In Jakob Müller which is a family-run company with a tradition stretching back over 130 years, and topics like sustainability and forward-looking action are pillars of company philosophy. The company has recently developed MDW® technology, which provides new opportunities for its customers in terms of wearing comfort, functionality and durability.
The Jakob Müller Group is a globally active company with 12 sites around the world. With manufacturing companies in Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, China and India, the company is successfully implementing its strategy as a system supplier.
We interviewed with Jakob Müller Group CEO Robert Reimann for the ‘Swiss Special Section’ of our Tekstil Teknoloji magazine. Reimann who speaking of trends in the narrow weaving industry and the functional products developed by Jakob Müller Group recently, also gave information about the products they will bring to the ITM 2020.
What trends are you currently seeing in the narrow weaving sector?
Since narrow fabrics have a very wide range of applications, it is difficult to identify any general trends. But we can talk about a few trends that I believe are representative. Let us look at labels for example. In the past, these were made primarily of polyester continuous filament yarn and hot-cut to prevent fraying. Recently, we have seen ever increasing demands that clothing should be manufactured and disposed of in line with the requirements of a circular economy. So, of course, polyester made from petroleum no longer fits the bill. This is why we have developed the VELVEDGE® edge – a highly durable and extremely soft selvedge that can barely be felt and can be made from 100% biodegradable materials.
Another trend is the use of recycled materials. Both PET bottles and polyester waste from production are recycled and processed into elastic and rigid tapes for the clothing industry. At the “Interfilière” trade fair in January 2020 in Paris many of our customers were offering this type of product – a major contribution to sustainability!
When it comes to narrow fabrics for technical purposes – for example belts, load-securing webbings etc. – the issue of weight reduction is very important. High-performance fibres are used that simultaneously combine high resistance to tearing with a low physical material density.
Smart textiles and wearables are currently big topics in science and research. For applications such as signal transmission or sensor systems, narrow fabrics are required that need to offer a range of conductive properties (electrical, optical etc.). In the past, the step of adding this functionality to these tapes has always taken place in a separate work process. With the MDW® technology (Multi Directional Weaving) developed by Jakob Müller, the addition of functional elements can now be incorporated directly in the weaving process – a significant step towards series production for smart textiles. An example showing how the MDW® system can be used is the smart hiking boots from Mammut®, which feature a woven electrically conductive wire for heating the boots. These boots offer new functionality and improved comfort.
Can you talk about the major functional improvements you recently made to your narrow weaving products, and how this will benefit the textile industry?
Jakob Müller stands for quality, innovative ideas and exceptional products. We are a family-run company with a tradition stretching back over 130 years, and topics like sustainability and forward-looking action are pillars of our company philosophy. One of the major highlights I would like to mention is the new MDW® technology, which we were able to present to an international audience of experts at ITMA 2019 in Barcelona. This technology will open up brand new opportunities for our customers in terms of wearing comfort, functionality and durability. The MDW®-technology will make many new products possible that will help our customers to gain a competitive edge in the market. To ensure that this technology has a long-term and sustainable future we have developed the new platforms NFM and MBJ8 – which means that MDW® can be used both on needle-ribbon weaving machines and on label weaving machines.
For us, digitalization is also extremely important. This runs through the entire manufacturing process, through logistics and on to the consumer. The Jakob Müller Group covers a large proportion of “Smart Production” and makes a major contribution in the process to ensuring that the value chain is made even more efficient and sustainable. For this reason we have launched new hardware and software solutions – solutions we keep refining and improving. The cooperation with the textile learning factory “Digital Capability Center (DCC)” in Aachen/Germany is helping us to identify appropriate steps that are both meaningful and necessary.
Another highlight in the area of Smart Services is the service portal mymueller®. It provides customers of the Jakob Müller Group with online access to company-specific information, know-how and services – 24/7, anywhere in the world. mymueller® displays the machine park of the customer on a desktop computer, smartphone or tablet. Users can also call up operating manuals and parts catalogues or trigger parts orders. mymueller® is browser-based and is extremely user-friendly to use. In the future, it will also enable access to services such as e-Support, e-Monitoring and e-Learning. The factory data capture system mymuenet® offers direct access to the machine control system. The digitalization platforms mymueller® and mymuenet® will be expanded over the coming years.
What global markets does Jakob Muller serve, and what are your expansion plans?
The Jakob Müller Group is a globally active company with 12 sites around the world. With manufacturing companies in Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, China and India, the company is successfully implementing its strategy as a system supplier. The sales and service companies in the USA and in Mexico, Brazil, Japan and Hong Kong ensure that the specific needs of markets outside of Europe are taken into account. In addition to our own subsidiaries, the Jakob Müller Group also has representations in a further 82 countries.
Which machines will you be highlighting at ITM 2020? Do you mind sharing their features with us?
The Jakob Müller Group will be exhibiting the following machines at ITM 2020:
MÜGRIP® MBJ8 rapier weaving machine for labels
With an operating speed of 680 rpm and a maximum weaving reed width of 1380 mm, this machine enables efficient production of labels, pictures and technical narrow fabrics with cut edges.
Double needle bed warp knitting machine for production of knitted fabrics for technical applications and apparel textiles
The machine is equipped with 2 mechanically controlled guide bars and can process both synthetic and natural yarns. The double needle bed design enables the production of spacer knits, whereby the distance can be adjusted to a maximum of 9 mm.
Interview: Dilek HAYIRLI