Sandra Meier, Loepfe Head of Products & Solutions
Since its establishment in 1955, Loepfe has been among the pioneers of innovations in the field of textile quality control. The company has proven itself in the field of optical yarn clearing systems. We interviewed with Sandra Meier, Loepfe Head of Products & Solutions, for the “Swiss Special Section” in our Tekstil Teknoloji magazine. Meier talked about the preparations for the ITM 2022 Exhibition and the products they will exhibit.
“We reflected by an 80% increase in sensor sales”
First of all, how was 2021 for Loepfe? Can you evaluate the year 2021 in figures?
For Loepfe, 2021 was extraordinarily successful – most notably reflected by an 80% increase in sensor sales compared to the previous year. To fulfill this demand, we doubled production capacity and increased stock by 50% – despite worldwide supply chain bottlenecks and intense pressure on component prices. Throughout, we were able to maintain our position as a reliable partner to our customers and continue to deliver.
Also, we focused on our own core competencies, strategy development and expansion plans.
During the pandemic process, companies focused on R&D and new product development. What are your new products and technologies that you have developed as Loepfe in the last two years?
Our yarn clearers YarnMaster PRISMA and ZENIT+ are constantly being further developed and new customer requirements regarding smart and useful functionality additions have been implemented.
Our demanding premium segment customers confirm we are setting new standards with our YarnMaster® PRISMA yarn clearer. The genuine and exclusive dual measurement concept of evaluating and processing 2 signals generated by an IR optic and a mass sensor plus our true color-sensitive sensor measuring RGB color values, meets premium market demands for a new level of reliability and ease of use. An increase in efficiency is another decisive factor in choosing the premium yarn clearer YarnMaster®PRISMA.
The proven YarnMaster® ZENIT+ yarn clearers with optical and tribo-electric sensors received a major upgrade. Ring-spinning mills processing MMF fibers have especially acknowledged the improvements in yarn clearing performance.
YarnMaster® EOS yarn clearers for the open-end spinning process received a major hardware upgrade. With their newly developed optics, spinners now benefit from the most constant yarn quality monitoring combined with maximum machine efficiency.
In the WeftMaster® product lines, the SFB-L weft thread brakes have been modernized with updated electronics to control 4 instead of 3 brake heads on the weaving machine. The software for “Cut-iT” – our solution for thermal fabric separation has been upgraded, ensuring ease of use, safety and stability for top-quality selvedges.
What do you believe to be the biggest challenges that our industry will face during the coming years?
As in many other industries, securing the supply chain is essential so that we can deliver on time – and manage higher raw materials and electronic component costs. Also, recruiting talent and specialists will remain a constant challenge. Meanwhile, we’re continually monitoring travel restrictions – issues around visas or health. It’s important for us to visit our customers in person as soon as possible.
There’s a lot going on in the textile industry: digitalization, sustainability, the circular-fashion approach, traceability and much more. How do you see the role of Loepfe in this situation?
The acquisition of Loepfe into the Vandewiele Group in 2021 will allow us to expand our access within the textile value chain. We share a common vision of how to build an end-to-end system through hardware, software and services. This will be pursued in the coming years.
Can you tell us about your expectations, goals, new products and investment plans for 2022?
With the YarnMaster® ZENIT+, YarnMaster® PRISMA, YarnMaster® EOS products and the MillMaster® Top data system, we offer the largest portfolio of spinning sector clearers on the market – and have suitable models for all applications, materials and quality requirements, and offer interfaces to many machines. We will continue to develop and support all systems in the future.
I can already reveal that for ITMA 2023 we are planning the launch of 2 additional clearer models.
“Turkey is one of the most important and fastest-growing markets for us”
The ITM, which was postponed due to the pandemic, will be held after 4 years. Could you share with us your views on the ITM Exhibition, which will bring the textile machinery industry together after such a long break?
Turkey is one of the most important and fastest-growing markets for us – and good accessibility is very valuable. We look forward to meeting customers at ITM for a Swiss Nespresso coffee and some chocolate.
Do you have new products or new technologies that you are planning to exhibit at the ITM 2022?
Yes, we’re very excited to be presenting latest brainmode settings and color-sensitive foreign fiber clearing innovations for the YarnMaster® PRISMA – and more besides at ITM 2022. We’ll be glad to welcome you – come and see us in Hall No. 3, Booth No. 312A. Customer-centricity is our top priority and meetings with spinning mill employees drives our further mutual success.
Interview: Dilek Hayırlı