En Route To The Digital Yarn Factory

En Route To The Digital Yarn Factory

Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Segment at the ITMA ASIA + CITME 2018 

“From Melt to Yarn, Fibers and Nonwovens – Bring it to Life” – is the motto under which the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Segment will transform itself into a digital machinery and plant manufacturing company showcasing its power as one of the innovation leaders for the production of chemical fibers. ITMA ASIA + CITME 2018, taking place in Shanghai from October 15th to 19th , is the world’s biggest textile machinery exhibition this year and with over 750 square meter exhibition space will be a virtual show for trendsetting digital products and services “From Melt to Yarn, Fibers and Nonwovens”. En route to the digital yarn factory, technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning or innovative HMI (Human Machine Interface) solutions promise the bridging between material and data flow – for customer value. These topics are also the central point of the “Oerlikon Innovation Forum” at which presentations in English and Chinese will be held several times a day for visitors of the exhibition booth.

oerlikon1Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Segment wants to face those technical development challenges and has high standards. „We want to become the textile machine construction trendsetter for technologies of this kind,“ says CEO Georg Stausberg. The first steps on this journey have already been taken. The Plant Operation Center (POC) for process monitoring enables the collation of existing production data in a central location and to make these data available. HMI based services such as process monitoring via a service online app on smart phones and tablets were introduced as well as an assistance system based on mixed-reality glasses (Microsoft HoloLens). The system supports predictive maintenance concepts and enables virtual 360-degree tours through spinning systems.

Wiping robot with intelligent control system The crucial advantage of the wiping robot used for the cleaning of the spinnerets is automation: intelligent control
system which connects machines and processes. The information relating to all wiping positions, cycles and times can be saved in the management system. The robot accesses the saved wiping intervals in an automated and safety-relevant manner. To this end, the robot can cope with up to 48 positions, corresponding to one entire production line. However, more decisive here is the impact of the intelligent control system, with whose help the spinning pump can be moved up and down in an automated and ‘intime’ manner. To this end, pump stops can be kept to the absolute minimum using a robot, considerably reducing the impact of the wiping on both the polycondensation system process stability and on the yarn data of the spun yarn. The advantages over the manual process are for example extended cleaning cycles, less silicon use, more production time, less operating costs as well as advantages for human resources and health management. The wiping robot has been operating at two major yarn manufacturers in China now.

oerlikon2En route to digitization with a new mindset To show its direction towards digitization, the company wants to offer its visitors at the exhibition booth in hall 2, B24 alongside machine exhibits mostly virtual experiences. They will be deploying playful solutions to present the topic of artificial intelligence as well as a virtual showroom to allow visitors to experience complex systems live in 3D. “We want to show that the ‘digital factory’ is already in part becoming a reality in conjunction with our machine exhibits and that we are in a good position to further optimize the efficiency of our equipment and quality of their end products – with digital solutions” affirms Georg Stausberg.

According the CEO the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Segment already started establishing new ideas and mindsets a few years ago, are working between disciplines, departments, areas and companies. An important step was the acquisition of the newly integrated partner AC-Automation who has substantiated know-how in large-scale automation, transport, packaging and warehouse logistics and end product automated quality control. “Together with our process competencies and digital data handling we not only want but will offer further innovative Industrie 4.0 solutions for our customers – all the way to the digitization of the complete process chain”, promises Georg Stausberg.