Thirty companies from the Swiss Textile Machinery association (SWISSMEM) took part in ITMA ASIA + CITME 2018. Companies from Switzerland formed the third biggest group of participating foreign exhibitors in this edition after Germany and Italy.

SWISSMEM used “Switzerland: the cradle of innovation” as its theme of group participation, saying that the “inventor gene” of the Swiss companies “leads to added value for customers”.

"We’ve never been a mass producer. That’s what made our textile machinery successful,” said Ernesto Maurer, President of SWISSMEM. “We believe what really counts is innovation.”

"The years of experience and heritage of innovation definitely bring added value for our customers, who trust Swiss Textile Machinery members to help them build their own business success,” said Cornelia Buchwalder, Secretary General of the association.

As Industry 4.0 progresses, even more new technologies and standards can be expected, she added. “I am confident that Swiss Textile Machinery members will continue to introduce innovations which will influence the worldwide textile industry in future – and I look forward with great anticipation to ITMA 2019 in Barcelona.”

Autefa’s latest energy saving spunlace solutions – V-Jet injector

Autefa Solutions showed visitors of ITMA Asia 2018 the economic and technical advantages provided by its nonwovens lines.

André Imhof pictured with the V-Jet injector.

The company is a full line supplier for carded- crosslapped needlepunch lines, aerodynamic web forming technology, spunlace, and thermobonding lines.

For producing nonwovens with the hydroentanglement method for the strong growing wipes or cotton pads markets, Autefa Solutions has developed and patented the V-Jet injector, which is installed in several productions and led to significantly higher tensile strength at same entangling water pressure than a standard injector.

The possible reduction of water pressure is in the range of 20%. In addition, the water consumption is reduced by 10% when using the same nozzle diameter and pitch. The new Square Drum Dryer SQ-V combines the advantages of a horizontal dryer with the lower space requirement of a conventional drum dryer.

The nozzle system uniformly distributes the airflow in terms of speed and temperature throughout the whole working width, providing good spunlace web and surface quality results. The Square Drum Dryer SQ-V has different heating zones and operates each heating zone with optimal drying conditions. Due to the small footprint the Square Drum Dryer SQ-V can help existing lines in energy optimizing. 

André Imhof, CEO of Autefa Solutions, said up to 40 % energy savings could be saved due to heat recovery and product properties, such as bulkiness and hand feel, could be improved. The dryer also features high evaporation capacity with small footprint. The first spunlace line with V-Jet injector has been sold to a Chinese company about six months ago.

"Our customers expect true energy saving technology. Economic sustainability is an integral part of all our development efforts. Autefa Solutions V-Jet and Square Drum Dryer SQ-V support customers to keep or extend their leadership in the highly competitive Spunlace market,” he said.

New high-speed narrow fabric loom from Jakob Müller for medium weight belts

Christian Lerch, Head of Global Sales and Marketing, Jakob Müller AG Frick.

Jakob Müller highlighted its NG3 series, which features top speed narrow fabric looms. In the NG3S machine version, where the “S” stands for silent, the installation of additional insulation provides a cut in noise emissions of up to 10 db(A).

In particular, the NG3S 28G 2/66 S5 features a patented, air-suspended harness frame motion. It allows high-speed production with the possibility of speed changes while the machine is running.

The harness frame drive and motion of NG3S 28G 2/66 S5, as well as its harness frames and healds are designed to accommodate high speeds and offer up to 2,750 min-1 for medium-weight articles (with the S5 weaving system), thanks to the new, wear-resistant NGV3 heald frame.

The belt shown at ITMA Asia 2018 employs a warp comprised of a 100% PES filament with a 1,670 dtex yarn count and a weft using 550 dtex PES filament.

Christian Lerch, Head of Global Sales and Marketing, Jakob Müller AG Frick, said that the latest invention is “the fastest loom of its kind in the world” and targets the cargo safety industry. The company chose to launch the product in China because the cargo safety field is growing well and China continues to be an important market.

"Mass production in China may be moving to lower-cost countries, but high-tech remains in China due to its value – you can’t sell safety belts at any price,” said Mr Lerch.

Safety belts produced in China are mainly for local consumption as there is a big market for cars in China, he said, while the free trade agreement struck between China and Switzerland will also be beneficial for trading with China. 

Meanwhile, Jakob Müller’s subsidiary corporation COMEZ International s.r.l. has successfully applied for interim injunctions to stop design patent infringements against three Chinese manufacturers.

On the first day of the fair, Jakob Müller found that the machines of the three companies showed violation of COMEZ’s intellectual property without Jakob Müller’s or COMEZ’s permission. The patentee then filed a complaint to the IPR Office at the fair against these companies.

The IPR Office gave the three companies 24 hours to provide a counterstatement. Only one of them removed the system concerned without a counterstatement, while the others did so after the IPR Office’s evaluation of the possible infringements.

World premiere of BEAMPRO reading in machine for warp beam preparation from Stäubli

The BEAMPRO machine significantly reduces idle time of the sizing machine during style changes.

Stäubli showcased a series of machines and solutions for both the weaving and knitting sectors at ITMA Asia 2018.

Unveiled for the first time, BEAMPRO is used at the sizing machine for automatically sorting coloured warp layers. It suits the needs of mills using multicoloured warps produced using the cost-effective method of beam dyeing and it can be integrated at any time with existing sizing machines. It can also be programmed using the mill’s in-house network.

The BEAMPRO reading-in machine is set up between the separation area and the warp-beaming machine. It reads in cotton, blended cotton, or staple fibre yarns into the comb in precise accordance with the colour repeat of the warps. With its reading-in speed of 500 yarns per minute, the machine significantly reduces idle time of the sizing machine during style changes.

 Depending on the production programme, 20 to 30% more warps per shift can be prepared, according to Stäubli, and warps prepared with BEAMPRO show better operating behaviour with fewer broken yarns.

Head of Marketing, Sales & Service, Fritz Legler, took a group of textile journalists on a tour around the company’s booth to view a wide range of machinery and solutions being demonstrated, including:

  • Weaving preparation solutions for mastering warp preparation and warp tying
  • Shedding solutions for frame weaving for weft insertion system (cam motions, dobbies)
  • Electronic jacquard machines with harnesses, in formats for woven application
  • Weaving systems for carpeting and technical textiles

Head of Marketing, Sales & Service, Fritz Legler, shows textile journalists around the Stäubli booth to view a wide range of machines and solutions.
For the knitters, the new D4S toe linking device for circular sock knitting machines features a dedicated electronic controller, special programming system for knitting patterns, while data of the knitting process can be monitored and recorded.

The knitting industry in Asia is constantly growing in importance. China, Vietnam and South-East Asia are amongst the world’s leading export countries when it comes to knitted products, from sports shoes to traditional applications such as hosiery and socks.

Knitter would take the socks off the knitting machine to close the toes in the past, but the D4S toe linking device sews the toe closed as the sock-knitting machine simultaneously produces the next sock.

Two D4S toe linking devices demonstrated in action on two circular sock-knitting machines at the fair. One machine was equipped with a 3-¾” cylinder and 144 needles, and the other with a 3-¾” cylinder and 200 needles.

The D4S (patents pending) closes the toes directly on the knitting machine without operator intervention. It can be mounted on any new circular sock machine with a diameter of 3-½ to 4-½ inches and from 8 to 19 gauge.

As Mr Legler described, the device allows manufacturers to shorten the sock-knitting process, minimise idle time, while delivering higher-quality and higher-volume output. It also helps to reduce waste material in the production process.