Sustainability is one of the vanguards of textile machinery innovations for the dyeing and finishing sector. The industry currently is resolutely focused on reductions in energy, chemicals and water use. The sector is also working on Industry 4.0 solutions and intelligent machine controls. This article will look at just some of the latest sustainable technologies available for dyeing and finishing.
Although digital textile printing technologies are progressing at a quick pace for decorative fabrics, England-based Alchemie Technology Ltd. is using digital printheads to color fabrics in a different way. A newcomer to the dyeing industry, Alchemie recently debuted its Endeavour Waterless Smart Dyeing process — a digital, on-demand textile dyeing process for polyester fabrics.
Alchemie reports it is trying to solve pollution issues, reduce costs and increase flexibility in the dyeing process.
imogo AB is another Sweden-based newcomer to the dyeing industry with its Dye-Max spray dyeing technology.
Imogo reports shows that the Dye-Max reduces the use of freshwater, wastewater, energy and chemicals by as much as 90 percent compared to conventional jet-dyeing systems. These savings are attained with a tremendously low liquor ratio of 0.3 to 0.8 liters per kilogram of fabric and by using a series of spray cassettes located in a closed chamber.
Precision nozzles in the cassettes accurately and consistently apply the dye in conjunction with the patented imogo pro speed valve that controls the volume of dye that is applied.
The Netherlands-based DyeCoo Textile Systems BV offers a patented waterless dyeing technology that uses reclaimed carbon dioxide (CO2) from its closed-loop system as the dyeing medium instead of water. The CO2 is pressurized into a supercritical form, which has high solvent power and can easily dissolve the dye.
Italy-based Karl Mayer Rotal S.r.l., a subsidiary of Germany-based Karl Mayer GmbH & Co. KG, recently launched Greendye® indigo dyeing technology. The development dyes the yarns in a nitrogen atmosphere, which reduces the environmental impact of indigo dyeing by limiting the number of baths required and chemicals needed.
China-based CHTC Fong’s International is a group of textile companies — Fong’s National Engineering Co. Ltd., A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG, Monforts Fong’s Textile Textile Machinery Co. Ltd. and Fong’s Europe GmbH — focused on textile dyeing and finishing machinery.
- Monforts Textilmaschinen from Germany had many innovations to share at ITMA 2019. Two that were of great interest to customers included the MonforClean exhaust air treatment system and the CYD [continuous yarn dyeing] multicolor yarn dyeing system.
The MonforClean module is incorporated into its Montex tenter frame, which simplifies the configuration and supporting structures typically required to process the exhaust air to adhere to emissions limits.
Fong’s Europe GmbH’s Germany-based Goller recently introduced the Knit Merc, a machine designed for dry-on-wet mercerization of cotton and cellulosic fiber knitted fabrics using the lowest possible tension with less than 3-percent variation in dimensional stability.
According to the company, Knit Merc can accommodate 8.4 meters of fabric in its impregnation compartment as well as 4 meters in the first chain section. Total production speed is 25 m/min at 30 seconds dipping time.
Then recently introduced the THEN Supratec LTM hydraulic long-tube dyeing machine and the Smartflow TSF hydraulic high-temperature dyeing machine.
The angle of the Then Flexkier featured on the Supratex LTM can be varied to accommodate either dry/jet or wet/overflow modes. This allows the dye liquor ratio to be optimized from 1:15 to 1:4 depending on the material processed. The Supratec LTM can handle woven and knitted fabrics in weights ranging from 25 to 380 grams per linear meter.
The low lifting height between the variable nozzle and plaited fabric means the fabrics are handled under very low tension. Each kier has a capacity of up to 230 kilograms (kg), and operating speeds range from 80 to 600 m/min.
The Smartflow TSF high-temperature dyeing machine was designed to achieve low energy and water consumption rates compared to other jet dyeing machines. According to the company, for a full load of up to 300 kg, liquor ratios of 1:3.5 for cotton and 1:2.5 for man-made fabrics may be achieved.
The fabric transport design is just one feature of the machine that is patent-pending. Then reports this winchless fabric transport system eliminates the need for a loading rope, and a circular plaiter with programmable rotation speeds offers full filling of the drop zone.
Germany-based Xorella offers conditioning and heat setting equipment for textiles. The latest company development is a reengineered controller and software. The company reports the latest generation offerings were designed with easy operation by less skilled personnel in mind.
Germany-based Brückner Trockentechnik GmbH & Co. KG offers drying, coating and finishing machines for fabric, nonwovens, carpet and glass. In recent years, the company has heavily invested in digitization and Industry 4.0 technologies to increase productivity, improve quality and reduce resource use.
The company also has invested heavily in developments for the denim sector. The Brückner Sanfor line POWER-SHRINK is particularly useful in denim finishing. The process compacts and stabilizes woven fabrics at speeds of up to 100 m/min, while imparting a shine and soft hand to the fabric.
Germany-based Thies GmbH & Co. KG has introduced a new generation of T390 controllers for Industry 4.0 applications and interfacing appropriate MES systems. The latest version of the company’s Maintenance Manager Software features the Condition Monitoring module.
The soft-TRD SIII, the third generation of Thies’ universal dyeing machine, offers liquor ratios starting at 1:5 and is designed to run fabrics sensitive to processing — including wovens, knits and nonwovens — in a gentle manner.
The new Benninger Küsters Multipad unit comes with an optional double impregnation feature that makes it suitable for both very lightweight knitwear and heavy denim and other fabrics in between.
Austria-based J. Zimmer Maschinenbau GmbH’s (Zimmer Austria’s) Magnoroll is a multipurpose coating machine that offers endless possibilities through the use of exchangeable modules. Liquids, pastes, lacquers and foams can be applied to a variety of substrates including traditional textiles, nonwovens, carpets, foils, glass, plastics. The Magnoroll can be modified for each customer depending on their coating needs.
Process automation equipment manufacturer Baldwin Technology Co. Inc., St. Louis, introduced the TexCoat 4G last year. This non-contact spray application system — which has its origins in a 35-year-old spray system used in the paper industry — can apply a variety of chemistries in a precise manner to either one or both, sides of the fabric at the same time.
Brands have taken notice of the sustainability and eco-friendly nature of the technology coupled with its flexibility. Baldwin recently completed several installations of the TexCoat in the United States.
The dyeing and finishing industry continues to make strides in developing technologies that make the processes more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Innovation in the sector is continuous and adoption of these technologies will create a more sustainable global textile industry.