Strategic booth location and innovation clubbed with an eye for sustainability gave Benninger the advantage at ITMA this year. While every corner of the booth bustled with visitors, we sneaked a few minutes out to speak to Josef Kleinheinz, Area Sales Director, Textile Finishing & Beat Meienberger, CEO, Benninger AG.
How was ITMA 2015 for Benninger?
Josef Kleinheinz: The show has surpassed our expectations. Before coming to ITMA, we were not sure about results and were least expectant about the progress we would see here. But fortunately the show has been great for us. The strategic location of our booth added fuel to our success story. The visitors had no chance to miss the Benninger booth, we were right in front of entrance. We can only say that our confidence to face the market has increased manifolds owing to the good show here at Milan. We are not unsure of what the future has in store for us.
Beat Meienberger: We saw a good visitor strength from places that were quite non-responsive till date. Mexico, Peru and South America as a whole showed us extremely good response this year. We were surprised by the global reach we experienced here at ITMA. This is aside of the impressive visitor strength we received from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Tell us a little about the innovative approaches you have highlighted this ITMA. How sustainable are the approaches taken by Benninger?
Josef Kleinheinz: Our innovations are solely channelised and in compliance of the environmental aspects of the textile industry. Working closely along the theme of ITMA this year, we have tried to present our innovations with a point of view of sustainability. For this reason resource management has been a central topic at ITMA Milan. Main areas of focus for us are:
1. Zero discharge production through waste water recycling
2. Exhaust air and waste water heat recovery with simple reduction of the radiated heat by means of innovative isolation and continues through to high-efficiency systems for exhaust air heat recovery on cylinder dryers.
3. Lye recovery offers considerable advantages during mercerisation. The weak lye is concentrated by evaporating the water and is then available for reuse in the mercerisation process.
Beat Meienberger: The highlight of ITMA was the newly-developed original Benninger-Küsters DyePad dyeing padder, great emphasis was placed on optimum accessibility and short, guided fabric runs. Apart from that also presented the TRIKOFLEX drum washing machine that is now also available for large widths and is therefore particularly suitable for technical textile applications.
You talk about enhanced accessibility. What are the benefits which come attached with the Benninger-Küsters DyePad dyeing padder?
Josef Kleinheinz: The nip dyeing option of the dyeing padder helps minimise dye liquor consumption and enables economical dyeing extremely short batches. Perfect, absolutely reproducible dyeing results are guaranteed by the use of the original Küsters S-roller technology.
Give us an overview of the growth you see in the technical textile market.
Josef Kleinheinz: Globally we can spot a raging change within the technical textile market. There is a notable positive response towards the conversion from conventional textile production to technical textile. While China is already a leading producer of technical textile today, India is not far behind of course. It is no more USA or Europe only, when it comes to considering the world market for technical textiles. India in fact has a big potential to make it to the top in the technical textile market within a short span of time. There are signs of change, which coupled with the government policies and mandates will fasten things up in the near future.
What about the finishing industry? How do you see the same progressing in the coming years?
Beat Meienberger:To begin with we should first mention Russia. A country that had completely vanished from the market till a few years, has again got back its position of significance. Apart from that India, Bangladesh and Pakistan are on the growth ladder and are bound to touch the top quite soon. Brazil has also cleared the smoke and is quite ready to walk the growth curve.