Oerlikon’s new eAFK Evo texturing machine, which was unveiled to selected clients at the ITMA trade fair in Barcelona, has proven to be a breakthrough in the manufacture of yarns. This is evidenced by leading global yarn producer, Unifi Manufacturing, Inc., who placed a significant order for these revolutionary machines on the first day of the trade fair.
Unifi collaborated with Oerlikon to develop a specially-designed eAFK Evo pilot machine that has been operating for the last eight months, using it to manufacture various Unifiber virgin and REPREVE®-branded recycled polyester and polyamide yarns. Unifi has obtained exclusive rights in the Americas to their unique design, which enables the new machine to operate at considerably higher texturing speeds, delivers consistently high-quality yarn across a broad range of products, and enables new, innovative performance yarns.
“Unifi is proud to collaborate with Oerlikon Barmag on its innovative new texturing technology that is positioned to revolutionise yarn manufacturing,” said Tom Caudle, president and chief operating officer of Unifi. “True innovation starts in the fibre, and the new eAFK Evo texturing machine will allow us to continue our history of manufacturing excellence and provide our customers with an expanded portfolio of performance products with broad market appeal.”
Cost-efficient production, reduced energy consumption
Oerlikon also exhibited a configuration of the eAFK Evo texturing machine at ITMA, designed for the cost-efficient production of commodity yarns. At just 4.7 metres in height, this compact machine still comes with a four-deck winding system. The most important foundation for both machines is the 300-millimetre-long EvoCooler with its active cooling technology. The EvoCooler’s controllable cooling unit opens a huge production window, with titers ranging from around 30 to 300 denier and including microfilaments; combining it with the EvoHeater increases texturing speed by about 20%. The EvoCooler also enables extremely even yarn dyeing and provides significant benefits using no additional energy compared to current offerings. With the optimised, extremely energy-efficient EvoHeater and its connected peripherals, the machine offers up to 25% energy savings.
Unifi yarns deployed worldwide
Unifi, Inc. is a global textile solutions provider and one of the world’s leading innovators in manufacturing synthetic virgin and recycled performance fibres. Through REPREVE®, one of Unifi’s proprietary technologies and the global leader in branded recycled performance fibres, Unifi has transformed more than 16 billion plastic bottles into recycled fibre for new apparel, footwear, home goods and other consumer products with the help of Oerlikon Barmag texturing machines. The company’s proprietary PROFIBER™ technologies offer increased functional performance, comfort and style advantages, enabling customers to develop products that perform, look and feel better. Unifi continually innovates technologies to meet consumer needs in moisture management, thermal regulation, antimicrobial, UV protection, stretch, water resistance and enhanced softness. Unifi collaborates with many of the world’s most influential brands in the performance apparel, footwear, outdoor, fashion, home, automotive and other industries. Since launching REPREVE®, Unifi and its partners have recycled more than 16 billion bottles, with a goal of recycling 20 billion bottles by 2020 and 30 billion by 2022.
Oerlikon displayed REPREVE® yarns produced on the eAFK Evo pilot machine, along with fabrics made from the yarn, at the Oerlikon stand at the ITMA trade show.