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Circular Knitting

IKU award for spinitsystems

Mayer & Cie. is awarded Federal Environment Ministry innovation prize for spinning and knitting technology.

22nd February 2018

Knitting Industry
 |  Albstadt

Knitwear, Knitted Outerwear

The Albstadt-based circular knitting machine manufacturer Mayer & Cie. has received a Climate and Environment Innovation Prize (IKU) for its spinitsystems spinning and knitting technology.

The Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) award IKU prizes every other year for innovations that mark new departures in climate and environmental protection. The IKU jury said they felt that spinitsystems did just that. By combining spinning and knitting in one machine, it helps save energy, resources, space and time in the production of single jersey fabrics.

Sebastian Mayer of the Mayer & Cie. management and Michael A. Tuschak (left to right in the middle), spinitsystems marketing and sales, receiving the award from State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth (left) and Holger Lösch, BDI (right). © Christian Kruppa (

“We are the first manufacturer to have dared to merge these two processes that have previously been separate both technically and ideologically,” said Michael A. Tuschak, in charge of spinitsystems marketing and sales. “We are delighted that the staying power required to see an innovation of this kind through has been rewarded with this prize.”

Less CO2, less energy, fewer resources

Normally, yarn is processed into a textile fabric on the circular knitting machines of Mayer & Cie. The yarn comes from a spinning mill, where it is manufactured in a complex and energy-intensive process.

The new Mayer & Cie. spinning and knitting machine, in contrast, does not wait for the finished yarn to arrive from the spinning mill; it uses roving and is thereby able to combine in one machine, the Spinit 3.0 E, the previously strictly separate processes of spinning and knitting. Several other machines are no longer required, reducing the space required by about a third.

The Spinit 3.0 processes roving, not yarn. An advantage that the IKU jury especially appreciated is that there is no spool leftover waste because unprocessed roving can be sent straight back to the spinning mill. © Mayer & Cie.

The process takes less time, reducing the amount of energy required to about two thirds of what the conventional manufacturing process uses – with a positive effect on the carbon dioxide balance. The spinning and knitting machine also helps to save valuable cotton. Leftover roving on the spools is not waste; it can be sent straight back to the spinning mill, the manufacturer explains.

Rating: Prize worthy

These were the points that the IKU jury specially mentioned in its appraisal. The organisers were also impressed by the market potential and the number of machines envisaged over a five-year period. The jury further felt that the 30 active spinitsystems patents and the long development time testified to the entrepreneurial performance that lay behind this innovation.

“In combining the spinning and knitting processes we have created an interface that did not previously exist. Nobody other than us is conversant with it yet, so that in addition to the technological lead we have established a valuable knowledge lead,” commented Sebastian Mayer, Mayer & Cie.’s director in charge of corporate development.

The Spinit 3.0 E combines spinning and knitting, two processes that were previously strictly separate, both technically and ideologically. They have now joined forces in one machine with the same dimensions as a conventional circular knitting machine. © Mayer & Cie.

Along with the award, the prize-winners in the five IKU categories each receive EUR 25,000 in cash to support their climate and environmental activities. In selecting the prize-winners, the IKU jury relied on the recommendations of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI), which checked the applications in detail and in some cases called on the applicants to submit further, in-depth information.

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