Textile activity in the western world has a long tradition, which accumulates experience.
Daniel Lippuner, CEO of Saurer Group, provides an outline of the textile machinery industry in an interview with Fibre2Fashion Correspondent Ridaa Saiyed.
Saurer is a leading textile industrial group mainly specializing in machinery and components for yarn processing. The Group unites the brands Schlafhorst, Zinser, Allma, Volkmann, Saurer Embroidery, Accotex, Daytex, Fibrevision, Heberlein, Temco and Texparts. With around 1 billion CHF annual sales and 3.800 employees and locations in Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, USA, China, India and Singapore, the group is well positioned to serve the world's textile markets.
Daniel Lippuner is the CEO of the Saurer Group. A Swiss citizen aged 44, Daniel Lippuner is the former Managing Director of Oerlikon Textile Components. He worked for 6 years in OC Oerlikon, of which 3 years as Corporate Controller. Daniel Lippuner worked for 8 years with Hilti in various finance and general management functions and 5 years with Rieter Automotive (now Autoneum). He spent 6 years of his career in Asia (China, India and Thailand).
Can you discuss a few recent achievements by Saurer?
2013 was an eventful and successful year in the history of Saurer - we became SAURER again and achieved a clear growth in business. Despite the high cost for labor and raw material in China, Saurer has a successful outcome in 2013 especially for the Zinser Ring Spinning, Volkmann Twisting and Saurer Embroidery machines. The brands within the Saurer Group stand for innovation and highest product quality in the textile business worldwide.
Saurer Zinser is the ring-spinning specialist and has the most versatile portfolio of ring frames ranging from course to super fine counts for all raw materials. Today Zinser is the only manufacturer to offer ring-spinning machines for both cotton and worsted spinning.
In close cooperation with the customers, Volkmann has developed machines, which are able to meet the changing requirements of the market while offering the user exceptional cost efficiency, flexibility and outstanding product quality.
In the wide-ranging market for staple fibre yarns, fashion trends such as, super fine yarn counts and the associated quality demands are still the decisive factors for success. The need to reduce energy costs and increase profitability are the basic parameters which are very important in today's globalized market place which for us means targeting our development process and creating technologies with which mills can manufacture high quality products, lower their energy costs and thus further optimize their profitability.
What is the importance of machinery in the textile industry?
The machines used in yarn and fabric processing are clearly the most important investment as the efficiency and quality of the machines are the main driving force behind output quality and of course profitability.
Quality must be built bottom up and this always starts with the machinery, for example, a low quality machine will always produce low quality yarns and be limited in scope of production. High quality components can help in manufacturing of course but it is never a finite solution to an underlying quality issue.
What are the recent developments in the textile machinery industry and how has it helped the manufacturing of textile products?
The development over the last 15-20 years has been remarkable. If you look at the extended range of textile uses today such as functional, medical, industrial, we have come a long way from the origins of the textile industry. Today, sustainability is an important question and this is how the modern machines are contributing considerably - automated quality controls, lower investment and process cost, lower energy use and waste minimization. When it comes to traditional textile industry, the modern machines also offer flexibility and efficiency. Being able to produce small lots at reasonable cost allows the manufacturers to react to accommodate the fast changing fashion of today.
How do you foresee the growth of the global textile machinery industry in the coming future?
Textile market growth is influenced by the increasing buying power of the middle class in the emerging markets as well as the growth of the worldwide population. However, the textile machine market will reach at best low, one-digit increase rates because the machines become more and more productive thanks to new innovations. Unfortunately, the cycle time will not decrease because the markets are synchronized worldwide and the government influence in big textile countries has increased recently. In this sense, in particular, the Chinese government plays an important role, when and how it decides in the question of subsidies to the Chinese cotton producers.
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