Interview with Mrs Regina Brückner, Chairperson, VDMA Textile Machinery Association, Germany
Question: Mrs Brückner, the technological VDMA-conference themed “German technology meets Iranian Textile” is scheduled for 21st to 22nd April in the Parsian Evin Hotel, Tehran. Which feedback did VDMA receive so far from the Iranian textile industry?
Mrs Brückner: Until 27 February 2015, 340 participants have registered for the event (100 delegates from 35 German companies and their agents plus 240 visitors). For the whole conference we expect 300 to 400 Iranian trade visitors for each day. It will be for sure a top event which will help the Iranian textile and carpet industry to improve their competitiveness. Let me quote Association of Alborz State Textile Industries in this context: “This conference will be so helpful for Iran textile industry manufacturers through introducing new technologies and textile machineries from Germany. We are so pleased to have German textile experts who are welcome to our country.”
Question: What is the target group and what can visitors expect from this conference?
Mrs Brückner: The event targets on decision makers and experts of the Iranian textile and carpet-related industry, e. g. mill owners, managing directors, technical management, quality and maintenance manager. 35 leading textile machinery and components manufacturers from Germany will present practice-oriented technology topics along the entire textile chain in two parallel sessions: spinning (natural and man-made fiber), twisting, circular and flat knitting, warp knitting, weaving, nonwoven finishing and dyeing machinery, measurement and control equipment and garment technology.
Question: How will the framework program look like?
Mrs Brückner: Via the conference website visitors can arrange B2B-meetings for those time slots they do not intend to follow a lecture. The meetings will take place in a separate meeting area in the hotel. The networking will be also supported by a conference dinner on 21 April 2015 in a relaxed atmosphere.
Question: Sustainability has become a competitive factor. Is the conference going to address this issue, too?
Mrs Brückner: The low oil price of the last months has distracted attention away from energy costs. But this price level will not last forever and sooner or later volatile prices for energy as well as for commodities will be on the top of the agenda of textile producers again. Therefore energy and material efficiency will be important cross-topics that will enrich the program for instance in an interactive discussion.
Question: How would you describe the advantages of machinery from a VDMA member company?
Mrs Brückner: The advantages become evident if one takes a look in a product life cycle of a machine and the accumulating costs. Besides the costs for acquisition, installation and start-up there are many expense factors to examine: Costs for maintenance, service and repair - but also for energy and operating, production waste and so on. Due to low maintenance charges, reliability in production as well as energy efficiency the initial investment for a German textile machine pays off after a few years.
Question: How is the current performance of German textile machinery exports to Iran ?
Mrs Brückner: German Technology still has an excellent reputation also in Iran. In 2014, Germany exported textile machinery to Iran worth 37 million EUR (+ 170 %). These figures as well as the high participation of 35 VDMA-member companies shows that our industry successfully revives the business relations with Iran. Due to the international sanctions against Iran, it is still difficult but not impossible to make business within the legal framework. The conference is a clear sign towards the Iranian textile and carpet industry that our industry is willing for further cooperation even in this economically difficult situation in Iran.
Question: Last question: Is it still possible to register for the event?
Mrs Brückner: We warmly welcome all decision makers from textile and carpet-related manufacturers in Iran to attend the VDMA conference.Interested persons can still register via internet for the event and all technology lectures they are interested in. B2B meetings can also be arranged on the website:
We are looking forward to our visit to Iran and to build-up new contacts and to deepen existing ones.
VDMA German Engineering Association represents over 3,100 mostly medium-sized companies in the capital goods industry, making it the largest industry association in Europe. The association represents the shared financial, technical and scientific interests of the mechanical engineering industry, especially with respect to national and international authorities and business groups. For the purposes of safeguarding of their interests, members are entitled to instruction, advice and assistance.
The German mechanical engineering industry is an international leader – in 25 of 31 comparable subsectors, German firms are among the top three providers in the world, and global market leader in as many as half.
Mechanical engineering is Germany’s biggest industrial employer with 1,011,000 workers (October 2014). It develops and produces key technologies for the global market. The export ratio is 76 percent. With revenue of EUR 212 billion (2014), it is one of the leading branches of industry in Germany.
VDMA’s membership covers the entire process chain – in the field of mechanical engineering including associated tools and components, of process, production, manufacturing, drive-train and automation engineering, office and information technology, software, and product-related services, i.e. from components to plants, from system suppliers and system integrators through to service providers. The association reflects the diverse customer-supplier relationships along the whole value chain and promotes sector-specific and overarching cooperation.
VDMA is divided into 15 cross-sector departments, branch offices in Berlin and Brussels, liaison offices in Brazil, China, India, Japan and Russia, 39 trade associations and labour groups, international committees and forums, six state associations and several service organisations.
About VDMA Textile Machinery Association:
Around 120 of the most important manufacturers of textile machinery and accessories from all sectors of the trade are affiliated within the VDMA Textile Machinery Association. The largest parts of the companies are medium-sized firms and stand for approximately 90 per cent of the entire sector volume. In 2013, the branch exported textile machinery worth about 3.1 billion Euros.
The association's main activities are economic and technical representation of the branch's interests, exchange of experiences as well as services such as statistics, observation of significant markets and reporting on the situation in the textile industries throughout the world, active support regarding political decisions relating to exhibitions, regular circular letters containing any information important to the member companies, and public relations. Since the textile machinery sector is an export driven branch, sales support is a key topic. The textile machinery association is very active in organizing symposia / conferences in major textile markets. On the occasion of these conferences German companies present in lectures their latest technologies to high-ranking technical experts and decision makers from the respective textile industry. Great importance is attached to the manufacturer sourcing service. In the technical field, emphases are – amongst others – placed on information regarding statutory provisions for machine safety, standardisation, and joint research.