“Italy Trip” William Oxenham
While Marzoli manufacture a full range of cotton spinning machinery, the major news out of this company is their entry into the “compact” spinning arena. The use of modifications in ring spinning to produce yarns which have a more compact structure has been pioneered by Rieter with their Com4 system (originally introduced as Compact yarns and based on a concept from Fehrer). Others manufacturers have introduced machines with, Zinser and Suessen exhibiting at ITMA 99 and Marzoli showing a static prototype at ATME. The Marzoli Olfil System (Figure 1)
Figure 1 - Marzoli Olfil Spinning System
can be retrofitted to their existing machines and consists of an extra zone after the normal front rollers of the drafting system. Upon leaving the drafting system the strand is supported on a perforated apron before passing through an extra front roller, which is belt driven by the drafting roller. In this additional condensing zone there is suction through the perforated belt which creates tension in the fibers and results in a “tighter” resultant yarn structure.
The benefits that can be achieved are 15-20% reduction in hairiness and 10% increase in tenacity. Marzoli are promoting the Olfil for processing cotton and particularly finer counts (24-80 Ne) for combed fibers. They indicate that there are problems with coarser yarns and short fibers and higher trash levels have a big impact on productivity. Additionally it was reported that the system is sensitive to temperature and humidity and sticky cotton is particularly problematic. The system is being marketed as an approach to improving yarn quality rather than higher productivity but this comes at a price. It was estimated the Olfil equipped machine would be 50% higher than a standard machine and the yarn would be 10% more expensive.
A visit to Giemme Filati was coordinated by Savio and this enabled not only a discussion of Suessen’s developments but also to have input from Giovanni Muratori, President of G. Filati. Filati is a modern spinning plant with 10,000 spindles for cotton yarns plus 3 machines for core spun elastomeric yarns, all machines being equipped with Savio link winding. The company not only spun but also had facilities for twisting, singeing, mercerizing and dyeing (6800 pounds per day for socks and high quality underwear). An additional spinning mill in Paraguay is also owned by the company. A major concern for the company is the competition from imported yarns and it was claimed that the conversion costs for a 30’s Ne yarn was $3.40/kg (including fiber) whereas similar yarn could be imported from India for $2.00/kg. To offset this variation in pricing Filati not only spun 16,000 pounds per day (average 16’s Ne) but also “finished” 20,000 pounds of yarn sourced from India, Russia and Egypt (40s – 80s Ne).
Savio have had recent success in the US with sales of winding machines and also have installations of rotor spinning and Volufil bulking units for acrylic yarns. They indicated that they had decided not to compete for 2/1 twisting machines since this was not viewed as a viable market. The Italian textile industry has seen a major downturn and 90% of Savio machinery is exported, with the largest market presently being Turkey. Three developments were highlighted and these were:
Figure 2 - Savio
Novara are, along with Cognetex and Seydel, part
of the Finlane group. Sant’ Andrea has been a significant player
in the manufacture of machines for long staple processing and in particular
for the processing of fine wools. Their major markets are currently China,
Turkey, Italy, Mexico and Iran and the group claim to be the biggest
manufacturer of long staple processing machinery. While Sant’ Andrea
do not manufacture spinning frames their partners Cognetex offer a range
of machines and thus the group can provide turnkey operations. The major
developments presented by Sant’ Andrea were:
version. The use of a double rubbing field (Figure 3) not increases (double) the amount of rubbing at a particular running speed, and thus the rubbing section can potentially run at a lower oscillation rate to maintain an acceptable compaction of the roving. An additional benefit of this set up is that the second rubbing zone can reinforce the “dead centers” that occur at the reversal of the rubbing aprons, which are present when only one apron set is used.
Figure 3 - Sant’ Andrea Rubbing Finisher
Cognetex is a sister company of Sant’ Andrea, that currently has about 45% of the world market for long staple ring frames, with Turkey accounting for about 50% of sales. Their major focus has recently been the development of a compact spinning system for worsted spinning. The so called Com4Wool system is the result of significant development based around Rieter’s Com4 system (for cotton fibers). The major changes made are to accommodate much longer fibers and this is achieved by utilizing angled balloon rollers
Figure 4 - Cognetex Com4Wool
the front rollers in the compacting zone (Figure 4).
The “usual” benefits for compact yarn are made for
this system - improved hairiness, regularity, strength, elongation,
resistance, however the claimed advantages are associated with the
impact of these in subsequent processing. One particular claim
is that it may
be possible to replace a normal folded wrap yarns with a single Com4Wool
yarns. The system is incorporated into a machine using suppressed spinning
balloons (termed BC – ballon controllato) and these
are claimed to work well in conjunction with the compact drafting unit.
An additional “cover” termed
the “air conveyor” may be used for certain fiber types
and this was recommended for use when processing cashmere but claimed
be unnecessary for wool.
Table 1 – Yarn Properties for Com4Wool (Nm64 – 680 turns/m; 18.8 micron wool)
This system seems to have much to favor its adoption however there are some concerns that need to be addressed. The advantages claimed for winding, weaving and finishing still need to be substantiated. The cost structure of compact spinning presents a challenge and, like the Olfil system above, the Com4Wool machine is significantly more expensive than the non-compact equivalent. Because of the high development costs the Com4Wool will be 100% more expensive than non-compact and this will translate into yarn prices being 15-20% more expensive. An additional feature is that when processing wool maintenance may be higher and it was explained that the inserts in the sieve rollers need to be removed and cleaned every two weeks. Apart from the arguable costing and claimed yarn benefits there is still the fundamental question “do customers want more compact wool yarns?”. Past systems such as SiroSpun also produced stronger, less hairy and leaner yarns, which were weavable as “singles”, but these result in different fabric characteristics in a market that is extremely conservative. There thus may be difficulty marketing this system unless the customers can be persuaded of the advantages, or if niche markets can be established.
U.T.I.T. Wagner Automation is a company that was exclusively linked to Marzoli until 1998. They presently work either directly with the customer or through a machinery maker. They offer many forms of material handling for different areas of the textile industry and are particularly well known in staple spinning. The systems they offer include:
UTIT operate as a design and assembly company, since they source parts
and components then apply minor modifications to ensure a unified system.
They have several installations operating in the USA, particularly can
and roving transport, and yarn package handling systems. In the latter
systems output from up to 23 machines can be accommodated and the set-up
includes automatic package assessment for diameter, weight, conicity
and yarn tail. It is possible to handle different yarns from the different
spinning machines, which are feeding the system, and research is underway
to track the spinning position that is producing any defect detected
by the package inspection system.
Figure 6 – Gualchierani package labeling
The company is proud to explain that the project planning, research, construction and installation are all carried out in house. It was indicated that the major sale for the company are Czech Republic, Turkey, China, India and South America. The prospect of sales into the Italian industry was viewed as “bad” and the US as “very bad”.
It was interesting that the visit included companies representing
different aspects of staple spinning including but that there were also
similarities. UTIT and Gualchierani are both engaged in automation and
must be viewed as competitors. Their approach to the business id however
different with Gualchierani carrying out most functions within the company,
whereas UTIT sources most of the components and assemble these into a
designed system. Both Marzoli and Cognetex pin a lot of hopes on the
success of Compact spinning and while they are competing in different
markets they accept that the whole arena of ring spinning is somewhat
in turmoil with low priced machinery being made in China. The ultimate
acceptance of new fabrics, and higher cost yarns, could play a significant
role in the future of these companies. While there are many differences
in the companies there was a generally agreed impression that the textile
industry in Western Europe and the USA was not likely to be making significant
investment in new machinery. Sales were being made to Eastern Europe,
Turkey and the Middle East, and China was the focus of sales and collaborative
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