Title:
Transfer factor
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a method and an apparatus in a carding machine in which a controllable means is present which can influence the transfer factor of the carding machine. The transfer factor indicates how many percent of the fiber mass present on the swift is transferred to the doffer during each rotation of the swift.



Inventors:
Gresser, Gotz Theodor (Winterthur, CH)
Faas, Jurg (Andelfingen, CH)
Application Number:
09/887517
Publication Date:
04/18/2002
Filing Date:
06/22/2001
Assignee:
GRESSER GOTZ THEODOR
FAAS JURG
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
19/98
International Classes:
D01G31/00; (IPC1-7): D01G15/40; D01G15/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
WELCH, GARY L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEPHEN E. BONDURA, ESQ. (GREENVILLE, SC, US)
Claims:
1. A carding machine with a cylinder and a doffer, characterized in that a controllable means is present for influencing the transfer factor, i.e. the share of fiber mass on the cylinder cover which is transferred per rotation of the cylinder to the doffer.

2. The carding machine as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the means can influence the clothing of the cylinder and/or the doffer.

3. The carding machine as claimed in claim 2, characterized in that the influence of the clothing is realized according to EP 403989.

4. The carding machine as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the controllable means comprises one or several actuators which change at least one of the following operating parameters, namely the rotational speed of the licker-in(s), the rotational speed of the cylinder, the rotational speed of the doffer, the ratio of the rotational speed of the swift to the rotational speed of the doffer, the distance between cylinder and doffer, the distance between cylinder and licker-in, the position and the attitude of the fiber-air guide element, in the lower carding zone the distance of the circular arch and the associated profiles to the swift, the settings in the post-carding zone, in particular the cover profiles and/or the carding elements, the production of the carding machine, or the distance between feed roller and licker-in.

5. The method in a carding machine, characterized in that a controllable means is provided which influences the transfer factor.

6. The method as claimed in claim 5, characterized in that the controllable means comprises one or several actuators which change at least one of the following operating parameters, namely the rotational speed of the licker-in(s), the rotational speed of the cylinder, the rotational speed of the doffer, the ratio of the rotational speed of the swift to the rotational speed of the doffer, the distance between cylinder and doffer, the distance between cylinder and licker-in, the position and the attitude of the fiber-air guide element, in the lower carding zone the distance of the circular arch and the associated profiles to the swift, the settings in the post-carding zone, in particular the cover profiles and/or the carding elements, the production of the carding machine, or the distance between feed roller and licker-in.

7. The method or apparatus as claimed in one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the influencing of the transfer factor occurs during the operation of the carding machine.

Description:
[0001] The present invention relates to controllable means or methods for influencing the transfer factor in carding machines, i.e. the share of fiber mass on the cylinder cover which transfer during each rotation of the cylinder to the doffer. In conventional carding machines the same textile fibers, e.g. cotton, chemical fibers or mixtures thereof (assortments), are often processed over prolonged periods of time. The settings of the carding machines and the upstream and downstream textile processing machines are usually only adjusted to or optimized once for the respective assortments of the material and then not changed any more. Such adjustments of operating parameters are usually cumbersome and require a relatively high amount of time. For the new setting of optimal operating parameters of the carding machine or the entire production line it may be necessary under certain circumstances to take samples of fiber material at different locations and to analyze the same partly with complex and time-consuming measuring methods in the laboratory (e.g. the measurement of the shortening of the staple fiber, nep count, share of short fibers). Conventional carding machines therefore come with the disadvantage that smaller (temporal) deviations in the processed fiber material qualities cannot be considered, which can result in respective quality losses in the end products of the process stage (e.g. shortening of the staple fiber). This occurs because on the one hand one is not able to perform a sufficiently quick measurement in order to determine the deviation and, on the other hand, because a new setting of the carding machine would take too long. An additional factor is that it is currently no longer economically viable to adapt a blowroom with a linked carding room to only one specific fiber material right from the start. Carding machines are currently designed for the purpose of processing different types of materials (assortments). A rapid new setting of the textile processing machine or adaptation to the new material to be processed is therefore an advantage. This requirement of rapid adjustability of the carding machine additionally increases the aforementioned disadvantages. A further disadvantage of conventional cards is that its transfer factor cannot be influenced directly or independently, although the transfer factor per se exercises a relevant influence on fiber processing and thus on the processing quality of the carding machine.

[0002] The textile industry has recognized the general problem of the adjustability of textile processing machines and of carding machines in particular to a certain extent. In DE-A-196-51-893 a method and an apparatus is described in which the staple fiber length and the nep count is measured in a carding machine. The determined measured values are used for setting the operating parameters of the carding machine. The nep count figures and the fiber length distribution are determined for the optimization of the production and linked with one another. An open-loop or closed-loop control defines the optimal operating parameters on the basis of said linkage. The measurement is performed online (measurement of the staple diagram and nep count). The following two operating parameters (actuating variables) are adjusted: The distance of the clothings from the flat and the swift (carding gap) and the speed of the swift. The control or determination of the optimal setting values is made on the basis of stored families of characteristics/characteristic curves which also contain the pertinent machine setting data. The input data are compared with these families of characteristics/characteristic curves. The fiber samples required for the analysis are sucked off. Suction can be performed according to this specification at the following locations: at the doffer, at the stripping roller, at the crushing rollers or at the licker-in. The staple which is measurable online is measured with the help of a fibrograph (fiber tuft curve).

[0003] Specification DE-A-196-51-891 further describes a method and an apparatus in a carding machine in which the fiber staple is measured twice. Partial quantities of the fibers are taken at the entrance and the exit of the carding machine (e.g. they are sucked off). The fiber shortening amount is determined from the differential values of the measurement. Depending on the value, the working elements which influence the carding gap are newly set or optimized (influencing the carding intensity). The taking of fiber samples occurs at the following places: at the doffer, at the stripping roller, before or after the crushing rollers, on the swift or licker-in. The samples are evaluated automatically and online, i.e. the staple diagram is determined from the values. The evaluations are used as input data for the open- and closed-loop control devices which determine the optimal machine setting data. The optimal machine setting data concerning the carding gap are sent online to the working elements or actuators of the carding machine which control the distance between the clothings of the cylinder and the flat. The open- and closed-loop control devices also comprise stored characteristic curves in this case too. A fibrograph and a fiber shortening sensor are provided for the fiber length measurement.

[0004] A further state of the art, namely CH 629 544, describes actuating means which can adjust the distance between two cylinder surfaces. The specification mentions that in the transfer of the nonwoven from one cylinder to the next the distance between the rollers play a role. According to this state of the art, the surface speeds or the type of clothings have a relevant influence. The actuating means are controlled via a control means. The control means is in connection with a measuring member which can measure the speed of a cylinder. The apparatus determines therefrom the effect of the centrifugal force and therefrom the distance between the cylinders. Another measuring member can be provided in the specification which measures the temperature of the cylinders. The control means controls the actuating means, so that the distance between the cylinders, despite the heat and the centrifugal force, can be kept within narrow tolerances. The apparatus according to this specification wishes to solve problems particularly in the start-up phase of the carding machine.

[0005] Further state of the art which deals with the measurement and determination of the accumulation of fibers on the cylinders can be found in the specifications U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,272,868, 4,075,739 and CH 627 497.

[0006] The invention is therefore based on the object of providing a method and an apparatus which substantially improves the adjustability and thus the processing of fibers in the carding machine.

[0007] The object is achieved by the characterizing features of the claims.

[0008] The method in accordance with the invention and its apparatus allow controlling the processing of fibers or flocks in the carding machine in an optimal way. The fiber flow is controlled by the control of the transfer factor. This means that it is determined how many revolutions of the cylinder are carried out by the fibers on the average before they change to the doffer. The fibers or flocks are processed in this manner only as long and as intensively as necessary. The processing of the fibers in the carding machine is thus optimized by maintaining the lowest possible damage to the fibers (fiber shortening) or nep formation. In addition, the apparatus in accordance with the invention and its method allow a rapid and automatic adjustment of the fiber processing to fluctuations in the fiber material quality (fluctuations caused by different material quality or properties of the individual fiber bales), to fiber materials to be newly processed (i.e. acceleration of the adjustment of the machines to assortments to be newly processed) and, obviously, to larger or smaller production (fibers to be processed per unit of time).

[0009] Although the transfer factor has a relevant influence on the fiber processing, this quantity has never been recognized and used in the state of the art as an adjustable operating parameter. The inventive idea in particular to provide a controllable means for influencing the transfer factor was unknown to this date. It has been known since CH 629 544 that the distance between two cylinders influences the transfer factor. The idea was unknown however to generally control the transfer factor with the help of a means, i.e. to intentionally change the same. According to the invention as described herein such a control system is particularly suitable to influence and optimize the processing of the fibers in the carding machine.

[0010] Such improvements are enabled by the features of the claims in accordance with the invention.

[0011] In a further variant of the invention the fiber material properties are also measured (in particular with the help of an online measurement system). The measured data are evaluated by an evaluating system, so that the controllable means can set an optimal transfer factor in the carding machine.

[0012] The invention accordingly provides a carding machine with a cylinder and a doffer which comprises a controllable means for influencing the transfer factor, i.e. the share of fiber mass in the cylinder cover which is transferred during each rotation of the cylinder onto the doffer.

[0013] The invention is particularly preferable in combination with an apparatus in which the nep count and/or the fiber length (staple) is measured and evaluated before and/or after a working element. A nep sensor and a fiber-length measuring apparatus are provided respectively and perform the measurements (with the fiber-length measuring apparatus taking a small fiber quantity as a sample). In addition an open-/closed-loop control unit is provided which receives the said measured values for fiber length and/or nep count from the sensors as input values and determines therefrom the optimized machine setting data. The open-/closed-loop control unit also works here preferably with stored families of characteristics or data records. The specific machine setting data or parameters are output to one or several means controlling the transfer factor of the carding machine. Actuators are also preferably controlled which influence the nep count and/or the fiber staple of the textile processing machine. This can be understood insofar as several actuators or means can also be controlled in combination in order to change one or several settings of the machine. It is also possible in a further embodiment of the inventive idea that the measurements are performed on upstream or downstream working elements. A very important element of the invention is that said open- or closed-loop control can be performed on-line and automatic, i.e. during the operation without any outside influence by the operating personnel. Semi-automatic variants are naturally also possible in which the sensors or the control unit will draw the operating staff's attention to any recommendable adjustment of the transfer factor and any further operating parameters and the latter only need to agree to such an adjustment by pressing a button for example.

[0014] The invention can also be applied in carding machines. The transfer factor can be controlled by individual means or a combination of means. The means or actuators which influence or control the transfer factor can adjust entire areas. For example, the entire lower carding zone, i.e. the entire circular arch with all profiles is adjusted. The lower carding zone is designated as the lower zone in the carding machine which, as seen in the direction of rotation of the cylinder, is disposed between tongue and licker-in.

[0015] The inventive idea therefore comprises the following apparatuses, methods and purposes of use:

[0016] A carding machine with a swift and a doffer which comprises a controllable means for influencing the transfer factor. The transfer factor indicates the amount of the share of the fiber mass of the swift covering which transfers during each rotation of the swift to the doffer. This means the transfer factor indicates how many percent of the fiber mass disposed on the swift is transferred to the doffer during each rotation of the swift.

[0017] The inventive idea also includes that this controllable means can influence the clothing of the switch and/or the doffer. This influence of the clothing can preferably be realized according to EP 403989.

[0018] According to the inventive idea, the controllable means can comprise one or several actuators which change at least one of the following operating parameters: the rotational speed of the licker-in(s), the rotational speed of the swift, the rotational speed of the doffer, the ratio of the rotational speed of the swift to the rotational speed of the doffer, the distance between swift and doffer, the distance between swift and licker-in, the position and the attitude of the fiber-air guide element (also known as “tongue” in textile literature), in the lower carding zone the distance of the circular arch and the associated profiles to the swift, the settings in the post-carding zone, in particular the cover profiles and/or the carding elements, the distance between the feed roller and the licker-in, or the production of the carding machine.

[0019] The invention also includes the method in general to provide a controllable means on a carding machine which influences the transfer factor.

[0020] According to the apparatus in accordance with the invention the inventive idea also comprises the respective method that the controllable means comprises one or several actuators which change at least one of the following operating parameters: the rotational speed of the licker-in(s), the rotational speed of the swift, the rotational speed of the doffer, the ratio of the rotational speed of the swift to the rotational speed of the doffer, the distance between swift and doffer, the distance between swift and licker-in, the position and the attitude of the fiber-air guide element, the so-called tongue, in the lower carding zone the distance of the circular arch and the associated profiles to the swift, the settings in the post-carding zone, in particular the cover profiles and/or the carding elements, the distance between the feed roller and the licker-in, or the production of the carding machine.

[0021] A particularly recommendable variant of the method or the apparatus in accordance with the invention is to allow influencing the transfer factor during the operation of the carding machine (online).

[0022] A method in a carding machine in which before and/or after a working element of the carding machine or an upstream or downstream textile processing machine the nep count and/or the fiber length (staple) is determined, with an open-loop/closed-loop control unit being provided which receives the said values for the fiber length and/or the nep count as input values and determines therefrom an optimal transfer factor for the carding machine, with controllable means being connected to the open-loop/closed loop control unit in order to set the transfer factor of the carding machine. The determination of the fiber length or staple as well as the nep count is performed by special measuring apparatuses and sensors which preferably allow an online evaluation. Such devices are known from the state of the art and are subject to a continuing further development. Said measuring apparatuses shall not be discussed further herein because they are not the subject matter of the present invention.

[0023] In order to change the rotational speed of the licker-in(s) it is possible to use a conventional belt gear. A frequency converter is preferably used, however. The term “transfer factor” indicates how many percent of the fiber mass disposed on the swift are transferred to the doffer during each rotation of the swift. A transfer factor of 20% indicates for example that 20% of the fibers on the swift move to the doffer during each rotation. In other words, each fiber rotates five times with the cylinder on the average (and is carded in this process) before it is grasped by the doffer. It is understood that the inventive idea also includes the possibility that the controllable means or the actuator which changes the transfer factor can consist of several individual means. Generally, the term “actuator” shall be understood in the entire specification as also comprising several means. An actuator could comprise for example several (mechanical) adjusting mechanisms with the associated motors and the associated frequency converters and electronic control units. The inventive idea also contains the fact that the transfer factor depends on several settings/parameters and therefore can also be influenced by several actuators. For example, during the change of the transfer factor it is possible that several actuators are involved, e.g. actuators which change the distances between licker-in and swift or swift and doffer, or the distance between feed roller and licker-in, or actuators which can adjust the rotational speeds of swift or doffer (or the ratio between rotational speed of swift to rotational speed of doffer). The transfer factor is in addition influenced by further factors. This includes in particular the type of fiber, the set production and the type of clothings of the card as well as their sharpness. Further actuators can be used in accordance with the invention for all these factors. In particular, a sensor can determine the sharpness of the clothings and an actuator in accordance with the invention can improve the sharpness state of the clothings. The actuator can thus also represent a grinding apparatus or generally any other maintenance element. Such grinding apparatuses or maintenance elements are described in further specifications of the applicant.

[0024] The production of the card (i.e. fiber mass supplied as sliver per unit of time) is finally determined by the sliver weight, i.e. the weight per unit of length of the card sliver, and the delivery speed of the card sliver. The speed of the card sliver is on its part directly proportional to the circumferential speed of the doffer. In most cases the doffer will be driven by a separate motor. There is the desire in a carding machine to produce a sliver with a predetermined constant sliver weight, so that the sliver weight must not be changed. Since the production is equal to the delivery speed x sliver weight and the sliver weight should not be changed, the production is solely determined by the delivery speed and thus by the circumferential speed of the doffer. The sliver weight per se is determined by the weight of the lap feed and the basic draft, the ratio of the circumferential speed of the doffer to that of the feed roller (i.e. sliver weight equals lap weight multiplied by the effective draft of the carding machine). Under the condition of a constant sliver weight, the rotational speed of the feed roller is thus indirectly also determined by the circumferential speed of the doffer. In order to keep the sliver weight constant it has long been common practice in the field of carding machines to take measures in order to keep the lap weight (weight of lap per unit of length) constant in the feeding apparatus. Minor variations in the lap weight of the lap feed which is supplied to the feeding apparatus of the card are compensated with minor changes in the rotational speed of the feed roller (change of basic draft). Short-term fluctuations in the lap weight of the lap feed before or in the feeding apparatus of the card are detected by a respective measuring apparatus, whereupon the rotational speed of the feed roller is adjusted accordingly by way of an open-loop/closed-loop control unit (including the actuators). This open-loop/closed-loop control is known in the state of the art as short-term correction. In addition to this first possibility, a so-called long-term correction is mostly also provided. The long-term correction has the purpose, as mentioned above, of keeping the sliver weight as constant as possible. Usually, the sliver weight is measured at the output of the carding machine for the long-term correction and the circumferential speed of the feed roller is adjusted accordingly (i.e. the effective draft is regulated). In this way it is ensured that long-term deviations of the sliver weight can be compensated. Long-term correction is usually supplemented by short-term correction. This supplement is made, on the one hand, because long-term correction can only recognize deviations when they have already occurred and, on the other hand, because it is not capable of compensating short-term fluctuations in the lap weight due to the large distance between feed roller and doffer as well as the storage capacity of the swift. Examples of such open-loop/closed-loop control units and correction apparatuses are shown in the publications DE 29 12 576, EP 383 246 and U.S. Pat. No. 4, 275, 483 for example. As a result of the influence made in accordance with the invention on the transfer factor it is also possible to amend the position of the short-term regulation.

[0025] As mentioned above, the production of the carding machine is always controlled in practice by the delivery speed of the sliver, and hardly through the sliver weight (which should remain constant). The production of the carding machine also influences the quality of the sliver however, i.e. the delivery speed also has an influence on the sliver quality. These interactions must be taken into account by the control units. Apart from that, the rotational speeds of the rotating working elements (swift, licker-in, doffer, feed roller, etc.) must adjust to the delivery speed of the sliver. Frequency converters or similar transmissions which control the rotational speed of drive motors are used as actuators in such cases. The actuators can be controlled on their part by associated control units. Said control units can perform their own evaluations and be connected both with the respective measuring apparatuses as well as with central control units which regulate and control the sequences and the production in the entire blowroom and carding room. It would also be possible, even though it would mostly not make any sense, to influence the production of the cards through the actuators which change the sliver weight. This could be appropriate in particular when the carding machine needs to process new assortments and as a result of later processing of the sliver other sliver weights are desired. A changeover of the carding machine to the new sliver weight would thus be quicker and easier to implement.

[0026] Up to this point it has never been tried in connection with influencing the production and the processing quality of the carding machine to adjust or control the transfer factor. The efforts (CH 629 544) were always made in the opposite direction, i.e. trying to keep the transfer factor constant. It is therefore part of the inventive idea to combine influencing the production quality with the open-loop and closed-loop control of the transfer factor. As was already mentioned, the delivery speed can have an influence on the card sliver quality. In such a case it would be possible for example to compensate the losses in quality caused by increased production or higher delivery speeds by a respective influence of the transfer factor in part or in full, so that the carding process will be gentler (lower shortening of the staple fiber).

[0027] A further possibility of influencing the sliver weight is to provide an additional delivery control or draw frame after the card delivery zone which drafts the sliver to the desired sliver weight. Further combinations are also possible with actuators influencing the nep count or the staple. These actuators can also be located within other textile processing machines which are disposed upstream or downstream of the carding machine.

[0028] The method in accordance with the invention also includes as a variant the possibility that open-loop/closed-loop control unit outputs the optimized machine setting data to at least one actuator which influences the nep count and/or the staple and is disposed upstream or downstream of a textile processing machine, in particular to an actuator of an upstream blowroom machine as well as to an actuator of a filling box provided upstream of the carding machine (influencing the lap feed by the filling box). The term “actuator” also comprises the associated means.

[0029] The open-loop/closed-loop control unit additionally receives in a further variant of the invention the values for fiber length and/or nep count as input values and determines therefrom the optimal transfer factor.

[0030] It can also be provided in connection with the method in accordance with the invention that the open-loop/closed-loop control determines the optimal transfer factor on the basis of predetermined or stored families of characteristics or data records. It is understood that the listed methods in accordance with the invention in a carding machine can also be applied in combination with one another.

[0031] The described methods also comprise in accordance with the invention the respective apparatuses:

[0032] For example an apparatus in a textile fiber processing machine, in particular a carding machine, in which the nep count and/or the fiber length (staple) is measured and evaluated before and/or after at least one working element of the same machine or an upstream or downstream textile processing machine, with an open-loop/closed loop control unit being provided which according to one of the aforementioned methods receives the said values for fiber length and/or nep count as input values and determines therefrom the optimal transfer factor for the carding machine and outputs the same to at least one actuator or means controlling the transfer factor.

[0033] Examples with respect to the possible implementations of the inventions are now explained in connection with the drawings. The examples illustrate only a few of the numerous possibilities for implementing the invention. The inventive idea and the claims are in no way limited to the embodiments shown in the figures.

[0034] FIG. 1 schematically shows the fiber flow by a working element of the carding room or blowroom. The term “working element” may be understood as being both entire textile processing machines such as carding machines, cleaners in the blowroom, etc., as well as individual elements of a textile processing machine such as licker-ins, feeding apparatuses, carding sections (stationary or in the revolving flat), swift, maintenance elements, doffers, delivery controls, separating and stripping knives, grate rods, opening and feed rollers, air evacuation and suction systems, etc. The measuring apparatuses which are connected to the textile fiber flow upstream or downstream to the working element can measure properties of the textile fibers. These can be individual or several properties such as the fiber or staple fiber length (measurement of individual fibers is preferred) or the nep count. The measuring apparatuses are only shown schematically, i.e. the apparatuses can also comprise several sensors which simultaneously measure several fiber properties. The applied measuring technology actually plays no role for the invention. It is also possible, however, that the measuring apparatus determines the fiber properties optically or takes small fiber samples from the fiber flow for measurement. The results of the measurement are sent by the measuring apparatus to an evaluation system. This evaluation system is capable of determining optimized setting values or parameters of the working element. This can occur, for example, by stored data records or families of characteristics. Under certain circumstances this evaluation system is connected with further similar evaluation systems. This is particularly of advantage where there can be interactions with other working elements, e.g. in working elements of the same textile processing machine. It is also possible under certain circumstances that the evaluation systems are connected with a central control unit which controls the production of the entire blowroom and carding room. The central control unit can in this case have an influence on the evaluation systems or their output signals. The evaluation systems can emit signals to individual or several control units which are connected with actuators. These actuators may under certain circumstances even belong to upstream or downstream working elements. The actuators exert an influence on the processing of the fibers in the working element. The “actuators” may under certain circumstances consist of several means, e.g. of a gear and a drive motor. Individual or several of said actuators represent controllable means for example which can change the transfer factor of the carding machine. The working elements would be the swift and the doffer in this case.

[0035] FIG. 2 shows a possible application of the apparatus and method in accordance with the invention in the feeding apparatus of a carding machine. The conventional feeding apparatus 1 guides the fiber material to a licker-in 4 by way of a feed roller 2 and a swivelable and adjustable feeding trough 3. The fiber material is supplied from there to the cylinder 5 of the carding machine. It is understood that apparatuses are also possible with several (e.g. three) licker-ins. In this apparatus, which is shown here as an example, measuring apparatuses 6 are provided at two places where fiber samples are taken and analyzed. The measuring apparatuses per se are not the subject matter of the invention. As is shown in FIG. 2, they can consist of individual units or of a central measuring apparatus which can take fiber samples at several places. The measuring apparatus measure individual or several fiber properties. For example, a measuring apparatus could consist of a combination of sensors which can measure the fiber length (staple) and the nep count. The two measuring apparatuses 6 send the determined fiber properties to an evaluation system 7. The evaluation system 7 is capable of determining from the obtained parameters the respective optimal operating parameters of individual or several working elements. It therefore also assumes the local open-loop and closed-loop control of these working elements. It is also possible that the individual measuring apparatuses 6 are integrated in the evaluation system 7. In this example, the evaluation system 7 is also in connection with the central control unit 8 which can influence the evaluation system 7 and its output signals. This central control unit 8 can concern the central control unit of the entire blowroom or carding room system or only the central control unit of the respective machine. The central control unit 8 can be in connection with several such evaluation systems 7 and coordinate the cooperation (not shown in the figure). The evaluation system 7 also detects in this example the nip force F of the feeding trough on the feed roller via a sensor 8, as also the nipping distance d via a sensor 9. The evaluation system 7 determines on the basis of the mentioned input values the optimal operating parameters, which in this example are the nipping distance d, the nip force F and the distance between feed roller and licker-in. The signals representative of the optimal operating parameters are output at the output of the evaluation system 7 to the control units 10 of actuators 11 and 12 or directly to actuator 13 (actuators are shown schematically). The control units 10 detect the input signal and set the triggere d actuators 11 and 12 to the correct values. Actuator 11 is used for setting the nip force F, whereas actuator 12 can change the nipping distance d. The distance between the feed roller and the licker-in is controlled by the evaluation system 7 directly through actuator 13. The precise cooperation between evaluation system, control unit and actuator system is not relevant for the invention. The presence of a central control unit is also not mandatory for the invention. The relevant aspect is that the evaluation system determines the respective machine setting data and sends the same to the respective actuators which influence the nep count and/or the staple of the machine.

[0036] FIG. 3 is largely identical with FIG. 2. It was merely supplemented by a further application of the apparatus in accordance with the invention. The extension comprises a further evaluation system in the example according to FIG. 3. Said evaluation system 14 is connected on the one hand with the same measuring apparatus 6 on the licker-in 4 as the evaluation system 7. It obtains the same measured values from the same. On the other hand, the evaluation system 14 is connected with a second measuring apparatus 15 on cylinder 5. The evaluation systems 14 and 7 are also connected with one another. They mutually exchange data and can therefore be in interaction with one another. The evaluation system 14 optimizes the rotational speed of the licker-in 4 by way of a control unit 16 (e.g. a frequency converter) and an actuator 17 (drive). This primarily occurs on the basis of the measured values which the evaluation system receives from the measuring apparatuses 6 and 15. Secondly, the evaluation system 14 will adjust the rotational speed of the licker-in 4 also on the basis of the signals which it receives from the evaluation system 7. In the example of FIG. 3 the two evaluation systems 7 and 14 are coupled with one another, but only the evaluation system 7 is connected with the control unit 8. It is naturally also possible in a further embodiment that the individual evaluation systems are not directly connected to one another, but that instead all are connected through the central control unit 8. The central control unit can engage in the optimization process of the individual evaluation systems and influence the same. It is the task of the central control unit to fine-tune the entire system and coordinate the evaluation systems. The evaluation system 14 is also capable according to FIG. 3 of adjusting the rotational speed of the cylinder 5 by way of a further control unit 18 (e.g. further frequency converter) and an actuator 19 (e.g. electromotor). This adjustment can also apply on the one hand to the optimization of the operating parameters. On the other hand, the change can also only cause a simple production adjustment. For this purpose it is necessary that the evaluation system 14 is directly or indirectly connected (as shown in FIG. 3) with the central control unit. The central control unit can thus not only coordinate the interaction between the individual evaluation systems (e.g. predefining the processing quality), but also control the production.

[0037] FIG. 4 shows a further application of the invention in a carding machine in which primarily the transfer factor is optimized. An evaluation system 20 is connected by way of several control units 21 with the actuators 22 which control the rotational speeds of the licker-in 4, the cylinder 5 and the doffer 23. The evaluation system 20 can in addition set the distance between doffer 23 and cylinder 5 by means of the control unit 24 and the actuator 25 (only shown schematically). Such an apparatus can also be provided with respect to the licker-in (not shown for purposes of clarity of the illustration), i.e. a control unit and one or several actuators allow setting the distance between the licker-in 4 and the cylinder 5. A further control unit 26 is provided which can set the position of the fiber-air guide element 28 by means of actuators 27 (also only shown schematically). The controlled working elements all have an influence on the transfer factor. The evaluation system 20 controls the setting of these working elements, so that an optimal influence on the transfer factor is produced. The evaluation system 20 is connected here too with the central control unit 8 and with several measuring apparatuses 29 which can determine the nep count and/or the fiber length. Since the production of the machine (processed fiber quantity per unit of time) has an influence on the transfer factor, the production requirement of the central control unit 8 also influences the transfer factor. The evaluation system 20 can compensate this influence if necessary by a necessary adjustment of the working elements. The sensors 29 also allow in this case too a constant check of the fiber processing and thus a purposeful intervention of the evaluation system in case of any changes in the processing quality of the working elements.

[0038] A further possibility for applying the invention is shown in FIG. 5. The example substantially corresponds to that of FIG. 4, only that the evaluation system 20 is connected with the delivery apparatus 30. The delivery apparatus 30 regulates the sliver delivery and the weight of the sliver at the delivery of the carding machine with the help of the installed drafting arrangement 30a. The delivery apparatus 30 is only shown schematically in FIG. 5, because it is also not subject matter of the invention. In a further variant, which is not shown in the figures, the drafting arrangement 30a can also be arranged on the coiler. The evaluation system 20 also receives the measured values transmitted from the delivery apparatus 30 (e.g. the sliver weight or the CV value). Respective control units and measuring apparatuses are regarded here as a part of the delivery apparatus 30 and were therefore not shown in FIG. 5. It is also possible that the delivery apparatus 30 is directly connected with the central control unit 8 and not, as shown in FIG. 5, via the evaluation system 20. Moreover, the evaluation system 20 and the central control unit 8 are also directly connected with a further evaluation system 31. The evaluation system 31 controls and regulates working elements through the schematically shown connections 32, which working elements are provided upstream of the shown carding machine. The evaluation system 31 can also belong to an upstream blowroom machine (e.g. an opener, a cleaner, a coarse cleaner, a fine cleaner, a de-duster, a mixer) or a filling box (which may also be equipped with additional opening and cleaning elements). The evaluation system 31 controls via connections 32 individual or several working elements of the associated textile processing machine (via actuators which are not shown).

[0039] In FIG. 5, the evaluation system 31 is provided upstream of the evaluation system 20. It is naturally also possible and part of the inventive idea that actuators of downstream textile processing machines can be influenced. The evaluation system 31 can similarly also be provided downstream of the evaluation system 20 and accordingly influence working elements of downstream textile processing machines.

[0040] The last FIG. 6 schematically shows a possible composed blowroom line with a connected carding room. Individual machines can correspond to the preceding figures, but can also depart therefrom. In the shown example the blowroom comprises different processing stages: I. the opening, II. the coarse cleaning, III. the mixing, IV. the fine cleaning, V. an intensive cleaning or opening and VI. the carding. Each of these processing stages comprises at least one textile processing machine which comprises one or several evaluation systems 43. The evaluation systems 43 each evaluate the data which they receive from the measuring apparatuses in the textile processing machines (not shown) or of upstream or downstream evaluation systems. The evaluation is also influenced by the signals of the central control unit 8. The evaluation systems 43 control and regulate the associated working elements (only shown schematically through the connecting lines) as a result of the received input values and set the optimal machine settings. The evaluation systems 43 are linked among one another. This is made, on the one hand, in order to coordinate the respective machine settings or the processing intensity of the fibers and, on the other hand, in order to obtain measured values (fiber length or nep count) of upstream or downstream measuring apparatuses. The evaluation systems are also connected with the central control unit 8. Its primary task is to check and coordinate the entire system of the evaluation systems. It can also pre-select the parameters to be observed by each evaluation system and influence the same for the optimization of the entire blowroom line. Secondly, it can also control the production (the fiber quantity per unit of time) of the entire line. The central control unit can communicate with the operating staff of the unit by way of a monitoring system 44. The operating staff can enter the default values for the fiber processing for the entire unit or for individual machines via the monitoring system 44. This system can also notify the operating staff of adjustments needed in the operating parameters or of quality fluctuations of the processed fiber material. It is also possible to link the monitoring system 44 also with other data and information systems or to integrate the same therein. The data and information system “SPIDERweb” of the applicant is hereby mentioned as an example.

[0041] The inventive idea can be implemented in a particularly favorable manner when the processes as described in the figures occur “online”. This means that the measurements, evaluations and controls occur on an ongoing basis during operation. The goal is to maintain the lowest possible response time between the occurrence of a change in the fiber flow (or fiber property) and the suitable influence made on the working element(s). A relevant factor is constituted by the performance of the measuring apparatuses: the faster they are able to measure and evaluate a fiber property, the shorter will be the entire response time of the system.

[0042] The invention is not limited to the explicitly mentioned possibilities and embodiments. These variants are to be understood more as suggestions for the person skilled in the art in order to implement the inventive idea in the most favorable manner possible. It is therefore easily possible to derive from the described embodiments further advantageous applications and combinations which also reflect the inventive idea and are to be protected by this application. Many of the features as disclosed in the description are claimed in a combined manner in the following claims. It would also be possible to claim individual features of the description per se.