Picanol uses Simcenter Amesim to design energy efficient weaving looms

PICANOL Manufacturer uses Simcenter Amesim to develop the
“most energy-efficient weaving looms on the market”


  • Conduct early-stage simulation to release innovative products faster
  • Produce machines that have a low cost of lifetime ownership
  • Manufacture energy-efficient machines without sacrificing performance


  • Support the scalable optimization of energy flows.
  • Take into account energy efficiency and total cost of ownership as key performance criteria Optimize machine design from the onset


  • Designed the “most energy-efficient weaving looms on the market”
  • Achieved early-stage product optimization
  • Balanced performance, durability, noise and vibration parameters while minimizing energy consumption
  • Implemented advanced model-based system engineering
Discover Simcenter Amesim >

“We highly appreciate the products and support from Siemens PLM Software. They help us design the most energy-efficient weaving looms on the market.”

Kristof Roelstraete
Research and Development

"Aufgrund der steigenden Energiepreise ist es unerlässlich, den Energieverbrauch der Maschinen und damit die Betriebskosten zu minimieren.
Unsere Maschinen müssen hochwertige Materialien bei minimalen Ownership-Kosten produzieren.
Deshalb haben wir uns auf die Energieeffizienz konzentriert, um einen Wettbewerbsvorteil auf dem Markt zu erlangen."

Kristof Roelstraete Manager
Research and Development Picanol

Pioneering weaving machines

Speed matters in the production machinery industry. Whether you are producing recycled paper or high-tech fabric, top production speed is required at all times, but not at all costs.

In the 21st century, manufacturers have had to deal with new environmental issues as well as one of the most severe economic crises in modern history.

Whatever you are manufacturing, conserving energy is essential.

The ESTOMAD (Energy Software Tools for Sustainable Machine Design) consortium was established in 2009 with industry players and research institutes such as LMS International (now Siemens PLM Software), Flanders’ Mechatronics Technology Centre, JOBS, EC Engineering, the Institute of Industrial Technologies and Automation, FIDIA and the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium).

The European research project aims to create a machine development process that considers energy efficiency a critical parameter in machine design.

Picanol is one of the industrial actors involved in the ESTOMAD project. Picanol develops and manufactures high-tech weaving machines that are based on air jet and rapier technology. For 75 years, Picanol has played a pioneering role in the weaving machine industry to become a leading global player. Besides its headquarters in Ypres, Belgium, the Picanol Group has facilities in Asia, Europe and the United States. Today, about 2,600 weaving mills around the world use Picanol machinery, totaling some 130,000 weaving machines.


Seeking energy efficiency

Stringent market regulations and a tough competitive environment are compelling the production machinery industry to improve its machine design processes.
Manufacturers need to deliver top-performing machines that comply with strict health and safety requirements.
Innovations are being introduced faster all the time. These considerations make earlystage simulation virtually compulsory to release innovative products faster and faster. The industry is also experiencing a recent shift in customer expectations.

“It’s not all about purchase price or performance anymore,” says Kristof Roelstraete,
the research and development (R&D) manager at Picanol

“More and more customers tend to choose the machine that offers the best deal in terms of total cost of ownership. They don’t only consider the initial investment price, but also maintenance
and operational costs for the complete machine lifecycle.

“Due to rising energy prices, low energy consumption is essential to managing operational expenses. Our products must deliver the highest fabric quality at the lowest total cost of ownership for the weaver. We have focused our efforts on energy efficiency to gain a substantial competitive advantage.”


Supporting scalable optimization

Within the framework of the ESTOMAD project, Picanol improves the energy efficiency of its weaving machines without sacrificing performance.

picanol 1
picanol 2

 In close collaboration with the Catholic University, Picanol R&D engineers started with building the model of the energy flows inside the main driveline of a weaving machine.

Creating this model is a complex task: it should accurately predict all inner energy transfers as well as expose local energy leaks. It needs to provide a detailed representation of energy behavior for each component while integrating with the global machine’s multiphysics environment.
The ESTOMAD consortium has selected Simcenter Amesim™ software from Siemens PLM Software as the mechatronic system simulation platform to perform energy management studies on industrial machines.

Simcenter Amesim lets engineers consistently analyze all energy flows in the various subsystems of a weaving machine, from the insertion system to the motor over the gearbox and main shaft.


Simcenter Amesim model of the weaving machine in co-simulation with LMS Virtual.Lab Motion.

The correlation between on-site system measurements and the Simcenter Amesim/LMS Virtual.Lab co-simulation model at 500 RPM.

To support the scalable optimization of energy flows, the graphical user interface (GUI) of Simcenter Amesim and the machinery components libraries have been specially updated to help engineers design environmentally friendly machines.

Picanol engineers optimize machine design from the earliest stage, taking energy-efficiency as a critical performance requirement.

Flow chart of the instantaneous energy losses with respect to the dissipating components.

One step further in the development process, Simcenter Amesim is coupled with LMS Virtual.Lab™ software from Siemens PLM Software in a co-simulation arrangement.
Consequently, even the complex 3D mechanisms of the weaving machine (which require a detailed dynamic and kinematic modeling) are simulated and optimized, leveraging the new functionalities of Simcenter Amesim to deliver a more ecological design.

Leveraging model-based system engineering

The extensive Siemens PLM Software portfolio supports Picanol in the early-stage optimization of weaving machines, balancing all critical performance, durability, noise and vibration parameters while minimizing energy consumption.

“ A platform like Simcenter Amesim offers extensive libraries of components that also connect to describe complete multiphysics systems, a prerequisite for advanced model-based system engineering.”

Discover Simcenter Amesim

Mechatronic, model-based simulation software for the design of multi-domain systems and components

Simcenter Amesim is a powerful simulation and engineering design tool, developed by Siemens Software Industry and distributed by BSim Engineering.Use Simcenter Amesim to study the design of a component and its control, identify the ideal layout of a subsystem or check the integrated performance of several machine systems.

Learn More >