Interview with Stefan Bühler, Mayer & Cie. Area Sales Manager

Could you please let us know more about Mayer and Cie. and products, goals and success story?

Mayer & Cie. is a manufacturer of circular knitting machines. On these machines, our clients can manufacture the entire range of modern textiles, ranging from home textiles, sportswear, nightwear and swimwear, seat covers, underwear as well as technical textiles. Furthermore, we try to anticipate requirements of our clients and cater for new trends in the industry from an early stage. This makes us regularly develop new approaches, which has made us a leader in innovations and in the market.

Apart from circular knitting machines, Mayer & Cie. manufactures braiding machines that produce sheathings for high-pressure hoses. This line of business used to be the domain of our sister company in the U.S., Mayer Industries until in January 2019, we moved production of braiding machines to our headquarters in Albstadt, Germany.

Relanit 3.2 HS.

What do you think about Middle East and Africa textile market and its potentials?

Our biggest market in the Middle East is Turkey and has been so for many years. For the future, the country’s perspectives in the textile industry continue to be very good too. There are the machines, the expertise and experience to keep the industry going on its high level. Thankfully, the country’s textile industry does not seem to have suffered long-term from the political turmoil the entire region currently undergoes. The downturn in demand for textile machinery following the devaluation of the Turkish Lira proved to be short-lived. However, international politics remain to be unpredictable.

From left to right-Mr Kahraman Güveri, Stefan Bühler and Mr Ahmet Ögretmen.

Do you have export to the region? Which countries in Middle East and Africa are your main destinations?

Apart from Turkey, we had expected to pick up ties with Iran again. There were very promising steps on both sides. However, political developments have put an end to this endeavor, at least for the time being. From other countries in Northern Africa, we get orders very occasionally, for instance Tunisia. Our ties to Egypt are long serving and we aim to intensify them again.

In general, Mayer & Cie. machines are popular all over the region. Particularly in Morocco and Tunisia, we get to see machine parks that predominantly work with our machines. It seems knitters there strongly appreciate of our machines’ durability.

How do you evaluate textile machinery industry in Germany? What kind of innovation is expected in your machineries and knitting industry sector?

Obviously, sustainability is a key topic in our industry. We have introduced various technologies to cater for that key requirement. Some have actually been around much longer than the buzzword “sustainability”. Take our Relanit machines, for example. We launched these machines equipped with relative technology more than thirty years ago. With the latest addition to this line of machines, the Relanit 3.2 HS, our clients get a productivity about 30 percent higher than with conventional knitting machines – using the same amount of energy, that is. Then there is our oiler system Senso Blue RS, with which all our machines can be equipped. This means usage of fresh needle oil is cut down by a third.

I’ve already mentioned productivity with the Relanit, in connection with sustainability. In itself, productivity definitely is a strong selling point. Just as is versatility. Our customers look for unusual structures to make their final product stand out. This is particularly true in sports fashion where everybody searches for attractive patterns and designs.

Apart from advancements in machine technology, we invest in digitization of our company and services. We consider this a key requirement. At ITMA 2019, we presented knitlink. This platform will gather, process and present a circular knitting machine’s operating data. Furthermore, it will offer easier collaboration bridging long distances between user and service team. On top, it will include a web shop, too. In the future, more knitlink features are to follow.

How big is your market for textile and clothing machinery in Middle East and Africa?

We talked about Turkey already, which is our biggest market in the region. A country that we definitely consider to gain importance is Egypt. Further to these markets, there is Ethiopia, a country where we see great potential, although conditions are not easy. The country pairs availability of cotton with attractive labour conditions.

What are the major barriers in the textile trade in the region?

There are restrictions in terms of infrastructure and accessibility. Especially if our customers work in remote areas, this is challenging. Second, there is political insecurity, which naturally holds back investments in the relevant countries.


Normally how many exhibitions you participate? Annually and which ones? Your next participation is in which country?

On average, we take part in eight to ten international trade fairs every year. We also aim to show relevant machine exhibits at as many fairs as possible. Mayer & Cie.’s circular knitting machines are sold worldwide, so we travel a lot to regularly meet our customers. Their experiences and requirements form the basis for our future machine developments.

The next major event in North Africa that we will attend is Pan African International Exhibition, to be held in March 2020. In Egypt, we work with our long-standing representation Outatex. Also, we will once again be part of ITM in June. Apart from ITMA, ITM is one of our top fairs. Our representation in Turkey, Mayer Mümessillik, always does an excellent job preparing for this show.


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