Textile manufacturing has been a major part of the European industrial landscape since the industrial revolution.
Historically energy, water, labour and chemicals have been the resources that have underpinned the textile industry. Harnessing these resources skilfully and effectively has allowed European companies to lead the world in terms of quality to satisfy high end and specialist markets, where acceptable margins can be achieved. These companies remain competitive but are continually challenged to reduce costs and provide innovative products and processes while meeting increasingly demanding legislative requirements, particularly in terms of environmental impact and standards. The escalation of utility costs and a greater general awareness of environmental issues have increased demand for technologies that can reduce operating costs or provide products with a technical advantage. All these factors suggest that the opportunities for new technologies that can address the challenges of the industry are significant.
MLSE (Multiple Laser Surface Enhancement) technology is an example of technology transfer between industries, which has facilitated a leading edge development in both the processing and the performance of textiles. The use of photonics and plasma in a controlled vacuum environment of gases and sol-gels has long been established, particularly for the production of electronic components and metallic and non-textile polymeric substrates. The consortium has developed this technology’s capabilities for a broad spectrum of textile applications. The unique feature of MLSE technology is the combination of combining energy sources in a controlled atmospheric environment in the presence of a material substrate. The net result is conversion and material synthesis in, or optionally on, the surface of the substrate.
The Eco Innovation MLSE project will see the first commercial commissioning of the MLSE technology and the introduction of this revolutionary and ground breaking system to a range of EU companies.