Thomas Höpfl, Sales Director, Mahlo.
Thomas Höpfl, Sales Director, Mahlo.
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Before the commencement of ShanghaiTex 2019, CTA conducted an interview with Thomas Höpfl, Sales Director and Clemens Kaplan, Area Sales Manager East Asia from Mahlo GmbH + Co. KG.

Mahlo believes that one of the strongest trends in the market is the digitalization of the textile factory. In order to be able to work economically in the future, the entire production chain “must be digitized”.

Networking the machines with each other but also with customers and business partners is becoming more and more important. The acquisition and evaluation of process and product data plays a central role. This data must be available to decision-makers at all times in flexible forms of protocols, analyses, reports, etc., so that optimization potentials can be identified and process adjustments made. This is exactly what Mahlo's products offer its Chinese and global customers.

Mahlo plays a central key role here, since, for example, with our data management tool mLog system, all data can be recorded online, regulated and made available to the producers,” said Höpfl.

To be specific, in China, Mahlo will increasingly concentrate on process control in the next few years. Its main goal is to upgrade existing plants and thus optimize production processes.

To this end, Mahlo works closely with producers in the textile, technical textiles and nonwovens sectors. “We want to give them the opportunity to get the best out of their existing production facilities,” said Höpfl.

Growing market for technical textiles

ORTHOMAX RFMB straightener.

In recent years, in addition to classic woven fabrics, technical textiles are also becoming increasingly important. Mahlo observed growth figures of the market all over the world.

Almost every day, new applications emerge in which technical textiles are used - from the medical sector and geotextiles to filter technology and lightweight construction methods made of carbon and glass fibre.

According to Höpfl, Mahlo’s strength in this market is its many years of experience in measurement and control technology. Its quality measuring system Qualiscan QMS uses various measuring technologies for goods inspection and can therefore be tailored to a wide range of applications.

He added that particularly with technical textiles, certain parameters are indispensable for the desired function of the product. These goods must be manufactured with pinpoint accuracy, for example with regard to the coating application.

Quality requirements are even more important here than in the case of classic textiles. The manufacture of these sophisticated products is not possible without state-of-the-art technology.

“Since Mahlo offers exactly this advanced technology, the technical textiles sector is a potential growth market for us. The higher and constantly changing customer demands require a system that is constantly evolving,” he said. “New ideas, research and development are therefore always important factors for us. This applies not only to the technical textiles sector, but also to all applications.”

Developing well despite global crisis

Talking about the global market development, Kaplan pointed out that the ASEAN market is Mahlo’s fastest growing market and its most important market outside the EU. The company continues to see great opportunities for growth here as quality standards rise significantly.

As said, 2018 was the most successful year in the company's history. In 2019, the company is also developing well, but it is feeling the impact of the declining investment activity in many markets.

Kaplan said the year of 2019 presents the world economy with a number of challenges: the imminent trade dispute between China and the USA, Brexit, regional instabilities such as in the Middle East and South America.

“Of course, we are also concerned about these developments. What makes us confident, however, is an unbroken trend towards high-quality textiles. And Mahlo products help to achieve this goal in our most important market China as well as in other strong markets such as Japan, Italy, Turkey and the DACH region, Kaplan said.

Highlights at ShanghaiTex 2019

As introduced, Mahlo's focus for Shanghaitex this year is on its automatic straightening systems and process control systems for classic and technical textiles, which are becoming increasingly important in China.

Solutions that were presented as a study at ITMA 2019 in Barcelona can now be purchased by the customers as finished systems. These include its control room software mPilot and the data management tool mLog.