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Interview Details

Interview with Ramon Espí

  • Lead New Product Development, RAPIFE
  • Dated: Thursday, July 16th 2015
  • EWP: What are the hydraulic functions of your operations to which the prototype is applied?

    The prototype controls the water quality of the Cooling System Pool: pH, amount of free chlorine and aerobic bacterium at 37ºC. The Cooling system is needed in the company’s facilities in order to maintain the temperature and humidity in adequate conditions for the knitted processes (22ºC ±2ºC RH 40%). According to the law, the pH in the pool must be between 7-8 upH, the amount of free chlorine between 1-2 ppm and the aerobic bacterium below 10.000 ufc’s.

    EWP: What has been RAPIFE’s experience in piloting the prototype for microbiological control in their operations? 

    That the prototype has been able to maintain the aerobic bacterium below 10.000 ufc with nearly 1 ppm of free chlorine in the water has been the most important for the company because previously it had been very difficult to maintain free chlorine below 2 ppm, due to the homogeneity of the pool in a conventional function. In this way, the prototype has helped us to reduce our consumption of chlorine needed to treat the cooling pool by more than half.

     

    EWP: Does the use of the prototype require any specific training or personnel knowledge for its use? 

    The prototype is very easy to use for maintenance people in textile industries as RAPIFE. The maintenance of risk equipment require qualified personnel as dictated by national legislation. The prototype facilitates these maintenance tasks, and in this sense would definitely not be considered a limitation to its uptake in current market. However, a possible limitation could be the need for a daily preparation of nutrient solution needed to measure the microbiological contamination by BIOMOMI prototype. This solution should be prepared at least once a month in order to be more operative and cheaper.

    EWP: Has RAPIFE experienced any complications in the automatic dosing system aspect of the prototype? 

    Once the prototype has been adapted and optimized to the characteristics of the present risk installations no complications have been experienced. The work needed to make these adjustments can be included in the installation and optimization of the equipment.

    EWP: Have you realized any cost savings through the application of the prototype?

    Of course, the prototype has drastically reduced the amount of biocide applied in our operations, the chlorine consumption especially has been reduced by half. And indirectly as a result we have observed less oxidation processes in metallic parts of the machinery because we are using less chlorine.

    EWP: From your perspective do you think the technology could be applied in the hydraulic units of other sectors with similar operations?

    Absolutely, yes I do. The technology can be applied in other risk detection systems although with some degree of adaption in order to meet the needs of the specific facilities.

  • Ramon Espí
  • Lead New Product Development, RAPIFE
  • Ramon Espí has worked in RAPIFE for more than 20 years and is currently acting as the Responsible for New Products Development in the company. RAPIFE is a family-owned business established in 1964 with extensive experience in knitwear. Located in Agullent (Valencia), its headquarters cover an area of 10.000m2 , with full operations of the company on-site. The company carries a number of different market segments with individual labels, RAPIFE, RAPIFE BABY, NEIT WOMAN, LIDERPUNT knitted garments for women, men, children and babies, to both underwear and external wear. The company works with a number of different materials in its production processes (cotton combed, cotton, elastomer, polyester cotton and acrylic). Acknowledging the innovative achievements of the textile company, in 2008 RAPIFE was awarded with the Europe Enterprise Award by the Valencia Chamber of Comerce and the Valencia Business Confederation.
RAPIFE firmly believes in the importance of R&D as a competitive factor for the company. Beyond participation in the BIOMOMI project more recently RAPIFE has begun investigating the potential to develop knitted garments with UV sun radiation protection as well as the use of sustainable bamboo fibres in its operations (EUREKA Σ!3145 SUNPROTEX). Furthermore, RAPIFE aims to develop new research lines in antibacterial and antifungal medical textiles (EUREKA SILMEDTEX) which will be presented to the next EUREKA committee as well as the development of garments with thermic sensors embedded to indicate fever in babies.

- Ramon Espí
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