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Unifi Upgrading Yarn Texturing Capabilities With New Oerlikon Technology

Unifi Inc. has placed a significant order for Oerlikon’s new eAFK Evo high-speed texturing machine.

Unifi, a yarn manufacturer headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., has been collaborating with Barcelona-based Oerlikon to develop a specially-designed eAFK Evo pilot machine. Operating for the past eight months, Unifi has used it to manufacture various Unifiber virgin polyester and Repreve-branded recycled polyester and polyamide yarns.

Unifi has obtained exclusive rights in the Americas for the design that enables the new machine to operate at considerably higher texturing speeds versus alternatives, while delivering consistently high-quality yarn across a broad range of products, and enables the creation of  new, innovative performance yarns.

“Unifi is proud to collaborate with Oerlikon Barmag on its innovative new texturing technology that is positioned to revolutionize yarn manufacturing,” Tom Caudle, president and chief operating officer of Unifi, said. “True innovation starts in the fiber, and the new eAFK Evo texturing machine will allow us to continue our history of manufacturing excellence and provide our customers with an expanded portfolio of performance products with broad market appeal.”

The most important foundation for the machine is a 300-millimeter-long EvoCooler with active cooling technology. The EvoCooler’s controllable cooling unit opens a production window, with titers ranging from around 30 denier to 300 denier, including microfilaments. Combining it with the EvoHeater increases texturing speed about 20 percent. The EvoCooler also enables even yarn dyeing and provides significant benefits using no additional energy consumption compared to current offerings, the companies said. With the energy-efficient EvoHeater and its connected peripherals, the machine offers up to 25 percent energy savings.

Unifi has transformed more than 16 billion plastic bottles into recycled fiber for new apparel, footwear, home goods and other consumer products with the help of Oerlikon Barmag texturing machines. The company’s proprietary Profiber technologies offer increased functional performance, comfort and style advantages.

Oerlikon is a technology and engineering corporation, operating two segments–Surface Solutions and Manmade Fibers–and employing around 10,500 people at 175 sites in 37 countries. Oerlikon Manmade Fibers manufactures manmade fiber filament spinning systems, texturing machines, staple fiber systems and solutions for the production of nonwovens.