We interviewed with Thomas Waldmann, Managing Director of VDMA Textile Machinery Association for our ‘German Special Edition’. Providing information about the latest innovations of German textile machinery manufacturers, Waldmann explained the roadmap of the companies against future pandemic-like crises. “The VDMA textile machinery manufacturers are taking measures in various areas, such as securing the workforce (non-contact material transfer, shifts with contactless changeover, etc. as well as increasing the share of mobile work and home office). Reshoring and localisation initiatives are being considered.”he said.
First of all, how was 2021 for German textile machinery manufacturers? Can you evaluate the year 2021 in numbers?
The situation in 2021 and January to February 2022 has been very good with exports increasing in 2021 on average by 27% despite travel restrictions and material shortages.
The pandemic process has once again proven how important sustainability is. What are the latest innovations are coming up by German textile machinery manufacturers considering sustainability particularly chemical, water, environment and energy?
Textile machinery manufacturers affiliated to VDMA offer solutions along the textile value chain to achieve highest quality standards while minimising resource consumption. As described in our VDMA Energy Efficiency Guide “Conserving resources – securing savings-potential” (EEG – Turkish – Textile Machinery (industryarena.com)) the optimization of machines, components and technology offers a key for energy- and resourceefficient manufacturing processes. Textile machinery companies are continuously active in this regard, always aiming at offering even more efficient machinery with great saving potentials. Key points include integration of energy and maintenance management, new technical solutions to reduce resource consumption per kg of the final product, reuse of water, caustic soda and heat recovery or minimal application techniques. Many more examples of the latest innovations from the textile machinery manufacturers organised in the VDMA are presented in a new Webtalk series on the subject of “Sustainable technologies for the circular economy”.
Have there been any specific initiatives by German companies to battle future crises?
To tackle the existing and future challenges, the VDMA textile machinery manufacturers are taking measures in various areas, such as securing the workforce (non-contact material transfer, shifts with contactless changeover, etc. as well as increasing the share of mobile work and home office). Measures have also been taken to secure the supply chain, for example to counteract supply disruptions. Reshoring and localisation initiatives are being considered. Due to travel restrictions, both digitalisation in service and location-independent service have become more important, e.g. remote service, which enables the machine manufacturer to diagnose, maintain and also repair the machine remotely. In addition, service branches are being set up directly on site to shorten distances and reduce costs if remote service is not an option. Another example is virtual factory tours. To implement these and other Industry 4.0 solutions, companies are increasingly investing in IT and cybersecurity.
What are the recent trends in the textile industry? What kind of investments are German companies making to keep up with the trends?
Up to now, the increasing textile consumption around the world, due to growing population and purchasing power has been accompanied by a rising use of resources. The textile machinery companies organised in the VDMA welcome the ambitions of the EU to promote climate protection and are geared towards a functioning circular economy. With highly efficient technologies they are an indispensable partner in this transition process. In a new position paper, the executive board of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association emphasises that a new political roadmap must be practicable. As a virtual global offer for the textile industries, the VDMA will continue its successful virtual Textile Machinery Webtalk series. Members, research institutes and textile manufacturers highlight technological solutions to master sustainability and circular economy challenges.
VDMA Expects Its Turnover To Increase By 10 Percent In 2022
What are the plans taken by VDMA for its members’ business & brand promotion in the year ahead? It will be held at the ITM 2022 this year. What are the German companies’ preparations for ITM 2022?
Turkey is one of the most important markets for our industry. At ITM 2022, many members will exhibit directly or through their representation. The VDMA Textile Machinery Webtalk series will be intensified in particular around Techtextil in Frankfurt, where the VDMA will be represented for the first time with a large group stand with 15 member companies. Otherwise, members will also exhibit at ITMA ASIA + CITME in Shanghai. Furthermore, the VDMA is planning official German Pavilions at Techtextil North America in Atlanta, CAITME in Uzbekistan, as well as business delegation trips with symposia and B2B talks in Turkmenistan and Indonesia.
How will 2022 be for the textile industry? What are your expectations and 2022 targets of German textile machinery manufacturers?
The global outlook for 2022 has recently been assessed quite positively. VDMA expects the turnover to increase by 10% in 2022.
Interview: Dilek Hayırlı