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Development of a clean and efficient automatic dyeing control system (EDY)

Final Report Summary - EDY (Development of a clean and efficient automatic dyeing control system)

The main strategic objective of the EDY project was to develop an efficient, cost-effective tool for the European textile finishing industry, in order to monitor and optimally control the process of fabric and yarn dyeing.

The project included the following activities:
1. development of a dyeing monitoring system that was able to evaluate the status of the dyeing bath through the combinatory analysis of a series of parameters, such as spectral content, pH, conductivity and temperature;
2. development of control algorithms consisting of suggestions to the system operator in order to implement corrective actions and effectively control the process;
3. optimisation of the proposed innovations through trials in real dyeing environments in two different countries.

The designed proposals were based on the variable optical path spectrometer (VOPS) methodology. This innovative approach was able to guarantee reliable spectral information of the dyeing bath, as the probe was always able to modify its path length as a consequence of the darkness of the bath itself. The constructed automatic control system was able to collect real-time process data from a dye bath machine, allowing for optimal control of the dyeing process and improvement of its performance. Therefore, the product quality was increased and the waste of time and dyestuff were radically reduced, resulting in higher production and lower environmental costs.

The developed approach was extensively communicated to the end users via the successful implementation of a dissemination plan. A further industrialisation process was foreseen, in order to create a competitive, ready-to-use, commercial solution. The benefits of the proposal included decrease in manufacturing costs, quality improvement and increased production rates at minimal implementation costs. As a result, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) would become more competitive, thus increasing the competitiveness of the entire textile sector. Finally, the device could potentially result in reducing imports of textile products from low-cost labour countries with fewer environmental concerns.

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