Swiss Lab-Pro is the specialist in custom made sustainable fabric dyeing solutions
TextileFuture presents to you an important and worldwide renowned niche player in custom made fabric dyeing solutions. We show what the company is standing for and give a description of its products that are making an inroad on the world market for fabric dyeing
Lab-Pro GmbH in Wikon, Switzerland started out 12 years ago on one product, a centrifuge originating from Swiss Scholl (it became Scholl Then and was then acquired by Fong’s Group). The founders of Lab-Pro are Thomas Widmer and Thomas Gerhard, and both dispose of a long professional experience in engineering and dyeing.
At ITMA Munich, Germany Lab-Pro presented its first jet-dyeing machine that was well received in the marketplace such as in USA, Mexico, Peru, China, Germany and Russia. It was the aim of the company founders to develop new and sustainable products for the fibre dyeing industry.
One of the important sustainable factors is that the custom made Lab-Pro dyeing machines are earmarked for low water consumption, according to configuration between 80 – 180 litres, but some customers produce with only 25 litres and this over the past 10 years, meaning long before the demand for lower water consumption came to light. During this decade this fact was the USP of the custom designed plants, including other dosage technology, heat recovery, low waste water, etc. The founders were pushing from the very beginning to become solution providers and at the forefront of technical development and offering economic viable and efficient solutions. This led to the fact that Pro-Lab is superseding the market exigence. The founders’ statement we try to achieve best of class results in view to processing costs thus the benefit of the customer is such that the price of the machinery becomes negligible, particularly in the western hemisphere and China. Thus, it becomes a prerogative to know the customer and his requirements and to offer him sustainable products with the he can produce efficiently and economically. Customers need to produce efficiently and to make money in the finishing sector. Lab-Pro is betting on quality and trust and complete solutions.
Lab-Pro is also on demand when there are process improvements needed this by reduction of consumption of water, energy and chemicals, and dyes, or to enhance quality and at the same time offering an optimisation of the ROI Return on Investment. These engineering services are offered also for non- Lab-Pro systems. However, it is also a mean to acquire new customers for the company.
The successful Lab-Pro product palette
The actual product palette of Lab-Pro entails the FabricMaster for discontinuous fabric dyeing machines with a performance that beats everything seen before! It entails the following features: Programmable nozzle for adjusting to fabric weight variations and programmable speed controlled internal fabric plaiter; Self-cleaning filter with automated monitoring of lint build-up; Lowest liquor ratio of any water driven piece dyeing machine, through optimised chamber; Fast unloading with frequency controlled unloading winch; Programmable winch with digital speed indication; Operator platform with stainless steel structure; Fast heating gradients with high capacity heat exchanger: Halogen lighting for the inside of the machine; Programmable nozzle pressure through speed controlled pump and differential pressure control feedback loop; Pre-fabricated connection piping system; Automated add tank with dosing and mixing function; Dosing pump. Customer opted for this solution because of the unmatched ability to dye difficult Lycra blends of Cotton, Rayon, Nylon and Modal fabrics in open width form without any rope marks or edge curling. It further features extremely low energy consumption and lower liquor ratio than any other machine on the market. Also Fabric lift from the chamber to the reel is less than half of the competitors’ machines, which improves the fabric transport. FabricMaster uses first quality components and is made in Switzerland and Germany, with polished surface finish. It is is easy for the operator to learn and understand due to its simplicity. All operational elements such as reel, nozzle, chamber and plaiter can be viewed during operation even under high temperature. Loading can be done without loading tape. Process control Dosing of chemicals with pre-dilution. Exact gradient control with stainless steel control valve and electro-pneumatic positioner. Filling with programmable flow meter and analogue level controls. Programmable Nozzle ‘Smoothflow’. Dosing of chemicals with pre-dilution. Fully automatic and programmable setting of nozzle gap. Lightweight fabrics can be processed with low liquor volume while heavy fabrics are treated with increased flow. Jet flow or soft flow can be programmed through setting of nozzle gap and pump speed.
Another product is SynthMaster, for discontinuous fabric dyeing machines with the performance that is without competition. Unbeatable performance due to unique features: Programmable nozzle for adjusting to fabric weight variations and programmable speed controlled internal fabric plaiter; Self- cleaning filter with automated monitoring of lint build-up; Lowest liquor ratio of any horizontal water driven piece dyeing machine, through optimized chamber; Fast unloading with frequency controlled unloading winch; Programmable winch with digital speed indication; Fast heating gradients with high capacity heat exchanger; Halogen lighting for the inside of the machine; Programmable nozzle pressure through speed controlled pump and differential pressure control feedback loop; Pre-fabricated connection piping system; Automated add tank with dosing and mixing function; Dosing pump; Plaiting device over full width of chamber providing best running properties.
The SynthMaster can dye fabrics without difficulty where other machines have to capitulate. The machine has proven of being able to dye even non-pre-heatsetted woven goods made of polyester as well as Lycra blends of cotton, Rayon, Nylon and Modal and even delicate wool fabrics in open width form without any rope marks or edge curling. To dye the non-pre-heatsetted polyester fabrics free of creases, the fabric is displaced extremely gently in the chamber and glides to the front free of compression, tension or stress. Another advantage is the fabric lift from the chamber to the reel is less than half of the competitors’ machines, which improves the fabric transport. The Master filter is an automatic self-cleaning filter. The Master filter is completely built inside of the machine being cleaned every time the machine is drained. No cleaning of filter cartridges; Elimination of external piping and external filter housing provides lower liquor ratio’s. No pressure variations in the nozzle due to lint build-up due to automatic regulation system. Additionally, no lint of fabric because of the 100% filtration of the circulated liquor. It entails further an adequate and optimised layout, top ergonomics, and it is entirely operator friendly.
A further product is the JigMaster for discontinuous fabric dyeing machines with a performance that is unmatched. The outstanding features are: Optimal constant fabric speed due to frequency controlled electric drives. Integrated, self-cleaning filter station without, maintenance intervals. Fast and tensionless unloading with frequency controlled de-batching device. Frequency controlled batching rolls with digital speed indication. Two stainless steel circulation pumps with mechanical seal. Extra wide windows for free sight onto the fabric flow. Entire fabric width illuminated for the supervision of the process. Two bath execution of the vat for reduction of the rinse water. Balanced expanders for crease-free winding. Fast heating gradients with high capacity heat exchanger. Pre-fabricated connection piping system. Fully automatic add tank with mixing and dosing function, and dosing pump.
Further advantages: The design of batching rollers, expanders and drive technology allows even and low-tension dyeing of the most delicate and difficult woven fabrics free of crease and edge marks. The sophisticated process control of dosing chemicals and dyes provides best results regarding even colouring from start to end and also edge to edge for even the most difficult woven fabrics. JigMaster is easy for the operator to learn and understand due to its simplicity. All operational elements such as speed, tension temperature and dosing is done fully automatic so that operator only need to load and unload the machine. The fabric length is calculated by the controller and position of the sampling points can be set by the operator. When taking a sample is required the machine stops at the programmed position and sample can be taken without searching for the right point. The shape of the vat and the low water consumption due to counter flow rinsing in the two compartments reduce time, water and energy consumption by at least 30 – 40% compared with other jig dyeing machines. It drive is completely maintenance free. 100% filtration with inbuilt self-cleaning filter is guaranteed. The fabric width range: 1400 mm – 5000 mm; Tension: Free programmable 10 – 100 kg; Running speed: 10 – 180 m/min; Maximal roll diameter: 1200 mm.
Another product is the Hydroc, the only hydro-extractor bringing the bobbin back into its original shape. The process: The yarn package is loaded into a stationary basket at the loading opening of the extractor. On a round turntable, the basket is slowly and continually traveling in a large circle. Once the basket leaves the loading area, it disappears underneath the centrifuge housing where the bobbin is accelerated to 5500 – 6500 RPM. The acceleration is achieved by a drive belt, which is continually kept in motion by the central drive motor. Deceleration is achieved by an inductive brake. This magnetic braking system has no moving parts and has the great advantage of noise reduction and reduced, wear on bearings, supports and sheaves. The loading and unloading process of one package at a time allows for continuous operation of the hydro-extractor.
The name HYDROC stands for almost 50 years of experience in the field of single head hydro-extraction of yarn packages. The robust design of the machine has proven itself over many years. For loading and unloading the hydro-heads of the Hydroc stand still. The centrifuge heads are made of high-strength aluminium. The high rotational speeds of up to 6500 RPM allow for high de-watering efficiency with low residual humidity in the package. When the bobbin starts to spin, the grippers hold it by centrifugal force in its position. The result is an absolutely round bobbin without any yarn layer movement and 100% levelness of residual moisture content all over the entire bobbin. In many applications the rewinding of dyed yarn is not needed anymore and therefore saves the cost of rewinding. The automatic grip system allows processing of different package diameters up to a variation of 30 mm. The machine is equipped with a contactless and wear-free electro-magnetic brake. The permanent magnets do not need electric power. This type of brake has the advantage that no indefinable forces affect the pulleys, rubber bearings and ball bearings. Due to the contact-free braking the noise level is reduced remarkably. The brake does not need maintenance. The loading height of one meter above floor level is optimal for ergonomic loading and unloading. The hydro-extractor and RF dryer can be operated by the same person. Hydroc allows quality increases, ecological production, and marked production cost reductions.
Pro Lab offers also a CDS Dispenser – a dosage system – allowing to provide chemicals and auxiliaries just-in-time. A further product is the WSS – a Water Supply System.
At the upcoming ITMA Lab-Pro will launch its newest patented product DYEWA that invents sustainable fabric dyeing anew. (see TextileFuture News September 11, 2015).
The Pro-Lab founders are convinced that with a continued innovative R&D not only to meet customers growing needs, but that the references the company is disposing of – for instance in Switzerland Création Baumann, Bethge, Cilander, Sefar – is adding to the excellent reputation of the company and will induce further business based upon matchless quality, know-how and customer’s trust, thus forming the best basis for further success.