Modern textile manufacturing comprises
a chain of several linked operations, including spinning, weaving,
knitting, dyeing and printing. These and other processes generate
a considerable amount of hazardous waste, most of which results
from the use of solvents. European textile manufacturers are now
subject to ever more stringent environmental regulations covering
the generation, transportation, and management of such hazardous
waste, all of which incur heavy expenses.
A large percentage of operating time in
textile factories is devoted to sample runs for testing new processes,
materials and formulas. Many of these test runs are ultimately unproductive
but result in just as much waste as any other production run.
This project was aimed at the development
of a sample production mini-line which would allow new processes
to be tested on a more economical and environmentally friendly scale,
while avoiding costly starting and stopping of main textile production.
The resulting system, including all of the major textile manufacturing
processes, requires smaller amounts of toxic chemicals and reduces
the amount of time needed to produce samples.