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ITMA Asia + CITME:‘Supersonic’ Wholegarment machines from Shima

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28 July 2008, Shanghai – Leading Japanese flat knitting machine builder Shima Seiki has launched two new high speed flat knitting machines for seamless knitwear which run at speeds of up to 1.6 metres per second. The four needle bed MACH2X and two needle bed MACH2S are being showcased at ITMA Asia + CITME 2008 which opened in Shanghai yesterday.

Like the SWG-X on which it is based, the new MACH2X is a Wholegarment machine which features four needle beds and Shima Seiki’s slide needle. As the name suggests the main features of the MACH2X are its increased knitting speed and greater productivity. The machine’s new R2 carriage system increases maximum knitting speed to 1.6 metres per second, and permits quicker carriage returns for higher efficiency per knitted course. A new split stitch technique allows efficient knitting when widening on sleeves by eliminating empty courses.

According to Shima, when combined, these features give up to twice the productivity of SWG-X, depending on knitting conditions. The machine on display was knitting a 12 gauge garment in under 20 minutes which is remarkable considering most SWG-X garments take the biggest part of an hour to knit.

MACH2X also allows for a tighter fabric especially for ribs, contributing to higher-quality Wholegarment items. The machine on show was a 15 gauge machine which has a needle hook equivalent in size to a 12 gauge needle. The garments produced are on the fine side of 12 gauge but the machine is aimed at the 12 gauge market with productivity improvements and better rib quality.

The new MACH2S is based on the NewSES-SWG two needle bed latch needle Wholegarment machine. It also features Shima’s R2 carriage system for higher knitting speeds and greater productivity and is capable of gaugeless knitting whereby a number of different gauges can be knit in a single garment. The machine on display was in 16 gauge.

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