Leading Position

Lawer’s new TD-LAB system was introduced at ITM 2006 in Istanbul, Turkey, and won an
immediate favorable reaction.

n the sophisticated textile processing chain, the segment related to dyeing and finishing
is certainly a complex and exact step with ever-stricter results demanded by the market. Dyeing and
finishing results can make the difference in the international competitive race.

Italy-based Lawer S.p.A. has long been a leader in the dyeing and finishing ancillary
equipment field, thanks to the excellence of its products and its worldwide customer service focus.
Lawer’s production range includes powder-product weighing plants, plants for dissolving powder
products and dispensing plants for liquid products.

Relying on the experience gained with hundreds of installations all over the world, Lawer
has committed itself to enhance the quality of such plants, in particular by using electronic data
processing and precision engineering techniques. Special care also has been given to personnel
training and to the network of skilled suppliers of ancillary technologies.

Federico Ormezzano said Lawer’s corporate mission is that of maintaining its present
specialty supremacy, endeavouring first of all to develop innovations — an activity that is often
driven by the demands of the most advanced customers.

“In dyeing, there has been of late a considerable increase in small batches, processing
cycles which call for the highest precision in all operations, and at the same time require greater
care in the execution of these processes,” said Ormezzano. “This led to the development of a fully
automatic system, so as to integrate into one compact machine [all the] activities useful to the
preparation, in the laboratory, of the recipe dyestuff solutions according to the inputs received
from the colorimetric systems through an interfaced software.

“This special unit today exists, and we have named it TD-LAB. It has been working in mill
practice for one year, and was launched on the international market on the occasion of ITM in
Istanbul last June, where it immediately produced a favorable reaction. By means of a parallel
channel connected with the integrated systems of the color kitchen, in addition to the laboratory,
the unit can directly serve also the dyeing equipment devoted to small production volumes.”

The heart of TD-LAB is the quick-transfer, multipurpose robotic arm, which provides the
system with an automation level superior to that of any comparable equipment existing today on the

TD-LAB System: Features And Performance

“The efficiency demonstrated by the TD-LAB ensues from the fact that, for several
construction details, we did nothing but miniaturize the well-proven dosing and distribution
modules of real production plants,” Ormezzano said.

The apparatus is a closed, perfectly insulated unit, which ensures cleanliness and safety,
and contributes to faster robot operation. The quick-traverse, multipurpose robotic arm handles the
bottles and positions the graduated glass pipette, which can ensure accuracy to 0.01 gram. The
TD-LAB’s operating principle is based on mono-pipette volumetric measuring.

Lawer carefully evaluated the advantages and disadvantages offered by various technologies
before deciding to use this type of volumetric measuring. The single pipette, firmly fixed onto the
robotic arm, reduces any inaccuracies resulting from the mechanical clearance between the
components that can be found in multi-pipette systems.

The pipette is made of a top-quality special glass, which is resistant to thermal variations
and has perfect cross-section uniformity. These properties contribute to dispensing accuracy.

An optional version is offered, equipped with automatic ejector for the conveyance through
distribution lines of the dosed recipes to the sampling/production dyeing equipment.

Unlike the multi-pipette systems, which are always immersed into single solutions
and cannot be completely emptied, the single pipette enters the solution only for the time required
by the take-off, and only a minimum part of it dips into the liquid. This allows for complete
circulation of the solution inside the bottle and perfect cleaning of the pipette, which is washed
at every take-off/dispensing cycle to avoid possible external color straining, sedimentations or
device incrustations.

The single glass pipette also offers superior wear resistance, in comparison with other
materials — metals or plastics — employed in the multi-pipette systems; minimizes maintenance; does
not require anti-drop systems; and ensures the cleanliness and efficiency of the system.

All versions of TD-LAB can be equipped with optional systems for fully automatically
transferring the recipes to the dyeing/sampling equipment. The TD-LAB is offered in three different
models accommodating 102, 174 or 264 bottles for the same number of dissolved dyestuffs or liquid
auxiliaries. On the standard model, solutions are conveyed to 24 beakers with a capacity of 600
milliliters that can be transferred by means of four special beaker-holder trays.

The apparatus is completed with the following main features for solution preparation:
automatic preparation device integrated into the machine; electronic balance with a 0.01-gram
resolution; automatic volume setting with water; electric boiler at 60°C, with a capacity of 5
liters; and magnetic anchor-like Teflon®-coated mixers. For dosing in beakers, the machine features
24 glass containers, four beaker-holder trays with six pieces each and automatic washing/drying
cycle of the dispensing pipette.

September/October 2006