Industry 4.0: From bale to box
ACG Kinna Automatic, based in Skene in Sweden, provided dramatic live demonstrations of its new robotic pillow filling system at Heimtextil last month, which has the ability to fill and finish some 3,840 pillows per eight-hour shift. This is a considerable improvement on what is currently possible with either manual or semi-automatic systems, resulting in significant savings in both labour and energy for busy home textile businesses, the company reports.
The technology is based on two robotic arms from Japan’s Fanuc, which have been specially modified by ACG Kinna with advanced gripping tools and seaming and labelling devices. The pillows are automatically sealed with either single or double lockstitch seams and labels can be attached without interrupting the flow of the system.
“There has been much talk about the potential of Industry 4.0 enabled by advanced software and now I believe we are at the forefront of pioneering it,” said Christian Moore, ACG Kinna CEO. “The use of robotics is now standard across many industries dealing in solid goods, but the handling of soft materials such as textiles is a little more complex. Nevertheless, this system is now fully available for commercial shipment and the line that we demonstrated at Heimtextil was quickly sold.”
ACG Kinna is teaming up with fellow specialist in filling systems Borsoi, of Vittorio Veneto, Italy, and carding supplier CCS (Card Clothing and Services), of Huntley, Illinois, for the provision of completely automated lines under the motto From the Bale to the Box. The three companies are combining more than 150 years of textile machinery know-how into fully-engineered automated solutions for pillows, quilts and mattress pad production.
Founded 1977, ACG Kinna Automatic specialises in customised and cost-efficient solutions for the production of pillows and quilts. All of its design, manufacturing and final line testing is still carried out in Sweden and the reliability of its machines has earned it the trust of leading furniture and home decoration retailer and Europe’s largest manufacturer of pillows and duvets, among many customers.
As a member of TMAS – the textile machinery association of Sweden – ACG Kinna Automatic will be carrying out further demonstration of its robotic pillow filling system and other automation solutions at ITMA 2019 in Barcelona this June.
“Sweden’s long tradition and history of textile production, combined with a good climate for innovation, brings many benefits,” said Therese Premler-Andersson, TMAS Secretary General. “Successful Swedish brands such as IKEA and H&M ensure that we are constantly on our toes and this latest technological breakthrough from ACG Kinna Automatic is a good example of how Industry 4.0 is helping our companies to further develop their products. There will be many more innovations on show from our members at ITMA 2019.”