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Obertshausen - An increasing number of orders for its latest tricot technology suggests a significant recovery of China's warp knitting sector, says Karl Mayer.

By the end of October 2020, the warp knitting machine builder says it had sold more than 350 of its new TM 3 model with a working width of 290 ins.

Moreover, the forecasts for the next 12 months also assume that demand will remain high.

Up to now, most orders have come from a number of towns in Zhejiang province, namely Hai Ning, Tong Xiang and Chang Xing. Here the innovative tricot machine is mainly used for the manufacture of rigid and elastic velour and raised articles for clothing and furniture.

The bestsellers include various velour articles, suede leather or articles with a cotton look. "With its performance and competitive price, the new TM 3 is the right machine, at the right time, in the right place," explains Lin Tailai, Head of Tricot Machinery at Karl Mayer.

According to the official national statistics office, in October 2020, the gross domestic product in China rose slightly by 3.2 per cent in the following three months and significantly by 4.9 per cent in the third quarter compared to the previous year, after a 6.8 per cent decline in the first quarter.

This positive economic mood had an impact on investments with warp knitting companies also regaining confidence in the market and beginning to order new machines.

More performance, lower price

At ITMA 2019, Karl Mayer’s HKS 3-M ON was successfully introduced to the market as high-tech model of the latest tricot machine generation.

With the TM 3, the basic machine range will follow in the generation change. The new TM 3 is characterized by a further optimized price-performance ratio.

With a working width of 280 ins, which can be extended by 10 ins, it is much wider than its predecessor with 180 ins and/or maximum 186 ins and just as fast.

As a result, the output is clearly higher. "The first field test machine already showed a stable machine run over several months at an operating speed of 2,200 min-1," explained Tailai. "The efficiency could be doubled compared to the previous TM generation, at a more attractive price."

The extra width available also increases flexibility when producing several fabric lines. The number and width of the textile strips can be varied in a higher band width. The TM 3 also offers further versatility thanks to its ability to process elastane. For this purpose, the standard version is modified by an optional unit for the guiding and tension monitoring of the elastic yarns in the ground guide bar GB 3.

In particular, for the manufacturers of elastic velour articles, this equipment variant might be extremely interesting. As a further option, the standard 32 ins beam superstructure for the ground guide bar GB 1 can be replaced by an 40 ins variant when using DTY yarns.

The longer running length maximizes the beam change intervals and, therefore minimizes downtime. In addition, like all machines of the third generation, the new TM 3 offers the features of KAMCOS 2 and the advantages of bars made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic.

The high-tech material is extraordinarily light and provides a temperature stability that meets the requirements of the high working width. The spring elements of the tension rail could also be optimized by a solution of fibre-reinforced plastic.

The result of this improvement, says Karl Mayer, is maximum effects when compensating yarn tensions and, therefore, a smooth yarn run-in as an important prerequisite for an exact fabric appearance. The machine is offered in gauges of E28 and E32. The patterning is done by an N-gear.

Karl Mayer also notes that an important step on the way to the start of series production of the new TM 3 was the feedback from the field during the pilot phase of development. "With Hua Huang Knitting Clothing Co Ltd. we chose the right customer for our field tests. The manufacturer in Tongxiang City, Province Zhejiang, gave us great support and helped us promote the machine with his positive attitude," said Tailai, adding that good cooperation and the explanations of the field test partner were important for the acceptance of innovations such as this in the market.

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