Maintenance of Loom Machine in Textile Industry

Maintenance of Weaving Machine in Textile Industry

Sinha Islam Ayon
Dept. of Textile Engineering
BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology


A loom or weaving machine is a device that is used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads. Generally, the precise shape of the loom and its mechanics may vary, but the basic function is the same. It requires regular maintenance. Maintenance is the application of reliability best practices to increase equipment uptime in a manufacturing environment. A manufacturer needs their equipment to run at peak performance. Even a minute of downtime can cost thousands of dollars, and if machinery is inoperable for over an hour, the losses can prove disastrous. High speed warping maintenance involves functional checks, servicing, repairing or replacing of necessary devices and supporting utilities. Types of weaving machine maintenance include preventive maintenance, planned maintenance, periodic maintenance, predictive maintenance, and condition-based maintenance.

Weaving machine
Figure 1: Weaving machine


  • To know about loom machine.
  • To know about maintenance of loom or weaving machine.
  • To understand the process sequence of loom maintenance.
  • To know about the maintenance tools use for maintenance purposes.

Maintenance Procedure of Weaving Machine

A. Every shift maintenance:

👉General Cleaning
Actually, cleaning is the process of removing unwanted substances such as dirt, infectious agents, and other impurities, from an object or environment. Sizing machine need to be cleaned regularly.

Otherwise, many dust and unwanted impurities can be wound with the yarn which can occur larger defect in weaving. General cleaning executed in daily basis, basically when the machine is not running.

Different types of cleaning process:

1. Manual Cleaning:
Manual cleaning also called general cleaning. It is done by either brush of wiper to clean dust.

Cleaning brush
Figure 2: Cleaning brush

2. Compressed Air Cleaning:
High pressure compressed air is supplied to clean the dust on the loom machine.

Compressed air cleaning
Figure 3: Compressed air cleaning

3. Steam Cleaning:
In order to give a deeper clean to a surface, a steam cleaner may be necessary. Steam cleaning can remove dust very well. These are often chemical-free, and apply hot steam to an area to sanitize it. The steam dries quickly, so it doesn’t leave the danger of slippage or unsightly streak marks that a mop does, and sometimes the steam is sufficient enough to sanitize the surface by killing bacteria.

Steam cleaning
Figure 4: Steam cleaning

General Inspection:
Definitely, a key component of a maintenance program, inspections include tasks that check the condition of equipment and determine what tools, materials, and labor are required to service them.

A maintenance inspection is the process of evaluation the condition of equipment or machines. The purpose of a maintenance inspection is to determine what tools, materials, and labor are needed to keep them in good working condition.

Maintenance inspections can identify minor issues before they turn into costly repairs. Inspections ensure machines are working correctly and helps prevent equipment downtime. Just about every loom must conduct regular inspections as part of its overall maintenance program. Electrical systems, mechanical systems, and instrumentation components must be checked and subsequently serviced.

B. Once in a month maintenance:

👉Spur & worn gear lubrication:
Actually, gear and worn gear are attached with each other. When the machine starts, the motor starts rotating the spur gear and this gear rotates the worn gear. When this two gears rotate, they make friction and that’s why they need lubricant to lower the friction and move smoothly. Like other types of rotating equipment, gearboxes rely on lubrication to reduce friction and provide cooling for optimal operation.

These two gears need maintenance weekly that means these gears need to lubrication four times in a month. Once in a month lubrication should be avoided for better performance. The lubricants must be viscous and adhesive to resist being thrown off the gear teeth surfaces. Spur and worn gears usually require mineral oils with RO inhibitors. Low-viscosity RO oils, such as turbine oils, are commonly used in high-speed, low-load gear units.Compounded Gear Oils lubricants have been used extensively in worm gears with great success in a wide variety of applications.

Compounded gear oil is a mineral base stock with normal rust and oxidation inhibitors that is blended with four to six percent acid less tallow or synthetic fatty acid (the compounding agent). The surface- active compounding agent gives these products excellent lubricity and prevents sliding wear in worn gears. Extreme Pressure (EP) Gear Oils, Synthetic Gear Oils can be used.

At low speed, grease lubrication is a good choice. When using gears at high speed / heavy load, or when using easily worn gears or spur gears, care should be taken in selecting the right type of lubricant; quantity and methods.

Oil splash lubrication is used for helical, spur and worn gears. This method is referred to as an oil bath, because it uses a reservoir is filled (or partially filled) with oil. As the gears rotate, they dip into this oil bath and splash the oil onto the other gears. Also forced oil lubrication is preferred for high-speed applications, and includes methods such as oil mist, oil spray, and oil drop. In the oil mist method, oil is atomized so that it saturates all areas of the gears and other internal components. In contrast, the oil spray method applies oil lubricant directly to the gears and other components, but this method is not always effective, as high centrifugal forces affect the direction of the oil spray.

Spur & Worm gear
Figure 5: Spur & Worm gear

C. Once in 3 month maintenance:

👉Tensioner unit setting:
A tensioner unit keep the tension remain on yarn so that it can be wound perfectly over the cone package. Again it helps to compact warping process. If the tensioner doesn’t work perfectly then it can be occurring various problems like yarn breakage, loose warping etc, which causes low quality product; even bottleneck also can be happened. To avoid all these problems tensioner unit setting goes for maintenance once in 3 months.

Tensioner Device
Figure 6: Tensioner Device

D. Once in six month maintenance:

👉PLC Control Panel:
In the context of six months maintenance program, usually gear box overhauling PLC control panel overhauling took place. Rapier loom is controlled by PLC (Programmable Logic Circuit). After a long run of six months the program of microprocessor needs a boot re-setup for a smooth running of v-bed knitting machine.

PLC Control Panel
Figure 7: PLC Control Panel

In case of lab machine, automation can be altered by Arduino & Raspberry Pi module microprocessor which is cheaper. But the multi loom controlling is tough in the Raspberry automation and programming is complex as well.

E. Once in a year maintenance:

👉Maintenance of Hydraulic Systems:
Lack of maintenance of hydraulic systems is the leading cause of component and system failure yet most maintenance personnel don’t understand proper maintenance techniques of a hydraulic system. The basic foundation to perform proper maintenance on a hydraulic system has two areas of concern. The first area is Preventive Maintenance which is key to the success of any maintenance program whether in hydraulics or any equipment which we need reliability. The second area is corrective maintenance, which in many cases can cause additional hydraulic component failure when it is not performed to standard.

Hydraulic Systems
Figure 8: Hydraulic Systems

👉Preventive Maintenance:
Preventive Maintenance of a hydraulic system is very basic and simple and if followed properly can eliminate most hydraulic component failure. Preventive Maintenance is a discipline and must be followed as such in order to obtain results. We must view a PM program as a performance oriented and not activity oriented. Many organizations have good PM procedures but do not require maintenance personnel to follow them or hold them accountable for the proper execution of these procedures. In order to develop a preventive maintenance program for your system you must follow these steps:

1st: Identify the system operating condition.

  • Does the system operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
  • Does the system operate at maximum flow and pressure 70% or better during operation?
  • Is the system located in a dirty or hot environment?

2nd: What requirements does the Equipment Manufacturer state for Preventive Maintenance on the hydraulic system?

3rd: What requirements and operating parameters does the component manufacturer state concerning the hydraulic fluid ISO particulate?

4th: What requirements and operating parameters does the filter company state concerning their filters ability to meet this requirement?

5th: What equipment history is available to verify the above procedures for the hydraulic system?

As in all Preventive Maintenance Programs we must write procedures required for each PM Task. Steps or procedures must be written for each task and they must be accurate and understandable by all maintenance personnel from entry level to master.

Preventive Maintenance procedures must be a part of the PM Job Plan which includes:

  • Tools or special equipment required performing the task.
  • Parts or material required performing the procedure with store room number.
  • Safety precautions for this procedure.
  • Environmental concerns or potential hazards.

A list of Preventive Maintenance Task for a Hydraulic System could be:

  1. Change the (could be the return or pressure filter) hydraulic filter.
  2. Obtain a hydraulic fluid sample.
  3. Filter hydraulic fluid.
  4. Check hydraulic actuators.
  5. Clean the inside of a hydraulic reservoir.
  6. Clean the outside of a hydraulic reservoir.
  7. Check and record hydraulic pressures.
  8. Check and record pump flow.
  9. Check hydraulic hoses, tubing and fittings.
  10. Check and record voltage reading to proportional or servo valves.
  11. Check and record vacuum on the suction side of the pump.
  12. Check and record amperage on the main pump motor.
  13. Check machine cycle time and record.

Preventive Maintenance is the core support that a hydraulic system must have in order to maximize component and life and reduce system failure. Preventive Maintenance procedures that are properly written and followed properly will allow equipment to operate to its full potential and life cycle. Preventive Maintenance allows a maintenance department to control a hydraulic system rather than the system controlling the maintenance department. We must control a hydraulic system by telling it when we will perform maintenance on it and how much money we will spend on the maintenance for the system. Most companies allow the hydraulic system to control the maintenance on them, at a much higher cost.

F. Complete overhauling:
Overhauling of a machine is defined as a process of general maintenance performed on a machine or other industrial equipment. The goal of overhauling is to keep the system in serviceable condition. In case of a loom, overhauling is done after every 12 months. In the overhauling period maintenance department have to check all important parts and repair or replace them if needed.

Overhauling Activities:

  1. Overall inspection of the machine should be done.
  2. Have to done lubrication where needed.
  3. Have to adjust the tension unit if there is any problem.
  4. Have to check the nozzles of the selector are ok. If not, we have to clean it or replace it with a new one.
  5. We have to check all electric connections, control panel, motor of picking section, etc.
  6. All parts like spur and worm gear of the gearbox should be checked and replaced or repair if needed.
  7. Lubrication of the gearbox should be done.

Problem Occurs for Improper Maintenance
Poor maintenance of the systems can result in the machine suddenly going dead in its tracks. Lack of proper maintenance below problems can be occurred-

  • Motor shutting down: If the motor is not clean and absence of proper greasing can damage the motor and short circuit can also causes this. If the motor doesn’t work that means the sizing machine also shuts down.
  • Bearing break down: Dust get into the bearing and the balls stuck and it stop rotating which causes discontinuous sizing.
  • Unclean yarn: If the dust are not remove with the help of air blower or brush, dust and dirt can make the year unclean. Also more oiling and greasing can make yearns dirty.
  • Uneven winding: If the tensioner get stuck or the spring damages, it will cause uneven winding.
  • Belt cut off: For more friction the belts attach with the pulleys can be break off and it occurs due to lack of greasing or stop rotation of one pulley.

Without proper maintenance causes decrease of production. So it should be recover to take proper steps.

Loom or weaving machine maintenance is very important for any industry because maintenance can improve the productivity of weaving mill and when increase the productivity of the machine then decrease the cost of production. On the other hand, maintenance increase the machine life time. Maintenance also decrease the accident in factory. So weaving machine maintenance is very important for textile industry.



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