Automation in Textile Manufacturing Process

Automation in Textile:
In most sectors of textile manufacturing process, automation is one of the major key to quality improvement and cost competitiveness. Early modernization and technical developments in textiles concentrated on the automation of textile machines and their processes. Now automation has taken place in all the processes involving textile manufacture i.e. cotton picking, ginning, spinning, weaving, and processing and even to some extent in garment making, resulting in enormous gains in productivity and efficiency. Some of the changes that have come about in textile industry are recapitulated below.

Automation in Fiber Manufacturing:

Now a days automation is widely used in fiber manufacturing system. In case of increasing emphasis on product uniformity and adherence to quality standards continues to require fiber diameter monitoring, temperature and tension control, and monitoring of the solution properties of the polymer. These requirements are especially critical in micro-denier fiber extrusion, a process that produces fibers and eventually fabrics of truly different properties.

Automation in Yarn Manufacturing/Spinning:

Cotton picking, earlier a fully manual process, has been automated in most parts of this world. Ginning too has been automated to a great extent. A cotton fiber test that used to take hours to perform 20 years ago can now be done in a matter of seconds using the HVI system. This process has been achieved through constant innovation and updated automation in the plant capacities. They are pointed out below:

1. Yarn forming process has seen advancements and automation by introduction of newer methods of spinning apart from ring spinning like open-end spinning, airjet spinning and Murata Vortex System(MVS)

2. Cotton mixing in blow room has been automated so that cotton from several bales can be drawn and mixed together, forming a more homogeneous mixing of cotton, thus reducing batch to batch variation in cotton spun yarn lots.

3. Carding machines using chute feed systems, auto levelers for improvement in quality or productivity and reduced handling have helped in increasing evenness in the yarn.

4. Autoconers with splicing and yarn fault detection have been devised to obtain yarns with lower unevenness and better quality.
Automation in spinning
5. The ring spindle speeds have gone upto 20,000 and high-speed rotors upto 1,00,000 rpm are available. Today, spinning machines can produce yarns upto 20 times faster than what they used to produce 20years ago.

Automation in Weaving/Fabric Manufacturing:

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, superior quality etc.

Weaving and knitting machine builders have been leading the way in utilising computer technology in textile manufacturing for many years with their use of CAD, bi-directional communication and artificial intelligence. With the availability of electronic dobby and jacquard heads, automatic pick finding, and needle selection, etc these machines are the most easily integrated into computer networks of any production machines. Automated process includes 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.

Automation in Dyeing and Printing:
The very important area for Automation is the dyeing process, because it involves lot of minute parameters which are very critical. Even in milligrams variation of recipe can change the shade of the fabric. All the parameters for dyeing like temperature, pressure,water level, water flow, circulation and time of treatment are most important. Automation of the dyeing process can improve the productivity by controlling the above parameters very accurately.

Automation in textile dyeing and printing means one or more (or all) of the following steps:
  1. Programmable process control (by microprocessors) of the machinery;
  2. Dissolving and dispensing of the dyes, pigments and chemicals in a central colour kitchen;
  3. Computer-controlled weighing of solid material with automatic stock control and the printing of recipe and process cards;
  4. Colormeasurement, computerized color matching;
  5. Central computer (network), computerized management system
Automation in Textile Finishing:
Automation in textile finishing industry is not a new concept, but it is being modern day by day. The textile factory is characterized by a considerable fragmentation of the production cycle into a number of segments specialized in the production processing of different fibers/yarns.

Modern automation technologies for textile finishing based on electrical and electronics, computer programmability and smart systems show great potential for textile applications and currently aim to the achievement of important objectives such as flexibility and quality, according to three reliable paths:
  1. The automated standardization of components
  2. The automated compatibility of systems
  3. The popularity of personal computers in case of textile finishing.
Here are the finishing segments most affected by technological development:
  1. Color analysis
  2. Process control
  3. Production control systems
  4. Color kitchen
  5. Automated inventory control systems
  6. Transport and robotized systems
  7. Machine control systems
Advantages of Automation in Textile:
Automation plays a very more important role than just to reduce the labour costs. Our most important aspect is to reduce the manual bobbin handling and their related problems. Thus we help you to get a higher product quality. Automated Handling Systems (AHS) offers you the following advantages:
  1. A complete automation process from production to shipping.
  2. A complete reduction of manual bobbin handling, which results in a substantive direct improvement of product quality.
  3. A secure and efficient material/product flow through the compact system configuration.
  4. A big reduction of labour costs which results into quick return of investment ( less than 3 years payback time ).
  5. Better room utilisation due to smart and space saving automation and handling systems
  6. A clean, proper and efficient production environment.
  7. A complete PLC controlled workflow grants real time –control, comprehensive data management and the possibility to look and call for synchronous manufacturing production data through human machine interfaces for integration into an overhead PPS system.
  8. The possibility to overlook and follow up the production from the beginning to the end leads into quality improvement. And the customer service.
  9. High efficient packing processes.
  10. And last but not least a safe and ergonomic workflow .
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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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