Faster than a formula 1 car: During cabling ? a mechanical yarn finishing process in carpet manufacturing ? the yarn in the ?CarpetCabler?, built by Saurer Volkmann in Krefeld, reaches top speeds of up to 420 km/h (261 mph). With a few decisive innovations the Saurer Group, with seven locations in Germany, is making a significant contribution in the effort to reduce energy consumption and therewith also the CO2 emissions associated with industrial carpet manufacturing. Why can their solutions save up to 40 percent energy and how does Saurer keep the customers? machines up-to-date? We asked Dr Martin Folini, CEO of both, the Saurer Group and its largest business unit, Schlafhorst Zinser (leading in the production of roving frames, ring and rotor spinning and winding machines).
Which Saurer highlights were offered to visitors at your booth at the ITMA in Milan?
One of the biggest highlights was undoubtedly our latest winding machine, the Autoconer 6, which Saurer Schlafhorst launched into the market in 2015. This was the trade fair début for the winder, and its increased productivity combined with lower consumption of energy is sure to impress.
Carpet yarn manufacturing is very energy-intensive. During take-up, the outer yarn is wrapped around the inner yarn at very high speed. This is where the innovation starts.
Our engineers have succeeded reducing the rotating mass of the spindle significantly by decreasing its dimensions. At the same time they have reduced the yarn balloon size and shape with the aid of a patented outer yarn delivery system in a controlled manner. By harmonising the spindle diameter and the balloon geometry, energy consumption compared to conventional technology is reduced by as much as 40 per cent. Special drives and bearings are also needed to deal with the high speeds involved. These are practically frictionless and operate extremely quietly.
What is the significance of the balloon geometry in energy consumption?
When a strand of yarn is wound very fast around something, it is subject to centrifugal force and air resistance. It is like rope skipping: as the rope turns, it forms an arc that simulates the contour of a balloon.
So the faster the yarn turns the harder it pushes outwards ? like the skipping rope. This tends to increase its aerodynamic drag. So we need more force to drive the spindle and to control this balloon. If we can keep the balloon relatively small, the aerodynamic drag is also less powerful and our energy requirement is reduced correspondingly. After all, it takes much more force to turn a 20 metre long skipping rope than a very short one.
Can these energy savings be quantified?
The energy savings can be measured very precisely. Consequently, the investor can use a reliable tool to compare machines of older generations with the new ones. The benefit to the buyer is twofold. Certainly, he can count on using much less energy to produce the yarn, but one must also consider that most textile manufacturing machines are running in air conditioned plants. If less energy is consumed, less waste heat is generated, therefore the customer again saves energy, because the system does not have to be cooled as intensively to maintain its operating temperature.
After Sales is an important sustainability tool for Saurer. You offer your customers a lifecycle partnership...
... because we want our customers to remain competitive, we offer them a lifecycle guarantee on their machines, which also covers innovation growth. They have access to the latest technologies developed by us in their respective field. Wherever possible, these are then retrofitted in the existing system s