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International Machinery Show Is Larger Than Ever machinery and equipment manufacturers from around the world gathered in Greenville, SC in mid-April to inspect the latest in textile machinery; nonwovens suppliers reported good quality and quantity of traffic during the five day show; there was a relative lack of new product introductions as exhibitors concentrated on improving and updating existing product lines Amidst the din and clatter of textile machinery, the American Textile Machinery Exhibition-International (ATME-I) took place in April in Greenville, SC. The entire textile world was represented among the exhibitors--246 of which were from the U.S., 224 from overseas. The size of the show, with its 470 exhibitors in more than 276,000 sq. feet, surpassed the last ATME in 1985, which had 427 exhibitors in about 247,000 sq. feet.

In addition to the U.S., 20 other countries were represented among the exhibitors. The largest number of foreign exhibitors, 53, came from West Germany. That was followed by Italy with 37, Switzerland with 22, the U.K. with 21 and Japan with 18.

Attendance reached record highs, with 18,872 persons attending, including 5517 exhibitor booth personnel. Visitors from the U.S. totaled 11,631, while 1725 attended from overseas. This tops 1985 numbers, during which 11,565 U.S. and 1698 foreign visitors were present.

Nonwovens Play A Role

Nonwovens manufacturers were well represented at ATME-I. Almost every company interviewed by Nonwovens Industry felt that it was a profitable show, with both quality and quantity leads. Indeed, early in the week, the aisles were nearly impassable in the larger halls due to the sheer volume of traffic. Sixty-five countries were represented among the visitors as language barriers were surmounted with the help of interpreters, a little ingenuity and a lot of patience.

While ATME-I showcased an amazing array of textile machinery, most companies concentrated on upgrading present equipment, improving technologies and increasing production rates rather than introducing new products. Here's a quick look at what some of the nonwovens manufacturers were featuring at their exhibits.

The U.S. Contingent

[A variety of waste collection equipment was on display at the booth of Abington, North Abington, MA. For opening pulp, Abington featured automatic cleaning filter bags. It also had a trim collection system, adaptable for large applications. A central station vacuum system, which could also be used for manual cleaning, was on display, as well as a line of horizontal balers for nonwovens. An undergarnett automatic collection system that returns waste to the feed box was shown, as was an automatic cleaning system for the garnett. This machine catches the polyester that falls over the side of the machine, cleans the journals and strippers and reduces fiber wraparound.

[The "Model 700" thermoboding laboratory calender was shown by Beloit Wheeler, Kalamazoo, MI. The calender is a completely self-contained unit, with a wide range of loading pressures, and is ready to operate as soon as it is delivered.

[Foster Needle, Manitowoc, WI, continued to talk about its "Star Blade" needle, which it says has superior physical properties proven in technical felt applications with a variety of customers. The Star Blade has improved line operating efficiency through a reduction of penetrations per sq. centimeter.

Foster was also promoting the automatic needle changing machine it is marketing for Mor Engineering, Sharon, MA. The machine is unique in that it is totally automatic and can remove and insert needles simultaneously. The first machine is due for completion in August.

[John D. Hollingsworth On Wheels, Greenville, SC, was running trips to its Greenville plant, where a complete nonwovens demonstration line was on display.

[Tensile testing was touted by Lloyd Instruments, King of Prussia, PA. It was showing the L1000, one of its series of test equipment, and demonstrations of the specific test variables were available. Also at the booth were a variety of grips, jigs and fixtures for nonwovens testing.

["Artie," an artificial intelligence system with applications in the nonwovens industry, was on display by SymCo, Greenville, SC. Artie can be integrated into complete lines and can intercommunicate with a variety of software. It is a fully independent artificial intelligence format for a full plant system.

[Thwing-Albert, Philadelphia, PA, had its newest tensile tester, the "Intelect II-STD," on display at ATME-I. Intelect II-STD has a dual microprocessor, 512K memory, a 20 megabyte hard drive and boasts of its simplicity of operation.

[An electronic weighing unit was featured by Wise Industries, Kings Mountain, NC. The system eliminates the variation problems caused by mechanical weigh pan systems by compensating for any variances in weight.

[New at ATME-I from D.W. Zimmerman, Madison Heights, MI, was the "Mobile Air," a self-contained over-the-floor material handling system. It has an on-board air compressor and accumulator tank and is available with a roller bed or fixed platform. It has hydraulically powered 12 inch telescoping action for easy access in low ceiling areas. Also shown was the "Six Pack Handler" on the 700C Articulating Arm.

[Otto Zollinger, Spartanburg, SC, exhibited its new Type C Series tension control equipment. The new control self-adjusts over a wide range and has sensors built in. Otto Zollinger was also showing accessories and guides, manufactured in a mixture of ceramic and steel.

Foreign Companies Exhibit

Strong Presence At ATME-I

[Automatex, Pistoia, Italy, had on display a demonstration line used for R&D and product development. It included a carding machine, crosslapper and needle loom. The line controls individual speed variables through a DC drive.

[A structured and a flat felt needleloom were both displayed by Dilo, Eberbach, West Germany. The OD-II S 25 flat felt needle loom can obtain speeds of up to 2200 strokes a minute. The "Di-Loop" OD-S structured model needle loom has increased productivity up to 1800 rpm for up to 7500 needles a meter. It also has an improved electronically controlled design feature for up to five different pile heights in the same pattern.

[Dr. Otto Angleitner, Linz, Austria, was concentrating on its sheet forming plants for various nonwovens and needle felts. Applications include medical and household nonwovens, interlinings, filters, synthetic leathers, geotextiles, insulating nonwovens, needle felt carpets and needle felts for mattresses.

[At the Fi-Tech booth, a host of foreign executives in the nonwovens field were in attendance. Noworoll, Piispanristi, Finland, introduced to the U.S. industry a patented vacuum filling system that fills bed and decorative pillows and furniture cushions quickly and uniformly with fibers, foam, feathers or down. Noworoll is also building an independent new carding unit and crosslapper.

Ceccato, Milan, Italy, had its spunbond, melt blown and spunlace dies at ATME-I, as well as its ultrasonic cleaning machine suitable for cleaning water jet strips. This was the first time this machine was exhibited in the U.S.

The "Uni-Box" 5000 automatic baling, wrapping and strapping system was introduced by Autefa, Freidberg, West Germany.

[At Fehrer, Linz, Austria, the K21 random card and NL 11/SE structured needlepunching machine were both on display. The K21 has production speeds up to 150 meters a minute and above, depending on web weight and fiber properties. Its weight capabilities range from 10-100 grams sq. meter and its applications include medical disposables, personal hygiene products and household textiles.

The NL 11/SE has production speeds up to 10 meters a minute, with working widths from 1.1 to 6.6 meters available. End uses include structured floor and wall coverings and automotive carpets with logos.

[A variety of nonwovens equipment was exhibited by Fleissner GmbH, Egelsbach, West Germany. Its newly-developed thru-air drum, with 76% open area, was on display. The open area is larger because of square rather than round perforations.

Fleissner was also talking about a new type of thru-air dryer it recently introduced but was not displaying at ATME-I. The new dryer has a rigid construction with an open area of up to 96%. It has high truth of running and a high line speed, up to 2000 meters a minute. It is used for the drying of nonwoven applications.

A nonwovens thermobonding unit for superabsorbent products was also featured. The thermobonder bonds pulp with synthetic pulp, with web weights from 200-800 grams sq. meter.

[Groz Beckert, Ebingen, West Germany, was promoting its needles for nonwovens. A video display showed the various needles available as well as background on the company.

[The "Ambassador SX" modular nonwoven card graced the booth of Haigh Chadwick, West Yorkshire, U.K. The card allows parallel or random laid webs in a range from 1.5 to 60 denier. It can be combined with crosslapping, needlepunching, thermobonding and spray bonding nonwoven processes. Haigh Chadwick is also working in conjunction with several machinery manufacturers to offer turn-key lines.

[The "SuperTrim" opener was on display by Laroche, Cours, France. It is used for opening edge trims and other nonwoven waste from needlepunching, sheet forming and cutting machines. The machine is part of the Laroche line that includes the "MiniTrim," with 250 mm working width, and the "HyperTrim," with 1000-1500 mm working width. The SuperTrim has a working width of 500 mm.

[A continuous mechanical foaming process system was on display by Mondomix, Holland. The machine has application in the foaming of materials for impregnation in nonwovens. It is a totally pressurized system, controlled by a valve at the dispensing end, and has a uniform foam structure with sub micron voids. It has a capacity from 10 lbs an hour to 10,000 lbs an hour and uses less energy than solution.

[In one of the larger booths at ATME-I was the NSC Group, made up of Asselin, A. Thibeau, N. Schlumberger & Cie and Houget Duesberg Bosson. For the nonwovens field, Asselin was showing its Model DF 41 2M08 needle loom, with speeds of 2500 rpm. Asselin also has four models of crosslappers with high versatility and production speed. Thibeau displayed its semi-worsted carding machine, the Model B125PP.

["Personalities on display" enhanced the booth of Ramisch Kleinewefers, Krefeld, West Germany. Representatives from Greenville Machinery, Ramisch's American subsidiary, and Gertex Nonwovens, its U.S. agent, were talking about the company's carding equipment and hydrein thermobonding calender, which was recently adapted to nonwovens applications. The calender is wider than other similar equipment and can meet the demands of increased speed, width and temperature control. Also featured at the GMC booth was a "Bicoflex" pad, a pneumatic roll compensating padder for applying dyes and finishes to nonwovens. It was taken from the textile industry and adapted to nonwovens applications.

[Shirley Developments, Stockport, U.K., had on display the Shirley Analyser MK2 for testing cotton. This machine measures the trash and dust content of cotton fibers as they pass through the system. The company also displayed its FMT (Fineness Maturity Tester), which tests the relationship between the diameter of the fiber and the hole. The tester opens and cleans the fiber before the test, weighs the fiber, then draws air through it to measure resistance.

[A machine for loading and deloading needleboards was on display from Singer Spezialnadelfabrik, Aachen, West Germany. The machine loads and deloads needleboards used for felting and changes needles automatically row by row rather than manually. Singer also displayed a variety of needles for different fibers and applications.

[At Temafa, Gladbach, West Germany, the exhibit featured a bale breaker, carding roll and a fiber opener. The machinery has high durability, maximum output and is environmentally safe.

[One of the larger booths, Trutzschler, Monchengladbach, West Germany, featured a bale opener for cotton and polyester and a cotton cleaning line. It is an aggressive cleaner with warpers and beater and two fast moving trash rollers, which operate at varying speeds. The cotton then goes through a de-dusting machine and onto pneumatic weigh pans for both cotton and polyester.

PHOTO : Hollingsworth's arc welcomed visitors to one of the larger booths at the show.

PHOTO : Monika Fehrer and Batson vice president Phil Riddle in front of Fehrer's K21 random card.

PHOTO : Managing director John Cozon with Haigh Chadwick's Ambassador carding machine.

PHOTO : Singer electrician Mr. Breuer demonstrates the company's needle loading and de-loading

PHOTO : machine.
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Title Annotation:American Textile Machinery Exhibition - International
Author:Noonan, Ellen
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Jun 1, 1989
Previous Article:Hot melt heats up: Spray is the wave of the future, say most suppliers.
Next Article:A guide to fibers for nonwovens.

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