Uster Tester, one of the first solutions coming to mind regarding textile quality control, provides effective monitoring for yarn evenness by developing and extending apace with fast-moving technological innovations for 75 years. A Switzerland-based company, which is known today as Uster Technologies, first took action on this subject with a request from a group of spinners in Switzerland, who wanted a reliable way of measuring textile slivers, rovings and yarns for ‘evenness’, in the early 1940s. The first instrumental method for evenness testing was developed for these spinners by Zellweger Uster, a company active in the emerging field of electronics at that time.
Uster Tester, from manually operated to one-click check of yarn quality
The original tester, which is displayed in a museum on the top floor of Uster Technologies headquarters, is manually operated, and outputs test results as a line on graph paper. This first venture into testing is based on a capacitive sensor and simple electronics. It was the precursor for gradual development stages over the next two decades, leading to the emergence in the 1970s of the name ‘Uster Tester’ and its rapid popularity across the textile world.
A key aspect for those early Swiss spinners was to learn more about their yarn quality, to improve it for their customers but also to benchmark their own standards against other producers. Giving quality a numerical value was a massive breakthrough, reflected today in the ‘language of quality’ used for marketing, trading and competitive progress today.
The concept of global benchmarking took a giant leap forward in 1957 with a short article in the German textile magazine Melliand, giving basic data on yarn quality from a number of spinners. The data was based on the Uster Tester, and after, the idea of a comprehensive service of quality information grew into the Uster Statistics publications.
This detailed collation of accurate data from all around the textile world has become essential to the entire industry. It is the framework for meaningful fiber purchasing, yarn development and trading, now, available as an app for mobile devices. In an environment where speed and user-friendliness are vital, the latest Uster Tester interacts with Uster Statistics to provide a one-click check of yarn quality and specifications.
Mills now have the benefit of ‘Total Testing’
In the past 75 years, measurement capabilities have extended with specially-developed sensors, and ingenious software. Connectivity with other Uster systems at every stage of processing has created a unique Quality Management Platform for the entire mill. The evenness tester will also continue to be the must-have laboratory testing instrument in its own right, whatever the benefits of its connectivity. Test conditions in the lab are more consistent than in the production halls, so results can be compared over time to establish a basis for best settings and procedures in mill equipment.
It unites lab testing with in-process monitoring, by intelligent cooperation with Uster yarn clearers in the winding department. Through the Uster Quality Expert, and the unique ‘Assistant Q’ guidance facility, mills now have the benefit of ‘Total Testing’. This delivers effective and preventive process optimization, with smart alerts pointing instantly to potential trouble spots in the entire process. Integration between 100% in-process monitoring and precise lab measurement ensures quality is secured at the right level every time.
Spinners today have the power to analyze every element of their processes and select the best options for their own profitability and their customers’ complete satisfaction. In one system, fiber, yarn and fabric quality are optimized and secured.