At the end of 2021, Trützschler merged into Trützschler Group SE. What is new and different in the new corporate structure? Is there a new company philosophy?
Dr. Ralf Napiwotzki (RN): In November 2021, Trützschler GmbH und Co. KG was merged into the Trützschler Group SE. Since then, Trützschler Group SE acts as the parent company for the entire Trützschler Group with all subsidiaries. This change of the structure has no effect on our daily business – Trützschler remains an independent, family-owned company with the same company philosophy.
We conducted this merger to reduce the complexity resulting from the growth of the group: In the past decades, Trützschler has outgrown its traditional core area of spinning preparation and entered new business areas – Card Clothing, Nonwovens and Man-Made Fibers. The new structure allows us to implement our entrepreneurial activities more simply and quickly because we are gaining new flexibility.
The textile industry is in a constant state of flux. In your opinion, what are the most important megatrends at the moment?
Dr. Dirk Burger (DB): In the last years, we noticed an increasing trend towards sustainability which we believe will be an important trend in 2022 and beyond. Yarn producers are searching for cost-effective ways to produce high-quality products made of raw materials like organic cotton, sustainable cellulosic fibers, or secondary fibers made from textile waste. We are supporting this trend through energy-efficient machinery and installations tailored to the processing of these materials, as well as solutions for optimal raw material utilization. We have also developed specific machinery and installations for the manufacture of yarn made of recycled materials. We are happy to be well positioned in this area.
Digitalization also continues to be a trend. At Trützschler, we have the vision of an intelligent spinning preparation process which consists of machines that optimize themselves. These are machines that for example perform a real time analysis of the composition of the extracted waste and automatically change settings to make sure that no good fibers are lost. The world’s first intelligent card TC 19i was a big milestone in this context. It optimizes itself with the help of sensors and compensates deficiency factors spinning mills are confronted with – like staff shortages, high personnel costs and raw material quality fluctuation. Digital solutions like our mill monitoring system “My Mill” complete our idea of intelligent spinning preparation.
Climate change is currently one of the greatest challenges. The textile industry is considered one of the most environmentally damaging of all. How could a sustainable textile and apparel industry look like in the future?
DB: We already support our customers in the processing of sustainable raw materials. In particular, we see a large potential for closing the loop in the textile industry in textile recycling. This encompasses both the mechanical and chemical recycling and is exactly where Trützschler solutions come in – for example our card TC 19i for Recycling. This machine empowers our customers to achieve the maximum quality when carding secondary fibers from torn waste.
Another recycling approach of the future is the “regranulation” where synthetic fibers or textiles are shredded, melted and regranulated. This way, former water bottles can be recycled. Trützschler Man-Made fibers offers an extrusion system that spins BCF (Bulk Continuous Filaments) yarns for carpet production from recycled PET flakes.
From 2025, used clothing and other textiles will be collected separately throughout Europe to facilitate reuse and recycling. Will it be possible to put this post-consumer textile waste back into circulation as raw material?
Alexander Stampfer (AS): To what extend this is possible depends on several, for example how well preserved the garments are and what material they are made of. Especially stretch products are critical and often not suitable for mechanical recycling as they contain soft core yarns. In order to really close the loop, we further need advanced sorting and recognition technologies that make it possible to manufacture mixed fabric waste. This is currently the biggest challenge – the technologies to manufacture secondary or recycled fibers are available, but the preceding processes need to be developed. The fact that the legal frameworks differ from country to country also is relevant. In Turkey, for example, there are restrictions on the recycling of post-consumer waste. Nevertheless, we see a large demand for this topic worldwide and will continue to offer our customers the best possible solutions.
What will be the biggest challenges for the global textile industry after the corona pandemic?
RN: We observed that many markets already recovered very well in 2021 despite the pandemic. But it will take some time for the supply chains to level off again after corona.
AS: The transformation of the textile industry to a more sustainable industry will of course continue to accompany us further after the pandemic. The demand for more sustainable solutions will inevitably have an impact on fashion manufacturers and the entire supply chain. Trützschler will drive its efforts continuously to support its customers in this challenge in the best possible way.
DB: Corona showed us how fast established delivery chains can be dramatically delayed or completely interrupted. We see a trend in many markets to become more self-sufficient and less dependent on foreign deliveries and know-how. This leads to the creation of new textile manufacturing sites around the globe. We are well-positioned in this context: For decades, Trützschler has persistently followed the strategy of operating with multiple fully-fledged, local production and assembly sites. This unique operational footprint in the spinning machinery sector was always highly appreciated by our customers and has proven particularly useful in times of logistical turbulences, which we are facing currently.