A transparent circular knitting machine at teh booth of Groz-Beckert.
A transparent circular knitting machine at teh booth of Groz-Beckert.

Groz-Beckert received more than 10,000 guests from 85 countries on its ITMA booth. Most of the visitors came from Italy (11.5%), India (10.2%), Turkey (10.1%) and Germany (9.5%).


The company presented itself under the motto "Living in a Textile World". The exhibits were presented with machines made of acrylic glass. The transparent knitting and warp knitting machines allowed visitors to see the precision of the products and their interaction in relevant processes.


This was to demonstrate that it is possible to save resources and to have an improvement in productivity at the same time by choosing and using intelligent products.


Profitelligence” is the word created to describe this concept, according to Eric Schöller, Executive Vice President of Groz-Beckert. He said: “For us the guiding element for the exhibition is called ‘profitelligence’, i.e. intelligence, profit and sustainability for the customers’ manufacturing process. More and more of our customers look for innovative products that increase capacity and decrease operation cost. That is the trend we have seen for the last 1 to 1.5 years. Customers are looking for new technology to reduce labour cost and energy cost and to use their resources better.”


The debut of the knitting needle LightSpeed Plus was one of the highlights at the booth of Groz-Beckert. By using this needle type it is possible to reduce the energy consumption up to 20% compared with conventional needles, Mr Schöller said. Some machine builders exhibiting at ITMA were displaying machines with the new LiteSpeed Plus needles. The product has been tested in the market and even brand owners are showing interest because they want to promote more sustainable clothing and technology, and to project a “clean image” to consumers.

LightSpeed Plus. 

He expects the textile industry to be quick to adopt the latest technology of LiteSpeed needle, having experienced the benefits of its previous version. “It takes about 5 years to get a new technology to the level that it is widely accepted in the industry. But the Litespeed Plus, we think, will grow faster because people can see that they can save energy through a needle.”


On research and development


Mr Schöller said manufacturers in Asia tend to be more restrictive with their resources due to higher energy and labour costs. Therefore, increasing lifetime and quality of the fabric is the no.1 guidance on research and development.


We always have to make sure that our customers earn money,” he said. “We make sure we get the most kilogram of fabric out of that machine. We have to provide the customers tools that they can run their machines at speed and there is no need to always increase capacity or add machines. There’s enough capacity in the market and people just need the right tools to get the maximum production out of their machines.”

Eric Schöller, Executive Vice President of Groz-Beckert  

Looking at the textile industry as a whole, the nonwovens / technical textiles sectors are growing faster than the garment sector, though relatively small in the total value chain. At this ITMA, Groz-Beckert widened its product range by adding the carding business, in addition to expanding the warp knitting range.


Mr Schöller analysed that on global basis, the loop formation process, knitting and warp knitting, is the biggest in volume. The textile industry is still heavily depending on garment consumption.


In the large market of China, he said, the consumption of clothes has peaked between 2008 and 2009 following the financial crisis in Europe and the US. People from rural areas moved to urban cities during that period and started their first years of clothing consumption. However, today’s consumption growth mainly benefits the electronics and communications industries instead of the textile industry.