All new Montex solution – a first for BWF Protec’s special requirements

All the stops were pulled out for the engineering and commissioning of a special Montex stenter line for Germany’s BWF Protec.

Based in Hof, Germany, BWF Protec is involved in so many industrial niche markets that its range of needlepunched materials is perhaps the widest available from any single source. As a consequence, a very versatile and uniqueMontex stenter solution was needed to meet all requirements. “We are not making commodities of thousands of square metres,” explained BWF Protec Managing Director, Dieter A. Huber, “Our business is small quantities of usually very high performance materials for special niches.”
He continued, ”We have five product managers who are all specialized textile engineers and follow industrial developments around the world to identify areas where a customized needlefelt solution would be appropriate.Where it is, we can provide it.” Industries supplied with materials by the company range from the aerospace, automotive and trans portation sectors to aluminium, glass and steel plants and on to the furniture, protective clothing, medical equipment and grinding and polishing markets. BWF Protec nonwovens are manufactured in thicknesses of 1mm to 25mm, in widths of 50cm to 260cm and in fabric weights of 100gsm up to 5,500gsm. The staple fibres which are processed include all natural and conventional synthetics, in addition to high value performance fibres such as Conex, Twaron, Pyron, Kermel, Basofil, P84, Kynol, PTFE and Zylon. The company even manufactures certain products with Bekinox stainless steel fibres. This is in addition to many special blends, all of which are carded pre-needled and then finish needled prior to reaching the stenter. “Due to this extremely wide range, an off-the-shelf system was not enough,” Mr Huber explains. “We required an ‘all-singing an all-dancing’ solution, and Monforts didn’t disappoint with the specially customised machine model they delivered.”

The Montex 6500 8F Twin Air system has eight 3m chamber compartments and a total length of 53m. The gas-powered unit can operate at a maximum temperature of 230°C and the company is running it at speeds of from 1m/min up to 50m/min. It is also equipped with a heat recovery unit for added efficiency. “With the stenter we can do one of two things, adding chemical treatments or heat setting, ”Mr Huber explained. “In some applications low melt fibres are introduced and once activated can make the nonwoven rock-hard like wood. Such materials obviously have to be cut into sheets immediately because they can’t be rolled.” A special requirement was the reinforced horizontal chain. “The horizontal chain is very important because when you are producing materials with thicknesses of 25mm, think about the strength that is required to keep them in place.” The applications for such extremely heavyweight and often inflexible materials can be surprising. One is on the very tips of chair-legs to ensure there is no scratching to wooden or marble floors. A second is as a manufacturing component in the pressing of steel. While such applications may involve very small amounts of material individually, their use throughout industries worldwide is substantial and highly valued – the secret to success in niche market manufacturing. BWF Protec is part of the BWF Group, which has a turnover of 160 million and 1,300 employees worldwide. The group has three other divisions – Envirotec, specializing in environmental solutions, Feltec, which makes wool felts, and Profiles, a thermoplastics materials business. Having pursued a policy of global expansion, the company now has plants in Italy, Turkey, the USA, China and India, in addition to Germany. BWF Protec at Hof in Northern Bavaria has 60 employees, with 65% of its output exported outside Germany to 53 different countries. “This is the firstMonforts stenter in the whole group, ”Mr Huber concludes. “So far we have used competing technology, but I have to say that in deciding to go withMonforts, as the company with the engineering and technology know-how to meet our specific needs, we did the right thing.”


Message to Monforts

* = has to be filled in