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En route to digital yarn factory

Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Segment will present its latest developments at the upcoming ITMA Asia + CITME trade show this month.

1st October 2018

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Shanghai

Clothing/​Footwear, Industrial

Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Segment will present its latest developments at the upcoming ITMA Asia + CITME textile machinery trade show that takes place in Shanghai, this month. Digital yarn factory, technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning or innovative HMI (Human Machine Interface) solutions will be the central point of the Oerlikon Innovation Forum at the event.

The company imagines a future scenario, in which textiles production is autonomously controlled in the fully-networked Factory 4.0. The product being created controls and monitors the processes itself using embedded sensors. The manufacturing or order status is known at all times, raw materials are automatically reordered, wear and maintenance are planned as integral parts of the production process. This should cut costs, convert production lines more flexibly and help reduce downtimes and waste. For this, the machine construction sector has to provide correspondingly intelligent and web-enabled production systems.

“We want to become the textile machine construction trendsetter for technologies of this kind,” said CEO Georg Stausberg. The first steps on this journey have already been taken. The Plant Operation Center (POC) for process monitoring enables the collation of existing production data in a central location and to make these data available. HMI based services, such as process monitoring via a service online app on smart phones and tablets, were introduced, as well as an assistance system based on mixed-reality glasses (Microsoft HoloLens). The system supports predictive maintenance concepts and enables virtual 360-degree tours through spinning systems.

Automated detection of error cause

At ITMA Asia + CITME, the company gives an insight to this, as well as an outlook for new developments for the digitisation of the process chain From Melt to Yarn, Fibres and Nonwoven. The digital future solution AIM4DTY provides help with the identification of possible error causes in texturing machines to help reduce quality risks. Here, machine learning is being used.

For example, in the texturing machine, the UNITENS monitoring sensor continually measures the yarn tension at all positions. An error is generated if a measurement value does not lie within the prescribed tolerances. In a lot of cases, the form of the graphs can provide information on the error causes and ultimately provide targeted and efficient response to these. A manual analysis and optimisation are nearly impossible with more than 125,000 graphs per day. With the automated solution AIM4DTY the information is instantly available to customers, therefore allowing them to immediately optimise the quality during running production. It also ensures that predictive maintenance is now a reality, the company explains.

At ITMA Asia + CITME, the company gives an outlook for new developments for the digitisation of the process chain. © Oerlikon Manmade Fibers

Here, data security, data minimisation and transparency are extremely important. “We process all data in accordance with the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), taking all further international data protection standards into account. Our customers always know which data we use and why,” said Mario Arcidiacono, Business Intelligence & Data Warehouse specialist for the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Segment.

Wiping robot with intelligent control system

The advantage of the wiping robot used for the cleaning of the spinnerets is automation: intelligent control system which connects machines and processes. The information relating to all wiping positions, cycles and times can be saved in the management system, the company continues.

The robot accesses the saved wiping intervals in an automated and safety-relevant manner. To this end, the robot can cope with up to 48 positions, corresponding to one entire production line. However, more decisive here is the impact of the intelligent control system, with whose help the spinning pump can be moved up and down in an automated and ‘in-time’ manner. To this end, pump stops can be kept to the absolute minimum using a robot, considerably reducing the impact of the wiping on both the polycondensation system process stability and on the yarn data of the spun yarn.

World premiere

The Staple FORCE S1100 is a one-step plant, which spins, draws, crimps, cuts and bales in a single process step, produces small batches (up to 15 tons per day) and can be reconfigured for various requirements, including polymer, dye and titer changes.

The service for repair-coating from Oerlikon Barmag for thread-handling parts, such as godet jackets also includes the expert’s know-how to identify and review abrasion in order to recreate the correct surface structure at the location. This way they can provide all important requirements to creating optimal plant and yarn quality.

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