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I N T E R N A T I O N A L SINCE 1986

Fiber Journal


APRIL 2009

Oerlikon Neumag Offers Solution for Carded Nonwovens Special Recycling Reports: Extensive Review of Latest Recycling Technologies

New Process Yields Ultra-High Tenacity/ModulusFibers

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Oerlikon Neumag One Step Ahead –

Solutions for Carded Nonwovens BY KEN NORBERG, EDITOR

Part of Oerlikon Neumag's carding workforce in "their" Carding Competence Center in Linz.

ith the establishment of its Carding Division, Oerlikon Neumag has demonstrated that its objectives are not limited to the acquisition and integration of a number of traditional brands. Indeed, at a variety of levels the company is working on the further development of individual processes, which are then combined to form intelligent and function-oriented, overall solutions for the production of carded nonwovens. Seven years ago, no one could have predicted that today Oerlikon Neumag would number among the world’s leading suppliers of machines


and lines for the production of nonwovens. Indeed, Oerlikon Neumag is now the only supplier in the market to offer solutions and technologies for spunmelt, airlaid and carding, which constitutes the three most important nonwoven production processes. Activities relating to machines and lines for the production of nonwovens from staple fibers are concentrated in the so-called Carding Division, which has emerged from the highly traditional Fehrer, FOR, Octir and Autefa brands purchased by Oerlikon Neumag in 2004 and 2005, and integrated into the Nonwoven Business Area.

NEW MODULAR CARD DESIGN The northern Italian town of Biella is home to the FOR and OCTIR companies, two pioneers in the carding machine sector that both possess over a century of experience, and currently operate under the name Oerlikon Neumag Italy. In addition to fiber preparation machinery and lines, Oerlikon Neumag Italy manufactures nonwoven cards. Cards constitute one of the most important machines in the carding process, as they play a decisive role in determining the feed quality of the fiber web. Over the years, FOR and Octir have decisively influenced the carding machinery market with a diversity of innovative solutions. One example in this regard is the injection principle, which has proven highly effective worldwide in connection with high production speeds like those achieved with hydroentanglement bonding. A second innovation is the double doffer principle for the transfer between preand main carding, which is familiar under the name “Webmaster”. Nonetheless, the earlier cards from Octir and FOR still offered potential for improvement with regard to their mechanical engineering realization. Under Oerlikon Neumag this potential has been pinpointed and the design of the cards subjected a radical rethink and fundamental modifications. The result is function-oriented machines based on a modular design principle. Using new, systematic methods of design and modern know-how management, the existing model types were subdivided into functional modules and systematized with regard to their design and technological effect. The result was a study completed with the support of leading universities, which enabled the development of a

Reprinted with permission of International Fiber Journal

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COVER STORY machine concept, in which function and design enjoy a clearly defined direct relationship. The cards of today are thus divided into nine functional groups: • Feeding • Intake regulation • Drafting unit • Preliminary opening • Transfer • Main carding • Doffing cylinders • Web doffing FUNCTIONAL CARD MODULES Various standardized modules are available for each of the nine functional groups. The modules are combined in various functional units in line with the desired final application and performance. This results in numerous customer advantages: • Improved reproducibility: only proven modules are employed • Greater flexibility: module exchange permits modifications to a variety of applications • Scalability: settings are reproducible • Simplified setting and maintenance: new setting and maintenance solutions, e.g. “Easy Opening” for the simple opening of the setting points • Variable nonwoven structure: several takeoffs are available for the production of differing nonwoven structures CROSSLAPPING WITH WEBMAX Another decisive element in the nonwoven production process is laying. Autefa crosslappers, which are manufactured in Friedberg, have proven themselves in hundreds of production plants worldwide and number among the best machines on the market. The optimization of the web uniformity of the nonwoven profile is achieved by the Webmax profiling line, which is based on the targeted reduction of the thickness of the

FOR Injection Card ready for test runs in the Carding Competence Center.

nonwovens between the card and the crosslapper and the deposition of these thin areas near the web edges. The latest crosslapper drive technology enables the precise use of this control even at the highest laying speeds. In addition, web shrinkage during needling can be regulated by the automatic feedback of the web thickness measurement signals at the end of the process.

ENGINEERING CAPABILITIES The Linz location of the former Fehrer AG is not only responsible for the development and production of needle punching machines, but also forms the competence center for complete lines. This is because the takeover of leading companies from the nonwoven industry and the further development of individual technologies does not offer an automatic guarantee of the supply of

One of the core competences: Needle Punching

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Profile with WebMax: The concave weight profile on the delivery belt will be compensated again by the following bonding process.

Profile without WebMax: The classic weight distribution in a needled lapped web shows the typical higher weights in the edge areas.

successful complete lines. For this reason, a diversity of measures have been implemented, in order to not only supply customers with machines on a one-stop shopping basis, but also with optimized and matching components and processes. To this end, a separate engineering department has been created for the carding sector on the basis of the experience in the realization of large-scale projects gathered by Neumag, which 15 years ago started to expand its technical engineering competence in the field of fiber plants for the textile industry. This experience has now been systematically transferred to the nonwoven sector with the result that the current engineering range on offer is regarded as exemplary within the industry. In addition to detailed line and process design in accordance with customer requirements, these engineering capabilities include extensive contractual guarantees with regard to product quality and plant

performance and even encompass complete, turnkey plants. CARDING COMPETENCE CENTER In addition to specialist engineering, Linz is also home to a Carding Competence Center, which was opened in 2006 and contains a complete carding line for testing purposes. The carding line consists of fiber preparation, a FOR WM 2+2 card, an Autefa Topliner crosslappers with Webmax, two needle looms and a winder. With a working width of 3.5m, the laboratory line offers all the prerequisites needed for the emulation of commercial production conditions. Following the opening, the Carding Competence Center has been expanded in systematic fashion through the addition of an aerodynamic V21R – K12 card, a FOR injection card with EVO3 for high-speed processes, a structuring needle loom, and a needle loom for high-speed applications. This extensive range of equipment means than virtually every field of application can be

ered and apart from in-company development work, the Carding Competence Center specializes in customer demonstrations and trials. The presentation of quality data and production performance on the basis of individual customer settings and product specifications is one of the most important prerequisites for the provision of potential customers with sustained and convincing evidence of the performance capacity of Oerlikon Neumag products. However, the Carding Competence Center is only one element in the successful development work at the Linz location. In addition to further advances relating to the carding process as a whole, the Oerlikon Neumag Austria development department is also working on innovative needling technologies. DEVELOPING NEXT GENERATION A central focus in this regard is on a new and forward-looking generation of needle looms. Moreover, innovative solutions are being developed to assist customers with the optimization and improvement of their current production processes. One example in this connection is the simulation and optimization of needling structures. In cooperation with leading institutes in the field of simulation technology, an optimization of the needle distribution is possible, which accounts for all the process parameters of the actual process and thus ensures the targeted developed of customized needle distributions for various applications without the need for complicated testing. For the first time, this tool allows the targeted and rapid optimization of needlefelt structures according to individual customer specifications. Oerlikon Neumag will be represented at the Techtextil in Las Vegas with an information stand (no. 503), in order to present visitors with the latest developments in the field of IFJ nonwovens production. For more information contact: Oerlikon Neumag Zweigniederlassung der Oerlikon Textile GmbH & Co. KG Tel: 49 4321 305 888