Automation in Curtain manufacturing: Eyelet Curtains

With the continuing need to drive greater throughput and reduce costs, a good number of manufacturers are investing in automation solutions to increase their efficiency. Especially with the levels of competition going up in Home Textiles manufacturing sector and with Indian manufactures vying for the top spot on fulfilling customer requirements from USA & EU, automated production lines are now more critical for long term sustainability & success. In this article we will be exploring the use of automation in Curtain manufacturing, focusing on Eyelet curtains, including the details of process and viable automation solutions.

Eyelet curtains are a common sight today at our households and if one takes a closer look on the construction and the formations, it is quite evident that below are the steps followed in manufacturing process of eyelet curtains.

1) Unwinding the large rolls of fabric and cutting to desired shapes & sizes
2) Side hemming on both sides of the final size of curtain
3) Bottom folding & hemming
4) Top folding & hemming
5) Labelling
6) Measurements on the top side of curtain for insertion of eyelets
7) Cutting holes on the fabric
8) Eyeleting operation
9) Fan-folding the curtains for packing & shipping

Though above are clearly individual steps to be followed not necessarily in the mentioned sequence however with the advancement in technology today we have, first 5 steps can be easily automised with Automatex FR-WL-7725, where the fabric is fed from one roll via let off through tension control and edge guiding to the length hemming section. The fabric after passing through an accumulator will be cross cut and transferred to the cross hemming operation where the readymade pieces (including label) are stacked in bundles. The automations of the process also gives an added advantage of consistency in quality of the output with minimal inspection.

Moving forward steps from 6 to 8 can be automised with FEPA J25 & J279 Eyelet punching machines which achieves piercing & eyeleting in a single operation and needs only single operator thereby ensuring higher productivity rates at lesser operating costs. In addition to the faultless execution of eyelet punching, the superior quality of Eyelets from FEPA enhances the aesthetic appeal of the curtains. FEPA has the manufacturing ability to manufacture eyelets from a variety of metals including brass, aluminum, copper, stainless steel, iron etc and gives the designer option of choosing from illustrative colour range.

In the curtains manufacturing domain owing to competitive pressures in the marketplace, a company often needs to introduce a new product in the shortest possible time. At the first glance, the easiest and least expensive way to accomplish this objective is to design a manual production method, using a sequence of workstations operating independently. The tooling for a manual method can be fabricated quickly and at low cost. If more than a single set of workstations is required to make the product in sufficient quantities, as is often the case, then the manual cell is replicated as many times as needed to meet demand. If the product turns out to be successful, and high future demand is anticipated, it makes sense for the company to automate production. Companies with long term business strategies must have an automation migration strategy, that is, a formalized plan for evolving the manufacturing systems used to produce new products as demand grows.