Textile Technology section
Rieter: new Head of Sales at Machines & Systems
As of January 1, 2021, Christian Straubhaar will assume the position of Senior Vice President Sales at the Business Group Machines & Systems Business of the textile machinery manufacturer Rieter Holding AG, Winterthur/Switzerland. He succeeds Reto Thom, who will retire.
Straubhaar holds an Engineering Master’s Degree in Industrial Management from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich/Switzerland, and is a sales executive with 20 years of extensive experience in the textile industry. Most recently, he was responsible as Group Sales & Marketing Director at Itema SpA, Colzate/Italy, for the world-wide sales of machines and spare parts. Previously, he held various positions in Operations and as Business Unit Head in Itema and other global textile companies.
Karl Mayer: integration of North American Stoll office
The acquisition of the manufacturer of flat knitting machines H. Stoll AG & Co. KG, Reutlingen/Germany, by the textile machinery manufacturer Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik GmbH, Obertshausen/Germany, earlier in 2020, will lead to an integration of Stoll’s and Karl Mayer’s North American subsidiaries. Stoll America’s operation in New York, NY/USA, will close and resources and activities will be integrated into Karl Mayer’s Greensboro, NC/USA, location. This process started in October 2020 and will be completed at the end of the year.
The Stoll core team in its new location will include business and technical management, textile design and product development, Stoll machine programming, and customer service. Some team members will relocate from New York and others will be new.
The team’s focus will be 2-fold, serving the needs of the Stoll machine market with innovative machines, spare parts and technical service, as well as innovation support services for all. These support services include textile product design and development, sample, prototype and small collection production and training.
For these new activities, Karl Mayer is making a major investment in the Greensboro building, adding a state-of-the-art textile development and visitor center. This center will have customer collaboration and training areas with end-product samples, Stoll machines for demonstration, training and production purposes, and a prototype finishing and assembly operation. The new center will offer similar collaboration opportunities for industry partners working with other technologies. It is planned to be completed in March 2021.
Stäubli: Gerald Vogt takes over from Rolf Strebel
On January 1, 2021, Gerald Vogt (photo) will become the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Stäubli AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland, a global mechatronics solution provider with activities in connectors, robotics and textile. He succeeds Rolf Strebel, who is retiring after more than 40 years with Stäubli and the last 14 years as Chairman of the Group Management Board.
Vogt has been responsible for the global Robotics business as Group Division Manager since mid-2016 and is already a member of the Group Management. When he joined Stäubli almost 20 years ago, he initially moved from the development and production site in Faverges/France, to the US for several years. As Division Manager he significantly expanded business for Stäubli Robotics North America.
Christophe Coulongeat will assume the global responsibility for the Robotics Division on January 1, 2021. He has been Deputy Division Manager since 2018 and previously gathered extensive experience in the packaging and automation industry in France, Austria, the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland.
Autoneum: driving range for electric cars extended
With demand for electric cars growing sharply, the need for lightweight components that enable a greater driving range for this category of vehicles is rising as well. The automotive supplier Autoneum Management AG, Winterthur/Switzerland, now offers a front trunk (frunk) made of Ultra-Silent, a lightweight, noise-reducing and sustainable technology for underbodies, particularly developed for electric vehicles.
The multifunctional frunk made from Ultra-Silent is particularly light thanks to its textile fibers and replaces the heavier plastic solutions consisting of several individual components that are common in electric vehicles today. With the lightweight frunk, electric cars save on average 3 kg in weight, which results in lower electric energy consumption and higher driving range.
At the same time, it also improves vehicle acoustics. Thanks to their sound-absorbing textile material composition, the Ultra-Silent components reduce annoying noises at the source. Additionally, synergies with other acoustic components have a positive impact on the vehicle’s overall acoustic comfort. It is also highly sustainable as it is made entirely of PET and contains up to 70% of recycled material.
Oerlikon Nonwoven: expansion of meltblown production capacity in Germany
The nonwovens manufacturer Innovatec Microfibre Technology GmbH & Co. KG, Troisdorf/Germany, started production with the 2nd newly-delivered meltblown system manufactured by Oerlikon Nonwoven, a business unit of the Manmade Fibers segment of Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland. With it, Innovatec immediately started producing polypropylene filter nonwovens: in particular for use in protective face masks, which have been increasingly in demand since the start of the corona pandemic and whose domestic manufacture is being supported by the German government. Here, the Oerlikon Nonwoven technology is supporting the production of the filter media.
In June 2020 Oerlikon Nonwoven delivered the 1st so-called 2-beam system to Innovatec. Together with the new production line, Innovatec has been able to almost double its filter nonwovens output to date. The company now has filter media production capacities that can be used to manufacture up to 2.5 billion operating room filter masks or a billion highly-effective FFP2 masks/year.
Archroma: number 1 in the “industrial chemicals” list
The producer of dyes and specialty chemicals Archroma Management LLC, Reinach/Switzerland, ranked number 1 in the “industrial chemicals” list published by the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), Beijing/China, for driving transparency in their supply chain. Archroma also entered the Top 50 of companies in IPE’s Green SupplyChain CITI Evaluation, at the 47th position.
The evaluation dynamically assesses brands on the environmental management of their supply chains in China. Archroma supplies industries as diverse as textiles, fashion, packaging, paper, adhesives, paints, and construction, with innovations and solutions that can be found in many consumer goods, from paper and packaging, to home décor paints and textiles, to clothing and car seats.
With a wide array of products, the company is committed to operate along the principles of “The Archroma Way to a Sustainable World: Safe, efficient, enhanced, it’s our nature”. The Archroma team is therefore committed to sourcing safe and sustainable raw materials and intermediates from like-minded partners. The efforts in this area have been noticed and rewarded earlier this year with the EcoVadis Gold award of EcoVadis SAS, Paris/France.
Heike van de Kerkhof, CEO of Archroma
Autoneum: recovery of global automotive production
Global automobile production has been recovering faster than expected since this summer. If the positive development continues in the 2nd half (H2) of 2020, the decline in sales at automotive supplier Autoneum Management AG, Winterthur/Switzerland, could be only around 5% in local currencies compared to 2019. For fiscal year 2020, a decline in sales in local currencies of around 20% is expected.
Based on this development, the extensive cost reduction measures taken in response to the Covid-19 crisis and the on-schedule progress of the turnaround in North America, an EBIT margin of 4-5% is expected for the H2/2020 and a slightly positive EBIT margin for 2020 as a whole.
The outlook for 2021 and especially H1 remains uncertain and depends strongly on how the pandemic will develop. According to forecasts, global vehicle production in 2021 will still not reach the level of 2019.
Oerlikon: more ergonomic yarn suction devices
Hand injectors as yarn suction devices are standard components of all spinning positions. The AS H 32- and AS H 38-series of high-performance hand injectors of the Manmade Fibers Segment of technology group Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland, are expedient as a result of their lower compressed air consumption for the same yarn tension. This is made possible due to the higher yarn suction forces, particularly in the case of the AS H 38 series.
In addition to this, string-up without ‘ramp-up’ is possible in certain applications. Also new is a smoother, more ergonomic compressed-air valve, which makes deploying the yarn suction devices more comfortable for users. Furthermore, the required yarn suction force can be adjusted more finely.
The new ‘high-performance devices’ have been designed for applications that require a particularly high suction performance. For several months now, they have been successfully operating in pilot projects within the context of a BCF yarn application in Europe and a tape yarn system located in the US.
Performance Days: Performance Awards for innovative, sustainable fabrics
At the next edition of the functional fabric fair Performance Days on December 9-10, 2020, the new fabric innovations for the 2022/23 fall/winter season will be presented as part of the Digital Fair. In addition, in line with this year's Focus Topic "Nothing to waste - Closing the loop", an overview of sustainable materials, which the Performance Forum jury has selected, will be given.
2 awards will be presented for the best fabrics and materials:
The Performance Award goes to Merryson Corp., New Taipei City/Taiwan, for a fabric made of 6% cotton, 15% polyester (PET) and 79% recycled PET for the workwear sector. The recycled PET fiber is even biodegraded. The new 3D weaving technology is innovative, trend-setting and optimally suited for the workwear sector due to its robust, resistant weaving technique. As required, this construction can also be used for outdoor applications in various color variations.
The Eco Performance Award honors the sustainable climate management of Optimer Performance Fibers Inc., Wilmington, DE/USA. In the production of the 100% organic cotton fiber (weight: 315 g), Optimer focuses on the wearing comfort of cotton combined with the function of synthetic fibers. The Optimer Adapt technology ensures enhanced, more balanced climate management due to the natural phase change material. Its unique and bio-based microencapsulated material – verified by Ecocert - reacts to changes in body temperature to maintain balanced comfort. In warmer temperatures, a cooling of the body temperature is guaranteed, and in colder climate, the material returns heat to the body. The fabric dries faster, has a soft, natural feel, is pilling-resistant and colorfast.
Südwolle: merino base-layer clothing for medical personnel
In hospitals where Covid-19 patients are treated, medical staff must wear protective clothing. Under this protective clothing, the skin sweats easily, is in discomfort, itches, and possible skin irritation and rashes can develop. For this reason, the manufacturer of worsted products Südwolle Group, Nuremberg/Germany, supports the medical staff in hospitals in Romania and China with high-performance base-layer clothing worn underneath protective clothing.
Conventional base-layer garments, which were primarily made of synthetic fibers, showed poor performance in moisture management and thermal regulation in these compromised conditions. Südwolle Group produced base-layer clothing that were initially intended for sports, outdoor or technical end-uses at their spinning mill Silvania Worsted Spinning (SWS) in Simleu Slivaniei/Romania.
They also joined forces with the producer of cellulosic fibers, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, and the Rainbow Company to produce base-layer garments from merino-lyocell blends to supply the medical team at the hospitals in Wuhan/China.
With their good thermo- and moisture-regulating properties, merino wool and Tencel lyocell are convenient natural fibers to be worn under such protective clothing to offer exceptional comfort.