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The Rupp Report

The Rupp Report: ITMA Flash IV

The Rupp Report is still in the spinning sector with the flashback from ITMA Europe in Barcelona; and this week reflects on the comments of Hermann Selker, the well-known head of marketing at Trützschler GmbH & Co. KG. The Germany-based textile machinery manufacturer has enlarged its portfolio in recent years by acquiring Fleissner GmbH and currently comprises the spinning, nonwovens and card clothing sectors.

The author recalls very well the words of Hans Trützschler at ITMA 1991 in Hannover, Germany, when he said to the press people present: "We were independent, we are independent and we will remain independent." And that is still the case: Trützschler is one of the remaining independent suppliers in Europe.

Selker shook his head in answering the questions about the concept of the ITMAs taking place in Europe every four years and Asia every two years. "No," he said, "every two years would be enough, one in Europe and one in Asia, wherever that may be. There are so many local exhibitions; we don't need an ITMA in Asia every two years."

Crowded House
At ITMA 2011, Trützschler welcomed a lot of visitors from virtually all over the world, of course with the exception of many Chinese customers. Most visitors came from India, Spain, Germany, Indonesia, Pakistan and Brazil. "Yes," said Selker, "the visitor frequency was very good. We've had the impression that we welcomed more visitors than in Munich four years ago, and our expectations were entirely fulfilled."

Europe Versus Asia

And how about the European market — is it still important for Trützschler? "For spinning, not like it was before, but for nonwovens, the European market is still extremely important for us," Selker said. "On top of that, we consider China and India to be local countries, as we deliver our products directly from local production sites."

This is the same situation for the current problems with the volatile currencies and the current economic situation. "We have no problem," Selker adds. "We produce locally; therefore we are not depending that much on the euro and the U.S. dollar. On the other hand, the prices for raw materials are more stable, which cools down the market as well."

New Developments
What about new developments from Trützschler? "We've had two highlights at ITMA: on the one hand, the new TC 11 card, which we are convinced offers a quantum leap in production. We believe that since ITMA 1995 in Milan, this offers the biggest jump production-wise for a card — we are talking about 40-percent more. On the other hand, there is the foreign parts detector SP-FPU, which is able to detect not only colored material, but also white and even transparent fibers and trash. And the response was truly outstanding; the SP-FPU is soaring over the top. With the actual requirements regarding quality, everybody must have this system, which is also available to be installed on older machinery."

Another highlight, this time in the nonwovens sector, was the new crosslapper EKLB439. "We are able for the first time to produce a web with carbon fibers," Selker said. "The bottleneck today in nonwovens production is the crosslapper. Therefore, it is necessary to increase also the performance of downstream equipment, such as the crosslapper. We have succeeded in beating these limitations with our new crosslapper in terms of productivity as well as in terms of quality."

Excellent Market Situation
How does Trützschler see the current market situation? At this moment, Trützschler Group Managing Partner Heinrich Trützschler joined the discussion and answered this question: "We are enjoying a very good market situation. The year 2011 was highly supported by backlog demand from the previous years. And we've never sold so many cards before in the history of our company."

And what do you expect from 2012? "Well," Trützschler said, "we are convinced that 2012 will be a good year. Of course, not as strong as 2011, but it will be a good year for us."

"And in spite of all discussions," Selker added, "we will take part in ITMA Asia 2012 in Shanghai, and also in Italy in 2015."

December 6, 2011