Mayer & Cie.’s Relanit cutting-edge technology is now 30 years old

 

Relanit’s anniversary year started on October 13, 2017. Relanit is one of Mayer & Cie.’s (MCT) most important and most successful machine types. It uses relative technology, the circular knitting machine manufacturer’s proprietary development, launched at ITMA in 1987, when the trade fair opened on October 13 in Paris.

In its current version, the Relanit 3.2 HS is one of the most productive single jersey machines on the market. At the same time, its energy consumption is 30 per cent below that of a conventional knitting machine. Relanit is also part of Mayer & Cie.’s latest innovation, its spinit systems technology. Thanks to the relative technology, a fragile fibre bundle can become a fluffy single jersey fabric.

“Relative technology is still the shape of things to come, 30 years after the start of series production,” says Marcus Mayer, Managing Director Mayer & Cie. in charge of technical development. “It exemplifies what we stand for, for our values and our aspiration to always be one step ahead.”

Relative technology, a distinguishing feature

Conventional knitting machines usually work with horizontal sinkers. That means the needle moves up and down while the sinker works horizontally. With relative technology, the sinker too moves up and down. Relatively speaking, it shifts towards the needle. In this movement lies the relative technology’s biggest advantage: In comparison to conventional technology, the yarn only has to travel half the number of deflection points to form a stitch. Each deflection means less stress on the yarn.

That is why Relanit can process difficult yarn or inferior qualities without a hitch, not only to form a fabric of a certain quality but also without making amends in terms of production speed or machine downtimes. Both would be the case if inferior quality yarn were to be processed on a conventional machine. Because yarn is the key cost factor in knitting, Relanit can help the knitter to save a lot of money.

Five Relanit technicians from the first hour thirty years later: Jürgen Müller, Johannes Bitzer, Axel Brünner, Rolf Gonser and Thomas Maier

“When we unveiled Relanit at Paris ITMA 30 years ago, it was unmatched in production, speed, yarn care and energy efficiency,” Marcus Mayer says. “And it still is. We are not aware of any company that has succeeded in replicating the technology. As our patent expired years ago, that would be possible. And nobody has developed a better technology that combines all these benefits either, by the way.”

While relative technology in itself has remained unchanged, it has grown to keep pace with technological development. The line’s current flagship is the Relanit 3.2 HS. It is one of the most productive single jersey machines in the market, both for open width and tubular. At 50 rpm it works with elastomeric yarns just as well as with cotton, the machine’s traditional speciality. Furthermore, the Relanit 3.2 HS uses up to a third less energy than a conventional circular knitting machine.

In addition to the Relanit 3.2 HS, the current Mayer & Cie. portfolio comprises a further eight Relanit machines, with striping machines, electronic and mechanical types among them. Every year, around 300 Relanit machines find their way to clients all around the globe. The specialists in cotton yarn are most popular in Turkey, followed by Brazil and China. Overall, Mayer & Cie. has sold 10,000 units, delivered to about 90 countries worldwide. That means about a quarter of all machines sold in the past 30 years belong to the Relanit family.

Future potential

spinitsystems is the company’s latest innovation and it would not be possible without relative technology. The spinning and knitting machine Spinit 3.0 E combines formerly strictly separated processes – spinning, cleaning and knitting. The raw material it works with is a not a regular cotton yarn but a roving which easily dissolves when rubbing or tearing it. This is exactly the material that Spinit 3.0 processes.

Relative technology deserves much of the credit for it succeeding in doing so. The fibre bundle travels a much shorter distance and is subject to less tension than would be the case with the conventional knitting technology. In short, it is thanks to relative technology that a fragile roving can be transformed into fluffy single jersey on Spinit 3.0 E.

“That makes Relanit not only a technology we are very proud of, but also an obligation for the future,” Marcus Mayer concludes.

 
 
 
 
 

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