Just a few drops at a time
Rieter is a traditional company based in Winterthur and a leading supplier of textile machines and components for all established end spinning processes. It is the only company worldwide that offers ring, compact, rotor and air spinning systems, from the fibre to the yarn, all from a single source. Air spinning in particular, which is also known as air-jet spinning, has enormous potential as it is capable of reaching spinning speeds up to 20 times faster than conventional spinning methods. However, until now, the air-jet spinning process has not been entirely suitable for processing MMF (Man Made Fibre), as the spinning components very quickly become soiled, which impacts negatively on the quality of the final product or can even bring the entire process to a standstill. Experiments have shown that soiling of the spinnerets can be avoided or significantly delayedprior to the spinning process, which in turn greatly improves the quality of the yarn.
The challenge is to ensure that a minute amount of water, just 0.03 to 1.0 millilitres per minute, is applied precisely, continuously and evenly to up to 200 spinning positions in a cost-effective manner.
The QUO team first developed an analogue model for the hydraulic system based on electrotechnical operating principles. Using this model, it was possible to evaluate the various solutions they had come up with and screen the technologies at an early stage. The most promising approaches were subsequently tested with simple prototypes in the QUO laboratory. While evaluating the suitability of the components, the QUO team was able to draw on its extensive knowledge gained from previous projects. The solution they eventually selected and implemented represents a cross-industry innovation which has been well-known in the automotive industry for years as the common rail technology found in diesel engines.
Puzzle piece for proof of concept
Analysis of the hydraulic system
Generation of a wide range of ideas
Evaluation of the components
Verification of the concepts using simple prototypes
Cost assessment for the series production of the solution