Project details: Textile automation at Inman Mills

Inman Mills is the sixth of seven textile manufacturing facilities Patti Engineering Inc. has modernized with custom designed automation technology. Technologies used include...


Inman Mills is the sixth of seven textile manufacturing facilities Patti Engineering Inc. has modernized with custom designed automation technology. Patti Engineering is a control systems integration company based in Auburn Hills, Mich., with offices in Massachusetts and Texas, with expertise in the textile industry.

Inman contacted its supplier, and the supplier recommended Patti Engineering, which used the latest PC hardware, Phoenix Contact’s Steeplechase Visual Logic Controller (VLC), and Iconics Graphical User Interface (GUI) software to build a fully integrated electrical control system.

Ring spinning frame shows roving bobbins in the creel. Courtesy: Patti Engineering

Patti Engineering is a certified Siemens Solution Partner with extensive Siemens expertise, and it restored the Siemens S5 PLC to full functionality for the the bobbin stripper.

Inman Mills plant manager Bill Hightower said, “Patti Engineers were very professional and knowledgeable about the complete automation system where the software was installed. They provided exceptional communication at all times during the installation, training, and implementation of the system. We are pleased as this installation by Patti Engineering has performed exceptionally since implementation. As we continue in our learning mode, if we have any questions about the system, Patti Engineering has been very quick to respond. I would not hesitate to recommend Patti Engineering based on the excellent results we experienced on this project.”

Patti Engineering’s first experience with this type of equipment laid the foundation for expertise in this market segment. On the original textile plant retrofit, the ring spinning system with a PC-based control systems and hardware and software was no longer supported. With complicated code written in German, Patti Engineering had to build the new software program from the ground up.

According to Steve Palmgren, senior electrical controls engineer and Patti Engineering’s Texas branch manager, “upgrading the controls on ring spinning equipment in textile mills is a real sweet spot for us now; our engineers understand the systems and we are well versed on designing the best controls software solutions to have the equipment operate at peak efficiency.”

Also read: Textile automation adds to thread-thin profits for more project details and six more photos.

- Georgia H. Whalen is director of marketing for Patti Engineering Inc. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager CFE Media, Control Engineering and Plant Engineering.

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