Embroidery machines are available on the market as Standard and ATC (Automatic Tool Change) machines. Both Standard and ATC machines exist in different variations, have different embroidery heights (80-165 cm), are equipped with cutting device or without cutting device and may have different lengths (2.5 – 32Yards). Standard machines can be equipped with “Manual Tool Change (MTC)”, Standard and ATC machines are both helpful to save time and used to increase the possibilities of pattern making. Of course, the different machine types also require a different way of punching.
There are two different embroidery systems – Saurer (left-hand machine) and Plauen (right-hand machine).
For each system needles and shuttles are specially made and cannot be used with the other system.
On machines with Saurer system, also known as left-hand machines (LH), the yarn passes the eye of the needle from right to left. The shuttles move from the top left corner to the bottom right corner.
Standard Machines with MTC (Manual Tool Change)
MTC stands for Manual Tool Change, which is a special feature of Lasser (one of the major Schiffli embroidery machine manufacturers). This means that needles and borers can remain on the machine because they can be switched on and off by a switch situated next to each thread watcher which results in saving a lot of time and work. Spools and shuttles have to be removed manually.
ATC Machines (Automatic Tool Change) or Pentamant
This means needles, borers; thread rollers and shuttles can be switched on and off automatically by setting the required repeats in the punching. Each needle has a separate thread roller which allows putting all the yarns right from the start without removing it after changing a repeat. This makes it possible to create designs with various repeats and colors without time-intensive needle, borer and yarn changing.
Machines equipped with Plauen system are known as right-hand machines (RH). The yarn passes the eye of the needle from left to right. The shuttles move from the top right corner to the bottom left corner.
Standard Schiffli Embroidery Machines
When changing the repeat on a standard embroidery machine, needles, borers, and shuttles have to be changed manually. All the required needles, borers and shuttles have to be set or removed according to the working repeat. Needles can be removed or set by opening or tightening a screw, and borers, by opening or closing a hook.
Standard machines have one single thread roller that feeds the needle. Do not forget to remove the corresponding spool when changing the repeat.
If the shuttles remain in the machine although not in use, the shuttle yarn will be tangled and it will be impossible to continue stitching afterward.