Thursday, 3 June 2010

Karl Mayer News | Second generation of CFP components – the second stage of the optimisation programme improves machine availability

Technical progress in the warp knitting sector bears all the hallmarks of KARL MAYER. With their increased performance, quality and flexibility, the machines produced by this traditional manufacturer have enjoyed considerable success for many decades all over the world. One of the most important chapters in the company’s history was the integration of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFP) bars into the machines and modifying the design of the machines accordingly. These high-precision composite components are up to 25 % lighter than the conventional version. They are also more rigid, thus enabling speeds to be increased considerably, for a simultaneous optimisation of the machine availability. The high temperature stability of the CFP materials has enabled the window for problem-free machine operation to be increased from +/- 2 ºC to +/- 5 ºC, and subsequently even to +/- 7 ºC.
The company’s tricot machines were the first to profit from this lightweight construction technology, and have been available with CFP bars since the ITMA fair in Munich in 2007. Once the gradual changeover of this machine series had been completed, work began on adapting the raschel machines. The first machine with CFP components, the RSE 4-1, will appear on the market at the beginning of April 2010.
With its revamped bar and shaft concept, KARL MAYER has optimised the use of this technology and made it easier to operate.
The developers and engineers have recently come up with a solution which has made the high temperature stability, which is now a standard feature of this new warp knitting technology, to be achieved more easily and efficiently. The lynchpin of this increased efficiency was to substitute the old continuous, tempered shafts for controlling the bars with components that have been divided up into high-precision segments. The shaft is divided into segments according to specific machine parameters, and it is no longer necessary to carry out the heating-up stage that was previously required following a machine stoppage. This has reduced the time-consuming heating-up phase, cut down on energy costs, and dispensed with the need to specifically adjust components during the start-up phase.
In addition to the short starting-up times, machines equipped with second generation CFP technology are more stable to ambient temperatures when operating, and thus guarantee a high gauge accuracy. Even when producing fine fabrics and at large working widths, the production machine runs smoothly at top speed to produce top-quality textiles.
The changeover of the high-speed knitting machines to second generation CFP components will start again soon, and will be carried out gradually over the course of the year.
A patent has been applied for to protect this innovative system.