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Zero-tolerance quality for nonwovens producers

Dec 01, 2019
Zero-tolerance quality for nonwovens producers

Why USTER® fibre cleaning is the best choice for super-critical applications.

Some sweet-toothed individuals might dream of a room full of candy floss. The fairground treat certainly has its appeal… but what if you had to find an object as thin as a one cent coin hidden inside the sugary mass? A sticky problem, for sure. Now, let’s imagine we are dealing with tufts of man-made fibre instead, the kind used as feedstock for spun-laced nonwovens. This is when things get serious: the most critical medical and hygiene applications for these products demand zero-tolerance of any contamination fragments larger than 1 mm. Still a big task, yet the USTER®JOSSI fibre cleaning system has the solution, finding and ejecting unwanted substances in the blink of an eye.

Operating in the preparatory stages before spunlacing, USTER®JOSSI VISION SHIELD reliably detects and eliminates the tiniest particles of contaminant, preventing potentially disastrous quality claims and rejections by customers – often big-name corporations delivering to both institutional and consumer markets.

At the forthcoming Techtextil India 2019 event, experts at the USTER booth will provide detailed information on the latest fibre cleaning systems, for applications ranging from sensitive (medical and hygiene) to delicate (security paper printing).

Fast and efficient contamination control

USTER®JOSSI VISION SHIELD deploys the imaging spectroscope technology, identifying contamination in a fraction of a second, and just as quickly removing it from the mass of good fibre material. Detection works across a much greater wavelength than conventional camera systems, so that contamination as small as a single hair and in the lightest colors is pinpointed, even in IR and UV light ranges.

The process of detecting and removing contamination from bleached cotton and man-made fibres inevitably generates some waste. It is important to ensure a minimum of good fibre is lost in this way. USTER®JOSSI VISION SHIELD achieves this by continuously measuring the velocity of the fibre tufts. Precision valves then match the timing and duration of each ejection of contamination, so that only the required amount of unwanted material is removed.

Meeting the ultimate quality standards

For fibre cleaning, tuft size is the key: small contaminant particles can hide inside denser tufts, especially difficult to locate when the material is more compressed. USTER®JOSSI VISION SHIELD is ideally positioned to overcome this, directly behind the fine opener in the blowroom. These short channels ensure that the tufts pass the spectroscopes in their most open state. This position also means that the optimal dimensions and compact design of the fibre cleaning system integrate perfectly in the production line.

The quality-boosting credentials of USTER®JOSSI VISION SHIELD are underlined still further by its established leading role in the cotton industry, where contamination levels are much higher and more complex. The USTER system’s spectroscopes detect everything – even white polypropylene entangled in tufts. In fact, most cotton spinners hesitate to use the system at its fullest sensitivity, since waste levels might be too high if all contamination was removed.

Nonwovens producers, however, can use all this detection power to achieve the guaranteed levels of both comfort, for contact with human skin, and appearance – as well as the required quality standards for medical uses. For nonwovens, USTER®JOSSI VISION SHIELD brings unrivaled detection power and removal efficiency, for top fibre cleaning performance.

Progress by Indian nonwovens manufacturers

Nonwovens globally is a rising textile segment, and India is emerging as a significant player in this, as the third-largest Asian supplier of roll goods. Manufacturing of nonwovens started in India decades ago, initially limited to nonwovens made from staple fibres, using conventional and outmoded methods. Progress came in response to demands for a reduction in basic weights, and spunlace and spunmelt fabrics became important. By 2014 an Indian nonwovens output of 2,77,000 tonne was estimated, and for 2020 and beyond volumes were forecast to reach over 400,000 tonne (source: AFNA/EDANA/INDA estimates 2015).

“India is a growing market for USTER® JOSSI fibre cleaning systems, as it develops sensitive nonwovens applications in fast-growing health and hygiene sectors, as well as specialties like security paper printing for currency, where the cotton used is tested thoroughly to avoid contamination,” says Rathnam V Rama, President Uster Technologies (I), in India.

The importance of the nonwovens sector for USTER is demonstrated by the company’s presence at the forthcoming Techtextil India 2019in Mumbai (Hall 4, Booth F82), a leading international trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens. “We are sure that USTER®JOSSI VISION SHIELD will attract interest at the exhibition from manufacturers of bleached cotton and other quality-critical nonwovens products for health and hygiene, as they seek to move up the value chain, from low-end and low-priced nonwovens into specialty applications,” says Rathnam.

USTER is the world’s leading provider of quality management solutions from fibre to fabric. Uster Technologies offers high-technology instruments, systems and services for quality control, prediction, certification and optimisation in the textile industry. This includes systems for quality management, laboratory testing and in-line process control for fibres, staple and filament yarns, fabric inspection as well as value-added services. USTER provides the globally-acknowledged USTER®STATISTICS benchmarks for trading, textile know-how training, consulting and worldwide after-sales services – always aspiring to fulfill the textile market’s needs, to drive innovation forward with ‘quality in mind’. Uster Technologies AG is headquartered in Uster, Switzerland and operates worldwide. It has sales and service subsidiaries in the major textile markets and Technology Centers in Uster (Switzerland), Knoxville (USA), Suzhou (China) and Caesarea (Israel).