Germany’s leading circular knitting machine manufacturer, Mayer & Cie, has received an IKU award. The SME won a Climate and Environment Innovation Prize (IKU) for its spinitsystems spinning and knitting technology. The Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) award IKU prizes every other year for new innovations.
Normally, yarn is processed into a textile fabric on the circular knitting machines. The yarn comes from a spinning mill, where it is manufactured in a complex and energy-intensive process. The new Mayer & Cie. spinning and knitting machine, in contrast, does not wait for the finished yarn to arrive from the spinning mill; it uses roving and is thereby able to combine in one machine, the Spinit 3.0 E, the previously strictly separate processes of spinning and knitting. Several other machines are no longer required, reducing the space required by about a third. The process takes less time, reducing the amount of energy required to about two thirds of what the conventional manufacturing process uses – with a positive effect on the carbon dioxide balance. The spinning and knitting machine also helps to save valuable cotton. Leftover roving on the spools is not waste; it can be sent straight back to the spinning mill.
These were the points that the IKU jury specially mentioned in its appraisal. The organisers were also impressed by the market potential and the number of machines envisaged over a five-year period.
The jury further felt that the 30 active spinitsystems patents and the long development time testified to the entrepreneurial performance that lay behind this innovation.
Michael A. Tuschak, in charge of spinit systems marketing and sales said, “We are the first manufacturer to have dared to merge these two processes that have previously been separate both technically and ideologically. We are delighted that the staying power required to see an innovation of this kind through has been rewarded with this prize.