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Industrial validation of Nu-Wave new generation of sustainable and efficient textile machinery and development of a strategy to enter the market

Final Report Summary - MACH-TO (Industrial validation of Nu-Wave new generation of sustainable and efficient textile machinery and development of a strategy to enter the market)

Executive Summary:
The MACH-to project started on the basis of the important results reached by Nu-Wave and its aim was to allow the developed solutions to fill the gap that still separates them from the market.

MACH-to first goal is to customize the concepts developed within the Nu-Wave project onto a full scale industrial machine (already used by the end users of MACH-to) and evaluate the performances increased: this will demonstrate the up-scalability of the Retrofit Kit. MACH-to project will also accompany the Retrofit Kit into the market, through the implementation of a marketing and after sales strategy.

In the following the MACH-to project objectives are summarized:
• To design and realize a set of Retrofit Kits. Starting from the experience gained with the prototype shown in ITMA and based on the components and concepts developed within Nu-wave, two knitting machines (one of SELCOM SRL (SELCOM) and one of ALGE ELASTIC GMBH (ALGE)) have been provided with the MACH-to Retrofit Kit;
• To perform an intensive test campaign and stress test on the demonstrators (the retrofitted machines), to get important feedbacks on reliability, durability, maintenance and performance;
• To develop a business model, to support the introduction the MACH-to Retrofit Kit (M2RK) into the market: entering price and strategy, dissemination and promotion, main figures against competitors, target customers for the first set of M2RK, possible improvement (technical and non-technical) required by the market and, in particular the strategy for distributing the M2RK in the market.

In particular, within the project, two retrofit kits (M2RK) have been developed by the consortium, one for each project pilot:

M2RK for ALGE. This kit is composed by:
• innovative composite pattern bar;
• guiding stem parts;
• titan pins.

M2RK for SELCOM. This kit is composed by:
• Innovative composite push rod;
• Thread guides.

The MACH-to Retrofit Kits developed definitely bring several advantages to the customers in terms of:
• Production speed increased up to 20% respect to the present system. The test campaign performed during the project showed an increase of productivity of about 20% thanks to the new lightweight components developed;
• Noise and vibrations reduction. The lower masses and the characteristics of the components decreased both noise and vibration with an immediate positive impact on workers environment and on the product quality;
• Energy saving. According to the preliminary tests performed during Nu-Wave project, the energy consumption of a knitting machine actuation system could decrease up to 80%, thanks to the reduced friction and the decreased mass;
• reduction of facilities costs (rent, energy consumption, ...) due to the decreasing of the volume occupied by the machines (thanks to the increase of productivity);
Less maintenance. The components of the Retrofit Kit are tested to grant a certain number of cycles. Thanks to the innovative materials and coatings, it is expected that the decreased friction and vibrations will guarantee longer MTBF (mean time between failure)
• Extension of machine specification. The novel components additionally alter the ability of the machine to handle, e.g. an extended range of yarns, allow for the manufacturing of different patterns and potentially allow for an increased yarn tension. As such, the end user of the machine can offer a wider product portfolio.
Project Context and Objectives:
Project context
World trade in textile machinery suffered a sudden halt in 2008 and 2009. According to ACIMIT’s estimates , the decline amounted to as much as 18% of 2008 prices compared to 2007. Major exporting Countries of textile and clothing items have observed a significant drop in export volumes, due to a slumping demand from European markets and the United States. A downsizing of production for many textile businesses has meant that plans for investments originally foreseen have now been inevitably postponed.
In 2010 a slight recovery has been registered: the worldwide exports reached 14,5 billion €, in comparison with 10,4 billion € of 2009. This increase of around 39% is to be linked to the recovery in investments and overall economic conditions. The overall export level is now at similar value than in 2008, when the crisis started weakening the textile machinery market, but still quite far from previous value of 2007.
The other side of the coin is represented by two main issues:
• The recovery and the increasing trends of the market are leaded by China, with +72% and other important Far East countries (Indonesia, Pakistan). This is an opportunity for high tech European producers but, on the other hand, is strongly favouring local investments and local low-cost producers;
• The new financial crisis that is characterizing the second half of 2011, could have a negative effect on the symptoms of recovery and make it slower. The possible lack (or at least difficulties) of investment should be taken into account by manufacturing industry, especially in the short period.

In order to overcome the crisis and maintain the technology gap with Far East countries, the only way for European textile machinery producers is to innovate and define a real break with the state of the art.
The requests from the market shall be the target for next development activities, and can be summarized as:
• Higher technical performances of machines, with lower energy consumption;
• Increased productivity with decreased floor-space need;
• Reasonable costs, in comparison to those of local BRIC suppliers, justified by high quality outputs and investments in new technology with short time return of invest (ROI).

The MACH-to project started on the basis of the important results reached by Nu-Wave and its aim was to allow the developed solutions to fill the gap that still separates them from the market.

The industrial results reached within Nu-Wave were highly appreciated by technicians, researchers and journalists of the sector, as shown by the several expression of interest collected in ITMA fair – Barcelona 2011 , by the Nu-Wave booth (H5-D116). Two main results of Nu-Wave were:
• A knitting machine small scale demonstrator;
• a wear resistance tester small scale demonstrator.

The MACH-to Project objectives
Both the above mentioned demonstrators had a good feedback from ITMA fair and their entering into the market would potentially bring great advantages to the involved SMEs. MACH-to first goal is to customize the concepts developed within the Nu-Wave project onto a full scale industrial machine (already used by the end users of MACH-to) and evaluate the performances increased: this will demonstrate the up-scalability of the Retrofit Kit. MACH-to project will also accompany the Retrofit Kit into the market, through the implementation of a marketing and after sales strategy.
MACH-to project is in particular built on the need for further demonstration activities, to make a step forward toward the marketability of Nu-Wave concepts. Three main objectives have been established by the consortium, for granting the success of the project:
• To design and realize a set of Retrofit Kits. Starting from the experience gained with the prototype shown in ITMA and based on the components and concepts developed within Nu-wave, two knitting machines (one of Selcom and one of Alge) have been provided with the MACH-to Retrofit Kit. The objective has been reached specially by Invent and the end users ALGE and SELCOM, with the support of ITA, VUTS and DAPP;
• To perform an intensive test campaign and stress test on the demonstrators (the retrofitted machines), to get important feedbacks on reliability, durability, maintenance and performance. Basically the objective has been reached by linked efforts of SELCOM and the end-user Alge, with the constant support of NAVETA; Within this objective, NAVETA will have the chance of further improving its Nu-Wave demonstrator, with a “Test the tester” activity;
• To develop a business model, to support the introduction the MACH-to Retrofit Kit (M2RK) into the market: entering price and strategy, dissemination and promotion, main figures against competitors (especially Far East companies), target customers for the first set of M2RK, possible improvement (technical and non-technical) required by the market and, in particular the strategy for distributing the M2RK in the market.. All the SMEs worked on this objective, DAPP supported them in scenario analysis, market survey and business model developing.
All the objectives have been accomplished thanks to joint efforts of the four involved SMEs, supported by ITA, VUTS and DAPP in those activities which are not “core” for them and where they lack of experience (e.g. carbon braiding, materials and coatings, business models development).

Final results and their potential impact and use
The main output of MACH-to project is a Retrofit Kit, customized for an increasing number of textile machines, that allow end users to quickly and effectively replace the components responsible of energy waste and losses in general. The innovative components of the MACH-to Retrofit Kit will definitely bring several advantages to the customers in terms of: production speed increase, noise and vibration reduction, energy saving, reduction of facilities costs, less maintenance and extension of machine specification.

Project Results:
In line with the above mentioned objectives, MACH-to partners worked on three main objectives, namely:
• To design and realize a set of Retrofit Kits.
• To perform an intensive test campaign and stress test on the demonstrators
• To develop a business model, to support the introduction the MACH-to Retrofit Kit (M2RK) into the market

RETROFIT KITS DESIGN AND PRODUCTION
The aim was to find possible back - log of existing machines and to propose partial modification of equipments and their parts with usage of suitable material and technology and increased values of usable capacity, power and decrease energy consumption of machinery, through measurements and simulation tools, with the help of subsequent analysis and through a review of components.
The project focused on the development and application of two Retrofit kits (for the machines COMEZ DNB/EL 800 at the pilot ALGE Elastic and for the machine LIBA MAX 4 CNC at the SELCOM pilot). Principal elements and spare parts to be updated (M2RK components) have been identified, after an evaluation of the state of the pilot plants, in order to make the most effective choice in the selection of elements that will constitute the retrofit kit. In evaluating the effective benefits, qualitative parameters to be considered in the selection of components and spare parts for re-integration should be different, as:
• Stop of the machine: this parameters provide information about the amount of time needed for the substitution of the defective part, and this aspect would influence the production;
• Cost of intervention: in terms of direct and indirect costs of the operation;
• Cost of materials: this aspect would include cost of raw material, manufacturing process and possible special treatments;
• Damage on products: this is a very important factor to be evaluated, because defective part, in some cases, could worsen in a non-predictable way and can cause not immediately detectable way;
• Feasibility of parts: evaluate the feasibility of the possible reviewed component design , defining how and who can take in charge the construction of such parts. Easy handling is another parameter to be taken in consideration while considering the replacement of parts.

RETROFIT KIT CUSTOMIZED DESIGN FOR ALGE PILOT
COMEZ DNB/EL-800 features a working width of 800 mm and employs latch needles. According to the yarn count of the machine, all arbitrary kinds of material can be processed both synthetic and natural yarns. The machines can be equipped with 4 to 7 pattern bars, which are electronically controlled. COMEZ DNB/EL-800 is delivered with a sinker bar that eases the knocking off the stitch and, therefore, allows for the manufacturing of textiles with a great stitch density and the processing of various kinds of yarn and yarn counts. Furthermore, the machine is characterized by significantly reduced efforts for the preparation of patterns and set-up times for changing articles. Different stitch densities for a very same article can be generated. The machine lifespan is about 15 years.
Production speed increasing: the machine currently runs in the range of 100-250 rpm and could potentially run up to 300 rpm ; increasing the production speed to its maximum, the quality of the output decreases due the vibrations generated by the moving masses. With Mach-to Retrofit Kit this problem is expected to be overcome (thanks the use of lightweight materials) allowing ALGE to producing at up to 3 times the current speed, assuring the quality of the final products.

In preliminary phase of the project, the machine DNB/EL -1270 was used for demonstration issues. That machine has been then replaced with the DNB/ EL-800, which is very similar to the first one, except only for the length of the pattern bar; the new machine’s pattern bar is shorter, 800 mm compared with the 1270 mm.
All the CAD files reported in this document can be taken as a reference, since the two machines are very similar in design and components; these elements can be used for the evaluation of the moving part, in order to identify the kinematics and the main mechanism principles; these element should be sufficient for simulations of motions and evaluation of energy consumption.
By the using of the CAD model of the machine and from measurement gained transaction characteristic, a multi body model of the actuating mechanism was prepared.
This design is to be considered as general, reported with the aim to simulate, and extracts the general drive chain in the machine. In general, such a multibody simulation has be setup without the availability of CAD data by employing geometrical field measurements.
An analysis of the displacement characteristic of mechanism has been done. The transaction characteristic gives a time dependence of the displacement and acceleration by the knowledge of own weight of all moved parts, the force in each mechanism members.

The MACH-to retrofit kit developed for ALGE is composed by:
• COMPOSITE PATTERN BAR
• GUIDING STEM PARTS
• TITAN PINS
Composite Pattern bar execution according to INVENT proposal with a particular connecting components have been produced. Two variant of the guiding parts – STEM for the composite pattern bar have been proposed, to understand the best mechanical behaviour. The both parts STEM-2A/B are made in aluminium.
A set of pins in Titanium (grade 5) and Steel C40/C45 has been produced and tested during the project. It is necessary to highlight as the pins were produced for the COMEZ machine DNB/EL -1270 (demo before the amendment phase). That machine, after the project 2nd amendment, has been then replaced with the DNB/ EL-800; as a consequence, the pins produced have been adapted to the new machine for testing.

RETROFIT KIT CUSTOMIZED DESIGN FOR SELCOM PILOT
The machine finally selected for the updating is the LIBA MAX 4 CNC.
This is an electronic weft insertion machine employing a needle stitching bar for the production of stitched bonded technical textiles also known as multiaxial fabrics or non crimp fabrics. The MAX 4 CNC feature a working width of 101 inches. According to the roving count (tex), all kind of Fabric Areal Weight ranging from 250 g/sqm up to 4000 g/sqm can be achieved.
The LIBA machine will benefit from the implementation of the updated components from a energy performance point of view. The lighter components will reduce energy consumption and noise of the machine with benefits both for textile producer (save in energy costs) and workers (improved working environment).
The MACH-to retrofit kit developed for SELCOM is composed by:
• COMPOSITE PUSH ROD
• THREAD GUIDES
The push rod of the LIBA machine have been redesigned in order to produce it in composite material. This substitution is on the one hand optimized in terms of the ratio stiffness/mass and on the other hand the reduced mass and the composite design allow integrating an additional damping element. The design foreseen a thick layer of an elastomer material between the thin-walled tube of the push rod shaft which is made of CFRP and the metallic interface component. This elastomer is cured in a gap between these elements so it has an optimal adhesion to the CFRP and the metal. Forces can be transferred through this layer, but vibrations are damped because of its viscoelastic material behaviour. The concept allows a wide range of elastomer layer dimensions which is needed to aim at certain vibrations that are to be defined as well as forces that are to be transferred.
The thread guides for polyester yarns used on the LIBA machine was proposed to eliminate the fracture around the hole for mounting in horizontal longitudinal line. For enhance the mechanical behavior of the yarn guide was proposed to use another proportion of material and redesign the geometry of the plastic body to avoid concentration of mechanical stress. For this purpose a CAD model of the yarn guide element was create and a load simulation was applied on the particular metal segments. By the optimization the plastic body form of the yarn guide and minimizing the load the shape that eliminates the main load in shear plane was achieved. Contribution of the new proposal is by adjusting the shape, an unsubstantial increase of weight of the plastic part by 10.5%. The shape is chosen in such a way so that it can be achieved by simple machining. The sample of the needle block manufactured according to the virtual test would better suit the working conditions of the machine.
The M2RK both for ALGE and SELCOM machines will be produced on the basis of the stable and robust production methods developed within WP1.
For the ALGE machine, a standard procedure for assembling the M2RK is defined (report D2.2). The assembly process contains a detailed list of steps and is reproducible at industrial scale. Important difference to the assembly of the standard parts is the order of mounting the parts on the one hand. On the other hand certain care has to be taken to the composite parts, because CFRP surfaces are often not as robust as metallic pendants.
For the SELCOM machine there is no difference in assembling the M2RK part or the original part. The standard / best practise assembly procedure can be kept up. The same is for the new needle blocks. There is no additional effort for integration and assembly.
Costs analyses have be performed. For one complete ALGE machine retrofit kit the sum of all costs is 6320 €.
The costs of the pattern bar are 362.10 € /pcs. Its production time is 2.6 h for craftsmen work plus 2 h for curing in an autoclave machine and additional 24 h curing for the adhesives. The stems needed for one pattern bar consume 5 h plus 6 h of production and they cost 328.00 € in total for equipping one single pattern bar. The cost range of the pins is between 23.40 € and 28.90 € excl. VAT, depending on the pins dimensions. Production time of the pins is 0.3 h/pcs. Lead time for a charge of pins is 1 month.
One complete M2RK for the Alge pilot machine consists of 8 pattern bars, 8 stems and 32 pins. So, costs summarise to 6 320 € excl. VAT for one complete retro fit kit. The production time for one complete set is 27 h.
The costs of the retrofit kit for the SELCOM machine, i.e. the push rod, are 80.00 € to 484.00 € (up to coating type and lot size) for the metallic ends and 136.37 € for the CFRP tube. After assembly this results in a price range from 216.37 € to 620.37 € excl. VAT for one complete machine set (M2RK).
The production process was analyses with regard to the distribution of the production costs for each part and an assessment of possible deviations along with proposals for solution were given. The results were documented in detail in D2.3.
For the retrofit personnel and material are the biggest parts of the production costs. This is due to the expensive carbon fibre material used for the load bearing structure of the parts and the more complex geometry of the attachments. The huge amount of manual work means higher production costs due to personnel. For the M2RK it is advantageous, because it makes the production process more flexible. This allows to easier adjusting the parts to contingencies needed.
For each of the M2RK components developed (push rod, extremities set, pattern bar and stems system) possible deviations are identified, a contingency plan is given and a rating of the technical effort for the deviation is given.


INTENSIVE TEST CAMPAIGN AND STRESS TEST ON THE DEMONSTRATORS

EARLY TESTS ON SCALED UP COMPONENTS
Before performing the test campaign on the full scale demonstrators (Pilots @ALGE & @SELCOM), tests on the developed components have been performed in order to characterize them from a mechanical point of view. Early test on scaled up components were also foreseen aiming at confirming the repeatability of the design and production process. The tests performed are reported in the following.

Early test of ALGE machine pattern bar.
• For a preliminary check of the material and component parameters a 4-point-bending test of the ALGE pattern bar is performed that is to represent a load situation in the machine in service. The positions of the bearings are chosen freely by 1/10 of the total pattern bar length for the lower bearings and 4/10 of the length for the upper bearings. The test is performed until a displacement of the upper bearing positions of 12 mm.
• The pattern bar push rod for the SELCOM pilot is tested in terms of axial stiffness. Therefore, a part of the CFRP tube between the damping elements is taken for a compression test. The compression test results in a force/deformation plot. This plot can be taken to check the axial stiffness of the component with benchmark of the design calculations.
• To evaluate the mechanical performance bending tests are performed. The bar exceeds the dimensions of standardized testing procedures. Hence a modified test stand was set up. The bar was tested from both sides. The bending behavior is linear with regard to applied force compared to the deformation in the middle of the bar. At forces up to 900 N there is a strong deformation visible, however no damage occurs. When the testing is stopped the deformation disappears and the bar returns to its original shape. At forces above 950 N first laminate damages occur on the bar.

Early test of needle blocks
The production for limited quantity of the needle blocks samples with the needles modified for testing in machines was proposed. The needle block for the machine Alge was chosen. A set of several tools had to be developed and produced to owing required high accuracy of needle position in the blocks, see Fig. below. There was necessary to fix produced parts in the time of the glue hardening. Before the production of the needles block a series of test was executed for the quality of bonded connection. The sample of needles blocks was cut and studied perfect glue leaking in the bonded connection. There was important to avoid any air bubbles which decrease the quality of the connection.
Needles surface finishing
Special surface finishing on the needles to increase wear resistance was applied. The needles for functional samples of needle blocks were prepared with the coating WC-H, DLC, AR and Hard Cr. The surface coating quality and wear resistant and abrasion of the needles was tested on the WR-stand, which was developed in the project Nu-Wave. From the early wearing test a better needle coating was used for test campaign which is the DLC and AR coating.


Fully in line with expectations and plans, at the end of the project the test campaign both for ALGE and SELCOM machines were designed and performed. Input on M2RK performances have been collected. Both the ALGE and SELCOM test campaigns have been conducted by specialized technicians, supported in remote by VUTS and INVENT people.
The first positive note is that both the M2RK developed, do not entail an increase of the assembling time with respect to the state of the art (standard parts).
The main improvements related to the implementation of the M2RK within the tested machines are related to the vibration reduction during production. In particular, both the end users (ALGE & SELCOM) registered a substantial vibrations reduction of the machine during the use phase. This improvement allows to run the machine with higher speeds than actually, with a consequent increase of the productivity rate of about 20%. Is it also important to highlight as the increasing of the production speed do not influence the quality of the final product.
The principles of the Design of experiment (DoE) were presented on the project meetings to display the possible series and the advantages of performing a DoE to the consortium. The procedure was documented in the presentation as well as in D.3.2 for the partners to serve as a blueprint for the partners. The application of the method of DoE was done together with the partners. With regard to the ALGE machine and the set of parameters that are changed for production it was determined that the method of DoE is not applicable. For the Selcom machinery the factors machine speed (A) and push rod configuration were identified as applicable set of parameters for DoE. The resulting table was set up by ITA and the operation points for the test matrix were performed by SELCOM. The results were rated with a qualitative analysis, using ad-hoc values and description.
The results of the experiments were evaluated using the method of DoE. It showed that changing to the old rod configuration (different layer setup and glue material) and increasing machine speed has a negative effect on the machine vibration.
The effect of changing the configuration rod is twice as big as increasing the machine speed.
If both factors are changed simultaneously (machine speed higher and old push rod), the machine vibration will be additionally be increased.
The test campaigns performed on the two pilots (ALGE and SELCOM) were composed by two different phases:
• Fine tuning phase;
• Standard working condition phase.

In the first part of the campaign, the fine tuning phase, machines were forced to work in a controlled environment in order to allow the operators to optimize working parameters and set the best working conditions. In the last phase, machines worked in standard conditions in order to gradually show the improvements introduced by the retrofit kits: to do so, one or more products already comprised in the company portfolio were produced.

Both ALGE and SELCOM test campaigns have been conducted by specialized technicians, supported in remote by VUTS and INVENT people.

The first positive note is that both the M2RKs developed do not entail an increase of the assembling time with respect to the state of the art (standard parts).

The main improvements are related to the vibration reduction during production. In particular, both the end users (ALGE & SELCOM) registered a substantial vibrations reduction of the machine during the use phase. This improvement allows to run the machine with higher speeds than actually, with a consequent increase of the productivity rate of about 20%. Is it also important to highlight as the increasing of the production speed do not influence the quality of the final product.

In addition, the use of lighter components entails a strong reduction of the noise of both pilots in use, with increased well-being and safety for the workers. Details:

• SELCOM pilot: Machine has been run at different working speeds: 800 rpm, 1000 rpm, 1200 rpm, 1400 rpm, 1600 rpm. Test is passed, with a perceivable improvement of production speed (from 1300 rpm to 1600 rpm); this means a productivity rate increasing of about 20%;
• ALGE pilot: Vibrations were significantly lowered by the installation of the retrofit kit. Normally, the tested article is produced on the SNB EL-800 machine setting a maximum value of 220 – 230 rpm for the actuator. So, the retrofit kit allows a 20% increase of productivity.

A video showing the machines in use is available both on Youtube (http://goo.gl/OUwA7w) and in the media section of the project website (http://www.mach-to.eu/media).

AFTER USAGE TESTS ON SCALED-UP COMPONENTS -PILOT @ SELCOM AND ALGE
Measuring on the Alge machine SNB/EL-800
Movement of needle bed mechanism and linear transverse movement of guide bars in knitting machines are highly dynamic processes. Precision of these movements is one of the most limiting factors in maximal production speed and production quality.
The ALGE machine SNB/EL-800 equipped by the Retrofit kit was measured by using accelerometers and speed camera and the results were compared with those on the machine with the origin pattern bar.
A measurement of the pattern bar and the guide bar mechanism together with the machine frame vibrations and angular velocity of the main motor was carried out. A machine with newly designed composite pattern bars was measured and results were compared with previous measurement of the same machine in standard production state.
Magnitude and shape of the main motor velocity variation and the machine frame displacement are reduced. Reduction of the guide bars mass has more important effect. Quieter run of the machine with strongly reduced movement of the frame is clearly visible also by eyes.
Natural frequency of the composite guide bar is lower in comparison with the duralumin one. Natural frequency measured from the free end vibrations is 73 Hz, for the centre of the guide bar it is in range from 70 to 80 Hz. It fits to calculated results, where the first natural frequency of the composite weft bar was calculated to 69 Hz. Duralumin guide bars showed natural frequency approximately 100 Hz. Amplitudes of the vibrations in natural frequency are for both types of guide bars similar.
The aim of the using retrofit kit to reduce vibration and make better working condition the machine was fulfilled.

Measuring on composite patter bar
The visual inspection after usage: The pattern bars were dismounted and visually checked after usage. No major significant damages or changes to the status before usage can be assessed. At a closer check of the interfaces, some surface-near wear can be found where metal components have been attached to the CFRP. This is on the one hand in the area of the form fit which is the connection to the stems. On the other hand wear is detected around the bore holes on the side of the bolt heads.

Non-destructive inspection with Ultrasonic technique
The pattern bars are checked by ultrasonic scan before and after usage. A specific focus of this inspection is on the bond line between the two shells of the pattern bar CFRP body. No significantly damaged area which developed while mounting, usage and dismounting can be found. All ultrasonic echo signals are within a normal signal range.

Surface damaging of guiding rods (pins) measuring – after application
By the usage test a two types of guide bars was used, the original one from hardened steel and new one from special titanium material. After usage test a titanium guide rods was inspected.
The places on the surface of the guide bars with the visible damaging was measured by the using of the surface roughness measuring apparatus and 3D measuring machine and was make a photos of the damaged surface. On the surface of the guide bars a local damaging are visible. At the local damaged places was measured the roughness crosswise the length of the Guide Bar and the in measuring protocol mentioned value show the level of the surface damaging till 20 or 30 µm. The conclusion for the used material for the Guide bars - Titanium is not enough hard and don’t have enough surface resistant against wearing and mechanical damaging. The value of surface damage is -0,004 and -0,008 mm. It is recommended to use another kind of surface treatment or another material of the Guide Bar.

MACH-TO BUSINESS MODEL
The MACH-to business model has been developed in cooperation with the whole consortium during the Exploitation Strategy Workshop organised in Genova, at D’Appolonia headquarters, the 12th of June 2014. The workshop has been managed by D’Appolonia. Three main project results have been achieved:
• Retrofit kit manufacturing process: Manufacturing method for semi-complex composite parts that is completely applicable in textile machinery environment and conform to industrial standards. It is economically scalable in a wide range of relevant lot sizes.
• Wear resistance testing desk: Small-scale testing desk machine dedicated to wear resistance testing of textile machinery spare parts subjected to yarns friction.
• MACH-to knowledge & methodology: Knowledge and methodologies developed during the project by VUTS, DAPP and ITA.

The MACH-to project generated valuable knowledge, and partners intend to exploit the results in the future in many ways. This is a positive sign, which reflects the enthusiasm about the innovations developed and the short term revenue generation prospects. An IPR and exploitation matrix has been developed in order to clarify the ownership issues, and prevent any possible obstacle to exploitation related to misunderstandings about ownership.
To describe the MACH-to Business Model the Canvas template has been used, this is graphical representation that is easy to understand and straight forward to develop. This activity will be refined and the contents modified based upon project evolutions and final results.
The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management template for developing new or documenting existing business models. It is a visual chart with elements describing a firm's value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances. It assists firms in aligning their activities by illustrating potential trade-offs.
The Business Model Canvas consists of four pillars; Customer Interface; Product Innovation; Financial Aspects; and Infrastructure Management. Each pillar contains a set of building blocks. All four pillars combined contain nine building blocks which together form the Business Model Canvas. The Business Model Canvas allows entrepreneurs, managers and consultants to capture, visualize, understand, and communicate ideas on a single sheet of paper. It enables analysis through measurement of relevant key indicators derived from business model components. In addition, the Business Model Canvas allows tracking and observing key components over time.

VALUE PROPOSITION
The advantages for the customers deriving from the implementation of the MACH-to Retrofit Kit within their machines, are summarized in the following:
• The power consumption of the machine will decrease of about 50% respect to the present system;
• The production speed of the machine will increase up to 30% respect to the present system;
• Less maintenance thanks the use of innovative materials and coatings for the machine components;
• Noise and vibrations reduction with an immediate positive impact on workers environment and on the product quality;
• Overall performances increasing which allows enlarging the product portfolio of textile producers;
• High-tech perception of the MACH-to retrofit kits by the customer;
• Money saving through the retrofitting of an old textile machine instead of buying a new one;
• Lower costs of maintenance (higher MTBF: mean time between failure).
The following potential critical aspects should be considered:
• Reliability of the new components (MACH-to retrofit kit);
• Machine warranty;
• Cost effectiveness.

KEY ACTIVITIES
The main activities derived from the MACH-to framework are reported in the following (in bracket the responsible partner):
• As-is analysis of the machine and identification of the areas of improvement (VUTS, ITA)
• Preliminary conceptual design (DAPP, VUTS)
• Simulation and virtual validation (ITA, VUTS, INVENT)
• Innovative design (ITA, NAVETA, VUTS, INVENT)
• Prototype development & testing (INVENT, NAVETA, VUTS)
• Innovative components manufacturing (INVENT, VUTS, NAVETA)
• Application of innovative materials and surface treatments for moving and consumable parts (NAVETA)
• Replication on further machinery / parts (VUTS, INVENT)
• Support and training to the customer (VUTS, INVENT)

KEY RESOURCES
Key resources for the initial business model of MACH-to can be listed as following:
• Nu-Wave foreground (studies and results);
• Know-how generated within the project;
• Automated cutting machine (carbon fibre fabric preparation);
• Mould;
• Autoclave;
• CAD (Computer-aided design) and FEM (finite element method) softwares;
• Innovative surface coatings;
• In-house production capabilities;
• Innovative material database.

KEY PARTNERSHIPS
Together, this industrial partnership already represents a complete collaborative network, which entails the capacity to produce and introduce the very innovative retrofit kit on the textile machinery market; into detail:
• INVENT produces and supplies essential components of the MACH-to retrofit kit using the developed skills in composites and carbon fiber products;
• VUTS design, produces and supplies components of the MACH-to retrofit kit using the developed skills in metallic products and innovative surface coatings;
• NAVETA, thanks to the knowledge and to the demonstrator developed within Nu-Wave, participated actively in the finalization phase of components and, in particular in the testing phase. This would also enable a second way to market for Nu-Wave results. In fact the NAVETA demonstrator will be used for MACH-to and, in the same time, tested itself. NAVETA, in the next months, after a strategic internal evaluation, will decide if enter the market with the wear resistance testing desk, for direct selling, or propose itself as support for subcontracted testing activities;
• SELCOM and ALGE are the end users of the innovative MACH-to retrofit kit and they own knowledge on textile machineries functioning. Their ability to provide precise feedbacks and inputs is fundamental for reaching MACH-to targets in short time.
Within the MACH-to team, DAPP and ITA, supply the following services:
Business Model Generation (DAPP);
Innovative materials investigation (DAPP);
IPR issues (DAPP&ITA);
As is analysis of the machine(s) to be updated (ITA);
Design of Experiment (ITA).
Nonetheless, in order to guarantee a massive as well as smooth market introduction of the proposed technology, contacts will be established with the main textile association at European and Worldwide level.
This SME-driven cooperation reflects in a clear market oriented initiative, where the strong industrial and commercial commitment is the main driving force towards a successful exploitation of the project results.

EXPLOITATION CHANNELS
INVENT and VUTS will be the owners of the MACH-to Retrofit Kit (M2RK) which shall penetrate the spare parts market for textile machinery. The market establishment for INVENT will be a challenge. For INVENT, in fact, the textile machinery sector is a novelty and needs the support of the other partners to improve its offering in this field. INVENT’s aim for the next future is to flank this offering (Innovative Retrofit Kit for textile machines) to its historical markets, as for example, the manufacturing of high-value composite components for aeronautics and automotive sectors.
To do this, INVENT will be supported by all project partners active in the textile sector: DAPP, VUTS and ITA are already deeply involved in the textile and textile machinery sectors, as providers of consultancy services. The networks they have built in the years will represent a first batch of potential customers for the M2RK, produced by INVENT.
INVENT, at the end of the project, will be supported by the project partners in order to identify the most sold worldwide textile machines on which develop a portfolio of Innovative Retrofit Kits with which propose itself to the market. Besides the supply of the M2RK, INVENT will provide to their customers a set of services as, for example, check and maintenance support activities. Those services will allow INVENT, from one side, to verify if the real functioning (and performances) of the MACH-to Retrofit Kit is in line with the expected one (with the support of NAVETA), to the other side, to maintain constant commercial relationships with their customers.
Furthermore, given the Consortium and the past experiences of every single partner, there are several available links with most of the European Platforms (e.g. Textile Technology Platform) and associations (e.g. ACIMIT and EURATEX) that could multiply the potential business opportunities and open new channels for dissemination.
The future Exploitation and Market development for the Project results will be mainly based on two approaches:
• involvement of textile stakeholders through selected contacts and direct approach, based on the contacts owned within the consortium, previous works and a development strategy involving the different competences and the visibility granted by the experience in the field;
• participation in official events and involvement of public bodies and activities of Lobbying oriented to granting the knowledge of the capabilities and potential for the MACH-to Project to improve efficiency of the textile processes.

CUSTOMER SEGMENTS & RELATIONSHIPS
The MACH-to consortium identified 4 different potential customer segments that can be interested in the MACH-to retrofit kit:
• Textile machineries end-users (e.g. ALGE, SELCOM);
• Textile machineries producers (e.g. LIBA, COMEZ);
• Textile machineries distributors;
• Retrofitting companies / machine maintenance providers.
In order to maximise the exploitation of the knowledge and of the assets developed and under development within the project, firstly, the main efforts will be addressed to reach the textile machineries end-users (as well as SELCOM and ALGE). A preliminary list of customer has been already identified and reported in deliverable 6.4. The market will be continuously monitored (also after the project) in order to detect new trends and possibilities.
Three different strategies to be used to reach the above reported customer segments have been preliminary defined:
• Direct contact (Business to Customer approach);
• Indirect contact (through industrial associations);
• Indirect contact (through textile machinery producers).

Different advertising strategies will be activated in order to maximise the penetration of the MACH-to retrofit kit innovations and benefits. The MACH-to promotion will be finally done by means of traditional communication channels, in order to create a constant and continuous information flow towards the potential market:
• Ad-hoc website, press releases, banner on magazines, media access, and periodical newsletters, targeting a wide range of interested stakeholders, from major sector actors to clustering European institutions
• Social networking campaign: YouTube, Twitter and Linkedin
• Exhibitions at trades and fairs such as: ITMA 2015, the World's Leading International Fair on Textile Machinery Sector (http://www.itma.com/) and Tecnotêxtil Brasil 2015 (http://www.tecnotextilbrasil.com.br/)

REVENUE STREAMS
The MACH-to revenue streams will be defined after the end of the project, taking care of: partners needs and expectations, direct and indirect costs of each company. The streams will be based on the IPR rules and strategy of MACH.-to project. The possibility to develop ad hoc exploitation agreements among the involved partners will be evaluated.
According to what the Consortium has developed now and the methodology used, when a potential customer will show an expression of interest in the M2RK, the whole MACH-to team will cooperate to satisfy its requests.
Three main revenue stream alternatives have been identified by the consortium during the exploitation strategy seminar in Genova:
• Full service pack: additional services (e.g. as-is analysis of the machine, preliminary conceptual design, maintenance) + MACH-to retrofit kit components
• Leasing formula: flat rate for the innovative components with the oblige to acquire a certain number of services
• Components selling + additional services: components and services costs will be calculated on the basis on the specific customer needs and efforts requested (e.g. men months needed, travel costs, ...)

The pricing strategy will be defined in agreement by the whole MACH-to team. The production cost will be analysed into detail in order to calculate the selling price applying a marginal rate. For example, the production cost of the Push rod developed by INVENT within the project (SELCOM pilot) is about 136€ (Personnel: 109,49 €, Material: 24,05 €; Facilities: 1,42 €; Others: 1,40 €). Including the indirect costs (e.g. logistics, administrative, …) the global cost can be estimated as 200€. Applying a margin of about the 50% of the global cost, the selling price of the push rod will be 300€. This is just an example, the pricing strategy will be in fact defined by the team after the project end.

COST STRUCTURE
A preliminary analysis of the cost structure has been done by the project consortium in order to identify the main costs that will influence the final price of the MACH-to retrofit kits.

Three main cost categories have been preliminary identified:
Engineering / consultancy costs that comprising (but not limited to):
• analysis of the current machine / component to be updated;
• conceptual design development;
• final design of the component(s) ;
Technical costs comprising (but not limited to):
• maintenance activities;
• after sales support (training, helpdesk, …);
• Structural costs (companies fixed costs: internal services, utilities, …);
• Manufacturing costs (raw material acquisition; treatments, …);
• Logistic costs (both internal and external);
Commercial and marketing costs.

LONG-TERM AND SHORT-TERM GOALS
The consortium plans to increase the M2RK portfolio step by step every year after the project end. The main objective is to have, within three years after the end of the project, a portfolio of, at least, 60 retrofit kits (5 Retrofit-Kit for each relevant machine in knitting sector + 20 retrofit kits for other machine producers). The first clients will be SELCOM and ALGE; other potential customers will be identified starting from the companies listed in D6.3 and from the companies belonging to the MACH-to partners network.
Potential Impact:
Contribution to the competitiveness of the proposers

In the following the direct benefit to the participant SMEs are highlighted:

Invent: Enlargement of products portfolio - Invent is already active in several sectors that are currently exploiting the composites, first of all railways, aeronautics and defence. The possibility of entering a new market, potentially characterized by high demand is crucial for INVENT future industrial and commercial progresses.
INVENT will become the main supplier of the MACH-to Retrofit Kit to textile producer and will get the direct economical benefits of such B2B commerce. INVENT will develop a new branch for design, production and supply of special parts of textile machinery and will enlarge the actual network of supplier-customers. In the framework of MACH-to, INVENT will also have the chance to get familiar with the highly specialized textiles made by Selcom and could even cross-fertilize its traditional sectors.

Selcom and Alge: Industrial production savings - Selcom and ALGE will be the first industrial partners to experience the benefits and savings of MACH-to Retrofit Kit. Three main savings are expected, as immediate effect:
• Increase of productivity, thanks to higher performance of machines, in terms of speed, and thanks to the increased MTBF (mean time between failure). The test campaign performed during the project showed an increase of production speed of around 20%;
• Reduction of the production costs (both direct and indirect) because of the energy savings;
• Increase of market share, thanks to same quality product at lower price.

NAVETA: product development - NAVETA is involved in the MACH-to project as support to production and testing of those composite components that will replace the old ones made of metals. MACH-to represent for NAVETA a very good opportunity to industrially test the wear resistance testing desk they developed within Nu-Wave (Nu-Wave demonstrator number#2).
The direct benefit is a complete run of tests with the new desk, and an evidence of its importance for textile machinery development: the “test the tester” experience will be useful to fine tuning the demonstrator and make it, as well as the other demonstrator, suitable for the market. The revenues of selling this new stand or the subcontracted future wear resistance testing activities from market players will increase the overall turnover of an expected 12% in two years.
Steps to bring about the impact
Several improvements have been induced by MACH-TO demonstration activities, from an increased sustainability of the textile processes to a positive societal effect, to an economic boost of European industry:
• Short-term level: the project consortium is completed by two end-users (Selcom and ALGE) so they will immediately experience the potential of MACH-TO Retrofit Kit and give to the market an evidence by direct measurements on the field;
• Medium-term level: at the beginning, MACH-TO Retrofit Kit will be industrialized and optimized for an increasing number of machines, so that it will be available for the knitting machines (primary target), and this would bring to the extension of the benefits potentially to the whole sector of technical and traditional knitted textiles;
• Long-term level: thanks to the efforts for making MACH-TO machine as much versatile and highly customizable as possible, there is the possibility of releasing dedicated optimization for other textile sectors with slight efforts. In the medium/long term objective, MACH-TO Retrofit Kit could be proposed for upgrading machines for other products like jacquard fabrics, narrow fabrics and medical textiles.
The partners foresee that a time to market of about 12 months will be needed in order to further develop the technology from the level of a product-like prototype, which this Demonstration Action aims to achieve, to the full industrial scale. Industrialisation activities as well as production capacities building will be needed in order to be able to bring the intended product to the market.
Keeping this in mind, the partners are fully confident that Europe offers excellent conditions to support in the take-up of the proposed technology, such as:
• A highly developed economy and a conscious society;
• Excellent regulatory and legislative framework conditions, promoting a wide adoption of energy saving measures and technologies, namely:
o Directive 2006/32/EC on energy end-use efficiency and energy services;
o Directive 2006/42/CE on industrial equipment;
o Directive 2005/32/CE (EuP), on Energy-using Products.
• Interested industrial partners having internal objectives to promote sustainable development;
• Interested commercial partners with strong purchasing power and a high degree of environmental awareness;
• European as well as national policies actively promoting sustainable development, environmental friendliness, and aligned innovations.

Industrial impact
Energy saving. According to the preliminary tests performed during Nu-Wave project, the energy consumption of a knitting machine actuation system could decrease up to 80%, thanks to the reduced friction and the decreased mass. Being more than conservative, we could assume a power consumption of 50% respect to the actual, 93.5 W instead of 187 W, per bar. A 20-bars machine will need around 1.9 kW, instead of 3.7 kW. If we assume that an average value of kWh is 0.07 to 0.10 € and that usually the machine is used 24 hours per day, the total savings given by each machine could vary from 95.76 €/month to 136.80 €/month. An important benefit for industry.
Production speed increased up to 20% respect to the present system. Where it is not possible (or worth) to downsize the motors, the quality of the components, the reduction of vibrations and of the overall moving masses would allow the end users to increase the speed of the machines, reaching an higher production level and maintaining the same (or even higher) quality of products. The test campaign performed during the project showed an increase of productivity of about 20%.
The measured increase of productivity will have also a positive impact on the volume occupied by the machines that can descrease of about 20%. This means for the textile companies a reduction of facilities costs (rent, energy consumption, ...).
Less maintenance. The components of the Retrofit Kit are tested to grant a certain number of cycles. Together with the Kit, the future supplier will give its customers a maintenance schedule, to guarantee the longer life span possible. Thanks to the innovative materials and coatings, it is expected that the decreased friction and vibrations will guarantee longer MTBF (mean time between failure).




Noise and vibrations reduction. The lower masses and the characteristics of the components decreased both noise and vibration with an immediate positive impact on workers environment and on the product quality.
Extension of machine specification. The novel components additionally alter the ability of the machine to handle, e.g. an extended range of yarns, allow for the manufacturing of different patterns and potentially allow for an increased yarn tension. As such, the end user of the machine can offer a wider product portfolio.

Employment
The impact on employment is mostly related to the business generated by the MACH-to sales, creating employment opportunities for production and selling of the entire system. Based on the expected initial market penetration of the system in the global market, altogether the proposers expect that potentially 6 new job opportunities will be created by the end of 2017, based on the industry norm of 150 kEuro of sales per employee and a MACH-to turnover of around 1 M€ in the short term. Furthermore, it has to be considered that the success of the project will represent the basis for INVENT to initiate the creation of a brand new business division, specialized in textile machinery: this would represent a job opportunity for people highly qualified in textile mechanics (e.g. PhD students from universities such as ITA, especially skilled technicians, sales and distribution personnel). If we consider the long term period scenario and the entering in new markets as specified in the previous section, based on the same industry norm, we may expect the potential creation of further 15 additional jobs at the SME’s through the sales of extra components and at the consortiums end users through the increased productivity as well as through the wider range of final textile products offered.

European dimension and impact in community social objectives
The project results achieved showed that a possible great and quite quick step forward on textile machinery is possible and Europe is today still the leader of the sector.
The objectives of MACH-to can only be addressed at a European level rather than at national/regional/private level because of the geographical dispersion within EU of the technological expertise and know-how needed to achieve the project objectives. Italy, Germany, Czech Republic and Austria have a long tradition in textile and textile machinery and only those countries, together, could really give a boost to European and worldwide innovation. The intended transnational approach will allow companies from different European Countries to exchange information about novel technologies and best practices. The impact of this transnational project is therefore expected to be greater and more cost-effective than the sum of smaller national projects. The proposed project has been an opportunity for the SME proposers to go on with their trans-national and complementary cooperation among themselves and the European RTD performers, guaranteeing an effective approach to problem solving and having therefore a greater impact than national projects. Through the partnership established in this project, 4 SMEs had an opportunity to work together which otherwise would have been difficult due to their geographical split. The complementary experience of the proposers, their geographical distribution, and the critical mass in human and financial resources, gave the European added value to the Consortium necessary to achieve the project objectives. The project contributes to EU policies concerning the European Research Area as it supports a supply chain oriented consortium of SMEs active in the field of textiles and textile machinery to respond to the pressures for continuous innovation and technological adaptations to stay competitive in the global market, providing a scientific base for future norms and standards which prevents imports of goods from low cost labour countries.
Put all together, this will define a new gap with emerging countries, especially with Far East and China.
The new opportunities for skilled workers, both in electronics and textile, coming from the machine market entering is completely in line with the European policy of “Green jobs: Europe’s environmental and economic future” (http://goo.gl/VZQHZO).
The great saving in costs and the reduction energy consumption will also contribute in stopping the need for re-locating textile production outside Europe.
List of Websites:
Website: http://www.mach-to.eu/
YouTube page: http://goo.gl/XxLc3W
LinkedIn page: http://goo.gl/9GOhCG

Contacts:
Olaf Heintze, INVENT GmbH (Project Coordinator), Phone: +495312446646, Fax: +49531244 6688, E-mail: olaf.heintze@invent-gmbh.de

Andrea Pestarino, D’Appolonia S.p.A. Phone: +390103628148, Fax: +390103621078, E-mail: andrea.pestarino@dappolonia.it