Greek plastics manufacturer Thrace Plastics has commissioned a second 1,800-position creel from UK machinery builder Cygnet Texkimp.
This follows the successful installation at Thrace’s Athens plant of an identical creel, which has been credited with improving the quality of the company’s beaming process by 25 per cent.
Thrace’s beaming process
Thrace Plastics is a Thrace Group company and specialises in converting PE (Polyethylene) and PP (Polypropylene) to manufacture technical fabrics for a wide range of applications including geosynthetics, construction, agritextiles, packaging and floorcoverings.
The company acquired the new creel technology to upgrade its beaming process, which is central to its production of carpet backing for worldwide markets. It wanted to improve the way packages of tape are unwound into its beaming machine in order to produce the highest quality textiles in the most efficient way.
During the beaming process, high volumes of plastic tape are unwound from large packages before being guided into a beaming unit where they are laid down, ready to be fed into a loom for weaving. The success of this process directly influences the quality of the final weave and is dependent on the tapes being unwound and manipulated at a constant speed and tension, and then laid down in flat, smooth and regular formation on the beamer.
Cygnet Texkimp’s creel is built to a purely mechanical design, conceived for robustness and reliability. Central to its design is its two control systems, which work alongside each other to manages the tension and direction of the fibre throughout the unwinding process. One system manages the running tension while the second, a compensatory breaking system, provides control during speed changes and maintains fibre control during beam change-overs.
The creel is designed to process various package volumes ranging from 300 to 2,400 packages of fibre or tape simultaneously; unwinding the tapes at high speed and constant tension before laying them down in a constant arrangement on the beaming unit, ready to be guided into the loom for weaving.
Cygnet Texkimp’s machine offers Thrace Plastics the ability to produce weaves of optimum visual and mechanical quality, efficiently and consistently. Key to this is the strength of its tension control technology, which helps to eliminate graves and troughs in the winding and therefore inconsistencies in the way the tapes lie, as well as reducing breaks in the tape which in turn lead to intervention and downtime.
The first creel was installed and commissioned at Thrace Plastics in October 2015, and the company quickly began to see improvements in its manufacturing process and quality of production. By providing maximum control over the fibre, the technology is enabling Thrace to run its beaming process at faster speeds, therefore increasing manufacturing rates.
With consistent tension and tape-laying accuracy, the company is reporting marked reductions in warp tape breaks and related downtime costs, and significant improvements in the efficiency of its weaving process. It is also achieving weaves of greater visual and mechanical quality than ever before.
The second creel is due for installation in April 2016.