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Industry Talk

Karl Mayer Group’s digital solutions at ITMA

Leading German textile machinery group will be showing how to take advantage of the opportunities offered by digitalisation in Milan.

25th May 2023

Knitting Industry
 |  Obertshausen, Germany

Knitwear, Knitted Outerwear, Intimate Apparel, Sports/​Activewear, Technical Textiles

At the upcoming ITMA in Milan, the Karl Mayer Group will be presenting solutions that enable customers to master the profound changes of our time and to use their challenges as opportunities, especially when it comes to digital transformation.

The group of companies supports its customers on their way into the digital world of their sectors with new digital developments, which it can drive forward quickly thanks to the combined innovative power of its individual business units.

When it comes to customer-specific requirements for machine technologies in warp knitting, flat knitting, warp preparation and technical textiles, the experts in these business units expect are in demand, Karl Mayer says. Their task is primarily to develop software and smart machine functions. The experts of the KM.ON business unit, with their overarching focus on digital solutions, have their eyes on the control and optimisation of processes. The potential through the combined digitalisation approach are manifold, especially for increasing efficiency.

Smart machine functions

To maximise productivity, the Karl Mayer Group is specifically developing smart machine functions that exploit the potential of digitalisation or artificial intelligence, for example, to revolutionise pattern change in warp knitting through cloud-based patterning. High-performance tricot machines of the digital generation such as the HKS 3-M ON work with pattern data from the cloud instead of pattern discs and, thus, offer unique flexibility.  Patterns can be changed at the click of a mouse on the computer and without manual intervention. In addition to the handling effort, costs and environmental pollution caused by the production, transport and storage of mechanical data carriers are eliminated. Moreover, patterns are 100% reproducible, also without any manual adjustments.

Karl Mayer HKS 3-M ON. © Karl Mayer Group

The Karl Mayer Group also offers smart solutions for machine functions and processes in the flat knitting sector. The software offerings are combined in a package and cover the entire value chain of the flat knitting mill by means of a fast picture-to-knitting program, individualised grading and patterning, and optimised production managing. The result is a consistent, optimised workflow that makes greater productivity possible. Other benefits include faster response times, greater plant efficiency thanks to real-time transparency and lower costs thanks to overall production optimisation.

Knitting factory view via KM.ON's digital offering. © Karl Mayer Group

Innovations focusing on the smart machine theme include a CANopen interface that allows a bidirectional communication between electronic feed wheel(s) and machine centrally through machine program with higher data transfer rate. The fusion ensures reliable guidance and precise infeed of special, demanding yarns, thus making high-quality goods possible.

Digital solutions for the product development

Digital support is also available for the creation of patterns. The Karl Mayer Group offers various software products at different levels for the design process of warp knitted and flat knitted goods. Even 3D simulations of designed flat knitted items are possible by means of appropriate external software. The design and patterning tools make the customers' business easier. They provide more flexibility, efficiency and creativity, thus helping to save costs and shorten time-to-market, and also score points in terms of sustainability, because they can be used to reduce the number of physical samples.

3D simulation of flat knitted cable pattern fabrics. © Karl Mayer Group

3D simulation of flat knitted cable pattern sweater. © Karl Mayer Group

Digital production management tools

Other digital solutions focus on the analysis of production data. For example, warp knitting customers will be able to use real-time information on the energy consumption of their machines in the future with a new energy monitoring system. A first prototype will be shown at the trade show. For the time being, the monitoring tool provides detailed insights into the energy data, which can be used to better understand production and control it for optimization.

In addition, with the DPM (Digital Production Management) KM.ON's offers a software solution to facilitate and improve the management of a warp knitting textile factory. With real-time insights, streamlined processes, and optimal resource allocation, DPM enables data-driven decision-making and agile adaptation to market demands, helping textile producers achieve sustainable success and growth. Features for the planning and analysis of the production as well as live data and reporting functions will give full transparency of the production events enabling faster reaction times, increased productivity and reduced manpower costs.

A dashboard for monitoring with real-time data on machine operation is also provided for Karl Mayer's warp preparation machines, especially for the sectional warping sector, and Stoll PPS is a digital production planning tool for the flat knitting mill. The central platform for production data and production processes informs the customer online during ongoing operation about important events in their production. This enables rapid reactions to deviations and prompt repairs for minimum downtimes. An operating calendar is available for realistic planning and evaluation of production capacity.

Stoll PPS is a digital production planning tool for the flat knitting mill. © Karl Mayer Group


Care solutions with digital offers

In line with its holistic approach, the Karl Mayer Group also offers its customers added value in the support sector via digitalisation. For warp knitting and warp preparation, digital options such as remote maintenance have been combined with conventional offers. The completely new service approach includes a welcome desk, ticket system as well as first, second and third level support and offers customers fast and transparent backing. It also creates the basis for predictive maintenance and servicing.

In warp preparation, networking the machines with the cloud ensures efficient access to machine data and remote service. In addition, quality management reports can be called up on any mobile device via the cloud. The prerequisites for a proactive warping cloud function are also created.

Committed to highest data security

The most important resource for the use of all these digitalisation offerings is data. The Karl Mayer Group considers the data surrounding the operation of its machines to be an asset worthy of protection and therefore applies established and recognised security procedures to protect this data. The group of companies follows a connectivity strategy based on state-of-the-art solutions ensuring highest security and performance standards.

Karl Mayer Group at ITMA 2023

Fiera Milano Rho

8-14 June 2023

Hall 4 B119

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