Sustainability is very much in the air all over the world. Every country, however small representation it has in textile machinery segment, is concerned with sustainability.
Says Charles Beauduin, who is also the President of SYMATEX, the Belgian association: ¨Measured by its sq km, Belgium is a small country, but measured by its impact on the world textile industry, it is not so small. Belgium is responding to the challenge of helping the textile value chain create a sustainable future.¨
¨Belgian machinery technology providers are contributing to the transformation of textile mills into textile ´factories of the future´. Such factories will deliver, for equivalent output levels, energy and resource consumption that is 50 per cent less than current levels. The flexibility of their production systems, in terms of product mix and lead times, will be at least twice current levels.¨
Says Mikael Aremann, President, Textile Machinery Association of Sweden (TMAS), ¨The Swedish contribution to the global textile industry may not be comparable to some other nations, but when it comes to contributing to a sustainable textile production process, then every machine producer, every country and every citizen, irrespective of size, can make an effort.¨ ¨Many Swedish companies hold leading positions in various segments of the textile-manufacturing equipment and technology market. By representing the wider process, i.e., everything from yarn feeding, through supervision to material-handling equipment, Swedish companies lead the way to sustainable production. This broad spectrum makes it possible to co-operate through the value chain, to influence the whole process in a sustainable direction. Technology and innovation lead the way to sustainable production. As companies we can always improve processes and invest more in R&D.
As an example, the use of 3D printing often reduces the need for traditional samples or prototypes. These new types of technology not only save the environment, but also resources, energy and production costs.¨ ¨One way of working with sustainability is to use suppliers in the local region, to minimise transportation and reduce the impact on the environment. Another example is to implement an efficient material-handling system to minimise waste. Even if we strive our best as machinery manufacturers, it is always a challenge to control how suppliers and sub-suppliers do, or do-not, contribute to sustainability!¨ Automation within manufacturing has made it possible to bring some production back to Europe. This makes it easier to control a sustainable production system, achieving high efficiency with affordable cost. Bringing production back to Europe also means a fast and stable supply chain - something that all customers appreciate. In Sweden there are several companies that have brought back production to Europe from the Far East.¨
¨Apart from technology and innovation, green trade policies and customer demands are key drivers behind sustainable production.
These aspects are to some extent out of reach for us as machine producers. We can see a demand from the bigger customers for sustainable production and energy efficient solutions, but the request for these solutions varies a lot between different regions.¨