Energy savings thanks to French textile machinery

PARIS, 30-09-2010

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The French Textile Machinery Manufacturers’ Association (UCMTF) has presented, during a seminar it organized for textile professionals and students, the spectacular energy savings achieved thanks to state of the art machinery.

For Bruno Ameline, UCMTF Chairman, energy savings are not just a fashion or a “politically correct” attitude but a real “must” both from ethical and economical points of views. He adds that the responsibility of the machinery manufacturers is not to influence the consumption of end products but to reduce significantly the energy necessary for the production level set by the market.
For many years now, this idea has been embedded in the manufacturers’ strategies. They report that their customers appreciate this approach and compare very precisely the investment costs with the financial returns of the energy savings.
Evelyne Cholet, UCMTF Secretary General, adds that the machinery manufacturers’ customers i.e. the textile producers of apparel, home textiles and technical textiles are extremely sensitive to energy savings all over the world even though the price of energy is quite different from one country to another and that the economics depends on the relative prices of manpower, energy and investments costs.
One thing is quite clear for her “durable development can only be achieved if the desire to be a good citizen is compatible with the returns on investments.”        

During the seminar several French manufacturers explained their specific approaches to energy savings.

Stäubli is the world leader of dobbies and jacquard machines. The jacquards are manufactured in France, near Lyons.
Depending on the fabrics to be woven (width, no. of warp threads, warp density, type of pattern) Jacquard machines need to be equipped with a certain number of hooks. Stäubli’s offerings cover an extremely wide range of Jacquard machines from some dozen hooks up to almost 20 000 per single machine. Over the past years an increasing demand for Jacquard machines with higher numbers of hooks has been observed. Therefore it happened more and more often that standard formats of the biggest Stäubli Jacquard machines did not match with the customer’s demands. Such a request could easily be solved by coupling two machines together. The result was technically in order, however at a higher price and with considerably higher power consumption. 
In order to find a better solution Stäubli extended the range of its electronic Jacquard machine LX 3202 from 14 336 hooks to 18 336 hooks. As far as the energy consumption is concerned the bigger format is highly economic for users requiring above 14 336 hooks. Until now applications up to 18 432 hooks could only be realized by coupling together two machines, e.g. a first machine with 10 240 and a second machine with 8 192 hooks, synchronized by transmissions to the weaving machine. Such a combination needed two drive mechanisms and two power supplies. Calculations and experience confirm that drive energy almost doubles at equivalent speed and harness type. Therefore, compared to the use of a twin machine of the same number of hooks, an LX 3202 with 18 432 hooks format cuts energy consumption almost in half.

Swisstex France headquarters are located in Valence, southeast of France. Its machines are used to prepare various kinds of yarns for apparel, upholstery as well as all kinds of technical applications.  
Although being a young brand, Swisstex France activities were well-known as ICBT, Rieter FYT and RITM companies.
The CP08 concept is a recent innovation for energy saving. This machine is used to make the 2-ply cabled cords used in passenger car tire carcasses. The energy used for this operation is directly linked to the “balloon” dimension created by the creel yarn rotation around the pot bobbin. Swisstex France objective was to decrease this “balloon” size. The only way to achieve such goal is to reduce the pot bobbin size itself, without jeopardizing the downstream process optimization (weaving loom efficiency). 
With the CP08 concept, energy costs are reduced by 25 to 35% compared to former machines, while investment cost is reduced by 5%. Sales opportunities for this machine are in the 15 to 20 Millions Euros range per annum, which would bring Swisstex France at par with the current worldwide market leader.

Located in Mulhouse (Eastern France), Superba is the world leader in machines for the heat setting of yarns designed to produce carpets. 
In order to save energy per kilo of treated yarns, Superba has developed the new TVP3 machine keeping the dimensions of the heat setting chamber from the previous TVP2S generation but has enlarged the conveyor belt going through this tunnel. For the same quantity of energy (to heat the tunnel), the quantity of treated yarn has been increased by about 30% and the energy consumption per unit of treated yarn reduced by the same ratio.  
This improvement, simple in its principle, has requested highly precise mechanical and electronic tuning to ensure the very precise position of the belt inside the heat setting chamber: new high precision analogical position sensors coupled with pneumatic heads, digital inverters with master-slave function, as well as new control algorithms.  
Kartal, a very important carpet producer, based in Gaziantep (the carpet main production center in Turkey) has been working for many years in partnership with Superba. Mr Halil Kaplan, the founder and CEO states that the energy savings generated by the new TVP3 line are superior to the values presented by Superba to convince him of replacing the previous generation of machines he was using, that the yearly saving is of about 80 000 Euros (USD 100 000) for a better quality of yarn.

ALLIANCE Machines Textiles   
Alliance is a manufacturer of piece dyeing machines and is located in Lyons Area.   
In the dyeing field, the energy consumption is directly linked to the used water volume because the energy is mainly used to heat the water. In technical terms the ratio between the fabric weight and the water volume is called “liquor ratio”. So the improvement of this ratio involves energy savings.
To dye some technical fabrics or furniture fabrics Alliance, supported by OSEO, has imagined a beam dyeing machine named ROTORA in which the beam, on which is enrolled the fabric, is rotating in the vessel. Thanks to this technique, the vessel can be half filled only or even less. The dyeing is achieved by seeping of the bath across the beam, with an automatic flow regulation. The requested energy allowing the beam rotation is extremely low (0,55 Kw). In a real example, for 150 kgs of fabric to be dyed, the water quantity has been reduced from 1 500 litres (liquor ratio 1:10) to 500 litres (liquor ratio 1:3) and the pay back has been made in less than one year.
For other kinds of fabrics (clothing fabrics) which need a dyeing in rope form, Alliance has also reduced the liquor ratio in its machine RIVIERA ECO+ in using an air circulation inside the vessel. One French customer, supplier of knitted fabrics for a chain of specialized stores, testifies that the liquor ratio on his RIVIERA ECO+ has gone from 1:6 to 1:3; so the energy consumption has been reduced by half.
On a marketing point of view it is interesting to notice that Alliance has put on its Internet website an energy savings simulator which calculates, on line, the energy savings according to the data that the web visitor enters: the existing liquor ratio, the daily dyeing capacity, the working days number, the water, electricity and chemicals prices. This simulator has increased by 50 the number of visitors on the company website!

Asselin-Thibeau is one of the world leaders of nonwoven machinery. Part of the NSC Group, the company has reunite its assembling facilities at the Asselin-Thibeau production site in Elbeuf, France.
For its whole range of machines, Asselin-Thibeau is using a new approach for the electrical motorization. More than 85% of the motors supplied with alternating current are driven with vectorial flow inverters which cancel the reactive energy transmitted to the network.
An additional improvement lies in driving all the motors of a line with the power supply in DC current which allows the recovery of the energy produced when a motor is braking and returns the energy to the whole system and consequently, reduces the total current consumption
This approach is particularly efficient for the crosslappers which motors continuously combine accelerations and decelerations.
Regarding the 15% of motors that are not installed with this principle, Asselin-Thibeau proposes motors with high efficiency (eff2), their consumption not exceeding 10% of the total electrical consumption.
The manufacturer considers that this motor optimization generates energy savings above 10% of the total energy consumption.

Callebaut de Bliquy (dyeing and bleaching vessels manufacturer in Northern France) and Rousselet (manufacturer of centrifuges, located in Lyons region) have partnered for several years to propose a unique and complete process solution for loose-stock fibber dyeing.
The process includes three steps. First, a press produces a fibber cake with very high density and tall height. Second, a dyeing vessel equipped with an integrated pump allows the dyeing liquid to go through this cake. This offers an impressive reduction of bath ratio and by consequence energy savings for heating the bath, a reduction of water consumption and chemicals. Third, one continuous hydro allows hydro extraction of wet fibbers after breaking the cake. This centrifuge has a full continuous process and delivers after extraction a fluffy material, which dramatically increases dryer yield.
This technology is well adapted to cotton bleaching process. In that specific case, energy saving can be up to 40% in comparison to traditional process.
In addition to the direct savings (water, energy, pigment and ancillary products, …) other savings are found in the reduction of sewage water treatment plant (less water used for process, less effluent to be treated down stream) and therefore participate to the environment preservation.

Located in Northern France, Lemaire designs, manufactures and markets calenders worldwide, the machines are equipped with two heated rollers between which the fabric travels in order to subject it to various treatments or to prepare for a subsequent operation or to give it a finishing treatment.
For the implementation of a flooring processing line, Lemaire has proposed a comprehensive approach by adapting its offer, not to save energy for the machine itself, but for the whole line.
In this process, the energy used in the Lemaire calender is low compared to that of a furnace through which passes another fabric to be laminated with the one that circulates in the calender.
The treatment of the two fabrics must be synchronized, since the oven must be heated continuously (hence the high energy consumption). The heated rollers of the calender must be heated to a temperature suitable to each fabric. This causes an interruption of the line in anticipation of the rising or lowering of the temperature of the rollers.
The solution was to adapt these rollers in order to accelerate the ascent or descent in temperature. To accelerate the cooling (the longest phase), Lemaire has designed specific heaters. The cooling time was reduced by 80%, thus the overall energy saving is very important. Lemaire has, of course, had the opportunity to redesign its cylinders by optimizing the thickness of the tubes and internal components, the heating power and the volume of thermal oil.

Laroche, a family owned company close to Lyons, is offering new solutions for sustainable growth. With close to 100 years of experience in fiber processing equipment, it has developed new processes to turn textile wastes or otherwise discarded raw materials into alternative industrial products.
Laroche is now offering complete processes to fiberize all types of textile wastes, including second-hand clothings, and turn them into nonwoven products which are used as sound and thermal barriers in the automotive, furniture and building industries. Selected products such as cotton yarns and fabrics can also be fiberized and spun into yarns again, thus saving growing more cotton, a major user of water and pesticides.
For example, Celio, a distributor of Jeans, is offering a discount on new Jeans when customers bring back their "old" Jeans. These are then collected by "Le Relais", part of the "Emmaüs” charity organization, fiberized and turned into a natural fiber building insulation product with very attractive characteristics.
Besides bringing revenues to a charity organization, this allows to reduce consumption of raw materials and of heating or cooling energy for buildings.
Laroche has also supplied a plant to CAVAC, a 15 000 member agricultural cooperative cultivating 120 000 hectares in the western part of France. Oil seed flax straw, which was otherwise burnt or left to rot on the field and hemp straw are now decorticated, separated into the wooden parts sold as animal litter, additive for concrete … and fibers. The fibers are then turned into building insulation or sound insulation products. This plant has the capacity to process 17 000 tons/year of straw and turn it into 6 000 tons/year of insulation products.

Future prospects
The French machinery manufacturers have found very different ways to offer energy saving machines: fine tuning the machine to fit exactly the energy profile of the production process, finding new low energy processes for individual machines and optimizing the energy consumption of a whole production line, adapting the machines to the market requirements and designing new technologies to recycle textile products. These approaches are not exclusive one from the other, they can be combined.
In many examples, the energy saving is in the 30-40 % range, same or even more for the water consumption in dyeing and finishing.
Further more, very interesting examples of durable development have been presented, they are only examples of a new axis for the textile machinery, the textile industry, the makers-up and the distribution.


French Textile Machinery Manufacturers'Association
58, avenue de Wagram
75017 PARIS
Tél.: +33(0) 4 69 31 02 82