Intelligent Production Modules By Dienes Aid Development Of Innovative Filaments

Headquartered in Mühlheim am Main, Dienes Apparatebau GmbH was founded by Fritz Dienes in 1930. The company produces pilot and laboratory systems for manufacturing and processing filaments, fibres and yarns. It also supplies mechanical and electrical components associated with textile machines, such as induction-heated godet units and control systems for synthetic fibre production lines.

With modular platforms and flexible machinery concepts, Dienes Apparatebau GmbH in Mühlheim am Main supports research facilities in the development of innovative filaments. As Managing Partner Steffen Müller-Probandt explains in an interview, the MultiMode systems in particular are well adapted to enable intelligent networking of the production steps for product development. In this way, Dienes ensures that it continues to meet the ever increasing demands for efficiency and productivity in textile machinery construction.

Dienes has been cooperating with textile machinery manufacturers for something like 60 years. How is your company helping to advance the cause of sustainability in the industry?

Steffen Müller-Probandt: The trend towards manufacturing technical textiles as the primary focus of textile manufacturers in Europe has been gaining momentum steadily. Against this background, much effort is being devoted to perfecting processing technologies. In this respect, the main objective is to be able to carry out complex manufacturing processes as efficiently as possible. Of course, one of the principle points of reference for this purpose is the reduction of energy consumption by the machinery.

What does function integration mean to Dienes as a provider of machines and components for manufacturing synthetic fibres?

Steffen Müller-Probandt: The trend toward function integration is an important issue for us on two levels. Firstly, Dienes has set itself the task of creating a modular pilot line in order to help research institutions in fibre technology in their efforts to develop new, innovative filaments. To this end, we ourselves have developed intelligent production modules that can be combined in a modular arrangement, so the pilot line can be adapted to any new discoveries that are made during the development phase. Secondly, as the world of machine building becomes increasingly globalised, there is a constant requirement to increase efficiency and productivity levels. This is why integrated solutions with continuously improving efficiency are in such great demand.

What opportunities does function integration offer for Dienes?

Steffen Müller-Probandt: The opportunity is inherent in the process of continuously improving our modules. The performance of the modules is enhanced to remain abreast of the constant stream of new requirements from an enormous range of applications and the need to integrate them. This in turn creates added value for our customers. Ultimately, our most important objective is to increase efficiency and productivity.

What benefit can the user of your MultiMode systems gain from function integration?

Steffen Müller-Probandt: Function integration stands for the intelligent networking of production steps for product development. We thus use the term function to refer to the manufacture of synthetic yarn as a process. One of the main objectives of Dienes is to enable research institutions that are in the business of developing new, innovative filaments to reach a position in which they are equipped to carry out experimental work that is efficient, systematic, and to some degree self-optimising. In general, every module in a MultiMode system can be operated independently and alone. All individual modules can be configured to create a system by the user via the master functionality. The system may be viewed as an intelligent, modular platform.

Where do you see the greatest potential for function integration in textile machinery manufacturing in the next few years?

Steffen Müller-Probandt: End-to-end system concepts are needed here. As is also revealed clearly in the large-scale “Industry 4.0” project, the trend towards intelligent networking of production process data is becoming more and more clear. This means that more and more powerful machine controllers are also needed.

On the other hand, of course, it is equally essential to be able to distil the important information from this welter of data, in order to generate real added value. This is why targeted function integration is becoming more important.

Does the energy efficiency of your systems figure in the considerations of your customers?

Steffen Müller-Probandt: Yes, this subject is becoming more and more significant in our field of activities as well. At the moment, we are cooperating with the company Rauschert and a Fraunhofer Institute to develop an energy management system (EMS) that can analyse and control a company’s energy consumption from a central location. It captures not only all electrical consumers, but also the consumption rates for other media, such as gas, water, etc. An incidentally, the EMS itself can be integrated in the MultiMode systems.

You enter into temporary partnerships with research institutes for the purpose of developing products and processes. How do such cooperations work specifically?

Steffen Müller-Probandt: These partnerships are beneficial to both parties, of course. Dienes benefits primarily from cooperations in multidisciplinary teams, in which new products and processes are developed and researched. In addition, for many trials, infrastructures are needed that are only available in the laboratory facilities belonging to the institutes. Of course, it is also much easier to test innovations in a laboratory environment than in an industrial concern where production is ongoing 24 hours a day. In return, the laboratories are always up to date with the latest technologies and equipment.