Sustainable Dyeing Approach: Auto Dispensing System

Sustainable Dyeing Approach: Auto Dispensing System

Rifat Jahangir
International Standard University, Dhaka


What is Automatic Dispensing or Dosing System?
Modern laboratories face the challenge of meeting the high demand for samples in the market while ensuring consistent and accurate dyeing results within tight timeframes. To address this need, the Lab Auto Dispensing System has been developed, simplifying and expediting the process of dispensing dyes and auxiliaries.

The Automated Dispensing System caters to a wide range of applications in textile dyeing, printing, pigment industries and more. This innovative machine streamlines the preparation, dispensing and distribution of dye solutions and chemicals required for laboratory and sample dyeing machines. Moreover, the fully-automatic control system offers multifunctional capabilities beyond just dyeing machine operation. Specifically designed for Cotton and Polyester fibers, yarn and fabric, the Auto Lab dispensing system ensures precise and rapid dispensing of Reactive, Disperse and Vat dyes and auxiliaries.

Utilizing volumetric measurement with a single-glass pipette accurate to 0.01 grams, the system guarantees precise dispensing. A high-speed robotic arm handles tasks such as bottle handling, pipette placement, cap positioning and automatic pipette washing. Furthermore, dedicated washing and drying machines automatically clean and dry bottles and caps. For solution preparation, the system accommodates both manual and automatic powder dye input, seamlessly integrated with the Auto Dispensing system. Whether dispensing into laboratory beakers or directly into sample/production dyeing equipment, the automatic dispensing mode ensures efficient and accurate delivery of dyes and chemicals. So,

  1. The automated dispensing system comprises several key components, including a weighing module, bottles of varying sizes (98/120/140) to store stock solutions, and pots (12/24) to store dispensed recipes, along with two robotic pipettes.
  2. To prepare dye solutions accurately, a high-precision weighing balance is utilized for measuring dyestuffs, while a two-digit balance is employed for measuring water. Additionally, a magnetic stirrer ensures thorough mixing of dyes, promoting uniformity in the solution.
  3. The system features two durable stainless steel robotic pipettes, which are automatically cleaned after dispensing each color. Pipette cleaning is carried out meticulously through multiple steps involving air and water, effectively eliminating any risk of contamination.
Auto Dispensing System
Figure 1: Auto Dispensing System

Why Automatic System?

  • It prevents uncontrolled weighing errors and minimizes product wastage, whether it’s chemical auxiliaries or powder dyes.
  • Ensures consistent solution preparation by maintaining the correct water temperature and mixing method.
  • Helps in reducing production costs to a considerable extent.
  • Eliminates human error by removing manual decision-making and intervention, thereby enhancing accuracy.
  • Facilitates high throughput in the laboratory.

Outline of Automatic Dosing System:

  1. It involves the transfer of recipe details to the color and chemical dispensary.
  2. The system handles the entire process of weighing (liquid or solid), dissolving or dispersing, and distributing dyes and chemicals automatically.
  3. It controls the addition of dyes and chemicals according to the specified recipe.
  4. The system updates planning, scheduling, and stock inventories in real-time.
  5. It stores diagnostic and management information, including resource consumption and utilization.
  6. The stored data can be graphically presented to generate comprehensive reports.

Dosing of Liquid and Dense Products:

  • Manual paste preparation unit.
  • Liquid volumetric dosing system.
  • Storage tanks.
  • Delivery pumps.
  • Position for printing paste correction.
  • Liquid dyes / Thickener dispenser with accurate scale.
  • Storage tanks for liquid dyes.
  • Thickener water make up.
  • Mixer wish washing station.
  • Automatic bucket handling with motorized rollers.
  • Bucket discharging platform.

Features of Auto Dosing System:

a) Productivity:
The system offers a wide array of solution bottle options tailored to suit various requirements in dye labs, ensuring continuous operation via auto-feeding conveyor systems. Its cutting-edge robotic X-Y-Z mechanism enables swift and accurate movement in lateral, vertical and height directions, delivering rapid and reliable outcomes. The system’s efficiency is further enhanced by specially engineered “calibration-free” injectors, which enable the simultaneous dispensing of water and chemicals into multiple dye pots, boosting overall effectiveness.

b) Flexibility:
Capable of dispensing a broad spectrum of viscosities, this machine accommodates diverse applications, including exhaust and continuous dyeing, textile printing, and pigment industries, among others. Its versatility makes it suitable for a wide range of tasks, ensuring adaptability to various operational needs.

c) Repeatability:
Designed with a “Tube-Free” configuration and equipped with constant solution agitation, the system ensures the highest level of repeatable outcomes. Automated gravimetric dispensing guarantees full traceability for each dispensed solution, while the AUTOLAB SPS system ensures precise solution preparation and concentration data. Additionally, the system is networked to the dispenser database, further enhancing recipe dispense accuracy and reliability.

Different sections of auto dispensing system
Figure 2: Different sections of auto dispensing system

d) Accurate Dosing:
The system guarantees precise and uniform dosing of chemicals and dyes, thereby reducing variations in color and quality.

e) Automated Formulation:
Streamlining the formulation process, the system automatically computes and dispenses the necessary quantities of chemicals and dyes based on the entered recipe or formula.

f) Minimized Human Error:
By automating the dosing procedure, the system mitigates the potential for human error in manual measurements and calculations, ensuring more dependable and reproducible outcomes.

g) Recipe Management:
Facilitating convenient management of dyeing recipes, the software enables users to store and retrieve formulations for different colors and materials effortlessly.

h) Real-time Monitoring:
Offering real-time oversight of the dosing process, operators can track progress, make adjustments if needed, and ensure adherence to dyeing parameters.

i) Integration with Lab Systems:
Seamlessly integrated with laboratory systems and color matching software, the system ensures consistent communication and coherence between laboratory and production settings.

j) Color Consistency:
Its precise dosing capabilities contribute to achieving consistent color outcomes, diminishing the necessity for reworks and enhancing overall colorfastness.

k) Resource Optimization:
By accurately dosing chemicals, the system aids in optimizing resource utilization, minimizing the wastage of dyes and chemicals.

l) Compliance and Traceability:
Many systems provide documentation and traceability features, ensuring compliance with industry standards and facilitating quality control procedures.

m) User-friendly Interface:
Designed for ease of use, the interface allows operators to input formulas, monitor the dosing process, and access essential data effortlessly.

Auto Dispensing System Includes:

  1. Complete Dispenser System
  2. Solution bottles
  3. Dispense Injectors
  4. Dispense scale
  5. Dye pot trays
  6. AUTOLAB Dispense Software
  7. Installation and User Manuals
  8. Installation Hardware Kit
  9. Ready Spare Parts Kit

Requirements for Auto Dispensing System Setup:

a) General Environment:

  • The ambient temperature should remain stable between 18 to 26°C.
  • Humidity levels need to be maintained between 40% to 80% RH.
  • The system installation site should be relatively free from dust and away from direct air conditioning airflow.
  • It’s essential to install the system in a vibration-free environment.

b) Air Supply:

  • A clean and dry air supply is necessary, without any lubrication, with a pressure range of 4.5-6.0 kg/cm2.

c) PC Requirements:

  • A computer with a processor speed of 2.0 (GHz) or faster, compatible with x86- or x64-bit processor.
  • At least 2GB of RAM.
  • A high-resolution color monitor.
  • Network card capability.
  • A DVD drive.
  • The system operates with Windows Operating System.

How It Works
Automated dispensing systems feature a tubeless design, eliminating sedimentation concerns and the necessity for system cleaning. They employ dedicated injectors for each dye bottle, ensuring zero risk of cross-contamination. With faster dispensing capabilities compared to alternative tubeless gravimetric systems, they offer distinctive benefits that enhance process automation and time efficiency.

There are 2 parts in here:

  1. Dosing part
  2. Dyeing part

The overall features can be done with fully automatic system by programming.

  • Pot: 144
  • For dyes: 36 pots in powder form.
  • For solution: 96 pots
  • Rest pot: 12 pots

24 pots are normally used for dyeing purpose but from here 16 pots are basically used in 4 chambers, in 4 segments. Each chamber can be individually temperature controlled and rotation here is in 2 directions, clockwise and anti-clockwise. Dyeing pots are 1stly filled up with small amount of water. Then with the pipetting the added chemicals like salt soda dye etc are applied in the pot.

Then the fabric can be applied in 2 ways,

  • Manually: In the manual process, the fabric is applied manually with the operator as the requirement.
  • Automatically: in the automatic process, the fabric is applied in the inside pot which is perforated. Then with the program based system, the dying pot is carried out in the dyeing chamber.

Solution Making:
Command will come from program. Empty pot will be chosen, and then the pot is weighted and tared. Then the dye pot is chosen and dye is applied from the selected dye pot with the adjustment of empty pot beneath the dye pot. Then the dye is applied in the empty pot. Then the 10% water is used and stared and then the further amount water is applied with the requirement of stock solution.

Then the stock solution pot is kept at the required place, and the unused stock solution is washed out.

So, simply-

  • Every product undergoes physical weighing during dispensing, ensuring comprehensive control and traceability.
  • The injector design is straightforward yet efficient, facilitating easy maintenance at a low cost.
  • Utilizes dye pot holding trays, with designated dye pots in each tray, to maximize dispense throughput.
  • Preparation of dye pot trays in advance saves both operator and operation time.
  • Simultaneous dispensing of water and chemicals further enhances dispense speeds.
  • Conveyors are employed to automate the process further, enabling dispensing of up to 60 recipes without requiring human intervention.



More articles by same author:

  1. Perception into Cationic Dyeable Polyester
  2. In-Depth Analysis of Bulletproof Vest Technology and Attributes

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