|Finishing knitted textiles with a flourish|
Knitting Trade Journal talks to Stefano Gallucci, Santex Rimar Group CEO, and Heinz Michel, Santex Rimar Group Head of Textile Division, about the company's latest finishing solutions for the knits sector.
Knitting Trade Journal: As we emerge from an unpredictable 2015, many suppliers to the global textile industry are cautiously optimistic over order books for 2016. Is this the case for Santex Rimar Group?
Stefano Gallucci: We confirm a general positive trend of 2015 in all our companies and brands and 2016 has started in line with this. The global boost in capital equipment investments seems to continue with new markets opening to renovate their facilities with state of the art technologies. The ITMA show in Milan had given an important impulse to the textile machinery industry. We were able to sell all machines exhibited and furthermore were able to close some substantial orders: 2016 will be definitely a strong year for us.
KTJ: Does Santex Rimar Group offer technology that is specific to the knitting sector?
Heinz Michel: Santex Rimar Group has been offering machines with the brand of Santex in the field of finishing for knitted fabrics since 1982. We are one of the leading companies in drying but also in compacting knitting fabrics with the target to get the best residual shrinkage values and smooth hand. Today Santex is a synonymous for a high quality finishing knitted goods.
KTJ: Can you outline any significant advantages of these products?
HM: Santashrink is the dryer with the best cost/performance ratio: high evaporation values and outstanding production capacity at low energy consumption are only some of the advantages. The launch of the new Santasynpact, a combination of rubber belt (Sanforize unit) and felt belts, was very well accepted in the market. A number of orders were received after the ITMA show. With Santasynpact machine Santex is matching a strong customer demand throughout the world.
KTJ: Which sectors are providing the strongest demand for your Group and are there any particular speciality products that are in strong demand?
HM: Santex Rimar Group is concentrating on the Technical Textile Machinery sector with the brands Cavitec and Isotex for Coating/Laminating in Wet and Hotmelt technology and Impregnation of carbon fabrics; Textile Machinery, for finishing of knitted fabrics but also for decatizing of woven and knits. The latest development of a new Plasma treatment is showing the possibilities in finishing wool related products and have long lasting anti-shrinkage and dyeing permeability without chemicals. With this treatment Sperotto Rimar has the first industrial scale solution for limiting the usage of natural resources to produce easy-care and eco-friendly fibres.
KTJ: Can you tell me about some of the emerging trends in the textile finishing sector that are relevant to Santex's research and development eg. demands for more environmentally friendly technology. How does Santex respond to these trends?
SG: The trend to use less energy or to increase the performance of our machines will continue. With quite some customers we have very close co-operations to find the best possible solutions. A trend which is coming back is to achieve higher production speed, but with the demand to get the same quality requirements. Santex is also working on a special treatment in order to use less water, less energy and dyestuff on the following dying process of cotton. We are currently promoting our new Decofast 3.5 with Sperotto Rimar brand, an evolution of our concept of decatizing with higher production volumes, lower energy consumption yet with a better hand to natural and to some artificial fibres too. This new machine implements our new sustainability effort of adding value to textiles while reducing the carbon footprint of the finishing industry.
KTJ: Which will be your most active markets by region in 2016? Are there any new emerging markets which Santex is very confident about?
HM: Asia is still strong with Middle East coming up as Turkey confirms it is a growing producer of high-end textiles looking for new solutions. In 2016 the most active markets for Textile Machinery will be Bangladesh followed by China, Vietnam and India. Technical Textile sales activities are more distributed in Europe, USA and China.
KTJ: How do you see your products competing with emerging Chinese technology?
Heinz Michel: Chinese producers have reached a good quality and prove to be unbeatable in some products where we have already chosen not to compete. Stenter frames are a clear example. Nevertheless, Santex Rimar is growing in China with both Europe made and China made machines. With our own production facility close to Shanghai from 2005 we identify local trends which are not necessarily matching with other international markets. In the last two years, China was the most important market for our Textile Machinery Division. The close contact with customers opened also the possibility to participate on new investment program of the Chinese textile industry in Vietnam. Meanwhile Santex Rimar Group is using the local company more and more as an important hub for all group activities.
KTJ: What, in your view, are the real challenges facing the high quality suppliers to the knitting industry in 2016 and beyond?
SG: A real challenge is to keep the high quality level standard at reasonable costs and acceptable sales price. The decision to keep intensifying the R&D activities will be exciting and will bring additional future benefits for customers. Our key values are: flexibility, productivity and high volumes.