Karl Mayer greeted around 1,500 visitors at its stand at the event. The list of the main countries from which the visitors came was headed by India, followed by Italy, Turkey, the USA, Germany and China.
“One of the highlights is undoubtedly our new machine innovation for processing sustainable denim,” said CEO of Karl Mayer, Arno Gärtner. “Once again, it became clear from the ITMA fair in Barcelona that the sector is focusing on digital solutions when it comes to process optimisation and customer orientation. That is why we are delighted to receive such excellent feedback on the new systems within our software start-up, KM.ON.”
Two machines with digital features were premiered in Barcelona. The HKS 3-M-ON can be linked directly to the KM.ON cloud via the key system, which enables the lapping data required to be loaded directly onto the machine. The RSJ 4/1 ON uses the potential of the KM.ON product group, k.innovation, to optimally support virtual textile development, which is quite usual these days. Therefore, k.innovation delivers much more than just patterning software.
“Many of our visitors were particularly impressed by our networked machines and the new possibilities offered by collaborative product development with k.innovation, in conjunction with the RSJ 4/1 ON,” said Oliver Mathews, sales manager of Karl Mayer’s warp knitting business unit. “The fair went well and we had more than 700 high-quality conversations. We also laid the foundations for many sales contracts and initiated some interesting new projects.”
The newly configured RDPJ 6/2 EL also contributed to the excellent feedback, together with its exceptional range of 4D-Knit products. The textiles produced on this double-bar raschel machine features a wide range of pronounced, three-dimensional designs on the outer sides, but can also feature openwork patterns, which gives them an advantage over their circular weft-knitted competitors.
“News of our new development quickly spread around the fair. Even yarn producers had heard about the 4D-Knit articles and came to learn more about them on our stand,” said Kay Hilbert, head of product portfolio management, Karl Mayer. He and his team discussed many promising projects with the visitors.
At the fair, the ‘Future of Textiles’ focused on the possibilities of substituting woven fabrics with warp-knitted fabrics to minimise costs and environmental loads, and the subject of e-textiles. Extensive development work is being carried out at Karl Mayer into the electrical conductivity of warp-knitted textiles. In the project entitled, Textile Circuit, string bar technology is being used to incorporate electrically conductive yarns directly at any location into the fabric.
The display of applications also showcased some exceptional product developments, which are both stylish and functional and can be made-up with little outlay. These include well-thought-out systems for comfortable bras with few seams, a sporty body providing shape and support and made from a new type of power lace, and a swimsuit with a lace look.
The new machine, Sim.ply, proved to be a real magnet for the public in the field of technical textiles. This innovation produces thermoplastic, unidirectional tapes (UD tapes) using fibre spreading technology. Its products – premium tapes with precisely aligned, continuous fibres – are suitable for use in highly stressed, fibre-reinforced, lightweight structures, which are a rapid growth area. The thermoplastic matrix is also easy to process, which makes mass production feasible. The Sim.ply products feature an impressive, high quality and excellent mechanical properties. The grammages of the spread tape, as well as the impregnated tape, are also uniform, and the fibre volume content is high. The production efficiency is also excellent. This line has far exceeded the expectations of Karl Mayer in relation to visitor feedback.
“Both our existing customers involved in the lightweight construction, automotive and transport fields, as well as new, interested people from the sports sector, were very interested in this new technology. We had many specific enquiries from our customers at the fair, who were interested in carrying out trials in our Applications Centre in Chemnitz,” said Hagen Lotzmann, sales manager of the technical textiles business unit.
“We had conversations on a wide range of topics, covering our entire technical textiles portfolio - from aviation, through wind power, to geotextiles,” added Lotzmann. He and his team had the benefit of the extensive range of products being showcased when talking to the visitors. Examples of their use in textile-reinforced concrete, cheap, flexible and stable roofing materials and bitumen roofing membranes, as well as special plaster grids that increase cracking resistance in the plaster, were all on show. A lightweight, multiaxial construction made from aramid yarns on a Cop Max 5 multiaxial warp knitting machine with an online spreading process for the production of personal protection equipment was also being presented.
Karl Mayer’s Warp Preparation Business Unit presented new, innovative systems for a wide range of market segments. “So far, there has been a marked interest in the Prosize and Multi-matic ranges. Most of our customers came from Turkey and Portugal. The first specific enquiries relating to orders have already been received. The Multi-matic 32 also attracted many interested people from Italy in particular,” said Dieter Gager, sales manager of the Warp Preparation Business Unit.
Other highlights were the new Prodirect direct warper, which also has an excellent cost : benefit ratio, and the new Link-matic system. This innovative system allows for the automatic knotting of the beams within a batch on the Prodye-S indigo dyeing machine and the Prosize sizing machine when changing the beams within a batch. This enables changeover times to be reduced, productivity to be increased and operator time to be minimised. Also, less yarn waste is produced.
The performance show of the Prowarp sectional warping machine was transmitted via a live link from Karl Mayer’s site in Hausen to Barcelona, and was viewed with great interest. This machine operates with the new Proactive Warping system and demonstrated how this self-learning system can optimise the warp beam quality and consequently weaving efficiency.
Karl Mayer showed its new Greendye technology under the slogan of ‘Sustainable Denim’. This innovative technical system uses the advantages of indigo dyeing in a nitrogen atmosphere to achieve greater efficiency and sustainability in denim production. “Our large global key clients from India, Spain and Turkey saw a great deal of promising potential in this new dyeing technology,” said Gager.
The new Karl Mayer business unit, KM.ON, presented for the first time at an ITMA in Barcelona, and received extremely positive feedback. “It was a very successful fair for KM.ON. We spoke about many specific projects with a large number of potential and existing customers active in all of Karl Mayer’s business areas,” said Antonia Gottschalk, the managing director of KM.ON GmbH. The visitors were particularly impressed by k.ey, the company’s high-tech connectivity system. In addition to the possibility of networking additional machines, the first bidirectional networking solutions are now available, which permit the seamless transfer of pattern data to the new HKS-3M-ON and RSJ 4/1 ON machines. This enables customers to reduce their time-to-market considerably.
Gottschalk said that another highlight of the exhibition was the software developed for k.innovation. This game changer in the textile industry combines patterning with collaboration. Design projects involving several participants can be carried out between companies and across different time zones, without changing the system. Any interfaces and disruptions in the system are eliminated by combining the k.innovation and k.ey systems. With k.innovation, projects can be implemented, from the design idea to pattern data transfer, in a continuous workflow. “This system was well received by our own customers, as well as by the big brands, who described it as ‘amazing’,” added Gottschalk.
Other product categories within the KM.ON brand were also well received by customers in all of Karl Mayer’s business areas, as well as by other players involved in the entire textile value added chain. (PC)
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