Interview with Ralph Knecht

Ralph Knecht
Ralph Knecht
Saurer Zinzer
Saurer Zinzer

We live textile
The Saurer Group is a name to reckon with in the textile industry. It specialises mostly in machinery and components for yarn processing. The group's brand Zinser is leading in ring spinning applications. Ralph Knecht, head of Saurer Zinzer, discusses the global market of spinning machines, innovations and challenges faced by the textile machinery industry with

What is the size of the global spinning machinery industry?

In 2015, according to our estimates, the number of new spindles was around nine million. This was lower than before. We expect data from ITMF to confirm this. For the first time in over five years, China, the dominating factor so far, fell to below 40 per cent. On the other hand, India has grown in the same period. For the first time in recent history, over 50 per cent of the market was shared by five countries: India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Pakistan. We have been expecting for a while now that India will take over as the new champion in ring spinning.

What is the expected growth rate in the next three years in textile machinery?

Ring spinning machines are getting more efficient, hence spindle replacement is no longer 1:1. The current market seems sustainable at around nine million spindles per year. This should continue till 2020. This could change if a major governmental investment programme was launched somewhere, encouraging investments beyond the current norm.

In which countries do you see demand for textile machines rising?

The top three markets are China, India and Vietnam. Other important markets are Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangla-desh and Turkey. Africa is growing, but the pace is lower than expected.

What are the latest time-saving and energy-efficient innovations in ring spinning?

We are happy to introduce Zinser spinning technology with Saurer E³ - Triple Added Value of Energy, Economics, Ergonomics. Saurer's philosophy of innovation and sustainability, with focus on customer requirements led to its creation. The E³ philosophy is a development guideline that Saurer has set itself to en-sure that every machine generation is more energy efficient, more economical and easier to use than the pre-vious. The Zinser 72 ring spinning machine offers outstanding energy savings in the suction process. The new two-end TwinSuction system saves two-thirds of the earlier energy consumption in combination with the sensor-monitored OptiSuction yarn break suction system. This is a unique milestone in improved energy efficiency. With a length of 2,016 spindles, the Zinser 72 has broken the 2,000 barrier and is setting new standards for economy in the commodity yarn sector. The machine is super-long, super-economical and extremely user-friendly. Zinser 72 lowers production costs by up to 11 per cent and has a footprint up to 21 per cent smaller compared with shorter ring spinning machines. The new Zinser 72 energy monitoring system delivers information about energy consumption per shift or lot allowing specific energy optimisation in the production chain. The Zinser 72 is the most economical ring and compact spinning machine in the world. The ZinserImpact 72 is equipped with the self-cleaning Impact FX unit. It has the ability to be set precisely, and has secure compacting through self-cleaning technology. Zinser compact spinning is famous for that. As a result, Zinser72 guarantees consistent, top quality compact yarn. In addition to the ability to use the procedure flexibly with raw material and yarn counts, the compact spinning technology of the Zinser Impact FX also is the process safety in the market. Zinser 72 ensures minimal operating and maintenance input. The Zinser tangential belt drive and self-cleaning Impact FX compact technology are low-maintenance. EasySpin is now even more user-friendly. Easy-to-understand input assistance reduces input times and prevents operating errors.

What is the market scenario for Germany-made textile machineries, especially in Asia?

We anticipate overall growth in the segment, especially from big customers and brands and groups with global chains. We are aware of the strong competitive situation and understand needs and problems of customers. So, we have products that consume less energy and provide optimal speed to increase productivity. We provide automation solutions which deliver the largest output with lower labour costs. We also offer, with Saurer Schlafhorst, complete winding machine systems and stable machines engineered by German engineers with low maintenance costs.

What are consumer preferences in the Indian textile machinery market?

There is an overall trend for simple and more productive machines and processes. Efficiency and automation are the buzzwords. There is also a market for flexible systems. For instance, machines including the option for quick and easy modifications like an upgrade to fancy yarns or an upgrade to compact spinning to increase productivity. We also see growing demand in the fields of siro and core yarn spinning. The big trend of industry 4.0 leads to complex data management systems to efficiently control and adjust the whole spinning mill.

What part of textile machineries do spinning machines hold?

When it comes to yarn processing, there has been and always will be competition between the different pro-duction processes. But most of the things we wear closest to our body are staple ring spun cotton or cotton-mix. The touch and feel of the ring spun yarn still remains the benchmark for all the other processes. Saurer Zinser is a competent system, solution provider and reliable partner in ring spinning. We are the only one with all four systems, conventional and compact ring spinning machines both in short staple and long staple segment. The machines are designed with high-end components.

What issues plague the textile machinery industry?

The industry is faced with three major traditional challenges. Labour: Rising salary costs in industrial regions is compounded by labour shortage of qualified and unqualified personnel. The number of workers is limited so they are often attracted to industries that offer more attractive or higher salaries. Natural resources and environment: Availability and cost of energy is a major issue our customers face every day. Cost of raw material with the degree of utilisation is an issue. Then, we grapple with availability and cost of land and building costs that include future-oriented environmental protection. Fashion and individual needs: The ever-increasing pace of fashion with changes in materials, lot sizes with short lead times is a challenge. Completely new supply chain models are rising, based on flexibility and speed of the supplier. Then, we have to consider regional differences in fashion. With traditional challenges, we have new challenges like Industry 4.0 including communication be-tween people, machines and products. Saurer Zinser is a competent system and service provider and reliable partner. We are committed to making customers successful.
Published on: 24/05/2016

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