Interview with Mr Thomas Waldmann, Managing Director, VDMA Textile Machinery, Germany
1. Could you please let us know more about VDMA, members and services, goals and success story?
The Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) represents around 3,300 member companies in the SME-dominated mechanical and systems engineering industry in Germany and Europe.
One of the 36 trade associations within VDMA is the Textile Machinery Association, representing a powerful branch of the German mechanical engineering. About 120 member companies, ranging from spinning to finishing, many of them world market leaders, are mostly medium-sized firms and represent around 90 percent of the total volume of the industry.
Our goals are to increase the competitiveness of our members and to secure the future viability of the textile machinery industry. For this reason, the economic and technical representation of the industry’s interests, networking, and exchange of experience, as well as professional services, are the focus of our work.
Topics include competition studies, ITMA and ITMA ASIA, market access restrictions and machine safety regulations, research, young engineers, standardization, digitization, support with trade fair policy decisions, symposia/B2B events in customer markets, marketing conferences, the entrepreneurs’ meeting “Textile Machinery Forum”, media relations, statistics, manufacturer sourcing service and much more.
2. As a global leader in the textile machinery sector, what do you think about the textile machinery industry situation globally in this hard time and what is your prediction for post Corona Period?
Due to the Covid-19-crisis, business in virtually all markets around the world has been difficult in the last months. The market environment remains subject to great uncertainty. A sound forecast is currently not possible.
3. Please update our readers with the latest statistics of German textile machinery export.
In 2019 the German exports of textile machinery reached 2.5 billion Euros. In the first five months of 2020 the shipments summed up to 805 million Euros.
In the beginning, 2020 was OK but with all the shutdowns in many regions of the world, business went down.
4. Which kind of innovations and progress is expected in upcoming years in the German textile machinery sector?
Textile producers are increasingly interested to automate things. There is no textile sector that does not benefit from automation and process control.
The effect is improved quality and consistency, cost control, improved work environments and employment opportunities. The R&D efforts of VDMA member companies paid off. They can offer textile manufacturers customized solutions.
5. How was your member’s reaction to Pandemic? Do you have any member active in the field of mask and protective cloth line or related sectors?
Protective masks, everyday masks, disinfecting wipes and surgical gowns are goods in demand in times of corona. In their manufacture, textile machines are at the beginning of the production chain.
Click HERE to access an Internet article provides detailed information on process steps and the range of services offered by the members of VDMA Textile Machinery. The overview is continuously updated. For research purposes, the manufacturers’ directory is also available, as are the industry experts by sending an enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. What do you think about the Middle East and Africa textile market and its potentials?
It is an important region. That is why VDMA organised symposia and business initiation trips to Ethiopia, Iran and Egypt during the last five years. A business initiation trip to Algeria was scheduled for June this year but had to be postponed to May 2021, because of the Corona crisis.
7. Do you have export to the MENA region? Which countries in the Middle East and Africa is your main destination? How big is your market in the Middle East and Africa?
The main markets in The MENA region are Egypt, Algeria and Morocco and Iran. VDMA member companies are also doing business with sub-Saharan customers, but the volumes are still comparably small.
Our member companies will deepen their existing business relations and VDMA will continue to initiate business initiation trips or symposia in the MENA region.
8. Other topics
In the wake of the corona crisis, VDMA Textile Machinery has launched a new series of web events called “Textile Machinery Webtalk”. Here, experts from up to four VDMA member companies present their innovative technologies on a specific topic in a maximum of 90 minutes and are available to answer questions from participants. The presentations are held in English. Participation in web events is free of charge.
The format is well received. Around 180 people from more than 30 countries took part in the first two Web talks. Further Web talks are in preparation.