Looking back, 2021 was a positive year for Albstadt-based manufacturer of circular knitting machines and braiding machines Mayer & Cie. After two difficult years, sales exceeded 100 million euros again last year, and the outlook for this year is promising, with production running at full capacity for the long term in the sector of circular knitting machines. .
In order to maintain its lead in the market, Mayer & Cie. continues to bet on the digitization of its processes and products. Substantial investments at its head office, particularly in machinery, are on Mayer & Cie’s agenda. for 2022. The company has also taken an important energy upgrade step, launching its new CHP cogeneration units.
Sales are back to their pre-crisis level
“Compared to 2020, our group’s sales increased by around 40% in 2021,” said Benjamin Mayer, managing director of Mayer & Cie. After two difficult years in 2019 and 2020, the manufacturer of circular knitting machines was able to restore sales to a stable level of around 103 million euros last year. And he could have achieved an even better result.
“Supply chain issues have significantly hampered production,” Benjamin Mayer said. “Given the order situation, up to five percent more could have been possible.”
The order position of the Albstadt-based textile machinery manufacturer has remained at a strong and high level since the fourth quarter of 2020, and the pending orders will already occupy the circular knitting machinery division until the end of the year, with orders coming from all over the world. world, but above all, and without change, of the main markets of the company, Turkey, China and India.
Management views with concern, however, the conflict in Ukraine, which at first glance may not directly affect the sales market, but could lead to a general restriction of purchases in the capital goods sector, as of the trade war between the United States and China, which began in 2018, would also affect Mayer & Cie. In addition, the effects of the conflict such as high energy prices and disruptions in material supply and logistics pose a real challenge later in the year.
In the braiding machine division, the order position recovered in 2021. Sales of new machines and, above all, spare parts significantly exceeded the 2020 figures. Benjamin Mayer, “we have regained some ground, although our sales are still not where we would like to see them. We aim to grow in this area in the coming years with new developments on existing machines and plans for new machines.
Production and machine data aggregated and accessible in real time around the world is part of the vision of Sebastian Mayer, member of the management team of Mayer & Cie., and its master of development. He and his team have in recent years created a digital backbone that connects the entire company. Product Lifecycle Management, or PLM, is one of them and has standardized and streamlined historical production and development processes. What customers will see are the online spare parts store, remote maintenance options for machines, and the aggregation of production and machine data on the knitlink platform.
Mayer & Co. was once again awarded for its internal and external digitization measures as one of the most innovative German SMEs. The textile machinery manufacturer has notably won a Top 100 2022 award for its innovative processes. “Even in the difficult years”, says Sebastian Mayer, “we deliberately focused on optimizing the basic processes in order to be able to start as soon as the market recovers. We are naturally delighted to have been able to establish a reference with this approach.
Invest in the place
“In order to operate successfully over the long term, investing in location is absolutely essential,” says Benjamin Mayer. “It is quite clear in the machine modernization policy that we are carrying out.” In the coming years, a range of production machinery – lathes, gear hobbing machines and grinding machines – needs to be replaced at a planned cost running into the double-digit millions. Last year, we invested in a robot-controlled laser hardening system for heat treatment of machine components.
The company has also completed its on-site energy upgrade. The CHP cogeneration plant which will provide a large part of the energy consumed by Mayer & Cie’s main production site. in Albstadt is to be inaugurated soon.