Crealet AG: 20 years of electronic warp feeding expertise

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    Crealet, the world-leading provider of electronic warp feeding systems for both wide and narrow fabric weaving, celebrates its 20th anniversary. The two decades are notable for solutions which fit the special needs of weavers.

    Walter Wirz, Leo Kuster, Jorg Schmid, Founders of Crealet

    At the time, Walter Wirz and Leo Kuster, employed as CEO and Design Manager at Willy Grob, recognized a growing requirement for warp let-off controls with tailored and specialized solutions. This realization came as weaving machine manufacturers were integrating their own electronic warp let-off systems, affecting the relevant part of the Willy Grob business. Johann Georg Schmid and Altmann Holding AG provided support, and seizing the opportunity, Wirz and Kuster established Crealet through a management-buy-out from Willy Grob AG. The name ‘Crealet’ was chosen based on ‘creative warp let-off’.

    KAST history

    Crealet aimed to offer a universal control system suitable for different applications with the plus to achieve high warp tensions what’s often impossible on weaving machines featuring integrated warp let-off. So in 2008, the UKAST was introduced. It was also a replacement for the KAST 197, for use in wide weaving for ground and warp beams in high positions, as well as for warp beams in free-standing warp beam frames.

    This was one year after ITMA 2007 in Munich, where Crealet was a newcomer, presenting its customer-specific warp yarn feeder program for weaving machines. “We also took the occasion to look for agents in order to get in contact with customers worldwide. We needed to persuade them about our concept for a service that wasn’t widely recognized back then,” Walter Wirz, who was the CEO of Crealet at that time. The young company’s offer was as individual as the weavers’ needs, e.g. for early developments in the field of technical textiles.

    UKAST

    Crealet built a reputation for developing systems to replace older control units, or to meet the requirements of new applications such as ribbon weaving. The firm’s experts devised a wide variety of solutions – such as selvedge yarn feeders to prevent waviness at fabric edges, and feeders for weaving carbon or tyre cord fabrics.

     Always developing

    At ITMA 2015, Crealet’s self-confidence and strength were underlined by its new slogan “We Drive You to Success.”  Subsequent years proved that the focus on customized solutions was the right one. But it remained a challenge to explain the value of a system which was absolutely tailor-made, complex and individual.

    Crealet’s philosophy is that self-satisfaction should not last too long. Being good listeners, Crealet experts well understand what customers need. For example, there was a demand for a servo control to offer high precision and to approach and hold defined positions without torque loss. With the control of KAST ERGO, it’s possible for weavers to switch from mechanical fabric take-off to electronic.

    The Crealet innovation Linked Motion Control was first introduced at ITMA 2019 in Barcelona, signaling a new era of warp tension measurement. The advantage of this innovative load cell sensor system is that it allows entering the setpoint at the control unit, ensuring highly reproducible warp tension settings.

    KAST ERC (Electronic Rope Control) launched in 2023

    Crealet believes its high level of service and support sets it apart from other industry players. Customers can rely on instant professional help from knowledgeable engineers in case of a malfunction. The new controls are designed to provide direct access to the warp let-off system through a remote maintenance tool. This ensures quick and efficient support without requiring a specialist on-site, leading to significant time and cost savings.

    The show goes on

    No single KAST solution will ever be ideal for all warp beams and weaving machine types. Crealet takes the view that ‘good enough is not enough’ with its program of various controls. Actually, the portfolio goes far beyond control devices, and includes the entire mechanical design of the system. Only when all components are perfectly coordinated can a system work perfectly.

    Crealet has developed as a one-stop source for comprehensive consulting and solutions, with two key business partnerships bringing synergies and added value. The company has joined forces with COMSAT (core competence in sectional and direct warping machines and creels) and AEI (specialized in manufacturing quality assurance solutions in warp knitting and warp preparation). The alliances broadened the expertise and range of technologies available to customers.

    Crealet upholds the typical Swiss values of quality, reliability and innovative power, living in the pioneering spirit of their ancestors – and facing the textile industry’s new challenges. “We are never satisfied, until our customers are satisfied,” says Walter Wirz, nowadays Emeritus CEO at Crealet. He has never regretted taking the risk to open up the business with his partners. Companions describe him as always remaining modest, despite the success of Crealet products and services and the company’s world-leading position as manufacturer of electronic warp feeding systems.

    Source: Crealet

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