French Equipment: Partner of the Turkish Textile Industry

Christian Guinet, UCMTF Secretary General said that, “The Turkish market is our second or third. The relationships with the Turkish textile producers are very easy because our strategy is exactly the same than our Turkish customers’ strategies. It is to be reliable long term solution partners for our customers. Both, we are not looking for short term profits.”

French Equipment: Partner of the Turkish Textile Industry

Christian Guinet, UCMTF Secretary General

Christian Guinet, UCMTF Secretary General said that, “The Turkish market is our second or third. The relationships with the Turkish textile producers are very easy because our strategy is exactly the same than our Turkish customers’ strategies. It is to be reliable long term solution partners for our customers. Both, we are not looking for short term profits.”
Christian Guinet, a textile engineer and a long time executive for a major international textile machinery manufacturer has been selected to be UCMTF Secretary General. He took his office last September. We are happy to interview him for the first time.

In the last 5 years, how has the French textile machinery industry grown and what are its key strengths?
Our association groups about 30 companies, with a total annual consolidated turnover of 1 billion Euros. We are the sixth textile machinery exporter worldwide.
We are particularly strong in long fibre spinning (wool, acrylic …), yarn twisting and control (including technical yarns), space-dyeing, heat setting for carpet yarns, carpet systems, dyeing and finishing, felts and belts for finishing processes, nonwovens, air conditioning of textile plants, and recycling processes of textile materials.
Just a few exemples:
– in long fibre spinning, N. Schlumberger is the world leader for, combing, recombing spinning preparation, tow to top and semi-worsted for wool, acrylic, silk, linen, precious fibres and technical fibres,

– in carpet manufacturing processes, Superba, member of the Vandewiele family of companies, is the world leader in space dyeing and heat setting for carpet yarn,

– in dyeing and finishing Alliance Textile Machines is offering round-shape and long-shape, rotating beam dyeing machines,

– for the dyeing and finishing industrialists, Dollfus & Muller supplies textile dryer belts and endless special felts,

– in air conditioning, AESA Air Engineering supplies complete textile air engineering systems,

– in the fast growing recycling processes Laroche is a world leader in many applications fields: from industrial wastes or “post-consumer” garments to airlay nonwovens recycled products,

– Hannecard is a major provider of rubber felts under the Rollin brand for the textile industry,

– Petit offers a unique permanent storage capacity of spare parts.

Our companies have been doing well in the last 5 years
I do think the growth of our companies is the result of our close relationships with our customers who face an array of challenges and opportunities: open new markets, design new products, produce them in a reliable, cost effective and sustainable way. They need strategic partners such as providers of innovative industrial solutions and cutting-edge technologies. The French equipment manufacturers are well positioned to be such partners. We have a recognized expertise in finding solutions for critical projects, whatever their scope, whatever their geographic localization. In fact, what we like is to be challenged by our customers to offer them the machine or the process they need.

What trends have you noticed in the textile machinery market recently?
Sustainability has become a major demand by the final customers, then the retailers and the major brands have been asking our clients to offer products with the least possible impact on our planet. The raw materials used are impacted, the recycled products are very much in demand as well as products made from natural raw materials which have the least possible environmental inprints.
The production process must also be very efficient not to waste raw material, to save energy and water. We have been very active in promoting savings of each machine but also from the whole production line. To achieve this goal, cooperation are needed between two or more machinery producers. We have been active to promote such cooperations.
Sustainability and profitability can very well go hand in hand. Prices of water and energy will rise on the long term even if the price of the barrel of oil has been very low recently. The cost of waste and second choice is very high. Recycling of post consumer products can bring high profitability and consumer acceptance.

How are French textile companies gearing up for Industry 4.0 and digitalization?
Industry 4.0 is becoming a reality in the textile industry. In fact it is already a reality in some factories and it will expand much quicker than most people envision. In today’s global competition, the gap between the fast moving and the low moving competitors is widening at an incredible speed but great ideas are useless without the right execution.
Let’s try to propose a definition of the factory 4.0. It is a factory in which data are collected through sensors or radio frequency identification tags ( RFID) at each step of the production process, analyzed on line and automated decisions are made instantly to improve the process inside a factory or between two factories whether inside the same company or with clients or suppliers’ factories.
We, as technology partners, have to offer not only innovative (each year we introduce some improvements in our machines) but disruptive solutions. The internet of things is certainly the main way not only to improve the process of each machine but the whole line production process.
Our companies have been very active on this hot topic.For one second lets think about the history of our industry, let’s remember that Jacquard, the star of the textile machinery invention was French! His invention was the first step of digitalization!

The relationships with the Turkish textile producers are very easy

What countries do your member companies mainly export to and from?
Geographically there have been changes, for example the Chinese market, our most important market, has been contracting during the last two years. The US market is booming. In India, some of our companies are doing extremely well but other think it is still a little slow.
Your own market, the Turkish market is our second or third. The relationships with the Turkish textile producers are very easy because our strategy is exactly the same than our Turkish customers’ strategies. It is to be reliable long term solution partners for our customers. Both, we are not looking for short term profits but to make our companies stronger and stronger, to seize the markets opportunities and be able to absorb the difficult years. We are mainly family owned, leaders or co-leaders in their markets, as our Turkish customers who are long-term minded entrepreneurs.
The stability of our teams (owners, sales managers, technicians, agents and local representatives) allows our companies to go well beyond the purely technical and address the objectives of our customers. As we are equipment and technology solution partners, our Turkish customers are very interested to work with us to implement innovative, “couture” solutions; they know that we deliver and erect the machines on time, give an excellent after sale service and deliver spare parts very efficiently.
As an association, UCMTF is very active on the Turkish market. We promote the French exhibitors at ITM in Istanbul. We were very well prepared for ITM 2020 but I think its postponement in 2021 was the right decision to make. In Gaziantep, we have been the first association to organize a national pavilion; it was back in 1995, 25 years ago!
In Gaziantep and in Izmir, we have regularly, about every 3 years, organized seminars to meet our Turkish customers and show them our latest developments.
Last but not least, we have very close relationships with the Turkish textile press, with you particularly.

As you know, the whole world is struggling with the coronavirus pandemic recently. Companies in many countries stopped their production. How were textile machinery manufacturers in France affected by this outbreak? What are your plans for the post-pandemic period?
Right now, the whole world is still in the eye of the cyclone. As responsible entrepreneurs, our first priorities have been to protect our own employees wherever they were, in our offices and factories or worldwide visiting our customers, and to help our customers with their spare parts needs and services.
Most of our production facilities have been shut down due to local government decisions related with the confinement. As you know in France as in many countries, the governments are helping the companies, a major way is to support the employees who are not working or working part time. Thanks to these helps, our companies have the financial ability not to fire our employees and, when it will be possible, our companies will be able to resume their activities.
This crisis will certainly accelerate the changes which always take place in our industry.
Geographical changes of course, market changes also. The tastes and the priorities of the final consumers will change. Quality, sustainability will probably be even more important that they would have been. Technical textiles will become more and more important. Just one example: Personal Protective Equipments (PPE’s). Many are nonwovens, some are wovens or even knitted. Special fibers are needed, all need very secure processes.
The equipment manufacturers have a very special role to partner with the textile industrialists.
Concerning the textiles for apparel, in the eye of the cyclone they may not seem a top priority but our analysis is that on the long run the textile consumption is very stable with low single digit growth, and then the production is also very stable globally with a clear need to modernize the production processes, to improve the production costs, to be more flexible and offer high quality products with zero defects, and, of course, to be sustainable.
To conclude, may I say that amid todays extreme volatility of the world economies, we are confident in our companies’ ability to achieve their long term ambitions, supported by our R&D, our speed to market approach, the excellence of our day to day cooperation with our customers.

Interview: Dilek HAYIRLI

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