Monforts achieved placing sustainability at the core of textile finishing processes

Yusuf OKCU, Mönchengladbach, Germany

Monforts, which has been synonymous with cutting-edge technology in finishing machine engineering for about 130 years, proves that it is also possible to achieve savings with technological intelligence today thanks to sustainability that they always place at the heart of their daily work and technological awareness that they provide to their customers.

Monforts, which has been synonymous with cutting-edge technology in finishing machine engineering for about 130 years, was founded by a young entrepreneur engineer August Monforts in 1884 in Möchengladbach. Having moved to their new headquarters in Schlafhorst Business Park from their historical building of 127 years in Schwalmstrasse, Monforts is a step forward of their competitors along with their subsidiary Montex Maschinenfabrik GmbH located in St. Stefan, Austria, thanks to their environmentally-friendly machinery insight.

There is no surprise that Monforts had no hesitation in participating in the VDMA’s ‘Blue Competence’ Initiative as one of the very first companies in textile machinery area due energy management has been one of their primary goals for many years, driving them to develop energy-efficient and resource-conserving solutions. Monforts proves that it is possible to achieve a lot of savings, even for a person, who does not know how to operate a machine in the most economical mode, –such as the use of chemicals, water and salt in dyeing processes- by the technological awareness that they raise and suggests that it is also possible to achieve savings with technological intelligence. Thus, Monforts has been at the forefront of the ecological awareness since many years due to the fact that thermal treatment machinery, which includes stenters, hot flues and dryers, use a lot of energy in order to dry the fabric.

Sustainable innovation stands at the core of Monforts’ daily work. The Advanced Technology Center is one of the good indicators of this fact. Occupying an area of about 1500m2, this technology center was opened last year at the company’s headquarters and it allows its’ customers in-house opportunities to undertake trials on Monforts dyeing and finishing machines under fully confidential and real production conditions. What the perfect testament to the excellence of Monforts engineering is over 500 machines still operating perfectly in Turkey…

We have conducted an exclusive interview with Mr Klaus A. Heinrichs, Vice President Marketing, A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG, regarding sustainability, sustainable finishing and their steps with respect to sustainability and sustainable innovation.

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Sustainability has become a management topic that has been intensively discussed recently more than ever before. What made the topic this intriguing?

 

I think the importance of sustainability was mainly recognized in the Central European markets. The customers here appeared to be backed into a corner because of the legal constraints regarding issues about the exhaust air of the dryers and the chemicals used. Sustainability initially started to be able to overcome these legal requirements. As a textile machinery manufacturer, we have to lead our customers to a “more competitive” position against manufacturers who are not bound by legal constraints. In this respect, a German textile manufacturer has a major disadvantage compared to a North African textile manufacturer for instance, because here in Central Europe, the manufacturer also should take care of issues such as exhaust air cleaning or pollution etc. at the same time. Our greatest challenge has been developing competitive machines that would provide an advantage to our customers and to bring them into the market. Monforts has been one of the leaders in sustainability in the finishing segment by becoming the first company to offer heat recovery modules for dryers as a standard already 12 years ago. In the beginning we experienced that the expectation amongst our customers was not so high, since the authorities in the textile mills responsible of purchasing new machinery did not have enough knowledge about the benefits of heat recovery modules and they used to consider that there were no textiles coming out of these units. We have actually managed to convince them that they can save up to 15% energy, gas or thermal oil if they use these heat recovery modules. Today we can offer systems, which not only enable our customers to save a huge amount of energy, but also maintenance-free, for both heat recovery and exhaust air cleaning. As a further aspect, Monforts has also been very successful with the so-called ECO Applicator, which is a unit applying only the necessary amount of chemicals to be solved in water. As a result this enables the customer to save an important amount of energy cost originating from excessive drying. Monforts always places sustainability at the heart of business and sustainability is a major aspect of our R&D activities. We are a member of VDMA Blue Competence Initiative and one of the first companies who applied for the sustainability logo and certification. I think sustainability is the only way forward in today’s world.