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Mayer and Cie Spinit makes final products

Nov 01, 2015
Mayer and Cie Spinit makes final products

Circular knitting machines that spin as well: A new technical approach by Mayer & Cie. makes it possible. The knitting machines from the VDMA member still need prefabricated yarn to do their work - the end product from the spinning plant. But with Spinit Systems, the new generation of machines from the SME in Albstadt only require the intermediate yarn stage, so an entire process step can be omitted. The first ¨ready-for-sale¨ model of the Spinit machines will be unveiled at ITMA 2015 in November in Milan.

In an interview, Benjamin Mayer, Managing Director of the world market leader from the Swabian Jura explains how voluntary commitment to sustainability affects not just the products, but the company itself.

The ITMA 2015 solution sounds like a rallying cry: ¨Master the art of sustainable innovation.¨ Your company chose the road to sustainability long ago. How far along this path have you come?
Two years ago, Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG launched a comprehensive energy management project, which is planned to last a total of four years. We intend to completely modernise our infrastructure, parts of it are rather outdated. The most important objective is to save energy. Our goal is to consume significantly fewer resources, meaning power above all, for each machine we make.

What have you been able to achieve so far?
We started by modernising the entire heating system. We completely renewed the air conditioning plant we use to generate our process cooling media and replaced all the piping. Efficient pipe insulation and modern switching equipment has allowed us to cut down on several cooling units. Air conditioning systems are big energy consumers; we expect to manage with about half of them in future.

So there is potential for substantial savings here, which should translate into several hundred thousand euro in lower energy costs over the next few years. In order to minimise heat loss, we are currently in the process of insulating our buildings.

And what is planned for the next two years?
Mayer & Cie. plans to generate enough electricity and heat to cover its needs. Depending on capacity, we will install one or two combined heat and power units in the near future.

The topic of sustainability not only affects your internal operating infrastructure, but also your products, of course. You are shortly going to launch a new generation of circular knitting machines fitted with your proprietary Spinit technology. Spinit is a neologism created by combining two English words, spin and knit.

The innovative feature of this method consists of integrating a part of the spinning process in the machine, before or during the knitting process. The normal sequence of events is that finished yarn runs into the circular knitting machine and is processed there. But Spinit starts working with the semi-finished, ¨flyer¨ yarn, the yarn that has just left the pre-spinning machine, which is called the flyer.

In order to turn the semi-treated yarn into finished yarn, it needs to pass through ring spinning machines, for example, which take up space and use a lot of energy. Not any more with Spinit. The semi-treated yarn is 3 to 5 mm thick, and now it passes straight into the circular knitting machine, where it is spun and then knitted.

The entire machine park involved in this process is then no longer part of the plan. A company that carries out the entire manufacturing chain from treating the cotton to the knitted product needs up to 40 percent less space to do the same job. That is the really huge advantage of this technology.

But you don´t just save an enormous amount of space.
It goes