At Techtextil, which took place May 4-7, 2015, there occasionally is some time to talk about the business, the markets and, of course, the products. The Rupp Report had the chance to talk to Joel Jegou, communications manager, Stäubli Group — a Frenchman with a fine sense of humor.
As a former supplier to the weaving industry founded in 1892, Stäubli today is a mechatronics solutions provider with textile machinery, connectors and robotics divisions. More than 4,000 employees of the Switzerland-based group, including the companies Multi-Contact and Schönherr, generate an annual turnover of more than 1 billion Swiss francs. The Group is present in 25 countries through its sales and customer service subsidiaries, and has agents in 50 countries.
Jegou mentioned that the Group is attending Techtextil for the third time. “We are very happy with the outcome, and the visitor’s frequency was ok for us.” Visitors came from all over the world. Jegou said Stäubli welcomed people from India, France, the United States, Belgium, Korea, South America, but also some Japanese, Romanians and visitors from the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan.
When asked about the fact that Techtextil now takes place over four days, Jegou said: “This is very good, however, the event should start on Tuesday and not on Monday. For some people, it is difficult to travel on Sunday to prepare the booth.”
Stäubli was happy with the feedback for its products: “Yes, we’ve presented our solutions for technical textiles with two machines, and had some very promising talks with visitors, particularly for the new multilayer Magma 12T. This warp-tying machine for technical yarn ties monofilaments, coarse multifilaments, PP ribbons, bast fibers, coarse staple fibers, and many other fiber types. It can handle universal applications, handling the range from coarse technical yarns to medium yarn-count range. Its rigid design includes an optical double-end detection system, ensuring a high-quality warp tying process.”
The other showcase was the Unival 100 with its individual servo-driven thread control. This servo-driven single-end-control jacquard machine claims to offer an expanded range of benefits for producing sophisticated technical textiles such as automotive and aeronautic textiles, technical textiles in the sports, industrial, medical sectors, and new fabric constructions, even with glass fibers, carbon, and Kevlar. Weavers should be able to produce fabrics that meet the full range of specified requirements.
Solutions For Heavy Textiles
Is Stäubli also offering some machines and products for heavy weight textiles? “Of course,” Jegou said. “The 2688 range of electronically controlled rotary dobbies is suitable for producing many types of technical fabrics, especially forming fabrics. The range includes various types of dobbies matched to the performance of the weaving machine and taking the weaving parameters into account. These dobbies can be used on all types of weaving machines, positioned low or high.” As the kind of an OEM producer of dobbies and jacquard machines, Stäubli can rely on a long and large experience with all important weaving machinery brands.
The Unival 500T dobby offers a nearly unlimited range of applications, expansion options and settings, said Jegou. “With its robust construction and a dedicated drive for each individual heald frame, this servo-controlled dobby is particularly well suited for producing technical fabrics such as filter fabrics.”
Not only in fashion, but also for technical textiles, Jacquard machines are playing an important role today, such as the LX2493 Jacquard machine. With the patented M6T module, it is said to ensure optimal efficiency in fabric production, being ideal for coarse yarns and extreme weaving widths. The optional servo-drive control allows the installation of up to four machines on the top of the Stäubli TF Series weaving system.
Complete Weaving Systems
More and more technical weavers are also looking for complete weaving systems. Can Stäubli provide something for these people? “Yes,” said Jegou. “For this sector, we have the TF Series. By enhancing the extensive product range, the newly developed TF Series weaving system is designed to serve the steadily growing technical textiles market by providing high-performance technologies. Individually configurable, the TF Series features two types of basic set-ups to fulfill customer requirements.”
As a “classic” textile machinery manufacturer, Stäubli is heading strongly towards technical textiles, and according to Jegou, the percentage of sales into the industrial fabrics sector is growing, reaching currently some 10 percent. Main markets are Europe, Korea, China, the United Kingdom and Japan.
And how is Jegou judging the recent market situation for technical textiles – referring to his product portfolio? “Well, for sure, this market is growing constantly, and we don’t see the end of that growth yet.”
Of course, as most of the present textile machinery manufacturers, the Stäubli Group is also attending ITMA 2015 in November. One could say that this Techtextil was the kind of a mini ITMA. Hall 3.0 was packed with exhibitors that one can normally see at ITMA. However, if Jegou compares this event and the one in 2013 does he see any differences?
“Yes, a lot of differences. This show was much better structured for the textile machinery people than the one in 2013. And, as you can see in this hall, there are much more machinery companies than ever before. So the answer to the very last question “will your company take part at the next Techtextil in 2017?” was quite obvious: “Of course!”
There are more impressions to come from Techtextil in the next issues of the Rupp Report. So stay tuned.
June 9, 2015