M.S. Thesis Presentation by Robert Braga
Tuesday, June 2, 1998

(Dr. Harvey Lipkin, advisor)

"The Design of an Automated Creeling Machine for the Carpet Industry"

Abstract

Currently in the carpet manufacturing industry, spools, or more correctly, packages of yarn are physically loaded by hand onto a rack of hangers called a creel.  Yarn is taken off of each package and put into a tufting machine which pushes the yarn into the carpet backing.  A creel can contain as many as 1800 hangers called bullhorns that hold each of these packages.  each package weighs between 11 and 15 lbs. and is exhausted in about 10 hours.  Every 10 hours , a worker, called a creeler, must replace each empty package with a new full package.  It is estimated that each creeler has to lift approximately 800 lbs. of yarn per hour.  Creeling is a difficult job.  Carpet makers find these positions difficult to fill and often have to pay large settlements for repetitive motion injuries such as Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.

In 1995, the State of Georgia's CCACTI program (Consortium on Competitiveness for the Apparel, Carpet, and Textile Industries) began sponsoring research to improve the creeling process, specifically the design of an automated creeler.  This work documents the design of this automated creeling system, from the writing of the initial problem statement to the construction of a full scale prototype.  The creeling process was analyzed and several design concepts were evaluated and compared on the basis of reliability, cost, performance, and safety.  Over a two year period, several developments were made that moved the project toward its final design.  These devolopments are all documented and explained.  Finally, the final design concepts is presented and the design and construction of the full scale prototype is discussed.