During the last few years, the application of electronics and information technology has brought about significant improvements for the majority of components and systems that make up a flatbed machine, however the basic concept of the stitch formation has remained virtually unchanged.
Today, there is the tendency to offer computer-controlled electronic systems which, despite their sophisticated structure, allow easier operation, speeding up the programming and control of the different machine functions; for example, thanks to electronic control it is possible to intervene directly on all the machine's components and systems by simply entering commands on the control board.
The knitting, tucking and stitch transferring steps are carried out with the electronic selection of individual needles; all this greatly increases the possibility of knitting Jacquard and other complicated patterns.
Besides the needle selection system, flat-bed machines can also be equipped with a wide range of auxiliary devices, leading to a virtually unlimited combinations. According to the user's specific requirements, the manufacturer can emphasise the machine's output capacity, reliability, space-saving characteristics or cost effectiveness.
The following section describes the potentialities of modern flat-bed electronic machines.
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