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Tech | March 2018

The fabric makes a sofa

A high-fashion look for upholstery fabrics can be produced on the new RASCHELTRONIC.

Since the emergence of the athleisure trend, it has become clear that various synergies existing between specific segments of the textile sector can be exploited. For example, lingerie lace is being incorporated into the shirts of women runners, and functional materials are being used in sexy briefs. Home and household textiles can also profit from the transfer of ideas from one sector to another. For example, the possibilities offered by typical warp knitting machines used in the clothing sector are now bringing a touch of flamboyance to the home.

KARL MAYER has taken up this trend of transferring ideas from one sector to another in the textile industry and has used its tried-and-tested RASCHELTRONIC machine to produce stable upholstery fabrics. This high-speed jacquard raschel machine has been a firm favourite among producers of sportswear and lingerie fabrics for some time now. These companies are using the RASCHELTRONIC to produce stretch and non-stretch textiles with functional zones.

The model used is designated the RSJC 5/1 EL, and this new collection has made it an interesting proposition for manufacturers of home textiles as well. The fabrics feature an attractive, graphic design with open-work constructions, and are extremely heavy for RASCHELTRONIC fabrics. The final fabrics weigh between 330 and 400 g/m², depending on the arrangement of the weft lapping. In some designs, the weft runs along the holes, which therefore remain open, and does not join any stitch wales. In other patterns, the ground bars with the weft add to the openings, which affects the appearance and characteristics of the textile.

The warp-knitted textiles, with the partially filled-in openings, are denser and more stable in every direction. All the fabrics also have the appropriate abrasion resistance values for use as upholstery fabrics. The results of abrasion tests carried out by textile developers at KARL MAYER lie within the average range of the specific requirements of most manufacturers. The performance of these durable warp-knitted fabrics has also attracted the attention of shoe fabric producers. “The machines are selling very well globally,” says Stefan Gross from the Product Development, Textile Technology Department at KARL MAYER.

Further reasons for the success of the RASCHELTRONIC include its high level of flexibility, since the EL feature enables different patterns to be worked easily one after the other at an exceptional production rate. At a maximum speed of 1,000 min-1, this new high-speed jacquard raschel machine can produce an average of 48 m of this new upholstery fabric per hour. The machine gauge is E 18 and the working width is 130-inch. Textured, tanglelaced polyester is used as the yarn.

Terry warp knitting writing headlines

The TMJ 4/1-T - a terry warp knitting machine with a jacquard bar, is bringing a touch of pizzazz to towels. Its terry business continues to be a focus of innovation at KARL MAYER. Following the revamp of the TM 4 TS terry warp knitting machine for processing staple-fibre yarns and its technical upgrade, together with various new textile developments, this company is now launching

a new machine, which can produce an even greater range of patterns. The designation of the new TMJ 4/1-T alone shows that it is something quite unique. This terry warp knitting machine for processing filament yarns is the first of its kind with a jacquard bar included in the set of knitting elements, so that even lettering can be worked into towels, bathrobes and facecloths. The jacquard bar on the TMJ 4/1-T enables new designs to be produced that have not been possible until now. Logos, lettering and floral effects can be worked, as well as geometric patterns and sweeping, decorative effects. Despite their fluffy surface structure, the pattern elements are extremely clear. They are worked and placed much more easily and flexibly than on the standard machine on one side of the fabric. The design is worked exclusively by the jacquard bar, whilst the ground lappings and main machine settings remain constant. The simple design of the knitting element produces loop-free, smooth areas on an otherwise three-dimensional fabric construction. The associated brushing unit produces a perfect, voluminous, fluffy surface. As the fabric passes this unit, the loops, which were formed by GB 1, are made more prominent and the underlaps on the other side of the fabric are raised up.

The technology of the TMJ 4/1-T is based on the standard machine, the TM 4-T, and thus delivers the same high level of performance. For example, this new tricot machine operates at a maximum speed of 1,200 min-1. It is very easy to operate and produces high-quality products. During the course of the modification work, the jacquard bar has taken on the position of ground guide bar GB 4 on the original version to increase the range of patterns that can be worked. Certain new features have also been incorporated. For example, the control box with the oil cooling system forms a compact unit, which takes up less space, and the colour and warp beam frame meet the new corporate design specifications of the company group. An affordable patterning system developed by EAT is available for carrying out patterning efficiently. It has been adapted to suit the specific requirements of the TMJ 4/1-T. The TMJ 4/1-T, with its design-driven configuration, is definitely arousing interest. Delivery of the first machines has already been arranged, and is scheduled for October 2017.

Producing warp-knitted cotton terry towels efficiently

A tandem system, consisting of the WKD-SP and the TM 4 TS EL, is revolutionising the terry business. KARL MAYER develops and manufactures high-performance warp preparation machines for both weaving and warp knitting and, in order to do this, uses the synergies that exist between the two sectors.

The WKD-SP is the latest result of this know-how and technology transfer. This direct warping machine is based on the WARPDIRECT machine for the weaving sector, and processes staple-fibre yarns. Producers of warp-knitted, cotton terry towels should find this particularly interesting. This new machine delivers all the performance features of its predecessor but, above all, its advantages can be exploited by using back beams, with their wider widths, as sectional warp beams (SWBs) in the warp knitting sector.

Die WARPDIRECT is a universal direct warping machine for processing every type of staple-fibre yarn. It produces high-quality beams for the slasher dyeing process in denim dyeing, for combining all the yarns on the warp beams on the assembling machine, and for processing in a sizing machine with subsequent warp beam production. The back beams for these various processes are of the highest quality. The beams are completely cylindrical, thanks to an intelligent press roller system and optimum yarn laying, and the yarns are arranged extremely accurately. A computer-controlled length measuring system delivers a length accuracy of 0.1 per cent.

The yarns are also handled very gently. Other advantages of the WARPDIRECT include its low maintenance costs and high productivity. The maximum warping speed is 1,200 m/min. The easy-to-use, graphic touchscreen guarantees optimum machine usage. All these advantages enable the WKD-SP to now be used for the production of SWBs for the warp knitting sector as well.

The starting point for modifying the WARPDIRECT to create the WKD-SP were the demands made by the TM 4 TS EL during use. An efficient direct warping machine was needed to match this efficient machine for producing warp-knitted cotton terry towels. The modifications that were needed relate mainly to the software. The programme changes enable constant yarn tension levels and completely uniform SWB circumferences to be produced. SWBs with the same circumferences and yarn tension levels are needed, since several of them are processed at the same time on the TM 4 TS EL.

The SWBs of the new direct warping machine have the same width as back beams. This means that the number can be reduced when loading the machine, and the direct beaming process becomes more efficient. For example, with a TM 4 TS EL with a gauge of E 24, a working width of 186” and the normal threading arrangement of 1 in, 1 out, eight SWBs per axle of the beam frame can be reduced to two large-format ones. KARL MAYER is putting the emphasis on flexibility by concentrating specifically on the width of the SWBs. For example, the extra-wide SWBs can also be used on its tried-and-tested direct warping machine and, for the WKD-SP, this manufacturer enables back beams to be processed to suit customer requirements.

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