Compactor Machine Operation Manual and Safety Instruction

1. What is Compactor Machine?
Compacting is the last finishing process after relaxation or drying and has thus decisive importance for the residual shrinking, the hand and the aspect and the shine of the fabric before cutting and make-up. Fabric compacting operation is done by textile compactor machine. A compactor is designed especially for compacting 100% cotton knitted fabric like jersey, pique, interlock, plush, rib and sinker, etc., as well as cotton-blended fabric in rope form, imparting dimensional stability of the fabric and presenting it in plaited form. Two felt compacting units are used to obtain top-quality fabric with minimized residual shrinkage and a soft, fluffy hand.

textile compactor machine
Fig: Textile compactor machine

The Compactor machine is a tubular fabric shrinkage control machine which can compact the fabric in length wise direction, to provide overfeed to the fabric while processing in presence of steam, and able to control the shrinkage. In other words, this is a process of compacting the fabric in length ways direction.

Following things can also be controlled by compactor:

  • Upgrade the fabric hand feel and import a smooth, silky touch to the fabric.
  • Compress the fabric and reduce its thickness.
  • Improve the opacity of the fabric.
  • Import different degree of luster to the fabric and
  • Reduce the yarn slippage.

2. Process Requirements

2.1 Equipment used
Following equipment is used for compacting process :

  • Ruckh Tubular Compactor Machine with computerized operator panel.

2.2 Key Accessories
Following key accessories are used for compacting process:

  • Scissors,
  • Measuring tape
  • Batch sticker
  • Expreader
  • Compaction scale

2.3 Materials / Chemicals Used

  • Not applicable.

3. Safety
Following Do’s and Don’ts are to be followed during operation:

  • Do not wear loose dress that may entangle with the machine parts while running.
  • Always wear rubber shoes.
  • Do not insert hands between the plaiters of rollers during running the machine.
  • Do not touch the steam pipe.
  • Do not feed the fabric to the blanket by hand when starts the machine.
  • Do not put hands between the blanket during operation of the machine.
  • Be aware of the first aid treatment procedure.

4. Operation Procedure

4.1 Operation Staff
Operation stuffs of Finishing Process includes:

  • Manager
  • Textile Technologist / Production Executive
  • Production Co-ordinator
  • Operator
  • Assistant Operator

4.2 Machine Set-up
Machine set up for the Compactor machine is described below:

Machine ParametersSet-up Value
Steam Pressure4 -6 bar
Air pressure5 bar
Temperature90-110oC
Cooling Fan MotorAuto
Width of Expreader Setting48 up to 114 cm – always set the expreader width higher than the required width (9-11 cm).
Overfeed-10% to +40% “Computerised-secom 737” depends on the fabric requirement.
Speed Setting5-35 m/m “Computerised-secom 737” depends on the structure of fabric.

4.3 Checklist Before Production
Operator must check the following items before finishing, re-finishing, heat setting and stretching process in Compactor machine:

  • Verify the program with required fabric specification along with the shift officer
  • Required manpower is available for feed side and delivery side.
  • Feed side fabric is ready.
  • Machine parameters are set.

4.4 Operation Procedure of Compacting Machine
Operator starts the machine and opens the main steam supply valve. After half an hour of pre-heating, he can start the fabric processing after ensuring the following points:

  • The expreader is properly adjusted according to the width target.
  • The speed setting is correct.
  • The overfeed settings are correct.
  • The steam boxes are clean and condensate valve is partially open.

After threading the first roll and running it in normal position for 10-15 meters he should check the following:

  • Width
  • Yield (g/m2)
  • Compaction rate

If everything is found okay, in other words if the measured width matches with the required width, weight is ± 5 g/m2 to the required weight and compaction is 8% – 10% then the operation can be continued. Otherwise necessary adjustment should be done to the machine to reach to the target.

4.5 Product Quality Check

4.5.1 Shade Check
Though there are very less chances of shade variation to occur in this tubular compactor machine as fabric goes through a compaction process, the backside operator should check the shade visually by comparing the before and after effect of compaction process. If the extent of shade variation is found to be high, the responsible shift officer is informed immediately who takes the necessary action to overcome the problem.

4.5.2 Fault Check
The operator checks for Knitting faults (i.e double yarn, yarn contamination, fly yarn, etc.), Spinning faults (i.e thick & thin yarn, barre mark, etc.) and other Dyeing or Finishing faults (like dye stain, band line, chemical spots, meter to meter shade variation, torn & hole, fabric structure and crease mark, etc.) during the processing.

4.5.3 Width Check
Measure the fabric width using a measuring tape and compare it with the required finished width, which is specified in the program by the shift officer based on the customer requirement with a tolerance limit of exact or +1″.

4.5.4 Weight Check
Cut a piece of fabric in relax condition to check the GSM by di-cutter and then check in electronic measuring scale. Weight should be always ± 5 g/m2 than the required.

4.5.5 Design and Slanting Check
Check the design and slanting of fabric at the delivery side. If any abnormality is found adjust the machine.

4.5.6 Edge-line Checking
Check the two edges of fabric at the delivery side. If any fix-line is identified, which normally occurs from the expreader wheel, it should be corrected.

4.6 Q.C. Sample Tests
After finishing, one-meter sample is cut from each batch of fabric in relaxed condition. Then it is sent to QC lab where the fabric sample is tested for different specifications as specified by the customer like dimensional stability, washing fastness, water fastness, light fastness, rubbing (wet/dry), pilling etc. The results of these tests are recorded in the Daily Lab Test Report or the Q.C Sheet and Production Register of Compactor.

Refer to the Offline QC Test for Finished Fabric Specification (Document No. 81-101) for details.

4.7 Response to Equipment Faults
Following are the response to be taken in case of equipment fault of Compactor machine :

Machine FaultsResponse
Teflon problemMechanical Engineer should be called
Expreader problemMechanical Engineer should be called
Electric Sensor for Expreader and lifter problemElectrical Engineer should be called
Tension bar problemElectrical Engineer should be called
J-box Compensator problemElectrical Engineer should be called
Blanket moving problemMechanical Engineer should be called
Steam/Air problemMechanical/Electrical Engineer should be called
Cooling Motor Fan problemMechanical/Electrical Engineer should be called

4.8 Machine /Area Cleaning
The daily and weekly cleaning works for Compactor Machine are described below:

  • Clean the sieves that can be reached from outside of the machine at the beginning of every shift.
  • Clean all the rollers with blanket after completing every batch.
  • Clean the steam box after completing every batch
  • Clean the out going line of hot water which generates from steam at least once per shift.
  • The Maintenance Department performs the preventive maintenance task as per the PM schedule. Refer to Maintenance Specification for details.

5. Applicable Forms and Documents

5.1 Forms & Documents Used
The necessary forms & documents for Compactor are listed below:

  • Process Batch Card
  • Daily Finishing Production Report
  • Machine Downtime Report
  • Identification Sticker
  • Daily Lab Test Report or QC Sheet
  • Program Register of Compactor Machine
  • Production Register of Compactor Machine

5.2 Document Flow
The document flow of Finishing Process is as follows:

a) Operator fills out the Batch Card and the concerned officer put his signature on it upon verification. The Batch Card moves with the fabric for the next step of finishing process (e.g. De-watering, Drying or Slitting).

b) The Daily Finishing Production Report is prepared to show shift wise daily production of finishing section of XYZ Dyeing Mill Limited. Production officer prepares it and sign on it. The department head, Finishing verifies the facts and figures and put his signature on it. Finishing department records this report for future reference.

c) Machine Downtime Report is maintained to keep record of any stoppage in production due to machine break down or any other reason. Operator fills this and the responsible officer sign on it upon verification

d) Identification Sticker is attached with every fabric roll that includes the Order number, Customer, Batch/Roll number, Quality, Colour/Shade, usable width and composition. This helps the stores personnel to easily store and locate a particular roll of fabric at Finished Goods Stores.

e) Daily Lab Test Report or the QC Sheet is used to record the results of different tests performed by QC for a particular work order. Concerned Production Executive fills it out and signs on it. After verifying the data, QC Department Head signs on it and the form is recorded for future reference.

f) Program Register of Compactor Machine is maintained against Recipe Sheet to keep track of the production progress of a particular batch.

g) Production Register of Compactor Machine is used to keep records of date wise production details. Operator fills this out along with his remarks (if any) and this report is recorded for future reference.

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