Builders of “a more sustainable world”

Sustainnovation Journal takes the pulse of world-leading European textile machinery manufacturers in the whole textile chain covering spinning, weaving and finishing regarding to their sustainability efforts

On one hand, exhaustion of the world resources in parallel with the increasing world population, and on the other hand consumer’s efforts on seeking the most natural and healthiest textile products to improve their living conditions, obliged many textile manufacturing company to look for a more sustainable manufacturing.

Hereby, correspondingly with this rising quest, also textile machinery manufacturers have gone into the effort to come to the most sustainable solution without compromising the economic, ecologic and social aspects of sustainability. We have asked sustainability and their companies’ contribution to a sustainable future to world-leading European textile machinery manufacturers in the whole textile chain covering spinning, weaving and finishing. All the textile machinery companies we have interviewed set out to provide a complete solution and technology transfer in order to enable the required results to be achieved quickly, in markets where the textile industry was less organised. As the markets became more organised the focus has moved to not only higher quality fabrics but also savings in process costs despite ever tightening environmental regulations:

Andre Wissenberg, Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications, Oerlikon Textile GmbH & Co. KG

Since the main drivers in the market have been totally under a changing trend, we established our sustainability program e-save under four aspects of economics, ergonomics, efficiency and environment, already in 2004. We made innovations on all our machines staying true to this philosophy in this time frame and we are in continuous efforts to improve them even more. Eventually, Oerlikon has proved that it is not only the market but also the opinion leader concerning sustainability aspects, and its campaign e-save to be the right solution for customers to invest in very innovative sustainable products to the whole textile industry as well.

Herman Selker, Head of Marketing, Trützschler GmbH & Co. KG Textilmaschinenfabrik

In our field of spinning preparation, we can do only small steps in this direction. One of the steps is that we try to realize maximum material utilization for our customers. This means that our machines are designed for minimum fiber loss in Blow Room and Carding. We additionally offer them the technology to reclaim the fibers from the Blow Room and from the Card Waste. This gives the customer additional value, because these recovered fibers are excellent raw materials, for example for hygienic applications.  The second step is that we improve our machines step by step for less energy consumption. For example with a new card generation, the TC11, the power consumption is about 30% less per kg of cotton, than with the previous machine.

Klaus A. Heinrichs, Vice President Marketing, A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG

Monforts is a member of the Blue Competence Alliance with the German machine manufacturers and Monforts is at the forefront of the ecological awareness since many years due to the fact that our thermal treatment machinery which are stenters, hot flues and dryers, use a lot of energy in order to dry the fabric. In fact, offering a dryer consuming less energy to the market is a contribution to the sustainability and ecologic awareness and the heat recovery modules is a part of this. Monforts became the first manufacturer in the finishing segment by offering a heat recovery module as a standard to all machines. Our new heat recovery module called Eco-Booster which provides more advantage for the customers and achieves energy saving up to 30% with automatic cleaning compared to the conventional system is highly appreciated in the market. I think the ecologic awareness and the question of sustainability is not only adopted here in Germany but worldwide. Ecologically-friendliness and sustainability has gained more and more momentum in countries such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh where ecologic awareness is still a major problem in addition to Turkey which was very quick to adopt it.

Johann Phillip Dilo, CEO, Dilo Group

With regard to sustainability and energy savings for example, the staple fibre web forming through cards, crosslappers and aerodynamically together with needling as the consolidation technology is a typical process where raw material resources are not wasted and only little energy is required per kg of product. There is almost no fibre loss during the process since suction systems recycle good fibres into the process or where trimmed material is reopened and recycled again. The complete technology is based on electromechanical functions which are very energy efficient, no water is consumed. Needled nonwovens can be produced out of natural fibres, which also may be regenerated. Also recycled fibre material from garment clippings are transformed into useful products for mattress, upholstery applications and for material applied for example in the automotive sector.

Eduard Strebel, Manager, Marketing and Communications, Jakob Müller AG

Regarding to sustainability, NH2 53 should be taken into consideration. We already showed and proved our customers that this is a machine which uses as little energy as less than 1 KW. We also showed that the new label weaving machine MÜGRIP®MBJ6 isreducing its energy consumption per label by 20%. On the other hand, the productivity of this machine has increased by more than 20%. Then we present the market the finishing lines which have less energy consumption and no release of any water.

Fritz Legler, Vice President, Marketing/Sales & Services, Stäubli Sargans AG

The meaning of sustainability within Stäubli has several dimensions – it suggests that economical, environmental and social dimensions have to be kept in balance. As such, we have to have the economical ability to quickly satisfy our customers` needs, their production requirements at highest efficiency and lowest possible cost. Sustainability also means proximity to our customers enabling them to speak with Stäubli personnel in their markets thus making sure that there is an unfiltered information flow to our production units. As concerns environmental sustainability, Stäubli has a responsibility to offer product solutions which guarantee any kind of reductions of emissions or energy savings. Stäubli also takes an active role in social responsibility with its workforce. An example would be that we strive to re-integrate handicapped co-workers who have suffered from e.g. an accident or severe illness.

Stephan Kehry, Director, Sales and Marketing, Fong’s Europe GmbH

I think we are the world’s leader in terms of the liquor ratio. No other machine supplier can reach our liquor ratio with the airflow technology. We managed to get such a low water consumption, low energy and low steam consumption thanks to our state-of-the-art technology, especially with the long-tube system now. Our major statement in terms of the sustainability is being committed to save the precious sources like water and energy. Also in continuous processes we have very good system to use the water again-and-again, with counter-flow for example. Our machinery has also an impressive washing mechanics that we really can say that we only use the resources which are needed. We can really cover the whole spectrum of ecology and saving the resources.

Ralph Von Arx, Managing Director, RETECH Aktiengesellschaft

We do not use oil mist lubrication and we have lifetime bearings in use, whichin our opinion is also very important for the environment. We are facing this question more and more here in Central Europe that sooner or later there will be difficulties to operate the godet with oil mist lubrication. Therefore we have already made this step, so that we can achieve very good performance with lifetime bearings also at high temperatures. That is one focus which we have in this respect. The other one is to achieve step-by-step better results by using components on building our products by using less energy. So we developed a motor in this direction, which has a higher efficiency and therefore uses less energy to be operated. The same happens with the induction heating system, which is used to heat the heated godet. We achieve there also better results for saving up to 20% of energy.

Joerg Schlageter, Spokesperson and Sales Director, Osthoff-Senge GmbH und Co. KG

It is very clear that such points are becoming more and more important nowadays and they will even be more so in the future. These are strong sales arguments.  If you have a big plus on that, if your machine saves more energy than the older model, then it is very clear that selling such an item would be much easier than items which consume a lot of energy. We have developed a new machine and this machine can consume 20-25% less energy, depending upon the working width. We are working on that point of view and we are aware of the importance of doing something because our customers are asking us to do so. You have to do something. Nobody can neglect the importance of it. This would be a mistake which can kill you provided that you neglect it.