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Interview with Wolfgang Muller

Industry Speak
Wolfgang Muller
Wolfgang Muller
Head of Sales
Mayer & Cie
Mayer & Cie

We presented the scope of our digital opportunities at ITMA

Mayer & Cie is a leading global manufacturer of circular knitting machines. From fabrics for home textiles to sportswear, nightwear or swimwear, Mayer & Cie has the right machine to manufacture them. Wolfgang Muller, head of sales, talks about the importance of the bearded needle technology in increasing the production speed of textile machines and ITMA.

Please tell us about your company.

Mayer & Cie (MCT) was founded in 1905. It manufactures circular knitting machines used to make t-shirts, nightwear, underwear and mattress covers, among others. Mayer & Cie has received more than 300 patents and revolutionised the automated circular knitting process, and is now the global market leader in the field. Over 98 per cent of our machines are exported, mainly to Asia, starting with Turkey, India and Bangladesh, Indonesia and China. We also export to other countries in America, Europe and Africa. In 2018, group sales were around €110 million. Since 2019, we have added braiding machines to our portfolio. These premium machines are used to produce reinforcements for hydraulichoses.

Did you launch any new technologies or are show existing technologies at ITMA 2019?

At ITMA 2019, we presented five machines, four of which were ITMA premieres. First, we have our Weftnit machine study. In contrast to a conventional circular knitting machine that uses latch needles, the Weftnit, inspired by weft knitting, uses bearded needles. That has advantages in stitch formation, which for one is much gentler than when latch needles are used. For another, the stitch structure is finer than that of a conventional circular knitting machine with the same gauge. In addition, we expect that the bearded needle technology will increase the machine's production speed.

Second, we presented the OVJA 1.1 EETT. It combines double electronics and bidirectional transfer selection with a knit that has almost an infinite variety of patterns, including hole structures. Multi-coloured spacer fabrics are another specialty of this machine that we developed, especially for producing shoe uppers and for athleisure fashion.

The MJ 3.2 E, our third machine at ITMA, was an electronic single jersey machine that specialises in the production of mesh and body mapping structures, both of which are very much in demand for sports and athleisure fashion wear. The OVJA 2.4 EM was the fourth ITMA launch and is the most productive machine in the market for the manufacture of mattress cover fabrics.  

An established machine is the Spinit 3.0 E, which was the fifth exhibit. The fact that it now also processes polyester, is capable of a higher working speed and is linked to the knitlink digital platform makes the knitting machine an even more attractive proposition. On top of our machine innovations, we presented how we can put digital opportunities to use. Our Knitlink platform is tailor made to suit the needs of our customers. It allows the recording and evaluation of machine data. New service offers such as remote service and a more efficient collaboration via mixed reality glasses are also part of the package just like a web shop. Further aspects will soon be added. 

How many countries do you export to?

Mayer & Cie circular knitting machines are exported worldwide. The single strongest market is China, along with Turkey and India. Further important markets are Bangladesh, Indonesia, Brazil and recently Uzbekistan.

Since when has your company been participating at ITMA?

Mayer & Cie participated at ITMA in 1950 for the first time.

What is your opinion of ITMA, when you compare with other textile machinery exhibitions?

ITMA Europe is the Olympics of textile machine engineering. It is where all manufacturers show and give their best. ITMA, unlike trade fairs some of which are regional, is an electrifying international meeting point where innovations are exhibited and further ideas on future innovations are discussed. ITMA is also a barometer of the current state of the global textile sector and the performance of our competitors. Mostly, however, ITMA is also a meeting 'among friends' who have known each other for years and, in some cases, for decades. ITMA is also the event at which Mayer & Cie can present itself as a united family. (RR)
Published on: 12/07/2019

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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