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Sulzer Celebrates 40 Years In The United States

Sulzer's AnniversaryBy Rachael S. Dunn, Associate Editor Sulzer Celebrates 40 Years In The United States Switzerland-based Sulzer Textil Ltd. recently celebrated 40 years in the United States. Customers and guests were invited to celebrate this milestone at its US headquarters, Sulzer Textile Inc., in Spartanburg. Fritz Legler, president, Sulzer Textile Inc., welcomed guests to the event and thanked them for the special relationship the company has enjoyed with this very important market over the last four decades. Legler invited everyone to continue to be with Sulzer for the next 40 years. Speeches were given by Consul General of Switzerland Alexander Kuebli; Neil Cahill, industry consultant; and Sulzers CEO, Dr. Paolo Antonietti. 

Fritz Legler, president, Sulzer Textile Inc., is pictured with a globe constructred using spare parts from Sulzer looms.During his presentation, Dr. Antonietti highlighted some of Sulzers company history. Its beginnings can be traced back to Caspar Honeggers English loom importing business. Difficulties encountered during the Napoleonic Wars led Honegger to begin assembling his own looms. In 1890, the company introduced its jacquard weaving system, Ruti. A collaboration with Warner-Swasey in Cleveland in 1946 led to the development of the first projectile loom.  Sulzer began manufacturing projectile looms in 1952, followed by rapier machines in 1969, water-jet machines in 1971, air-jet machines in 1975 and the multi-phase machine in 1995. Sulzer Textile Inc. was established in the United States in 1962.Dr. Antonietti reiterated that although Sulzer was acquired by the Italy-based Itema Group earlier this year, the company will continue to operate as a separate entity. He also stressed that Sulzer has a healthy balance sheet, is profitable and is dedicated to working with customers to provide top-quality products and services. Sulzer spends 6 percent of its annual turnover on research and development. The company also is set to change its name in January 2003 to Sultex Ltd. (See Textile World News, TW, September 2002), but the brand name for its products will remain Sulzer Textil.Itema comprises nine business units in four different areas. Sulzer and Promatech (Somet and Vamatex) make up the loom segment of the company; Savio focuses on winding; Fim Textile, Cincla, Nuova OMV and Actex manufacture accessories; and Eutron and Saar are high-tech electronics companies. Sulzer believes electronics will play a major role in the future success of the company; electronic components make up 40 percent of a loom and 60 percent of a winding machine.Guests were treated to demonstrations of Sulzer weaving machinery. The new L5400 air-jet machine was in the spotlight, but guests also viewed Sulzers rapier, projectile and multi-phase weaving machines in operation. Presentations given by various members of Sulzers technical staff highlighted the abilities and special features of each machine. The L5400 weaving machine is the newest Sulzer air-jet machine on the market. Key features include increased productivity, reduced energy consumption and the latest information-processing technology (including Internet capability). It is suitable for a wide range of applications at top speeds of 1,250 picks per minute. Air consumption is reduced by 20 percent.Also highlighted was Sulzers on-line, spare-parts ordering service, EDOSnet. Sulzer claims the system gives its customers a 24/7 opportunity to order parts and view availability of parts and prices on-line. Parts are received by US customers within 48 to 72 hours of order placement.Commenting on the event, Fritz Legler said: We were in the unique position to be able to celebrate a major milestone with our existing and prospective customers, and utilized the opportunity to show our appreciation to them and our commitment to this market. It is continuity and the excellent team in Spartanburg that will make the difference. Our company will work hard to provide more and better technology and services to our customers. December 2002



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