Christian Guinet, Secretary General of the French Textile Equipment Manufacturers Association (UCMTF)
Christian Guinet, Secretary General of the French Textile Equipment Manufacturers Association (UCMTF), with whom we interviewed for the ‘France Special Issue’, made important statements about the evaluation of 2021, expectations for 2022, trends in textile machinery and the preparations of French textile machinery manufacturers for the ITM 2022.
First of all, how was 2021 for French textile machinery manufacturers? Can you evaluate the year 2021 in numbers?
After many very positive years which enabled our members to invest for the future and strengthen their balance sheets, 2020 was unlike any other year. In many countries, our customers’ factories were closed for around two months due to the pandemic. 2021 has been a rather good year, our sales are nearly back to pre-pandemic 2019. Our customers are eager to design new products, produce them in a secure and sustainable way, to find new processes to make up with many price increases. They need technology partners. We can offer them very good solutions.
France is the sixth textile equipment exporter worldwide. The French Textile Equipment Manufacturers are well known for their catalogue and tailor-made equipments. They also offer turnkey solutions including one or several companies in a one shop model. They 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, bleaching and hydro-extractor equipments, dyeing and finishing, felts and belts for finishing processes, precision machining and textile ERP.
“NSC Schlumberger Has Introduced the ERA Combing Machine in A Multi-Servomotor Drive Design”
The pandemic process has once again proven how important sustainability and digitalization are. What are the latest innovations are coming up by French textile machinery manufacturers considering sustainability and digitalization?
Yes, the demand for sustainability is stronger and stronger. It comes from the final consumer. Raw materials have to be natural or eco-friendly, recycled products are welcome, the production process at least partly local. Energy, water and raw materials have to be saved.
One of the most efficient ways to save energy is adapting servomotors which can be used in a close-loop control system to correct any speed deficiency and save energy while, at the same time, enhance the quality of the production process. NSC SCHLUMBERGER the global specialists for processing long staple fibres such as wool and wool-like fibres has introduced the ERA combing machine in a multi-servomotor drive design. With this new drive, most of the settings are possible via the main control screen. The GC chain gill also benefits from additional axes driven by servomotors allow more settings on the main control screen. All these new servomotor drives will allow more precise settings than using standard gearboxes. Furthermore, these new drives and technology allow recipes to be saved on each machine, data exchange between machines will be possible through a Manufacturing Execution System (MES – Industry 4.0).
As for digitalization, it is becoming a reality in the textile industry. 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.
Industry 4.0, the result of digitalization, is a factory in which data are collected through sensors or radio frequency identification tags (RFID) at each step of the production process, analyzed online 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, another name for the same technologies, is certainly the main way not only to improve the process of each machine but the whole line production process. Let’s take the example of SUPERBA:
As yarns used in carpets are becoming thinner and thinner, new types of fibers are used, new extrusion methods are applied to create new types of yarn. This permanent evolution requires adapted processes, more efficient and connected machines to allow the development of products with new, customized properties.
“Superba is Now Offering Their Hot-Air Heat-Setting Solution with the DHS3 Line”
To meet all these demands, Superba is offering a wide range of machines and processes, and has introduced new textile processes. Already the leader in heat-setting with saturated steam under pressure thanks to their well-known TVP3, Superba is now offering their hot-air heat-setting solution with the DHS3 line. This triple-layer heat-setting process provides an unequaled level of evenness and a highly homogenous fixation characteristic to the yarn, as well as stain resistance or enhanced bulk. The DHS3 line offers a high energy saving process in a reduced floor-space.
Have there been any specific initiatives by French companies to battle future crises?
New technologies offer us a new perspective, the virtual and augmented reality visits. With Jean-Paul Benekian, the President of our promotion committee, we will be on our stand at Techtextil to demonstrate how it works. Not only the demo will be available on smartphones, tablets and computer screens but also thanks to virtual reality headsets an immersive 3D experience will be offered. The new technologies include new 3D with better resolution softwares including the Cameleon app which encompass the possibility to interact with the supplier through avatars and new smaller, lighter and cheaper headsets.
To make the right investments decision is a major challenge for our customers as it shapes the future of these textile industrialists. Then our responsibility is to help them, it is our own interest in the long run. Trials in demo rooms may be necessary to finalize a decision but they cannot be too many and upstream a precise knowledge of the equipment offered on the market is necessary. Virtual visits will save a lot of time and travel expenses and will offer much more technical insights. It will add to the sales organizations with local subsidiaries and agencies, the local, regional or world shows, the road shows not only in the national capitals but in the textile producing districts as we have been doing and will continue to do in Turkey.
“Dollfus & Muller is Really Improving the Compacting Felt for Knit Finishing”
What are the plans taken by UCMTF for its members’ business & brand promotion in the year ahead? It will be held at the ITM 2022 this year. What are the French companies’ preparations for ITM 2022?
The ITM 2022 Exhibition, which will be held in Istanbul next month, will be the first textile machinery exhibition to be held since the pandemic outburst. ITM 2022 is a major opportunity to meet many of our Turkish partners with whom we have been working for a long time. I knows this country particularly well as I travelled around Turkey for many years when I was the marketing manager of a world leader equipment manufacturer. I am really eager to attend ITM 2022.
One example of the French companies’ preparation for ITM 2022 is Dollfus & Muller
Dollfus & Muller is really improving the compacting felt for knit finishing with major evolutions in order to serve better the dyeing houses. The compacting felt quality brings a special care to the fabrics thanks to its smoothest surface, has an excellent guiding and the best compacting rate in relations with its new exclusive compacting felt design.
The Dollfus & Muller sanforizing palmer felts are ideal for Denim producers. Furthermore, Dollfus & Muller manufacture durable printing dryer belt qualities. These print dryer belts are the most durable printing dryer belt specially designed for pigment printing of bed sheeting. Dollfus & Muller has its exclusive print open mesh belt specially designed for the production of fine fabrics, scarves, flags, these belts have special non marking surfaces which can avoid as well the particles on the back side. Dollfus & Muller has the widest range of printing dryer belts and the strongest dryer belts. Finally, Dollfus & Muller is improving the transfer printing felt. This felt is resistant against the heat and dye staff insuring a perfect transfer of colorants on the fabrics.
Interview: Dilek Hayırlı