A typical manmade fibre system produces well over 600 tons of yarn a day. This equals in around 700 winders in filament yarn production or 3 systems in staple fibre production. These figures show just how important smooth production processes are.
If an error creeps into the process at any point, the daily waste increases dramatically. It is obvious that all yarn manufacturers want to prevent this happening to ensure their production facilities operate efficiently. Here, digitalisation provides invaluable support. A Smart Factory that networks all steps within the production chain – including all auxiliary processes – identifies and reports quality deviations at an early stage. Yarn manufacturers can quickly intervene in the production process and hence avoid generating waste.
Digital solutions ensures process reliability
And the Smart Factory is also the focus of Oerlikon Manmade Fibers. Here, it comprises considerably more than the Plant Operation Center, a system that has been well-established within the market for many years now. “This is about absolute transparency and traceability. At the end of the process, yarn manufacturers are able to track at which position its finished textured yarn packages were spun and even have information on the processed granulate and the specific production conditions”, comments Ivan Gallo, responsible for digital products at Oerlikon Manmade Fiber. In this way, the Smart Factory ensures process reliability, above all. 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 these anomalies.
Information on the chip feeding, on the drying and on the masterbatch are available, as are data on the climate control, on the compressed air supply and on further auxiliary systems. With this, yarn manufacturers have at all times a complete overview of the ongoing production process, 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.
“Digitalisation has long been part of our everyday lives. Here, COVID-19 has merely acted as an accelerator. Particularly over the last few months, we have tried out so many things, learned a lot from our mistakes and have taken a giant step forward. The intelligent factory is no longer a vision, it has long become reality. Digital solutions have become fixed elements of our products and services – and everything is inextricably linked. But we have not reached the end of this exciting development by a long way yet: new technologies and solutions require new methods and new knowledge. In other words, we have to remain ‘agile’, constantly adapting to the changing situations and tasks at hand”, states Oerlikon Manmade Fibers SegmentCTO Jochen Adler.
With its Oerlikon Barmag, Oerlikon Neumag and Oerlikon Nonwoven brands, the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment is one of the leading provider of manmade fibre filament spinning systems, texturing machines, BCF systems, staple fibre systems and 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 research and development at this division of the Oerlikon Group is driven by energy-efficiency and sustainable technologies (e-save). With its range of polycondensation and extrusion systems and their key components, the company caters to the entire manufacturing process – from the monomer all the way through to the textured yarn. The product portfolio is rounded off with automation and Industrie 4.0 solutions.
The primary markets for the product portfolio of Oerlikon Barmag are in Asia, especially in China, India and Turkey, and – for those of Oerlikon Neumag and Oerlikon Nonwoven – in the USA, Asia, Turkey and Europe. Worldwide, the segment – with just under 3000 employees – has a presence in 120 countries with production, sales and distribution and service organisations. At the R&D centers in Remscheid, Neumünster (Germany) and Suzhou (China), highly-qualified engineers, technologists and technicians develop innovative and technologically-leading products for tomorrow’s world.
Oerlikon (SIX: OERL) develops modern materials, systems and surface technologies and provides specialized services aimed at securing high-performance products and systems with long lifespans for customers. Supported by its technological core competencies and its strong financial footing, the corporation continues its medium-term growth plan by implementing three strategic factors: focusing on attractive growth markets, ensuring structural growth and expanding through targeted M&A activities. Oerlikon is a globally-leading technology and engineering corporation, operating its business in two segments (Surface Solutions and Manmade Fibers) and employing around 11000 members of staff at 182 sites in 37 countries worldwide. In 2019, Oerlikon generated sales of CHF 2.6 billion and invested more than CHF 120 million in research & development.