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Interview with Erwin Devloo

Erwin Devloo
Erwin Devloo
Marketing Communications Manager

We do not just sell weaving machines, we sell weaving capacities

Picanol develops, produces and markets high-tech weaving machines, based on air (airjet) or rapier technology. The company supplies weaving machines to weaving mills worldwide, and also offers such services as installation, commissioning and troubleshooting. Marketing communications manager Erwin Devloo talks intelligent machine design and more in an interview with Fibre2Fashion.

Please tell us about your company.

Picanol was started in 1936 and we started with production of shuttle looms. The breakthrough came in 1971 when Picanol became the first company to use electronics in shuttle weaving machines. In 1981, we introduced the first airjet looms, and in 1976 the first rapier looms. With time, we added microprocessors and now have digitised our machines. We have made our machines 'Self Learning'.

What new technologies were displayed at ITMA 2019?

We promoted two technologies at our stall at ITMA, one of which was the world launch of our new airjet weaving machine named OmniPlus-i. OmniPlus-i features a redesigned reed motion, optimised relay nozzle set up and can be combined with SmartShed, the full electronic controlled shedding motion. We always improve our machines on four benchmarks. One is the 'Driven by Data' feature, where we capture all the data through sensors and make the machine more self-learning, where the machine adjusts on its own. We also continuously try to make our machines more sustainable (sustainability inside), where we focus on reducing energy consumption and waste management. The third principle 'Smart Performance': intelligent machine design combined with self-setting software, allowing the highest possible practical speed and best performance under real conditions. 'Intuitive control' means that user-centric approach is embedded in the design of the overall machine, making all operations easy, intuitive and self-explanatory.

We also showed our existing range of rapier weaving machines, OptiMax-i. All machines are equipped with the Blue Box control unit, which has a new large display to control everything. All settings can be done through the panel screen. Now a technician does not need to go under a machine to do any setting. It is user-friendly. One does not need to stop the loom to make changes from the panel screen.

But more importantly, we also promoted Picanol as a company because we do not just sell weaving machines, we sell weaving capacities and offer after-sales service to customers too. And this is where we want to make a difference by showing that we do not just sell machines. In every country, we have our own office and do not work through an agent. We also have our own team of technicians in those countries, who can answer a service call within 24 hours.

How many countries do you export to?

We export to all those countries where there is a textiles industry.

How many ITMAs has your company participated in?

We have been taking part at ITMA since the first edition in France.

What is your opinion about ITMA?

ITMA can be compared to the Olympics, both of which are held every four years. Just as Olympics is the biggest sports event in the world, ITMA too is the biggest textile machinery exhibition and mainly decisionmakers visit this exhibition from around 100 countries.  (HO)
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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