A METHODOLOGY TO FACILITATE THE DESIGN OF TEXTILE MACHINERY FOR MICHEL VAN DE WIELE NV
Nowadays, machines and vehicles must comply with ever increasing performance requirements. In addition, as they are becoming increasingly complex following the integration of components from different physical domains, human designers need computational support for designing them.
That’s why Flanders Make set up a research project to develop a method for building and using multi-phys- ical models representing machines and vehicles or their components. These models typically include electronics, mechanics and control software. We also developed guidelines on how to build these models in such a way that they can be automatically generated for new system variants, starting from a library of component models (such as motors, drives, couplings, loads, bearings, controller…) that can be reconfigured or recombined in several ways to form different variants of that same machine.
Michel Van de Wiele NV, manufacturer of carpet and velvet manufacturing machines, and Flanders Make have jointly applied this method to model a complete jacquard drivetrain and its variants. First, we generated improved component models that give a better description of the detailed physical behaviour. This resulted in a compact model that can be reused reliably in different configurations. Subsequently, we validated these models. This validation showed a good correspondence between the measured and predicted behaviour.
Tests also demonstrated that the components in these models can be easily recombined to form different system variants and predict behaviour accurately. We thus reconfigured the developed model according to the different types of weaving patterns (manufacturing carpet A requires different motions of the loom than manufacturing carpet B) and according to the different types of machines used by Michel Van de Wiele NV.
The developed methodology will clearly enable Michel Van de Wiele NV to easily create and adapt models, for instance for calculating a model-based control depending on the pattern or even for developing a new controller for a new machine or for facilitating new machine designs.
MORE EFFICIENT CO-DESIGN OF MACHINE AND COOLING SYSTEM IN THE TEXTILE SECTOR WITH PICANOL AND MICHEL VAN DE WIELE
The design of cooling systems is becoming increasingly challenging. More often than not, compact, powerful actuators are incorporated to increase the functionality of machines, resulting in higher power densities and higher requirements in terms of cooling. So far, cooling systems were mostly designed in a later stage, which led to trial-and-error solutions and over-dimensioned systems. It is far more efficient to already consider the cooling requirements in the initial stage of a machine designing process.
A systematic, model-based approach simplifies the co-design of actuators and cooling.
In the Flanders Make project OPCOPE, models of an electro-thermal engine and a cooling plate for liquid cooling were designed. These models enable system simulations to identify thermal bottlenecks and optimise the design parameters. The model was validated in a climate chamber. In this way, we could assess and, as the case may be, adjust the impact of, among others, the flow rate of the pump, the cooling channel topology or the cooling power of the radiator on the performance of a liquid-cooled plate.
The research efforts resulted in a systematic, model-based approach for developing cooling systems and defining the cooling concept. The created thermal-hydraulic models allow for a fast concept generation and evaluation.
Michel Van De Wiele NV, which builds textile machinery for carpet and velvet manufacturers, integrated the project results in the design of a tuft machine (see picture). Such machines have quite a lot of actuators for individually controlling the different threads, which used to cause major challenges for the cooling system.
Also the Picanol Group, a global company specialised in the development, production and sale of weaving machines, already uses the project results to optimise the co-design of a powertrain and corresponding cooling system.