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Chairman VDMA Textile Machinery Association
The demand for used machines has increased in developing countries. Do you feel it has any positive dimension? Will this help their development?
For companies in developing regions, used machines can be of course a starting option. But depending on the age of a machine it could become difficult to reach the quality of yarns or fabrics that guarantee real profit. Down times or the lack of energy efficiency of old machines prove the German proverb “Buy cheap, buy twice”. In many cases the saved money is soon used up by subsequent costs, so it would have been cheaper to buy a new machine.
Machines made in Germany are considered to be best in terms of technology & innovation. Can you provide us key figures on it?
Germany is the biggest textile machinery exporter worldwide. In 2012 exports amounted to 3.1 billion Euros. The distance to the competing nations is huge: Number two was Japan (1.8 billion Euros), followed by China (1.7 billion) and Italy (1.5 billion). Given that technology and innovation leadership is appreciated by the markets, these figures underline the German position.
What is the importance of social networking sites in this industry? Do you feel that they help to do a better business?
Compared to the consumer goods industry, social media play a minor role in the machinery business. The central platform to inform oneself on latest textile machinery and to do business is still ITMA. Of course the importance of social media in the marketing of a machinery builder will increase, because for the younger generation around the world, using social media platforms is as normal as telephoning. So in future, social media platforms will have – among other communication channels - their role in the communication even of machinery builders.
Why a player in the industry should be associated to VDMA?
First of all, the VDMA lends a powerful voice to the views of its 3000 members. For a single company it is hard to assert itself towards all the target groups linked with the business.
Then there is the networking aspect. VDMA offers exclusive platforms to network with colleagues from other machine building companies and even customer industries. The networking argument does not only apply to CEOs and management topics but to different levels and various issues. It is always useful to exchange views with other companies and to learn how they are meeting challenges or taking advantage of opportunities.
Besides networking it is noteworthy to mention the huge service portfolio and expertise VDMA offers exclusively for member companies. There are experts for law, economics, statistics, taxes, research and technology just to mention a few. Not to forget data and market information, which are of great help for planning and doing business.
What are the most notable works by VDMA in the past two years?
Since the textile machinery sector is an export driven branch, sales support is a key activity of VDMA. The textile machinery association is very active in organizing symposia / conferences in major textile markets. On the occasion of these conferences German companies present in lectures their latest technologies to high-ranking technical experts and decision makers from the respective textile industry. The lectures are completed with B2B meetings and panel discussions on core topics (e.g. sustainability or life-cycle-costs).
Since 2011 VDMA conferences took place in Vietnam, China, Turkey and Indonesia. The next stop will be India. VDMA conferences themed “German technology for Indian textile” will address the specific tasks of Indian textile companies on 3rd December 2013 in Mumbai and on 5th December 2013 in Coimbatore.
Another work from the past two years I would like to mention has to do with sustainability. Sustainability has been a loosely-used watch word for many years. In a next step some market players started activities relating to assessment criteria and comparability of resource efficiency. These approaches lacked objectivity because they attempted to measure complex textile machinery in the same way like consumer electronics and household appliances.
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