Globally leading provider of advanced weaving solutions – Itema has a rich heritage and a well-known reputation as a manufacturer of weaving technology.
Today, more than 300,000 Itema weaving machines produce fabrics around the world. The technological advancements underpinning the success of these machines draw from the long-standing experience of the historic brands that make up Itema today, including Somet, Vamatex and Sulzer, while employing the latest developments in the weaving machinery market.
Recently, Itema’s global leaders Ugo Ghilardi, Itema Group CEO and Vice President of the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT) and Ferdinando De Micheli, Itema Group Sales Director shared their thoughts regarding the Bangladesh and global textile market with Textile Today.
Textile Today: What is the overall investment trend in textiles now? Where is the weaving technology moving now?
Ferdinando De Micheli: Listening to our Customer’s needs, forecasting and anticipating market trends have always been crucial at Itema.
Customers today are looking for increasingly higher quality and at the same time, they need easy-to-operate and flexible machines, able to support them in following always new trends and producing different fabrics. So, they are looking for technological partners able to provide them with weaving machines that can make their life easier, while combining the highest efficiency levels with no compromises in terms of quality.
Moreover, more and more buyers are looking for sustainable, energy saving and eco-friendly solutions . And Itema, is today perfectly able to fulfil these request thanks to our efforts to develop sustainable solutions for the weaving industry.
In this context, I would like to mention in particular iSAVER® technology – our patented breakthrough innovation and mechatronic device which provide weavers with a highly innovative, yet intuitive and simple-to-operate device. iSAVER® can completely eliminate the weft and warp waste on the left-hand side of the fabric establishing a new benchmark in sustainable weaving.
Textile Today: What are the major innovations Itema that is bringing in DTG and ITMA exhibitions?
Ugo Ghilardi: DTG was for Itema the perfect stage to allow the Bangladeshi weavers to experience first-hand the weaving solutions provided by the company, which are worldwide renowned for their superior textile mastery, eco-efficiency, and ease of use.
On show we had our denim-dedicated rapier weaving machine, the R95002denim. The weaving machine was courtesy of Universal Denims, Bangladesh, which selected Itema as a trusted technological partner for the production of its premium denim fabrics. The machine comes from the bulk order of 99 Itema rapier R95002denim that Universal Denims recently installed in its mill.
Moreover, the Itema R95002denim present in our booth was equipped with iSAVER®, the one-of-a-kind mechatronic device capable of completely eliminating the waste selvedge on the left-hand side of the fabric thus leading to significant costs savings and to reduced waste, contributing to a sustainable denim weaving. iSAVER® is already successfully installed in many leading denim mills worldwide and represents a real interesting added value for Bangladeshi weavers that deal every day with Western brands which are more and more looking at a green and sustainable production chain for the fabrics they purchase.
For what concerns ITMA Milan, the 2023 edition of ITMA is particularly relevant for us being the most important exhibition for the textile machinery industry back in our country. Most of the work we did over the last 4 years has been focused on a new approach to the selling process. This for Itema is just one step of the machine’s lifecycle and therefore, our aim is to provide Customers with an ample portfolio of opportunities to get the most out of their weaving machines. We cannot wait to disclose more details soon!
Textile Today: What are the major challenges in the current situation to remain innovative?
Ugo Ghilardi: Innovation is, ever since, our main driver and one of the founding elements of the whole Itema Group. And today, no doubt, it goes hand in hand with some key trends such as digitization and sustainability.
When I talk about digitalization I am not only referring to the goal of making our processes and production sites smarter, but I also refer to products and services, to make the life of our customers easier and easier. Nevertheless, the post-pandemic scenario made clear that is it essential today to find smarter ways to always be next to our Customers and provide them with 360° degrees support wherever they are, and digital solutions are the right answer to respond to this need.
For what concerns sustainability, instead, the need to rethink our traditional business model in order to reduce the environmental footprint of our activities is urging more than ever. We are proud of being the first weaving machinery manufacturer to introduce a sustainable solution in the industry and we will continue to work in this direction through the constant research activities of our R&D department in order to contribute more and more to a greener weaving industry.
Textile Today: Can you suggest some key offerings from Itema for the Bangladesh market?
Ferdinando De Micheli: Despite garments being a major industry in Bangladesh, the biggest amount of fabric required is still imported from other countries. In this landscape, the future development of the weaving industry represents one of the main potential sectors for the growth of the Bangladeshi textile industry.
Itema positions itself as a reliable partner – and not only a simple supplier – for textile companies, providing advanced weaving machines along with a real-time after-sales service, highly professional training for the weavers, and integrated textile consultancy.
Last but not least, to always be close to our Customers in Bangladesh and to allow them to get the most out of their looms, we have a dedicated fully trained professional service based in Bangladesh. Moreover, our Customers in the region can rely on our local partner, Texco Tech, for everything that concerns commercial, after-sales, and spare parts services.
Textile Today: How automation and 4IR technologies are helping in your business.
Ugo Ghilardi: Today automation means investment: to assure plug-and-play benefits, along with cost-saving features, investment in automation is indeed a must. The biggest benefit of automation in weaving machinery is labor-saving, but also save energy and materials saving along with quality and accuracy improvement.
In order to keep pace with the world, as Itema, we are tirelessly working to reduce the footprint of our production processes, as well as the impact of our technology while finding new ways to make our Customers’ life easier by working intensively on the development and integration of digital technologies. In particular, tools for monitoring, controlling, and thus further improving production play a central role in pursuing this goal, thanks also to intelligent troubleshooting systems. You will find out more about this at ITMA Milan 2023.