Germany-based AMANN Group has been one of the global leaders in the field of high-quality sewing and embroidery threads. The company’s think-tank deals with textile innovations: hybrid threads for composites, sensor yarns, threads with indicator function, conductive threads, yarns for textile surfaces. AMANN produces sewing and embroidery threads meeting the highest demands and develops ideas for seams that make your products even more efficient, more comfortable, more beautiful and safer.
“We want to strengthen our presence in the Indian markets. We have a warehouse and small production facility in Chennai at present, but we plan to expand our production facility in India even further says Barbara Binder, Director Global Marketing at AMANN Group, while speaking on the future plans of AMANN, during an interview with Karhtik Muthuveeran, ITJ Senior Sub Editor, at the recently-concluded Techtextil India exhibition in Mumbai.
AMANN Group has been in the business for more than 160 years. Take us through this long journey.
AMANN Group started traditionally with natural fibres. We started mainly with silk fibres, and over the years, we forayed into different areas. In fact, around 1950s, we were the first company to introduce polyester sewing threads. Since then, we have developed various types of raw materials.
Threads are not only meant for sewing, but have a lot of new properties and functions and finishes. We are putting a lot of effort into research and we are constantly monitoring new developments and networking with pioneering partners.
We develop sewing and embroidery threads as well as functional yarns and technical threads for tomorrow’s market requirements in close cooperation with the customer. The AMANN Innovation Lab was specifically created for this purpose. Our think-tank deals with textile innovations: hybrid threads for composites, sensor yarns, threads with indicator function, conductive threads, yarns for textile surfaces. AMANN produces sewing and embroidery threads at its own production sites in Europe and Asia exclusively.
Explain the concept of “Intelligent threads”.
Intelligent thread means that the thread is not just a sewing thread, but it has a lot of other significance.
It can be waterproofed for example, it can be conductive, it can indicate acid, it can be UV resistant or antimicrobial. You have a different kind of construction, finishes, bondings, and whatever is necessary for the application of the customers in the product.
AMANN Group offers a wide range of threads. What are its salient features?
We roughly have around 20,000 products in our product line. We provide yarns with polyester core spun, polyester continuous filament, polytrimethylenterephthalate continuous filament, polyester continuous microfilament, cotton spun yarns, to name a few. We have yarns for all the major industries.
Mainly we are operating in all business areas because one need threads everywhere. Our main business is sewing and embroidery thread. We are moving into other newer areas. But our main field is sewing threads, which are used in airplanes, garments, shoes, furniture, technical textiles, automotive, home interiors, etc.
What differentiates your products from that of the competitors?
It depends on product to product. I cannot speak on competitor’s products. I can only speak about AMANN and its products. We have a vast technical know-how throughout the company. We can give extensive support for all applications. We do not just sell our product, but we really study the applications thoroughly to find for every customer the right solution. We do not want our customers to use our threads without getting a perfect result. We don’t just sell our products, but provide the technical know-how and how to use it in the best way to get the optimised results.
The second major differentiator is innovation.
We are open and look towards innovation all the time, not just R&D or marketing but the whole company. We look for future markets and for example the latest machinery developments. Thirdly is the general know-how and constant competence improvement of all our people. We conduct technical trainings worldwide. We have one standard worldwide for our production and people.
How do you look at the market in India for your products?
India is naturally a thriving economy. India has a lot of fast-growing industries like automotive, chemical, amongst others. However, India is still developing at present. We are looking at the growing economy in all the business fields. In technical garments and specialities, we think that there is a lot of know-how requirement. It is a good place for innovation.
What would be the market share of your products for the Indian market?
At present, we are just venturing into India. We are at a very nascent stage and mainly present in niche areas.
Apart from India, which are the other major markets?
Basically, for technical textiles, our main main market is Europe. In Europe, Germany is our major contributor as they are leaders in the technical textiles segment. Not only does Germany have a very big automotive industry, but they also have a vast technical textiles segment too.
How important does R&D play a role in AMANN Group?
R&D does play a very important role at AMANN. We have just invested in the last two years into “the Amann Lab” with new people and experts from the market. Experts from electronic engineering, polymer chemistry and textile chemistry. In order to tackle innovation, one doesn’t always have to have the final solution but you need experts in that particular field.
How do you look at the global environment that has been changing continuously?
For us, the major area where we want to grow is definitely Asia for the thread market. In general, you have 40 per cent of the world’s total production, about 70 per cent in apparel. In technical textiles, we want to be present as well. So our major growth area will be the Asian markets.
What are the major challenges that you face in the industry?
As you know, India is a very huge country. If you are a new player in a particular area, then it is difficult to get the right network and to make the brand known. For AMANN, the real challenge is to find the right customer segments and to make known what Amann stands for. Quality and know how transfer is the most important challenge, and finding customers who are looking for it.
What are the future plans?
We want to expand further into the Asian markets with additional production facilities or company setups, including the Indian market. We want to strengthen our presence and our service in Asia.