Leading computerised knitting machine manufacturer Shima Seiki Mfg., Ltd. of Wakayama, Japan, together with its US subsidiary Shima Seiki USA Inc., will participate in the Techtextil North America exhibition in Chicago, Illinois, USA this month. Chicago’s proximity to Detroit, Indianapolis and the rest of the midwest where automotive, aerospace, biotechnology and various other high-tech industries strive, means the exhibition provides the opportunity to present Shima Seiki technology to these diverse innovation-driven sectors. On display will be the company’s latest technological contributions aimed at promoting knitted applications in the field of technical textiles, designed and produced on Shima Seiki’s lineup of advanced computer design systems and computerised flat knitting machines.

Foremost attention is given to WHOLEGARMENT® knitting which maximizes the benefits of knitting in technical applications. WHOLEGARMENT® knitting is capable of producing knitted items in their entirety on the machine, and allows complex 3D forms for fitting the human body or even car seats without the need for sewing. Selective compression allows control over placement and amount of pressure for various compression wear in sports and medical applications. The seam-free nature of WHOLEGARMENT® also ensures continuity of yarn, allowing functional yarns such as conductive yarns to wrap around the entire body for applications in smart garments and wearable technology.

Demonstrating the latest in WHOLEGARMENT® knitting technology at Techtextil will be the flagship MACH2XS machine that features the company’s original SlideNeedle™ on 4 needle beds and patented spring-loaded full-time sinker system. Capable of WHOLEGARMENT® knitting in all-needles, MACH2XS offers great flexibility for knitting high-quality WHOLEGARMENT® products with a seemingly endless variety of knit patterns at very high speed and efficiency, all while minimising dependence upon labour-intensive sewing and linking. The latest version of Shima Seiki’s SDS-ONE APEX3 3D design system will also be available for demonstrations in design and simulation of various technical textiles. Of particular interest is its ultra-realistic simulation capability that realises Virtual Sampling. When countless variations must be evaluated before arriving at a final design, virtual product samples can be used to streamline the decision-making process by minimizing the enormous amount of time and cost normally associated with producing actual samples for each variation.