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An interview with Henning L.Eilders

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TEXtalks: Can You Please describe about the history of DyStar?
Henning L. Eilders: DyStar was founded in 1995 as a joint venture between Hoechst AG and Bayer Textile Dyes. In 2000, the textile dyes business from BASF was integrated. In February 2010, DyStar Group was acquired by Zhejiang Longsheng Group and Kiri Industries Limited (KIL). The DyStar Group is a leading dyestuff & chemical manufacturer and solution provider, offering customers across the globe a broad portfolio of colorants, specialty chemicals, and services. With a heritage of more than a century in product development and innovation for the textile industry, DyStar also caters to multiple sectors including the paints, coatings, paper and packaging industries. Its expansion into the food & beverages and personal care sectors reinforces the company’s position as a specialty chemical manufacturer. DyStar’s global presence offers customers reliable access to experts from offices, competence centers, agencies and production plants spanning over 50 countries.

TEXtalks: How do you see the scope of Reactive and Vat printing?
Henning L. Eilders: Reactive and Vats both are known since many years, both with typical advantages. Reactive dyes from DyStar are well known with the trade name Remazol®, Levafix® and Procion®. For printing, mainly MCT-dyes from the Procion PX-range are used. Brilliant shades with highest color yield are achievable. Selected Remazol and Levafix dyes can also be used in printing application. The work with reactive dyes is even simple. Trichromatic coloration can be done. The task for high sophisticated reactive prints is the usage of high quality dyes, a low-viscose thickening agent and a perfect wash-off process. The last point will be explained later in the presentation.

Indanthren® is the trade name of DyStar’s offer of vat dyes. Selected dyes of the Indanthren range can be used for vat printing in 1phase and 2phase-fixation processes. Indanthren prints have specific fastness properties, not achievable with other dye ranges. An exceptional fastness to light and weathering, very good washing fastness and fastness to multiple washing are the main advantages of this range.

DyStar is the only supplier of Jettex® Vat inks for digital printing machines. These inks have the same advantages regarding fastness properties as usual Indanthren dyes.

TEXtalks: How do you compare this analogue printing with digital printing?
Henning L. Eilders: Printing on digital printing machines spends high flexibility regarding the design. The repeat and the number of shades are unlimited. Typical mistakes from screen printing as unfitted repeat don’t happen. The design can be printed immediately without long-lasting retooling of the machine and bigger loss of fabric before the machine runs. And no screens and print pastes must be prepared.

These are big advantages of the digital printing against conventional printing. But in digital printing color strength and penetration are limited and also the color space. And a separate production step is necessary: the preparation with separate drying. Main cost driver in digital printing are ink and preparation.

Conventional printing has other advantages: Screens and print pastes are necessary; the machine needs retooling and more operators. But conventional printing is done with cheap reactive dyes. Shorter running jobs can be done in a more economical way on a digital printing machine, but the big jobs run more economical on a rotary screen printing machine.

In my opinion, there is a change from the conventional printing to the digital printing. That’s already visible in the segment of flatbed printing; flatbed printing is technique on a stable level. No further developments. Flatbed printing is still used because equipment exists but no further investment or investigation will be done.

TEXtalks: How do you see the industry shift from analogue to digital printing?
Henning L. Eilders: The digital printing has an estimated share of 3 to 5% of total printing output. 95% of the total printing business is analogue printed and it will need a long time before this will change. We see an annual growth in the printing industry of 3-3.5% in total. While in the digital printing, we see an annual growth of 25%. But even with its very strong growth, it will take time before it covers everything.

TEXtalks: How do you describe DyStar’s concept of Sustainability?
Henning L. Eilders: Sustainability is very important for DyStar. We are the first company who really go with this term with idea is sustainability because this is what everyone is asking for. Sustainability is our commitment at the DyStar Group, both in how we run our own organization, our production, logistics, as well as in the products and services we offer to brands, retailers and their industry partners.

We are working in two different ways. On one side what we can do as DyStar- a manufacturing company, what we can do for ourselves is to reduce the use of water, energy and other resources in our plants. We have done big steps, big reduction of ressources. And on the other way we are partner for our customers, for the textile to reduce the resources to prepare the fabric. Today we will present the Cadira® concept. Cadira is an acronym for for carbon dioxide reduction. What can be done to reduce the consumption of water, electricity and steam in customer’s processes. This is also profitable for the textile company.

TEXtalks: How do you see Pakistan’s market for DyStar products?
Henning L. Eilders: Pakistan is very important; it is one of the big textile markets. It is an increasing market. DyStar had a year in 2016 and we are sure to make it even better this year. We have a good team of local experts in Pakistan, with seniors and new members. This team is supported by specialists from Europe. The people and colleagues are experts in exhaust dyeing, in continuous dyeing and in printing as well. They have big experience in denim which is very important. Pakistan, will be now and in future a big player in the textile market.