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Unifi Manufacturing to upgrade its texturing capabilities in the Americas with exclusive use of unique new technology

06/25/19
Oerlikon Debuts New eAFK Evo Texturing Machine

REMSCHEID, Germany, June 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Oerlikon's new eAFK Evo texturing machine, which was unveiled to select clients at the ITMA trade fair in Barcelona, has proven to be a breakthrough in the manufacture of yarns. This is evidenced by leading global yarn producer, Unifi Manufacturing, Inc., who placed a significant order for these revolutionary machines today, the first day of the trade fair.

Convinced by the benefits of the new eAFK Evo texturing machine, Unifi has made a significant contribution to the promising EvoCooler cooling concept as a development partner. Meredith Boyd (middle) and Edmir Silva (second from right to left), from UNIFI Manufacturing, Inc.

Unifi collaborated with Oerlikon to develop a specially-designed eAFK Evo pilot machine that has been operating for the last eight months, using it to manufacture various Unifiber virgin and REPREVE®-branded recycled polyester and polyamide yarns.  Unifi has obtained exclusive rights in the Americas to their unique design, which enables the new machine to operate at considerably higher texturing speeds, delivers consistently high-quality yarn across a broad range of products, and enables new, innovative performance yarns.

"Unifi is proud to collaborate with Oerlikon Barmag on its innovative new texturing technology that is positioned to revolutionize yarn manufacturing," said Tom Caudle, president and chief operating officer of Unifi. "True innovation starts in the fiber, and the new Evo texturing machine will allow us to continue our history of manufacturing excellence and provide our customers with an expanded portfolio of performance products with broad market appeal.

Cost-efficient production, reduced energy consumption

Additionally, Oerlikon will be exhibiting a standard configuration of the eAFK Evo Texturing machine at ITMA designed for the cost-efficient production of yarns, and at just 4.7 meters in height, this compact machine still comes with a four-deck winding system. The most important foundation for both machines is the 300-millimeter-long EvoCooler with its active cooling technology. The EvoCooler's controllable cooling unit opens a huge production window, with titers ranging from around 30 to 300 denier and including microfilaments; combining it with the EvoHeater increases texturing speed by about 20 percent. The EvoCooler also enables extremely even yarn dyeing and provides significant benefits using no additional energy compared to current offerings. With the optimized, extremely energy-efficient EvoHeater and its connected peripherals, the machine offers up to 25 percent energy savings.

Unifi yarns deployed worldwide

Unifi, Inc. (NYSE: UFI) is a global textile solutions provider and one of the world's leading innovators in manufacturing synthetic virgin and recycled performance fibers. Through REPREVE®, one of Unifi's proprietary technologies and the global leader in branded recycled performance fibers, Unifi has transformed more than 16 billion plastic bottles into recycled fiber for new apparel, footwear, home goods and other consumer products with the help of Oerlikon Barmag texturing machines. The Company's proprietary PROFIBER™ technologies offer increased functional performance, comfort and style advantages, enabling customers to develop products that perform, look and feel better. Unifi continually innovates technologies to meet consumer needs in moisture management, thermal regulation, antimicrobial, UV protection, stretch, water resistance and enhanced softness. Unifi collaborates with many of the world's most influential brands in the performance apparel, footwear, outdoor, fashion, home, automotive and other industries. Since launching REPREVE®, Unifi and its partners have recycled more than 16 billion bottles, with a goal of recycling 20 billion bottles by 2020 and 30 billion by 2022.

Oerlikon will be exhibiting REPREVE yarns produced on the eAFK Evo pilot machine, along with fabrics made from the yarn, at the Oerlikon stand at the ITMA trade show in Barcelona. Among other areas, these sustainable yarns are used in the products of numerous companies operating in the apparel, outdoor, home textiles and automotive sectors.

About Oerlikon
Oerlikon (SIX: OERL) develops modern materials, systems and surface technologies and provides specialized services aimed at securing high-performance products and systems with long lifespans for customers. Supported by its technological core competencies and its strong financial footing, the corporation continues its medium-term growth plan by implementing three strategic factors: focusing on attractive growth markets, ensuring structural growth and expanding through targeted M&A activities. Oerlikon is a globally-leading technology and engineering corporation, operating its business in two segments (Surface Solutions and Manmade Fibers) and employing around 10,500 members of staff at 175 sites in 37 countries worldwide. In 2018, Oerlikon generated sales of CHF 2.6 billion and invested around CHF 120 million in research & development.

For further information: www.oerlikon.com

About the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment
With its Oerlikon Barmag and Oerlikon Neumag brands, the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment is the world market leader for manmade fiber filament spinning systems, texturing machines, BCF systems, staple fiber systems and solutions for the production of nonwovens and – as a service provider – offers engineering solutions for the entire textile value added chain.

As a future oriented company, the research and development at this division of the Oerlikon Group is driven by energy-efficiency and sustainable technologies (e-save). With its range of polycondensation and extrusion systems and their key components, the company caters to the entire manufacturing process – from the monomer all the way through to the textured yarn. The product portfolio is rounded off with automation and Industrie 4.0 solutions.

The primary markets for the product portfolio of Oerlikon Barmag are in Asia, especially in China, India and Turkey, and – for those of Oerlikon Neumag – in the USA, Asia, Turkey and Europe. Worldwide, the segment – with just under 3,000 employees – has a presence in 120 countries of production, sales and distribution and service organizations. At the R&D centers in Remscheid, Neumünster (Germany) and Suzhou (China), highly-qualified engineers, technologists and technicians develop innovative and technologically-leading products for tomorrow's world.

For further information: www.oerlikon.com/manmade-fibers

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SOURCE Unifi, Inc.

Ute Watermann, Marketing, Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, Tel. +49 2191 67 1634, Fax +49 2191 67 1313, ute.watermann@oerlikon.com, André Wissenberg, Marketing, Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, Tel. +49 2191 67 2331, Fax +49 2191 67 1313, andre.wissenberg@oerlikon.com