Nu-Wave of innovation

Carbon fibre reinforced weft guide bar for a crochet knitting machine (Developed within Nu-Wave at ITA)

Copyright: ITA

Funding sources

Project co-funded by the European Comission within Seventh Framework Programme

Research subjects

Leveraging on new knowledge and latest advances in science & technology to allow large communities of EU textile machinery SMEs to innovate their products & keep leadership in value-added textiles

Nu-Wave of innovation

The performance and working velocity of the machines have increased nearly tenfold since the early fifties, but there is a series of limitations for further enhancements. As machines are complex mechanical systems, mere experience and optimization employing "trial and error" approaches is not sufficient when we target functional and technical textiles for special applications: the introduction of flexibility requires the reengineering of the machine based on these basic working principles. Still new aspects such as distributed electromechanical actuations with sensing capability, reducing the dimension of components and more control options need to be considered.

NU-WAVE aims at supporting textile machinery SMEs with the development of a new generation of flexible and high-performance machines, with research objectives that are clearly driven from the needs of the market end users: textile producers are looking for increased performances, modularity, resource efficiency and safety to compete in the global market. The target is: Leveraging on new knowledge and latest advances in science and technology to allow large communities of EU textile machinery SMEs to innovate their products and keep leadership in value-added textiles.

Guidelines of the project:

To ensure the textile production and develop new applications at the same time, the traditional approach based on empiricism and experience is not sufficient. It needs a systematic and interdisciplinary approach in order to enable textile machinery SMEs to:

- make their machines more flexible, productive and efficient to stand out from the crowd and be able to produce highly variable and functionalised textile products

- reduce the huge quantities of energy and other resources required

- improve working conditions by reducing noise and vibrations which represent danger to the health of workers and give the sector a very old-fashioned reputation

Main objectives of the project are to:

- scientifically characterise the processes and machinery

- integrate advanced materials in machine-building, in particular:
o composite materials
o smart materials
o ceramic materials

- develop and integrate novel mechatronic based design concepts in textile machines, in particular:
o modular design to organise a complex system (such as a textile machine) as a set of distinct functional components that can be developed independently and then plugged together as well as moved from one machine to another;
o high Power Density actuation devices able to replace the very complex power distribution kinematic devices driven by a powerful driving unit with several miniaturised actuators independently powered with an actuation frequency of at least 50 Hz;
o distributed Control System in which the controlled elements are not central in location but are distributed throughout the system with each component sub-system controlled by one or more controllers with integrated sensors.

- develop a new workbench integrating different Virtual Prototyping Software (e.g. 3D Modeller, FEM Tool, CFD Tool) with guided functionalities able to support the non-expert user in the Computer Aided Engineering of textile machines

- develop a knowledge management infrastructure to support the SMEs in conception, design and validation of new textile machines and components based on knowledge and technologies associated with the accomplishment of the objectives above mentioned as well as on innovations from other sectors and areas of technology

In order to enable this, a knowledge management infrastructure will be created to support the SMEs in the conception, design and validation of new machines. The key engine of this infrastructure is a novel functional analysis methodology to describe a machine at an abstract level allowing a clear and standard representation aimed to an effective exploration of different design alternatives (functional variants). In engineering design, the existence of a product is subjected to its function. Functional modelling will help the machine designer to provide an abstract, yet direct, method for understanding and representing the functions of the targeted novel machinery.

More information about the project

PDF to follow-up-project