4D-KNIT fabrics opened up new design possibilities in the clothing sector
KARL MAYER’s new 4D-KNIT generation of warp knitted fabrics opens up previously unknown possibilities in design and product development. The fabrics’ striking features are distinctive relief-like surface designs; the machine is based on using the double bar raschel technique. An RDPJ 6/2 EL with a clever guide bar arrangement and technical configuration is used to produce these eye-catching articles. The double needle bar raschel machine does not produce a classic spacer textile with monofilaments for spacing, but the space between the cover surfaces is filled with a bulked yarn. In addition, differently shrinking yarns are processed in intelligent combinations on the front and rear side of the warp knitted textiles and different lapping techniques are used.
During the finishing process, this leads to high-low effects with differentiated markedness. Voluminous fabrics with small and flat reliefs or deep and bulky shapes with various motifs are created. Strict geometric arrangements with high-low effects are just as possible as expansive plastic wavy arrangements, sparkling fruit looks or complex imaginative designs with different height profiles. Even hole patterns can be seamlessly and freely placed incorporated into the textiles. Functional clothing and shoes in particular provide breathability and a stylish look with the mesh parts. Additional colour and shape effects can be achieved when using suitable yarns.
Especially designers and product developers in the clothing sector can enter completely new territory thanks to these articles with their futuristic looks and voluminous structure. The athleisure jacket on this page shows the initial opportunities. The stylish outfit combines different pattern parts seamlessly in one piece on the rear side, is comfortable to wear and keeps you cuddly warm as the seasons change. The excellent insulating effect is achieved by filling the plastic structure with air and yarn material. The filament yarns are enclosed by the dense fabric on the surfaces. This should result in few micro-particles being released during washing. Initial comparative tests with nonwovens at the FH Niederrhein have already delivered promising results. The investigations carried out to date on the first machine wash are currently being complemented by follow-up washings. Kettenwirk-Praxis will report on the results soon. A 4D Knit pattern can be seen in the Pattern part of this issue.
Next generation digitalisation
The new HKS 3-M ON with a completely new patterning concept and even greater output
At ITMA 2019, we successfully presented the HKS 3-M ON as one of the first machines linked to the digital world of KARL MAYER. The innovative model works with data loaded directly from KM.ON’s secure cloud rather than pattern disks. It is based on the new ON pattern drive and networking the machines via k.ey. The HKS 3-M ON thus offers the simple, fast pattern change of EL gears, while doing so at the speed of machines with N pattern drives. At the WTiN virtual trade show, the manufacturer launched the next step for this development in a wider working width. The new HKS 3-M ON 280″ is even faster than its predecessor – up to 15 % – and with a completely new multi-model concept, it offers maximum flexibility in patterning. With different models, customers can quickly and easily adapt the machine’s patterning possibilities to current market and budget requirements.
Three models, various patterning possibilities
In future, KARL MAYER will have two business models for creating new articles on the HKS 3-M ON, offering three different interchangeable options and thus maximum flexibility The first two variants – SwapKnit 36 and SwapKnit 36 Flat – are suitable for designs with repeats of to 36 stitch courses. Anyone who selects these machines can purchase lapping patterns from KARL MAYER’S WEBSHOP SPARE PARTS in just a few clicks, load them onto their machine and create new or old, tried-and-tested products. Variant three has been developed for pattern repeats over 36 stitch courses. It uses web-based software k.innovation – CORE by KM.ON, which includes a lapping editor. The intelligent software solution derives the chain link notation for a new design and then creates the pattern files that are processed by the HKS 3-M ON. A technical prerequisite for using all three variants is that the machine must be connected to the KM.ON cloud via k.ey. To offer attractive economic opportunities, various business models are available. While customers can buy single lappings or a whole catalogue of lapping patterns for SwapKnit, a licence can be obtained for k.innovation –CORE. The licence regulates the period of use. This means individual variants can be chosen completely flexibly. A change by article is possible, as is using one of the three options in the long term. This makes the HKS 3-M ON a hybrid all-rounder that combines the patterning possibilities of typical N and EL pattern drives in a single model.
Fast and flexible pattern changes thanks to ON Drive
It only takes a few simple steps to purchase the lapping and then change the pattern on the HKS 3-M ON. KM.ON’s cloud plays a crucial role in this process. After placing the order via the WEBSHOP SPARE PARTS, the lapping data is released by the storage platform and displayed on the machine user interface (BO) of the machine, which is networked with the cloud via k.ey. The lappings for the intended product are put together using the easy-to-use human-machine interface. What’s more, further product data can be stored in the cloud via the BO, and the product can be loaded. Once saved, the articles with the stored data are available for retrieval at the machine at any time.
Enhanced performance thanks to extended widths
The HKS 3-M ON also offers greater flexibility than ever before with a larger working width than its predecessor. An increase of up to 20″ is possible. Now with a maximum of 300″, wider items can be produced or several narrow fabric lines can be produced beside one another with a higher variance in number and width. In addition, the expanded working width and a higher speed result in a significant increase in productivity.
Simplified operation, shorter downtimes
In addition to higher performance, the latest generation of HKS 3-M ON in 280” is easier to operate compared with previous models. The newcomer stands out by offering improved handling, particularly when changing warp beams. A moveable ladder makes it easy to access the couplings and a side work platform provides additional support access. In addition, it is considerably easier to remove the guide bars thanks to a well thought-out solution. These changes will also be rolled out for the HKS 3-M ON across further working widths and other machine types.
The fastest way to the required lappings
SwapKnit is a new, fast and flexible way of purchasing lappings for the HKS 3-M ON and loading them directly onto the machine. It is therefore possible to change products in no time at all. To meet customers’ individual needs, two variants are available: Swap- Knit 36 for purchasing individual electronic lappings and SwapKnit 36 Flat for accessing KARL MAYER’s lapping database. Both options can be obtained via KARL MAYER’S WEBSHOP SPARE PARTS.
SwapKnit 36 for per-lapping purchases
For the SwapKnit 36, individual lappings are ordered for each ground guide bar – similar to the now-familiar principle of the pattern disk. The purchased lappings remain available to the customer in the cloud and can be used successively on several machines. Procurement is therefore possible in just a few clicks. The WEBSHOP SPARE PARTS is easy to navigate so customers arrive at their goal quickly. To get started, the machine number is required. Then enter the repeat length, position of the guide bars and the required lappings before placing the order. No delivery time, no packaging, transport or customs clearance costs and indeed no installation – this is what the future looks like!
SwapKnit 36 Flat for flat-rate purchases
SwapKnit 36 Flat offers additional flexibility with a flat rate. For a fixed rate, a selection of lappings are provided, which can be used on a machine selected for this variant over a certain period of time. The possible period of use is 1 month, 3 months or 12 months. SwapKnit 36 Flat can also be purchased easily and quickly via the WEBSHOP SPARE PARTS, thereby offering the same advantages as SwapKnit 36.
k.innovation – CORE for longer patterns and easy collaboration opportunities
Using the k.innovation – CORE software solution, longer patterns can be created flexibly. The customer can simply use their log-in details to access the k.innovation – CORE from any web browser on an internet- enabled device and immediately start creating patterns. They then select the machine, enter the lappings for the individual ground guide bars and subsequently create a pattern file in just a few clicks. With a further click, this pattern file is sent to the KM.ON cloud and then securely made available to the ON machine. All that remains is to select the file on the machine’s user interface and production can get underway. What’s more, k.innovation – CORE helps to optimise the development process by opening up collaboration opportunities. External, authorised parties can be added to individual “projects” to view, collaborate on and communicate about the designs. It is also possible to share files via the software and therefore cuts out the need to send documents reciprocally, which can often be a cumbersome process. As with SwapKnit 36 Flat, a licence for k.innovation – CORE can be purchased to cover a certain period of time: either 3 or 12 months. During this period, the customer can use the software flexibly to create patterns.
Short time-to-market, high efficiency
The lappings ordered using both SwapKnit variants are available immediately, as are the pattern files created via k.innovation – CORE. They can be used for fast lapping changes, without posing any modification risks at the machine and with only minimal downtime. Customers can respond to market requirements within the shortest possible time and use their machines with maximum efficiency. Using the acquired virtual pattern rack or a specially created collection of pattern files, customers can also save money by not having to store pattern disks