Menzel's COMPACTFLOW is a multifunctional compact washing system for digital printing and smaller batch sizes. Four full-fledged washing modules are accommodated in just four meters of space - without reducing the performance of the system. In addition, fabrics with different elastic properties can be washed.
If the tensile forces of woven goods - for example a bed sheet to be printed - can be specified comparatively easily and held permanently with the familiar control methods, this is quite different for elastic articles. "In the past, we had to deal with two completely different machines because woven goods are easy to handle and elastic fabrics are all the more complicated," says Managing Director Constantin Menzel. With the CompactFlow, the machine builders from Bielefeld have succeeded in cleaning even these fabrics that are sensitive to tension in a continuous washing process.
Minimum tensile torques are required so as not to overstretch the elasticity of the fabric. This is why Lenze's drive and control technology must be so finely adjusted. "We go down to tensile forces of 10 N per meter of fabric width. That's practically nothing," clarifies Wolfgang Fechner, technical sales manager at Menzel. And this is precisely where Menzel's special know-how lies, in safely mastering just such articles in a continuously operating system.
Constantin Menzel believes the success of the project is also due to the close cooperation with Lenze. The two companies have been working closely together for decades - which ultimately also includes engineering. Lenze also played an intensive advisory role in the CompactFlow. "Until now, no one has managed to get so-called elastic band goods (elastic corsetry with a high elastane content) to work, for example. We have recognized the decisive correlations and, together with Lenze, have brought them into automation. That's all we're going to tell you," says the managing director happily.
Technically, the whole thing is realized with servo drives and a controller as the compact center of the automation. To ensure a high degree of axis synchronism for the ten drives in total, Lenze uses the performance of the Ethercat real-time Ethernet bus. For the software, the project team was able to use ready-programmed modules from Lenze's FAST Application Toolbox, especially for the standard functions. Menzel's machine builders firmly expect that the trend will move even more towards using prepared software modules for standard applications. Lenze FAST is based on software modules that are easy to use and cover standard functions as far as possible.