957 as three simple tables has grown to an immense volume of data – all organized into a unique dataset to serve the textile industry on an even more advanced level.
The fact that USTER has been measuring and analyzing quality data for fibers, slivers and yarns for six decades allows unique analysis. For example: yarn evenness for cotton ring yarns has remained stable since 1997 and no further significant improvements have been made in this sector – including well-established ring spinning machines, which lately don’t feature innovative changes. The figure clearly shows the development over the years. Uster Technologies doesn’t expect further improvements in evenness from ring spinning in the future – and there is also hardly no potential to further increase yarn evenness.
The new USTER® NEWS BULLETIN No. 51 covers more trends in more detail under the title `USTER® STATISTICS 2018 – The industry’s quality language enters a new dimension´. (Free download available here ) Readers will also find the section on `What’s New´ in USTER® STATISTICS 2018 very informative.
The basic steps for the future are now in place, providing the established benchmarking data in a mobile app and cloud-based. This is the foundation for introducing new data and features to USTER® STATISTICS faster than ever before.
At the USTER laboratories in China and Switzerland, thousands of fibers and yarns have been tested tirelessly and the data processed for USTER® STATISTICS 2018. These lab teams will continue their efforts, ensuring that USTER® STATISTICS remain the essential benchmarks for comparing key quality characteristics along the entire value chain, from raw fiber through sliver and roving to the final yarn and beyond. The commitment into the future is to offer yarn producers, weavers, knitters, yarn traders and retailers the essential framework to specify and obtain the quality they need. Even more importantly, due to the globalization of textile trade, USTER® STATISTICS enables all users to speak ‘the global language of quality’ – needing no translation and easily understood by everyone.
USTER offers animated videos for USTER® STATISTICS users. Eight easy-to-understand clips explain the essentials of USTER® STATISTICS and are published on Uster Technologies’ Youtube channel.
The Uster Group is the leading high-technology instrument manufacturer of products for quality management for the textile industry. The Group provides testing and monitoring instruments, systems and services that allow optimization of quality through each individual stage of textile production. This includes raw textile fibers, such as cotton or wool, all staple fiber and filament yarns, as well as downstream services to the final finished fabric. The Uster Group provides benchmarks that are a basis for the trading of textile products at assured levels of quality across global markets. The Group’s aim is to forward know-how on quality, productivity and cost to the textile industry.
The Group is headquartered in Uster, Switzerland and operates through a worldwide Market Organization complemented by Technology Centers. It has sales and service subsidiaries in the major textile markets and Technology Centers in Uster (Switzerland), Knoxville (USA), Suzhou (China) and Caesarea (Israel).
VDMA – Original technology makes the difference
ITMA ASIA + CITME 2018, Asia’s foremost trade fair dedicated to textile machinery, is once again marked by a significant presence of German companies both in their number and in the quality of their technology. Visitors to the fair will have an opportunity to appreciate the high level of technology being proposed by more than 100 exhibitors from Germany, including more than 80 VDMA member companies. They cover nearly all different machinery chapters with a focus on spinning, nonwoven, weaving, knitting, warp knitting and finishing. The overall exhibition space occupied by German machinery manufacturers is more than 7,000 square meters, confirming Germany’s leading position among exhibiting foreign countries. The German exhibitors increased their booth space by approximately 15 % compared to 2016.
“Choose the original – Choose success” is the message of the VDMA Textile Machinery at this trade fair. On the occasion of the VDMA press conference on the opening day of ITMA ASIA, Ms Karin Christine Schmidt, Technical Director VDMA Textile Machinery, emphasised: “Copycat machines may look similar to the systems they are designed to emulate. But only originals do not simply follow but are pacesetters of technological progress.” Original technology is a keystone of innovation. It has the potential to successfully turn visions of entirely new possibilities in the textile production into reality.
This approach is visualised at the VDMA booth. The stand achieves attention and emotion through the picture motif: Neuschwanstein Castle. This world-famous tourist magnet is more than that: it is also a successful original. A vision, which could be successfully implemented in the long term through innovation and technology!
During the press conference, 18 spokespersons of renowned VDMA member companies showed how original technology can indeed play a major role in China’s and other Asian nation’s efforts to increase the resource efficiency of the textile industry and to interconnect information technology and manufacturing processes.
Topics of the companies included automation, performance improvement, quality, sustainable solutions (raw material, energy, water saving), Industry 4.0 (in China called intelligent manufacturing), digital AR/VR services, platforms and software.
Here are the statements of the speakers:
Antonia Gottschalk, Karl Mayer: “Digital solutions considerably extend the possibilities to enhance the efficiency of our customers‘ production processes. This is the reason why KARL MAYER set up its own software start-up company, as most important strategic step in this respect, namely the KARL MAYER Digital Factory. The newcomer’s main objective is a rapid and flexible development of efficient digital solutions for the clients‘ benefit, solutions which will be offered under the company’s own, new umbrella brand. The launch of the digital brand, the presentation of the entire solution portfolio and the demonstration of its first products will be highlights on KARL MAYER’s stand at ITMA ASIA + CITME 2018.”
Stephan Kehry, Mahlo: “Mahlo: Efficiency and sustainability boost with Industry 4.0.“
Jürgen Hanel, Monforts: “Monforts is ahead of progress in the Internet of Things / Industry 4.0 Technology by using latest interface and visualization technology with slider function for machine operation. This system can also be connected to a so called WebUI where current production parameters are monitored on mobile devices via remote service. The proven teleservice is also based on remote service, updated and extended to predictive maintenance possibilities helping to reduce machine standstill. Furthermore, the energy consumption can be improved by automatic optimization of machine parameters.”
Dr. Dirk Burger, Trützschler: “An efficient raw material utilisation is no luxury. On the contrary; it is a prerequisite for economic operation. The optical WASTECONTROL sensors developed by Trützschler control the quality of the waste. Therefore, 0,5 – 1 % of good fibres can be saved – without neglecting the cleaning effect. This results in significant annual savings: With only 0.5 % waste savings, more than 100,000 US$ have already been saved on raw materials.”
André Imhof, Autefa Solutions: “Our customers expect true energy saving technology! Economic sustainability is an integral part of all our development efforts. Autefa Solutions V-Jet and Square Drum Dryer SQ-V supports customers to keep or extend their leadership in the highly competitive Spunlace market.”
Marcel Moser, Küsters Textile: “Efficiency in production is like the interest rate on your bank account. The higher the more.”
Michael Tuschak, Mayer & Cie.: “We are the first manufacturer to have dared to merge spinning, cleaning and knitting in one machine. That brings about several advantages, both from the environmental and process technology perspective.”
Marcus Reichardt, Groz-Beckert: “In terms of profitability/productivity and environment the litespeed® plus needle stands for cost reduction, significantly increased efficiency and a reduced CO2 footprint. In detail this can result in reduced power consumption, machine temperature and oil consumption, and can enable maximum possible machine speeds. Morover the litespeed® plus needle can lead to an optimized lubrication behavior. All these benefits are independent of the machine direction.”
Gunnar Meyer, Brückner: “Zero emissions in our new production plant – zero emissions in your machine.”
Martin Küppers, Saurer: “Chinese Market is the largest spinning market in the world. Therefore Saurer has brought an abundance of innovations along the textile value chain to ITMA Asia. Innovations in automation, in intelligent solutions and for improved yarn and sliver quality. Kindly visit us in Hall 1 booth F01 and let our specialists show you these in detail.”
Wilhelm Langius, Neuenhauser: “Automation + Industry 4.0: For increasing demands for flexible and efficient production in textile mills, Neuenhauser offers customized automation solutions focussing on industry 4.0.”
André Wissenberg, Oerlikon Manmade Fibers: “We want to become the textile machinery construction trendsetter for digital technologies. The first steps on this journey have already been taken. The Plant Operation Center (POC) for process monitoring enables the collation of existing production data in a central location and to make these data available. HMI based services such as process monitoring via a service online app on smart phones and tablets were introduced as well as an assistance system based on mixed-reality glasses (Microsoft HoloLens). The system supports predictive maintenance concepts and enables virtual 360-degree tours through spinning systems.”
Andritz: “With the ANDRITZ air-through-bonding technology customers pave the way for top-class hygiene nonwovens”
Dr. Stefan Fliescher, Textechno: “Quality control systems monitoring the complete production chain are one of the major factors of efficient plant management in the textile process. Textechno’s automatic testing systems for natural and synthetic fibres as well as spun- and filament yarns are essential basics for an optimised production process. This flexibility and the combination of several test methods in one tester minimises raw material waste, ensures highest productivity, proves the quality of your products and hence grants economic benefits.”
Benjamin Ziel, Weko: “Since 65 years WEKO provides solutions to apply liquids and powders contactless without waste. Weko offers to his customers the results of constant development, bringing modern solutions for actual requirements. Fabrics with low added value and also high technical webs benefits from our technologies, reducing customers process costs and increasing competitiveness by the Triple C Effect: Contact free application (as less as possible), Chemical savings (exactly where they are needed) bringing Cost reduction (as well a production increase).
In synergy to the solutions by applying fluids, Weko provides also a waste reduction by reducing the waste at the selvedge cutting process. in this way WEKO consolidates itself as a company where sustainability is written in capital letters, giving its customers the certainty that they are doing the best for their company and for the world.”
Dr. Janpeter Horn, Herzog, “Quality, innovation and reliability as reasons to choose the original – Original German Braiding to rely on”.
William Ou, Kaeser Kompressoren: “Air compressors are widely used in industries as general machinery. Air compressors are also high-energy-consuming equipment, its energy consumption accounts for more than 25 % of the total power consumption of the enterprise. Most air compressor systems in China are high energy consumption, low efficient and low reliability, which also means huge potential for energy saving. As the largest and most successful air compressor manufacturer in Germany, with the innovative and efficient air compressor energy saving solutions, KAESER will help Chinese industry reduce energy consumption and achieve low-carbon and environmental protection.”
Anda Sun, Lenze: “The textile producers are increasingly requesting digitalised machines and services from the OEMs. We expect that in 5 years, more than 80 % of all machines will be communicating with the cloud. Lenze already supports the OEMs with industry-proven IIoT solutions today – but goes even further towards a holistic digital value stream.”
Original technology at ITMA ASIA + CITME – VDMA booth in hall 1
The VDMA Booth (H1F57) is the first contact point for visitors interested in original technology. For instance, visitors get a compact overview of manufacturers and their products in the useful pocket guide, listing all exhibiting VDMA members by halls and showing their stand location in hall plans.