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Texprocess shows trends in textile assembly technology
Dec '10
Machinery is being developed to be more environment and operator friendly, to conserve energy, reduce noise levels, heat, vibration and the amount of lubrication oil required, whilst being more flexible, efficient and produce improved quality.

With industrial sewing machines, the noise, for example, generated by one or two units is not so significant, but when 1,000 or 2,000 machines are used together, a small reduction in the noise level of each machine will have a significant effect on the health and long term hearing of the sewing operators.

The new trends in textile assembly technologies are shown at Texprocess, the new leading trade fair for processing textile and flexible materials from May 24 to 27, 2011 in Frankfurt.

Improvements in electronic controls reduces power consumption whilst increasing productivity and flexibility and enables ever finer adjustments, whether in cutting with automatic pocket and buttonhole machines, for example, or in sewing parameters. Electronics are also used for reducing machine set up times when changing design and styling during production.

Direct drive motors are becoming common place. With fewer parts to vibrate, machines fitted with direct drive motors tend to be quieter and with less moving parts there are fewer parts prone to failure. Power is not wasted in friction from a belt chain or gearbox. High torque can be produced at a low rpm (revolutions per minute); high torque and low inertia enable faster positioning times on permanent magnet synchronous servo drives.

Feedback sensors sited directly on rotary parts enable precise angular position sensing. Claims for sewing machines redesigned to make the best use of direct drive motors and the latest electronics include reduced machine cycle times of over 40 per cent in somecases, average power consumption reduced by 60 per cent and standby power consumption by 90 per cent.

Oil stains on sewn products can be a big problem. Different companies tackle the problem in different ways but all are looking to provide a dry mechanism that eliminates concerns of oil contamination from the needle bar and the needle thread take-up, achieving high productivity and clean sewing over a broad application range, from thin to thick fabrics whilst preventing trouble with parts seizing and over heating.

Flexibility in conventional sewing machine use is seen widening their use into the decoration field with sequential and programmable sequin sewn designs, different effects achieved by multi-needle, multicolour and multi-stitch type machines, and much else. The fight for supremacy in button, buttonhole, pocket attach and other automatic machines continues with the competition looking to increase flexibility, speed of operation, and ease of use.

The choice of machines for heavy and difficult to sew technical textiles is increasing with extra distances between foot and bed, special shaped cylinder arms, long post beds, ability to sew light to very heavy weight materials for car seats to safety belts, airplane interiors to special filters. Even the embroidery machines are moving into the technical textile markets as basically almost anything can be done using an embroidery machine which involves textiles in their widest sense needing the precise pre-programmed placement of wires, fibres, threads, etc. for reinforcement or specific placement.

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