Enhancing the value of know-how and tradition through research

Fiber Technology
Automatic bale plucker
The administators of Tecnomeccanica Biellese (from left to right): Mario, Marco, Paola, Stefania e Luigi Ploner

Tecnomeccanica Biellese designs and manufactures equipment for the sectors processing loose fibers, turning to international markets to offer its proven competence. It participates in research projects able to lead to new applications and new markets for textile products

With the market having changed substantially in recent years, the bet on the future plays mainly in terms of innovation and internationalization. This is the path taken by Tecnomeccanica Biellese, which, specializing in the design of machines and complete systems for the preparation of textile fibers for spinning, combines intensive research to identify new applications and new market opportunities with textile products. Founded in 1968 by Giuseppe Ploner, the company has gained valuable experience in all areas where loose fibers are processed, and offers a range of technologies, including: bale-breaker loaders, cold fiber mixing cells, automatic fixed or mobile emptiers, carding willow and openers, fiber dampening systems, carding supply. It is also engaged in technologies for the removal of dust from environments, machinery, and fibers, with automatic sucking systems, recycling or packaging products and filtering units and dust removal by suction.

Know how proven by prestigious references

Automatic bin emptiers

Tecnomeccanica Biellese deals with both design and construction of all components relating to the plants. Production is characterized by extreme flexibility and adaptability to the available space and the needs of customers for whom projects are always customized.

The know how transmitted by founder Giuseppe Ploner to his three children, currently working for the company, has now passed on to the new generation who is beginning to face the difficult challenge of managing the business, while ensuring linearity and consistency in designing decisions which have allowed Tecnomeccanica Biellese to expand over years and maintain an acknowledged leadership in its field.

A position confirmed by important references: among its customers, prestigious companies in the Italian textile industry, including Lanificio Loro Piana, Botto Giuseppe, Gruppo Zegna Baruffa, Fratelli Piacenza, Pettinatura Lane di Romagnano Sesia, Fil Dorama, Pettinatura di Verrone, Fil Lacfimi, Cerruti, Reda, Barberis.

«The landscape of the Italian textile industry has significantly changed – says with some regret Paola Ploner, who is in charge of the administrative department – to the point that it is difficult to propose new machinery. Abroad the situation is different, especially in South America, where we continue selling complete systems, as well as in Eastern Europe. Our luck is to have a deep technological know-how gained through years of work, which is very difficult to improvise out of nowhere and which also allows us to diversify, turning to sectors other than the traditional textile».

The leading thread of research projects

Automatic bale plucker

This in-depth experience in the textile industry in recent years has enabled the Biella-based company to join as a partner some important research projects.

«The first research project with which we are dealing – says Mario Ploner, who combines technical and trade expertise, following the trends in foreign markets – financed by the European Community through Regione Piemonte, and in which we are partners together with one of our customers, a spinner from Piemonte, and Politecnico di Torino, is about the possibility of recovering energy from waste products of the textile industry. We managed to complete the first part of the project, namely the feasibility study, and we are now presenting the request for a second funding to develop a system prototype and put it into operation».

In collaboration with several textile companies from Piedmont and Politecnico di Torino, Tecnomeccanica Biellese leads Woolres (Wool Recycles Eco System), an EU-funded project which uses suicide wool to decontaminate a sea area polluted by hydrocarbons. Wool has the particularity of being water-repellent, but also lipophilic, i.e. able to absorb fat. «For this two-year project – says Ploner – we are involved in designing and implementation of a complex system, to be assembled on boats, capable of performing multiple tasks: unravel wool, spread it on the sea surface and then retrieve it, squeeze it and spread again until it is exhausted. We have in the pipeline the creation of the first small scale prototype of such system, in order to simulate the operations of the ship».

Giving a second life to hemp

In order to perform research and develop innovation in the textile industry, Tecnomeccanica participates, even if not as a partner, in a third research project, carried out by Assocanapa (Italian Hemp Association) and financed by Regione Piemonte, which implies the revival of the hemp plant, whose cultivation, flourishing in the Fifties, had been abandoned in Italy since it is forbidden by law. «Hemp is beginning to be cultivated not only in Italy – Ploner says – but all over Europe. From the textile point of view, it is a material which offers excellent potential, in particular as for technical textiles, used for instance for the construction of panels for thermal and acoustic insulation; shives, its woody part, which is very tough and resilient, and can be applied in construction and agriculture fields for horse breeding. Since this cultivation has been abandoned for several decades, all plants have disappeared for hemp processing; our task is therefore to reinvent them, using our know-how to implement technologies able to meet the current needs for automation».

by Maria Pia Longo

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