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Smart technologies for green textile production

Shanghai, Frankfurt, 19 November 2023 – ITMA ASIA + CITME, Asia’s leading trade fair for textile machinery, taking place in Shanghai, is once again marked by a considerable presence of VDMA member companies. The round about 40 exhibiting VDMA members cover nearly all different machinery chapters with a focus on spinning and manmade fibers, nonwovens, weaving, braiding, knitting & hosiery, finishing & dyeing and textile processing.

They are part of a strong German presence with a total of around 60 German exhibitors – including non-machine manufacturers.The VDMA Textile Machinery Association and VDMA China will be present in the industry hub in Hall 8 zone B. Since the strict travel restrictions are over, the VDMA team in Shanghai will be staffed again with both colleagues from the VDMA headquarters in Germany and from VDMA China.During a press conference on the first day of the show, Dr. Janpeter Horn, chairman of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association and managing director of August Herzog Maschinenfabrik expressed: “After years of cancelled or postponed trade fairs and travel restrictions, this year’s ITMA ASIA + CITME is the first edition of the show that can be attended not just by Chinese but by visitors from various countries and regions. The event is a good opportunity to meet customers and partners again in person and not just on a screen. ITMA ASIA + CITME provides a good chance to deepen the already good relations with China and other Asian countries further and to set-up new partnerships.”Dr. Horn continued to present latest facts and figures about the German textile machinery industry.

Between January and August 2023, the overall exports of textile machinery and accessories summed up to 1.7 billion euros, which was a slight decrease compared to the same period in 2022. The shipping to almost all major markets decreased between January and August: China: 440 million € (2022: 453 million €), Turkey: 205 million € (2022: 265 million €), USA: 177 million € (2022: 144 million €), India: 170 million € (2022: 228 million €). Numerous VDMA member companies have production sites in the major Asian markets China and India and serve their customers in these countries from there. A latest VDMA business climate survey among the textile machinery companies in China showed, that 75% of all participants assessed their current business situation as either good (6%) or satisfactory (69%). For the coming quarter, 50% of the companies see the market to decline. Asked about the business situation during the next six months, 44% of the companies expect the market to remain stable, 56% expect the situation to become worse. This is also reflected in the HR of the companies: 63% expect the number of employees to remain unchanged.

How are leading VDMA members and their technologies contributing to a green textile production?
Here are examples of exhibitors, that stand for the entire industry:
“At Oerlikon, we contribute with our innovative technologies for resource-saving use in almost all manmade fiber spinning mills in the world. Our promise for the future is to continue to expand the zero-waste production approach and thus take care of achieving our customers’ and our own sustainability goals”, says Georg Stausberg, CEO of the Polymer Processing Solutions Division and Chief Sustainability Officer of the Oerlikon Group. “This sets out the claim of one of the world’s leading suppliers of machinery and plant solutions for manmade fiber production not only for this show: In the future, it will be solely a matter of sustainable innovations.”  Dr. Uwe Rondé, CEO of Saurer Group, said: ”For decades, sustainability has been an important part of Saurer’s vision for the future and Saurer supports its customers on the way towards a circular economy with innovative features to optimise the processing of recycled fibres. The portfolio today includes pre-, rotor- and ring-spinning machines for processing recycled fibres, and with special options even very short fibres can be spun. Saurer Twisting Solutions enable further strengthening of recycled yarns for better stability in downstream processing.”Fritz Legler, textile marketing officer Stäubli explained: “Rising energy prices and the high cost and uncertain availability of raw materials are impacting the profitability of weaving mills beyond control. In this context, it is more important than ever to rely on production equipment from a leading technology provider like Stäubli, whose machinery features innovative materials and technologies to achieve electricity savings, operates reliably and helps to conserve raw materials, is manufactured to high quality standards for long service life and allows a high degree of recyclability.

This is just one-way Stäubli is doing its part to shape a responsible future for the textile industry.”“Sustainability and responsibility towards stakeholders are part of Groz-Beckert’s foundation. For us, this topic is indispensable in today’s society to leave good conditions for future generations. Right from the development stage of our products Groz-Beckert focuses on the consumption of resources in our own production and in the subsequent use of our products by customers. The use of our modern tools enables significant energy reductions in the production process”, explained Eric Schöller, member of the executive board, Groz-Beckert.Dr. Janpeter Horn, managing director of August Herzog Maschinenfabrik said: “Herzog’s long lasting energy-efficient machines can also process natural and recycled fibres of all kinds. Moreover, the machines guarantee a constant reliable production for cost- and energy-efficient winding and braiding. Herzog offers machines enabling a CO2-neutral Energy Production. For example, big machines including take-ups with various carrier numbers for producing synthetic ropes replacing steel-wire strength members for (floating) offshore wind platforms / deep-sea exploitation.

In addition, Herzog produces braiding machines for the automatic production of braided composites saving weight and thus fuel.”“Baldwin Technology Company will be educating the textile supply chain on how to ‘Finish with Perfection’ thanks to its TexCoat™ G4 precision spray finishing system”, stated Rick Stanford, VP global business development at Baldwin and continued: TexCoat G4’s non-contact spray technology offers numerous advantages compared to outdated finishing-chemistry application methods. TexCoat G4 processes a wide range of low-viscosity water-based chemicals without the need for special auxiliaries.

Baldwin’s team will be available in Shanghai to discuss how its technology can meet the textile supply chain’s sustainability and carbon footprint goals while improving performance and saving money.”Jürgen Jerzembeck, head of marketing at Setex, a company specialized in industrial automation for textile production, introduced a holistic system for active energy management that optimizes resource utilization and significantly reduces carbon footprint by dynamically adapting energy use: “Setex’s Energy Management System efficiently collects energy data via E390 controller routines, counters, and sensors. Integration of manufacturing equipment with OrgaTEX MES Plant Navigator Formulas dynamically minimizes total energy consumption while meeting production targets, offering a holistic approach to energy efficiency and sustainability.

“Gunnar Meyer, manging director of A. Monforts Textilmaschinen said: “At ITMA ASIA + CITME, Monforts experts will be on hand to explain the advantages of Montex stenters for essential drying processes in terms of production throughput – and especially in energy efficiency and resource savings. Because finishing is a particularly energy-intensive part of the textile production chain, it is exactly where convincing results can be achieved and Monforts has developed a wide range of energy-saving measures.”Florian Baelz, managing partner of W. Baelz & Sohn, showed a way towards less energy consumption and improved performance of drum dryers using Baelz Steam Ejectors: “Replace control valves with steam ejectors to boost the performance of your drum dryers, for a higher average steam velocity in the drum and a uniform distribution of heat. With Baelz-vapordynamic you benefit from improved drying quality, speedier production and a reduction in steam consumption of around 20 %. Or save on steam generation costs and emissions by harnessing the energy in low-pressure steam, which is often simply released into the atmosphere: Baelz thermocompressors help you to achieve the right steam pressure for your production process”, explained Baelz.

According to Clemens Kaplan, product manager at the German machine manufacturer Mahlo, producers are performing a balancing act between sustainability and economically viable production in the face of steadily rising energy costs and a shortage of raw materials. Mahlo is hitting the zeitgeist with its latest developments for process optimization. “For many of our customers, the issues of quality, energy savings and return on investment play a major role,” says Kaplan and summarises: “Our goal is to combine all three points in our systems and thus optimize the customers’ production process.”

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