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Rieter adds traceability to fiber preparation using Haelixa technology

Rieter has signed an agreement with Haelixa, the winning spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), to add traceability technology to its spinning process. This makes Reiter the first mover among spinning machinery manufacturers to identify fibers during yarn preparation.  By partnering with Rieter Spinning Systems, yarn manufacturers partner for textile branding and ensure exceptional transparency throughout their supply chain.

 Textile supply chains are known for their complexity and lack of transparency, with production occurring in fragmented process steps across different geographies.  But consumers and fashion brands are increasingly calling for an identifiable physical fingerprint to provide forensic evidence of the origin of textile materials, with increasing pressure for stricter regulations.

Combining Rieter’s expertise in short-staple fiber processing with Haelixa’s technology will create more visibility and resilience in the supply chain based on a solution that seamlessly integrates into existing spinning systems.  Traceability solution available for retrofitting Rieter and Haelixa have completed joint internal testing and validation, resulting in an automated application of DNA markers on Rieter spinning systems, which will be available to customers in the coming months. 

A spraying system dispenses unique DNA markers during mixing to ensure each fiber is physically identified.  With this, the presence of original fibers during production can be verified later through testing.  Solutions can include new equipment or retrofitting existing equipment.  In a first step, Rieter incorporated automatic sprayers into their fiber mixing machines UNImix B 72 and B 76, retrofits to other machine types are also available.  Verifying Product Claims, Improving Transparency Every manufacturer across the value chain, including fashion brands, will be empowered to substantiate product claims such as desired product mix, manufacturing location and ethical standards. 

“We are proud to partner with Haelixa to help our customers differentiate themselves with an innovative solution that creates much-needed transparency in the textile supply chain.  This solution also underlines the importance of yarn production in making the textile value chain more equitable, inclusive and sustainable.”

Rico Randeger, Head of Business Group After Sales, Ritter

The material is identified as early as possible in the spinning process to ensure these product claims are credible.  This occurs in the blowroom, where the short-staple fibers are opened and cleaned.  Each spinning mill can apply multiple customized DNA markers to suit the requirements of their different customers.  Material marked with DNA markers can be mixed with unmarked material at a later stage, for example, when processing a blend of recycled and virgin cotton. 

“In the textile industry, the journey of products made from fibers needs to be revolutionized. With Rieter, we set a new standard for how to seamlessly add physical traceability to existing processes. By integrating our DNA solutions with state-of-the-art textile machinery, we offer brands the opportunity to reduce risk in their supply chain.”

Gediminas Mikoutis, Co-Founder and CTO of Helix

Depending on the desired product mix, the corresponding amount of DNA marker will be applied to the bloomroom so that it can be traced through the final product.  The DNA marker is designed to withstand all mechanical and chemical stress during production, such as carding, weaving, stone washing, bleaching, heat treatment, and others.  The marker does not harm people or the environment and does not change the properties, appearance or processability of the fiber. 

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