Focus on Saurer laboratory

For a company to make the most of its machinery, expertise is called for. It's often the little things that make all the difference. This is where the specialists at our high-tech laboratories come into play.

What are the strengths of the Saurer laboratory in Übach-Palenberg, Germany?

Klaudia Flores Molina: We work with the latest test equipment for nearly all tests on fibres, yarns and fabrics. Here in Übach-Palenberg we have specialised in staple fibres. What's more, only highly qualified textile laboratory assistants and textile technologists work in our laboratories.

What is inspected during fibre and yarn tests?

K.F.M.: During fibre tests, the raw material itself is inspected, for example the fibre length, cotton maturity, and amount of trash. In other words, we analyse the input for the textile machines.

Wilhelmine Hamacher: Yarn tests are carried out to inspect the output of the spinning machine – the yarn. This includes factors such as irregularity, imperfections, and strength.

Eileen Wilhelm: This information allows us to interpret yarn behaviour in the downstream process better and to also draw conclusions about upstream processes. This is why we test every intermediate and end product in the textile chain as well.

What are the procedures for a yarn test and how is testing done?

W.H.: A yarn test should always be considered on a case-by-case basis and there is a range of different methods. Test criteria may include: irregularity, thick and thin places, twist, hairiness, strength, and elongation of the yarn.

K.F.M.: It always depends on which tests are required by the customer. In any case, the test needs to be suitable for the raw fibre material and the yarn type. We are happy to provide advice here on what is appropriate. It goes without saying that we carry out our tests in reproducible conditions, for example to DIN standards, as well as in a standard atmosphere.


Do these test methods also include long-term tests?

K.F.M.: Usually they don't. However, as part of research efforts, we do also carry out long-term tests for internal development.

What do customers gain when they commission the laboratory?

E.W.: Objective test results and recommendations from competent specialists, which the customer can use to optimise their textile operations and increase productivity.

How detrimental can it be to customers if something is wrong with the fibres or yarns?

E.W.: As textiles are made in many consecutive process steps, even the smallest of errors in an early process step can lead to massive quality issues over the course of production.

For example, an incorrect machine setting during production of the sliver may only be noticed later on in the fabric. This can cause fatal consequences because it cannot be undone. In the worst-case scenario, the entire production of the fabric may be so defective that it cannot be processed or sold on. Inspecting the textile products between the individual process steps therefore allows errors or quality defects to be detected in good time. And this saves the customer a lot of time and money.

When should customers turn to you?

K.F.M.: The services provided by the laboratory are not only intended to find defects, but also to ensure quality. In other words, the textile products also need to be inspected for preventive purposes, whatever the process stage. We can also make recommendations on how to avoid errors – this is one of the main reasons why customers should contact us early on.

Saurer Laboratory Eileen Wilhelm at microscope
“Inspecting the textile products between the individual process steps allows errors or quality defects to be detected in good time. This saves the customer a lot of time and money.“
Saurer Laboratory Eileen Wilhelm at microscope
Eileen Wilhelm
Textile Technologist, Saurer applied textile technology department

If a customer wants to draw on your services, how do they go about this in practice?

E.W.: Customers can email or call us and let us know what tests they require. Alternatively, they can ask our service staff for the relevant request form for testing.

And what happens once a customer has commissioned you?

K.F.M.: The customer usually sends us the material to be tested. Once testing has been completed, the customer receives a detailed test report from the laboratory technicians.

W.H.: Customers also have the option of arranging an appointment to visit the laboratory so they can see for themselves what we can offer them.

Do you only work for European customers?

K.F.M.: No, we work for customers all over the world, as do our laboratories in Münster (Germany), China and India.

Do you collaborate with the other Saurer laboratories?

E.W.: Yes, we already have a shared database so that we can access the results from the Saurer laboratories worldwide. We are also planning to further intensify our collaboration in future.

W.H.: And we carry out a "round trial" with Suzhou once a year, for example. The aim of a round trial is to guarantee the same results worldwide when testing the same starting material. This serves quality assurance purposes.

Does the laboratory also play a role when it comes to new purchases of Saurer products?

E.W.: In an indirect way. By examining the materials in the individual process stages, we can check whether the customer has achieved the desired quality and material exploitation with the Saurer machines. Since ITMA 2019, Saurer has also been offering Autolab, a complete solution for the laboratory.

So an analysis of yarn optimisation by the lab can increase machine productivity?

E.W.: Without a doubt! By inspecting the yarns, the customer can react to the settings of the machines and draw conclusions about the quality of the raw material.

What role does the laboratory in Übach-Palenberg play in current fashion trends and the analysis of new yarns?

K.F.M.: We don't develop new yarns, but we do see how fibre blends and yarn characteristics change over time. In this way, we know what trends our customers are reacting to. Particularly customers with new materials often use our services, which enables us to observe trends.

E.W.: Of course, we also react to these on the development side! If certain new fibre blends become more frequent, then the components and features of Saurer machines need to be adapted.

Can you make out any new trends at the moment?

E.W.: At the moment sustainability and recycling are hot topics. A lot of fibre blends with a high proportion of recycled material – especially cotton, are being spun.

Eco-friendly manmade fibres out of natural polymers, such as lyocell, are also becoming more and more popular. As all test results are recorded in our database, we can also access old results and compare them with current results. So we can quickly identify trends in this regard as well.

Do you also conduct research yourselves?

W.H.: Not directly, but our laboratory collaborates with the application technology and development technology department at Saurer and examines the materials from spinning trials. We therefore make an indirect contribution for the benefit of our customers on a daily basis.


This article, which appeared in the 01 2020 edition of our "Insight" customer magazine, is available in four languages. Here you can also access the entire magazine.

Saurer Insight 01 2020 customer magazine EN
9.05 MB
Saurer Insight 01 2020 customer magazine TR
9.04 MB
Saurer Insight 01 2020 Textile laboratory EN
5.92 MB
Saurer laboratory Insight 01 2020 article TR
5.93 MB