For several years now Groz-Beckert has entertained the idea of expanding its offers for the nonwoven industry in its Technnology and Development Center (TEZ). A customer questionnaire in 2014 was performed to determine which customer demands could be fulfilled with a new nonwovens line. It led to the final technical configuration of the new staple fiber needle punch line (SVL) and its utilization concept. A large part of the line will soon be available for customer projects, trials, joint development, small batch series production and proprietary projects. Additional contingents are planned for use by universities and the Groz-Beckert Academy and others.
As a development partner, Groz-Beckert is expanding its service offering in application advice and customer projects with this new line. The equipment is available in various options to customers and partners for tests and joint projects in needle development and also in textile development. Groz-Beckert's own internal buildup of its process knowledge allows customers to reap the benefits of improved consulting and optimized products. Focus is also placed on optimization of customer products and processes. Furthermore, the new line offers customers the opportunity for product development and testing in order to prevent resource bottlenecks and downtimes on their own lines.
At the beginning of 2015 the final layout of the line was approved, and one year later the first components were delivered. The line and technical approval of all new components have been running since start-up in summer 2016. The entire line now is located in the Technology and Development Center (TEZ) at the headquarters in Albstadt, Germany, for unrestricted customer testing and development projects.
Felts with fabric weights from 50 to 1,500 g/m² and a width of 1,500 mm can soon be manufactured at pilot plant scale. Synthetic fibers such as polypropylene (PP), polyester (PES) and polyamide (PA) can be processed, as well as regenerated fibers such as viscose (CV) and natural fibers, high-strength and inorganic fibers. The main applications are for a fineness range from 0.9 to 17 dtex at a fiber length of maximum 90 mm. However, coarse fibers can be processed within limitations. For example, the line reaches a throughput of up to 400 kg/hour for a polyester blend with 6.7 dtex.
Fiber opening consists of two bale openers (Baltromix from Dilo Temafa) for gentle opening, a blending conveyor, a carding willow for rough opening and carding, a resin applicator to reduce fiber/metal friction and retain fiber/fiber friction, and a high-capacity blender. This configuration makes it possible to blend different types of fibers, cross-sections, gauges, lengths and colors.
Card feeding takes place with the dosing opener DON and a MultiFeed MFC (Dilo Spinnbau) and provides for high uniformity of the fiber flock mat in cross- and longitudinal profile. The nonwoven card MultiCard MC 3-5 CC (Dilo Spinnbau) with a working width of 1,500 mm parallelizes the fibers and forms the fiber web. The nonwoven card is equipped with a fabric-weight regulating system and a double doffing cylinder with condensing roller.
All nonwoven card rollers are equipped with clothing from Groz-Beckert, managed since May 2015 jointly with services and accessories for the spinning and nonwovens industry from the product range of subdivision Carding. This makes it possible for Groz-Beckert, as the only international manufacturer of felting needles and clothing, to utilize synergies and understand process interdependencies and thereby optimally align the products to benefit you, the customer.
With a maximum input speed of 80 m/min the crosslapper (DiloLayer DLBS 15/20 from Dilo Machines) doubles the web up to 2,000 mm width with almost no draft. The web drafter (VST 19 from Dilo Spinnbau) can stretch the fiber web so that the tensile-strength of the subsequent nonwoven product is already influenced at this point. It moreover provides a feed point for more materials.
Connected to the web drafter is another feeding system for dimensional stability and draft-free feed, followed by pre-needling (DI-LOOM OD-II 20 from Dilo Machines) with a maximum working width of 2,000 mm and two needling zones with a needle density of 4,500 needles/m. Moreover, the pre-needling machine disposes of an exhaust system for the interior, which plays an important role in the processing of natural fibers.
The line ends with the main needling (DI-LOOM OUG-II SB 15) including an incorporated feeding system. Maximum working width here is 1,500 mm. With a needle density of 2,000 needles/m, the four needling zones can be used in one- or two-board operation from the top or in tandem. The needle densities 3,000, 5,000 and 8,000 needles/m enable multi-board operation upstroke and downstroke. Other needle densities are available upon request.
An optional tension carrier is available for the manufacture of endless felt.
With a range of more than 1,200 active needle types, Groz-Beckert offers versatile opportunities for nonwovens manufacturers to further optimize their products in such sectors as automotive, filtration, geotextiles and synthetic leather, and to develop new products. Optimization potentials run towards surface enhancement, increased tensile strength (textile physical properties), reduction in fiber material and general improvement of the production process.
With the new line, Groz-Beckert will be offering four options for use:
In addition to the utilization options, Groz-Beckert offers in-process testing. Density, thickness and fabric weight, as well as air permeability, tensile strength and the web profile can be directly tested in the Competence Center Felting Technology in order to quickly respond to and adapt, if needed, to production parameters. For geotextiles the puncture force, for example, can also be tested.
Furthermore, there is an option to climate control the technical center in accordance with customer requests in order to simulate climatic conditions at the production plant.
Additional textile and/or metallurgic tests can also be performed at Groz-Beckert. Short paths facilitate fast response times, interdisciplinary expertise and synergy effects within the Technology and Development Center (TEZ). As with all TEZ offerings, along with the four options for use and the range of services, Groz-Beckert also offers co-development and co-innovation. The Groz-Beckert Academy's training program for the continuing education of customers and employees within the context of the new staple fiber needle punch line is also being expanded in order to offer training for the overall process.
Would you like to get more involved in the needling of fiber and nonwovens, or do you need advice on optimizing production of nonwovens or on how to expand your product range? Groz-Beckert experts in the subdivisions of Felting, Carding and TEZ will be glad to assist you and determine with you the best layout for your production.
Total demand for Groz-Beckert products in the new staple fiber needle punch line consists of approx. 60,000 felting needles and 40 km of card wire. That comes to a weight of approx. 860 kg ─ the average weight of an adult bull.