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German Nonwovens And Technical Textiles Machinery: VDMA Respondents' Profiles

A s part of its effort to gather information about the involvement of German textile machinery manufacturers in the nonwovens and technical textiles sectors, Textile World prepared a questionnaire that was distributed by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) Textile Machinery Association to its membership. Responses were received from 21 out of a total of some 120 member companies. Below are profiles of the respondents, followed by a table providing a portfolio of the machinery and accessories offered by those respondents.

Brückner Trockentechnik GmbH & Co. KG

Brückner is active in the sectors of nonwovens, technical textiles, textile finishing, coating, carpet, glass fibers and special applications. The most important target groups, in addition to the typical finishers of woven and knitted fabrics, are all companies that process nonwovens, technical textiles, and other textiles. This target group is becoming more and more important. Brückner sees itself in a leading position for thermal treatment and finishing of plain form substrates.

The two most important patents Brückner holds are for a Split-flow air circulation system for tenters, dryers and nonwoven bonding lines; and a Venturi mixing system for optimized mixing of circulating air with fresh air. Six people work in the company's research and development (R&D) department. New developments include a Duo-Therm heat-treatment oven, a Power-Therm FX double belt oven and the Ener-Save energy saving systems for all Brückner as well as non-Brückner machinery.

The most requested machines at the moment are Power Frame tenters for heat-setting of geotextiles, high-temperature ovens for high-tech filter material, and finishing lines for medical and technical nonwovens. Brückner machinery is exported mostly to Europe, Asia and South America.

Brückner indicates the current market situation is still solid at this time, though decreasing a little bit, but the company is looking to the future in a positive way. For the coming years, it sees an increasing demand for geotextiles, filtration products and nonwovens finishing.

Foundation date:
1949
Number of employees: 350
Headquarters location: Leonberg
Annual turnover: 70 million euros
Owner: Regina Brückner
Website: www.brueckner-textile.de

Dienes Apparatebau GmbH
Dienes is active in the manufacturing of whole lines, machines and components for spinning and processing of spun yarns, filaments and other flexible products. The most important target groups are, of course, yarns producers, but also research institutes, universities and R&D laboratories that develop processes for all kinds of yarns, tapes, films and ribbons.

Dienes sees itself in a favorable position in the development and manufacturing of electrically heated godets, rolls, heaters and control systems. The company also holds patents for godets and heaters developed in its own R&D department, which is staffed by eight people.

New developments are DMC2010 process visualization and high-temperature rolls. Machinery and components for technical textiles are currently in greatest demand. The most important export countries and regions are Western Europe, the United States and India. The current market situation is considered to be solid, with a demand for niche products. For the future, Dienes sees continuous innovations in material properties leading to increasing demand for highly specialized technical fibers.

Foundation date: 1930
Number of employees: 40
Headquarters location: Mühlheim am Main
Annual turnover: 8 million euros
Owner: Steffen Müller Probandt
Website: www.dienes.net

Oskar Dilo Maschinenfabrik KG
The Dilo Group is one of the global leaders and a global supplier to the nonwovens industry. Dilo engineers and builds complete nonwoven production lines comprising opening and blending, carding, crosslapping and needling. Target groups are producers of all kinds of needled technical felts, geotextiles, filter media, automotive interior linings, floor coverings, wipes, synthetic leather, papermachine felts, roofing and insulation material, and lightweight nonwovens for hygiene and medical applications.

Dilo sees itself as a general market and technology leader for any type of needled products. It holds some 40 active patents, while about 20 are pending. Research and development are the keystones to Dilo's success. "We not only research and develop in the field of machinery construction, but also develop new end-products," the company reports. Some 20 people are working in the R&D sector, which receives investments totaling 7 percent of turnover annually.

New developments in the pipeline are a Fiberlofter, Cyclopunch for Hyperneedling, VentoFeed card, AlphaLine and CV1 Proximax. At the moment, Dilo is enjoying great demand for production lines for geotextiles, automotive applications, filtration, wipes and synthetic leather. However, other fields - for example, medical and hygiene applications - are also dynamic. Most of the machinery is exported to China, India, North and South America, and Europe.

The company has a technical research center in Eberbach, where three complete production lines for needled felted products and lightweight felts are installed. In addition, a test line for opening and blending is installed at DiloTemafa in Bergisch Gladbach.

Foundation date: 1902
Number of employees: 400
Headquarters location: Eberbach
Subsidiary Companies: DiloSpinnbau, Bremen
                                        DiloTemafa, Bergisch Gladbach
Annual turnover: 80 million euros
Owner: J.P. Dilo
Website: www.dilo.de

Fleissner GmbH
Fleissner is a well-known producer of machinery for staple fibers, nonwovens and tufted carpets. The company sees itself as a leader in the nonwovens, man-made fibers and carpet sectors. In the nonwovens sector, spunlace, thermal and chemical bonding processes as well as drying and heat-setting are in the forefront. The portfolio for man-made fiber machinery includes two-stage staple-fiber lines, one-stage compact spinning and staple-fiber lines as well as components for polyethylene terephthalate, polypropylene, carbon and bicomponent fibers. For carpet manufacturing, dyeing lines for tufted carpets and a latex-free carpet-backing process are available. All this machinery is protected by many patents.

Some 15 people work in the R&D department. A fully equipped lab at Fleissner's headquarters in Egelsbach for trials in 100-centimeter widths is at the disposal of its customers. New developments are, among others, thermobonding for high-loft nonwovens; a high-speed chemical bonding process of nonwovens; and a mini hydroentanglement unit for institutes, product development and low-capacity production. Currently, the company reports there is no true top seller in the range; the demand is generally high for all nonwovens machinery.

The most important export countries and regions at the moment are Europe, India and China. The current market situation is seen as having some shadows in the short- and mid-term situations for capital investment. "Only the strong companies are investing money at the moment," the company says. For the coming years, Fleissner sees a recovery in the United States; China continues to invest; Western Europe will be stable; and Eastern Europe and South America are emerging with nonwovens. Man-made fibers will see new investments, with a general trend toward specialized products.

Foundation date: 1848
Number of employees: 300
Headquarters location: Egelsbach
Subsidiary Companies: Sales office in Beijing
Annual turnover: 50 million euros
Owner: Trützschler GmbH
Website: www.fleissner.de

Groz-Beckert KG
Groz-Beckert is an undisputed global leader as a manufacturer of needles and accessories for textile machines. Most of the products are protected by a great number of patents, which were developed by its own R&D department. Groz-Beckert also operates its new Technology and Development Center (TEZ) at its headquarters in Albstadt.

The most important export region at the moment is Asia in general, and China in particular. The actual market situation is seen as being very bad. For the coming years, Groz-Beckert sees a rather slow improvement.

Foundation date: 1852
Number of employees: 7,360
Headquarters location: Albstadt
Subsidiary Companies: 20
Annual turnover: 496 million euros
Website: www.groz-beckert.com

Lindauer Dornier GmbH

The company, located on the German side of Lake Constance produces sophisticated rapier and air-jet weaving machines for both high-end- and medium-range weavers. Dornier claims the high standards of its machines makes them especially suitable for the production of highly demanding niche products in the technical textiles area for both light- and heavyweight fabrics. For example, carbon or aramid fabrics, airbags, and various filter fabrics are typical products produced on Dornier weaving machines.

The company holds patents for many of its machine parts and processes. According to Dornier, one of the most important processes is the positive center transfer of its rapier weaving machine. Other specialties are the EasyLeno® technology for the production of leno fabrics and the MotoLeno® selvage formation device. The company invests roughly 6 percent of the annual turnover on its own R&D department, which is accompanied by a laboratory for technical trials in Lindau

The global service organization in Lindau is supported by four subsidiary companies serving the Americas, China, India and Turkey. Rapier weaving machines for technical textiles are currently in greatest demand. Europe is still Dornier's most important market, with Germany, Italy and Turkey in the forefront. But Asia, including India and China, also is becoming more and more important.

The company considers the current market situation to be "absolutely difficult and extraordinary in the whole market history of textile machinery." For the future, Dornier says that considering the current market situation, it is difficult to make any estimation about market development in the next few years.

Foundation date: 1950
Number of employees:1,100
Headquarters location: Lindau
Subsidiary Locations: Charlotte
                                      Shanghai
                                      Mumbai, India
                                      Istanbul, Turkey
Owner: Peter D. Dornier and the Dornier family
Website: www.lindauerdornier.com

Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik GmbH

Karl Mayer is the undisputed global leader in warp-knitting and raschel machinery. The machines are used for applications including composites, coating substrates, mechanically bonded nonwovens, geotextiles, spacer fabrics and nets for technical applications. Power wind mills; boat materials; advertising; automotive materials; fish farming materials; construction textiles particularly for road construction; and functional clothing are the main end-uses.

The company considers itself to be very well-positioned in all the above mentioned markets. Karl Mayer has obtained patents for machinery and operational processes. Emphasis has been placed on patents for machinery. All in all, the company holds 150 industry property rights, and operates its own R&D department. The R&D expenses for technical textiles and nonwovens account for more than 4 percent of annual turnover. For customer trials, there are laboratories for testing machinery and structural components at its Karl Mayer Malimo subsidiary in Chemnitz, at its Obertshausen headquarters and at its production site in China.

A new development from Karl Mayer Malimo for fiberglass and carbon is the new Malitronic® Multiaxial machine. Multiaxial machines, especially for power wind mills, are currently in the greatest demand, but raschel machines with weft insertion type RS MSUS-(V) for geotextiles and coating substrates as well as types RS 2 EL-F and RS 3 EL-F for circular bale netting also are in demand. Another new development is a Rot-O-Tense yarn tensioner with motor drive for the production of warps made with high-tenacity technical yarns, such as glass or aramid.

North America, Europe and Asia - especially China - are the most important export countries at the moment. The actual market situation is considered to be very positive for the technical textiles and nonwovens sector. Because of increased environmental consciousness, Karl Mayer sees the focus for the coming years continues to be Asia, and very prominently for the power wind mill sector.

Foundation date: 1937
Number of employees: 2,000
Headquarters location: Obertshausen
Subsidiary Locations: Chemnitz, Obertshausen and Mönchengladbach, Germany
                                      Uzwil, Switzerland
                                      Shepshed, England
                                      Greensboro, N.C.
                                      Fukui, Japan
                                      Hong Kong
                                     Wujin, China
                                     Mezzolombardo, Italy
Owner: 100-percent family-owned
Website: www.karlmayer.com

Karl Menzel Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co.

The company is active in the sectors of machinery for nonwovens, technical textiles, glass and carbon fibers, plastic film and rubber. Menzel ranges are used for coating and laminating of fabrics for airbags, billboards and geogrids as well as polytetrafluoroethylene diaphragms. The rerolling and slitting machines can produce a maximum fabric width of up to 800 centimeters and tensile stress below 10 Newtons (N) and above 50,000 N. Menzel also is active in the nonwovens winding and finishing sectors, and considers itself to be a leader in these sectors. The company holds patents for its textile machinery. Its R&D department employs three to eight people, and it spends some 150,000 euros every year for R&D activities. A laboratory for technical trials is also at the disposal of Menzel's customers.

Among new developments are foulards for dyeing. Currently in greatest demand are coating lines for geogrids. At the moment, the European Union, India and Russia are the most important export countries and regions. The actual market situation is considered to be "slowly positive."

Foundation date: 1925
Number of employees: 250
Headquarters location: Bielefeld
Subsidiary Locations: Spartanburg
                                      India
Annual turnover: 40 million euros
Website: www.menzel.net

Maschinenfabrik Herbert Meyer GmbH

The company is active in mechanical engineering, machine construction, and custom-made machines. The range goes from small fusing machines for garments and shirts; to laminating and coating machines for technical textiles, foams and nonwovens; to thermoforming and -molding lines for the automotive industry.

Important target groups are technical textile manufacturers, foam makers and converters, automotive interior and acoustic parts suppliers, and apparel manufacturers.

Meyer consider itself to be a leader in thermoplastic-adhesive or material-compound processing machinery such as flatbed laminators, powder scatters, hot-stamping presses and thermomolding machines, which are covered by various patents. Its R&D department includes mechanical, electrical and software sections. Most of the machines are custom-built. Twenty-four people design and develop new machines in the engineering department, and three people work in the company's testing center for R&D in Rötz, which can be visited and booked for trials and small production runs. At the testing center, Meyer shows its latest technology with all possible features available to its customers. Machinery features working widths from 400 millimeters (mm) up to 1,800 mm.

Meyer exports close to 70 percent of its machinery, mainly within Europe, and to China and the United States. Among the newest developments are a laminator and flatbed laminators with oil heating instead of electric heating. New conveyor belts are available with improved surfaces, and laminators are available with high pressure for compressing and thermobonding applications. Top sellers at the moment are flatbed laminators with powder scatter for technical textiles.

Because of the current financial crisis, Meyer sees the current market situation as being quite difficult, but it is sure that with the right technology, it will always find a market. In the future, it believes technical textiles will have a growing market - especially materials with high performance features such as light weight, fire resistance, chemical resistance and such; or "green" materials with an excellent ecological balance. Low energy consumption, high efficiency and very easy operation are becoming the main focus for the company's machinery.

Foundation date: 1949
Number of employees: 150
Headquarters location: Rötz
Annual turnover: 15 million euros
Owner: Werner and Thomas Meyer
Website: www.meyer-machines.com

A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG

As one of the global leaders, Monforts produces machinery for continuous dyeing, thermofinishing on tenters, sanforizing, coating and laminating. The most important target groups are manufacturers of technical and functional textiles, spacer fabrics, and industrial textiles such as airbags.

Monforts sees its leading role in ranges for coating, thermobonding and finishing. Among other patents, the company holds patents for a TwinAir drying/ventilation system, a long-term lubricated tentering chain, a soft coating process and the MxL moist crosslinking process. Some 2 percent of annual turnover is invested in R&D, which employs 32 technicians and engineers. The laboratory for technical trials at the company's headquarters in Mönchengladbach includes a coating line, thermobonding line, moist crosslinking line, soft coating line, and a tenter.

Global customer service is supported by an innovative Online Assistance Teleservice via Internet for immediate customer support. An important new development, especially for technical textiles, is the new Montex TT tenter with the TwinAir cross-ventilation system and a new soft coating process. Ranges for coating and functionalizing of technical textiles and bonding ranges for spacer fabrics are currently in greatest demand.

Customers are located in all countries where technical textiles are manufactured, especially Germany, Switzerland, Italy and the United States. According to Monforts, the current situation for technical textiles is on a stable level. Many projects are being implemented. For the future, the company sees trends toward further functionalization of textiles for so-called "intelligent" textiles. New applications will be discovered, especially for workwear, the automotive sector and construction.

Foundation date: 1884
Number of employees: 200
Headquarters location: Mönchengladbach
Subsidiary locations: Montex, Austria
                                     Monforts Fong's joint venture, Shenzhen, China
Annual turnover: 67 million euros
Owner: L. Possehl & Co. mbH, Lübeck
Website: www.monforts.com

Nanoval GmbH & Co. KG

Nanoval supplies spunlaid lines and spinbeams for its patented Nanoval splitfiber process, in which monofilaments are picked up under the spinneret by a gas stream, which applies stress to the surface to draw them as the melt and air flows are accelerated. Once a monofilament's internal pressure exceeds the external gas pressure, the filament splits into very fine filaments, often numbering from more than 20 up to several hundred.

The beams may be installed to revamp existing nonwovens plants or integrated into new nonwoven plants that process polymers - including polypropylene, polyethylene, polyester, polyamide, polyurethane, polybutylenterephthalate and polylactide as well as natural polymers such as lyocell - from melt distribution to filament deposit. Targeted applications include medical and hygiene webs, wet and dry filters, wet and dry wipes, and agrotextiles.

Foundation date: 1988
Number of employees: 6
Headquarters location: Berlin
Annual turnover: 1 million euros
Owner: Dr. Lüder Gerking
Website: www.nanoval.de

Oerlikon Neumag
Oerlikon Neumag is a leading engineering company offering complete solutions for the production of bulk continuous filament carpet yarn, man-made staple fibers and nonwovens. It offers plants and technologies for all main nonwovens applications, including hygiene, medical, filtration, geotextiles and automotive. The product portfolio includes plants for the production of spunmelt, airlaid and carded nonwovens as well as machines for stand-alone meltblown, aerodynamic carding and festooning.

Oerlikon Neumag claims to be the only supplier offering multi-technology lines - for example, the combination of different web-forming processes such as spunlaid, carding and airlaid. The company owns a multitude of patents covering unique features of the key processes and technology in airlaid, carding and spunmelt.

For each technology, Oerlikon Neumag operates development departments staffed by more than 70 engineers and process specialists overall. The Spunmelt Solution Center, located in Neumünster, features a three-beam spunmelt pilot line. The Carding Competence Center in Linz, Austria, has a production line comprising the entire carding process from bale-opening through carding, crosslapping, needlepunching up to winding, including a complete aerodynamic carding line and a FOR Injection Card for spunlace applications.

New developments include a new modular card system, crosslappers with improved profiling plus a new drive technology, needle looms with features such as elliptic needling, optimized needle patterns and automatic needle-board exchange. Currently, Oerlikon Neumag sees the greatest demand is for carding/needlepunching lines for different applications. The most important export countries and regions currently are the United States, the Middle East, Turkey and China.

After years of above-average investments in spunmelt and carding, demand has decreased, additionally affected by the worldwide financial crisis. However, the market has recovered, especially in carding, and demand is at a sufficient level, according to Oerlikon Neumag.

The company notes that the way the industry will overcome current difficulties will significantly influence the future of the industry. In Russia, India, China and the Middle East, there is an ever-increasing trend to produce nonwovens and fabrics locally. In general, there is a tendency to manufacture product in the area where the final demand is, owing to the increasing impact of shipping costs. In addition, sustainability is gaining more and more importance, which will in the future influence the entire value chain from raw material up to the final product.

Foundation date: 1948
Number of employees: 750
Headquarters location: Neumünster
Subsidiary locations: Oerlikon Neumag Austria GmbH, Linz
                                     Oerlikon Neumag Italy S.p.A., Biella
                                     Autefa Nonwoven GmbH, Friedberg, Germany
Owner: Oerlikon Textile GmbH & Co. KG
Website: www.neumag.oerlikontextile.com

Pleva GmbH
Pleva has been developing and producing sensors and control systems since 1969. The products are systems for online controls and monitoring of industrial processes. The most important target groups are textile machinery builders and textile plants. Pleva sees itself in a leading position for perfect coating processes and reduced energy consumption in drying processes.

Most of the products are covered by patents. There is a broad range of contactless working microwave moisture-measurement devices, including AF 310, AF 120 and RF 110. The Add'nDry Plevatec control device is said to guarantee optimum coating of water-soluble substances. Additional features such as sensors TD 595 for fabric temperature, FS 92 for exhaust humidity and RR 1 for residual moisture during drying processes are said to reduce energy consumption, and raise productivity and finished fabric quality.

There are approximately 10 people working in the R&D department, and some 10 percent of the annual turnover is invested in this area. Like most of the high-end companies, Pleva operates its own laboratory for technical trials at its headquarters in Empfingen, Germany. New developments include automatic straightening machines for the textile industry, and measuring and control systems for factors such as material and application moisture, web temperature, size pick-up, residual moisture, humidity, fabric temperature, dwell time, oxygen, pick distortion and pick density. Currently in great demand are sensors for energy savings.

The most important export countries and regions currently are India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan, the Unites States, Brazil, Italy and Western Europe. The market situation is estimated to be very difficult, both currently and in the coming years.

Foundation date: 1969
Number of employees: 60
Headquarters location: Empfingen
Owner: Dr. Ralf Pleva
Website: www.pleva-controls.de

Power-Heat-Set GmbH Textile Systems
The company is a supplier of yarn-finishing lines targeted to yarn and carpet manufacturers. Power-Heat-Set considers itself to be a leader in heat-setting for carpet yarns. Some components are covered by patents. The company's R&D department has a staff of five people, and a laboratory for technical trials is also available.

A new machine is the Compact Heatset line for carpet yarns. The company claims this product is the first new heat-setting development for carpet yarns. Current primary export countries and regions include the United States, China, Russia, the Middle East and Europe. The current financial crisis has put the markets in a difficult situation, causing customers to postpone investments that are already overdue, as well as postponing or even cancelling planned start-ups.

Foundation date: 2002
Number of employees: 20
Headquarters location: Töging am Inn
Owner: Resch-Maschinenbau GmbH
Website: www.power-heat-set.com

Hans Schmidt & Co. GmbH
Hans Schmidt & Co. GmbH produces and sells measuring instruments for tension, speed, force, hardness, thickness and other factors. Products include tension meters, force gauges, thickness gauges, shore and bobbin durometers, tachometers, stroboscopes and textile moist meters. The company says virtually every producer of textile products is a potential or existing target customer; and declares itself to be a leader in fiber production, circular knitting, winding and sewing.

Schmidt has its own R&D department. New two-roller tension meters specially made for circular knitting machines are the latest development. Currently, products are exported primarily to the United States, the Far East - especially to China, Japan, Taiwan and India - and to European countries such as Italy, France, and Belgium.

As with many VDMA members, Schmidt has seen a decline in sales in line with a slowdown of textile production. The company is certain it will take two to three years for the textile industry to start growing again, noting that additional low-cost countries will start making low-cost textiles.

Foundation date: 1948
Number of employees: 20
Headquarters location: Waldkraiburg
Annual turnover: 3 million euros
Website: www.tensionmeter.de

Schwing Fluid

Schwing Fluid considers itself a leader as a thermal cleaning systems supplier for target groups such as plastics and man-made fiber industries. Trials can be conducted in its laboratory in Neukirchen-Vluyn. The current top sellers are its VacuClean Systems, which are thermal cleaning systems under vacuum. The company mentions India, China, Indonesia, and Turkey as key export countries.

Foundation date: 1969
Number of employees: 60
Headquarters location: Neukirchen-Vluyn
Website: www.schwing-sft.com

Setex Schermuly Textile Computer GmbH
Setex produces automation systems, including hardware and software, for the textile industry; as well as sensors and systems for quality-control, monitoring, machine and energy efficiency, wastewater treatment, and exhaust air treatment. Manufacturers of textile dyeing and finishing machines as well as manufacturing plants are its top target groups. In the areas of control and centralization of dyeing and finishing factories, concepts for modern plant automation and energy/cost reduction, Setex is said to play an important role. Therefore, its own R&D department with a staff of 18 people is a must, and also a laboratory for technical trials at its headquarters in Mengerskirchen.

New developments are control systems for dyeing and finishing machines, sensors with charge-coupled-device (CCD) technology for the detection of weft density and weft distortion, as well as a plant managing software package and energy saving concepts. All these new developments are currently in greatest demand. Setex believes the current market situation is critical and that 2009 will still be quiet, with a recovery beginning in mid-2010. However, energy-saving and environmental considerations will lead to a change in modern machinery manufacturing and textile manufacturing.

Foundation date: 1993
Number of employees: 75
Headquarters location: Mengerskirchen
Subsidiary companies: 3
Website: www.setex-germany.com

H. Stoll GmbH & Co. KG
Stoll is an undisputed leader in the manufacture of flat knitting machines. The company also is placing increasing emphasis on technical textiles. With regard to inquiries and demand, major fields include: compression garments and orthopedic supports, in addition to other medical treatment and care products; upholstery and support fabrics, made fully fashioned, 3-D and ready to use; fabrics for technical and industrial uses based on special materials and 3-D shape implementations; wire knits and conductive fabrics; and textile substrates and preshaped prepregs for composite applications.

Stoll claims to be the leader with regard to use and adaptation of flat knitting machines for technical and industrial textile production solutions. Patents cover specific components and techniques of machines as well as their relevance to some knit structures and knitting techniques. The company operates its own R&D department as well as a laboratory for technical trials.

The CMS 530 E 12 - E 14 knitting machine for medical and upholstery products is currently in greatest demand. The most important export countries or regions today are North America and Taiwan. The company sees the current market situation as quite positive, with steady growth for technical applications. This also is the case for the coming years: positive with stronger globalization effects.

Foundation date: 1873
Number of employees: 1,000
Headquarters location: Reutlingen
Subsidiary companies: 8
Annual turnover: 350 million euros
Website: www.stoll.de

Then Maschinen GmbH

Then, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based Fong’s Group, designs and manufactures dyeing machines for yarns and woven and knitted fabrics, controllers, and chemical- and dyestuff-dispensing systems.

The patented Airflow® technology has applications for woven and knitted technical textiles as well as yarns for technical textiles. There are 25 people working in Then’s R&D department in Schwäbisch Hall. According to the company, the well-known Airflow technology has been upgraded with the latest-generation technology. The Airflow models SynergyG2 and Lotus are currently in greatest demand.

The most important export regions currently are Asia, South America and Europe. Then sees the current market situation as being rather positive, owing to a high demand for high-quality and cost-efficient machine solutions and thanks to its Airflow technology, which it notes is a proven process with considerable savings regarding energy, water and dyestuff.

Foundation date: 1919
Number of employees: 130
Headquarters location: Schwäbisch Hall
Owner: Fong's Industries Co. Ltd. HK
Website: www.then.de

Wumag Texroll GmbH & Co. KG

Wumag supplies rolls and machines for textiles, nonwovens and the plastics industry. Most important target groups are original equipment manufacturers in those industries. The company considers itself to be a leader in the sectors of drying, heat-setting and rolls.

An induction heated roll is Wumag's latest development. Calenders for needled felts are currently the top sellers. The most important export countries and regions for textiles are India, China and Turkey; and for nonwovens, the European Community and North America. Wumag also is facing a market downturn; however, it reports niche products still sell. The company predicts a positive upswing in the middle of 2009.

Foundation date: 1948
Number of employees: 85
Headquarters location: Krefeld
Annual turnover: 17 million euros
Website: www.wumag.de

Xetma Vollenweider GmbH
Xetma Vollenweider offers mechanical textile-finishing technologies - including raising, shearing, sanding, brush-sueding, fabric-cleaning, carpet-shearing, polishing, tigering and other technologies - to manufacturers and finishers of all kinds of textiles. The company, which has received patents for various machines and processes, considers itself to be a leader in the fields of raising, soft-touch finishing such as sanding and brush-sueding, and shearing. Its headquarters in Aue is home to an R&D department that employs a staff of 10 people and a laboratory where all Xetma Vollenweider technologies are available for conducting technical trials. The company also maintains a global service network with locations in key markets.

New developments include special combined finishing technologies, such as combined brushing and sanding, raising and sanding, and other combinations. Among the machinery currently in greatest demand are the company's soft-touch finishing machinery for apparel fabrics and shearing machinery for home textiles. Xetma Vollenweider's key export countries and regions include India, Japan, China and Western Europe. The company sees a slowdown in the current market situation and believes added-value technologies will become more and more important in the future.

Foundation date: 1850
Number of employees: 60
Headquarters location: Aue
Subsidiary companies: Xetma Vollenweider AG, Switzerland
Annual turnover: 10 million euros
Website: www.xetma.de

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