The yarn creel or thread stand is like the foundation of a building. Chances are you either designed your processing equipment and built a yarn rack or creel yourself, or purchased your creel with a machine as a necessary accessory. Most of your focus on process improvement probably starts after the yarn enters the process. You might be surprised at the gains you could make by taking a hard look at your creel design.
In this multi-part series, we are going to share some creel design information to help you with ideas for your process.
Creel Pins and Adapters
Proper placement and stabilization of the yarn or thread at the beginning of the process is the key to a solid foundation. While most creel frames are designed to take the overall load, the type of package holder is often overlooked. Here are some typical types and the pros and cons of each:
The most common type, usually a ½” to ¾” steel pin that can be used for a variety of yarn or cone tube sizes.
- PROS: Cheap, good for processes where a different yarn packages are used, low cost to maintain.
- CONS: Perfect alignment to guides difficult, possibility for tubes or cones to be pulled off during processing, causing breaks or interruptions.
Adjustable Package Adapter
Used to align and stabilize a range of different size yarn tubes or cones.
- PROS: Better alignment of yarn to guides, raw material tubes less likely to pull off, can be used for a range of different size tubes or cones.
- CONS: One of the more expensive options, may require periodic maintenance.
Fixed Package Creel Adapters
A device used to align a yarn package – helps obtain a centered alignment of the package to the thread guides, enables yarn to pull off the package evenly.
- PROS: Perfect Alignment for a set tube or cone type, best stability of the bunch, low maintenance cost.
- CONS: Can only be used for one size yarn package, may require removal from pin to run other size tubes or cones.
Secure fit inside the package, rotates around the creel pin for even roll-off of package.
- PROS: Great for yarns with high TPI/TPM to prevent kinking or process knotting, saves space since there is not yarn ballooning in process.
- CONS: Cannot be used for high speed processing, expensive, requires some maintenance for reliable performance.
If you run a large number of ends, the cost of adapters adds up quickly. With thousands of creel pins at Service Thread, we previously used simple pins everywhere. When we made the decision to shore up our foundation by investing in the right yarn adapters and package holders for each process, we saw immediate reduction of scrap, and increased efficiencies.
Take a look at your process – Are you using the best yarn package holder or thread stand? How strong is your process foundation?