German in-house Technical Centres form the nucleus of innovation (Part II)
German textile machinery manufacturers have invested heavily in their in-house Tech Centres, and for two reasons, newly developed machines can be tested at industrial level and customers can bring their own ideas to these centres and make trials on the latest available equipment. Customers can even rent such a centre to experiment under top secret conditions and they can have schooling and training at such facilities
As we promised, we continue to tell you of the fantastic experience we had when touring the German world of textiles and textile machinery a couple months ago. Today, German textile machinery manufacturers are in the focus of this report, namely Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik, Monforts, Trützschler Nonwovens and Trützschler Group, and Saurer Allma Volkmann.
Karl Mayer Group is a relentless innovator
Thanks to an open and extensive company’s information policy, TextileFuture readers know that Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik, Obertshausen, a company who is operating since more than 70 years, it is dedicated to a relentless innovative drive in its business field of warp knitting machines, capable of producing every type of product such as lace, net curtains, clothing and functional textiles to technical textiles. In addition Karl Mayer offers also a full range of warp preparation systems for weaving and warp knitting, as well as parts and components, of course all of highest quality and state-of-the-art. The global strategy’s motto: “Worldwide customer oriented”. The company is also the home of quality, expert engineering and innovation. Its machinery is tailor made to the use of the customers.
Through this relentless innovative drive, the company has continuously expanded its application ranges, but also in collaboration with customers. That is where its own Centre of Excellence plays a central role. Karl Mayer can execute test runs with its newly developed equipment to perfection, but also customers make use of the centre to test run their newest developments. One can say, through this process there is a seamless exchange of ideas between the involved parties. A mutual exchange of upcoming trends can be detected and met early, and Karl Mayer’s own R&D and marketing departments are able to translate new trends into real product ideas. Also in this respect, the company is always at the forefront of the textile world and shares important results with its customers and prospects.
Karl Mayer Group has recently acquired a majority holding in another family company and is about to integrate Liba, another path to enhance the business on a worldwide basis. Helpful is also the global presence, there are 88 subsidiaries and agents. The company is headquartered in Obertshausen (D), where the machines are developed in-house, assembled and marketed. It is also the home of the Centre of Excellence and the Karl Mayer Academy (schooling and training). Another location is Chemnitz where the Karl Mayer Malimo products are manufactured and assembled and also Marketing, Sales and Services are offered. Naila is another location where Liba is headquartered. The location in Switzerland resulted by taking over the Benninger Division of weaving preparation in 2008. The Italian location was acquired with Rotal s.r.l. (sizing machines) in 1992.In North America the subsidiary is located in Greensboro, North Carolina and offers sales and services, the same goes for the subsidiary in Japan, whereas the one in China (Changzhou) produces and assembles and constructs Karl Mayer Machines for particular regional use. The Hong Kong subsidiary offers sales and services in Asia.
TextileFuture considers the Karl Mayer group as one of the most active companies promoting German Technology and preserving Made in Germany.
Monforts new Advanced Technological Centre is a window of opportunity for customers
Monforts Textilmaschinen Gmbh & Co., being a member of Fong’s Industry Group, knows very well to preserve Made in Germany and Technology. Last fall it opened Monforts ATC Advanced Technology Center at its headquarters in Mönchengladbach (D)
The ATC serves as machine presentation centre to customers and prospects, allows these to test run trials under industrial production conditions with their own fabrics. It is further used for the training of operators and service personnel.
The installation is very impressive, on 1200 m2 there are the following installations: Thermex CDR, Montex 6500, Montex 8000, and a Colour Kitchen (with lab Eco-Applictor, equipment for washing tests, Laboratory padder with different roller shore hardness, laboratory coating device and dryer). In addition we find a meeting and a storage area. The ranges of applications are:
Continuous dyeing of woven fabrics (fabric width 60 – 180 cm), drying with infrared pre-dryer Hotflue, heat setting with Hotflue (Thermosol), Hotflue (Curing), ECO Processes with Econtrol® and Econtrol® T-CA, effect processes such as single-sided overdyeing of Denim, two-sided over-dyeing of Denim;
Finishing of knitted fabrics (fabric width 60 – 240 cm), Montex 4 F, vertical chain entailing Liquor application with padder or Eco Applicator, finishing liquor, pigmend dye liquor, weft straightening with weft straightener, selvedge glueding and cutting, steaming with V-steamer, Drying with stenter, heat setting and curing with stenter;
Finishing of woven fabrics (in general) (fabric width 60 – 180 cm), Montex 4 F, combined chain, liquor Application with padder or Eco Applicator, finishing liquor, pigment dye liquor, weft straightening with weft straightener, drying with stenter, heat setting with stenter, curing with stenter, Hotflue;
Finishing of Technical Textiles (fabric width 60 -180 cm), Montex 4 F, needle chain liquor application with padder or Eco Applicator, finishing liquor, pigment dye liquor, weft straightening with weft straightener, stretching (longitudinal) device up to 10000 NM/m, coating with watery and solvent liquors, knife-over-air, knife-over-roll, commabar; stretching (widthwise) device up 15000 N/m. Drying with stenter, Twin Therm (temperature split upper/lower), Explosion protection (for finishing with solvents), heat setting with stenter Montex 4 F (needle chain), and up to max. 300°C, PVC foaming with stenter, and up to max. 300°C, calendering.
Special applications moist cross linking, Monforts MXL® (Hotflue), Monfofts MXL® (stenter); Demim partial mercerising (Hotflue), partial desizing (Hotflue); over-dyeing single-sided, two sided, two-sided with different dyes (Hotflue + stenter).
Of course German technology is the focal point, but Jürgen Hanel, Head of Technical Textiles at Monforts, shows also a stenter, side by side, made in China at Mongfongs, in order that the customer might experience the difference and thus has the choice. TextileFuture feels that this is a very intelligent marketing, showing the internationality of the company, and by defending Made in Germany in a clever way to convince customers to make the right choice for their products.
Trützschler Group means German proven excellence in all business sectors
Whatever business sector, Trützschler Group is active, one can be sure that there is only one distinction to be made: German excellence and this from scratch to the end product, consisting of competence getting fibres into shape since 1888. The family owned enterprise celebrated its 125th anniversary in October 2013
The group disposes of a tremendous experience, innovative technologies and practises collaborative partnering with the customer, along with an impressive service guaranteed around the globe. Trützschler engineers are all keeping an eye on practical experience, because in teamwork with the customers they can enhance benchmark technology. Trützschler disposes of experts in the areas of engineering, textile technology, aerodynamics, electro and sensor technology, along with specialists for IT, image processing and drive engineering. These experts team up to develop innovative engineering techniques. At the same time, Trützschler products offer quality, they are saving costs for the customer, along with the highest standards of productivity. Trützschler is defending Made in Germany with keeping own manufacturing depth at highest level. At Trützschler’s Technical Centres its customers test in industrial surroundings their own materials and new applications, including lab analytics.
Since the founding of the company, Trützschler ‘s characteristics are honesty, respect, dependency and experience. We all know that a banks highest valuation is the trust of its customers, alike for Trützschler who enjoys the fruits of a trustful customer relationship over generations and the company is always facing up to its promises.
On TextileFuture’s fact finding mission, we were visiting Trütschler Nonwovens & Man-Made-Fibres in Egelsbach (D) and its Technical Centre . Trützschler Nonwovens has a another production facility in Dülmen (D) with an additional Tech Centre for customers’ trial runs.
Trützschler Nonwovens was founded upon the acquisition of assets from the two traditional companies Erko and Fleissner. The offering for nonwoven producers around the world by Trützschler are knowhow, expertise in all areas of fibre opening and fibre mixture, web formation, bonding and finishing. Trützschler offers four different bonding processes.
Trützschler Man-Made Fibres delivers complete systems for state-of-the-art spinning plants for the staple fibre and carpet sector, technical filament yarns and on PAN based precursor plants and carbon fibre lines. The company is based upon Fleissner, that company developed in line with the man-made fibre industry and it was a leading supplier of wet-spinning plants for polyacrylic fibres.
The new solutions for bale opening, fibre mixture and opening are based on Erko, the successor of Hergeth. The knowhow is based on long years of experience particularly in web formation by carding or aerodynamic web forming, as well as cross lapper, web drafting and web forming.
Since April 2012 the Name Bastian in Bielefeld stands for Trützschler Nonwovens & Man-Made Fibres brand for the most complete programme for slitting and winding of nonwovens and film material. Since the 1970s Bastian became the leading producer in the sector of automatic winding, unwinding, cutting, etc. for all kinds of nonwovens, films and composites.
Finally Trützschler Switzerland is based on a know how takeover of a Swiss company active in the areas of filament spinning of PA, PP and PES and is delivering turnkey solutions and elements for the areas of carpet yarns and technical yarns.
At the time of our visit in Egelsbach and at its Technical Centre, Trützschler Nonwovens was just in the final stage of the joint production development with Voith Paper for flushable wipes. At the end of October the new material received the approval certificate “flushable” by INDA and EDANA. Flushable wipes are moist wipes that can be disposed “down the toilette” and is applied for instance in baby cleaning wipes, or cleansing tissues. For the producers it has been a small but rewarding market segment up to now by generating high demands: the cloth must be strong enough for cleaning and at the same it must not pollute the sewage system or the environment after disposal.
Voith and Trützschler Nonwovens have been successful in producing wet laid and hydro-entangled nonwovens with a high level of wet strength, consisting only of fibres of natural origin quickly dispersing in water, and 100 % biodegradable.
The raw material is exclusively cellulose, the main component is bleached long fibre pulp as used in paper manufacturing. A small percentage of viscose fibres spun from cellulose are adding to the strength of the nonwovens. The newly developed production process uses neither binding agents, nor melt fibres. Therefore, the cloths quickly disperse in water, and the fibre material is completely biodegradable. The large quantities of long fibre pulp helps to significantly lower production costs.
The certificate proves the efficiency of the newly developed production process, combining Voiths’s HydroFormer for web formation, and optimised for the formation of wet-laid nonwovens, as well as Trützschler Nonwovens’ Aqua Jet for web bonding. Wet laid nonwovens are thought for their high homogeneity. Intensive hydro-entangling turns them into excellent industrial wipes, filter media and coating substrates. The web weights for wipes are 20 – 100 gsm, they are made of pulp viscose, PET and with optional multilayer capability, the working width is 3.60 m with a production speed of up to 400 m/min.
The Trützschler Technical Centre in Egelsbach is equipped with the latest machinery and equipment, and customers can run trials with their own materials. It is also possible that a customer can rent the Technical Centre and perform his trials in top secrecy.
TextileFuture was assisting also at the official 125th anniversary ceremony at Trützschler’s headquarters in Mönchengladbach (D), and we had again an opportunity to witness the modern production facilities truly defending and preserving Made in Germany, and this in outstanding excellence!
Saurer Allma Volkmann preserves Made in Germany through top efficiency
From 1904 to 2004 Volkmann has been an independent company following the developments in the textile industry and headquartered in Krefeld (D). The company was founded by Gustav Adolf and Oskar Volkmann. In the early days Volkmann participated in the boom of the velvet and silk industry and by offering winding and reeling machines, and at a certain moment also warping machines, including their repair and maintenance.
In 1921 Oskar Volkmann passed away and Friedrich Becker is heading the company as partner. Gustav Adolf Volkmann promotes his stepson Hans Nimtz to deputy manager and the stepfather retires 1929 from the company and his brother Emil Volkmann became silent partner in the company and in 1951 Hans Nimtz acquired his shares. After the end of World War II, in October 1945 a new Volkman machine generation was presented: Twisting Machines. In 1954 the company was celebrating its 50th anniversary and the product palette was comprising winding machines for flanged bobbins, large sized winders for wooden cones with 1 kg yarn weight; cone winders with cross wind take-up; cross wind assembly machines, pirn winders without and with twist effect and multi-deck balloon twisters.
In 1959 Volkmann presented its products at the third ITMA in Milan and the booth was only 28 m2 and little interest was shown to the newcomer in the textile machinery market.
In the further years the company was expanding its export business and founded a sales and service centre in the U.S. in Charlotte. Then a co-operation with the Czech Group Elitex KP, Kdyne took place, as well as end of the 1960s a cooperation with Toyoda Automatic Loom Works Ltd. leading to an opening of the markets of Japan, Taiwan and Korea. With the Indian textile machinery group a joint-venture was founded under the name of Star-Volkmann Ltd. in Bangalore, India.
The following years were marked by technological innovations and new products and a growing global success. In 2004 the (old) Saurer Group acquired Volkmann and the company made further technological enhancements. With the acquisition of Saurer by Oerlikon, Volkmann and Allma (twisting machines for tyre cord) belonged to the group and when Saurer purchased the natural fibre business from Oerlikon in 2013 Volkmann Allma became again a member of the new Saurer Group. The actual Saurer Allma Volkmann belongs to Saurer Germany GmbH & Co. KG, it employs around 410 persons worldwide and reports a turnover between CHF 120 – CHF 135 million. The company is still headquartered in Krefeld on a surface of 25000 m2 and has competence centres in Charlotte (USA), Krefeld (D), Kempten (Allma), Suzhou (PRC) and Shanghai.
The company is known for customer satisfaction, excellent products and competent personnel. Allma Volkmann Twisting Systems are earmarked to give materials excellent mechanical properties and longevity, high strength, increase of elongation, even yarn structure, low hairiness, breathability, smooth appearance, softness in touch and minimal pilling effect, either as TFO twist, cabling, up-twist or ring twist, catering to the sectors of tyre cord (2012 32.4 %), carpeting (31.3 %), staple and glass n(13.3 %), industrial applications (4.2 %) and original parts business (18.8 %).
The company disposes of an impressive innovation pipeline up to 2016. It also disposes of a number of strategic priorities to make use of networking worldwide, Suzhou, China is responsible for all high volume, staple, tyre cord and glass, production of main components and parts. Krefeld stands for complex high variance machines, configurations (carpet, HeatSET, TC2) and parts. Planned is also an enhancement of low cost country sourcing, 70-95 % BCC share in China 40 – 80 % BCC share in Germany, the establishment of a supply chain in main components, lead time in Germany is 42 days, in China 84 days, increase of payment terms to 60 days in Germany and 90 days in China. A new integrated global quality initiative is underway with integrated QM processes, quality improvement programme, qualification of staff and customer feedback. The cost structure has to be lowered with a reduction of fix cost by -3.0 % annually, and other measures.
When walking through the premises in Krefeld, each employee has a plan of his personal daily/monthly goal to be achieved and pinned on the wall. It works with bonus system, and according to Wolfgang H. Leupers, CEO Allma Volkmann, the experience is such that the personnel is very highly motivated not only to fulfil the goal set, but to exceed it, which means that the entire company is working with the same ambitions to reach the company’s preset goals. In the end effect, this leads to a most effective and lean organisation. We noted also, that the assembly of the machines starts one week before delivery and then all the parts, no matter if the components come from China or from Germany will be on hand. At the end of the week, the machine will be delivered. TextileFuture was impressed by the high efficiency and structure of Saurer Allma Volkmann, defending in its own way Made in Germany.
As you can see, also among textile machinery manufacturers there are different means to defend Made in Germany and German technology. The insight into the two sectors of textile and textile machinery companies is providing TextileFuture only with some facts, proving that each company has means to be competitive on the world market.