During an afternoon press conference today at INDEX, the German technology provider announced it was commercializing Reicofil 5 technology, more than 15 years after introducing its Reicofil 4 line technology and more than three decades after first developing Reicofil technology for the nonwovens industry.
Markus Müller, sales director at Reicofil says: “Venturing into the market with a new technology after 15 successful years is always an exciting moment. For me personally the launch of RF5 is especially exciting because we are making a big step forward with the new performance data and the new and fascinating possibilities that arise from digitalization. RF5 enables our customers to produce nonwovens on the next quality - and productivity level. And the best is: even customers with existing Reicofil lines will have the possibility to benefit from some of the new advantages. We are developing amazing upgrades for RF3 and RF4 lines.“
One of the highlights of RF5 is the significant reduction of failures within nonwovens. When running standard raw materials hard pieces will be reduced by up to 90% in comparison to RF4 technology. By this Reicofil provides a solution for one of the major issues of contamination that exists in the industry. Producers running an RF4 line will be able to make use of this advantage by upgrading the line to RF4.5.
RF5 Technology also fulfills the market demand for finer and finer filaments: the technology can produce up to 20% smaller fiber diameters. Thereby titers lower than one denier are producible for the first time. Compared to the RF4s technology the same titers can be achieved with higher outputs or finer titers are feasible with the same outputs, but can provide for better uniformity, strength and softness.
In terms of productivity the RF5 technology also raises the bar significantly: the output increases by up to 35%—to up to 270 kg/h per meter beam width for spunbond and to up to 70 kg/h per meter beam for meltblown. So, producers can run their lines at maximum speeds even for higher grammages.
The meltblown technology benefits from the increased output by a much wider process window, which raises the flexibility. Producers can decide now depending on their requirements whether to use the maximum output capacity and increase productivity by up to 35% or to produce 20% higher meltblown quality at the present throughput levels.
Looking at the line speed the new RF5 technology reaches the new peak value of 1200 meter per minute. As this value is the actual speed on the conveyor belt and not, as before, the speed at the winder, it can be fully utilized in production. Effectively producers can run their lines 30% faster than they could on RF4 lines.
When it comes to energy efficiency Reicofil lives up to its own claim of reducing the specific energy consumption with every new line generation. For the production of composite nonwovens RF5 saves up to 15% compared to RF4.
To further optimize the uptime, which had already reached a very high level with RF4 technology, Reicofil took another close look at maintenance time: Quench chambers and secondary air gaps can now be cleaned much faster. The result is decreased downtimes and increased productivity. In addition many of the new digital solutions have a positive effect on the uptime.
Jens Mager, responsible for digitalization at Reicofil says: "With digitalization we strengthen all the existing advantages of the Reicofil technology such as quality, productivity and reliability. In the future our lines will become an expert on themselves and will guide customers much more than today through the production process. Our solution will help customers to avoid both process failures and human mistakes, it will help to identify and exploit unused potential, to raise reproducibility and to find the best possible machine set-up for high quality and productivity.”
Reicofil developed solutions for more intuitive operation, continuous process and quality monitoring, predictive maintenance, and detection of anomalies. For example, the line will provide its operators with productivity analyses, predicts when a wear part is going to fail, warns the operator of drip formation before it occurs, and provides information to help solve the problem.
Jens Mager adds: "First solutions with great customer benefits are already developed. But digitalization still has huge potentials for innovation that we want to exploit together with our customers. We can react to individual requirements and problems now. That is a huge advantage of digitalization.”
RF5 technology can be ordered from now on in line widths up to 5,2 meter and a lot of different configurations. The Reicofil sales team will provide information on prices and delivery times in individual conversations with customers.