As was amply illustrated at ITMA 2023 this June, tradition and innovation go hand in hand for members of UCMTF, the French Textile Equipment Manufacturers, including NSC Fibre to Yarn, Superba and Spoolex.
NSC Fibre to Yarn has a history dating back to 1812 – at a time when the British blockade of France during the Naploeonic Wars obliged French companies to start developing their own textile machinery and components.
Thirty years later, in the 1840s, its patents established the basic principles for the combing, recombing and spinning preparation of short fibres such as wool, silk and flax.
Move forward roughly 110 years to 1950, and NSC Fibre to Yarn had also started to specialise in the machines for combing and spinning long fibres such as Egyptian and Pima cottons. Such fibres have been prized for many years for their strength and durability, smoothness and lustre, and reduced pilling.
A series of acquistions over the past 20 years has subsequently consolidated the company’s position as a leader in textile lines for luxury long-staple fibres, as well as wool and technical fibres.
The company’s latest ERA50 comber is an evolution of the well-known ERA40 and benefits from the latest advances in mechatronics and a complete Industry 4.0 data collection system.
In addition to apparel, wool is associated with the most luxurious of carpets, and machinery for the heat-setting of carpet yarns – whether from natural fibres like wool or synthetics – is a speciality of Superba, which was founded in 1950.
The heat setting process is crucial in enabling such yarns to be more successfully woven or tufted into wall-to-wall carpets, increasing their thickness, enabling different yarns to be combined and graduated dyeing affinities to be accommodated. The important twist of the yarns is set at a high temperature in a continuous process to ensure it remains permanent.
A heat-set yarn in a wall-to-wall carpet is a guarantee that its voluminosity and softness will last, because it reinforces resistance to deformation, wear and dimensional stability over time.
Both NSC Fibre to Yarn and Superba are now integrating the full range of automation and digital control into their lines.
Spoolex is meanwhile now the umbrella organisation for a number of long-established French specialists in flexible slitting, rewinding and spooling solutions (Calemard), ultrasonic welding and cutting (Decoup+), and low inertia rolls for industrial applications (Roll Concept).
Calemard 4.0 is the group’s integrated engineering department which has been developing various networked solutions to support customers in their monitoring and productivity improvement processes for a number of years. Its DataSmart system has been designed to adapt to the needs of individual companies with solutions including industrial automation and robotization, productivity monitoring and production data tracking of converting equipment and remote assistance tools.
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