At ITMA ASIA + CITME 2018 in Shanghai, some leading exhibitors showcased their novel technologies and solutions to visitors, demonstrating how the technology trends are shaping the industry.

Datacolor device to measure the ‘unmeasurables’

Ms Rene Guan, Senior Industrial Marketing Manager – ASP, Datacolor Trading (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.Fast fashion has put pressure on retailers to launch different collections within a short period of time while suppliers along the supply chain also have to keep pace with the trend. To stay competitive, they must improve the speed to market by cutting production time and increasing operational efficiency.

Digital measurement with a spectrophotometer has become the industry standard for solid color, which makes up half of the textiles produced by brands. For the so-called “unmeasurables”, multi-colored and highly textured fabrics, such as prints, laces, yarns and trims, they are still being evaluated visually, even though manual process can be slow and costly.

SpectraVision is a solution offered by Datacolor for “unmeasurable color management”. It enables retailers and their suppliers to objectively measure and digitally communicate the color of materials that traditionally relied on subjective visual assessment. The solution eliminates human error, streamline workflows and reduce time from concept to consumer.

Ms Rene Guan, Senior Industrial Marketing Manager – ASP, Datacolor Trading (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., said that the fast developing printing market made it necessary to have a technology that can measure multiple-color fabrics.

“At the moment, there are large machines at university to inspect fabrics with multiple colors, but such technology is not widely available in the market yet. As for lace, SpectraVision can generate more accurate results than the existing technology.”

SpectraVision combines an advanced hyperspectral spectrophotometer with high-performance quality control software to measure, analyze, report, communicate and visualize accurate color results.

It enables consistent, repeatable color measurement for fabrics that used to be unmeasureable, ensuring uniform assessment throughout the supply chain.

And by shortening the approval and review processes, retailers and suppliers can save cost on shipping physical samples back and forth while saving time to market.

Apart from SpectraVision, the company also introduced ColorReaderPro, a device for automatic color-matching. The OLED screen displaying the color directly on the device without the need of a smartphone allows designers to find their color inspiration faster.

Habasit provides high performance belting solutions

Mr. Luca Rovacchi, Industry Segment Manager for Textile at Habasit.Habasit, a global belting manufacturer headquartered in Switzerland, presented its comprehensive power transmission and conveying solutions at the booth.

With over CHF 600 million sales worldwide, the company is active in textile segment, particularly in yarn processing, textile printing and non-woven manufacturing, according to Mr. Luca Rovacchi, Industry Segment Manager for Textile at Habasit.

Rovacchi revealed that the yarn processing industry is searching for products with higher speed and longer lifetime. In light of this, the company introduced the new polyester power transmission belt, the TC-25EFQ, which provides high reliability and performance, particularly in very demanding climatic conditions, such as in APAC region.

The new belt has a specially designed thermoplastic belt body with a reinforced polyester fabric, and a new bonding system with improved temperature resistance and layer adhesion. It is also an ideal choice for ring spinning machines equipped with tangential drive.

For textile printing industry, he observed that digital printing has been gaining its foothold over the years due to the fast-changing trend in the fashion industry. The digital revolution in textile printing has also led to additional requirements for printing blankets.

On wide printing blankets, the task of accurate belt positioning becomes a challenging feat. Therefore, earlier this year, the company launched a new ENU-55AXBY Premium Line printing blanket for digital printing machines. With unique asymmetric 3-ply structure for low positioning of the neutral phase, it reaches a higher printing accuracy. 

Talking about the market outlook, he believed that Asia is a significant market. “We have a very strong presence in many countries in Asia, such as China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and so on. Among them, China is the largest market. Moreover, we also see many European OEMs expanding in Asia.”

In addition, he emphasized the importance of innovation for future development.  “We always focus on innovation. It is the only way to be a leader, but not a follower. We have invested a lot in R&D and we want to bring value for our customers through innovative solutions.”

He also further unveiled that the company will present “innovative and revolutionary products” for yarn processing, textile printing and non-woven segments at ITMA in Barcelona next year. 

Loptex aims to be an innovator and a quality keeper

Mr. Renato Gerletti, Loptex Sales Director.At the show, Italian manufacturer Loptex Srl introduced systems for the detection and elimination of contamination in spinning and in non-woven Industries.

Mr. Renato Gerletti, Loptex Sales Director, said: “The company heavily focuses on quality. We work on niche markets. Our target is to be a quality keeper”.

Mr. Gerletti also highlighted the importance of R&D for Loptex. “We invest nearly 5% of our turnover on it. We are fully dedicated in finding solutions for our customers through collaborations with a university in Italy and research institutes in Switzerland. We greatly focus on market demand, both in spinning and in non-woven fields.”

The Centra+, a forefront system designed to allow the comprehensive and accurate detection and elimination of fiber contamination, was displayed. It implements acoustic, optical and ultraviolet technologies for the multiple detections of all contaminants in non-woven and in spinning lines.

“Centra+ allows our customers to save processing materials, and at the same time, improve the quality of their non-woven finished webs and yarns,” he stated.

Commenting on the market development, Mr. Gerletti said that the company has a global presence in all main textile areas. “We are enjoying success for the non-woven fields in the United States. Moreover, we also have a significant presence in Europe (non-woven), Asia (non-woven and spinning), North Africa and South America (spinning).

“Loptex in Asia has a strong position in Pakistan which represents its most important market in spinning while in China is gaining positions in non-woven. Now, we are also working on new projects in China for the incoming year,” he said.

Going green a core value of ACME Machinery

Mr. Chang, Managing Director of ACME Machinery Industry Co., Ltd.With over 30-year experience in manufacturing dyeing machinery, ACME Machinery Industry Co., Ltd. brought its intelligent conveyor drive dyeing machine to the exhibition.

According to Mr. Chang, Managing Director of ACME Machinery Industry Co., Ltd, energy conservation and carbon reduction are the most trending topics nowadays.  In the textile industry, the pollution issue in the dyeing and finishing sector is of special concern.

In order to realize carbon reduction, he said that the manufacturers have to reduce water consumption, for example, to lower the liquor ratio of the machine. As introduced, the machine on display is working at a liquor ratio as low as 1:2.5-3.5, depending on the water pick up rate of fabrics.

“The circulation of fabrics of the conventional soak dyeing machine relies on the hydraulic thrust and thus causing high water consumption. Our saturated dyeing machine transports fabrics on the conveyor without using water. As a result, the water consumption of our machine is 65% lower. In addition, the chemical consumption, energy consumption, wastewater emission and CO2 emission are also reduced accordingly in the process.”

“Due to the stringent environmental rules and regulations, many of our customers request for machinery with low resource consumption. Going green is also a core value of our company and it helps our customers to enhance their company’s images.”

As introduced, automation is another highlighted feature of the machine. “The machine is fully automated and no skilled operator is needed. The control system can proceed automatically after entering the weight of fabrics and liquor rate. Moreover, by combining chemical reaction and physics variety, the system will set up the best dyeing programme accordingly.”

Commenting on the business development, Mr. Chang said that the main export markets of the company include Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. It also extends its presence in Japan and Europe in the recent years.

He also further explained that the demand of the company’s products exceeded the supply in the past year. Therefore, the company is now building a new plant, which expected to be completed in 2019, to enhance its production capacity by more than 60%.

Marzoli: MP1N makes a comeback

Marzoli’s booth at the exhibition.Marzoli, a leader of Italian spinning technology, exhibited for the first time the renewed MP1N ring spinning frame at the show.

The machine, with the latest Siemens electronics installed, features independent drives for spindles, ring rail and drafting system. All the technological parameters can be set directly on the touch screen while working programs can be saved and reloaded at any time.

The revised drafting system minimizes torsion forces on the drafting rollers, even on long machines (up to 1,824 spindles), so there are no vibrations, fewer ends down at start up and optimal control of the fiber during draft.

The independent drives of the front and of the middle and rear drafting rollers grant the possibility to upgrade the software for the production of fancy yarn. The MP1N can also be set for the production of core spun, duocore and compact yarns, for a high degree of flexibility in the production process and differentiation on the market.

The machine displays a high degree of automation: fully automatic doffing of the cops, link to any one of the main winders available on the market and possibility to link it with Marzoli’s automatic bobbin transport systems.

The fully-renewed MP1N, with all the latest technology installed, now completes Marzoli’s offer as it represents the 4-spindles tape drive alternative to the tangential belt solution installed on the MDS1.

SDL Atlas launches remote access App. and new test materials

Chuck Lane, President of SDL Atlas.SDL Atlas brought to ITMA Asia 2018 its latest offering of a remote access App., which tracks a test's progress while the operator is away from the testing instruments.

Through RemoteAccess, the operator can receive pop-up alerts on mobile phone five minutes before the end of the test, and can track the real-time testing progress of instruments anytime, anywhere on the go.

This is especially convenient for long tests, as the operators can view the remaining testing time outside the laboratory and have a good grasp of the testing status.

“So the operators don’t need to stay around waiting. By using the phone they’re able to tell when the longest running test is going to finish. They can be in another room doing something else,” said Chuck Lane, President of SDL Atlas. “For example, I can be here in Shanghai at the trade show and see that my technician is keeping the machine running.”

The remote access function will be added to SDL Atlas’ products, but he added that not all testing instruments would need the tool, as technicians have to be present for some tests.

The App. is currently for use with Launder-Ometer, RotaPill and Martindale on IOS platform. It will be available on Android system and connect to more instruments soon.

SDL Atlas sells its products and services around the world, but China is a “good and the largest market”, where testing is being adopted widely in the textile industry, said Mr Lane. Most of its products are made in China in its own factory. About 80% of them are exported to markets over the world.

Mr Lane admitted that the current trade tension between China and the US over tariffs has made some equipment more expensive. “We try not to impact our customers so much. We’ll see what we can do to lower the impact,” he said.

Meanwhile, to ensure the quality and compliance to testing standards, SDL Atlas now produces most of its test materials, including Multifiber (both for AATCC and ISO testing), Detergents, Gray Scales, Blue Wool, Crocking Squares and Fabrics, Abrasion and Pilling Testing Materials, and Phenolic Yellowing Testing Materials.

The materials have been tested to ensure conformity and consistency and supplied with a Certificate of Conformity.

The company also presented the redesigned Martindale and Autoburst at the show. Martindale features individual station lighting that gives a notification flash of the relevant station's light along with a notification beep to indicate the end of a test, while Autoburst is reengineered to upgrade performance for hydraulic burst testing for heavy duty samples.

Some of the new features include station lighting, full-color touchscreen control and the flexibility to operate as either a stand-alone instrument or paired with a computer.

Santoni shows wide applications of seamless technology for athleisure

Leila Guo, Marketing Manager of Santoni (Shanghai) Knitting Machinery Co. Ltd.Santoni exhibited at ITMA Asia 2018 different collections of sportswear that combine functions and fashion styles.

The knit products including sportswear, outerwear and bags were displayed with the explanation of graphic and cutline inspirations, as well as technical details on functional zones and stretch level. Special features of the garments, such as cushioning, breathability, compression, etc. were also highlighted.

Leila Guo, Marketing Manager of Santoni (Shanghai) Knitting Machinery Co. Ltd., said through the exhibition, the company would like to introduce to visitors the latest applications of seamless technology so as to help customers in designing and developing their own products.

“The seamless technology has been applied to produce a wide range of sportswear, whereas it was known in the past mainly for producing underwear,” she said.

“Athleisure is a booming market and very popular with consumers right now. It’s a garment category between sports and leisure; half-fashion and half-sportswear.”

Unlike sportswear in the past that focused all on functions, sportswear today is increasingly combined with fashion. “Yarn functions and machinery are going together to create new garment items for athleisure. With the right materials and structure, fabrics can be light yet strong,” she said.

Seamless technology was initially used for manufacturing inner wear. The minimum number of seams and the absence of elastic bands and tags make the innerwear comfortable to wear.

However, the possibility to calibrate the compression in the required areas of the garment has enhanced the seamless applications. The seamless technology is now being used for protective garments, maternity care garments and support care garments.

Though knitted on circular machines, the fabric tube knitted on the seamless knitting machine can have a combination of different patterns: jersey, mesh, rib, jacquard and embroidery, with or without colours or stripes.

The compressed garments hold tightly on the body and the absence of seams rubbing against the body makes the garment wearable and comfortable. The garment also needs to have pores in certain portions of the garments to allow the air to pass through or evaporate the sweat.

For sports such as running, cycling and climbing, which are performance-oriented sports, seamless sportswear adds protection by providing knitted structures that act as reinforced zones.

Mario Crosta continues to invest in Industry 4.0 technology

Marco Crosta, owner of Mario Crosta.Mario Crosta from Italy introduced its new brush-sueding machine model which features efficient output and high automation. 

The LISA 4 Knit (open width)  -- LISA TUB; and the LISA 4 Knit Plus (open width & tubular) -- LISA 4 Woven are equipped with four brushes for the treatment of woven and knitted fabrics, both open width and tubular, with a working width of 1.200 / 1.800 / 2.200 mm.

There are four independent modules; two brushing effects can be set for each module.

The machines cater for different kinds of brushes and automatically control fabric tension. Operator of the machines can set in the display the final effects required on the fabric as a parameter.

While the achievable results depend on the fabric type, the machines come with electronic automatic adjustment function and can treat all kinds of fibers. The touch screen display can guide and assist the operator during each operation phase and up to 400 work programs can be recorded.

Marco Crosta, owner of Mario Crosta, said the company will continue to invest in new technology, particularly technology related to Industry 4.0. “This will apply to new concept machines and all our machines that handle different fabrics,” he said. “For ITMA Barcelona, we are going to launch a new machine that features digitalisation and 4.0 technology.”

Although China is one of the major markets for Mario Crosta, there has been rising demands from other countries in Asia, such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh, according to Mr Crosta.

Currently the knit fabric market is booming due to the knitwear trend spearheaded by sport brands, he said. “In China, knit and woven productions are always in demand, while other fabrics like wool and niche fabrics are mainly produced overseas.”

The company manufactures its machines in two factories located in Busto Arsizio near Milan in Italy. Its suppliers are also based in Italy.