Magazine July 2018

The textile world at a glance: From sustainable products to processes

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Resource-saving, sustainable, renewable – terms that have been part of everyday life for a long time. They don't just influence our purchasing decisions and our eating habits - we are also placing ever greater importance on our ecological footprint with our leisure activities. While it may seem like a relatively recent concept, the principle of sustainability is actually much older than you may expect: Formulated for the first time in the 18th Century, it has grown in importance over the past few decades in particular.

In the business-to-business field too, sustainability is an extremely hot topic. And this is why Groz-Beckert focused on economical, ecological and social sustainability long before Corporate Social Responsibility became fashionable. Since then, the handling of resources and the topic of sustainability have developed within the textile world: Resource-saving, sustainable and renewable aspects are not always visible at first glance, but nevertheless play an important role. So you can look forward to exciting articles to give you an overview.

Find out more about the world of Groz-Beckert – there's no time like the present.

A green company – this used to be defined by whether or not the generated profits in projects were used to support sustainability. Today we go a big step further: We no longer re-invest profits into sustainability after the event, but focus on generating the profits in an environmentally and socially responsible way. The vision is now becoming reality: Processes are assessed in terms of their ecological footprint at a very early stage. A challenge that also has to be met by the growing trend towards "smart textiles". Even though this development was originally driven by digitisation, the multi-functional character and pleasing lasting nature of this trend is directly linked to the demand for resource-sparing production processes. We are already seeing the results: Researchers at the University of Washington recently succeeded in developing an intelligent textile without the use of an external energy source. Read more in the Knitting article in this magazine.

"Faster, higher, further" – ALtop Hybrid from Groz-Beckert impresses in all these aspects. Together with its brother, the ALtop Hybrid +, the unique high-performance heald frame stands for increased performance potential above all. The lack of intermediate support also makes handling easier when equipping the weaving machine and reduces downtimes, thus enabling optimal use of resources. Read more in the Weaving article in this magazine.

And the individual fibers also haven't remained unaffected by the topic of sustainability. On the one hand, this has meant that the production processes in the chemical fiber industry have been scrutinized ever more closely. On the other hand, there is also a strong focus on alternative fiber types. Some of these approaches also focus on by-products from production within other industries, such as the food industry. The Felting article in this magazine focuses on two examples from this series: Geotextiles made from banana fibers and coconut matting.

While the global demand for tufted carpets has fallen compared to hard floors in recent years, the opposite is true of the carpet tiles business. Previously only found in the industrial sector, carpet tiles are now also extremely popular in the living segment. In addition to design benefits, they often impress with the comfort properties of carpet flooring. The boom compared with conventional carpet floorings is also due in part to the easy transport and laying characteristics – advantages that can also benefit sustainability aspects. Find out more in the Tufting article in this magazine.

Ecological and economical aspects don't just play an important role in relation to materials – they are also extremely significant with respect to process design. Groz-Beckert therefore places the highest demands on the scope and services on offer. The Groz-Beckert mounting service for the nonwovens industry is part of this. It provides support if the roller card is damaged, which often brings the entire production line to a standstill. The response times of the mounting service are therefore key for ensuring optimal use of the resources in the nonwovens industry. This is a key reason why the "crash business" is gaining in importance all the time in the USA. Read more in the Carding article in this magazine.

Saving resources also means quality assurance. In the sewing industry, application problems often have a direct impact on the sewing quality. A fact that forces customers to act immediately when material damage, fiber or needle breakages, or skipped stitches occur. "Know-how" is the key to finding an effective solution in this case. In the Sewing article in this magazine, we have therefore outlined some general examples of possible error patterns. Groz-Beckert also offers its customers an advice concept for general sewing problems and individual advice and recommendations for solutions to application problems. With the sewing and joining service, we work together to ensure that you are always one step ahead of any errors – including in our modernized service laboratory in Vietnam spanning over 100m2.
Get ready for some intriguing reading – I hope you enjoy this issue!