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Obertshausen - Warp knitting machine builder Karl Mayer outlines how it is working to support the textile industry in Shengze, China, by restructuring its technology to help guarantee a cleaner environment

Shengze lies in the Wujiang District of Suzhou in eastern China, close to Lake Taihu, and is famous for its textile industry. This area has been regarded as the silk capital of China for just under a thousand years.

Companies serving the entire textile value-added chain are based there; it is known as a centre for water-jet weaving in particular which, over the years, has presented problems with effluent from the looms flowing straight into Lake Taihu. The lake, it seems, is constantly beset with algae blooms, which is harmful to the drinking water supply of millions of people and endangers the fish and plant life in the lake.

One of the ways in which the central government and regional authorities have reacted to the problem is to draw up a plan for transforming the textile industry in Shengze. The aim is to modernise the water-jet looms in particular, and to replace them with alternative warp knitting technology.

The result is that the district and town administrations are working closely with warp knitting machine manufacturer, Karl Mayer. “The Shengze administration is firmly convinced that we have the best partner on board for implementing this project of technology transformation,” says Yang ZengXing, the managing director of Karl Mayer (China).

As the market leader in warp knitting machines and with a subsidiary in Changzhou, Karl Mayer says is the ideal company for implementing the ambitious plans to improve the environment in Shengze – and the company has also had experience in this area of the market. The textile machinery manufacturer and its agent, Illies, have been supporting customers in Shengze for many years with the number of warp knitting machines installed there increasing steadily since 2011.

Representatives of the regional administration have been in talks with Karl Mayer since 2016 regarding the restructuring of the textile industry. A delegation of top-officials met t end of January 2018 with the management of the Karl Mayer group and Karl Mayer (China) in Wujiang/Shengze and, according to the company, were impressed by the innovativeness and expertise of this manufacturer. “I am looking forward to Karl Mayer’s support in our environmental, restructuring and modernisation project,” says Mr. Fan Jian Long, member of the Standing Committee in Suzhou Wujiang, Party Secretary and Director of Shengze and the Wujiang High-Tech Zone.

“The whole top management of Karl Mayer is heavily involved with what is happening in Shengze. Our company will provide the best support in developing the warp knitting sector,” assured Karl Mayer’s group CEO, Arno Gärtner.

This support involves providing efficient machines that deliver environmental advantages by incorporating the latest technical innovations. An example of this is the LEO system, which enables considerable amounts of energy to be saved when operating the machines. Karl Mayer’s company strategy is also focusing on the concept of digitalisation. As part of its involvement with Industry 4.0, the company has implemented an efficient ERP system throughout more or less the entire company group, and set up a spare parts webshop for its customers. “The future will definitely be a digital era,” said Gärtner.

In addition to technical solutions and systems, Karl Mayer also brings to the Shengze restructuring and transformation project a strong service team, trained instructors for providing courses leading to qualifications and, above all, experienced R&D experts. “Karl Mayer (China) has set up a project team to provide the company’s 360 degree support and service, as well as textile development and training for its customers in the region,” says Yang ZengXing.

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