Warping using sophisticated technical solutions

The new PRODIRECT® – the efficient way to high-quality warper’s beams


Warping is an established part of the warp preparation procedure for weaving mills. The products of warp beam manufacturing directly from the creel are particularly popular in the production of denim articles, clothing and home textiles, and grey fabric. After sizing, they are taken straight to the weaving mill in an assembled state to be turned into fabrics that are flat or have simple patterns.

To make the warping process efficient, KARL MAYER offers the PRODIRECT® – an universal direct warping machine that can be used to process all conventional staple fibres. With a maximum warping speed of 1,200 m/min, top-quality warping and absolutely even yarn tensioning forces, this all-rounder is sure to impress. Pairing it with the PROSIZE® sizing machine is a particularly popular choice for many customers on the market.

The outstanding performance of the PRODIRECT® is a product of its sophisticated technological equipment. Its features include the smart reed automatic warp comb, which automatically adjusts to the warping parameters, and a pressing roller system with electronic system build-up control for perfect warp quality. The pressing roller system uses a defined pressure to compress the winding, thus ensuring that the winding builds up in a controlled manner that keeps it extremely straight. The beams are completely cylindrical, with precisely arranged threads and exact the same beam diameters for a section warping batch. In addition to this, electronic length measurement and monitoring are used to ensure that the threads are identical in length. The tolerance range for deviations is below 0.10%.

Regulation of the winding density and pressing against the winding

The perfect-quality warp beams allow for maximum efficiency when they are being processed in the weaving mill.

The feature-filled beam warping machine was launched in 2019; currently, pilot projects are well underway with two of our customers in order to refine its performance.

Sensor in the pressure roller for contact pressure measurement

In order to ensure high warp beam quality, there are two main process parameters that need to be kept constant during the warping process: the peripheral speed and the contact pressure on the winding. Each of these needs to be regulated as the thread build-up increases.

With the PRODIRECT®, this regulation is organised either by a laser sensor or – as a new option – by a pressure sensor in the pressing roller system.

The pressure sensor bases its regulation on a defined set value for the contact pressure.

Position of the warp beam brake system

It measures the winding’s resistance to the pressure roller and adapts the clearance between the pressure roller and the surface of the beam using linear motors if the measurement deviates from the set value. At the same time, a displacement transducer measures the exact position of the pressure roller.

The laser sensor focuses on the product, and can be used as an alternative to calculate the winding density and use that to decide which of the aforementioned actions to take. The diameter is the value measured for this process.

Pneumatic cylinder used to control the hydraulic main brake cylinder

In addition to this, the calculated build-up height is used to precisely calculate the length of the warped threads.

The laser and pressure sensor systems both use a torque that can be equipped with a drive as an option.

Top-quality dyeing beams

The version of the system with an active-drive torque and a laser sensor is particularly well-suited to efficient warping of warp beams with low yarn tensions and extremely even winding densities. These product parameters are mainly required for dyeing beam applications. During the dyeing process, a low and constant winding density ensures that the dyestuff penetrates the material intensively and evenly, with no barriers caused by material compression.

During manufacturing of the dyeing beams, the driven torque increases the difference in speed between the yarn draw-off and the yarn wind-up in order to reduce the yarn tension. At the same time, the laser sensor ensures that the measurement is reliable and slip-free so that the density is always under control.

If high winding densities are required instead, the potential of laser sensors and active-drive torque can be used to generate high warping speeds.

Electrical and pneumatic systems instead of hydraulics

The PRODIRECT®’s entire drive and braking concept has evolved beyond that used in direct warping machines to date. The aim of this work was to replace hydraulic solutions. Due to the frequent oil and filter changes they require, hydraulic units are generally high-maintenance, expensive and not particularly beneficial for the environment. Leaks are not uncommon either. In addition to this, functional failures due to overheating are not unheard of in hotter countries especially, and particle contamination generated during production needs to be painstakingly removed prior to component changes in order to prevent damage when the system is put back into operation. The use of oil-driven systems in the textiles sector is even more problematic. Fluff and leftover yarn can lead to soiling that is difficult to clear.

In order to prevent these issues, the hydraulic unit used to control the brake and the pressure roller in previous direct warping machines has now been replaced with newer solutions.

In the PRODIRECT®, for example, the pressing roller system used to generate the pressure is now positioned using electric motors. The active positional adjustment based on the beam diameter has replaced the old displacement-based method, thus guaranteeing even adjustment without any sudden jerking.

The speed of the torque is also regulated electrically, and the warp beam is equipped with KARL MAYER’s tried-and-tested, zero-maintenance, hydro-pneumatic brake system. This hybrid component uses a hydraulic main brake cylinder that is controlled by a pneumatic cylinder. Even when faced with increases in batch diameter and differences in the number of threads, the ingenious system guarantees constant forces at all times, and thus incredibly short braking distances.

Stylish industrial design

The PRODIRECT® has also undergone a makeover. Its modern, stylish look is based on the KARL MAYER Group’s latest corporate design concept and the ideas of an industrial designer with whom the company has also collaborated on previous machine projects.

In addition to the obvious visual differences, the look of the operator interface has also been revamped. It now includes KAMCOS® 2 operating features and a menu navigation system based on the KARL MAYER Group’s standard user philosophy.