ICOFIX - Tubular Heatsetting


Nowadays, the heat setting process of the knitted fabrics is complicated and expensive for the following and main reasons:
  • Inappropriate shrinkage after the dyeing process
  • Crease marks on elastomer and other fibbers that are quite difficult and sometimes impossible to take away after dyeing.

The above mentioned process was not necessary some time ago, but due to the fact of the new fibbers incoming, it has become essential now a days and it is supposed to be a trouble for the manufacturer the following problems:
  • High cost in investment machinery
  • High energy consumption (powder, rate of flow, water, etc.)
  • Difficult fabric logistics (space, trolleys, etc.)
  • Big space full of machinery in the factory

The ICOFIX is an important choice to have in mind for heat setting before dying process for fabrics that the manufacturer has to hand or to deliver in open width or tubular with the correct width, because the new process can achieve the following strong points:
  • Calendar step can be avoided and owing to this fact the marks on both sides of fabrics can be forgotten.
  • Moreover the use of calendar doesn’t guarantee any dimensional stability neither wide nor length of the fabric. ICOFIX does!!
  • No sewing process of the fabric.
The ICOFIX gives a solution for a big deal of common problems for the dyeing and finishing plants. This machine is supposed to put upside down the way to process tubular knits.

The ICOFIX process reaches several savings such as:
  • More free space in the factory
  • Less fabric movement or transport, so better and more effective logistics process and distribution plant
  • Less machinery investment because cheaper project
  • Less people needs
  • Low energy consumption (electricity, gas, oil, steam, water, etc)
  • Faster process, so lead-time improvement
  • Less maintenance
The main technical parts of the ICOFIX are the following:

1) Pre-treatment system

High efficiency steamer specially designed for elastomer fabrics. This system can offer the following advantages:
  • The elastomer fibbers become mobile and relaxed after steaming, so at this point we can stretch the fabric with more efficiency and ease.
  • The creases can be erased or decreased.
2) Entry and guiding system
The entry system contains 2 feeding wheels covered by special rubber that take the fabric as the inside layer as the outside layer and fit the wide by uncurling and endless motorised cylinder.

At this point we find the more difficult and dangerous process: the guiding of the fabric. The new and developed guides take care of the fabric and do not allow marks during the process.
3) Heatsetting chamber
The heat setting chamber has a gas or thermal oil heating system that can allow the manufacturer to reach more than 200º Celsius of temperature and also can allow the heat setting of the synthetic fabrics.

The heat unit contains the following parts: an extraction module, burner module, combustion chamber with the air circuit, a filter that avoids the dust to get in touch with the heating source, and the temperature control electronic PID appliance.

4) Exit system

Unit exit system designed for:
  • Cooling
  • Plaiting
  • Rolling

5) Control system

The control of the machine have the following stages:
  • Temparature control with PID appliance(above explained, see point nº3)
  • Steam control: a valve will be settled down in order to provide more or less steam quantity, depends on the specific properties of each fabric (% of moisture-humidity at the entrance, type of fabric, etc. )
  • Tension fabric control: machine will work with knitted elastic fabric, the tension control is going to be very important if we want to avoid later residual shrinkages. The system that can help us in this are encoded motors and controlled by speed inverters.