Sustainability in Blue

Normally topics relating to energy efficiency and sustainability are visually associated with the colour green. But things are different for the Textile Machinery Group of the Association of German Machine and Plant Manufacturers (VDMA Fachverband Textilmaschinen), who, with their choice of colour for their sustainability initiative “Blue Competence”, are already striking out in an innovative direction.

Most Techtextil visitors will indeed have noticed the “Blue Competence” stickers on various exhibition stands – like, for instance, that of A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG from Mönchengladbach, world market leaders in the manufacture of stenters and loop dryers. The company, with production sites in both Austria and China, has a long tradition behind it, stretching back 130 years, and bears the Competence label as testimony to the fact that they have “voluntarily implemented, under self-regulation, all the measures officially recommended by the VDMA with regard to energy conservation and production efficiency”.

Green or Blue? When it comes to sustainability and energy efficiency in the future, either will do.

Green or Blue? When it comes to sustainability and energy efficiency in the future, either will do.

The list of officially recommended measures focuses particularly on the processes and input of energy and materials and the extent to which their impact on the environment and on the use of natural resources is optimised. In a newspaper interview, Peter Tolksdor, Monfort’s Head of Technology, recently made the point succinctly: “At Monforts, there are no new developments that have not been subject to simultaneous ecological assessment, particularly in terms of energy conservation.” And in response to the supplementary question: “What is your new drying system, the Eco Applicator, all about?”, we were able to record that, with it, up to 60 percent of the heating energy used in the drying process during the finishing of textiles can be saved.

The denim industry in particular – where we are again concerned with Blue (jeans, this time) – has recognised the potential here. There is marked interest in this new product worldwide, we are told. The recipe for success involves, it seems, reducing the amount of moisture at the beginning of the drying process. The logical consequence, therefore, is that, in fabric that contains less moisture, less heat energy is required to evaporate the water. That not only saves energy, but also improves the figures for waste water. This ticks the boxes for both energy efficiency and sustainability.

And – for all those who thought that we had disappeared in the summer lull – since we haven’t had a summer there’s been no lull!

Ronny Eckert

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