Plaster Grid Warp Knitted Fabric for Billion-Euro Market in China

Karl Mayer Technische Textilien has developed a new warp knitting machine with weft insertion, and thus further differentiated its range offer in this field. The new Wefttronic II G is specifically designed to produce light- to medium-heavyweight grid structures.
Stable grid textiles are used as plaster grids and geogrids, as well as carriers for grinding discs, and are produced extremely efficiently on the Wefttronic II G. Geogrid fabrication is now 60% more productive compared to the previous version. In addition, less expensive yarns can be processed into high-quality textiles: the textile glass fiber materials can cost up to 30% less than leno fabric production. The machine handles technical yarns extremely gently. Its performance is also impressive.
The first Wefttronic II G was ordered by the Polish manufacturer Halico in early 2019, followed by orders from China in December.
“During our most recent trip to China just before Christmas, we were able to win over two new customers for our company,” said Jan Stahr, Sales Manager of Karl Mayer Technische Textilien. Both companies, Shandong Qiyad and Zibo Glasstex (Shandong Fiberglass), are major players in the industry. After purchasing one machine each, they hinted that they may invest in more Wefttronic II G models.
Shandong Qiyad is privately owned by the Ma family. Ma Xingwang Senior holds shares in two other companies, led by his son and nephew respectively. The companies use around 750 rapier looms in total for their production and thus offer efficiency potential. Depending on product quality, 13 to 22 rapier looms can be replaced by just one Wefttronic II G.
Karl Mayer Technische Textilien offers intensive service support to ensure a seamless changeover to new technology and to a state-of-the-art machine. The strong partnership led to further recommendations. “During our meetings, the Ma family also introduced us to other potential customers,” says Stahr. The native region of Shandong Qiyad, Shanxian (Shandong Province), is well known for its plaster grid production. Around 5,000 rapier looms are in operation there. The companies are all part of an association. Stahr is already in the process of scheduling a pilot system with some of these companies.
State-run Zibo Glasstex, better known as Shandong Fiberglass, has made a name for itself internationally as a manufacturer of glass fibers, rovings and textiles. It is among the top five manufacturers of glass fibers in China. Its customers in this sector include manufacturers in Eastern Europe who are already operating machines by Karl Mayer Technische Textilien. Following the successful introduction of the technology with the first Wefttronic II G, Zibo Glasstex plans to invest in more machines.
According to the company’s own information, it intends to work a market with an annual volume of 2 billion square meters of textile glass fiber material and to achieve a significant market share. Zibo Glasstex therefore intends to invest in more machines in the mid-term.
In order to gain a better understanding of the possibilities relating to glass grid structure production, the new Wefttronic II G machine will be available for customer trials at Karl Mayer (China) in Changzhou from this June. A wide range of equipment options and patterning possibilities will be available to suit a diverse manufacturing process. The different offers can be tested as part of these processing trials. While working on the machine, customers can get a feel of how the design of the fabric influences its properties and product output, and how this correlation can be used to achieve greater efficiency.
For instance, if the square cells of a textile grid are formed with a low warp yarn stitch density, the weft yarns have a significant freedom of movement within the structure. The fabric is relatively unstable, but is manufactured with high output.
Glass grid manufacturers looking for greater efficiency can use the Wefttronic II G at Karl Mayer (China) to produce warp knitted fabrics with the same properties as their existing products and thus investigate whether there are any advantages. The performance profiles of textile products are verified by corresponding laboratory values. Companies with vertically integrated production particularly welcome the opportunity to test the machine out. In addition to textiles, they also produce textile glass fiber materials, and can therefore test how their own yarns are processed.
The trials are competently supervised by Karl Mayer’s trained technical staff. The Wefttronic II G is based on a technology unfamiliar to many glass grid manufacturers. During these trials, they can also discover how user-friendly the new machine is.