INTERVIEWED BY -fibre2fashion
Schweiter Technologies is a traditional Swiss group that specializes in the development , manufacture and global distribution of sophisticated machinery.It comprises of three divisions; SSM Textile machinery,Satisloh and Ismica conductor.
The companies of the Schweiter Technologies Group come under the umbrella of the Holding Company Schweiter Technologies AG. The latter's direct wholly owned subsidiaries are Ismeca Semiconductor Holding SA ( Semiconductor Division )and Satisloh Holding AG( Satisloh Division ), which encompases their own group of companies of its textile machinery Division -SSM Ssharer Schweiter Mettler AG,SSM Vertriebs AG and Hacoba Spultechnik Gmbh.
There is no textile technologist not knowing this group of companies.They are a part of yarn processing not only in textile fabrics of any kind but also they are of immense use in Technical Textiles.
SSM is a global leader in yarn processing and precision winding offering advanced winding systems for wide applications. With the acquisitions of Stähle-Eltex (Air Texturing) and Hacoba Spultechnik (sewing thread) in 1999, it efforts for a continuous development in new business areas matched with this strategy.
Swiss citizen Mr Rainer Roten, aged 41, is the CEO of the SSM Textile Machinery. He joined the Group in early December 2006. He held various executive positions earlier with OC Oerlikon/Unaxis for 11 years, and most recently, Vice President Corporate Finance. He completed his business management and is an MBA from the Universities of Berne and Rochester, New York.
Certain things never change; the business has grown more global, technological change in our industry comes swifter and communication technology is increasing the business’ pace, yet the customer is in the center. We need to be in constant contact with him/her to understand and serve the needs and innovate in the right sectors.
SSM’s dyeing package has an excellent and long standing reputation in the market. We are constantly striving for optimization. We feel that having a thorough understanding of textile processes in general, is the key. We cooperate with major machine manufacturers (up and downstream). Our engineers and product managers frequently organize and conduct seminars, trainings and site visits to help customers use their SSM machines optimally, and also improve their processes - up and downstream. Beside the strong position in the build up of dye packages, SSM has deep knowledge in the field of air textured yarns as well as sewing thread yarns. Over the years, SSM has gathered thorough knowledge in process machinery and is serving customers with the most demanding applications.
Switzerland today is the largest producer of textile machinery in the world with an estimated global market share of 33 percent. Where do you see SSM positioned in the global marketplace from your home turf?
We are a well-positioned Swiss Company and truly global, at the same time. Proximity to the customers is the key and hence, we have own representative offices (like our Liaison Office in Coimbatore), service offices, plants and agents are spread across many countries. As a consequence, the Company’s setup has grown overseas much more over time. Pursuing the business purely out of Switzerland is not possible any more. We do believe SSM has an excellent position amongst the top three winding companies in the world.
What distinguishes yarn quality coming out from SSM machine and any other make?
Generally, the mix of parameters that influence the overall bobbin quality which can be reproduced permanently. Such high quality packages positively impact productivity (such as less yarn breakages, better dye properties allowing shorter dye cycles etc.) and hence, profitability.
With growing competition within the country, what strategies help SSM to be 'one-up over competitors' in the Swiss market?.
We compete with companies from many countries (Italy, India, China, Taiwan, Japan to name the most important ones). We position ourselves by being innovative and very much solution-oriented whereby, solution-oriented means that we aim at supporting the customers in all relevant technological areas; not just limited to (special) winding. Local sub-organizations – such as our Liaison Office in Coimbatore – provide support in all aspects of the business. The local employees are trained in Switzerland and in their home country by senior SSM staff. Proximity to our customers helps us to better understand their needs.
Low priced or used machinery market in Asia seems to be booming. Where do this place SSM in the race to pick business from this region?.
Buying used machines can be a way in certain fields and for certain applications. However, one must be very clear about such machines’ properties, its history and its actual working condition. Buying a new machine very often is the better way in the perspective of total cost of ownership . Textile companies can hardly compromise on quality and efficiency these days, and so the rationale for buying new equipment is certainly in place; we believe increasingly so. Additionally, second hand SSM machinery is not available abundantly. However, we are also supporting our customers in finding such equipment if he/she wishes us to do so.
Do you have any interesting news on the R&D front?.
Yes, there are some. However, we ask for your understanding that we do not want to give it all away at this pre-ITMA stage. We will come up with news in bobbin technology, sewing thread and in process machines. You are most welcome to visit at ITMA in Munich this September!
SSM is a reliable and trustworthy partner and is widely recognized as that (like our three-decade old customers possessing even older machines for which we still supply spare parts). We treat our customers, employees, partners, suppliers etc. in all fairness and respect. Our staff members across the globe enjoy sound social security benefits. We always aim at integrating or using technology that comes with minimal negative impact on our environment. These are a few initiatives to quote, in this multifaceted area.