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Director-Global Marketing Amann Group
We see our growth potential mainly in Asia
For more than 160 years, Amann has been one of the global leaders in the field of high-quality sewing and embroidery threads. The company develops sewing and embroidery threads, as well as functional yarns and technical threads for tomorrow's market requirements. Barbara Binder, director- global marketing, Amann Group talks about the latest innovations and future plans at the company.
Amann Group has a legacy of 160 years. How has the company evolved over these years?
We have changed over the years from a traditional Swabian textile company, which operated mainly in Europe, to a global group with employees from all continents.
How has the market for threads evolved over these years?
Amann Group began first as a German manufacturer of silk sewing threads. Machine speeds were slow and materials usually of natural fibres. Threads were therefore mainly made from natural fibres. In the 50s, Amann pioneered to launch the first polyester threads with much better performance in production to meet the demand of increasingly fast machines. This year we launched the first textile sensor family. At present, another revolution takes places in threads regarding functionality, the combination of different raw materials and construction. For example conductive threads or threads as indicators.
Recently a technology has been introduced wherein the colour of the thread can be changed within the weaving process. How does this affect you?
Until now, there is no process known to us where sewing threads can be dyed with the same high fastness values required by our customers. We are though, observing all new technologies, which are introduced to the market and could be interesting for us.
What is the type of R&D at Amann? What is the percentage profit allocated towards it?
We have in average around 150 to 200 R&D projects per year. At present, we are heavily investing in a new Amann Lab to meet the demand of future technologies in composites, electronics, and sensory.
You have a production plant in Bangladesh. Is this your first and only production facility in Asia? Why have you chosen Bangladesh in Asia to set up a facility?
Our first production plant in Asia was set up in China in 2011 and then Bangladesh in 2013. Other plants will follow. Bangladesh was chosen, because after China it is the second largest production place for clothing in the world. Therefore, the choice was a "must". To set up a production plant for threads is a huge investment; therefore we are careful to invest in lasting production markets.
Please tell us something about the global market for sewing and embroidery threads. What are the factors that affect their demand and supply?
Generally, the demand for sewing threads in quantity over the years has been growing as the number of garments has been growing, too. The same goes for automotive, where the worldwide produced number of cars is increasing as are the number of airbags or safety belts. In apparel, sewing threads are usually ordered after the fabrics arrive in production, therefore there is usually little time for deliveries. The challenge for us is therefore to deliver the right quantity just in time.
Naturally, fashion and design is important, too. There are times where heavy embroideries are fashionable, other times "understatement" is fashion. Third, our customers produce in many countries and therefore production quantities are moved from one country to another. It is important to follow the transfer of business and to set up the service networks on time.
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