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The history of yarn spinning goes even beyond the Neolithic times, when spindle whorls have been found to be used for the first time. Spinning has been discovered over and over again, each culture adapting it to best suit their needs. The technology for spinning did not change until the development of the spinning wheel and flyer in medieval times. After the introduction of the carding process in the 13th century, the complete spinning process has been growing into larger and more complicated systems. Although each processing step has been improving for better efficiency and quality, the length of the spinning line has never reduced by more than a step or two. Various spinning technologies have come into use, but in principle, staple yarn manufacturing involves four essential operations: fiber separation, parallelization, attenuation, and consolidation. Currently, several machines (about 10) in sequence are needed for these tasks. For carded yarns the sequence comprises: bale opening, opening/cleaning (1 to 3 steps), blending, carding, drawing (1 to 2), and yarn formation (1 to 2). It has been the industry's strong desire to shorten the sequence while maintaining acceptable product quality so as to reduce the costs associated with equipment, floor space, labor, material loss, and machine down time.

The Card-Spinning machine combines carding directly with yarn spinning in one integrated unit, thus bypassing the separate drawing and materials handling/transport steps. The system is based on a Truetzschler card (DK-760) with a chute feed, and the fiber is supplied by a hopper feeder and fine opener linked to the card. The developed system consists of a web-dividing device, spinning unit and a winding unit. A simple and versatile web-dividing device has been designed and fabricated to create a narrow ribbon from the card web, which is then transported to the spinning head where an airJet spinning nozzle spins yarn out of it. Therefore the card web is used in its original form after dividing it into thin ribbons. This means that the uniformity characteristics of the web will directly show in the yarn evenness. Thus in order to maintain good yarn evenness it becomes very critical to maintain the card web uniformity.

In the conventional carding process uniform cross machine web mass density is not very critical because of the averaging effect resulting from condensing of the web during sliver formation; therefore carding machines are not optimized to achieve this. But in this system the uniformity of the web is very critical as it directly affects the yarn evenness and the process requires better control on the card web mass density both in crossmachine and machine directions. Therefore the process is supported by a webmonitoring system, which is used to monitor the web non-uniformity, using image analysis. This will facilitate online monitoring of web mass density and characterize the nature of non-uniformity. The new web-splitting technique makes it plausible for dynamic web splitting to automatically adjust ribbon width according to local web mass density (beyond the scope of this research). This work has been planned to facilitate a regulated fiber transport to the spinning heads to achieve a better reliability and yarn uniformity, using image analysis techniques. Characterization of structure and properties of the yarn produced from this system also

forms a part of the study, which suggests the limitations in terms of operating ranges (e.g. yarn count range, raw material, staple length or spinning speeds).

1.1 Statement of the problem

The main challenges associated with the idea of using card web directly for the yarn spinning are three fold.

a) Non-Uniformity of the card web In a conventional carding system, the card web uniformity is not considered very critical since the formation of sliver results in averaging of varying cross machine mass density. Also the processes of successive drafting and doubling further reduce the variability in the linear density of the sliver or roving, which are the ultimate inputs to the spinning machines. But in the Card-Spinning system web variability in both, cross-machine and machine directions is critical. Where the former induces variations between different yarns, the latter introduces variability within yarn. Thus it is very important to characterize the nature of web uniformity, for example as periodic or random, depending on which corrective measures can be implemented.

b) Splitting the card web into ribbons of uniform width A typical card web mass density ranges between 8-15 g/m2. The ribbon width required for a 10 Ne yarn is calculated to be less than a centimeter, provided no drafts have been introduced in the system. Dividing such a delicate fiber web into small widths without unacceptable variations is a challenge. Not only this,

narrow ribbons imply larger number of ribbons and therefore more spinning heads. Accommodating a large number of spinning heads in front of a card is

again a challenge and will require a carefully designed arrangement of spinning heads.

c) High speed spinning technology To obtain maximum productivity it is imperative to run the card at its highest speed. This means that a spinning technology, capable of spinning yarns at very high speeds, is required. The space requirement in front of the card for accommodating large number of spinning heads followed by corresponding winding units is also an important consideration. Moreover all this is required without hindering the access to the web. Thus a suitable candidate for the spinning technology should be small, spinning at high speeds and simple in design.


Problem solving approaches

The basic approach is to divide the web into narrow strips and feed each strip to a separate spinning unit, thereby reducing the processing line to two major steps: Opening/cleaning Yarn formation by Card-Spinning Eliminating the various processing steps after carding, one would expect a poor uniformity of the yarn. A less expensive yarn for, less critical industrial purposes, may compensate for its non-uniformity. In order to implement this basic idea, the various problems stated above have been addressed using the following:

Online card web monitoring and image analysis: Card-Spinning system employs an online web monitoring system, which scans the web online and analyzes it for web uniformity. This analysis can be used to characterize the web non-uniformity, e.g. a periodic non-uniformity may suggest wearing of some mechanical part in the machine. Along with a long-term solution it can also provide short-term solution by signaling the web dividing system to vary the ribbon widths according to varying web mass density. This system will also help in characterizing the amount of variability introduced by the spinning process, using image analysis algorithms that operate on web images to predict yarn non-uniformity.

Dividing card web into ribbons of uniform linear density: A set of very fine air jet nozzles are employed to divide the web. The Jet Web Divider consists of a pair of very fine nozzles blasting compressed air against a moving cylinder. Using multiple jets on the same principle would create more ribbons that could be used to spin more than one yarn simultaneously with separate spinning units.

High-speed spinning technology: The two good candidates for a fast spinning process are rotor spinning and air jet spinning. However since the process requires several spinning heads directly in front of the card, and this in turn puts physical constraints on the size of he spinning system. Also rotor spinning requires a number of driving mechanisms and motors, which make the process more complicated as compared to the air jet spinning. Given the speeds of new state-of-the-art carding machines, air jet spinning at very high speeds seems the best candidate. Introduction of any draft, which may be desirable after the characterization of variability introduced by the system, air jet spinning is the only solution, which will easily accommodate the increasing spinning speeds.


Background study

2.1 Digital Image Analysis 2.1.1 Background

Image analysis extraction of data from images is about 30 years old. One of the first works in this field was the attempt to classify automatically the 46 chromosomes in the human cell[10]. Since then a lot of work has been done and now we understand the proper questions to ask in the context of image analysis, and how to apply the answers where they are known. Young[10] lists some of these questions which can be very important while using image analysis techniques in a meaningful way. How can the verbal description of some property in an analog image be translated into a quantitative measure? What is the proper representation of digital image in order to compute efficiently the desired measure? What is the proper formula for estimating the analog measure given the digital data? What is the sampling density required to obtain an arbitrary accuracy and precision in analog measure given the digital data? How can the desired measure be tested as to efficacy in a controlled way?

Can image transformations be used in such a way as to implement process or aid in the implementation of the measurement process? These questions are critical to answer and set guidelines for a meaningful image analysis system.

Digital image analysis (DIA) involves image capture with data archive and manipulation using mathematical functions to enhance image features of interest. Algorithms are used to transform these data to information. DIA can replace traditional, subjective assessments by an expert or a panel of experts. DIA mainly requires a digital camera interfaced to a host personal computer via an image capture board installed on the computer and the image processing and analysis software. These systems are easily assembled, transportable and available at relatively low costs.

Digital image analysis is growing fast, with increasing number of applications in science and engineering. Image analysis systems are used in the industry for dimensional verification tasks, automatic inspection for defects, etc. Because of their flexibility, these systems are used to perform measurements and control processes in many areas of manufacturing. They provide the advantage of non-contact sensing and the most importantly the desired characteristics can be directly programmed into the sensors. These features make vision systems well suited for applications in many areas, such as biological research, materials research, medical diagnostic research, factory automation, etc Various techniques have been employed based on the requirement and the criticality of the target system. For example, it has been employed to measure carpet texture by binarzation, often referred to as segmentation or thresholding of the spatial distribution of gray levels into black and white pixels. The method of FFT filtering has been most widely

used to record and measure textural differences from carpet wear. A few strong peaks in the Fourier power spectrum (FPS) characterize highly regular texture. Irregular texture is characterized by less dominant peaks in a Milky Way scatter of pixels.

There are cases where other transforms prove better than FFT. Pourdeyhimi et al[1] conclude that FFT overestimates the spread of orientation distribution function while measuring the fiber orientation in non wovens. They therefore suggest the use of Hough transform which, although slower, provides more useful information when detecting straight-line segments in binary images. Several generalizations of Hough have shown that the same algorithm can be used to detect curves of different kinds like circles, helices or even solid objects.

Wavelet transform[8] ( WT ) provides a theory and technique analogous to the Fourier transform. It is a newer tool in functional analysis whose elements have good localization properties in both spatial (time) and Frequency domain, unlike FT. The trick of wavelet analysis is that it tracks the signals with different sizes of wavelets. A low frequency wavelet gives an approximate image of signals, which gives good representation in frequency domain, while high frequency wavelet concentrates on brief signal changes, which gives a good localized property in time domain.

Wang et al[16] have used image analysis techniques for irregular shaped boundary detection in noisy digital images. They use four main steps of image smoothing, edge highlighting, heuristic edge tracing and fuzzy rule based boundary refining. Image smoothing is based on conventional thresholded neighborhood averaging method. Then the image is binarized, followed by edge highlighting using Roberts gradients[5]. Then edge tracing and boundary refining algorithms are used before classifying the defects.

Color imaging has also been used to assess changes in carpet texture and appearance from histogram display of color intensity versus frequency[3]. However in many cases grayscale images are more suitable for spatial distribution techniques like filtering and segmentation, as they provide incremental gray levels.

In case of fabric inspection filtering and histogram equalization techniques have been used to measure fabric count, cover, yarn thickness and spacing, direction and angle etc. Cardamone et al[2] use simple arithmetic relationships that provide facile methods to compute fabric cover, yarn count, thickness and spacing, as well as qualitative assessment of fabric skew and overall fabric integrity simply by generating histogram, binary image and FPS of the black and white digital images of a fabric.

2.1.2 Some image analysis techniques I. Binarization of the histogram

In this method a monochromatic image of the object is used. The monochromatic image consists of a continuum of gray shades values from 0 (pure black) to 255 (pure white) for each pixel of the image. When transmitted light is used, black areas represent the opaque portions of the object and the lighter areas represent the background, through which the transmitted light passes. Whereas in the case of reflected light, the darker regions of the image represent the background portions, while the lighter shades of gray represent the object surface. The image is converted to a histogram, which represents the frequency of occurrence of all gray levels gray levels (0-255) in the image pixels. The histogram shows two peaks corresponding to dark and light regions. A threshold value is chosen as the

minimum between the two modes of the histogram, or as the mean of the flat spectrum if there is no clear minimum. Then the image analysis threshold operation is used to convert all pixels below the threshold to pure black and making the lighter areas pure white. This method is most suitable for the applications like area calculation/estimation of irregular objects. Cardamone et al[2] use this method to calculate the fabric cover. Whereas Farah[14] used similar methods to measure trash content and grades of cotton. He suggests that for this kind of measurement transmitted light mode may not be suitable, thus reflected light mode should be used.


Fourier Power Spectrum

Fourier Transform methods are especially useful when analyzing the periodic structures of the FPS. In FT method pixels associated with large scale features appear near to the origin while the pixels representing fine details are more distant from the origin. Pattern irregularities appear as a diffused pixel arrangement. A regular pattern is characterized by an array of a few bright, sharply defined pixel points. Use of such techniques can be done in fabric pattern and texture assessments. In some cases it has been used to assess yarn spacing and yarn skewness,


Line profile Technique

In this method line profiles are taken across various sections of the digitized images, and peak smoothing is done using custom algorithms like moving point averages. This kind of techniques can be used in measurement of pattern sizes in the objects, for example the yarn spacing and yarn thickness in the fabrics.


2.1.3 Lighting in vision systems

Image processing deals with pixel values, which are the measure of light intensities reflected from the object surface. Therefore, change in illumination will alter pixel values and create different results. It is very important to take care of illumination variations in the vision systems. In some cases rigorous lighting specifications are specified, and in others a correlation is investigated between the illumination and the signals being processed. This problem suggests careful investigation into illumination arrangements and techniques.

The type of illumination source and lighting arrangement may be specific to the requirements of the vision system. In some cases point sources are recommended and in others uniform sources are required. In the case of non-uniform illuminations some mathematical transformations can be applied to obtain satisfactory results. Normalization and calibration techniques provide a mechanism to deal with non-uniform illumination[9]. Lehotsky[25] suggests a fuzzy logic controlled illumination. This type of implementation

would make the results of different web monitoring runs comparable and analysis can be done over long time results to observe longtime web density variations.

2.1.4 Line Scan camera System

A line Scan camera is used to produce fast results using a digital image capture board or frame grabber boards. The camera can have 1024 (1K), 2048 (2k), 4096 (4K) more picture elements (pixels), each pixel generating 8-bit gray level values. Line scan cameras differ from conventional area scan camera in the sense that their photosensitive device consists of contiguous precisely mounted elements arranged in a


linear row, rather than the matrix arrangement in area scan cameras. To capture a 2dimensional image, the linear camera can either be swept across the scene, or the camera can remain stationary while the scene moves past the camera. It generates the image by scanning the row of photosensitive elements repeatedly.

Due to uncertain and changing lighting conditions of the image captured by the system, the resulting digital image can be very different, making human interpretation difficult. Thus a correcting or compensating approach needs to be implemented with these systems to obtain satisfactory results. Minghua et al[3] proposed a 1-D homomorphic column filter which enhances the image while it is being generated. They implemented this algorithm in conjunction with an automated ends-in search and piecewise linear mapping, Wiener filtering and sharpening. The philosophy behind these techniques is briefly described below.

1-D Homomorphic column filter: An image f(x,y) has been modeled based on its illumination and reflectance components using the relation f(x,y) = i(x,y).r(x,y) Where i(x,y) is the illumination and r(x,y) is the reflectance components. The basic assumption in this approach is that illumination changes very little, while reflectance changes from object to object, or even on the same object due to the fluctuating texture of the surface of the object. So i(x,y) corresponds to the dynamic range of the image and r(x,y) to the details of the image. The spatial frequency components of i(x,y) are mainly in low frequency areas, whereas the frequency components of r(x,y) are in the high frequency region. Now f(x,y) is made to pass through a 1-D homomorphic system (highpass filter),which removes the low frequency components of i(x,y) and retains those of r(x,y). Thus the resultant image has a lower dynamic range with image details enhanced.


Using automated ends-in search and piecewise linear mapping they seek two gray levels G0 and G1 such that there are p0% of the pixels are darker than G0 and (100 - p0)% are brighter than G1 using the cumulative distribution function of the input image. Then they linearly map the image pixel values in the interval [ 0, G0 ] to [ Mmin , M0 ] and [ G1 , 255 ] to [ M0 , Mmax ]. This ensures that the image is neither too bright nor too dark.

Wiener filter is applied to the image to get a noise free image, without blurring the edges. Thus a mean filter is applied to all regions except the edges and the original edges are retained. Then a high boost filter is used to sharpen the image, which results in an image which looks like original image, with a relative degree of edge enhancement[4].

It is important to think carefully about how the images are being captured, in terms of lighting, lenses, camera positioning etc. and organize these factors before acquisition to obtain good images. Marchant[5] suggests that near optimal performance of image acquisition is obtained with maximum entropy and concludes that this measure is suitable for control of image acquisition. He defines a good image to be one with which the subsequent algorithms work well. Entropy is a simple measure derived from the gray level histogram of the image. He maximized the entropy of the images by changing these control parameters. Once the image was grabbed, models of the system were used to predict the optimum control values for the next image acquisition. He uses the shutter speed of the camera, brightness and contrast as these control parameters, which directly correspond to lens aperture, lighting and the reflectivity of the object. He suggests that any combination of these three control variables, such that the histogram occupies the dynamic range of the digitizer and there is no saturation observed can be perceived by human eye as about right.


Murino et al[6] have investigated the automatic acquisition control, and they used nine measures as quality functions, like amount of saturation, average brightness, contrast, histogram entropy etc. from the image and weighted them to form a global quality index.



Monitoring fiber web regularity

Current short staple yarn processes require only the overall card web density to be consistent because the formation of sliver itself is an averaging process and also the next process is doubling and drafting process that combines multiple slivers from multiple cards to average out variation. Cross-machine density variation is not important. In non-woven processes multiple card webs are layered to average out the variation in an individual web. In this new process, however the web is divided into multiple strips that are spun directly into yarn without the benefit of the averaging seen in former processes. Thus, monitoring of web density in both machine and cross-machine directions is important for forming a yarn with variability in acceptable limits.

An inexpensive reliable method of measuring the carded web density is critically needed to monitor and control the carding process. Typical technologies that might be applied to measure density are Beta Gauge, Gamma gauge, Laser Scanning, Ultrasound, Infrared Absorption, etc. Most of these require significant web density in order to have enough absorption of radiation to work properly. The card web has a very low density (about 10 g/m2) that provides very little absorption. It has been previously[9] shown using a vision system with capabilities of digital image processing and digital image analysis, that there exists a good linear correlation between the fiber weight and the photo sensor output


(pixel values). Using this kind of a vision system we can not only monitor the variations visually, but also analyze the images for interpreting the variations quantitatively. The Image Processing is concerned with image in image out model for enhancing or transforming the images to a more interpretable form, whereas Image Analysis works on image in data out model where the manipulations are done on the data extracted from the image, to identify various characteristic features. There also exists a third model of data in image out, which is in fact another level in imaging, where once the knowledge about the system images is acquired, one can create the desired images and is termed as Image Graphics. However the first two are used as the tools for the industrial image processing applications.

3.1 Methods of Image Processing (IP)[15]

Generally, the objective of image processing is to transform or analyze an image so that new information about the image is made evident. Most images originate in an optical form. An optical image may be converted to an electrical signal with a video camera or similar device. This conversion changes the representation of the image from an optical light form to a continuously varying electrical signal. This electrical signal is called an analog signal. Further, the analog image can be digitized and turned into a digital data form. There are different ways in which we can apply an image processing operation. A) Optical image processing: uses an arrangement of optical elements to carry out an operation. Eyeglasses are a form of optical processing. When a process is applied to an image that is in the form of transmitted or reflected light, we refer to it as an optical process. B) Analog image processing: uses analog electrical circuits to carry out an operation. When a process is applied to an image that is in the form of an analog signal, we refer to it as an analog process.


C) Digital image processing: uses digital circuits, computer processors, and software to carry out an operation. Within the digital domain, an image is represented by discrete points of numerically defined brightness. By manipulating these brightness values, the digital computer can carry out immensely complex operations with relative ease. Furthermore, the flexibility of the computer programming process allows us to adapt and modify digital image processing operations quickly. Vision systems are simple and relatively inexpensive and therefore this technology was chosen to measure the carded web density.

3.1.1 Digital Image Processing (DIP)

Digital image processing is a rapidly evolving field with a growing number of applications in science and engineering. Such systems are used in the industry for dimensional verification tasks, automatic inspection for defects, etc. Because of their flexibility, image-processing systems are used to perform measurements and control processes in many areas of manufacturing. They provide the advantage of non-contact sensing and the attractive property that desired characteristic could be directly programmed into the sensor. These features make vision systems well suited for applications in many areas, such as biological research, materials research, medical diagnostic research, factory automation, etc.

The term digital image processing generally refers to processing of a two-dimensional picture by a digital computer. In a broader context, it implies digital processing of any two-dimensional data. A digital image is an array of real or complex numbers represented by a finite number of bits. An image given in the form of a transparency, slide, photograph, or chart is first digitized and stored as a matrix of binary digits in computer memory. This digitized image can then be processed and/or displayed on a


high-resolution television monitor. For display, the image is stored in a rapid-access buffer memory which refreshes the monitor at 30 frames per second to produce a visibly continuous display[15]. Mini- or microcomputers are used to communicate and control all the digitization, storage, processing, and display operations via a computer.

3.1.2 Theory of Digital Imaging

A digital image is composed of discrete points of gray tone, or brightness, rather than continuously varying tones. To make a digital image from a continuous-tone image, it must be divided into individual points of brightness. Additionally, each point of brightness must be described by a digital data value. The process of breaking-up a continuous-tone image and determining digital brightness values are referred to as sampling and quantization. The sampling process samples the intensity of the continuous-tone image at specific locations. The quantization process determines the digital brightness value of each sample, ranging from black, through the grays, to white. A quantized sample is referred to as a picture element, called pixel, because it represents a discrete digital element of the digital image. The combination of sampling and quantization processes is referred to as image digitization.

The process of digitally acquiring an image consists of exposure and frame grabbing. During exposure, light passes through an objective and is focused on a photosensitive device such as a CCD (charge-coupled device). The CCD is a matrix array of light sensitive elements called picture elements or pixels, for short. After the exposure time elapses, A/D (analog/digital) conversion of the pixel values occurs and the digitized values are transferred to memory; this operation is called frame grabbing. Ideally, each pixel value produces a charge equal to the integral of intensity of the light striking the element during the time of exposure. For 8-bit digitization, a pixel can take values


between 0 and 255. Lower values mean that during the integration time, a small amount of light was received by the pixel and corresponds to the dark regions of an image; higher values correspond to bright regions of the image.

3.2 Using Digital Image Analysis (DIA) for fiber web density measurement
Image analysis may be viewed as a direct measurement or parameter estimation or a problem in image transformation[10]. However in case of using DIA as a measurement technique great care must be taken in choosing the Image representation Estimation formula Sampling density The Card-Spinning system involves handling of a very low density fiber web divided into narrow ribbons for the yarn spinning. In order to critically maintain the uniform linear density of the yarn, measuring the web density is important. But at the same time the web should be protected from any kind of contact to avoid disturbance in the process. Therefore a non-contact technology like digital image analysis has been used. And the efforts have been made to incorporate the three important parameters listed above to ensure a meaningful result from the analysis.

3.2.1 Relating Pixel values to web density

In our case, the object is a fiber web which is white and a good reflective material. The photosensor devices in the CCD camera convert light intensities to a voltage signal. The voltage signal, in turn, represents image brightness. Zhao[15] shows that the devices do not, respond linearly to light intensity. This means that the level of their output voltage is not exactly proportional to the amount of light hitting the surface of the device. A typical


solid-state photosensor device response is similar to the one depicted in Figure 3.1(a). From the plot, when an image is over- or underexposed, its dark and light brightness will enter the nonlinear portion of the plot. But in the middle of the plot, we can see that there is a linear region between the brightness and the photosensor output. We know that a pixel is a single photosensor in the camera array. Assuming a linear correlation, the relationship between the density of the fiber web and the pixel value of the image is shown in Figure 3.1(b). It has been shown[9,15] that the reflected light from the web (which is the brightness measured by the photosensor) is proportional to the weight (which is proportional to the density) of the web. Therefore, if the density of a web falls with in the proportional part, shown as in Figure 3.1(c), the weight of the web can be derived from the brightness distribution.

Figure 3.1 Relationship between web density and photosensor output[15]

3.2.2 Light compensation and optical nonlinearity of the lens

The vision system suffers from two natural limitations namely non uniform light distribution on the card web and optical non linearity of the camera lens. The light distribution on the carded web is not uniform when the digital camera captures the images because of various reasons. The light sources do not always provide light very uniformly, or even a slightly disoriented light source may result in varying light


intensities on the web and these might result in large errors. For example, if the weight in Position One (P1) is a little less than in Position Two (P2), while the illumination from the light source is significantly greater for P1 than P2, the result is that P1 is brighter than P2. The fiber in P1 will appear to be heavier than the fiber in P2, which would not be true. Furthermore the camera being mounted at a height, the center of the lens is located at a farther distance from the edges of the web as compared to the center of the web, and this would tend to show web heavier at the center as compared to on the edges, which again would not be true. This optical non-linearity can be taken care of up to an acceptable limit, with an approximation of assuming the central region of the optical view of the lens to be linear. But to make it an acceptable approximation the camera would have to be mounted at a very high position, which again would pose the problem of low intensities of the reflected light from the web. Thus to compensate for these errors, the obtained results need to be normalized. Two boards, one black and the other white were used to identify the system characteristics with respect to light distribution and the optical non-linearity. Experimental data confirmed that the intensities from the center of the board were much higher (pixel value ~ 100) as compared to the ones from the edges (pixel value ~ 40), and a convex distribution was obtained instead of a uniform distribution. Therefore a normalization equation as stated below was used and the results obtained were quite acceptable. Two control experiments were setup:

a) Light source was displaced a little bit so that it did not provide uniform light on the web on the line of camera vision. The original results showed skewed distribution, with the higher pixel values for the portion where the light source


was nearer to the web. However after normalization the skew ness disappeared as expected for a successful control experiment Figure 3.2


White Data after Normalization


Higher intensity
120 100 80 60 40 20 0 1 201 401 601 801 1001 1201 1401 1601 1801 2001

Lower intensity portion White Data

Pixel Value

Black Data

Pixel Number

Figure 3.2 Effect of non-uniform lighting on image

b) The web was intentionally made thicker on the left side, the effect of which was not very evident from the original data under the non uniform light distribution; however the results obtained after normalization clearly showed that the web was thicker on the left side again supporting the normalization step Figure 3.3 The following equation was used for normalization

PVnormalized =

Pvs Pvb x140 Pvw Pvb

Where Pvs is the pixel value of the specimen, Pvb is the pixel value of a black standard, and Pvw is the pixel value of a white standard. A white board was used as a high pixel value reference, and a black board as a low pixel value reference. It was assumed that the light on the two references is sufficiently


uniformly distributed. The normalized pixel value is chosen close to the peak pixel value of the white board (140).

160 140 120

Thicker web Discarded from left After After Normalization Normalization Discarded from right

Pixel Value

100 80 60 40 20 0 1

White Board Data Normalized Data

Before Normalization

Web Data
201 401 601 801 1001 1201 1401 1601 1801 2001

Pixel Number

Figure 3.3 Effect of normalization on image under non-uniform lighting

3.3 Experimental setup

The over all system consists of two important subsystems: the material handling subsystem and the image processing subsystem. The material subsystem consists of the web take up assembly and excess web removal system (Ch 6), which is required to transport the web at a known speed and position. The image processing subsystem is used to collect and process the spatial image data thus acquired. A line scan camera has been used for this, since it allows the collection of images at varying sizes and spatial resolution. For example the different cross machine and machine directions are easily obtained by controlling the integration time and the object velocity using a line scan camera, without the use of any special optical hardware. And once the correct resolution is achieved, an encoder synchronized with the object speed can be installed to synchronize the frame rate from the camera to adjust it automatically.


For real time applications it is desirable to design an efficient and throughput data collection and transfer device equipped vision system. Drayer et al[13] discuss a high speed architecture using a micro-channel bus master, using which the image data is transferred into system memory independently of the system processor using DMA ( Direct Memory Access ). The collection and data transfer device used for this study is a framegrabber board from BitFlow that works on the same principle.

The experimental setup requires a line scan camera, to image the web in motion. The camera was mounted at a height of 1.25 meters above the center of the web so that it covers the entire width of the web and an extra space of at least 1 inch on both the sides of the web. To trigger the camera at a rate synchronized with the web speed an encoder was mounted against a roller situated at the outlet of the card. A framegrabber card was required to integrate the individual lines scanned by the camera to create a full image and send it to the computer for further analysis. The hardware is supported by two software programs, one for acquiring the image and the other for analyzing it. Details of the hardware and the software used follow this section.


3.3.1 Hardware used (Figure 3.4)

i) Line Scan camera: Dalsas Piranha CL-P1 High Speed line scan camera with the following specifications was used.
Resolution Pixel size Aperture Lens Mount Maximum Line/Frame rate Data rate Data Format Size Mass Operating temperature Power Supply Power dissipation 2048 10mx10m 5.1/10.2/20.5/41 x 10m C/C/F/F-Mount 79 / 43 /23 / 11kHz 2 x 25 MHz 2 x 8 Bits LVDS 89x89x83 mm 0.8 kg 0-50 C +5V, -5V, +15V < 9W

Table 3.1. Dalsa line Scan camera specifications Whereas the parameters for camera settings can be calculated as shown in table 3.2.

# Pixels necessary Magnification

total _ width _ of _ the _ image desired resolution pixelsize = desired resolution


EXSYNC Frequency

web speed desired resolution

Shaft encoder circumference

The complete line (2048 pixels) spans 45 inches wide web. Using encoder producing 540 pulses per revolution, its circumference must be = 540 x (45/2048) = 12 inches

Table 3.2. Calculating the parameters for the camera settings.


ii) Framegrabber board: Bitflow Road Runner CL frame grabber board provides an interface between the computer and the camera. It is a half size, 32-bit/33MHz bus master Universal PCI bus interface board. It grabs pixel lines to create a frame (image) of 2048 x 1024 pixel (2K pixels x 1K lines) resolution. The Framegrabber has its own on board processing capability. It transmits a completed image to the PC as binary data and then PC writes this data to an ASCII file, which may then be used by post processing software for further analysis. The frame grabber also displays the image on a dedicated image screen with related information such as size of the image. This allows user to see images in real time as the web is being inspected.

iii) Encoder: An encoder is used to synchronize the line rate of the camera with the machine speed. Dynapar encoder producing 540 pulses per minute with a wheel of 12inch circumference is used. The shaft encoder circumference is calculated as follows: Since we want to image the web in a continuous manner, we need a pulse for every pixel width movement of card web. For the current experimental setup, assuming pixels to be square, pixel width = (Width spanned by the camera / number of pixels in one line) = 45 inches/2048 pixels. Assuming an encoder of 540 pulses per revolution, the circumference must be 540 / pixel width = 12inches.

iv) Light source:

One 40W Fluorescent tube is used with an electronic ballast to

provide linear light intensity, Figure 3.5


Software Encoder Card Framegrabber card

Line Scan camera


Figure 3.4 Schematic showing online web monitoring setup

Line Scan Camera


Fluoroscent Light Source Card web

Figure 3.5 Actual web monitoring setup


3.3.2 Software used

Three different computer programs are used in the web monitoring system. Bitflow is used as an interface between the camera and the frame grabber card, it also provides the GUI for various settings to be done for camera and the corresponding files systems. R2SimpleSnapandSave is used to grab the image and send it to the computer in a format compatible to the data analyzing program. The analysis is done using a C++ program, which uses the image data already obtained.

I. Bitflow Program
Bitflow SDK 2.50 contains all the necessary drivers required to interface the camera with the computer using the Bitflow Road Runner frame-grabber card. It also contains various utilities e.g. a camera configuration file editor, which can be used to program the Image acquisition parameters. The utilities used are discussed as follows: i. SYSREG SysReg is used for: Registering system configuration information so it can be accessed by BitFlow drivers and other software. Specifying the folder that contains all of camera configuration files that will be used. Associating one or more camera configuration files with each board (attaching them). Downloading special firmware to boards. Specifying latency of each boards DMA and latency of other bus mastering devices. Specifying default DMA timeout for all BitFlow boards.



CAMVERT CamVert is an editor for camera configuration files; it incorporates a standard text editor and specialty editors for the settings of a boards registers, CTABs, and QTABs. The CamVert camera configuration utility is located in a Road Runner subdirectory called Bin, typically, C:\R2SDK.120\Bin. Working of CAMVERTand SYSREG utility have been explained in Appendix A

II. R2SimpleSnapandSave program

To grab the data, we use Bitflows R2SimpleSnapandSave C++ program.

R2simpleSnapandSave opens a Road Runner Camera Link board, asks the user to specify the file type to be used for saving images, allocates host memory for an image, and then waits for a user to press a key to trigger the acquisition of an image. As each image is captured, the user is given the choice of pressing the s key to save the image to a file ((with a user-specified file name), the e key to exit, or any other key to go back to waiting. The file can be saved as a Bitmap, Text or Raw data file. A raw data file for a saved image contains only the image data. The data is written to the file as a sequence of bytes (an exact copy of the data in memory); no conversion is performed, and no

dimension or formatting information is incorporated. Thus, choose the option for saving the output file as a Raw Data file and give the file name without any extension.

To setup the C++ program file for compiling and execution, following settings are required: Once the C++ file is open in the editor window, Go to Tools -> Options -> Directories and add the Bitflow Include and Library files (located in Include and Lib folders in BitflowSDK directory)


Go to Project ->Settings -> Link and add the Lib files namely, R2D.Lib, Cid.Lib and BFD.Lib in the Object/Library module edit box.

III. C++ Program for analyzing images

The developed C++ program analyzes the card web uniformity both in the Machine and the cross-machine direction. The program has been developed such that it has flexibility along the following lines: Since Frame size is a user-input, the program can be used for any frame size, which can be specified for the system through Bitflow program. The number of frames can also be specified, which will be used for the subsequent analysis. The data to be processed can be selected dynamically by providing the starting point and the end point in X-direction (used to reject data from both the edges). The user can input the number of lines to reject from the top and the bottom as well Since the pixel density varies with the position of the camera, the software has the option to change the Pixel density (pixel per inch) as per the current setup. The user can also specify the Unit size that governs the size of the square over which the data is averaged before analysis. This is the smoothing operation on the image.


User Inputs: I.

X size: Number of pixels per line in the camera. Y size of the frame: Number of lines per frame for an area camera, or number of lines to acquire before end of frame interrupt. This information is provided in the camera configuration file (.cam file) being used, and must be changed in this program also whenever the camfile is modified.


Number of Frames: Defines the total number of frames for which the analysis is to be carried out.


Number of pixels to discard from the left (right): Allows the selection of pixels, which are to be used for the image analysis. This feature is implemented in order to discard the pixels on the edges, which either dont image the web, or image the moving edge.


Number of pixels to discard from the top (bottom) This allows the selection of the lines to be processed in each frame.


Number of Pixels per Inch: Since the pixel density changes with the changing setup, this parameter is required as an input during every run. This is calculated by dividing the horizontal length being spanned by the lens by the X size.


Unit Size: This parameter defines the square size over which the pixel values are averaged into one value.


Strip Width: The width of each strip (in inches) is used to calculate the total number of strips, which will be formed for the total width of the web.


Cut length for CV calculations: To compare resulting yarn variability with web variability.


Once the setup parameters are decided, the data is processed. The processing is carried out to determine mainly three parameters: Optimum Strip width: The option of analyzing web uniformity for different ribbon widths as entered by the user is used to determine the minimum strip width over which significant uniformity can be achieved. Draft Ratio: The CV of each strip can be calculated for different cut-lengths, which can help in deciding the amount of draft, which may be required from ribbons to yarn, to achieve the desired count. Web non-uniformity: The software provides the calculated parameters in Excel files, which can then be plotted to analyze web non-uniformity in both, machine and cross-machine directions.

The working of the program had been shown in Figure 3.6 in the form of a flowchart.


Working of the Program

Figure 3.6 Flowchart of the image analysis program


IV. Graphical User Interface for Card-Spinning web monitoring

Based on the above image analysis algorithm, a user friendly graphical user interface is being created. It uses the functionalities of BitFlow SDK version 3.0 and is being developed using Microsoft Visual C++. This application has two main modes of operation. a) Online Image Analysis: In this mode images are taken from the Frame grabber in the real time and processed to update the display of CV % values both in machine and cross machine directions. It also displays the real time image of the web under monitoring. Along with various user friendly functionalities it also has the facility to save images and the corresponding data to a specific directory which can be used later for detailed offline analysis. b) Offline Image Analysis: In this mode specific images, save earlier can be analyzed in greater details. Analysis can be done for a larger number of frames at a time, which would provide a platform for comparisons between estimated sliver CV % values and the various standards like Uster statistics used for quality assessment. Not only this, it would also provide a means of assessing the variations in the system with time.

3.4 Experimental procedures

The following procedure is followed to calibrate the camera, garb the pixel data for the web and then analyze it for web density. R2SimpleSanpandSave C++ program is used to grab and save the image data from the framegrabber board.


Once all the test setup is ready, the calibration is started. For calibration, a frame of each white and black boards is snapped and saved and while taking this data, the encoder is kept running synchronously with the carding machine.

Now the web is allowed to go over the rolls until it stabilizes. The frames are snapped continuously and the files are saved. The developed C++ program is used to analyze the data and the values are obtained in an Excel file.

The values stored in the Excel file are plotted and the plots are analyzed for web non-uniformity.

A typical image of the web is shown below in figure 3.7

Figure 3.7 Image of web as obtained from the system

3.5 Experimental results

As discussed earlier the process requires calibration to compensate for the errors caused by non-uniform light distribution on the carded web, and also to take care of the optical non-linearity of the camera lens. This optical non-linearity results from the fact that the center of the lens is farther from the edges of the web than it is from the center of the web. To account for such errors two references, one for the white and the other for the black have to be used to normalize the data obtained after the experiments.


Several boards were used. Using a completely white board posed a problem of pixels getting saturated due to high light intensity. Therefore some other boards with lighter shades of grey were tried.

The white boards were viewed at the same position as that of card web, however the black board was viewed at a position 10 inches below the card web position, because the black was used to provide a uniformly dark background below the web. Thus all the experiments were done with the black board beneath the card web. This ensures that all the reflected light, reaching the camera, is from the white web and a very little light is reflected from the background, to give a true picture of the fiber density in the web.

PVnormalized =

Pvs Pvb x120 Pvw Pvb

The chart below, Figure 3.8, shows saturation for the pure white board in the center. Pixel values for the gray board-2 lie between the pure white and the gray board-1. And as expected the values for black board lie at the bottom. However these values

significantly change with the light distribution which changes due to power fluctuations or the displacement of the light fixture from time to time. Thus it needs to be calibrated every time before the new data is acquired.


Pixel Value Data for all Boards

300 250 200 150

White Board Gray Board 1

Pixel Value

Gray Board 2
100 50 0 1 201 401
White Board

Black Board


801 1001 1201 Pixel Number

Board 1





Figure 3.8 Pixel value plot for different boards tried as background for normalization

Board 2

Black Board

Looking at the data ranges we can see that actual data lies between Board 2 and the Black Board, therefore Board 2 has been used for the normalization. The highest pixel value of the board 2 is around hundred; therefore the actual data has been normalized around 120.

Results of Normalization
70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1 201 401 601 801 1001 1201 1401 1601

Pixel Value

Pixel Numbe r
Normalized Data

Unnormalized Data

Figure 3.9 Results of normalization with Board 2


The normalization results, Figure 9, clearly show that normalization dramatically reduces the effects of the optical non-linearity of the lens. Also there exists a fair amount of variability in the web in cross machine direction, which can be characterized quantitatively from the CV calculation results discussed later.

3.6 Parameters affecting correlation

Several parameters such as fiber color, fiber type, and web thickness, may affect the relationship between pixel values of the video imaging system and card web density. Any characteristic of the fiber that affects reflectivity would certainly have an effect on light reflected from it. Fiber color has an obvious effect, but the finish (sheen) as well as the crimp of the fiber could also have a significant effect. The experiments were conducted using undyed polyester fiber since this is the material being used to develop the new staple-yarn manufacturing process. Each time the fiber type is changed a different correlation factor would be required to compute fiber mass density from the image analysis results.



Web dividing system

4.1 Methods of web dividing

Use of Belt Splitter: (Designed by James Brazell, patent applied for) Initially a splitter was designed based on the principles involving positive control of the web sections during division via belts that squeeze the web, and shear the web longitudinally in a short distance due to differential speeds, Figure 4.1. Initially the belts were divided into two groups with slower speeds and faster speeds, each set driven by distinct servo motors with digital control. Timing pulleys and belts were used to avoid the influence of faster moving pulleys on slower pulleys.

Figure 4.1. Shearing-Belt web dividing system


Advantages The main advantage of the system was its positive control on the web while dividing it, thereby maintaining uniform width. Disadvantages/Limitations Bulky system: This system was bulky, and also made the card web much less accessible to the operator. It had many moving parts including a motor and a controller. There was no flexibility of changing the Splitting widths as the width depends on the width of the belts, which were not easy to replace very frequently. Thus no option of varying ribbon widths dynamically was available. Since the system worked on the principle of shearing via differential speeds, it necessarily required spinning at least at two different speeds. It was difficult to compensate for web mass density when dividing the web since the ribbon width could not be changed.

Use of AirKnife:
To implement a simpler and less bulky system, air knife was used. An air knife is a misnomer in the sense that it cannot be used alone to cut/divide the web. Instead it facilitates the web movement on a smooth aluminum plate surface using air to guide the web. The actual diving device consisted of two very high-pressure air jets which blasted the air on the web against the aluminum plate to divide it, Figure 4.2. The divided web was taken up by another set of take-up rollers and fed to the air jet nozzle thereafter. The excess web was vacuumed from the sides and collected as waste.


Figure 4.2. AirKnife splitter

The main advantage of the system was that it was less bulky and very simple without any moving parts. It provided an easy access to the card web. Also since the spacing between the dividing jets could be changed, it offered the flexibility of changing the ribbon widths to spin different counts.

Disadvantages/Limitations The AirKnife system was highly unstable. This was mainly because the air from the splitting jets reflected from the base surface, and could not get released freely due to a pair of take-up rollers at the other end. This forced the air to rise up above the rollers, taking the web along. The settings were very critical and posed serious doubts on practical implementations.

Use of Air Jet nozzles

The third attempt was made using same air jet nozzles but without the AirKnife. This time a moving curved surface was used as a base for the web while splitting. In this system the web was positively gripped between the two rollers just after splitting. Also, the moving surface helped the air move forward rather than letting it rise


straight up after reflecting from the surface. This resulted in a cleaner split. Not only this, it solved many other problems faced by other systems.

Advantages This system is much more simple and versatile in functionality. It can divide web at various speeds, for various widths and doesnt require much space to mount the splitting nozzles. Variable strip widths can be achieved, for spinning different yarn counts simultaneously with almost no restrictions on number of counts at a time. Irrespective of different widths, all strips exit at the same speed, therefore the spinning speeds remain constant and no extra attention is required to setup the system again.

4.2 Experimental setup

As shown in the Figures 4.3 (a),(b) and (c) below, splitters are placed on the curved surface of the first splitter roller, and a top roller resting on the two bottom rollers positively grips the web. The camera for online scanning has been installed right before the splitting.


Figure 4.3 (a) Schematic (Top View)

Figure 4.3 (b) Schematic (Side View)

Figure 4.3(c) Actual Setup


4.3 Experimental procedure and results Pressure Requirements

Intensity of splitter nozzle pressure affects the splitting quality. Too high pressure disturbs the web and it tends to fly away with the excess air. Too little pressure does not split the web very cleanly and a lot of bridging fibers are seen. Various pressures were tried, and it was found that pressures about 200kPa were the optimum. However no exact values can be quoted as the pressure requirements varied from time to time because of crude setup of nozzle mounts, which get displaced with time, and different nozzle positions (i.e. heights and angles) require different pressures.

Practical Problems Faced

Splitting surface The roughness of the splitting surface on the steel roller is very critical from the point of view of bridging fibers. Excessive friction results in a large amount of bridging fibers, which in turn results in ribbon breakages. Surface with almost no friction doesnt provide enough force to pull the web and thus the web sags between the card and the rollers due to its own weight. However using a top roller has solved the second problem, but the first still exists.

Bridging fibers and breakages Bridging fibers refer to the fibers protruding from the edge of the split ribbon. No matter how steady the process is, bridging fibers are bound to appear. This happens because the fibers in the web are not perfectly straight. Due to their crimp they have


a strong cohesion, and thus even a high-speed air jet cannot separate them, keeping them perfectly parallel. This results in bridging fibers at the edges. These bridging cause various problems. Firstly, since they are not parallel, they reduce the average fiber length in the yarn, thereby deteriorating the yarn quality. Secondly, these fibers can still contact the excess web after the split and due to pressure of the top roller they get entangles and cause interference in the free movement of the ribbon. At weak points the ribbon does not sustain its integrity and hence results in a breakage decreasing the system efficiency.

Limitations on using multiple nozzles Using multiple nozzles would require a carefully designed arrangement to ensure that all of the nozzles work well together without any interference.



Yarn Formation

5.1 Methods of yarn formation

Today several methods of yarn spinning exist, all giving different yarn structure and properties suitable for a variety of applications. However the basic philosophy behind the yarn formation still remains to keep the strand of fibers together, either by twisting the fibers or wrapping them on the surface. Based on the yarn structure, properties are different and therefore the processes are studied and modified in the direction of improving these properties. Despite being one of the oldest and the slowest processes Ring spinning still produces the best quality yarn, but the importance of other processes dominates when the measure of quality is defined differently for different applications and the economics of the process becomes crucial.

5.1.1 Ring Spinning

Ring Spinning is the oldest of the present day spinning processes. Fiber material is supplied to the ring-spinning machine in the form of roving. The fiber mass of the roving is reduced by a drafting unit. The twist inserted moves backwards and reaches the fibers leaving the drafting unit. The fibers lay around one another in concentric helical paths. The normal forces encountered by the fibers enhance the adhesive forces between the fibers and prevent fibers from flying or slipping past each other under the tensile strain.


A mechanically driven spindle, on which the yarn package firmly sits, is responsible for twist. A stationary ring is around the spindle, which holds the traveler. Yarn from the drafting unit is drawn under the traveler, and then led to the yarn package. In order to wind the twisted yarn on a bobbin tube carried by the spindle, the traveler is required to cooperate with the spindle. The traveler moves on the ring without any physical drive, but is carried along by the yarn it is threaded with. The rotation rate of traveler is lower than the spindle, and this difference in the speeds of traveler and the spindle enables the winding of the yarn on the tube. A controlled up and down movement of the ring determines the shape of the yarn package, called Cop or Bobbin. Ring spinning technology provides the widest range in terms of the yarn counts it can produce.

The fibers in the ring yarn are highly parallel and helical in nature, and the fiber arrangement is uniform along the thickness of the yarn. The yarn has a compact structure, with essentially no wrapper or hooked fibers. The self-locked structure is the result of intensive fiber migration, which in turn is influenced by the triangular geometry of the spinning zone and the high spinning tensions. The high axial strength of the yarn is the result of unique self-locked structure.

Figure 5.1 Structure of Ring Spun yarn



Ring Bobbin


Figure 5.2 Ring Spinning Schematic

5.1.2 Rotor Spinning

Rotor spinning involves the separation of fibers by rigorous drafting and the then recollection and twisting of fibers in a rotor. The draw frame sliver is presented to a spring loaded feed plate and a feed roller. A combing roller covered with saw tooth wire clothing then individualizes fibers within the sliver. Once opened, the fibers pass through a transport tube in which they are further separated and parallelized before being deposited on the inside wall of the rotor. Centrifugal forces, generated by the rotor turning at high speeds, cause the fibers to collect along the walls of the rotor, forming a ring of fibers. This fiber ring is then swept from the rotor by a newly formed yarn, which contains untwisted fibers. With each rotation of the rotor, twist is inserted, converting the fiber bundle into a yarn as it is pulled out of the rotor through a navel. The yarn is then taken up onto a cross-wound package, thus separating the winding process from twisting. As the yarn is drawn from the rotor, some fibers lying at the peeling point may wrap around the yarn, resulting in the formation of random wrapper fibers, which are the characteristic of the open-end yarn structure. The rotor-spun yarn has a three-part


structure, with a relatively dense core (80-90% of fibers), a loose but a continuous sheath that wraps around the core (5-20% of fibers) and tightly wound surface coils as wrapper fibers (0.5-2% of fibers). The fiber configuration in the rotor yarn is not nearly parallel as in the ring yarn. These factors make rotor yarn bulkier, and the non parallel fibers explain the inferior tensile properties. The relatively straight core fibers combined with the sheath core structure make the yarn more rigid in terms of tensile and bending properties. The yarn is weaker than ring yarn because of its three-part structure, poor fiber extent and less intensive fiber migration. The yarn is however more uniform as compared to the ring yarn because of the short-term mass leveling action that occurs inside the rotor. Rotor yarn exhibits the properties of high extensibility and elasticity, good abrasion resistance and good insulation properties. But at the same time the limitations faced by the rotor spinning include the requirement of finer and shorter fiber. Extensive opening operation leads to a lot of fiber breakage, especially if the fibers are crimped, thus shorter fibers result in a comparatively weaker yarn. Fiber extent also reduces due to bending and buckling of fibers resulting in poorer strength.
Fiber Feed


Yarn to winder



Figure 5.3 Principle of Rotor spinning


5.1.3 Air-jet spinning

Air-jet spinning is a pneumatic method which consists of passing a drafted strand of fibers through one or two fluid nozzles located between the front roller of a drafting system and a take up device. Figure 5.4 illustrates the Murata principle of producing fasciated yarns with two nozzles N1 and N2. This has been shown to be superior to methods employing a single nozzle to spin the yarn.

Back Roller Middle Roller Front Roller Wrapper Fibers Core Fibers N1 N2

Yarn Figure 5.4 Murata air-jet spinning system

Figure 5.5 Structure of air-jet yarn


The drafting system S drafts the input material into a ribbon like form with parallel fibers. Air is injected into the two nozzles N1 and N2 at high pressures, which cause swirling air streams in opposite directions.



Twist Controller Figure 5.6 Air-jet spinning nozzle

Some fibers, particularly those at the edges of the ribbon, will not be subjected to the full twisting action imparted to the main body of fibers by the downstream air-jet. Hence they receive less twist than those fibers in the main bundle. When the yarn gets untwisted in the downstream of the twister, the low twist edge fibers get untwisted to a greater degree than their original twist. Therefore they are given a true twist in the direction opposite to that of the upstream twist. The main body of the strand will be untwisted into parallel fibers, forming the core and these will be wrapped around by the edge fibers forming the wrapper fiber layer or the sheath, thus forming a fasciated yarn. The function of the back nozzle is to enhance the cohesion of the strand thus giving greater yarn strength. Since the direction of airflow in the back nozzle is opposite to that of the front nozzle, the back nozzle tends to untwist the wrapper fibers as they are formed inside the front nozzle. This increases the length of wrapping, thus improving the yarn cohesion.


The air-jet spun yarn consists of an untwisted core of parallel fibers and a surface wrapping of fibers. The core fibers account for approximately 85-95% of the yarn mass. The surface wrapper fibers are helical in nature unlike the wrapper fibers in the rotor yarn. The wrapper fibers are not uniformly distributed over the length; sometimes they are more on the surface and sometimes very few are on the surface. Their frequency and tightness being influenced by the fiber physical properties and the spinning process parameters.

The high level of constriction of the straight core fibers by the surface wrapper fibers results in high bending modulus of air-jet yarns[17]. The tensile strength is lower than that of rotor and ring yarns. More wrapping turns give better yarn strength, but at the same time higher wrapping frequency leads to higher bending rigidity and lower compressive softness. The untwisted core fibers contribute to very low snarling tendency of the air-jet spun yarns. Surface fibers twisted lightly around the core cause the yarn to be well suited for use as filling in air-jet weaving machines, as it can be propelled across the shed more quickly. The lack of twist in the air-jet yarn core is believed to contribute to the low pilling propensity of these yarns. The pills can still be created from abrasion, but they are not locked into the structure because of the absence of the twist. Pills break away easily after they are formed. Also it has been shown that as the number of the core fibers increase, the proportion of the protruding fibers is reduced, resulting in lower yarn hairiness. The typical yarn properties exhibited by the air-jet yarns are good tenacity, good evenness, low snarling tendency, and low tendency to pilling, high stiffness and high shrinkage[18].


The basic requirement of a successful spinning machine for fasciated yarns includes a good drafting system, false twisting device, a take up unit and the most important is the ability to afford some control over the quantity and distribution of wrapper fibers created on the yarn surface, since this ultimately controls the yarn quality. This was a major deficient are in the previous air-jet spinning machines like Dupont which achieved a little commercial success.

Murata Jet Spinning (MJS) uses contra-rotating twin jets, Figure 5.6, to achieve better wrapping of edge fibers[19]. The studies have shown that jet spinning is sensitive to the number of fibers in the cross section. Since the strength directly depends on the wrapper fibers, and the number of wrapper fibers is restricted to the amount of edge fibers on the surface. Thus as the number of fibers in the yarn increases, the percentage of wrapper fibers decreases and the tenacity goes down. Also as the count becomes coarser the wrapping length reduces thereby reducing the tenacity. Thus two issues, namely higher number of wrapper fibers, and longer extent of wrapper fibers needed attention.

Murata Vortex Spinning (MVS) technology uses more than two air-jets to create a 3 dimensional air vortex, and addresses some of the issues faced by earlier versions of air-jet spinning systems. Thus changing the system from 2 dimensional to 3 dimensional offers a significant increase in the number of wrapper fibers by creating more edge fibers[19]. Not only this, the fiber wrapping lengths also seems to have increased providing higher tenacity. The vortex spun yarn shows a two-part structure if small portions of the yarn are untwisted. The amount of untwisting required revealing the yarn structure varies considerably along the length of the yarn, thus proving the above.


Effect of spinning conditions on yarn structure: Spinning conditions change the structure of yarn very significantly; this changes the appearance, hand and performance of the final fabric. A study by Tyagi et al[20] shows that the yarn properties steadily improve in all respect with the decrease in yarn linear density, and all properties except the elastic recovery, are more sensitive to first nozzle pressure. The results show a significant increase in tenacity, breaking extension, rigidity and abrasion resistance with the increase in nozzle pressure from 2 kg/cm2 to 3 kg/cm2. This increase is explained by the increase in incidence of the surface wrapping fibers and the wrapping length. An increase in spinning speed shows further improvement in tensile properties and the abrasion resistance, but affects adversely the rigidity. But increasing the nozzle pressure increase the yarn unevenness owing to concentration of mass in very short lengths due to grater incidence of wrapper fibers. The variation in the first nozzle pressure and spinning speeds is not reported to offer any advantage for the elastic recovery of the MJS yarn. However increasing the gap between the first nozzle and the nip of the front roller increases the elastic recovery proportionally.



Figure 5.7 Effect of spinning speeds on yarn structure (a) High speed

(b) Low speed


As shown schematically in Figure 5.7, increasing the spinning speeds created more uniform structure as the wrapping is done over a longer length of the yarn. Decreasing the speeds results in a yarn, which has a alternate bulky and constricted regions because of non uniform wrapping. However at higher speeds yarn hairiness increases. As discussed above increasing the N1 nozzle pressure increases the number of wrapper fibers thereby increasing the yarn tensile properties, Figure 5.8. (a)


Figure 5.8 Effect of N1 air pressure on yarn structure

(a) High pressure (b) Low pressure

Feed ratio changes the yarn appearance, as at lower feed ratio yarn gets uneven wrapping as compared to at a higher feed ratio. This makes yarn look more uniform, closer to ring yarn, for higher feed ratio because the core fibers are pulled straight while being wrapped. The yarn spun at lower feed ratio shows constricted and bulky regions at regular interval as the core fibers being loose bulge out wherever they are not properly wrapped, Figure 5.9.




Figure 5.9 Effect of feed ratio on yarn structure

(a) High feed ratio (b) Low feed ratio

High front roller pressure grips the fibers positively up to the last point there by creating tension in the fibers. As soon as those fibers are released they spring back and thus get detached from the main body of the strand under high air current. This results in more number of wrapper fibers but also in a more hairy yarn, Figure 5.10,



Figure 5.10 Effect of front roller pressure on yarn structure

(a) High pressure (b) Low pressure

Features of MJS yarn MJS spinning system has two desirable characteristics (1) better fiber orientation and (2) different twisting construction. Better fiber orientation achieves the right tensile strength and the different twisting construction affects the pilling, wearability and shrinkage. Fiber


orientation can be easily changed by changing the spinning conditions, thus allowing us to achieve following two types of yarns, by controlling the number of wrapper fibers as shown in Figure 5.11. Although yarn type-B is stronger individually, after plying type-A yarn also yields an equally strong yarn[21]. So even though a single type-A being weaker by about 15% than the ring yarn, it yields a 2-ply yarn that is only 5.6% weaker than a 2 plied ring yarn. And therefore a fabric woven out of the MJS yarn gives almost the same tensile strength as by a ring yarn[21].



Figure 5.11 Two different types of yarns obtained by controlling number of wrapping fibers

A different twisting construction of MJS than ring as shown in Figure 5.12, gives a better abrasion and pilling resistance to the fabrics woven out of MJS yarn. On application of a lateral friction on the ring yarn high twist and low twist regions form due to twist flow. The week low twist region causes the pilling trouble. Such a twist flow does not exist on MJS yarn and thus the fabrics are more pilling resistant.


Ring Yarn

High Twist

Low Twist

High Twist

Air-jet Yarn Figure 5.12 Effect of lateral friction on Ring and MJS yarns due to different twist construction

Not only this, a low after wash shrinkage of the MJS yarn woven fabrics can also be explained on the basis of different twist construction. On application of tension ring yarn stretches by changing the twist angle of the fibers, Figure 5.13. But MJS yarn does not stretch much as the parallel core fibers dont allow a large extension. Thus after weaving the residual stresses are quite low, leading to low after wash fabric shrinkage[21].
Ring Yarn

MJS Yarn

Figure 5.13 Effect of tension on Ring and MJS yarns due to different twist construction


It has been shown that the packing density id higher towards the core in MJS yarn than on the surface. This can be explained on the bases of yarn structure, because there are no fibers to compress the outer wrapper fibers and hence the packing density is low

5.2 Using air-jet spinning for yarn formation

In this process of Card-Spinning, the basic requirement is to be able to cleanly split the web into ribbons of controlled width. Once a ribbon with required fiber density is obtained, the next challenge is to spin all the split ribbons into yarn simultaneously. The spinning technology should be such that the space required per sinning head is small. This is so because splitting each strip about 2 inches wide results in a total of 10-15 strips for the width of the card web (with both web edges discarded). In order to spin all these ribbons simultaneously, an equal number of spinning heads would be required limiting the available space per spinning head. In order to make the system more versatile, the technology adopted should allow the spinning at different speeds and different counts of yarn. Also, the complexity of the system should not be very high. The bulkiness of the system can restrict the access to the card web, which is not desirable. This makes air-jet spinning a good candidate for the Card-Spinning system.

A typical carding machine production rate ranges from 80-100 kg/hr. However newer machines are claimed to have production rates up to 140kg/hr (Card DK 903 by Truetzschler) and 120kg/hr (Card C 51 by Rieter). These speeds for a card web density of 10-15 g/m2 correspond to web speeds of up to 250m/min. This suggests that even if the split ribbons are spun without any further drafting, spinning speeds should be of the order of 250 m/min. Furthermore, for better fiber orientation in the yarn, some drafting of the ribbons would be required, which increases the required spinning speeds even more.


Therefore, a high-speed spinning technology is best suited for the purpose. Such high speeds can be achieved only by vortex (up to 350 m/min) or air-jet (up to 200 m/min) spinning technology. The other alternative would be to lower the carding speeds, which may not be desirable at the first place, not to loose on carding efficiency. However, for a typical carding machine running at slower speeds (such as the machine being used at 20-40 m/min), Rotor spinning could be a potential candidate, but other constraints, that of, space and system complexity support the use of air-jet spinning. An air-jet nozzle would occupy the least space as compared to any other technology and is the simplest in terms of handling with least number of moving parts. All these advantages make airjet spinning to be the most suitable for the Card Spinning. Air-jet spinning is most gentle spinning method and no revolving parts are used to insert a measurable amount of twist. High friction polyester fibers of regular cut length are more suitable for air jet spinning in the medium and fine count range. It cannot handle short length cotton fibers. The finer the count, the closer is the strength to that of ringspun yarn. Murata Jet Spinner (MJS) and Murata 851 Vortex Spinner (MVS) are the two major brands of air-jet spinning machines, which are very popular in U.S.A. MJS can spin polyester, cotton, rayon, acrylic and blends of each in a count range of Ne10 to Ne60[5]. Air jet yarns are used for the production of synthetic fabrics, print cloth, sheetings, shirting, sewing thread, etc.

5.2.1 Experimental setup

The current design uses Murata Air Jet nozzles, and the test setup is designed with one spinning head, with rest of the fiber web being collected as waste. As shown in Figure 5.14 the split ribbon is fed to a pair of take-up roller, with the top roller being rubber coated to provide better grip, which directly feeds the ribbon to the spinning nozzle. Another similar pair of rollers grabs the yarn as soon as it comes out of the nozzle from


where it is taken up by the winder. The pressures for both the air jets inside the nozzles are controlled individually and can be monitored through pressure gauges. Currently no drafting has been implemented at any stage. However due to fiber weight there is some drafting that takes place between the card and the splitting assembly, and a small amount on the ribbon due to suction into the spinning nozzle. The waste web is guided below the spinning table from where it is sucked away using a separate suction system.

Web dividers Mat Card

Air-jet nozzle


Figure 5.14 Schematic showing experimental spinning setup

Divided web ribbon

Web dividers Air-jet nozzle

Figure 5.15 Actual experimental spinning setup


5.2.2 Experimental procedures

Due to the uniqueness of the spinning conditions in this system, the combination of nozzle pressures (N1 and N2) was determined, for creating a continuous yarn. The pressures for N1 are 193-414 kPa (28-60 psi) and for N2 255-483 kPa (33-70 psi). There were several combinations at which the yarn does not form at all, where as for a few combinations yarn forms but the process is highly unstable and thus a lot of breakages result. The amount of fibers supplied to the twister nozzle is controlled by varying the ribbon width. The feed roller runs almost at the same speed as that of the card web so that a very little or no drafting takes place in the ribbon. The take up roller runs at the same speed, pulling the yarn out of the twister and supplying it to the winder.

The ribbon is manually fed to the nip of feed roller, where from it is sucked automatically by the nozzle due to the air currents flowing into it. The yarn comes out of the other end and is gripped by the take up roller and then the yarn is manually taken to the winder. To vary the tension on the yarn between the winder and the spinning head, winder speed can be varied using the digital PID controller. Most of the test runs have been done at the slowest speed of the card, i.e. 20 m/min. Since there is no intentional drafting involved in the process yet, the spinning speeds are extremely low nearing 20 m/min. The speeds were determined to be V1 =18.3 m/min, V2 = 18.4 m/min, V3 = V4 =18.4 m/min, V5 =V6 =V7 = 19 m/min. A few test runs were also made at increased speeds of 40 m/min. But starting up at higher speeds is a limitation given the current experimental setup. At higher 40 m/min it was difficult to get started, but once started the process ran longer and better. Thus starting up at slower speeds and increasing the speeds from the card control panel while using the controller to change the speeds of all other drives accordingly, is expected to resolve this problem. The splitter assembly is currently placed 70 cm from the Carding machine. And the first pair of take-up rollers lies at 50 cm


from the splitter rolls. The nip of the take up rollers is 3 cm from the nozzle. The second set of take-up rollers lies at 2 cm from the spinning head. The winder is kept at 40 cm from the second set of take-up rolls. Special nozzles for spinning coarser counts were also used. Using bigger nozzles doesnt show any significant improvement in the yarn structure, but certainly the continuity of the process is found to have increased. The process can run for longer periods without an end break.

5.2.3 Issues and observations

The yarn structure thus obtained points towards various issues that need to be addressed. The spinning nozzle under use is expected to spin at very high speeds, nearing about 80-200 m/min, but the current set-up runs at slower speeds of about 20 m/min, which puts a limitation on the spinning quality. The wrapper fibers do not wrap uniformly over the length. This happens because the slow speed of fiber strand in the nozzle tends to shorten the pitch of the helix formed by the wrapper fibers, which virtually results in wrapping of the whole fiber almost at the same place. This gives a unique yarn structure with a wavy appearance having bulky unwrapped fiber strands and constricted heavily wrapped portions (Figure 5.16).

Figure 5.16 A typical Card-Spun yarn


Figure 5.17 compares the structures of a ring yarn, typical air-jet yarn and the card-spun air-jet yarn. In the card-spun yarn the wrapping fibers wrap in relatively shorter lengths with smaller pitch of their helical path. This results in more hairy yarn as a larger surface area of the core fiber strand is exposed without being wrapped.




Figure 5.17 (a) Ring Yarn (b) A typical Air-jet Yarn (c) Card-Spun Yarn

It has been observed that a finer count yarn is relatively more uniform in its surface appearance and is less hairy (Figure 5.18). Since a crimped polyester fiber was used in this study, more bulky mass inside the nozzle does not let air vortex perform wrapping effectively. Whereas for finer counts, there is plenty of free space for an effective vortex to form and thus a more uniform structure results.


Figure 5.18 (a) Coarser Yarn (b) Finer Yarn



Synchronization of the Card Spinning System

6.1 Web take-up assembly

The web take up assembly consists of two rollers, at the same level and running at same speeds, with a top roller in between the two rollers, Figure 6.1. The first roller is rubber coated to facilitate better gripping of the fiber web, and to provide a sufficiently smooth surface for the splitting to take place. The other roller is a metal roller with some surface roughness required to pull the web using frictional force. It also helps in removal of the unused web by holding on to it. The top roller is a PVC pipe, put on the web to help the splitting action, by positively gripping the web from the front end while air jets are splitting it. It also constrains the web from flying away due to the air currents being created in the region. The speed of this assembly is regulated using a separate DC motor controller. Fine adjustments are made to prevent the web from sagging too much or being broken due to excessive speeds. In principle this assembly needs to be synchronized to the card speed like other motors being used in the setup. The splitter nozzles are so targeted on the web that the air jets hit on the curved surface of the rollers. The moving curved surface of the roller does not directly reflect the air back, instead the air escapes easily from the gap between the two rollers below the web, leaving the ribbons undisturbed.


6.2 Excess web removal system

Since most of the web remains unused during the experiments, the extra amount of web needs to be removed continuously from the experimental area, to keep the area clean. To achieve this, a suction system has been implemented using a suction fan, Figure 6.1. The excess web is guided below the experimental table right after the splitter rolls, and fed to a hosepipe connected to the suction fan. The suction is sufficient to pull the excess web, without causing a break. Another pipe takes the vacuumed fiber to a distant location, where the fiber is collected as a waste. Thus, the system doesnt allow the excess web to interfere with the test setup while experimentation.

Figure 6.1. Excess web removal system

6.3 PID controller and synchronization

A PID controller is being used to synchronize the whole assembly. All the motors in the test setup are synchronized to the speed of the card, Figure 6.1. The carding machine is treated as the Master, while all other motors are setup as Slaves. The speed of each motor can be specified individually as ratios of the card speed. The controller consists of a magnetic pickup, 2 M-Trim Contrex controllers, and 2 Ring Kits to provide feedback control capability to the system. One of the M-Trim controls the speed of the winder and


the second pair of take up rollers, whereas the second one controls the first pair of takeup rollers which are located right before the spinning head and after the splitting zone. Since the differential speeds in the system will lead to undesired drafts, it is very essential to control the speeds positively. Even a slight fluctuation in power supply may cause different speeds, resulting in the instability of the process. Therefore, a feedback system has been implemented to compensate for such instabilities. In this setup the Carding machine is the most suitable candidate to run in the Master mode because it cannot be controlled from outside, and it being the source of fiber mass for the spinning, determines the process speeds. Thus a change in the carding speed automatically adjusts the process speeds and the process remains stable and synchronized.

6.3.1 Customization to Card-Spin setup

Test setup: Components and their use I. M-Trim Contrex Controller: M-Trim is a very accurate digital motor speed controller, which offers advanced internal software for solving many speed control tasks. It can provide accurate digital control to any AC, DC, Servo or Clutch drive. It contains two keypad panels, to enter the control parameters. It also has the capability to get connected to a computer through its RS-422 communication port. M-Trim can run both in Master format and Follower format. The follower format (Figure 6.2) is the most commonly used speed control format, and differs from the Master format in the manner in which the speed command is determined. In Master, the speed command is directly specified by the operator. Whereas in Follower, the speed command is directly proportional to both the External


Reference Frequency (typically provided by a sensor and gear driven by a motor upstream in the process) and the ratio set point. Explicitly, if either the ratio set point or external frequency input are reduced by half the speed command is reduced by half, and if both are reduced by half the speed command is reduced to one quarter of its value before the change.

Figure 6.2 M-Trim follower format functional diagram

II. Magnetic Pick-up: These are proximity sensors mounted on a bracket. These sensors generate voltage pulses as gear teeth are sensed. The magnet in the sensors induces current due to change in magnetic field because of uneven profile of a gear surface. Magnetic pick up has been used on the carding machine, to get a waveform output correlating the card speed. They are mounted very close to the gear. Typical gap ranges between 0.003 and 0.005 inches. Thus they need to be mounted on a sturdy bracket as a slight change in position results in a significant change in the output pulse.


III. Ring Kits: These are used to provide M-Trim controller a feedback input, in order to accurately control the speeds. It also uses a magnetic sensor, which detects the actual speed of the motor being controlled. They consist of an aluminum ring and a gear with a specific number of teeth, and are mounted directly on the motor. The gear is mounted on the motor shaft. They also generate pulses to send signal to M-Trim, where the differential in the desired and actual speeds is minimized.

6.3.2 Design to obtain required drafts Although no drafts have been implemented in the system, its intended to introduce some for two reasons. First, if the web density is increased to increase the production, required ribbon width would decrease and may fall below the achievable limits. Thus drafting becomes a critical step to increase the strip width. Secondly, drafting would help in orienting the fibers parallel to the ribbon direction, after the split, because splitting results in some bridging fibers between the web and the ribbon causing the edge fibers straying out. Thus the introduction of drafts in the process can be used to solve both the problems. Slight draft between the card and the splitter can reduce the web density. And then a significant draft just before the spinning head can be useful. To obtain this draft, the speed of the front pair of take-up rollers can be adjusted using the controller. And as the card speed varies the roller speed would change in the same ratio, keeping the draft constant. Furthermore, to induce required tension on the yarn before it winds on to the winder, the second pair of take-up rollers can be run at a different speed, controlled using the second M-Trim. The winder is currently connected to the second pair of rollers through a


belt-pulley system to run at the same speed. But if required variable sized pulleys can be used to change the speed ratios.



Results and Discussion

The coefficient of variation was chosen as a measure of web density variability in both cross machine and in-machine directions. The estimation of absolute web density values is difficult as it is affected by the surrounding conditions, like power supply fluctuations, light distribution, ambient light etc, which constantly keep changing. However a measure of relative variability in the web density, like coefficient of variation is both easier to estimate without being prone to such variations, and gives more compact information about the variations. In this project the point of major concern was the uniformity of web density rather than the actual web density, as it was required to regulate the fiber flow to the spinning head. The coefficient of variation was required to be estimated in both the directions for different ribbon-widths and cut-lengths. Several tests were conducted for different parameters, as discussed below.

7.1 Extracting the relevant portion of the image The web on the edges is very non uniform as the edges keep moving, and also the web density is highly varying. Therefore it was decided to discard some pixels corresponding to the edges of the web. CV values were calculated with different combinations of discarded values from both the sides, Figure 7.1. As shown in the Figure 7.2, it was found that the best CV values are obtained when about 250 pixels were discarded from the left and about 200 from the right, corresponding to the 5 and 4 inches of the field of view of the camera, which also includes some portion looking beyond the web. The


results were consistent with what was observed on the machine. The left edge was more variable as compared to the right, and therefore a larger portion of the image was discarded from the left. Once decided, all further experiments were done with these values.


Web Edge Discard Left Discard Right

Figure 7.1 Discarding the web image from the edges

Cross Machine CV% for different values of pixels discarded from the right and the left
17 16 15

16.1 %


14 13 12 11 10

Increasing Disacard-Right

Increasing Disacard-Left



[4 50 ,1 00 ] [4 00 ,1 00 ] [3 50 ,1 00 ] [3 00 ,1 00 ] [2 50 ,1 00 ] [2 00 ,1 00 ] [1 50 ,1 00 ] [1 00 ,1 00 ] [1 00 ,1 50 ] [1 00 ,2 00 ] [1 00 ,2 50 ] [1 00 ,3 00 ] [1 00 ,3 50 ]

Pixels Discarded [Discarded fron Left, Discarded fron Right]

Figure 7.2 CV values after discarding the pixels from the left and the right edges


[2 50 ,2 00 ]

7.2 Estimating the coefficient of variation in the sliver To be able to compare the results with the already known ranges of values for the sliver CV%, calculations were done for machine direction CV estimation considering the web as a wide ribbon of 32 inches, covering the whole width of the web. CV was calculated using 150 mm cut-lengths for 8m, 16m, 32m and 64m lengths of the web. Since the coefficient of variation is calculated for several hundred meters of the sliver length, these values can not be meaningfully compared to those. The analysis up to this point was done using an offline web analysis program. There was a limitation on the size of image that could be processed at one time. The maximum allowable size was obtained corresponding to 64m of length.

As shown in Figure 7.3, the estimated sliver CV% for 8 meter long sections varies between 3% -12%.

Estimation of Sliver CV% per 8 meter long Web Sections

14 12 10 CV (%) 8 6
4.5 5.4 4.5 4.9 4.4 3.0 4.1 4.1 5.0 6.7 9.7 9.3 8.9 7.0 9.3 8.6 8.5 7.8 7.2 7.3


4 2 0 1 17 18 19 2 3 20 4 21 5 6 7

170 meters 8 9 W b 10 ti 11 b 12 13 14 15 16

Figure 7.3 Estimated Sliver CV% for 8 meter long sections of the web


The non-uniformity appears to be fairly random in short lengths. And to get more meaningful estimation, longer lengths must be considered. The offline web analysis did not offer the flexibility of analyzing longer lengths easily, therefore an online web monitoring program has been considered, and is expected to reveal a better picture of the process dynamics in the long term as well.

Estimation of Sliver CV% per 16 meter long Web Sections

18 15.6 16 14 12 11.9 9.4 10.7 10.8 12.7

CV (%)

10 8 5.8 6 4 2




170 meters
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Web section number

Figure 7.4 Estimated Sliver CV% for 16 meter long sections of the web

When the analysis was done for 16 meter long web sections on the same set of images the CV% values increased as compared to those in the case of 8m length values, Figure 7.4. This indicates that the web density varies quite significantly after the short lengths of around 8m. Further the sliver CV% values were estimated with increasing web lengths, ranging from 8m to 80m. As shown in Figure 7.5, as the web length was increased the estimated sliver CV% increased and became almost constant after web lengths of more than 24 meters were considered. Web-lengths of more than 80 meters could not be considered, again because of the limitation on the image sizes for offline analysis.


Estimation of Sliver CV% for different lengths of web sections

18 16 14 13.70 15.33 14.60 15.25


12 10 8 6 4 2 0 8 16 24 32 40 48 56 64 72 80 88 4.53 6.90 5.76

Length of Web Sections

Figure 7.5 Variation in estimated Sliver CV% for increasing lengths of web sections

These values were quite high as compared to the sliver CV % values. This suggested that the web density in this setup varied significantly with time. This result agrees with the visual observations, as the web thickness changed quite a lot with time. This could be a result of non uniform bat formation at the back of the card, or the non uniform fiber supply to the card from the fine opener. The carding machines are expected to run continuously for several hours to give a consistent performance, whereas in this study machine ran for intermittent short periods ranging from about 30 minutes to an hour. This might have resulted in varying card web density. However as intended the image analysis suggested the need for looking into the reasons for the varying web thickness.


7.3 Determining the required Ribbon-widths Another question, which needs to be answered, was regarding the optimum ribbon widths that should be obtained after the web dividing device, in order to obtain acceptable yarn variability. The CV values for various ribbon widths and cut-lengths were analyzed, to plot curves similar to variance length curves. Figure 7.6 shows the obtained results.

Effect on CV % with Various Ribbon widths and CutLengths

0.2" Cut-Lengths 0.4"0.6" 0.8" 1.0"


CV %



Group I Ribbon Width = 1" Group II Ribbon Width = 1.5" Group III Ribbon Width = 2" Group IV Ribbon Width = 2.5" Group V Ribbon Width = 3"

Groups with different Ribbon Widths

Figure 7.6 Effect on machine direction CV values for various combinations of Ribbon-widths and Cut-lengths

As expected CV values decrease with both increasing ribbon-widths and increasing cutlengths. Thus once the amount of variability that is added by the web dividing device and the spinning nozzle are determined, the operating range of ribbon widths for the acceptable yarn CV can be back calculated.


7.4 Calculating Cross Machine Direction CV% values: Cross machine CV was calculated using 0.6 inch cut-lengths and the ribbon widths as 2.5 inches. About 80 m of web was analyzed and the variation of the CV% was found to be as shown below in the Figure 7.7

Cross Machine CV% variation in 0.6" cutlengths of 80 m long web section

40 35 30


25 20 15 10 5 0 1












Number of Cut-length Section

Figure 7.7 Variation of Cross Machine CV for 0.6 inch cut-lengths in the web with time

The figure suggests that the web was more variable in the beginning as compared to the end. The CV values vary a lot for 0.6 cut-lengths initially. The web was thinner in the beginning and became heavier later on. Therefore the relative variations were observed to be higher in the beginning. A few random peaks were also observed occasionally. For example in this case the highest peak appeared around after 38 meters (71st frame), along with the others at 16 m and 50m. The analysis being offline up to this point, it was difficult to establish direct relations between the results obtained by the image analysis program and the actual web as visually observed. The new online version of the program would provide a better correspondence between the calculations and the visual observations. This would also help in processing longer lengths of the web to provide more meaningful statistics.


7. 5 Calculating Machine Direction CV% values: To calculate machine direction CV 2.5 ribbon width was considered for different cut lengths. As shown in the following figures (Figure 7.8), the trend for all the cut-lengths were similar, with just the values decreased with increasing cut-lengths.
Machine Direction CV % for Ribbons from 10 successive groups of 280" (7m.) length
( Cut-Length = 0.2", Ribbon-Width = 2.5" )
Grp 1 Grp 2 30 25 Grp 4 20 CV (%) 15 10 5 0 Grp 9 Grp 7 Grp 5 Group Num ber Grp 3 Grp 1 1 3 5 Grp 5 Grp 6 Grp 7 Grp 3

Machine X-machine
7 9 11 13

Grp 8 Grp 9 Grp 10

Ribbon Num ber

Machine Direction CV % for Ribbons from 10 successive groups of 280" (7m.) length
( Cut-Length = 1.0", Ribbon-Width = 2.5" )
Grp 1 Grp 2 30 25 Grp 4 20 CV (%) 15 10 5 0 Grp 9 Grp 7 Grp 5 Group Num ber Grp 3 Grp 1 Grp 5 Grp 6 Grp 3

Machine X-machine
11 13

Grp 7 Grp 8 Grp 9 Grp 10

9 7 5 3 Ribbon 1 Num ber

Figure 7.8 Variation of Machine direction CV for different cut-lengths averaged over 7m


Both the graphs suggest that the variability in the left most ribbon was the highest, and the peaks occurred between 40-50m lengths. The web was relatively uniform in the centre and then the non-uniformity increased again towards the right edge.

7.6 Discussion

The absolute values for the web density have not been calculated using this image analysis technique. Instead the goal was to be able to characterize the nonuniformity or the variations in the web density. These results can be considered similar as the variability tests conducted by the Uster testers. Uster testers dont calculate the absolute values but measure the variability with time in the yarn or the sliver.
This technique is based on a gray scale image analysis, thus changing fiber color may cause variations in the results, which may not be desirable. However since it measures only the relative variations, as long as the fiber color does not change frequently while the process is running, the CV values should not get affected, and we would still get a meaningful statistics. Similar case can be discussed for fibers with varying crimp and texture, where the absolute values may be scaled but the CV values would still remain similar.



Suggestions and Recommendations

8.1 Web monitoring:

The current web monitoring setup lacks in proper illumination setup and control. The illumination is not adequate as desired to separate the background from the object of interest, in this case the card-web. Thus a well-focused illuminator can be used to illuminate only the desired portion at which the camera looks. An illuminator with concave reflectors can be used to focus the light on the desired portion of the web. This will not only focus the light but also increase the intensity of the light for better results. The illuminator can be mounted on the same frame as the camera, so that the arrangement of the setup stays the same as far as the illumination and the view of the camera are concerned. This would not require test runs and light adjustments to ensure nearly uniform light distribution at the beginning, every time the web monitoring is started. To obtain a uniform lighting a more sophisticated technique can be considered, such as the one discussed by Lehotsky[25]. He suggests a fuzzy logic controlled illumination. This type of implementation would make the results of different web monitoring runs comparable and analysis can be done over long time results to observe longtime web density variations.


8.2 Image analysis:

While observing the images online it can be made possible to store the specific image portions, which the user might consider worth storing for later offline analysis in different directories he specifies. Then the offline image analysis module can be used to analyze these images for the features of interest. Also a log file can be maintained which can log the time each image is captured and the directory name the image is saved to, for future reference so that the defects can be identified in the time space for their periodicity of occurrences. Further advance control techniques like neural networks can be used to automatically predict the kind and the cause of variations and corresponding control actions can be taken. This would be possible after a significant amount of data has been analyzed and then it is sufficient to train the neural network. Since it has not been possible to identify a pattern in the non-uniformity up till now, it would be good idea to use Fourier transform techniques to identify the various dominant frequencies involved in the data obtained.

8.2 Spinning:
For consistent spinning the absolute values for the nozzle pressures N1 and N2 need to be determined precisely. And once those pressure combinations are known, yarn tests should be conducted to characterize the consistency. The relative speeds of various rollers should be maintained constant at all the time. There is problem of increasing friction in the bearings and the bushes being used for this roller due to fiber choking. Thus efforts should be made to prevent fibers from wrapping on the roller shafts and choking the bearings. This would help in maintaining the desired speeds for all the rollers.


8.3 Web dividing:

The web-dividing device does not have an accurate means to quantify the distance between the splitting nozzles, and the angle between the air-jet and the direction of web. as suggested in Figure 8.1, the air-jets should be mounted on a more rigid support, so that their position can be accurately measured.

Figure 8.1 Setup for web dividing nozzles with precision settings

The system is very unstable in the sense that even a slight disturbance changes the air movement in the web dividing region, and a non uniform division results. Therefore a better control on fibers is required in the dividing region along with a successful release of the air away from this area. Therefore a perforated roller with a suction system with suction at specific regions on the surface of the roller might provide a better control and hence a better web division (Figure 8.2). This would help in easy release of the air released from the nozzle without disturbing the web. Also due to suction up to some distance the split ribbon would be better controlled until it reaches a high air-movement free region. Reducing the size of web take up assembly should facilitate bringing closer of all system components. This would provide better access to all the parts and less distance to travel for the web and ribbons without a positive control, thereby less unwanted drafting, due to sagging.


Perforated Top Roller Suction Ribbon

Splitting Nozzle

Card Web

Bottom Rollers Figure 8.2 Web take-up system with perforated top roller for better division




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Appendix A

Working of BitFlow software modules

a) SYSREG The system configuration information is specified by using SysReg and is stored in the Windows operating system registry. The information includes (but is not limited to) the pathname of the folder that contains all of the camera configuration files that will be used. A camera configuration file is a specially formatted file that describes a particular camera by specifying how it works, how a BitFlow board should interact with its control signals, and how the image data should be DMAed into host memory.

To select the configuration file: Open the System Configuration dialog (SysReg icon) Choose board from BitFlow boards found: list box. Click Board operation: Configure Board Details dialog. Click Camera file operation: Add Choose Camera File dialog or Open dialog (standard Windows). Choose camera configuration file.


b) CamVert A camera configuration file is a specially formatted file that describes how to initialize a BitFlow board so that it can acquire data from a particular camera, how the board interacts with the cameras control signals, and where the data received should be placed. Camera configuration files are used to setup the Road Runner board for data acquisition. The camera files contain all of the information required to initialize a Road Runner board for use with a particular camera or digital acquisition system. Initial values for timing, control, and synchronization are specified in the camera files. The camera files also contain information used to control the PCI based Scatter/Gather DMA engine. A camera configuration file is loaded at run time by the application program. The Road


Runner libraries consult the camera files for information about the Road Runner board(s) that are currently configured in the system. A camera can have several different camera configuration files, each one corresponding to a different mode of operation (for example, whether or not acquisition of a frame requires a trigger signal). A camera configuration file is stored on disk in a compact binary format; the filename suffix used for it depends on the board type .cam for Road Runner, .rcl for Road Runner CL, and .rvc for Raven. We have a .cam file as we are using a Road Runner board. CamVert provides a Text Editor that supports standard text editing functions and three special-purpose editors. There is a Register Editor for editing the settings of a boards registers and a QTAB Editor for editing the QTAB model parameters; for Road Runner and Road Runner CL boards, there is also a CTAB Editor for editing the settings of a boards CTABs.

Various settings required for test setup are done as follows: Open the camera configuration editor and select Primary Road Runner attached camera from the File menu. Once a camera configuration document is open, its contents can be modified directly with the text based editor or modified indirectly by using one of the graphical editing tools. The graphical editing tools allow the user to quickly view and/or change most of the configuration values contained in the file. Graphical editors are available for modifying Registers, Control Table (CTAB) function and Quad Table (QTABs) model parameters., Use Modify ! Registers to configure the registers: o To convert from Free run mode to One shot mode, and use Encoder as an External trigger, select CON5 register and set the HSTOP bit.


Since EXSYNC is controlled by HCON1. Change the location of the first rising edge to control line rate.

PRIN is controlled by HCON2. Set PRIN high in the configuration file for maximum exposure.

Set the frame size depending upon the camera. For the camera being used (Dalsa Cl-P1-2048W), set XSIZE as 0x00000800 and YSIZE as 0x00000400.

Set Pixel depth (number of bits per pixel in hexadecimal) (PIXBITDEPTH as 0x00000008) in the .cam file.

Once the setup of Configuration files is complete, we can use the R2View GUI example to test the operation of the camera.


Appendix B

M-Trim PID Controller

Circuit Design


Appendix C

Web Analysis Software Source Code (C++)