Shima Seiki launches coarse gauge SCG122SN machine with slide needle technology
29th June 2011, Shanghai
Leading Japanese builder of computerised flat knitting machines Shima Seiki officially introduced its slide needle technology into the company's coarse gauge sweater knitting machines when it launched the brand new SCG122SN compact machine flat knitting machine earlier this month at ShanghaiTex.
The machine was shown as a prototype exactly a year ago at the ITMA Asia + CITME 2010 exhibition in Shanghai and is aimed at the ultra-coarse ‘hand knit look' market and incorporates the company's unique slide needle technology.
Slide needle background
Although Shima's slide needle technology has been around since the mid 1990s, the company's coarse gauge machines (3-5 gauge) such as the SES122FF, SES122CS, NSES122CS and SES234CS and subsequent models, have all been equipped with its well known tried and tested compound needle which was developed in the late 1980s. This is the first ultra-coarse gauge machine to incorporate slide needle technology.
The compound needle was designed to allow a shorter needle stroke which allowed re-profiling of cams to give a subsequent reduction in carriage weight and size, necessary for the short stroke knitting required to knit fully fashioned pieces on the new generation of 'compact' flat knitting machines.
Shima introduced its Slide Needle technology in 1995 with the launch of its FIRST Wholegarment technology and has successfully integrated it into its SWGX series of fine gauge Wholegarment machines and SWG041/091 accessories machines.
Range of gauges on one machine
Slide Needle offers a further reduction in needle stroke, a range of new knitting possibilities and the possibility to cover a wider range of gauges on one machine. The new SCG122SN shown in Shanghai aims to cover the 2 to 4 gauge range.
Masaki Karasuno of Shima's Corporate Planning Division explained: "In addition to such priorities as speed, efficiency and consistent quality, market demand reveals that the computerization of traditionally hand-knitted low-gauge knitwear must place additional emphasis on fabric texture and feel."
Knitwear with robust hand crafted texture
"Incorporating our unique SlideNeedle, this 3 gauge SCG122SN machine can produce knitwear with robust, hand-crafted texture as low as 2 gauge. Digital Stitch Control System with Intelligence and Dynamic Tension Control (i-DSCS + DTC) assures extremely high quality and consistency even with thick, difficult-to-knit fancy yarns," adds Karasuno.
According to Shima a double racking mechanism provides better racking control in both directions for realizing bold and interesting designs while reducing total racking movement by half. Shima says that, for all the capability, productivity does not suffer, with higher knitting efficiency achieved through a narrower needle pitch and quicker carriage returns using the Rapid Response R2CARRIAGE system.
The 48 inch needle bed SCG122SN also comes with a long list of useful features including the spring-type sinker, takedown comb, USB memory interface and backup power supply. Maximum knitting speed for the two system Knitran machine is 1.1 m/s.
Space efficiency is said to be improved during installation by integrating the fabric collection tray within the machine frame. The network connector is repositioned on the side of the controller for easier access when performing production data management with Shima Network Solutions.
The machine's USB interface is also positioned directly below the control monitor for improved access in data exchange.
"For those moments when power suddenly becomes unavailable, a backup power supply allows work to resume after power failures. This offers peace of mind that an entire garment will not be lost due to blackouts," Shima says.
Author: Billy Hunter