Soaring demand in some critical nonwovens applications has made the global pandemic a period of both market growth and technical progress for companies at the forefront of the sector. The upcoming INDEX event is an ideal opportunity for equipment providers to present their latest innovations, and AUTEFA Solutions will be featuring novel systems targeting higher productivity, assured quality and energy efficiency.
The sales boom in some areas – notably spunlaced products for hygiene and sanitizing wipes – has clearly been driven by virus-related requirements. But AUTEFA is confident that the resulting “huge demand” will continue, as producers discover the benefits of the technological advances made.
Says AUTEFA Solutions CMO Marco Fano: “Our unique web-forming technology ideally meets our customers’ needs at this time, and we see the upward trend in order intake being sustained in future, particularly in combined card and crosslapper solutions. Our advanced spunlace manufacturing systems are able to deliver high standards of quality and performance, with the all-important advantage of rapid investment payback.”
Sustainable manufacturing is a key goal for Autefa, with a focus on manufacturing solutions which preserve both energy and raw materials. Spunlace processes can require relatively high energy usage, so AUTEFA has developed the unique combination of V-Jet FUTURA hydroentanglement machine and SQ-V Square Drum Dryer, which can reduce energy consumption by up to 30%. The V-Jet Injector also enables customers to modernize existing production lines with the newest hydroentanglement technology.
Savings in raw material costs and excellent fabric uniformity are major features of the Topliner crosslapper series. In combination with the WebMax and CLOSED LOOP system, this prevents weight increases at fabric edges – known as the smile effect – which would otherwise waste material.
AUTEFA Solutions offers a complete range of nonwovens machinery, covering needlepunch lines, aerodynamic web forming, spunlace and thermobonding equipment. Application sectors range from hygiene and wipes through filtration, geotextiles, automotive, carpets, technical felts, wadding and insulation. In the premium nonwovens segment, AUTEFA Solutions is renowned for the quality, durability and performance of its technology for both forming and bonding processes, incorporating the famous brands Fehrer, FOR and Strahm.
Face mask production line for 50,000 units per day
A fully automated production line for protective face masks has been developed by AUTEFA Solutions. The HiPerMask system can output over 50,000 masks per day, meeting international standards EU FFP2 and FFP3, as well as US N95 and N98.
AUTEFA Solutions is a leading manufacturer of nonwovens machines and automation systems and has designed the new line in recognition of current and likely future requirements for mask-wearing on a continuing basis.
André Imhof, CEO AUTEFA Solutions Switzerland AG, says: “The production of FFP/N protective masks is about quality, efficiency, design and output. We will all continue to wear masks, so it is important that they can be produced autarch regionally in high volumes. At AUTEFA Solutions, we have focused on improving production quickly and sustainably with our know-how and upgrade packages for existing machines. We are able to upgrade ear loop and head loop welding stations, mask shape stamping (for different mask shapes) and mask folding (with sensor-controlled centering), and of course quality control of the processes and the entire production.”
The HiPerMask line consists of a material feed, nose clip feed and positioning, ultrasonic welding units, ear loops or head loop stations, mask folding, punching, and dispensing of the masks into a collection container. A vital factor is high process reliability, with reproducible product quality at an output of over 50,000 masks per day. EMERSON Branson ultrasonic assembly technology is used for respirator and mask shape welding. The nose clip unit ensures precise feeding of the clips; there is a printer for labelling on both sides, including individual numbering and company logos; and a mask folding unit has automatic centering using a vision sensor and linear unit.
As an option, mask strip welding can be carried out as an ear loop station or as a headband station, with band length adjustment. Another outstanding feature is the ability to shape and weld the protective mask contour for different shapes and sizes.