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A machine manufacturer and technology partner for knits, wovens, and technical textiles, the Santex Group claims to be the world's only manufacturer for complete knit fabric finishing lines in both tubular and open width. Mary Christine Joy talks to Heinz Michel, president of Santex AG, to know more about the group and its role as an innovative solutions provider.
How do you rate the markets in Europe, USA, Asia-Pacific and other emerging economies for textile machinery?
Textile machinery is a world market, and it never ceases to fascinate me. We can see some European companies investing in textile and even more in technical textile machines. This is a good signal for the industry in Europe. Of course, Asia-Pacific continues to be a dominating market. We have very close contacts with markets in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. I am impressed with the numerous first class customers we have in those countries. They are producing for the most famous retailers. The Chinese market is handled by our local company Santex Shanghai. The market here has slowed down a bit during the last months of 2014. However we have a very strong market position and I am optimistic about China. The Americas are markets we are working more intensively in order to offer special technology in textile as well as technical textile machinery.
Textile machinery is a vast industry. Could you elaborate on the textile machinery industry in general?
I want to concentrate on our range of textile machinery. Santex AG was founded in 1982 and is focused on textile finishing, mainly for knit fabrics. SperottoRimar from Santex offers finishing solutions for high quality wool and blended fabrics. So we are at the end of the textile supply chain. Besides textile machinery, Santex Group also offers machines for technical textiles under the brands Cavitec and Isotex for coating/laminating with Hotmelt or Wet Coating technology and impregnation lines using epoxy or phenolic resins for carbon, glass or aramid fibres.
What are the latest technological innovations taking place in the textile machinery industry?
Textile machinery is an old industry and therefore technological innovations are realized in small steps. We are constantly working on high efficiency machines with low energy consumption. For instance, we developed special devices to reduce energy like energy-saving chambers for our Santashrink dryer. Furthermore we launched a special Compact machine to get a better lustre and hand of the fabric and to reduce the residual shrinkage of knitted goods. What is topmost on priority with our engineers is to get the best possible fabric quality for our clients. Technical textile machines are invariably customised and we are flexible in attending the demands of our worldwide customers. In the area of coating/laminating we have developed the new Cavimelt P+P, a compact machine with the goals of precision, production and lamination using an engraved roller.
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