The Rupp Report: Toyota’s And Trützschler’s Joint Machinery Project

On June 16, ITMA Asia + CITME 2012 closed its doors in Shanghai. There was little, but remarkable,
news to hear from Shanghai. One of the highlights was the announcement of cooperation between
Toyota Industries Corp., Japan (TICO), and Trützschler GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, to develop,
manufacture, and market combing machines. After many takeovers by Chinese manufacturers, including
the announced acquisition of Germany-based A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG by Fong’s
Industries Co. Ltd., Hong Kong
(see “
Fong’s Acquires

.com, June 19, 2012), this is the first joint project between a German and a Japanese
textile machinery manufacturer.

New Comber Generation

The prototype of a new generation of combing machines, the Toyota-Trützschler TCO 12, was
introduced last week during ITMA Asia + CITME 2012 at the Trützschler booth. Toyota is mainly known
around the world as an automobile manufacturer, but TICO, from which Toyota is an offshoot, has
been producing textile machinery — including combing machines as well as weaving machines — since
(See “
Rupp Report: Executive Interview: Noriharu Teraoka, Group Manager Sales, Textile Machinery
Division, Toyota Industries Corp., June 12, 2012)
. Susumu Toyoda, managing officer and deputy
general manager of the textile machinery business unit, explained to the Rupp Report that there is
a long tradition in building textile machines in the company. “And the best from building weaving
machines was now transferred into the new comber generation,” he added.

In the official press release, it is mentioned that “Toyota’s experience in building weaving
machinery with special servo motor technology is reflected in the comber. As with weaving
machinery, there are also many elements here that require a reversal of rotation several hundred
times per minute. In the past, this was solved with complex oil bath gears. This conventional
technology has reached its limit of performance.”

Individual Motors Are The Key Element

In the TCO 12, individual motors from Toyota drive the combing elements synchronously on
both sides, thus minimizing torsion of the elements as well as machine vibration. The combing
condition variance of the eight comb heads is reduced considerably, leading to significantly
improved sliver quality, the companies report, adding that the machine’s performance potential is
much greater than that of existing state-of-the-art technology.

Toyota’s partner, Trützschler, is one of the world’s leading suppliers for short-staple draw
frames, and has been building spinning preparation machines since 1888. Trützschler says that “the
extensive know-how of both companies is now flowing into the development of a new generation of
combers.” Trützschler, with its experience in manufacturing draw frames with individual drives,
equipped with highly dynamic leveling, has contributed a new head stock with draw box and can
changer to the effort. The new system also integrates Trützschler’s newest draw frame quality
sensor, Disc Monitor.

Unparalleled Evenness

Heinrich Trützschler, managing partner of Trützschler, mentioned to the Rupp Report that the
individual drives are water-cooled and work in a closed circuit, and the permanent
quality-monitoring provides the data for automatic self-optimization of the machine. Because of the
individual drive technology of the combing elements, the piecing process, for instance, is
automatically optimized. Furthermore, he said deviations in lap weight no longer present a problem,
as sliver count is permanently monitored and corrected when necessary.

It Makes Sense

The get-together of two different companies such as Trützschler and Toyota may be a
surprise, but only at first sight. On the one hand, this giant step in technology was only made
possible by simultaneously integrating the know-how of both companies. On the other hand, both
companies have the same background and tradition from being family-owned enterprises. And that’s
why this joint effort is not a surprise. Susumu Toyoda as well as Heinrich Trützschler and
Trützschler Managing Partner Dr. Michael Schürenkrämer confirmed with a smile that “we are looking
forward to this very positive partnership.” One can be almost certain that this new generation of
combers will shake up the market.

June 21, 2012