Automation in Weaving Process | Why is Automation Important in the Weaving Sector?

Automation in Weaving:
Weaving technology has seen advancements, automatic shuttle looms and automatic shuttle-less looms (e.g., Methods of holding the yarn such as rapier and the gripper) with advantages of higher productivity, to water jet and air jet looms that use water or pressurized air to transport the yarn with multiple color weft insertion. Weaving and knitting machine builders have been leading the way in utilizing computer technology in textile manufacturing for many years with their use of CAD, bi-directional communication and artificial intelligence. A CAD system can be used to develop the fabric to be produced and the design can then be transmitted over the network to the production machines to produce the desired fabric. Now, the design instructions can even be sent by modem from one country to a weaving machine located anywhere else in the world. 
Automation in Weaving
Sizing machine control systems provide a tool for management to insure that all warps are sized identically under standard operating conditions. These monitoring and control capabilities can be included in a computer network of a weaving mill. For years knitting machine manufacturers have been making excellent use of electronics to provide machines that are more automatic and versatile and many refinements of these advances have been made. These automatic machines are already 'islands of automation' that can be incorporated into a CIM network. Automated weaving plants are on the drawing boards. None is yet in operation but should be a reality within a few years. The six production steps winding, warping, sizing, weaving inspection and packing include 16 points of automation. Of these, 12 deal with materials handling or transport. Only four applications deal with automating the machine operations themselves. This includes automated process control on the slasher and the weaving functions of (1) Automatic Pick Repair (2) Automated Warp breakage Locator and (3) Computerized Machine Control. Manual assistance is still required for beam replacement and repair of warp breaks.

Implementation of electronic control such as computer control in automatic looms has simplified operations as only the conditions such as yarn type and weave, width need to be input in order for the optimum operations to be performed.

Automation has resulted in control of machines electronically from user friendly interfaces, produce intricate jacquard fabrics at the speed of commodity fabrics, inspect fabrics on loom, use optical and laser detection of warp break, reduce downtime due to higher levels of automation and quick style and warp beam change. The machine speed upto 1000 rpm is possible, 5 to 10 times faster than 20 years ago.

Why is Automation Important in the Weaving Sector? 
Global competition ensures that only the fittest survive. Today's weaver needs to ensure that he/she is able to manufacture and supply the finest quality of fabric, at the lowest cost, in the shortest possible time-frame. Automation is the only option which will allow the weaver to attain this objective.

Author of This Article:
S. M. Hossen Uzzal 
B.Sc. in Textile Technology 
Monno Fabrics Ltd. Manikgonj 
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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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