O’Neills Irish International Sports Company Ltd. Is an Irish sporting goods manufacturer, and is the largest manufacturer of sportswear in Ireland, with production plants located in Dublin and Strabane. The 100 % Irish owned company was founded in 1918 by Charles O’Neill to produce Gaelic footballs and today the family-run company employs more than 900 people across Ireland, the UK, France, Australia and beyond.
With its own knitting mill and dyehouse, as well as printing and sewing facilities, the company is able to react rapidly to changing market requirements and to create its own new designs. This flexibility provides a competitive edge for O’Neills, and many leading sports clubs have jerseys made by it – from soccer to rugby to boxing, basketball, hockey and many other sports. Product quality is very important and is anchored deeply in the company’s history. This requires of course high-quality production machines, and in this respect, German machine builder Brückner clearly convinced O’Neills of the performance of its finishing lines.
Family-run company Brückner has developed drying and finishing lines for the textile industry for more than 70 years. Its lines are completely produced in Germany, and tests and developments can be made together with customers at Brückner’s own Technology Center in Leonberg.
The line supplied to O’Neills has also been developed in cooperation with the customer and is tailor-made to its needs. Special attention was paid to tensionless fabric transport and improved dimensional stability of the product, with the highest possible energy efficiency. In addition, O’Neills often produces small lots with heavy nonwovens which leads to increased formation of fibre fluffs. Therefore, the dryer access has been adapted to simplify and accelerate cleaning.
The Brückner Power-Frame stenter features a web guider system in the entry to ensure proper decurling, as well as accurate centric web running into the padder with minimum liquor pad trough. The machine has a vertically moving chain system and is built with alternating arrangement of the heating units/fans and nozzles. The side of the heating and circulating air elements alternates every 1.5 metres, which leads perfectly homogeneous air impingement over the complete fabric width.
The extended cooling zone at the end of the dryer improves heat-setting results further. At the same time the fabric is led into the exit area over a special transport belt to finish the very delicate and elastic fabrics perfectly.
After several years of operation, O’Neills recently ordered maintenance and optimization of the line together with Brückner’s technologists. John Towell, Maintenance Manager with O’Neills comments: “We have been using Brückner machines for almost 20 years, and have found them to be reliable, flexible and efficient. Brückner have helped us to find consistency with drying and heat-setting a varied range of our fabrics. We’ve also found them excellent to work with regarding repair and maintenance issues that have occurred over time. We hope to continue this strong relationship into the future and would highly recommend them.”
“We were also very happy with the thorough inspection of the machine and the detailed analysis that followed. The report that we received post service was very informative and will help us going forward to keep our machine running as efficiently as possible and to keep it maintained for the future. We found the Brückner engineers to be extremely helpful and adaptive to our specific needs on the machine.”