Everybody is talking now about the next industrial revolution. Innovations like Industry 4.0 or the Internet of things are bringing customers to the question: Where I am now in the industrial evolution? If they find, that they still have a way to go to reach Industry 4.0, they are searching for clever ways to step forward. There are still many digital island solutions in the finishing sector. Of course, automation and IT systems are installed on most machinery, but what about networking and optimisation of all machines and departments? We already offer today solutions for complete productions simulation, optimisation and routing, e.g. by barcode or radio frequency identification (RFID), integrating dyeing, finishing and printing.
We also see increasing data (big data) on each machine. For example: Todays machines are equipped with many energy counters for electricity, water, etc. We believe that this important information will be only useful if you can see trending information, related to your real production, means, how many kilo watts per hour I have used per production output like per kg of fabric? To make use of this, we will need intelligent reporting tools. Mobile applications will help to make them available wherever they are needed.
The ultimate goal would be to have a mix of best-available-technologies in machinery and automation, intelligent optimised production processes and people that can really exploit the possibilities that the technologies offers. Because of the increasing complexity of the supply chain, it is essential to have a good trained and motivated team.
The word sustainability of course is spread all over the industry. Not only machines now collecting data about their consumption. Also energy management systems help for the optimisation of energy and resources. Beside this, we see a higher demand now in colour management systems, as customers see there is also a big potential to save and optimise not only energy, water and steam, but also dye stuff and chemicals. But also with our new product PrintMaster we can support the actual trend in rotary and digital printing.
When we meet with our original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers from the textile machinery, still, we constantly see new developments and innovations in the machine technology itself that brings benefits for dyeing and finishing that we on our side support with our automation and software solutions.
In many countries, more and more governmental rules and environmental protections guidelines are issued. Also many labels and brands are interested in implementing more sustainable methods in their production chain. Especially in textile finishing, the amount of used resources, energy and waste water is above average, means exactly here, also the most savings can be achieved.
Beside many West European countries, there are China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, but there are several more countries were we see more pressure for sustainable textile finishing technologies. This trend goes along the global supply chains.
We see more requests coming from Vietnam, Pakistan, Turkey, Bangladesh and Mexico. Customers are looking for more advanced technologies, not only in the machine itself but also in control systems.