June 17, 2024
Tete-A-Tete

Innovation And Sustainability Are Part Of Stäubli’s DNA

Our advice on ways to reduce costs or increase productivity is always available. Customers anywhere in the world can draw upon the experience and know-how of Stäubli experts at any time, say Fritz Legler and Nadine Reinwald

Can you tell us about the key features that make the Stäubli ALPHA carpet weaving system stand out from traditional carpet weaving technologies, and what has been the response so far?
The newly developed ALPHA 580 UNIVERSAL carpet weaving system incorporates a number of innovations, such as its shedding solutions: the LX 2494 Jacquard machine and the S3288 rotary dobby. Both shedding solutions offer the benefits of proven systems within the Stäubli range. The Jacquard machine features NOEMI electronics architecture for incomparable reliability in data transmission and a new airflow design for optimised temperatures and longer lifetime. The electronic rotary dobby integrates the many advantages of the proven S2688 and S3200 dobbies and includes further developments adapted to the needs of carpet weaving mills like a more compact shaft package and greater lifting capacity. The ALPHA 580 UNIVERSAL system features a redesigned pre-winder housing for greater operator friendliness, easy operability and gentler yarn handling. Direct supply air over key points gives high process stability and reduces cleaning needs. These are just a few of the outstanding features integrated into this new carpet weaving system that offers the greatest flexibility in weaving high-quality rugs in all sorts of designs. What’s more, the system has sustainability inside. Composed of more than 80% metal, 10% non-steel metals and plastics, electronics, cables and wood, it has a recycling potential of 99%. During ITMA, we had the chance to show this machine to many interested carpet weavers and investors; now it’s time to transform the opportunities into real business – our sales team is in the field.

How does Stäubli ensure that its solutions are future-oriented and meet the evolving needs of the textile industry? What strategies do you employ to stay in close contact with your customers and adapt to market requirements?
Originally founded in 1892 as a small workshop in Horgen, Zurich, today Stäubli is an international group headquartered in Pfäffikon, Switzerland, operating with over 6000 employees in 29 countries on four continents. We are operating with as many as 600 R&D specialists and service engineers from our four divisions: Electrical Connectors, Fluid Connectors, Robotics and Textiles. Innovation and sustainability are part of Stäubli’s DNA: high-quality industrial and innovative mechatronic solutions as well as customer proximity are and will remain a success factor. To ensure customer proximity, our teams are constantly in the field, partnering with weavers, listening to their present challenges and offering wide variety of services. Stäubli service begins from the very first contact, with optimal system consulting. The outstanding service continues through machinery installation to after-sales support. Our advice on ways to reduce costs or increase productivity is always available. Customers anywhere in the world can draw upon the experience and know-how of Stäubli experts at any time. During ITMA, we took the chance to present MyStäubli, a multifaceted solution to suit each mill’s technical and personnel needs. Every mill is one of a kind. Each has a specific organ­isational structure, a unique combination of machinery and a team of many unique individuals. We respect that, and that’s why we’ve integrated a broad spectrum of interaction options into MyStäubli. Whether a mill needs technical documentation, a tutorial or maintenance follow-up and support, either remote or live, we will meet the specific requirements, always considering the competencies and mentality of the weaving mill’s staff.

Can you share some specific examples of how Stäubli’s weaving machines and solutions have helped textile manufacturers achieve sustainable and eco-friendly production practices leading to positive environmental impacts?
We have a lot of such customer stories. In particular, two customers gave us permission to talk about their reasons for choosing Stäubli solutions. One is an Indian market leader in home textiles who initially invested in our Jacquard machinery decades ago. He told us that he is convinced by the impressive longevity of the machinery operating under the harshest conditions and that he is always impressed by the high resale value of used Stäubli machines many years later. He recently invested in many new Jacquard machines in order to be fit for the future. The second example is the energy savings Jacquard weavers enjoy with Stäubli solutions. A high-end French weaver fully equipped his new weaving hall with our latest SX PRO model as a further step in his forward-looking ESG strategy. There are many similar examples regarding our warp-preparation solutions with automatic drawing in, our tying machines, or our shedding solutions: our dobbies and cam motions. I have already mentioned the sustainability aspects of our carpet weaving machines.

How is the weaving market responding to the growing popularity of technical textiles and their applications in various industries?
Technical and industrial textiles have been steadily growing over the past years and this segment currently enjoys the highest yearly growth projection in the weaving industry. Typical application areas include agriculture, construction, industrial, infrastructure and transportation, medical, packaging and high-end applications in field of 3D weaving involving composite materials. New solutions based on special tensile properties and dimensional or diagonal strength are being achieved through advances in yarns and weaving technology. Weaving companies can rely on expert know-how from weaving machine manufacturers like Stäubli as well as yarn manufacturers. Stäubli is heavily involved in key areas such as warp preparation for technical and industrial textiles, shed-forming technologies like dobbies, cam motions and Jacquard machines and complete weaving systems for the most complex, dense, heavy-duty and multi-layer 3D structures. Weaving companies which intend to venture into areas of technical weaving need to team up with experts at an early stage – ranging from market intelligence finding ideal applications, market opportunities and the right partners offering suitable technologies throughout the overall process. Our teams are well prepared to provide such support.

Are there any upcoming advancements or developments in the pipeline that we can look forward to from Stäubli soon?
Having just presented many new products and solutions at ITMA Milan, we are gearing up for ITMA Asia in China in November. We are very satisfied with the feedback we got during and after ITMA about our brand-new carpet weaving machine, our new solutions in the field of shedding technologies, including our new dobby and our completely new range of Jacquard machines and our new solutions in the field of automation technology, the automatic drawing-in and tying machines. This technology in being consolidated and successfully introduced in the marketplace. Our innovation pipeline is full – ideas abound. I would not be overly surprised if there were new products and solutions shown again at ITMA Asia. But technical advancements and new developments are just one aspect. Equally important for success is the implementation and the efficient and effective operation of the machinery in our customers’ mills. Investments in Stäubli equipment need to pay off in the shortest possible time so that future replacements can be properly budgeted, allowing the mill to stay ahead of the curve. Partnering with Stäubli can bring mills these kinds of overall benefits, as I described earlier. Our proximity to our customers in all textile-producing countries helps us to recognize customer requirements at an early stage and thereby lead our R&D teams in the right direction.

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