FAIR WINDS AND FOLLOWING SEAS
Wind, water, salt and the highest loads. Sailing is something for true professionals and experts. Likewise making sailcloth, one of the most demanding high-performance fabrics, is produced only by specialized weavers.
A sailcloth must retain its shape even in high winds, but also allow and withstand strong stretching and this over a long period of time. In addition, the fabrics are constantly in contact with water and salt, which additionally stresses their surfaces. A fabric can only sustain these high demands if it has been manufactured to the highest quality.
Loepfe products are used in a wide range of industries to ensure zero-defect manufacturing and production efficiency, this is also the case for sailcloth production. Loepfe's WeftMaster FALCON-i, WeftMaster KW and WeftMaster SFB products perform important quality control functions during production to ensure the high quality desired. Another Loepfe product from the WeftMaster series, the WeftMaster CUT-iT, is also integrated into the manufacturing process to ensure perfect selvedges and smooth further processing.
So, why do well-known manufacturers of sailcloth rely on all these Loepfe products?
First and foremost, the FALCON-i sensor prevents faulty yarn from being woven into the fabric in the first place. As before the yarns are woven into fabric, an all-round control over every single millimeter of the running yarn is applied by FALCON-i, as the high-tech yarns must be completely free of even the smallest knots, fluff and filamentation. The FALCON-i optical yarn defect sensor detects such defects in the yarn completely reliably – and is unaffected by the strong vibration caused by the weaving machine, the high speed (yarn speed up to 30 meters/second) and the yarn to be monitored (any color, conductive materials, monofilament or multifilament yarns). Such a high-performance fabric can only be produced with reliable quality control - as every defect is a possible weak point that can lead to poor performance or a shorter lifecycle.
However, the sensor also contributes massively to production efficiency as up to 90% of machine downtimes can be attributed to weft faults. Weft faults arise largely due to production-related defects and irregularities in the yarn. In the weaving process for technical fabrics - made from multifilaments – filamentation, individual fibril breaks, fluff or the smallest knots in the weft yarn are a problem. The detection of flaws in the weft yarn prevents defective fabrics and expensive complaints. For reliable monitoring and efficient defect detection, the FALCON-i sensor is mounted in front of the weft feeder.
Additionally, the masters of their trade attach great importance to perfect selvedges as sailcloth requires specialized finishing methods to withstand the stresses. They know that only perfect selvedges can ensure smooth further processing, as well as preventing coating machines from severe wear. Thus, manufacturers rely on the WeftMaster CUT-iT to get perfectly cut synthetic fabrics. CUT-iT is the ideal fabric cutter system for thermal cutting of thin, light-to-dense and heavy synthetic fabrics. CUT-iT guarantees at all times precise performance even at fast machine starts and stops with its intelligent cutting temperature control for constant high-quality output in the weaving mill.
Loepfe, through its latest technology products, is proud to be a part of this whole process - and acknowledges with admiration the great skill and dedication of the expert weavers who produce such high-performance fabrics! And to all sailors out there “may you have fair winds and following seas".