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KNITTING MACHINERY Shima Seiki, Tatsumi Seiki, Koseisha

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1. Introduction
The national production of textile machines in 1980 amounted to 219.3 billion yen, of which weaving machines account for 26 %, spinning machines 19 %, dyeing and finish- ing machines 15 %, preparatory machines 15 %, knitting machines 11 %, and chemical fiber machines, needles, parts and others 14%. Of the above total production of knitting machines, 34 % was accounted for by circular knitting ma- chines, 26 % by hosiery machines, 13 % by flat knitting ma- chines, 10% by warp knitting machines, and 17% by fishnet and braid machines.
The general impression of knitting machines on display at OTEMAS-1981 was that, as compared with other textile ma- chines, the number of units on show was limited and, espe- cially, that of foreign brands was very small. A very regret- table scene, indeed.
As to circular knitting machines, it was rather a desolate scene that such giants in the area of single knitting machines as Fukuhara Sangyo and Camber were not represented. Generally speaking, there were only a few new models. This was probably occasioned by the fact that such goals as high speed, multiple yarn feed, high gauge, electronically con- trolled patterning and pattern knitting, etc. had already been accomplished 100 percent by elaboration of the conventional techniques and the fact that the industry is by now oriented to soft ware, e.g. the development of textures with the ex- isting equipment, remodeling of plain knitting machines to
pile and fleecy knitting machines, diversification to rough gauges, etc.
Referring to changes in machine types, we do not remem- ber if a pile knitting machine was displayed at the first OTE- MAS held 5 years ago. But it was surprising that with the worldwide pile fashion, a large number of single knitting machines, especially pile and fleecy knitting machines, were displayed at the current show.
As for warp knitting machines, Japan Meyer was the only name represented and, therefore, we could not make a com-
parative evaluation. It was pleasurable, however, that while warp knitting machinery had lagged behind the circular and flat knitting machines, there were on display a compound needle tricot machine equipped with an electronically con- trolled yarn feed and an electronically controlled chainless multiple-reed lace raschel machine, indicating the utiliza- tion of mechatronics and compound needle concepts in the realm of warp knitting machines.
In the field of flat knitting machines, except for solid knit- ting machines, electronic control has by now become the order of the day and at this show, too, Stoll (West Germany),
Shima Seiki, Tatsumi Seiki, Koseisha, and Yoshino Knitting
Machinery displayed their electronic pattern knitting ma-
chines, with Matsutani Iron Works alone exhibiting a non- electronic machine.
The current electronization in the field of flat knitting ma-
chines features an across-the-board introduction of mecha- tronics throughout the whole mechanism of the knitting
machine, in of addition to the adoption of the electronic
principle in needle selection for pattern knitting. A typical example was the demonstration of intasria knitting of com-
plicated patterns in this intarsia fad. In the field of hosiery machines, Nagata Seiki was the only
domestic exhibitor. However, the company introduced many new models with electronic controls incorporated in a broad
range of systems, suggesting a great advance in the field.
There was no impressive machine of overseas origin, with only Santoni (Italy), Investa (Czechoslovakia) and Fusei
Machinery Industry (Korea) being represented.
2. Circular Knitting Machines
Gunze Sangyo exhibited a rotary ment length machine RK33T (Fig.
cylinder electronic gar-
1) which was manufac-
tured by Ohkuma Iron Work. Its specifications are 33 in. dia.,
12G, bodice feeders 20, hem rib feeders 4, transferring feed- ers 8 and pattern change in 5 min. for 130 thousand stitches.
Azuma Seisakusho, a medium manufacturer mainly pro-
ducing machines for domestic users, introduced 3 models of sinker latch needle plain fabric circular knitting machines in
the AR-S series (Fig. 2) and a reversible AR-HD circular rib
knitting machine. Tomen displayed Terrot (West Germany) S-1108 four-
stage sinker latch needle plain fabric circular knitting ma- chines and SP-148 pile knitting machine (Fig. 3), 26 in., 20G,
42 feeders. As will be seen from the photograph, two sinkers one for the ground and the other for pile are set in a single
Vol. 28 No. 4 (1982) 107
sinker groove, with the pile loop being prevented from tres-
passing the ground and the 3.3 mm pile being obtainable with the 2.8 mm sinker.
Nikko Shoji exhibited MRI (U.S.)'s electronic high-pile machine HP-12MMS (Fig. 4) of the renowned Wildman Jac-
quard type, 24 in., dia.14G,12 feeders, 4-step cam, 60 r.p.m. with a electronic weight cotrol.
Toyota Sulzer Hambai displayed a high-spead knitting universal machine RS-72 from Sulzer-Morat(West Germany)
(30 in. dia., 72 feeders, 20G, 35 r.p.m.) and a high speed spe- cialized circular rib machine RF-HS from Sulzer-Albi (West Germany) (16 in. dia.,18G, 24 feeders, 75 r.p.m.).
Pernick displayed a Spandex Positive Yarn Feed IRO IEPF5405 (Fig. 5) and demonstrated a variety of reversible knitting operations with a Fukuhara single knitting machine.
108 Journal of The Textile Machinery Society of Japan
3. Warp Knitting Machines
A KS-3 compound needle electronic yarn delivery tricot ma-
chine (Fig. 6), 130 in, 28G, 3 reeds, 900 r.p.m., was made its
debut for the first time in this country. The beam is provided with a worm gear which is driven by a pulse-controlled D.C.
motor. The KS2MSU compound needle weft feeding tricot machine
(Fig. 7), 130 in, 24G, 900 r.p.m., 2 reeds, has a capacity of 120 m/hr. As to weft yarn feed, yarns are paid out in parallel
using 12 to 18 spindles as illustrated.
The MRS42-SU Electronic Patterning 42-reed lace raschel
machine (Fig. 8) on show had the specifications of 130 in., 24G, 42 reeds and 400 r.p.m. Without chain links, the machine
performs summation patterning. In the case of the same pat- tern yarn, the time of 3 to 6 hours required before is now as
short as one hour and in the case of different pattern yarns,
Vol. 28 No. 4 (1982) 109
the time has been reduced from one week to a single day. This was the first debut in Japan.
Also displayed were the KS4FBZ compound needle inter- lock pile tricot knitting machine, 130 in., 20G, 4 reeds, 800
r.p.m., the RD6DPLM/12 latch needle double raschel machine and the RMCS casual wear 5-reed raschel machine.
Aside from warp knitting machines, the SKM 64/55 elec-
tronic patterning torsion lace knitting machine (Fig. 9), 64
spindles, 55 mm pitch, 350 r.p.m. and the DSV21 /30 OPW
(Fig. 10) ultra-high speed direct warper were on show.
4. Flat Knitting Machine
Tomen exhibited 3 Stoll (West Germany) electronically controlled machines. All of them were on show at ITMA/ 1979. CNCA-3 was an electronic 4-cam V bed jacquard knitting machine, 200 cm, 5-12G, 60 c/min, capable of knit/tuck/miss selection in one course and transferring in both directions to the forward and backward needle beds with the forward and rearward cams. That is to say, the machine enables pearl knitting in one traverse stroke. The patented transfer needle
permits fullspeed transferring to the vacant needle without a latch opener.
The LNCU Electronic double transfer jacquard machine
(Fig. 11) has 4 sets of electronic needle selection mecha- nisms which permit simultaneous knitting and transferring in both directions, 205 cm, 8G, 17 c/min.
The ANVH-1 electronic double cam full jacquard intarsia knitting machine, 200 cm, 4-12G, 44 c/min, has eleven spe-
cial yarn feed guides on 3 double sided rails and an electroni- cally controlled stop block by which 1 to 7 needles can be
transferred at once. The action width is infinite over the
needle bed. Also displayed was a VDU pattern preparing machine
which makes programming easy by Sintral dialogue. Shima Seiki exhibited eleven flat knitting machines and a
Simatronic Tape Making System. The company occupied the
largest display space as a manufacturer of flat knitting ma- chines and excelled in both quality and quantity of exhibits.
Displayed were the SNC 202 FF electronic double cam jac-
quard transferring-forming machine (Fig. 12), the SNC 182 TI
I10 Journal of The Textile Machinery Society of Japan
electronic double cam both side transferring intarsia machine
(Fig. 13), a multi-purpose machine which permits knit/tuck/ miss selection in the same course and capable of mixed intar- sia and plain jacquard knits, and the SEC 161 FF electronic single cam jacquard transferring-forming machine (Fig. 14)
which is equipped with a stitch pressor as a standard acces- sory. All of these 3 machines are such that the cams are con- trolled by a pulse motor for automatic switching in 7 stages during operation, and are capable of a maximum of 14 stage transfers with the corresponding trunk of the transfer needle thinned to provide a broadened space with respect to the blade. A total of 6 machines, i.e. 3 SNC units and 3 SEC units, were operated for demonstration purposes.
Also displayed were a DSF full-automatic semi-jacquard forming machine, an SJB electronic narrow-width tape knit- ting machine, an SIB electronic 7-color vertical stripe braiding machine, an SFG full automatic seamless glove knitting ma- chine, etc.
Ambitiously, Tatsumi Seiki exhibited 4 machines, all of which were new models. These represented improvements over JAST-NC 5. The JAST-NC 5/I-8 electronic intarsia transferring jacquard machine, 213 cm, 12G., (Fig. 15) is equipped with 8 intarsia transferring motors instead of 4 mo- tors in the earlier machine and accordingly named 1-8. The range of patterning was thus greatly broadend. The JAST- NC 5/FF electronic jacquard transferring-forming machine was equipped with knit pressors, transferring pressors and forming stop block transfer devices (213 cm, 12G, double- cam). The JAST-NC 6 electronic jacquard transferring
machine was a compact version of NC 5, 162 cm, 12G. The FAST-SSII sequencer controlled single-cam semi jacquard transferring machine featured a sequencer electronic control instead of conventional steel card control, 157 cm, 14G, 35 c/min. The design system was one utilizing the DS PASTIC- Mini of Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd.
Koseisha introduced a K160 electronic single cam intarsia knitting machine (Fig. 16) which was a beefed-up version of K150. It is 100 cm, 6-12G, 36 c/min., automatic change, 4-17 colors, 4 yarn change drive motors, playback CNC cassette data which ensure a simplified operation.
Gunze Sangyo displayed Yoshino Knitting Machinery's
YSE electronic single cam transferring machine, 157 cm, 7-
14G, 8-color change on both sides, with pile knitting attach-
Vol. 28 No. 4 (1982) 111
Matsutani Iron Works exhibited a sleeve knitting machine, a trimming machine, a full-automatic seamless gloove knitting machine, etc. Representative was the MSF-100 rahben 2-stage down sleeve knitting machine (Fig. 17).
Tomen displayed Scheller (West Germany)'s BSW full fashion machine (Fig. 18), 36 in, 4-section, 9-21G, full-auto- matic topping machine, and a trans-robot (for automatic rib top and automatic full-fashion machine).
Rimoldi (Italy) exhibited an elastic lace super-high-speed crochet machine ECR-22/0805 (Fig. 19), 80 cm wide, 12- 15G. Cometz (Italy) exhibited a frenge crochet machine MA- FV/800, 80 cm wide, IOG, 150-250 picks/min.
5. Hosiery Machines
Nagata Seiki exhibited a large number of machines and the outstanding technical innovations crystallized therein
gathered attention. Of the five sock knitting machines on show, four were electronic and represented the highest level of technology in the world.
The EJL electronic 2-top 3-color link jacquard knitting
machine (Fig. 20), double sylinder type 4 in. dia., 3 tops,
20-50G, 150-160 r.p.m., is an electronic version of the ear- lier NJL.
The EJL electronic 2-top 3-color link jacquard knitting ma-
chine (Fig. 21), 3-1/4-4 in. dia., 24-50G, 150-160 r.p.m., is a new machine incorporating a link knitting mechanism in the
EJ model exhibited at '79 ITMA. The single-cylinder KSBE electronic double welt sock knit-
ter (Fig. 22) was an electronic version of the earlier KS 232 B machine. The KSE electronic double welt 2-top spiral machine
(Fig. 23) was an electric version of the earlier KS 232 machine. In addition to these knitting machines, the Pattern Pro-
gram System 2002 was introduced for compatible patterning. A couple of panty stocking machines were on display. The
KT-Super 4 was a 4-top seamless stocking machine, 4 in. dia.,
112 Journal of The Textile Machinery Society of Japan
400-428, 900 r.p.m. The KT-Super 24 (Fig. 24) was a 24-
stage, 60-rack seamless stocking machine equipped with 4
patterning pin drums, 4 inch dia., 4-top, 360-434 needles, 3-speeds (600, 400 and 200). This was a machine adapted to
the current fashionable styling. Aside from the foregoing machines, a 2-top rib sock knit-
ting machine of R-2 separate type was also on show. Investa exhibited two sock knitting machines, double-
cylinder and single-cylinder. Santoni (Italy) displayed a Mira- bella 4-p panty stocking machine.
6. Conclusion
The outstanding innovations in textile machinery as dis- covered at the recent OTEMAS included the MJS air spin- ning frame which produces a yarn with the aid of an air vortex and the mach splicer which splices yarns without knots by means of an air vortex in the realm of spinning machinery, and the competitive demonstrations of air jet looms by sever- al exhibitors in the field of weaving machines. Thus, the utilization of pneumatic principles was a focus of the show.
In the field of knitting machinery, a general penetration of electronics was a prominent trend, but there was no birth of any new epocal mechanism for loop formation. It was a pity that we could not see an air jet knitting system such that a loop is formed by blowing yarns into channels by means of air pressure and a knitted fabric is produced by forcing out a new loop from the inner side of an old loop.
As to the current level of knitting technology, beard need- les have receded and compound needles have come into the fore. But latch needles remain to be dominant. However, latch needles have their own disadvantages. It is desirable to develop a knitting needle that will take place of the latch needle and a knitting mechanism compatible with such a new type of needle. A changeover to compound needles could be an answer to this problem. As the needle action by a cam mechanism has reached a limit angle-wise, it is desir- able that we see the advent of a new needle operating system. Electronically controlled needle operation utilizing pulse signals and an electromagnetic drive could be a possibility if the stroke is reduced or divided to shorten the path.
While knitting machines have developed in the distinct areas of circular, plain and warp knitting machines, a radical review of the mechanisms of each machine from electronic
points of view might lead to a remarkable new technology. A few possible approaches might be to convert a uniform action of all needles to independent actions and to use cam rings revolving in positive and reverse directions in two tracks for alternating reciprocation in yarn paths so as to make the linear reciprocating action a circular motion.
At the recent OTEMAS, Metap (Chechoslovakia) exhib- ited its knitting weave machine for the first times in Japan. It had been introduced in the reviews of '79 ITMA and '80
Fig. 24
ATMF. In mechanism, it was a multi-phase textile machine
covering both weaving and knitting functions, and was a ma-
chine that does not require mechatronics. Mixing of weaving
and knitting could be a theme of study.
Juxptaposed with no-man sewing may be seamless knit-
ting. If developed from stereo knitting by pressor foots and
seamless glove knitting, seamless knitted garments might not
be mere dreams.
The characteristic of automobile, electric appliance, elec-
tronics, steel and other manufactures in Japan who are at the
highest levels of technology in the world today may be sum-
marized as technical innovation and quality control.
Japan has ample skilled human resources. It is hoped that
these human vitality be imbibed into the knitting industry
to create one technological innovation after another and that
many new epock-making machines be introduced at further
OTEMAS and other shows.
I. General Impression
The general impression of the exhibition is summarized as follows: a. Variety and progress of sensors
Various sensors to detect body shape, position, speed, weight, force, temperature, humidity, etc. have become small and sensitive, and articles subject to inspection got diversity. Non-touch type sensors have increased, though their price is cheaper than before.
b. Data processing apparatus Small and handy data processings are spread, and they
make the contents of processing rich. Real time system is also increased.
c. Reflection of market needs Improvements to answere the market needs are carried
out, such as saving energy, saving worker, saving time.
2. Yarn Testers
Fig. 1 Stress-strain curve (Shikibo Co.)
Fig. 2 Histogram of strength (Shikibo Co.)
114 Journal of The Textile Machinery Society of Japan