Energy-efficient MachineryNews & UpdatesSustainability

Oerlikon’s technology can turn any raw material into sustainable product

Oerlikon will showcase its latest sustainable textile manufacturing solutions at ITMA Asia + CITME 2022, the leading trade show for the textile industry in Asia. The company will focus on helping textile manufacturers create a circular economy, reduce energy consumption, and produce more sustainable products. Oerlikon’s solutions will be on display at booth A55 in hall 7.

“At Oerlikon, we contribute with our innovative technologies for resource-saving use in almost all manmade fiber spinning mills in the world. Our promise for the future is to continue to expand the zero-waste production approach and thus take care of achieving our customers’ and our own sustainability goals”,

Georg Stausberg, CEO of the Polymer Processing Solutions Division and Chief Sustainability Officer of the Oerlikon Group
Figure: Georg Stausberg, CEO of Oerlikon Polymer Processing Solutions Division.

Oerlikon at ITMA Asia + CITME 2022: Circular Economy and Recycling

The textile industry is a major polluter, and Oerlikon is committed to helping its customers achieve more with less. The company is investing heavily in circular economy and recycling technologies and will be showcasing its latest solutions at ITMA Asia + CITME 2022.

One of Oerlikon’s most exciting new technologies is its Worn Again process, which can recycle polyester and polycotton blends, as well as PET plastics, into circular raw materials and fibers. The company is currently building a large demonstration system for this process in Switzerland.

Oerlikon is also working on a number of other recycling technologies, including its VacuFil system for rPET recycling. VacuFil is a unique and innovative process that combines gentle large-scale filtration and targeted intrinsic viscosity (IV) regulation to produce consistently outstanding rPET melt quality.

In addition to its recycling technologies, Oerlikon is also committed to reducing its own environmental impact. The company has set a goal of achieving CO2 neutrality in all its locations by 2030, and it is already using 100% renewable energy at its Liechtenstein site.

Oerlikon’s commitment to circular economy and recycling is essential for the future of the textile industry. By developing and deploying new technologies, the company is helping its customers to reduce their environmental impact and produce more sustainable products.

Why are circular economy and recycling important for the textile industry?

The textile industry is a major polluter. It is responsible for a significant amount of waste and pollution, both during the production and consumption of textiles.

A circular economy for textiles would help to reduce the industry’s environmental impact. By reusing and recycling textiles, we can reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills and incinerators. We can also reduce the amount of new resources that are needed to produce textiles.

Recycling is also important for the textile industry because it can help to reduce costs. By using recycled materials in the production of new textiles, manufacturers can save money on raw materials.

How is Oerlikon helping the textile industry to achieve a circular economy?

Oerlikon is developing and deploying a range of technologies that can help the textile industry to achieve a circular economy. These technologies include:

  • The Worn Again process can recycle polyester and polycotton blends, as well as PET plastics, into circular raw materials and fibers.
  • The VacuFil system for rPET recycling produces consistently outstanding rPET melt quality.
  • A range of solutions for rPET enables customers to save millions of tons of CO2 per year.

Oerlikon is also working with its customers to develop new circular economy business models. For example, the company is working with a number of customers to develop clothing rental and leasing service.

Energy Efficiency? EvoSteam process revolutionizes polyester staple fiber production

There is a huge demand for textile fibers: population growth of around 3% per annum, fast fashion and many other factors are fueling this demand. According to international studies, global demand for staple fibers made from polyester will total 20 million tons in 2025 – this is approx. 33% more than the production volume recorded in 2013. In view of noticeable climate change and its impact on people and the economy, resource- and environment-friendly manufacturing methods are absolutely crucial for the future. High production costs are currently eating into the margins of fiber producers. Noteworthy here are above all massively increased energy and polymer prices, but water is also an important resource today – very frequently scarce and consequently expensive. At this year’s ITMA Asia + CITME 2022 in Shanghai, Oerlikon Neumag will be unveiling its new EvoSteam process to interested trade visitors, viewed by many process experts as an enabler for more sustainable staple fiber production in the future. The objective of the new development is to lower both operating expenses (OPEX) and the carbon footprint with minimal consumption of energy, water and polymer – simultaneously with the excellent fiber qualities demanded by downstream processes and high production volumes.

New Materials?

Looking back at the regulations of the European Union, among others, there are also major challenges for new materials. In that regard the Green Deal can only be realized if new European Union policy frameworks create certainty for future investments.

“In the polymer processing industry, we have to come to a sustainable, closed circular economy for packaging materials and textiles, for example, while simultaneously intensively expanding the recycling of the materials used. Here, new materials also offer opportunities – opportunities that we as a machine manufacturer and plant engineering company will exploit. However, compared to non-biodegradable, petrochemical-based polymers such as PE, PET and PP, the prices for bio-based polymers like PA 5.6. and biodegradable polymers like PLA, PBAT and PBS are not yet competitive. In contrast, the properties of bio-based materials used for consumer products, especially those used in the packaging industry, are already competitive. It appears compostable textiles will remain a niche market”

“But one thing is certain: utilizing current Oerlikon technologies and future innovations, we will be able to transform virtually any raw material into an ecologically attractive end product. The economic questions will ultimately be answered by consumers. Technology is once again enabling us to create a better world”


Oerlikon to Showcase Digitalization and Traceability Solutions at ITMA Asia + CITME 2022

Oerlikon will showcase its latest digitalization and traceability solutions at ITMA Asia + CITME 2022, the leading trade show for the textile industry in Asia. The company is committed to helping its customers to achieve their sustainability goals, and its digital solutions play a key role in this.

Digital Twin of WINGS POY Winding Head

One of Oerlikon’s most exciting new digital solutions is its digital twin of the WINGS POY winding head. This digital twin can be used to simulate the operation of the winding head and identify potential problems before they occur. This can help customers to improve the efficiency and reliability of their production processes.

Figure: Oerlikon WINGS POY winding head digital twin

Digital Academy

Oerlikon is also investing heavily in its Digital Academy, an online training platform that provides customers with access to a variety of training modules on Oerlikon products and technologies. The Digital Academy is designed to help customers to get the most out of their Oerlikon equipment and to produce the highest quality products possible.

Other Digital Solutions

In addition to its digital twin and Digital Academy, Oerlikon also offers a range of other digital solutions, including:

  • A digital product passport that provides customers with detailed information about the composition of their products.
  • A digital traceability solution that allows customers to track the movement of their products through the supply chain.
  • A digital manufacturing platform that helps customers to optimize their production processes.

Oerlikon’s digital solutions are essential for customers who want to achieve their sustainability goals. By helping customers to improve the efficiency and reliability of their production processes, Oerlikon’s digital solutions can help customers to reduce their environmental impact and produce more sustainable products.

Oerlikon Barmag ACW WINGS

How can an upgrade increase Oerlikon Barmag POY yarn manufacturing process quality while simultaneously cutting energy consumption, waste, time and personnel? At ITMA Asia + CITME 2022, Oerlikon will show its long-awaited upgrade: ACW WINGS drawing fields. Established technologies can always be made better. When the Advanced Craft Winder (ACW) was launched in 1998, it was truly convincing with its sophisticated modifications for initial string-up and yarn transfer. WINGS replaced it as the new benchmark in 2007. However, because Oerlikon Barmag technology last for decades, many ACW and WINGS winders are being operated practically side-by-side in some places. Customers asked Oerlikon: please build a WINGS drawing fields over our ACW winders! At ITMA Asia + CITME 2022 it will be shown in hybrid way – a WINGS drawing field in combination with virtual ACW Winder. 

Oerlikon Barmag Wiping Robot

Regular wiping of the spin packs is important for process stability and yarn quality. Automating the process with Oerlikon Barmag’s wiping robots, which can be retrofitted to numerous spinning plants, delivers considerable benefits, as it reduces the yarn break rate by up to 30%, improves process stability and reduces downtime. In addition, wiping robots help to indirectly reduce waste as a result of a 90% decrease in the use of silicone oil spray cans and a 15% to 20% decrease in total silicone oil consumption.

Oerlikon Nonwoven HycuTEC

Oerlikon Nonwoven’s HycuTEC inline charging technology is used to create high-end charged meltblown filtration media. Introduced in March, it went on to win the 2022 FILTREX™ Innovation Award. One of the reasons HycuTEC won the award was that the meltblown media treated with the technology requires 40% less polymer (fabric weight) to achieve the same filter efficiency than the nonwoven material that was not treated. In other words, filter specification is easier to achieve while reducing waste in production. Compared with other hydro-charging concepts, the unit significantly reduces water and energy consumption due to the elimination of an additional drying process and the lower pressure drop in the filter material. HycuTEC is the first industrially manufactured hydro-charging solution that can be easily retrofitted to existing systems as a plug-and-produce component.

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