Challenging times as an opportunity
As for many industries, these have been challenging years for manufacturers of sewing and apparel technology and machinery for processing technical textiles. But the Texprocess Innovation Award 2022, which was presented for the first time in three years, showed impressively that the industry has made intensive use of the time.
For example, welding and sewing machine manufacturer Vetron Typical Europe GmbH from Kaiserslautern, Germany, is trying nothing less than to revolutionize seam bonding. The company has developed a new type of cold gluing robot that is intended to fully automate the sealing of seams with adhesive tape on the reverse side for the first time. The background to this is that cold gluing is state of the art in many industries, for example for decorative seams on dashboards or closing seams in outdoor clothing. However, because the adhesive tape has to be cut by hand, the technology could not previously be combined with the high demands of process automation, for example in the automotive industry. Until now. The new special robot is now to apply the adhesive tape in an automated process for the first time and cut it off automatically using a tape cutter. Vetron received the Texprocess Innovation Award in the “New Technology” category for its new development. According to the company, the innovation, which was presented publicly for the first time at Texprocess, is already attracting great interest from the automotive industry.
“Reinvention of the embroidery head”
The second award in the “New Technology” category went to ZSK Stickmaschinen GmbH from Krefeld, Germany, for a new type of embroidery head for single- and multi-head embroidery machines. According to ZSK, the “R-head” is designed to achieve embroidery speeds of up to 2000 stitches per minute. By comparison, traditional multi-head embroidery machines achieve embroidery speeds of up to a maximum of 1200 stitches per minute. With this innovation, ZSK aims to enable a new dimension of productivity with higher embroidery precision and reliability even at high embroidery speeds. According to ZSK, the R-head significantly reduces noise emissions compared to current embroidery heads. The expert jury’s verdict: “This is the reinvention of the embroidery head.”
Reducing sewing machine operator fatigue
The third winner in the “New Technology” award category is Juki Central Europe (Poland). The company has developed an automatic bobbin thread winding and feeding device called AW-3S. This not only automatically calculates the required bobbin thread quantity when loading a sewing pattern, but can even change the sewing thread automatically, according to the manufacturer. AW-3S is thus not only intended to increase productivity, but at the same time to save the operating personnel from having to change the sewing thread manually. This is intended to reduce staff fatigue, allowing them to concentrate more on production and quality control. The expert jury appreciated the new development as a successful example of Industry 4.0.
Driving forward digitalization in the sewing industry
The industrial sewing machine manufacturer Dürkopp Adler received the Texprocess Innovation Award in the category “New Digitalization” for its software module “QONDAC Guided Working”. The company from Bielefeld wants to take digitalization in the sewing industry to a new level. In interaction with programmable sewing machines, QONDAC Guided Working is intended to become the perfect link between planning, operating personnel and machine by supporting processes from production planning to the last work step at the final workstation. In addition, manual workstations or conventional sewing machines can also be easily integrated into the network.
“Challenging times always also offer the opportunity to develop further,” is how Elgar Straub, Managing Director of VDMA Textile Care, Fabric and Leather Technologies, sums up what the winners of the Texprocess Innovation Awards impressively demonstrat with their new developments.