Economical, flexible and compact – this is the motto with which Oerlikon Neumag showcased the Staple FORCE S 1100 at the ITMA Asia + CITME 2018. The staple fiber system excels at two things in particular: it produces small batches (up to 15 tons per day) and can be swiftly reconfigured for various requirements, including polymer, dye and titer changes. Its process control system for easy operation is absolutely unique. And all this for a modest initial investment.
Large-scale staple fiber systems are only conditionally suitable for manufacturing smaller volumes of fibers. This is because frequent stopping and restarting of the system in order to switch raw materials and operating parameters results in expensive downtimes and high wastage. Nevertheless, small batch manufacturing is in demand – for instance, in the case of staple fiber products with changing fashion colors or various titers. And new fiber materials are initially tested and launched in small volumes. “For this reason, manufacturers already producing staple fibers in large volumes are also interested in additional systems for smaller flexible production”, reports Stefan Schäfer, Sales Director Staple Fiber at Oerlikon Neumag.
The Staple FORCE S 1100 fulfills these requirements and also offers a special highlight: its innovative process control system. Operators are able to steer the system using just five buttons – ‘stop’, ‘back’, ‘next’, ‘pause’ and ‘acknowledge’, ensuring that operating errors are virtually ruled out. Parameters for the various operating modes are preset to ensure easy start-up. To this end, the operator now only needs to jump from one operating mode to the next using the control unit. And the process parameters for the various fibers manufactured are also stored as a recipe, allowing operators to access them at any time without reentry. This results in a fiber quality that can be reproduced more accurately.
The Staple FORCE S 1100 is a one-step plant, which spins, draws, crimps, cuts and bales in a single process step. Here, the fiber tow is drawn using godets in a high-speed process. Sets of godets positioned above each other form a stretch duo with its own hood. This simultaneously provides several benefits: each duo has its own temperature zone under the hood. To this end, the temperatures remain more constant, with no drop-in temperature between the two godets of each duo. Furthermore, the hoods act as steam chests, hence dispensing with the water and steam baths used for steaming the fiber tow in the conventional process. This ultimately also reduces energy costs.
Those investing in the system with its relatively low procurement costs benefit from the simple system commissioning: it is delivered as modular, preinstalled components and a spinning beam with integrated, low-maintenance HTM (Heat Transfer Medium) system. This means that an external boiler with all the corresponding pipes is no longer necessary, dispensing with expensive, time-consuming welding. The installed Staple FORCE S 1100 is 30 meters long, 12 meters wide and manufactures up to 15 tons of staple fibers of extremely even quality a day.