EGELSBACH – Trützschler officially opened its new customer and technology centre for staple fibre nonwovens in Egelsbach, near Frankfurt in Germany on May 13th, the eve of the Techtextil show, writes Adrian Wilson in Egelsbach.
The third generation family-owned company, headquartered in Mönchengladbach, has been a leader in the field of opening and blending equipment and carding systems for cotton spinning since the 1960s, with sites now in India, China, Brazil, USA and Switzerland, as well as Germany, and a number of service centres also providing customer proximity in the important textile processing regions. It has 3,000 employees worldwide.
Trützschler’s involvement in the nonwovens industry has been more recent, as a result of a series of acquisitions, initially with the establishment of Trützschler Card Clothing in 2003, followed by the take overs of Erko in 2005 and spunlace technology leader Fleissner, which operated from the Egelsbach site, in 2006.
Fleissner and Erko Trützschler were subsequently restructured and became Trützschler Nonwovens in 2010 and in 2012, the Bastian business of winders for nonwovens, film, paper and composites was acquired, as well as SwissTex, with a product range consisting of machines for the production of BCF and technical yarns.
In 2013, Trützschler Nonwovens notably entered into a cooperation with Voith Paper for the development and marketing of turnkey systems for wetlaid and hydroentangled nonwovens, targeting the flushable wipes market.
The result of this cooperation was announced by Israel’s Albaad, now a leader in the field of flushable wipes, at INDEX 2014 in Geneva. Albaad’s line features both the HydroFormer – Voith Paper’s wet laying machine – and the AquaJet spunlacing unit of Trützschler. In addition, the energy-conscious Trützschler Streamliner drying system made its entry into a wet-in-wet production line to further reduce the operational costs for the installation at Albaad.
Rapid growth of around 11.2% per year has been experienced in the flushable wipes market, bringing its value to over $2.4 billion in 2018.
Most recently, in March 2018, EcoWipes, a manufacturer and converter of private label products located to the north of Warsaw in Poland, announced an investment in the Voith-Trützschler WLS (wetlaid-spunlace) technology – the fifth such system to be supplied to date.
The WLS concept developed by Trützschler and Voith is not only suited for producing flushable wipes, but also recyclable and biodegradable products. These materials meet consumer preferences for greater sustainability at the end of the product cycle.
Among other recent success stories, Trützschler Nonwovens secured a contract to supply no less than eight full lines to the Zhejiang Wang Jin Nonwoven Company in China worth around €85 million, at the start of 2016.
Speaking at the opening ceremony in Egelsbach, Trützschler managing director Dr Georg Reinhold said the new customer and technology centre – covering an area of some 5,000 square metres – demonstrated the company’s total commitment to the nonwovens industry, with its two lines offering some 28 separate operational modes.
“As one of the worldwide leading manufacturers of textile machinery today, the key factors for the success of the Trützschler Group have been sustainable technological innovation, the quality of our machines and our strong customer orientation,” he said. “This centre is the logical consequence of the technology and quality leadership we have established in the nonwovens industry over the last decade or so. Up to now, it has not been possible for us to demonstrate our complete processes in a single operation.”
The technology centre houses two complete production lines fed from a single combined opening and blending installation with three bale openers with the combined capacity to provide some 3,000kg of staple fiber an hour.
The first line has an inline configuration with two cards and both thermobonding and spunlacing options. The second spunlace-crosslapper line features both Trützschler’s own crosslapper and a Dilo ‘camel-back’ unit for comparative testing.