US yarn manufacturer Unifi is partnering with Swiss textile machinery company Oerlikon to enable it to deliver new, innovative performance yarns. 

The two companies have collaborated on the development of a specially-designed eAFK Evo texturing machine that has been operating for the last eight months, and have been using it to make various Unifiber virgin and Repreve-branded recycled polyester and polyamide yarns.

Unifi has obtained exclusive rights in the Americas to the design, which enables the new machine to operate at considerably higher texturing speeds, deliver consistently high-quality yarn across a broad range of products, and enable new, innovative performance yarns.

The firm has placed an order for two of the machines which will be able to run its entire portfolio, including Unifiber and Profiber virgin, as well as Repreve. 

Its most important feature is the 300mm-long EvoCooler, a controllable cooling unit that opens a huge production window, with titers ranging from around 30 to 300 denier and including microfilaments. The EvoCooler also enables extremely even yarn dyeing and provides significant benefits using no additional energy compared to current offerings, Oerlikon says. The company adds that combining it with the EvoHeater increases texturing speed by about 20% and offers up to 25% energy savings.

Tom Caudle, president and chief operating officer of Unifi, says the innovative new texturing technology “is positioned to revolutionise yarn manufacturing.”

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He adds: “True innovation starts in the fibre, and the new eAFK Evo texturing machine will allow us to continue our history of manufacturing excellence and provide our customers with an expanded portfolio of performance products with broad market appeal.”