Tailor-made solutions for the denim sector

KARL MAYER's INDIG-O-MATIC series for the denim sector

(PresseBox) ( Obertshausen, )
The current worldwide financial crisis has led to consolidation of the international textile machinery building sector, and is facing European companies with a whole set of new challenges.
The KARL MAYER Group is reacting to this changing market situation by developing a new generation of economical, eco-friendly warp preparation machinery. The activities of this company in the DENIM sector illustrate how the textile machines produced by this well-known manufacturer are contributing to the success of future, innovative weaving preparatory operations. The setting-up of a special centre of excellence forms the key element of the company’s increased concentration on DENIM products, which brings together the full-width dyeing technology of three specialists in the KARL MAYER Warp Preparation business unit, i.e. the former textile machinery groups of MOENUS-SUCKER, the weaving preparatory operations of Benninger AG, and IRA L. GRIFFIN SONS Inc. The machines in the INDIG-O-MATIC DENIM processing range are complemented by the company’s new rope-dyeing technology (Fig. 1). The processes that can be carried out on the INDIG-O-MATIC dyeing machine will now be illustrated, and the machine technology required in each case will be described.

The INDIG-O-MATIC dyeing machine

The INDIG-O-MATIC dyeing machine operates using various processes, which are all carried out using specific machine technology within the production chain - a concept which is in keeping both with the trend towards integrating functions and processes, as well as towards using flexible and adaptable machine technology in weaving preparation. The following processing sequences are normally carried out within modern production chains:

Semi-continuous, full-width dyeing/sizing

With this type of technology, which is also known as the SLASHER DYEING PROCESS, the DENIM processing sequence starts with producing or taking delivery of the yarn packages. In the first stage, which is known as direct beaming, the yarns are fed from a package creel (having 300-700 packages) and wound next to each other on a beam. In the second stage, the yarns from eight to 24 beams are then taken off together under a controlled tension and passed simultaneously through the dyeing and sizing section. Following this process, the yarns are wound next to each other onto a weaving beam.

Discontinuous hank/rope dyeing with subsequent sizing

This process, which is also known as the ROPE DYEING PROCESS, involves four steps and begins with producing or taking delivery of the yarn packages. The sequence starts with ball warping, which involves winding the yarns coming separately from the creel to form a rope, and winding the rope onto a beam to produce the so-called ball. During the second stage, which involves subsequent dyeing, 12 to 36 balls are taken off under a controlled tension, fed to the dyeing section as ropes, and coiled individually into cans in this form. The third stage involves opening out the ropes and winding the yarns next to each other onto a beam. During sizing, which is the last stage in the processing sequence, eight to 24 beams run together under a controlled tension through the sizing machine. The final weaving beam is produced by a beaming/winding process.

KARL MAYER’s INDIG-O-MATIC is the perfect machine technology for carrying out both of these dyeing processes, and offers advantages for use in specific applications to cater for the wide range of different quality requirements demanded by the market (Fig. 2).

Creels

KARL MAYER can supply parallel, swivel-frame, magazine and ‘V’ creels for producing extremely fine menswear, womenswear and fashion garments. All the systems are customised, and can be supplied with ancillary equipment, such as balloon breakers, tension-equalising rods and knotting and cutting devices. The creel can be individually configured for carrying packages having diameters of up to 320 mm and for fewer than 1,000 packages. The brake can be selected specifically to suit the article being processed, so that the yarn delivery equipment feeds the yarn under a controlled and regulated yarn tension.

BEN DIRECT direct beaming machines

The BEN DIRECT direct beaming machine (Fig. 3) can produce beams having diameters of up to 1,400 mm and uses an electro-hydraulic, self-centring, toothed, sharply-tapered beam mounting. An accurate presser roller mechanism, including an automatic kick-back facility, ensures that the beams are wound so that they are perfectly cylindrical.

BW-T60 ball warper

KARL MAYER’s ball warper is designed for the regulated, tension-controlled, gentle and accurate formation of ropes in the production of beams having a maximum diameter of 1,500 mm. The technical features of the BW T-60 include pneumatically controlled disc brake technology for synchronous braking, and the SVS integrated suction system for reliably removing dust, fly and other loose particles, which makes an effective contribution towards reducing contamination in wet treatment.

LCB long chain beamer

The long chain beamer (Fig. 4) is designed for the production of beams having a maximum beam diameter of 1,000 mm and has a pneumatically operated, self-centring, toothed, sharply-tapered beam mounting. An infinitely adjustable presser roller device, including automatic kick-back mechanism, guarantees perfectly cylindrical beam winding. The rope feed, with integrated, reverse-driven compensator, enables the operating status to be changed at high speed for constant rope tension levels. Ancillary systems, such as a coiler can drive, single-end winder and a yarn strummer complement the machine.

RN beam creel with tension controller

The RN beam creel comprises a shaftless beam mounting with ball-bearing guide rollers for beams having a diameter of up to 1,400 mm. A pneumatically operated band brake decelerates the beam speed with a controlled braking pressure, so that the yarn tension can continuously be kept constant for speed-dependent start/stop ramping.

VARIO SINGLE and VARIO DOUBLE application systems

Optimised application systems with efficient flow patterns guarantee flexible and process-specific immersion times and lengths (1.5 m to 11.5 m) during pretreatment and dyeing. The impressive, revamped equipment offers improved handling, reduced cleaning times and stable liquor baths during machine downtimes, thanks to an integrated system for raising the immersion roller. The consumption of chemicals can also be reduced by as much as 25 %, thanks to efficient liquor exchange at the textile material. Circulation rates of above 6 x/h in the cross-flow process guarantee completely uniform liquor mixing, and integrated, indirect heating systems enable a range of dyeing techniques, such as reactive, sulphur and indanthrene processes, to be used with maximum flexibility. Ancillary systems, such as steamers and contact and radiation driers, complete the range of equipment available for effecting dye diffusion and penetration. Squeeze roller pairs operating at 100 kN and roller diameters that are harmonised with each other also guarantee uniform fabric transport, and avoid variations in the circumferential speed at the textile material.

QUICKOXIDATION, the quick oxidation zone

Quickoxidation is a blowing unit, which is controlled by means of the temperature and volume of air, which accelerates the oxidation process during indigo dyeing. The production equipment guarantees stable climatic conditions over the whole day and at all times of the year.

WT-3 and WT-4 wash troughs

The washing equipment works on the basis of the counter-flow principle with integrated 3- or 4-cascade wash liquor zones, and thus conserves resources. It also has additional intermediate squeezing units, a wash liquor separator, fresh water spraying devices and integrated liquor circulation for additive preparations. Squeeze roller pairs operating at 100 kN and roller diameters that are harmonised with each other are also used during washing to optimise material transport.

SMR sizing machine

The SMR sizing machine (Fig. 5) combines KARL MAYER’s KAMCOS® control technology with user-friendly operation, exact reproducibility and first-rate process control. The CSB universal size application system, with and without prewetting unit, guarantees compact yarn feed and short yarn paths. Exceptional sizing quality and top performance during weaving can be achieved with 100% yarn loading volumes or less. The technical features of the SMR include a cylinder drier available as ‘full warp’ or ‘sectional warp’ versions (with partial Teflon coating) for rapid drying without damaging the yarns, and tension-controlled roller compensators. Together with weaving beam changing times of less than 3.5 minutes, these components guarantee constant production speeds.

Technical features relating to product quality and handling

KARL MAYER equips its machines with high-tech drive technology, and to this end, has developed its own KAMCOS® control technology, which provides optimum user-friendliness and reproducibility.
The KAMCOS® technology supplies the operators with accurate information on the tension and elongation behaviour during and throughout all the various chemical treatment stages.

The INDIGO PILOT offers additional benefits. This ancillary system, with integrated online titration as well as evaluation and calculation software, guarantees accurate starting recipes and constant dye liquor concentrations for the compounds used, i.e. the indigo dyes, alkalis and reducing agents. The result is a product that meets the demands of the market perfectly, thanks to customer-oriented process monitoring and control of the yarn tension, squeezing force and dye uptake.

Other technical features of KARL MAYER’s machine technology include high-resolution, accurate yarn tension measuring rollers (load cell), conical edge yarn guides, specially designed grooved guide rollers, and an integrated yarn compensating roller lifting system for accurate, reliable and compact material feed through the entire machine. The result is a uniform working width, homogeneous yarn loading, and last but not least, a high machine efficiency. A new era in terms of product quality has thus begun, which also minimises yarn waste.

Summary

The innovative, client-oriented INDIG-O-MATIC dyeing and sizing machine is a cleverly engineered machine for economically and ecologically producing uniformly dyed and sized weaving warps. The developments introduced over the last few years have not significantly changed the principles of indigo dyeing. However the processes and existing techniques have been systematically improved and revamped, so that optimum solutions, which conserve resources, are now available to suit every application.

The INDIG-O-MATIC machinery produced by KARL MAYER, and the KAMCOS® control technology, which is applicable to all the machines, enable users to determine where and how faults and weak areas in the processing chain can be eliminated most economically.

The users must decide for each individual case whether it is more economical to buy in a yarn of better quality, or to put greater value on dealing with faults than on productivity. It is important that any weak spots in the yarns are detected and eliminated before the dyeing and sizing processes.
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