Research and Development Fiber Spinning
Hills routinely participates with customers in the development of new fiber technologies. These joint development programs are usually conducted in the Hills in-house lab using Hills' own research and pilot machinery. This equipment is set-up for production of UOY, POY, FOY, Spunbond, and Melt Blown products. The Hills lab has played major roles in the development of an exceptional number of new polymers, processes, and fiber products recently introduced in the fiber markets.
Custom Designed Commercial Machinery
The majority of Hills' business is generated from the design and manufacture of custom production machinery developed to fulfill a customer’s specific fiber requirements. Examples of Hills' past custom machinery projects include:
- Staple: Large-scale multi-component staple spinning machines for producing over 500 lbs/hr/pack with 16 packs, godets, and tow canner.
- Spunbond: Large-scale multi-component spinning systems with quench and draw jet aspirator speeds up to 7000 m/m.
- Melt Blowing: Large-scale multi-component melt blowing systems
- Filament: Large-scale multi-component fiber systems
- Retrofitting: Hills has a great deal of experience modifying existing plants to update machines or to convert to different processes, especially multicomponent systems.
Pilot Scale Spinning Equipment
In addition to building full-scale production lines, Hills routinely supplies research equipment, which includes self-standing machines capable of producing melt spun, wet spun, or spunbond fibers. Most melt-spinnable polymers have been handled. In wet spinning, Hills specializes in equipment used to produce hollow fiber membranes. Hills research and pilot machines for producing multi-component fibers are in great demand. Take-ups are available for winding UOY, POY, FDY, spunbond, melt blown, & staple. Our equipment is often designed for flexible processes and it is generally customized for the customer’s unique requirements. Typical users of these machines are fiber producers, polymer suppliers, research facilities, and universities. Uses included testing and development of processes and products for new fibers, polymers, color concentrates, fiber finishes, etc.
Multi-Component Fiber Technology
Hills has developed a highly advanced multi-component technology, which provides many advantages to the fiber industry. Multi-component fibers are briefly described as two or more polymers or additives combined into a single fiber. The advantages of producing multi-component fibers include:
- High filament densities
- Unlimited potential for varying polymer distribution within the fibers
- Low cost
The multi-component fiber technology is a rapidly growing field. Hills has sold over one hundred pilot and commercial machines. Several of the latest projects have been tri-component machines.
Corporate Offices and Facilities
Hills occupies 8 buildings with over 85,000 square feet (over 7,900 square meters) of office, shop, and laboratory space located on eight acres of land in West Melbourne, Florida. A total of 60 employees provide management, technical, sales, accounting, and shop services to the company.
Skilled engineers and draftsmen do all of Hills' mechanical, electrical, and process engineering in-house. Computer aided technology and appropriate testing facilities are used to assist in the development of new designs and processes.
Hills owns a full capability CNC machine shop specializing in high precision machine parts. This capability, combined with our manual equipment for secondary operations, EDM machinery for specialized application, surface grinding for finishing, as well as our relationships with local suppliers on the high tech Space Coast of Florida, have made Hills exceptionally capable of producing the precision components required for the most advanced fiber production machinery.
Experienced assembly/fabrication technicians work directly with the company’s shop management and project engineers to provide welding, assembly, painting, electrical wiring, and installation services. Essentially all of the company’s electrical panels are designed and built in-house. Construction to most international codes is available.
Hills International Offices
Hills, Inc. is a truly international organization with projects, sales agencies representatives, and service center facilities in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
In 2004, a Hills office opened in Guangzhou, China. The primary responsibilities of the Hills Guangzhou Representative Office is to operate as a sales, service, and procurement office.