Interview with Mr Rainer Roten

Mr Rainer Roten
Mr Rainer Roten
CEO, SSM Textile Machinery
Schweiter Technologies AG
Schweiter Technologies AG

Schweiter Technologies is a traditional Swiss group that specializes in the development, manufacture and global distribution of sophisticated machinery. It comprises of three divisions: SSM Textile Machinery, Satisloh and Ismeca Semiconductor. The companies of the Schweiter Technologies Group come under the umbrella of the holding company Schweiter Technologies AG. The latter's direct wholly owned subsidiaries are Ismeca Semiconductor Holding SA (Semiconductor Division) and Satisloh Holding AG (Satisloh Division), which encompass their own Group companies, and the companies of its Textile Machinery division -SSM Schärer Schweiter Mettler AG, SSM Vertriebs AG and Hacoba Spultechnik GmbH. Satisloh deals in supplying systems for applying coatings and anti-reflective treatments to spectacle lenses and for the surface and edging treatment of optical components. Ismeca Semiconductor manufactures testing, handling and packaging equipment for the semiconductor industry. With a joint commitment to textile machinery and facilities for yarn processing, in 1989, the Schärer, Schweiter and Mettler merged to form SSM Textile Machinery Division. SSM is a global leader in yarn processing and precision winding offering advanced winding systems for wide applications. With the acquisitions of Stähle-Eltex (Air Texturing) and Hacoba Spultechnik (sewing thread) in 1999, it efforts for a continuous development in new business areas matched with this strategy. Swiss citizen Mr Rainer Roten, aged 41, is the CEO of the SSM Textile Machinery. He joined the Group in early December 2006. He held various executive positions earlier with OC Oerlikon/Unaxis for 11 years, and most recently, Vice President Corporate Finance. He completed his business management and is an MBA from the Universities of Berne and Rochester, New York. With Face2Face team, Mr Rainer Roten reveals about the key strategies and reasons for his company achieving a huge success in textile machinery sector.

Bringing along a 300-year old tradition, how is SSM navigating its textile business in the jet-tech era?

Certain things never change; the business has grown more global, technological change in our industry comes swifter and communication technology is increasing the business’ pace, yet the customer is in the center. We need to be in constant contact with him/her to understand and serve the needs and innovate in the right sectors.

What optimal packages does SSM offer which exhibit your organization's excellence and competencies at yarn handling process during the winding operation as well as the downstream processes?

SSM’s dyeing package has an excellent and long standing reputation in the market. We are constantly striving for optimization. We feel that having a thorough understanding of textile processes in general, is the key. We cooperate with major machine manufacturers (up and downstream). Our engineers and product managers frequently organize and conduct seminars, trainings and site visits to help customers use their SSM machines optimally, and also improve their processes - up and downstream. Beside the strong position in the build up of dye packages, SSM has deep knowledge in the field of air textured yarns as well as sewing thread yarns. Over the years, SSM has gathered thorough knowledge in process machinery and is serving customers with the most demanding applications.

Switzerland today is the largest producer of textile machinery in the world with an estimated global market share of 33 percent. Where do you see SSM positioned in the global marketplace from your home turf?

We are a well-positioned Swiss Company and truly global, at the same time. Proximity to the customers is the key and hence, we have own representative offices (like our Liaison Office in Coimbatore), service offices, plants and agents are spread across many countries. As a consequence, the Company’s setup has grown overseas much more over time. Pursuing the business purely out of Switzerland is not possible any more. We do believe SSM has an excellent position amongst the top three winding companies in the world.

Published on: 27/08/2007

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

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