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Report | September 2014

Van de Wiele goes for full electronics, bigger width

Van de Wiele has developed a new generation of velvet weaving machines that offer fully electronic control as well as expansion of the weaving width up to 3 metres.

Van de Wiele is known for its constant drive for innovation with the companys principle being "innovation through creativity". This drive together with customer input led to the development of a new generation of velvet weaving machines: the Velvet Smart Innovator. The VSi range consists of three types: the VSi22 for plain and geometrically designed fabrics, the VSi32 for jacquard velvet and the VSi42 for technical fabrics. This new generation of machines offers fully electronic control as well as an expansion of the weaving width up to 3m.

Applications

More than 40 VSi machines are already sold worldwide. With an application range going from upholstery fabrics for sofas, curtains and pillows up to paint brushes, bus clothing and even light weight composite materials and inflatable air cushions.

Smart frames

With customers demanding increased flexibility, higher running speeds and fully electronic control, Van De Wiele responded with the development of the VSi. The biggest innovation is situated in the heddle motion where the shedding is 100 per cent electronically controlled by the use of Smart Frames, which are servomotor driven heddle frames. The servomotor technology is derived from the experience Van de Wiele obtained in carpet weaving and has already proven its value in the market. With fully electronic control of the shedding motion, every heddle frame is individually controlled and adjusted without any mechanical interference. Several weave structures are programmed in the software of the smart frames. Electronic adjustments are possible depending on the velvet quality and experience of the weaver. All changes made by the operator are stored on the HMI, making it possible to quickly change between settings. To prevent wrong settings and possibly breaking yarns during the first run, the HMI offers the possibility to simulate the motion of the heddle frames together with the rapier movement. This allows operators to try out different settings on a quick and easy way leading to higher weaving efficiency, quick quality change and increased flexibility.

Fully electronic control

The jacquard machine, in case of the VSi32, is driven by a servomotor eliminating the need for a mechanical connection between the weaving machine and the jacquard. There is no longer a limitation in jacquard capacity as multiple jacquards can be installed on a single VSi machine. Without the mechanical connection, the load on the weaving machine is reduced leading to higher production speed. The servo drive makes changing the timing between the jacquard and the velvet machine a matter of tapping on the HMI screen. The same can be done to change the running speed of the weaving machine, also powered by a servomotor.

With the Smart Cutting Motion, the knife motion is electronically controlled with programmable cutting frequency and grinding interval to obtain optimal cutting quality. To further improve weaving efficiency, both edges on the side of the fabric are controlled by two servomotors each, with programmable weave structure.

Energy bus

All these servomotors are connected to the power grid through the Van de Wiele Energy Bus. This system allows the different drives to interchange electrical energy with each other. The acceleration of a heddle frame will demand electrical power from the Energy Bus while a deceleration pushes energy back into the Energy Bus. With the Energy Bus, overall energy consumption is kept to a minimum leading to a more energy efficient machine.

Weft insertion

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