Selected Important News of the past weeks (Part 8)

Polymers

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag and BASF develop new manufacturing cell for high-performance polymers

  • Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s IntElect 1000 kN injection moulding machine performs in BASF’s injection moulding pilot plant
  • Innovative manufacturing cell to produce a wide range of different test specimens
  • Fully-digitised robotic processing and digital integration

Creating tomorrow’s polymer innovations starts with understanding the chemical and mechanical performance and processing conditions of materials. At the Injection Moulding & Extrusion Pilot Plant of BASF in Ludwigshafen, Germany, the newest all-electric fully-automated injection moulding cell from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is delivering pioneering and repeatable results on over 4,000 test settings a year.

Pooling their engineering competences and technological resources, BASF’s Performance Materials division in collaboration with Sumitomo (SHI) Demag and H + S Automatisierung have created an innovative manufacturing cell to produce a wide range of different test specimens for the product development and research activities of thermoplastic polymers and compounds.

Taking centre stage in the cell is Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s ultra-precise IntElect 1000 kN injection moulding machine. Selected for its compact design, energy efficiency and repeatability, the team of 30 research operatives at the facility have also welcomed the IntElect’s enhanced welfare and safety features. Among them progressive solutions to automate mould changes and low noise emissions combined with fully-digitised robotic processing solutions.

For operative safety and efficiency, a linear SDR 5-35S robot serves two purposes. A new feature is fully automating the selection and placement one of 12 interchangeable mould inserts from a magazine located within the cell. After the part is moulded, the same robot fitted with a multifunctional gripper, gently extracts the test specimen from the mould and passes it to the small six-axis articulated-arm Yaskawa GP8 robot for precise cut of the specimens from the gate using a servo spindle drive punching machine.

Integrating BASF’s existing mould insert concept and special features into the injection unit, the installation also includes an existing thermal temperature control unit and a new digital Manufacturing Execution System (MES) to map each test sequence. Reinhard Jakobi, Head of Performance Materials Processing at BASF, describes the project as an achievement of advanced engineering combining mature technology with state-of-the-art automation and moulding precision. He credits the dedication, flexibility and solutions orientated approach of the entire team to the delivery of such a pioneering project.

Angelika Homes, Senior Project Engineer at BASF expands: “Although we have extensive experience collaborating with the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag team producing standard test parts, from the outset all of the partners had the courage to deviate from previous concepts and break new ground. Despite the complexity of the project, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag and H + S delivered an innovative production cell design in a much smaller energy and spatial footprint.”

Too hot to handle

Many of the specimens processed at BASF’s technical centre are high temperature thermoplastics, fibre reinforced and often flame retardant. Consequently, melt temperatures can reach up to 400°C with mould temperatures hitting up to 180°C.

At any time, up to 12 interchangeable inserts can be loaded to the side magazine and then swapped automatically into the injection moulding machine. By integrating a HB-Therm temperature control system with Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s machine control, automated mould insert changes can be completed safely and efficiently, even when running the process at high mould temperatures.

Automation Systems Senior Engineer at Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Markus Hausmann explains: “In order to lower the temperature to 80°C and depressurize the insert to guarantee that the SDR robot could remove the mould insert safely, our machine control has to talk and interact seamlessly with BASF’s MES.

BASF’s MES informs the cell when the current produced sample setting is about to end, lining up the next mould application. Immediately after the injection process stops, cooling of the mould insert is directed by the integrated temperature control unit interface.

Then, the change of the mould inserts is synchronised to the cell control via output and input signals with transmission of the new mould data record via the robot interface. After the change of the mould insert, the temperature control units are heated up again. Automatic operation resumes and a new mould data record is initiated as soon as the target temperature is reached.

Punching with precision

For BASF, solving the punch challenge was one of the greatest engineering accomplishments. Due to its extensive application profile, BASF tests a wide range of materials – from soft and tough to stiff and brittle polymers. There are also many different sample geometries, including thicknesses varying from 0.8 mm to 4 mm. All BASF test specimens are manufactured in accordance with the ISO 294 standard. This specifies the precision of the sprue system and specific requirements each sample geometry must fulfil. “Removal by punch is a pre-requisite, as it does not change the material properties and eliminates dust particles,” explains Markus Hausmann.

The multifunctional gripper ensures all sample geometries are placed with exacting precision onto the punch plate. This is complex in itself due to many of the materials BASF works with having high fibre glass content which can cause warpage. Describing how the servo driven parallel punch gripper overcomes the challenge of placing parts securely onto the punch plate, Markus Hausmann notes: “If the test specimens are not held sufficiently well in place the punchings could be crooked or not conform to specified  quality standards.”

Digital integration

Being a pilot centre, the BASF research team typically sets up 20 test settings daily on this machine. That means the control program of the cell has to be adapted to different materials, sample geometries, temperatures and processing parameters. Every single setting that runs is recorded and documented digitally.

Angelika Homes comments: “Unlike our former MES systems, this one logs every single aspect of a trial and the results, giving us insight for every single shot. This data is extremely valuable as it represents the entire processing sequence and enables us to draw deeper conclusions about how materials perform under certain conditions and how a customer might later process it.”

Solving the challenges of our time

For over 80 years, BASF’s Injection Moulding & Extrusion Pilot Plant in Ludwigshafen has contributed to technological advances and solved some of the toughest challenges in chemical and plastic processing. Yet, just as trends drive the innovation process, automated processes and data provided are becoming the catalyst for accelerating real-life material advances. Machine flexibility is a critical part of this success explains Jakobi. “This new cell validates the importance of automation and digitalisation in material developments and component simulations and design.”

Yet, as BASF has uncovered, success is also reliant on all partners combining industry and engineering acumen and sharing their respective automation, processing and integration expertise. Assembling this knowledge, BASF, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag and H + S Automatisierung have developed a system that takes test specimen production and material experiments to a whole new level.

“As BASF continues to intensify its efforts to develop sustainable products and solutions for industry, this automated injection moulding cell is already proving itself to be indispensable. Capable of conducting over 4,000 systematic trial settings on high-performance polymers with complex formulations every year and tracking the results digitally through the MES system accelerates this innovation effort,” ends Markus Hausmann.

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has had a strong influence on the development of the plastics industry from its very beginnings. As specialists in injection moulding machines for plastics processes, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, together with its Japanese parent company, Sumitomo Heavy Industries, is one of the world’s leading companies in the industry.

The global development and production network of Sumitomo Heavy Industries and Sumitomo (SHI) Demag consists of four facilities in Japan, Germany and China with more than 3,000 employees. The product portfolio includes all-electric, hydraulic and hybrid-driven injection moulding machines with clamping forces of between 180 and 15.000 kN. With over 145,000 installed machines, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is present in important markets worldwide and is one of the largest manufacturers of injection moulding machines.

The parent company plant in Chiba, Japan, manufactures machines with small and medium clamping forces. Approximately 95 % of all delivered machines have an all-electric drive concept. The German Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s locations in Schwaig and Wiehe use hybrid drive concepts to manufacture the Systec Servo series, as well as the high-performance and high-speed El-Exis SP and Systec SP machines. The IntElect series with all-electric drive technology is also manufactured in Germany for the international market.

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has had a production facility in Ningbo, China, since 1998.  The Systec C series with clamping forces of 500 to 10,000 kN has been manufactured for Asian markets in a new factory (13000 m2 floor space) of this subsidiary, Demag Plastics Machinery (Ningbo) Co., Ltd., since mid-2015.

In addition to injection moulding machines, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag provides standard and customised systems for parts handling automation, process engineering and solutions for special applications, and customised services, as well as machine financing options.

With its seamless sales and service network of subsidiaries and agencies, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag supports all major industrial markets.

BASF’s Performance Materials division encompasses the entire materials’ know-how of BASF regarding innovative, customized plastics under one roof. Globally active in four major industry sectors – transportation, construction, industrial applications and consumer goods – the division has a strong portfolio of products and services combined with deep understanding of application-oriented system solutions. Key drivers of profitability and growth are our close collaboration with customers and a clear focus on solutions. Strong capabilities in R&D provide the basis to develop innovative products and applications. In 2020, the Performance Materials division achieved global sales of EUR 5.63 billion.  www.plastics.basf.com

Job applicants seeking

ICAC Seeks Applicants for Permanent ‘Head of Textile Information and Innovation’ Position

The ICAC team is inviting applications for a Full-Time employee to serve as Head of Textile Information & Innovationleading the ICAC’s advice to governments on the latest trends and innovations in the textile supply chain.  This is a senior position requiring not only an in-depth knowledge of textiles, textile processes and associated machinery, but also the ability to write reports and articles and liaise with governments at the Ministry level.  The post requires close cooperation with members of the ICAC’s Research and Analysis Team, the ICAC Chief Scientist and the Executive Director. It is envisaged that the successful candidate will already be working at a major university, in a government department or within a major textiles company. The position is based at the ICAC’s office in Washington DC, USA, and is only open to candidates from ICAC Member countries (see list of Members here).

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide technical advice to cotton consuming countries.
  • Identify existing — and develop new — sustainability standards and conduct LCAs in Textile and Apparel production for all fibres.
  • Develop ways to improve the production efficiency and quality of Textiles.
  • Identify main problems on production and quality standards amongst cotton consuming countries and provide solutions.
  • Understand and provide support on cost analysis for the following areas/sectors: ginning, fibre quality assessment, spinning, weaving and knitting, dyeing, printing and cutting, amongst others.
  • Identify and keep up to date with the latest trends, developments and innovations in Textiles and Apparel production.
  • Organise and design courses associated with fibres, yarns, and fabrics – their production properties and areas of application.
  • Develop and establish a network of brands and retailers to understand market demand for fibres.
  • Identify and evaluate new products and ways to use cotton.
  • Develop a virtual repository of all available processes of ginning, spinning, weaving, dyeing and textiles of the world.
  • Identify and highlight the strengths and economic benefits in each of these processes for the benefit of Member countries.
  • Conduct market research to identify new technologies associated to the textile value chain and stay up-to-date on the competitive landscape
  • Attend textile related shows and events, interact with mills and national associations and present on ICAC related work and projects

Must Be Able to: 

  • Author the ICAC’s guide to textile information, which covers information related to the Textile Industry in various textile producing countries/cotton consuming countries (equivalent to ICAC’s Cotton Data Book but covering textiles rather than production).
  • Create a value proposition package for cotton consuming countries with an established Textile Industry (ways in which ICAC can assist them).
  • Prepare project proposals/reports on textile parks/clusters.
  • Spearhead ICAC’s CSITC committee (Commercial Standardisation of Instrument Testing of Cotton).
  • Represent ICAC on committees and forums discussing textiles and textile technology.
  • Submit regular articles of interest on the science behind textiles for the ICAC Recorder upon request.
  • Work with the ICAC market analysis team to analyse trade policies and agreements involving textiles. 

Selection Criteria

Essential 

  • Evidence of research/report writing on issues affecting the textile value chain.
  • A minimum of a Master’s Degree in textiles or a related discipline.
  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience in R&D in the textile sector.
  • Strong written and verbal skills in English with the ability to grasp complex issues and explain them in simple, concise language.
  • Possess knowledge about global best practices for textile and apparel production.
  • Knowledge of Textile supply chain, including issues such as sustainability and traceability.
  • Experience interacting with the Private Sector and International Organisations.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office.
  • Ability to think strategically and rapidly analyse, interpret, integrate and present data from various sources into clear conclusions and recommendations.
  • Strong organisational and time management skills and the ability to meet deadlines.
  • Demonstrate strong leadership and managerial skills.
  • High level of attention to detail and capacity to deliver high quality work.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to collaborate effectively within multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Internationally recognised for his/her work in textiles.

Desirable

  • Experience working in a government department or at an International Organisation associated with cotton or regional/international organisations in textiles.
  • Knowledge of textile machinery, biochemistry, biotechnology and nanotechnology.
  • Knowledge of the fashion industry.
  • A good working knowledge of either French, Spanish, Russian or Arabic.

To Apply

Interested applicants should, in the first instance, contact the ICAC Executive Director via email to kai@icac.org for an initial conversation.

www.icac.org

Retailing

Burberry to launch virtual store in partnership with ELLE Digital Japan

In Burberry’s latest venture in digital innovation, the luxury fashion house has collaborated with ELLE Digital Japan to create an interactive virtual replica of its flagship Ginza store. Burberry regularly pushes the boundaries through creativity, exploring the relationship between physical and digital experiences to create exciting new concepts for its community and enhance personalised luxury commerce.

Customers will be able to navigate themselves around the virtual store and purchase items from Burberry’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection by selecting digital icons.

Mirroring the physical Burberry Ginza store, the virtual space is built out over three floors: the ground floor offers signature bags including the Olympia, the Pocket and the Lola Bags. The first floor offers a selection of womenswear from key outwear including the Waterloo and Kensington trench coats in Honey and Camden-fit car coats in black updated with graffitied logo detail, to pieces from the Spring/Summer 2021 collection including a marine-sketch print T-shirt, a lightweight hooded jacket highlighted with a check pattern and an oversized hoodie updated with Horseferry print. The second-floor, menswear, outerwear includes the Pimlico car coat and Horseferry print nylon car coat both in black, Spring/Summer 2021 styles include an olive fish-scale print silk twill short-sleeve shirt with graphic appliques and a deep orange Horseferry print hoodie.

Burberry and ELLE Digital Japan have also collaborated with actress Elaiza Ikeda to create five short styling tips films, which are accessible at touchpoints throughout the virtual store.

The virtual store experience will be available for one month from 19 March to 18 April on ELLE Japan and ELLEgirl Digital Japan.

Access the virtual store here: http://burberry-ginza.com/

  • The Burberry Ginza store, which opened in November 2019, takes inspiration from the spirit and attitude of the fashion house’s redesigned flagship store, 121 Regent Street, in London. The store features a pistachio coloured façade, a colour palette of Burberry beige and pistachio throughout its interior and fixtures and plinths constructed in a variety of materials and textures from mirror to high-gloss finishes.

www.burberryplc.com

Eve Sleep cuts annual losses by 83 %

By guest author Sahar Nazir from Retail Gazette

  • Eve Sleep reduced statutory losses by 83 % in 2020
  • Eve Sleep said its performance in the year to December 31 was ahead of expectations
  • Eve Sleep has cut its annual losses by 83 % to GBP 2 million last year, and said its recovery programme is ahead of schedule.

Eve Sleep has cut its annual losses by 83 % to GBP 2 million last year, and said its recovery programme is ahead of schedule.

The retailer saw its sales rise six per cent to GBP 25.2 million last year, while gross margin improved following a focus on profitable sales.

Eve Sleep said its performance in the year to December 31 was ahead of expectations and that its rebuild strategy was “essentially complete”.

“Eve’s rebuild strategy is essentially complete, six months ahead of plan,” Eve Sleep chief executive Cheryl Calverley said.

“We move now to accelerate our business with a mind to leveraging our strong brand, efficient marketing, high-performing products and excellent customer service to allow us to diversify across markets, channels and categories.

”But we do so carefully. Successful ecommerce businesses win through balancing growth with customer experience and business resilience, and we will do the same.

“We seek sustainable, profitable growth and will avoid growth at any cost, and certainly to the detriment of customer experience or business resilience.

“We’re excited about the opportunities the next few years bring and we now have a business ready to grasp those opportunities.”

Eve Sleep chair Paul Pindar said the switch to online during Covid-19, and the strength of the overall homewares market during lockdown had ”provided tailwinds”.

However, he said the retailer acted to ensure a ”more resilient and efficient technology, logistics and operational platform for future growth”.

www.evesleep.co.uk

Debenhams store bought by Gloucestershire University to use as lecture halls

By guest author Sahar Nazir from Retail Gazette

  • Debenhams’ Gloucester store snapped up by University of Gloucestershire
  • The university plans to use the space as lecture halls and for training nurses
  • Students are expected to begin studying there by September 2023

The Debenhams store in Gloucester is set to be transformed into lecture halls and training spaces for nurses and healthcare workers as the department store chain continues to close stores and switch to online.

The store has been closed since December under the government’s high-street lockdown and will not reopen following a winding-up court order in January.

The site has been acquired by the University of Gloucestershire, which plans to retain the original fascia and refurbish its 215,278sq ft over five floors.

The university hopes that students will begin studying there by September 2023.

Debenhams’ brand was purchased by Boohoo Group earlier this year in a £55 million deal – but not its high-street outlets.

Part of the Gloucestershire store’s ground floor will be allocated as local community cultural and enterprise space.

The site once had a Bonmarché department store but that was mostly rebuilt in the 1930s.

“The Debenhams building has a special place in the hearts of local people, and we’re delighted that our plans will help breathe new life and purpose into a place that is central to the city’s heritage,” University of Gloucestershire vice-chancellor Stephen Marston said.

“It is part of the University’s mission to support the growth and development of our community, economically, socially and culturally.

“By repurposing this iconic building into a new hub for learning, we can make a major contribution to creating a better future for our community.”

As Debenhams’ stores begin to close permanently, they are snapped up and transformed for other uses.

Most recently, property giant Hammerson snapped up the former Debenhams store in Leicester, with plans to convert it into 300 rental flats – following a public consultation which took place at the end of last year.

Hammerson submitted plans to Leicester City Council to redevelop the former Debenhams store which is part of the Highcross shopping centre on St Peter’s Lane.

The plans were developed in association with private-rented-sector specialist Packaged Living.

The scheme will provide more than 300 new homes, as well as resident amenities including a roof garden.

Since it fell into administration last April, Debenhams had already announced significant job losses and store closures – including the more recent announcement of six store closures, of which its flagship outlet on London’s Oxford Street was a part.

www.retailgazette.com

JD Sports completes GBP 360 million acquisition of DTLR

By guest author Sahar Nazir from Retail Gazette

  • JD Sports formally completes acquisition of US retailer DTLR
  • DTLR owns 247 shops across 19 US states
  • JD Sports’ push into the US began with the acquisition of Finish Line in 2018

JD Sports has officially completed the acquisition of US sportswear and footwear retailer DTLR for USD 495 million (£360 million).

DTLR owns 247 shops across 19 states, mainly in the north and east of the US.

JD Sports’ push into the US began with the acquisition of Finish Line in 2018, which saw JD take ownership of Finish Line’s 600 stores in the US for USDD 558 million (GBP 400 million).

Last month, JD Sports had first announced it entered into a conditional agreement to buy DTLR.

“We are delighted that this transaction, which gives us an enhanced presence in the north and east of the United States, has now formally completed,” JD Sports executive chairman Peter Cowgill said.

“We look forward to working with the experienced management team at DTLR and all our colleagues in the US to further enhance our premium retail experience and become a leading customer destination for sneakers and lifestyle apparel.”

DTLR was previously majority owned by the companies BRS & Co and Goode Capital.

Its management team leaders, Glenn Gaynor and Scott Collins, will continue as co-chief executives of the division and will reinvest some of the windfall they receive in the sale back into a new minority stake.

More recently, JD Sports entered into a conditional agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Poland-based Marketing Investment Group (MIG) for an undisclosed amount.

The sportswear giant agreed to purchase a 60 % stake in MIG, which trades from 410 stores across nine countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

The company sells a range of sports fashion footwear, clothing and accessories from leading global brands, primarily under the Sizeer and 50 Style fascias.

Debenhams store to be converted into 300 flats

By guest author Sahar Nazir from Retail Gazette

  • Debenhams Leicester store to be converted into 300 rental flats
  • The plans were developed in association with private-rented-sector specialist Packaged Living

The former Debenhams store in Leicester is set to be converted into 300 rental flats, following a public consultation which took place at the end of last year.

Property giant Hammerson has submitted plans to Leicester City Council to redevelop the former Debenhams store which is part of the Highcross shopping centre on St Peter’s Lane.

The plans were developed in association with private-rented-sector specialist Packaged Living.

The submission of plans follows a virtual public consultation which took place at the end of last year

Local community members were invited to view the plans and attend a virtual community meeting and Q&A session with the project team.

The scheme will provide more than 300 new homes, as well as resident amenities including a roof garden.

“Since opening its doors in 2008, Highcross has firmly established itself as an integral part of Leicester’s city core,” Hammerson managing director UK and Ireland Mark Bourgeois said.

“While the structural shift in retail and changing consumer shopping habits have meant that destinations such as Highcross need to adapt their offer and mix of uses, well-connected city centre locations such as this will always be places where people want to be.“We are delighted to submit this proposal for high-quality homes for local people to rent, which will support our brands at Highcross and contribute to the continued success of Leicester City centre.”With all of Debenhams’ stores closing down permanently as part of the liquidation and wind-down process, it means up to 12,000 staff would not have their jobs saved.

Since it fell into administration last April, Debenhams had already announced significant job losses and store closures – including the more recent announcement of six store closures, of which its flagship outlet on London’s Oxford Street was a part.

That administration itself was the second of its kind that Debenhams had launched within the space of 12 months.

www.retailgazette.com

Sustainability

Swedish machine builders set for Scandinavia’s Textiles 4.0 circular revolution

Several members of TMAS – the Swedish Textile Machinery Association – are actively advancing new coloration technologies as part of a wave of innovation that is currently sweeping out from Scandinavia.

New manufacturers of regenerated cellulosic fibres as alternatives to cotton and synthetics, for example, have been gaining a lot of attention recently, as they scale up to meet demands for a circular approach to the manufacturing of textiles and garments.

These companies have, in turn, been embraced by major Scandinavian brands such as the Danish clothing company Bestseller, Finnish fashion house Marimekko, Norwegian outdoor brand Bergans and Sweden’s own H&M Group.

Fibre journey

From the field or the forest to the retail shelves, however, the journey of every single textile fibre is currently a long one, in which it passes through many hands and moves around the world. The good news is that many of these individual stages are now being greatly simplified by digitalisation.

herese Premler-Andersson, Secretary General of TMAS

“Digitalisation will lead to a significant reduction in garments that for one reason or another are never sold and end up in landfill,” says Therese Premler-Andersson, Secretary General of TMAS. “There will of course, be a huge ecological benefit.”

At the very center of any fibre’s journey, once it has become part of a knitted or woven fabric, are the dyeing and finishing stages of textile production. Dyeing and finishing currently involves many washing and drying process steps which add a huge burden to the overall carbon footprint of finished.

Coloreel expansion

Here is where the latest fully digital technologies of TMAS member companies are making a dramatic difference, such as the instant thread coloration technology, of Coloreel, which has just raised SEK 100 in new financing to support its market expansion and growth.

Producers and brands are welcome to visit the 7H plant in Borås where new Dye-Max is in daily production.

Initially targeting the embroidery market, Coloreel technology enables the high-quality and instant coloring of a textile thread while it is actually being used in production and can be paired with any existing embroidery machine without modification, while also making it possible to produce gradients in an embroidery for the first time.

Based on a CMYK ink system, Coloreel’s advanced rapid color formulation software and high-speed drive technology allow a single needle to carry out what previously required many multiples of them to do – and with much more consistent stitch quality,

In addition, existing thread dyeing plants can add a single solid color to a thread, but by instantly coloring a white base thread during production, Coloreel enables complete freedom to create unique embroideries without any limitations in the use of colors. Color changes along the thread can either be made rapidly from one solid color to another, or gradually, to make smooth transitions or any colouring effect desired.

This provides big benefits when it comes to sustainability. There is a significant reduction in wasted inks, while water usage is minimized, and production speeds are increased. The technology allows set-up and lead times to be reduced as well as significant flexibility in production schedules, while eliminating the need for large thread inventories.

“Our system is allowing customers to achieve color effects that have never been seen before – and at a new level of efficiency,” says VP of Sales and Marketing at Coloreel, Mats Sjögren. “We are setting the new benchmark for the embroidery industry.”

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Coloreel, has recently successfully delivered units to companies in Europe, the United States and Asia, and has also partnered with the world’s largest distributor of embroidery machines, American Hirsch Solutions, which has already installed the technology at a number of customers in the USA.

imogo

Another TMAS member achieving rapid progress is imogo, which is currently installing its first industrial scale Dye-Max spray dyeing line at the plant close to Borås of Swedish commission dyeing company 7H Färgeri – the Nordic region’s most complete dyeing and processing plant.

Coloreel enables complete freedom to create unique embroideries without any limitations in the use of colours

The new line has a working width of 1.8 meters with an operating speed of up to 50 meters for the reactive dyeing of cellulosic fibre-based fabrics. In addition, it can carry out the application of a wide range of fabric pre-treatments and finishing processes, providing the company with unbeatable flexibility in production.

A proven Mini-Max laboratory unit for pre-determining application volumes and color matching has also been installed at the 7H plant.

The new imogo DyeMax at 7H in Sweden

With the potential to slash the use of fresh water, wastewater, energy, and chemicals by as much as 90% compared to conventional jet dyeing systems, the DyeMax has gained considerable attention since the concept was outlined and a prototype machine constructed in 2019.

The application unit of the Dye-Max consists of a closed chamber containing a series of spray cassettes with precision nozzles for accurate and consistent coverage, in combination with the patented imogo Pro Speed valve that controls the volume to be applied.

“We are achieving an extremely low liquor ratio of around 0.5-1 liters per kilo of fabric and we fully control the pickup, applying precisely what is required to the specific fabric,” says imogo founding partner Per Stenflo. “Compared to traditional padders there is no contamination of the dyebath or dilution of the dye liquor to worry about.”

Fast changeovers with virtually no waste, together with a high production speed, enable a high productivity and unmatched production flexibility.

“The Dye-Max will be implemented in 7H daily production and producers and brands are welcome to visit when the Covid-19 situation allows. They are also welcome to do test productions at 7H to verify the performance on their fabrics.”

Perfect bridge

“Such new digital technologies from TMAS members represent the perfect bridge for sustainable new fibres on their route to the finished garments of responsible brands on the retail shelves,” concludes Therese Premler-Andersson. “There is now a real momentum building industry-wide for new circular manufacturing, and TMAS companies intend to be very much a part of it.”

www.tmas.se