Asia in general is the potential market for textiles. On the front of nonwovens, how do you envisage its business strength?
Since Dilo has been worldwide present in all important markets including Asia since decades, we consider Asia to be one of our traditional markets. Market shares are varying a lot from year to year on an average basis; however, there is still a very high potential for further growth of the consumption of nonwoven material in Asia and consequently for the related production machinery as well.
Unlike conventional textiles, nonwovens sector urges a vigilant watch on market needs and customized products. How do you manage that?
Traditionally the manufacturers of nonwovens in the United States, Japan and Europe invest in modern, highly productive equipment of the latest design. In this regard not only the throughput, the production rate is most important but also the quality, the evenness and the surface appearance of the textile end product is regarded decisive in order to compete globally. At the same time also the line efficiency is in the focus. Therefore only highly automated equipment with modern computer controls, memory for production recipes and menu guided operation is evaluated as crucial to stay competitive. One most important point is also the quality and quantity of the fibre used to arrive at a certain high levelled product quality. Recent advancements in the design of nonwoven lines offer features which help to save fibre representing the highest cost factor in the textile industry. Of course, there are still areas where used equipment is applied, too, predominantly to make use of reclaimed or recycled fibre. But even in this area when shoddy material or natural fibre is processed state-of-the-art equipment offers a wide range for dedusting the machines, recycle fibre material from edgetrim or from vacuumed areas within a production line. Easy and quick access to areas is important where cleaning is necessary in order to reduce the downtime for maintenance. All in all a lot of important features speak for the investment into modern equipment of the latest design.
Germany is the strongest nation in technology advancement. How do you defeat domestic competitors and those from countries offering low priced products?
Dilo is specialized in machinery and technology for nonwoven production exclusively. Through this focus and specialization Dilo is able to stay at the forefront of development to provide innovative machinery leading in throughput capacity, production efficiency and reliability as well as in first quality for the nonwoven product itself.
Excellent service is a prerequisite to be successful. Dilo therefore keeps a big stock of spare parts in Germany and electrical parts through partners worldwide in order to provide a high degree of availability on short notice for many typical spare parts. Also our highly trained workforce is constantly travelling worldwide in order to provide field service and assistance.
What significance does the R&D division holds for your company?
Our R&D activities focus on improvements, modifications, innovations and inventions for all components, be it preparatory, web-forming or needling machines, with a budget of over 7 % of our turnover. In this regard Dilo has contributed a large number of inventions to the needling technology like e. g. DI-LOOP, DI-LOFT, DI-LOUR, RONTEX, BELTEX, HYPERPUNCH, CYCLOPUNCH, HYPERNEEDLING, etc.
In the league of fighting out recessionary upshots, various stimulus packages are tooled by various nations. In your view will they work? How do you expect European policy makers to help your industry?
The economic crisis in the industry was caused or at least heavily severed by the banking and financial crisis. The governments worldwide have taken note of this increasingly difficult situation and have reacted in general adequately and timely with their related packages to provide guarantees to stabilize the financial system. In addition, they have provided funds in order to improve the infrastructure, school buildings and the education system in general. Some of those measures cannot be turned into economic success immediately, since improvement in the infrastructure e. g. needs planning and preparation. On the other hand, they certainly provide a positive psychological influence on the situation in the economy. Since we cannot expect to get specific help for all individual industrial segments and since the economic crisis can only be overcome by improving the financial sector first, I find it positive that a new banking structure is coming on stream in order to allow the banks to get rid of bad debts through the so-called “bad banks”. This is carried out with the help of the governments and the Federal Reserve banks. In this regard yes, I can confirm my positive expectation that those measures will eventually work to help to overcome the current crisis. The question, of course, is how quick these governmental, financial programs can turn into real economic recovery.
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.