Translation to Scalable Manufacturing
Testing new and/or novel materials for integration into fabric. CFF and PA FDC are experienced in using small amounts of materials and adapting traditional fabrication methods to accommodate materials and assess suitability for manufacturing through further testing (traditional and e-textile standards). PA FDC has a range of knitting machines, yarn manufacturing equipment, advanced embroidery equipment (to incorporate wires, fibers and electronics), cut-and-sew capabilities, and finishing tools which are representative of those found in industrial settings, allowing scalable prototyping and technology demonstrations to prepare for pilot production.
The PA FDC can twist and blend yarn to create effects that a single yarn cannot achieve. This enables customization of yarns for optimal performance, manufacturability and scalability. Twisting procedures can be used to alter the properties of novel yarn materials such as conductive fibers to improve their knittability. Our capabilities include standard twisting, along with advanced twisting including yarn covering, elastane covering, boucle style twisting and more. We are set up to process yarns with multiple twist selections in one continuous manufacturing process. Additionally, we have traditional braiding machines that we are motorizing for translational experimentation with braids. For newly developed yarns which may be limited in quantity or processability, we have a custom-built small-scale twisting machine. This machine helps translate from lab scale research to manufacturing equipment by allowing the user to work in much smaller quantities and to directly access the yarn at each individual stage of the twisting process.
Knit Textile Fabrication
The PA FDC specializes in weft knit textile development. Our equipment capabilities include six Shima Seiki weft knitting machines paired with SDS-One Apex3 workstations, a Santoni seamless garment knitting machine and a Lonati shoe upper knitting machine. All of these machines are commonly used in full scale textile production, and therefore their use in rapid prototyping and research and development allows for rapid scale up for production of products. In addition to our weft knitting capabilities, we also offer the ability to experiment and rapidly prototype warp knit textiles using a Comez warp knitting machine with weft insertion capabilities, and woven textiles using a CCI Studio Tech sample loom.
Woven Textile Fabrication
The PA FDC features a fully automated sample weaving loom, warping machine, and sizing machine to round out the manufacturing floor in the end-to-end, state-of-the-art center. This capability allows us to experiment with weaving novel materials, translate advanced dobby woven designs for scalable production, and produce sample runs of woven functional fabric designs for evaluation and validation.
The PA FDC has a variety of equipment for both traditional and non-traditional textile testing and characterization including stereoscopic optical microscopy, abrasion and pilling, water resistance, yarn twist, burst strength, flexural strength and tensile testing. Electrical properties such as linear resistance can also be measured to characterize yarns for use in e-textiles.
The PA FDC is experienced in developing embedded hardware and software for textile devices and in finding solutions to interface textiles to electronics hardware. This includes programming AVR and ARM-based microcontrollers for signal generation and acquisition, developing signal processing logic for embedded systems, and creating drivers to interface embedded code with PC-based software.