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The production of shoes and footwear is a special challenge for the industry. Shoes have to fulfill a multitude of functions: as part of the wear outfit the production of shoes is orientated towards fashion demands. In this case shape, colour and materials appear in many variations and are undergoing a steady change - closely related to the pulse of time and its actual fashion.
Furthermore shoes and footwear are fulfilling functional aspects as well: be it the safety aspect in hard-toed shoes and boots as well as sports shoes, or the achievement of medical demands/properties in orthopedic shoes. Shoes have to be functional, flexible, fashionable and durable.
During production of shoes and footwear very different manufacturing technologies are used. The sewing technology for example has to show enormous flexibility in adapting to the various demands. A high quality product only can be achieved by selecting the correct sewing machine needle prior to production.
Especially the use of quite different materials puts a difficult task on the manufacturer: whether natural materials like leather, cotton or natural fiber felts are used or high-tech materials - they all demand a strong sensibility on selecting the right sewing parameters and correctly adjusting the sewing machines. Changing any of these parameters very often requires a lot of time.
With the FHS needle (FHS = Fixed Hook Setting) SCHMETZ is offering a new needle design in sizes NM 70 to NM 120. The use of the FHS needle reduces production cost by significantly reducing machine downtime because this innovative needle design avoids time-consuming re-adjustment of the hook setting in the sewing machine.
For production of shoes and footwear many sewing parameters have to be observed. A lot of very different and widely changing materials are used. Sewing threads of different sizes are needed - be it for decorative seams or stay seams as well as back seams. This often requires a change in needle size as well as point style.
Especially the change of needle size in production results in a time-consuming adjustment of the hook in a sewing machine: the machine has to be re-adjusted with the help of a mechanic. Particularly with regard to small production lots with changing materials this means: numerous interruptions of the work process, machine downtime and in conjunction with this cost intensive production losses. If the machine adjustments are not or not correctly adapted machine damages are a common result. Furthermore faulty hook adjustment can lead to sewing problems like skip stitches, thread breakage and poor seam appearance.
In order to avoid faults in hook adjustment leading to production losses and machine downtime SCHMETZ has developed a new needle design. The SCHMETZ FHS needle allows changing sizes from NM 70 to NM 120 without any readjustment of the hook.
With the specific, patent-pending needle geometry of the FHS needle the distance from the hook point to the bottom of the scarf always remains constant, independent of the needle size to be used within the afore mentioned range.
In cooperation with one of the most renowned shoe manufacturers in the world the novel needle type FHS was developed by SCHMETZ. Tests of the FHS needle on the shop floor are showing clearly reduced downtime of the sewing machines because hook re-adjustments are not necessary anymore when changing the needle in the size range of NM 70 to 120. The operator is allowed to work more efficiently as well as independent of the mechanic. The hook runs with less mechanical stress therefore reducing wear as well as mechanical damage. All in all production planning will be simplified because just changing the needle will be required most of the time without constantly changing the hook setting. Planning new investments will be easier by considering the more flexible use of machinery because machine capacities - assigned to the various thread sizes in use - can be reduced.