Murata Machinery, Ltd. a privately held Japanese multinational corporation was founded in 1935. The company entered the U.S. market in 1982 as Murata Business Systems to sell fax machines through private-label agreements with multiple U.S. companies. In 1985, the Murata began marketing its fax products under its own name from its corporate headquarters in Dallas, Texas. The company changed its name in 1992 to Muratec and realigned its business model away from retail in order to focus on sales and distribution exclusively through a national business-to-business dealer channel.
Muratec has developed a wide range of machines for different textile segments. Which are they?
" Since Muratec’s foundation in 1935, we have been consistently proposing profitable machines for our customer all around the world. Such machines can benefit customers in next processes which require highly efficient performance. They can be categorized in these four generations: (1) First generation (1935-1970): Proposed highly efficient automated machines. (Model) Jacquard and Automatic Winder (2) Second generation (1970-1980): Proposed improved and highly efficient automated machines. (Model) #11 Gilbos Winder, Double Twister and Synthetic Fiber Winder and False-Twisting Machine (3) Third generation (1980-2000): Proposed machines which produce high quality yarn and packages by implementing automation, laborsaving and innovative technologies. (Model) No.7 Series Mach Coner Winder, Air Splice Mach Splicer (the world’s first joint-less splicing machine), Air-Jet Spinner (MJS) and Mach Crimper (false-twisting machine). (4) Fourth generation (2000-2006): Concerning resources and environment, proposing technologies which are not only machines but also the processed and produced yarn itself. (Model) No.21 Process Coner, MVS (the world’s first ultrahigh-speed textile machine) and Eco-Twister. In order to provide better service to our customers, the Synthetic Fiber Machine Division has been integrated into TMT Machinery, Ltd. which was established jointly by three prominent machine builders, Toray Engineering Co, Ltd. and Teijin Seiki Co., Ltd and Muratec. "
Textile machinery industry is a mixed bag industry today what with European manufacturers facing difficulties in bringing in new technology and equipments while Asia faces dearth of textile machinery crisis. What is your reading of this situation?
It is difficult not only for European manufacturers but also for Japanese textile machine manufacturers to bring new technologies and products in the Asian market. It is because investment capital for development is not easy to return. It is also difficult for customers to fully collect added values of new technologies or products from selling prices due to low prices in the textile market. In some countries, moreover, protection of intellectual properties and restriction of counterfeits are not well regulated. In order to secure brighter future of textile industry, it is important for both Asian textile markets and machinery manufacturers to collaborate for fair collection of invested capital.
How does Muratec stay ahead of competition in this fast changing world?
We simply propose new technologies which have never achieved before. As our corporate philosophy encourages us to “consistently create new technologies and provide satisfactory products for our customers,” we should provide new technologies considering how they could contribute to our clients. To do so, we are required to form our company organization to deal with problems and needs which our customers have. Whoever in our organization of Sales, Customer Service, Technology or Production, our staffs should listen to our customers very seriously, and such opinions from customers trigger to move fast and flexibly.
What kind of revolution do you envision in the coming decade for the textile machinery industry?
China and India are called “factories of the world.” This indicates that these two areas in South Asia are centers of the textile industry and can be very important production bases of conventional textile machinery to be shifted from Japan and Europe. This possible shift, however, would not include a shift of bases to generate new technologies. In the coming decade, importance of comprehensive and compound technology to solve problems related to resources and environment resources and environment will be significantly required. I am sure that we can develop technologies which could contribute to sustainable growth of the mankind.
What special care does Muratec take to ensure that production lines at their clients end function uninterruptedly?
First of all, we maximize the quality of every machines shipped out from our factories. Strict quality inspection is executed during production processes and on all pre-shipment products. Our staff members are well trained to practice implementation of quality. Secondly, we present unique and global systems of installation / maintenance and parts supply. In order to implement these measures for quality and service, we have established an information system which enables real-time feedback related to quality information inputted by on-site service or sales personnel, and global information sharing including data of the past.
Do you feel that price factor is more important than quality for your clients and to what extent?
Reasonable market value will be important in the future for all of us to enjoy good way of life. It is not only a mission for our client but also for machine suppliers to make it easy for everyone to obtain good textile products at affordable prices. Long-term price factors are more important than short-term ones. As I pointed out, problems of resources and environment are an example of long-term price factors. It should also be considered that mass bargain sales will result to raise up a cost by inefficient distribution stock or returns. Neglect of quality will rebound on cost increase in a long term. Only client who try to avoid this risk can survive. We would like to share the same value with such customers.
To turn in to a global leader, what strategic initiatives has Muratec adopted?
After we started our company which specialized in textile machinery seventy years ago, we diversified our business in the 1960’s. Currently, we provide a wide variety of elemental technologies, such as material handling, precision metal processing, information and communications. We are not a large manufacturer specialized in certain products, such as cars or electronic appliances. But, we are the world’s largest general machinery manufacturer with abilities to make any machine, if we once determine to do so. We will continue to pursue elemental technologies which will be required in the future. We also actively cooperate with other peer companies to accomplish our mission. For example, TMT Machinery, Ltd. as I mentioned before, which was established in 2002 by combining three companies’ technologies can now provide new products with high QCD (Quality, Cost and Delivery) like never before.
How does Murata machinery enhance the "regular-wear casual" brands?
Distribution systems in apparel businesses around the world consist of many segmented divisions of labor. Excessive divisions of labor, however, could eliminate a possibility to create new developments because of inflexible formality between divisions of labor. This is why we proposed the message, “regular-wear casual” to urge more open discussions among processes. This message is not limited to apparel businesses but could be enhanced to innovative ideas in spinning factories. We also think that this message could encourage innovation in conventional ways of thinking. For example, the Vortex technology produces yarn which could create innovative apparel products. We are demonstrating this possibility to people in upstream processes in the textile industry.
Could you please explain Mac and Mag components of Vortex technology?
For a better understanding of the Vortex technology, we use concepts of MAC (Muratec Air Creation) and MAG (Muratec Air Generation). MAC means software includes new textile products made with air-spun yarn by using the Voltex technology. MAG means hardware includes a series of Voltex machines to generate air-spun yarn and products. As a pioneer of Voltex technologies, we are pursuing possibilities of new air technologies from hardware to software.
What is so special about the Winding machines that you offer?
Our winding machines, installed with devices which generate high quality yarn, can lead to next processes with improved efficiency. They also create added value which is inimitable for our competitors. In detail, our winding machines have a fuzz smoother, Perla, a high-speed winder, Bal-Con and Pac21 which is effective for improving efficiency for next processes. All of these new technologies are originally developed by Muratec based on our experience in producing yarn as a textile manufacture and handling yarn in waving, knitting and dyeing manufacturing processes. We could develop these technologies because we intend to become a solution-proposing enterprise which interfaces end-item processes and next processes in our field of textile manufacturing.
What logistics solutions does Muratec offer, particularly using RFID technology?
Our Logistic & Automation Division is currently developing RFID technology. Until the RTID costs decrease and become widely used in the field of distribution including reading devices, the technology would be mainly applied to discriminated technology by pallets or cases. We operate a collaboration research program with other companies including NEC to apply the RFID technology to automated warehousing and sorters which are our main products. We have been internally accumulating know-how in this technology, by applying it to textile machines, such as spinning inspectors, and we consider a wide range of future use of this technology from management of bobbin or package to traceability of the downstream processes and this technology can dynamically revolutionize the whole textile industry.