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Shanghai - Groz-Beckert held technical discussions with more than 4,000 visitors during the five days of recent ITMA Asia + CITME exhibition with many showing significant interest in the company's latest developments for the knitting sector.

Using exhibits and films, Groz-Beckert showed how smart products and services can save resources, while at the same time increasing productivity.

To present the products, the realistic transparent textile machines first introduced at the ITMA 2015 in Milan were used for the segments of knitting, weaving, felting, tufting, carding and sewing. Machines equipped with Groz-Beckert needles and system parts provided the public with direct insight into product uses and their perfectly coordinated interplay. Moreover, the removable components in the transparent machines made for a genuine product experience.

A highlight in the Knitting segment was the introduction of the new generation of Litespeed needle: the Litespeed Plus which weighs in at just 0.6 grams and is said to be capable of significantly lowering the CO2 emissions for fabric manufacturers as well as helping reduce energy costs and operating temperatures.

According to Groz Beckert, when Litespeed Plus needles are used, it's been proven that it is possible to lower the machine temperature and energy consumption by up to 20 per cent. With a single needle set consisting of 3,000 needles, knitting mills in China have recorded a CO2 reduction of 1.4 tons per year while in India this figure was found to be over 2.4 tons.

The key to the Litespeed Plus is in the needle geometry. The original idea of further developing the geometry of the tried and tested Litespeed circular knitting needle led to the creation of a new product – the optimized Litespeed Plus. In both cases, the needle shank thickness has been partially reduced in comparison to a standard form.

While this reduction is on just one side in the Litespeed design – either on the left or the right hand side of the needle – the Litespeed plus features this partial reduction on both sides. This means that the Litespeed plus version can also be used independently of the machine's direction of rotation. Its key selling point, however, is the more efficient design, which provides more benefits in terms of energy savings, temperature reduction, and oil distribution.

Machine temperature test results were demonstrated using a single jersey circular knitting machine. In extreme cases, the speed of modern (high-performance) circular knitting machines can be limited by high temperatures. The reduction in shank thickness on the litespeed plus reduces friction and improves lubricating performance which clearly lowers the temperature, even at high machine speeds.

The additional reduction in the contact area due to the reduction of shank thickness on both sides also means lower friction between the needle and needle trick which results in lower power consumption, and therefore a reduction in CO2 emissions.

"In short, the new product litespeed plus represents an evolution of the previous litespeed version, but with two-sided reduction of needle shank thickness – and it is designed for use in large circular knitting machines," Groz Beckert says. "The "plus" stands for more energy savings, temperature reduction, even more efficient lubrication behavior, and reduction of CO2 emissions.

"Seen as a whole, the minimized friction, improved lubricating properties, and significantly reduced machine temperature all improve handling, and reduce wear on system components. This also allows the maximum machine speed to be fully exploited, and results in optimal needle service life."

"For Groz-Beckert, the ITMA Asia + CITME 2016 resulted in many interesting discussions and new incentives, and was a resounding success," the company said.


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