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DEVELOPMENTS IN WEAVING BY Ravi purohit & Suraj patil TEXTILE AND ENGINEERING INSTITUTE, ICHAKARANJI. ABSTRACT Weaving machines demands have always been an intricate issue generated by desire of textile industry to meet ever-increasing quality improvement needs. New developments are taking place in such a direction, which ensures reduced time, energy and cost involved. Heavy mechanical parts now being replaced with electronic or microprocessor controlled alternatives. This paper would discuss about developments in shuttleless machines with hope that, as a staunch advocator of modernization, awareness of developments would lead to critical analysis of machinery options, which in turn would help in selection, and implementation of right technology. Among shuttleless machines considerable developments are observed in 3 basic picking principles, Projectile, Rapier and Airjet, while the new multiphase weaving developed by SULZER Co. is worth discussing. A selective, noteworthy feature covering various machinery manufacturers and those that a professional should know for better understanding of the machines would be discussed. For e.g. In Airjet weaving developments in weft insertion system with ICS (Automatic Initial conditioning setting), Timing Checker, New high performance taper Nozzles, Taper tunnel reed, Tandem Nozzles, Automatic pick controller, double beam arrangement stop mark prevention system, Electronic Take-up, Electronic let-off, 32 bit microprocessor control with memory card functions, electronic dobby, Total computer system as an introduction to MIS (Management Information Systems). In Rapier weaving developments like SUMO MOTOR, Quick Step Filling Presenter, PSO (Prewinder Switch Off), PFL (Programmable Filling Lamellae), Stepper

motor , FDEI (Filling Detector at end of insertion, ELSY False selvedge device, and 32bit microprocessor. New Multiphase weaving technology would be discussed in brief. If our dream of enhancing number of shuttles machines in India is to be realized then the need of the day would be the proper awareness of developments in machines, a critical analysis of technology for selection of machines, a through understanding of the technology and suitable attitude for their operation, hence the first step, the developments in these machines would be discussed in brief. Introduction The weaving is a process of formation of fabric with interlacement of two or more sets of yarns using a stable machine called loom. Human beings have started using the woven fabrics since the drawn of history. If we exclude the Stone Age period, we may conveniently say the history of civilization is also, to some extent, the history of weaving. Aitken says there is evidence that the Egyptians made woven fabrics over 6000 years ago. Though primitive civilizations used coarser threads to make fabrics which were crude and coarse, there are references of fine fabrics made from filament of silk in China. Silk was one of the most important products in China 4000 years ago. In India too, there existed some of the finest hand woven fabrics. There are some references in Tamil literature, that the great poet, Thiruvalluvar was a hand loom weaver. Development of Handlooms It is still not certain when the weaving process was introduced to human society. It is clear from many historical records that weaving originated long before the time of Jesus Christ. Except few activities else where, the major developments in textile took place in England. In England the major shift from agriculture to woolen industry came in the 14th century. During all these years and a few hundred years after 14th century, the cloth was produced on hand-looms which were not equipped with fly shuttle. Prior to Industrial Revolution, a woven fabric was produced by at least two people employed on loom. In 1733, John Kay invented the fly shuttle which enabled weft to be inserted more rapidly. John Kay, a weaver, further incorporated a mechanism with which, a weaver could sit at the centre of the loom and merely pull the handle to make the shuttle move from one end of the fabric to insert a weft thread. As a result of increased weaving speed, the hand spinning method of yarn production could not meet the requirement of fly shuttle looms and subsequently the mechanical spinning also developed rapidly in Britain with Hargreave's spinning Jenny (1770), Ark Writh's spinning machine (1769) and cromption spinning mule (1779). The development of the mechanical spinning system induced further developments in the loom. Edmund Cart Wright, an English clergy man, invented a so called powerloom which could be operated from a single point by two strong men.

Development in Powerloom Earlier version of powerloom was run by two men. Fortunately steam power was available by 1765. Soon powerlooms were driven by steam and most of the wooden parts were replaced with iron. After the steam engine and cast iron in early 1800, great attention was paid to increasing productivity of the machine. To help achieve the increase in productivity, William Radeliffe patented a dressing frame in 1803 for sizing and drying the warp threads prior to winding on to a weavers beam. Fast development in the loom took place and by 1821 there were over 50,000 looms in operation in some 32 mills in the north of England. In just over 10 years from that date, the number had increased to some 1,00,000 and the basic loom had almost developed to the machine we know today. Also between 1819 and 1842 the average speed of the powerloom had increased from 60 to 140 picks per minute with the rise on productivity, as a result England became world's richest industrial power.

A loom from the 1890s with a dobby head.

Developments in Automatic Loom Traditional looms then were stopped every few minutes in order to replace the empty weft pirns or cop in the shuttle and this limited the number of looms, a weaver could operate to about four. James Northrop, an English man who emigrated to America and worked for the Draper Corporation, completed an automatic weft transfer system which replaced the weft pirn in the shuttle without slowing or stopping the loom in 1889. This mechanism enabled the weaver to tend 16 looms. The Northrop Automatic looms quickly came to use in America, so that by 1930, 90% of the American looms were automatic compared with only 5% in Britain.

Similar developments took place elsewhere also, Ruti, a major loom maker of Switzerland manufactured automatic bobbin changing Northrop loom in 1898. In Japan also, Toyoda, Sakamoto, Tsudakoma, etc also developed shuttle looms with automatic weft transfer. After World War II, more productivity and efficiency were essential to overcome increasing labor costs in Western countries. It was also realised that more productivity is the key to reducing manufacturing costs of the loom. All attempts were concentrated to studying various factors affecting speed of the loom and the loom with higher speed were made available. Limitations of Shuttle Looms Despite the relatively high speed and efficiencies in loom with conventional picking, productivity of these machines will continue to be limited as long as their fundamental constructions involved the use of shuttle propulsion. Vincent has shown that the power required for picking is proportional to the cube of the loom speed. If the loom speed is increased from 200 to 300 picks per minute, the power requirement would increase by a factor of (3/2)3 i.e. 3.4 times approximately. This results in following disadvantages 1. Greater strain imposed on the picking mechanism, thus rendering it liable to frequent failure. 2. Greater amount of noise and vibration. 3. Because of superior energy in shuttle, greater strain is again imposed on the checking mechanism. 4. The movement of shuttle will be more difficult to control and there will be a greater possibility of its ejection from the loom. The dynamic problems created by the picking and checking mechanism and the inherent process of pirn winding for shuttle looms had encouraged the loom makers to develop alternative means of weft insertion in which heavy shuttle is not projected forwards and backwards across the width of the loom. It is customary to refer these looms as shuttleless looms. The various shuttleless looms that have been developed over a period of about 50 years can be classified into various groups. * Projectile Looms * Rapier Looms * Fluid Jet Looms * Multiphase Looms

Projectile loom Multi phase Loom

Rapier Loom

Air Jet Loom

DEVELOPMENTS IN SHUTTLELESS MACHINES The emphasis on productivity and quality has developed the weaving technology very much and as a result the working hours required to weave fabric from loom have been reduced from about 20 to 0.25 during the last 125 years, and in the last 50 years there has been a reduction of 95% in operative hours per standard unit produced. Majority of the developments are taking place on the shuttleless looms in the following directions : 1. To increase productivity of the loom. 2. To make the looms more flexible for different kinds of fabric. 3. To reduce the down time for changing style, etc. 4. Application of electronic control mechanisms to increase automation 5. Development of accessories such as dobby, jacquards, etc. In addition to these, the newer looms are simple in design, the motions are more reliable, consumes less energy and have lower maintenance cost.

COMMON FEATURES IN ALL SHUTTLELESS MACHINES: Several essential features found common with all shuttleless machines are listed below                   Higher speed Wider width. Electronic take-up and let-off. Shedding systems- cam, dobby and jacquard (mechanical and electronic). Electronic monitoring of weft yarn flight. Electronic warp stop motion. Automatic pick finding. Quick style change. Microprocessor controls with digital display.

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Low noise and vibration. Tension free weft supply by weft accumulators. Microprocessor control lubrication system.

Production Rate of Various Types of Looms Weft Available width Speed in insertion in cm rpm Rate(picks per minute)

Loom Type Projectile Sulzer Ruti P7100 P7200 Rigid Rapier Dornier Flexible Rapier Somet Sulzer Ruti Air Jet Sulzer Ruti Picanol Omni Tsudakoma Dornier Linear Multiphase Elitex Drum type Multiphase Sulzer M8300 

190-540 190-540 150-400

320 430 460

1100-1200 1500 1000

165-410 110-280 up to 300 190-380 150-340 430

550 325 750 800 1000 600

1300 1200 1600 1800 2200 2520

About 190



190 170

3230 2430

6088(Plain) 4118(Twill)

DEVELOPMENTS IN PROJECTILE MACHINES 1) COLOUR SELECTION:               1 X 1, 2, 4 and 6 colours can be used in weft direction. The system is freely programmable and operated by servo controller. No limitations on feeder position shifting. This device keeps a uniform tension on weft. The braking force and the braking duration are programmable. Program can be given for each pick. The device is driven by stepper motor.


3) Pre-acceleration to weft yarn is given by compressed air, which relieves extra tension in weft while inserting. 4) K3 Synthetic projectile can be used for weaving of delicate yarns. 5) The no. of heald shafts operable by cam motion is extended to 14. 6) Speed has been increased upto 1400 mpm (470 rpm). Due to improvement in many related mechanisms. 7) LED display at signal pole for machine speed, projectile arrival machine stop, etc. which helps in monitoring of process. 8) Automatic weft brake repair motion enables shifting of feed package to a reserved one in the event of weft break between package and accumulator, no stopping of machine which increases the machine efficiency. DEVLOPMENTS IN AIRJET WEAVING The Air jet weaving machine continues to dominate as the machines of very high speeds. Today, practically (an Indian condition) at 1200 rpm the machine works or wider machine can attain a WIR of 2500 mpm. The system had the disadvantage of higher energy consumption due to the usage of compressed air in picking which accounts for 60% of total energy consumption. time, angle of

The machine makers claim a reduction in energy by about 10% (Sulzer, Somet ) in their latest models. The developments in picking related systems have helped in expanding the horizon of weft material and count. The yarn colour selection upto 6 or 8 beyond which demand is very rare. That means, the major limitations of the system are being attended and scope for applicability has been increasing. LATEST DEVELOPMENTS:   Modification In Weft Insertion System: The multi nozzles are divided into two zones and connected directly with separate tanks. The weft yarn requires higher pressure at later part of its flight, and this separation has helped greatly in optimization of pressure in duration of Jet opening. o o The weft insertion, based on a precise electronic control that includes ATC (automatic timing control), also uses newly developed nozzles, which guarantees optimum weft insertion conditions. o o Independent pressure tanks make it possible to set weft insertion pressures at optimal levels, this makes a significant contribution to energy conservation. o o All settings regarding picking is done by microprocessor keyboard, which reduces machine down time.   Tandem Nozzles: In tandem nozzles, the two main nozzles are arranged in series so called tandem nozzles. Advantages: a. a. b. b. c. c. d. d. It reduces the nozzle pressure Saving in energy Also use of wider weft count range. Low pressure weft insertion to occur, making effective for super

high-speed operation accommodating yarns with low breaking strength. e. e.

 

Tapered Sub-Nozzles: It consists of a tapered hole to prevent air dispersion.

Advantages: a. a. b. b. c. c.   It enables stable weft insertion with lower air volumes. It stabilizes air injection angles during weft insertion. The weft insertion is more stable and requires less air.

Tapered Tunnel Reed: A tapered shape has also been applied to the tunnel selection of reed blade.

Advantages: 1. 1. 2. 2.   It helps in preventing air dispersion. The weft insertion is more stable and requires less air. Electronic Braking System: One of the serious drawback of Airjet picking was tension peak in weft when brake is applied. The electronic braking system can precisely control braking time and brake stroke, which significantly reduces tension pick, thereby reduction in weft breaks.   Automatic Pick Controller: For smoother working, all machines have weft arrival time sensing and correction of pressure at nozzles but when package is changed from empty to full package, the arrival time will be delayed and this would be beyond the capacity of such a correction system. With APC (Automatic pick controller), this problem is attended.     It instantly corrects the main nozzle’s air pressure for timing control It adjusts automatically nozzle air jet pressure, which compensates for during full cheese changes. variations in the travel timing of weft yarn.

     

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS: Weft feeder threading is comparatively time consuming and, now the selfThe weft cutter is electronically controlled and operated by steeper motor

threading by pneumatic system is done. By this, cutter can easily adapt to any cutting time to the accuracy of 1°. Style changing time is saved.   with the help of mechanopneumatic tucking device can hold the weft at both selvedges firmly during beating and then tuck-in. this eliminates auxiliary selvedge and weft waste is zero. The system can work upto 850 rpm.     almost every machine manufacturer supplies positive easing motion for There is a new shedding concept introduced, in which the heald shaft is maintaining constant tension during shedding and beating. directly controlled by Servo Motor. Thus the total motion of heald shaft can be independently programmed. DEVELOPMENTS IN RAPIER WEAVING: The Rapier machines are emerging as weaving machines of the future. They are not far off from Airjet in production (Speed) rate (up to 1500mpm or 600 to 800 rpm) without scarifying their special status of flexibility. They have been making inroads to heavy fabrics (900 gsm) and also shedding off the known drawback of higher weft waste. SPECIAL DEVELOPMENTS: The design improvement in Rapier gripper permits handling wide range of yarns without any need for changes. The machine owes its speed, flexibility and low energy consumption to a combination of high technology and economic design. Style changes can be executed ‘Exceptionally rapidly’. Having independent motor drives, this yielded fewer moving parts, fewer gears, fewer oil seals and no timing belts i.e. there are fewer elements to

influence fabric quality, less need for resetting and reduce maintenance. There are no toothed belts, which are prone to wear, and breakage. SUMO MOTOR           saving on energy consumption of more than 10% in comparison with Machine speed setting is done accurately and completely, electronically via Speed setting is easy to copy to other machine either with electronic set Automatic pick finding becomes faster, which significantly reduces the The machine can always work at optimum weaving speed in function of conventional clutch and brake configuration. the keyboard of microprocessor. This reduces the setting time to zero. card or with production computer with bi-directional communication. down times for repairing filling and warp breakages. quality of the yarn, the number of frames, and fabric construction. PFL (Programmable Filling Lamellae): It controls the filling brake ensures a current yarn tensions at any time during insertion cycle. The PFL can be installed for each channel between the prewinder and entry of fixed main nozzle. It has been designed to slow down the filling at the end of insertion. The PFL thus significantly reduces the peak tension of the pick at the end of the insertion and decrease the tendency of pick to bounce back in the shed. As a result of which the filling tip is stretched correctly.  FEATURES:                Lower peak tension in filling yarn. Reduced tendency of filling to bounce back. Inserted pick can be stretched more easily. Adjustments are done by means of machine keyboard and display. The settings can be adopted for each filling yarn. Fewer filling breaks. Fewer machine stops.


       

Better fabric quality. Higher productivity of machine and staff. Weaker filling yarn can be used. Correct setting of filling waste length and consequently less waste.

QSC (Quick Style Change): -

With quick style change just one person can carry out a style change in less than 30min. This is achieved by swapping the whole back part of split frame, with the warp beam, the back rest and the supports, the warp stop motion the harness and the reed. Additionally this unique system makes it possible to carry out all article related settings on the warp side outside the weaving shed, before the style change, QSC not only reduce labor requirement but also result in efficient planning of warp and style changes. The key to the operation is the split frame design, several extra modules and warpy modules transporter are also required.  FEATURES:         Reduce machine down time. Interference losses due to simultaneous stops are practically non-existent. Fewer personal required for warp and article changes in weave room. Warp changes can be replaced by style changes, enabling the load on the

tying and drawing-in equipment to be balanced instead of having two bottlenecks. QUICK STEP FILLING PRESENTER: The filling can be presented at low tension, which avoids unnecessary filling breakages. The quick step-filling presenter operates with independent modules. Each consists of electronically controlled stepper motor with presenter needle and the system

handles up to 8 colours. The weaver can enter colour pattern through microprocessor keyboard or at jacquard control unit.  ADVANTAGES:   It is monitored by weaving machine microprocessor so timing for presenting for filling yarn is perfectly synchronized with machine speed and weave pattern.       The course of filling yarn is low and remains constant. The filling presenter also provides ideal position for re threading. The modules of quickstep are interchangeable.

ELSY (False Selvedge Device): The unique ELSY full leno false selvedge motion is electronically driven by individual stepper motor. They are mounted in front of harness so all harness remain available for fabric pattern. This only Rapier machine that allows selvedge crossing to be programmed on microprocessor independently of shed crossing even while machine is in operation. So result of resetting can be checked immediately. The easiest position of rethreading can be set by a simple push button. When machine starts, the selvedge system automatically comes to original position. PSO (Prewinder Switch Off): PSO is the system by which the machine does not stop immediately after a bobbin breakage, but continues to weave, until the weaver is available to repair breakage. The weaver is informed by flashing orange light that the machine carries PSO action. Consequently the waiting period for intervation of weaver reduced to zero, weaver can decide himself when breakage must be repaired, for this Piezo-Electric filling detector is used. ELECTRONIC TAKE-UP AND LET-OFF MOTION: It plays important role. Required pick density can be programmed on microprocessor keyboard. No pick wheel required. The accuracy of settings make it easy

to adjust pick density of fabric with optimum fabric weight and minimum yarn consumptions. By ETU make it possible to weave fabric having various pick densities. The electronic link between let-off and take-up is an additional tool to manage the fabric marks. Warp beam driven by electric let off motion through separate drive wheel that stays on loom, ensures trouble free operation of let-off system and improve fabric quality. FDEI (Filling Detection At The End Of Insertion): When weaving ‘lively’ yarns, use FDEI system. It checks the presence of filling at the end of insertion. The system detects short picks, rebounding fillings and prevent faults in fabric at right end. At filling breaks, the machine stops and only the harness are moved automatically to free the broken pick for removal of weaver. It is outstanding since automatic pick finder is not driven by separate motor but monitored by hydraulic system. In this way a two speed slow motion become a standard luxury to the weaver. The transfer position of filling yarn in center of fabric is always correct even after changing the cloth for new style. MULTIPHASE WEAVING MACHINE: The Sulzer Ruti M8300 Multiphase weaving machine has introduced a new concept to the principle of multiphase weaving. The phase wise shed formation is along the warp direction instead of weft direction and 4 weft yarns are inserted simultaneously. FEATURES:   Shed Formation: -

The warp yarns pass over rotating weaving rotor and shed forming elements select and lift warp yarn for shed formation. The curve shape of the elements, rotation of rotor and movement of warp positioners help in selection and formation of shed by controlling the motion of warp positioner. The weave selection is made possible.  Weft insertion: -

The channel in the shed forming elements guide in insertion of weft. The weft is inserted by nozzles are similar to Airjet weaving. Additional nozzles between shed forming elements further support the weft. Four wefts are inserted at a time. The weft measuring, clamping, cutting, sensing and controlling are similar to air jet machines.   Beat-Up: The combs located behind shed forming element perform the function of conventional reed. The lower shed, which rises after insertion of weft, lift the weft out of channel over the entire weaving width. The beat-up comb then catches the weft and beats up. The modular design concept adopted has helped to change warp beam within 20 min. the warp beams up to 1600mm diameter can be used. The inclusion of batching motion for cloth winding has reduced change intervals. Many machines are in operations since 1997- 98 and this might be the machine for mass production in future. CONCLUSION: Many times in the past it was argued that projectile and Rapier systems have attained maximum speed limit. However, these machines continue to enhance the speed limit and are not far behind Airjet machines. Most of the developments are in the area of attaining better fabric quality, gentle treatment to warp and weft and reduced breakages. Another interesting trend is in the type of selvedge formation and waste reduction. Weft waste has been reduced to zero even in Rapier and Airjet machines. The future trend in developments would, probably, be in similar lines. However, one cannot rule out some surprising, thrilling innovations like Sulzer M8300 type multiphase weaving machines.