Energy, raw materials and personnel – each of these resources costs money, is in short supply and therefore needs to be used economically and efficiently. The desire to minimise resource consumption has caused all sectors to rethink their priorities. Sustainability is in demand and the new target in the textile industry and elsewhere is: zero waste. With its E³ strategy, Saurer has been moving consistently in this direction for some years.
The target of zero waste in the winding process is realised by the Autoconer 6 more effectively than any other automatic winding machine. It consumes up to 20 % less energy than its predecessor, reduces yarn waste and saves on compressed air. The Autoconer 6 is the result of a development philosophy that began with the Autoconer 338 – the systematic reduction of resource consumption in each new model.
With its E³ concept, Schlafhorst consistently exploits potentials to achieve feasible savings. The key variables on the route to zero waste are: volume of yarn waste, energy consumption, compressed air consumption and personnel input. The E³ development philosophy of Saurer also has the aim of saving resources in downstream processes.
Zero yarn waste
Operating cycles in winding processes cause waste, which is particularly annoying as the waste material consists of valuable yarn. Schlafhorst has therefore reduced the number of cycles through a reliable yarn pick-up system, avoidance of tension breaks and economical yarn clearing that concentrates on the clearer cuts that are absolutely necessary. The suction nozzle of the new Autoconer 6 has been optimised to improve the yarn pick-up. In addition to the Autotense FX, each Autoconer now also has a TensionControl system to prevent tension breaks in the basic machine version. Separate, independent search of the upper and lower yarn end as well as the innovative SmartCycle system have made the cycle sequences much more intelligent and frugal. Thanks to the precision of the upper yarn sensor, which was first introduced in the Autoconer 338, cycle times are much shorter. The sensor ensures that the length of yarn removed is as short as possible, thereby reducing waste by up to 40 %. Over the roughly 20 years since its market launch, that adds up to several tonnes of yarn waste saved.
The second way of preventing yarn waste is to increase the precision of the length measurements. The Ecopack FX guarantees a length deviation of significantly less than ±0.5 %. It is no longer necessary to wind on reserve lengths. This means there are no longer any residual packages in downstream processes.
Residual bobbins in the winding process can be avoided with the Autotense FX yarn tension control system, which prevents yarn breaks and ensures that the yarn is efficiently unwound right down to the last metre of yarn.
The zero waste concept would not be complete without having the possibility of reusing valuable yarn residues, which can therefore be collected separately from dust in the Autoconer.
Schlafhorst always considers the complete textile process chain and has succeeded in preventing waste in downstream processing. With its FX technologies, in particular PreciFX, the Autoconer is able to produce packages that are optimally prepared for downstream processes. This does away with rewinding processes, e.g. during dyeing, that cause yarn loss.
Zero energy waste
When it comes to energy consumption, it is the drive system that offers the greatest potential for making savings. Schlafhorst has for years been a pioneer in the use of state-of-the-art motor and drive technologies and has continually improved the efficiency of the Autoconer. The direct drum drive of the Autoconer 338 and the introduction of single drives on the Autoconer 5 were important milestones on this path. In the new Autoconer 6, maximum performance efficiency is ensured thanks to the Eco-Drum-Drive system, high-slide energy-saving bearings and motors that meet the IE3 standard.
Vacuum production is another important factor in the energy budget of a winding machine. In the earlier Autoconer 338, the sensor control system reduced energy consumption. Thanks to SmartCycle, SmartJet and the intelligent “Power on Demand” principle, the Autoconer 6 works with a significantly lower vacuum requirement than other automatic winding machines, while maintaining maximum process stability.
Progressively shorter cycle times have reduced the energy consumption of successive Autoconer generations.
The most effective way of achieving savings, though, is to eliminate energy consumption entirely by doing away with complete process steps. Thanks to the process-optimised package design enabled by PreciFX, there is no longer any need for rounding-off before the dyeing process or for the rewinding of hard packages to dye packages and vice-versa. Finally, with optimally structured packages the energy-intensive dyeing process itself becomes more efficient through an optimised liquor ratio and maximum capacity utilisation of the dyeing equipment.
Zero wastage of compressed air
Compressed air is mainly used for cleaning the machine. With an open design, in which all areas are easily accessible, Schlafhorst has succeeded in significantly reducing the cleaning requirements. The amount of energy used in removing dust from the bobbins has been greatly reduced in the Autoconer. Modern control systems now offer further savings. When cleaning the winding positions, the new MultiJet regulates the frequency and strength of the blowing pulses according to the level of contamination. This has led in practice to a 10-15 % saving in compressed air depending on the settings.
Since the splicing system also requires large volumes of compressed air, it needs to be optimally configured. Schlafhorst supports this objective with an extremely flexible system, although the quality of the splicing always takes priority over the compressed air savings.
The Autoconer 6 also helps to make compressed air savings in downstream processes. Thanks to the optimised unwinding behaviour of Autoconer packages, compressed air consumption on AirJet weaving machines has been reduced by around 3 % in a model practical application.
Sensitising personnel to the idea of zero waste
Zero waste cannot, however, be achieved by technical means alone. It is vital to sensitise personnel to the idea of zero waste since numerous production parameters have an influence on resource consumption. The new Energy Monitoring system of the Autoconer 6 supports personnel in the task of ensuring efficient operation. It measures and displays energy and compressed air consumption online during operation. This direct feedback helps personnel to specifically optimise consumption.
Zero waste – sustainability and efficiency
The Autoconer 6 offers an array of technological solutions that bring the industry a step closer to the target of zero waste. And Schlafhorst continues to work intensively on this issue since the various aspects of resource consumption are increasingly significant factors in purchasing decisions and have immense importance for the day-to-day use of textile machinery.