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Textile World Asia News

The Rupp Report: Old Spinning Machines: Shame Or Achievement?

Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

Every coin has two sides -- this is quite common sense, and also true for textile machinery. In this context, Switzerland-based Rieter Ltd., producer of complete spinning lines, had a very exciting idea. Several months ago, Rieter announced a search among the global textile industry for the oldest Rieter spinning machine.

Rieter is looking for the machine -- manufactured by Rieter, Schubert & Salzer or Ingolstadt Spinnereimaschinenbau -- that has operated for the longest time and is still in daily use in a spinning mill to produce yarn from fiber, bale opening to spinning.

Global Interest
The Rupp Report interviewed Edda Walraf, head of marketing, Textile Division. She said the campaign is enjoying considerable interest, and Rieter is now presenting the first candidates on its website. Among the entries from around the world, here are some of the most interesting machines:

In China, Qiaoguang Textile Co. Ltd. is still using 26-year-old E 7/5 combers and E 5/3 combing preparation machines. The machines are still in good condition, and the customer praises their quality, and especially their wear resistance.

Another entry came from El Salvador-based Hilosa (Industria de Hilos), which sent pictures of various drawframes. The company has operated SB 851, RSB 951 SB 2 and SB 10 drawframe models since 1978 and says these machines are still operating reliably.

Sri Ramakrishna Mills (CBE) Ltd., India, is operating a combing line dating from 1968 to produce blended yarns. The line comprises an E 2/4 sliver lap machine, an E 4/1 ribbon lap machine and E 7/2 combers operating at 160 nips per minute.

Vardhman Textile Ltd., India, has been operating a B 2/1 mixing bale opener for 45 years. The machine is included in a line that also is equipped with C 3/1 cards for feeding man-made fibers such as polyester, acrylic and modal, among other fibers. Vardhman says it has been completely satisfied with its performance from the beginning, and has recorded a total of 325,000 operating hours to date.

Switzerland-based Flawa is operating a line that includes a 1940-vintage bale breaker and a scutcher unit dating from 1941, and then feeds three 1958-vintage Rieter C1 cards.  The machinery is used to produce surgical dressings and other hygiene articles.

Oldies Can Be Goldies
The competition will close on October 31. Users of the described brands should send or e-mail pictures of the machine and a detailed description to Rieter.

Rieter is offering the owner of the oldest spinning machine -- still in operation -- a trip to ITMA 2011 in Barcelona, including air transportation and accommodations for two nights. The Rupp Report was told that two expensive Swiss quality watches are additional prizes that will be awarded to two owners of veteran Rieter spinning machines. And, according to rumors, if a Swiss company wins first prize, another participant from abroad will be a lucky winner too.

The Two Sides Of The Coin

Coming back to the two sides of the coin, Walraf said there are mixed emotions among the possible participants. A number of companies with old machines are somewhat reluctant to reveal possible entries because of the age of the machines. On the other hand, the entries are proof that these machines are still in good condition, not only thanks to their own quality, but, even more, thanks to very careful maintenance. "We're not looking for old machinery, which is exhibited in a museum or a similar location. We want real machinery still in production," Walraf said.

Walraf underlined the hope for further entries and a good response from around the world. "I don't think it is embarrassing for the clients to send an entry to our rather funny competition," she said. "I think it is the other way around: It is an exciting research to find out how long our machines are in production -- and, frankly speaking, for how long they make money for our customers. We are sure, Rieter machines are true work horses." Walraf also expressed her gratitude to all customers whose careful maintenance ensures that Rieter products have a long and productive working life.

Textile World Asia readers and possible participants may find out more about this exclusive competition at www.rieter.com/oldestmachine or by e-mailing marketing.sys@rieter.com.

October 20, 2010