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Solutions for automatically connecting two elastic threads between a running and a new spool.

Country of Origin: Netherlands
Reference Number: TRNL20190822001
Publication Date: 30 September 2019


The Dutch manufacturing company is a producer of adult incontinent diapers. A new machine uses 64 elastic threads to make these products. To reduce labour costs, the company is looking for solutions to automate the task of connecting an elastic yarn-end of the old roll to the next. The company is looking for a collaboration with research and engineering partners and envisions a research or technical cooperation agreement. This technology request is part of an open innovation challenge.


This Dutch company is a manufacturing facility of a global leader in hygiene and health solutions. Around 500 million people use the products every day. For this company, innovation of the production process is essential to reduce labour costs.

For the production of adult incontinent diapers the company uses a new state-of-the-art machine with 66 elastic threads (picture in attachment). In order to stay competitive, the company needs to find a solution to automate the currently manual task to connect a running spool to a new spool. Connecting rolls of elastic treads is very time consuming and sensitive to errors. Therefore they are looking for a robust automated system to increase operator productivity and reduce downtime. The company wants to save operator time by automating this process in a 100% reliable way. For the solution of this challenge the company is looking for innovative solutions in the area of elastics, spools, cotton, clothing, etc. as they expect that in those area also ‘endless’ rolls of raw materials have been used. Connecting spools can be done by heat-sealing or any other way of connecting 2 spools of elastic threads together. Also Roll loading and unloading (the elastic threads are spooled on a cardboard core) has also their interest.
The expectation is that the created solution can be applied in several manufacturing locations of the company worldwide.

For the solution of this challenge the company is looking for cooperation with research and engineering partners based on a research cooperation agreement or a technical cooperation agreement.

IMPORTANT: This technology request refers to an innovation challenge published on an open internet platform. If an organization expresses interest before the closing date, it will be guided towards this open innovation platform. After registration participants can browse free through other submissions and engage in discussions. All submissions will get feedback by the company on this open platform. The challenge closes on November 3rd, 2019. Mind that posts on this platform are not confidential. Beside open discussions on the platform, sharing of confidential information will be made possible on demand. After that, the firm will select the organizations with whom they would like to cooperate in the development of a solution. Once the challenge is closed, expressions of interest for this technology request will be treated in the traditional way.

Expertise sought

The company is looking for companies within the following disciplines:
• (Fine) Robotics
• Sealing
• Process engineering
• Mechanics / Mechatronics
• Material technology

Stage Of Development Comment

To be developed

Requested partner

Industrial companies, Engineering companies, R&D-groups or others who are capable to solve this problem.

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