Reutlingen - German flat knitting machine builder Stoll launched the the CMS ADF-3 in 2013 and since then, applications for the machine have been evolving, including application areas for technical textiles. Keen to boost this section of the business, Stoll will be at May's Techtextil exhibition in Hall 3, booth C19.
The exhibition will be an interesting one for Stoll, a company that is keen to explore new growth areas for its range of flat knitting technology. As CEO Andreas Schellhammer told this magazine last year, the real question is, ?What do we mean by technical textiles? This is such a broad industry that we have to be selective and ask where specifically can flat knitting make its mark??
The answer, according to Stoll, is to find industries where knitting has not previously been used but where, with the latest technology, it can offer something new and innovative.
According to Mr Schellhammer, footwear is the perfect case in point with the development of knitted football boots from companies such as Nike and Adidas illustrating how the technology can bring industries which have not yet thought about flat knitting to the table and showing them what benefits they can gleam from this kind of technology.
?A couple of years ago, no-one was talking about knitted sports shoes but look now at what the biggest two names in the industry are producing," he said. "There is a lot of hype and fantasy about what knitting machines can do but its important to find the products that can really offer commercial growth. The traditional sweater business will always be key for us but it?s about always looking for those new application areas that can continue to drive growth.?
With a knitting width of 50 ins, the 3-system CMS ADF-3 continues to perform well in an intensely competitive market mainly due to these broad areas of applications. With 16 rails, equipped with two yarn carriers each this model is already setting new standards. Knitting functions from previous machine generations have come together in the CMS ADF-3, including, of course, multi-gauge and flexible gauge features. This has resulted simple handling and faster programming, Stoll says, with the universal yarn carriers designed for use in any knitting application.
On show at Techtextil will be the brand new Stoll ADF 32 W, multi gauge machine in gauge E7.2 machine which includes an integrated presser inlay system for weft reinforced fabrics allowing woven like fabric appearances and reinforcements without restricting the versatility of the Stoll ADF machine generation.
What makes the CMS ADF-3 so versatile though is its advanced yarn carrier technology, which is based on 32 motorized yarn carriers. These carriers move independently from the carriage and can position themselves vertically or horizontally. Positioning is controlled by the pattern program with these configurations opening up almost unlimited possibilities for the user regarding patterns and color combinations.
When it comes to plating, the benefits of flexible yarn carriers are particularly noticeable as its inverse plating allows you to create any conceivable color combination. With intarsia plating, color nuances can be added to individual or multiple pattern areas. The CMS ADF-3 also enables color fields of less than 1" to be knitted.
Stoll also highlights the machine?s efficiency, which is boosted by more effective knitting sequences that reduce the stroke. Faster retrofitting times when changing patterns lower the machine's downtimes considerably.
Even its ergonomic improvements have generated several benefits for the user, who, Stoll believes, are sure to appreciate them when working with the machine on a daily basis. These include the sliding bobbin board and the V-shaped yarn control (installed in a low position to ensure that the yarn carriers don't cross each other) amongst others.
"Stoll CMS machines run in manufacturers producing medical devices such as soft goods as well as for special upholstery solutions and intriguing sport goods," the company said. "Our machines can also be used for making wire and conductive knits as well as for textile substrates in composite products. No textile procedure allows the combination of a complex built-up shape with a functional design by use of specific materials as applied by Stoll machines."
Illustrating this, the Stoll stand will include samples from various applications such as medical soft goods, sports items, wire fabrics, composite implementations, upholstery fabrics and protection apparel.