An Intelligent Yarn Splicing Unit
Improved Performance And Doubling Of Sales With Microcontroller Technology
Technologies used


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    17 Textile and Clothing Industries
    21 Paper Manufacture
    23 Paper Manufacture
    25 Paper Manufacture
    29 Consumer/White Goods

Pentwyn Splicers Ltd. designs manufactures and markets a range of products known as yarn splicers. Splicers are specialist products used throughout the textile trade to join yarns together in a manner which is superior to that of the traditional knot.

Splicers use compressed air, at pressures of around 7 bar, to intermingle the fibres of textile yarns. Approximately 60% of splicers are hand held equipment carried by the operator from machine to machine where they are plugged into a compressed air line to operate, although there are some machine mounted versions.

Due to the delicate nature of yarn fibres, exposure to the air blast must be controlled carefully. To ensure reliable splicing it is crucial to control one key parameter; the duration of the air blast.

Pentwyn Splicers Ltd. does offer blast timers, but their design and operation has never been particularly satisfactory. They have a relatively simple mechanical function that involves the use of bleeding air through a flow control valve. The units are difficult to calibrate and are subject to variable performance. In short, the are unreliable.

The application experiment involved the development of an electronic control unit incorporating microcontroller device technology to improve the control of the splicing operation. The microelectronic development will enable the following plans to exploit the technology to be delivered:

  1. The design and manufacture of an electronic timer for application to specific splicers.
  2. The enhancement of the electronic device to provide control and monitoring of parameters other than blast duration.
  3. The application of subtle control functions established through the use of microprocessors to develop fundamentally novel forms of splicer in the future.

Success in the project will enhance the company's competitive position and will result in completely new products. The improved performance will also allow larger and higher value niche sectors in the textile industry to be targeted.

The electronic controller was designed and completed successfully within six months from the start date of the 1 August, 1997. The cost of the electronic controller development was approximately 27,000 EUR. The anticipated payback for this investment will be less than 18 months from product launch, and the improved product will produce a ROI (return on investment) of above 240% over its four year product life.

The lessons learned by the company in integrating electronic and electro-mechanical systems in a small space constraint information will be of use to a wide range of organisations supplying mechanical design products in general. The lessons learned will enable companies to replace mechanical sub-systems used for control and regulation in their products by the use of electronic control modules. The company's experiences will be of special interest to companies in the textile and clothing industries.


    Pentwyn Splicers Ltd
    Pontnewynydd Ind. Est
    NP4 6PD
    United Kingdom.

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided Pentwyn Splicers Ltd. with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.

Further information   Guiding Technology Transfer Node
For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
Homepage: http://www.fuse-network.com
Univercity of Glamorgan
Mid Glamorgan
Pontypridd CF37 1DL
United Kingdom