Traditional values and an adventurous spirit can fit together well, as Swiss companies demonstrate with both these ´plus factors´ bringing real benefits for their customers.
What has textile technology got to do with aircraft manufacture? In fact, quite a few Swiss textile machinery companies would be able to answer that question, as aerospace is just one of the high-profile ´ and extremely demanding ´ business segments in which their products play a key role.
Does that kind of pioneering, ground-breaking, entrepreneurial attitude match up with the perceived world view of Switzerland and its engineering traditions? Actually, it does, since the solid and reliable foundation for which the Swiss textile machinery industry is justifiably famous is the very characteristic which gives companies the confidence to explore new horizons. More importantly, it also means their potential partners in these novel activity areas can also be certain they are dealing with worthwhile and reputable businesses.
Reliability is a two-way street, and it grows out of experience and understanding of customers and their needs. When it comes down to a choice between proven reliability and cutting-edge innovation in high-tech sectors, most companies would certainly want security and predictability ´ but they would also recognise the need to get ahead of their competitors. Taking the high-tech route, but one which is built on strong reputations and mutual awareness is a solution which has clearly been found by many Swissmem companies, some of which are highlighted in this report.
Process-shortening and cost savings
SSM is a Swiss-headquartered firm, which specialises in yarn processing and winding, with a heritage encompassing wide-ranging technologies and applications. Today, SSM has the expertise to devise and apply unique solutions in a number of yarn processes, a strength which is the foundation for the continuing success of the group and a guarantee of reliability for its customers.
Customer needs are at the core of the SSM development philosophy, and an aspect of this which has been prioritised recently is the potential for process-shortening ´ with self-evident benefits in both time and cost. The GSX3-E yarn gas singeing and precision winding machine is the perfect illustration of this, as the first such system to combine singeing with either precision winding or the SSM DIGICONE® winding solution.
Fine yarn singeing in Europe has reduced in the recent past, because of process economics, but SSM believes this latest innovation can be the catalyst for a revival in singeing of high-quality yarns for voiles, poplins, mercerised knits and sewing threads.
Says Simon Freund, Singeing Specialist, SSM: ´Yarns can now go direct from singeing to dyeing, effectively cuts out a process and shortens the production time. It´s especially beneficial with finer-count yarns and can give cost savings of about 22 per cent on average, according to a leading customer operating the equipment. ´Customers appreciate the fact that they can quickly produce dye-ready packages from the singeing machine.´
Serving the most demanding customers
It would be hard to find a more demanding application for any industrial supplier than the aerospace sector. The obvious and over-riding requirement for top performance in products to be used in modern airliners is rooted in the paramount issue of safety. It means that aircraft manufacturers operate arguably the most stringent quality controls of all, and its suppliers need to demonstrate the highest-possible credentials and capabilities.
Santex, the relatively young (1982) Swiss technology provider, is one such supplier, with its Cavitec equipment brand now established as a manufacturer of high-tech machinery for the impregnation o