Interview with Mr Thomas Waldmann

Face2Face
Mr Thomas Waldmann
Mr Thomas Waldmann
MD
VDMA Textile Machinery Association
VDMA Textile Machinery Association

On the top of the agenda is securing free world trade by strengthening the WTO..
VDMA, Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau - German Engineering Federation, is one of the key association service providers in Europe and offers the largest engineering industry network in Europe. It represents 3,000 SMEs in the engineering industry, making it one of the largest and most important industrial associations in Europe. VDMA covers the entire process chain - everything from components and plant manufacturers, system suppliers and system integrators through to service providers and reflects the varied customer-supplier relations all along the value adding chain, permitting both industry-specific and intra-industry cooperation. Textile Machinery wing of VDMA represents 125 vital German textile machinery producers. With a 90% share of exports on an average, the branch is internationally leading amongst German Engineering. The branch occupies ~ 800.000 employees and generates a turnover of more then 170 billion euros. Mr Thomas Waldmann is Managing Director of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association. Appearing on Face2Face, in a talk with Sr Editor & Correspondent- Ms Madhu Soni, Mr Waldmann highlights key happenings of year 2010 in textile machinery arena and ticks on key lessons to remember.

Willkommen, Mr Waldmann! Please tell us how VDMA functions.

The largest part of the member companies are medium-sized businesses. The main target is to represent the interests of these companies towards a variety of addressees like governments, national and international authorities, exhibition corporations, organisations, research institutes and service providers.

Networking is an important aspect. Besides their decision-making function, the different committees of the VDMA Textile Machinery association, namely the Executive Board, the Technical Advisory Board, the Fair and Marketing Committee, as well as the newly founded regular China Management Meeting are exclusive panels for the exchange of experiences. In addition the association offers member companies numerous events concerning different topics.

For a single company it is hard to assert itself towards all the groups I mentioned before but with joined forces within the VDMA network the member companies have a powerful voice. In view of exhibitions for instance, the VDMA textile machinery association is a strong partner whose substantial arguments count for the trade fair companies around the world.

In recap story of year 2010, what points can be considered as morals to remember? With what peculiarities and trends would global textile machinery market step in New Year and bear them through?

To remember is definitely the steady recovery of the textile machinery business in 2010. In 2008 and 2009, the companies of this branch had to accept a historical slump with its consequences on production and export. In the first three quarters of 2010 the German exports of textile machinery increased by 50 % compared with the respective period in 2009 and reached a volume of 1.9 billion Euros. The trends for 2011 and the years to come do mainly depend on the challenges of the customer industries – and a major challenge is to keep costs under control. The higher prices for raw materials are obviously worrisome signs for textile manufacturers. Sustainable textile production in terms of efficiency in energy, material and resources will be a major issue in the time ahead not just because of ecological aspects but because of hard economic facts.

Germany-made are competent on technology & innovation front. For sure, R&D is pillar to this recognition. Isn't it? Can you provide us key figures on it?

Innovation capability is the mainstay of the German textile machinery industry and is essential to be the decisive step ahead of competitors. Innovation requires high investments in R&D as well as highly skilled engineers. The R&D ratio in other words the percentage of the German textile machinery industries total sales devoted to R&D expenditures are well above 4 % while the average R&D ratio of the whole German machinery industry is between 3 and 4 %.

The biggest part of the R&D expenditure is for internal research and development. Co-operations with customers are increasing. In addition, community research gives impetus.

Published on: 24/01/2011

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.

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