This relationship is not a matter of chance or coincidental developments: on the contrary, it is the result of long-term, strategic planning by the Picanol management. In this firm belief, Picanol sent its first pioneers to explore the possibilities in the Far East, already in the early 1950s. Picanol took part in one of the first international exhibitions held in Beijing.This was the period when Picanol sales managers, still based in Ieper, criss-crossed the Orient to promote its weaving machines at exhibitions and technical seminars.
The growing installed base of Picanol machines in China, as well as the increasing demand for a higher level of service & support resulted in the establishment of the Picanol Service Centre, which was set up in Shanghai in 1987. A network of local service engineers was also established to serve the other South-Asian countries.
The next step in the history of Picanol in China was the set-up of PST, Picanol Suzhou Textile Machinery Works, thus starting its career as a Chinese textile machinery manufacturer. This set-up took place in 1994 and we celebrate this year the 20 years existence of Picanol Suzhou Textile Machinery Works.
PST was Picanol’s first major production line outside Belgiumand the technology and organization were based entirely on the assembly concept employed at the company’s headquarters in Ieper. Today PST houses a complete production unit with 3 assembly lines for 4 product types (GT-Max, GTMax-i and GTXplus with rapier technology and the OMNIplus-X with airjet insertion technology), a mechatronics division, a sales, service and spare parts organization. The majority of the Chinese management, engineers and technicians have been trained in Belgium. Machines produced in PST aim at the top layer of the mid segment and are besides in China, also quite successful in the new emerging textile regions outside China.
Headquarters in Belgium
One of the big assets of this cross border entrepreneurship is the mixture of drawing upon the know-how & quality standards from the Picanol Group, combined with good understanding of its local customers. With more than 150 engineers and strong R&D teams headquartered in Belgium, Picanol invests heavily in R&D activities every year. Picanol’s R&D aims not just at development and production of the most advanced weaving machines, but also achieving the most profitable weaving process in the world.
Picanol offers nine types of weaving machines: the OptiMax, GT-Max, GTMax-i and GTXplus with rapier technology, the OMNIplus Summum, OMNIplus 800, TERRYplus 800, OMNIplus 800 TC and the OMNIplus-X with airjet insertion technology. Together, these machines cover the full spectrum of textiles including apparel, household and technical fabrics. The high degree of digitization of all these machines, together with their Sumo main drive, ensures a lower weaving cost, higher quality of the fabrics produced, greater flexibility and exceptional ease of operation in comparison with other weaving machines.
Picanol offer solutions
At the occasion of the ITMA-Asia + CITME fair (16-20 June, Shanghai) Picanol will present a wide variety of weaving machines, both airjet and rapier.
Besides the OMNIplus Summum, also the OMNIplus-X will be on display. This machine is engineered and produced in Picanol’s Suzhou plant in China, but using the proven OMNIplus 800 technology. The OMNIplus-X responds to the requirements of the Asian mid-end segment. A novelty on this machine is that it is now also available in 280 and 340 cm widths in addition to the existing weaving widths of 190 cm and 220 cm. Here special attention was given to improved quality output, user friendliness and lower energy costs. As for the rapier machines, the highlight is an OptiMax weaving a coating fabric on a 540 cm machine equipped with batching motion. On another OptiMax a fancy denim fabric will be woven.
For the first time the new GTMax-i rapier machine will be shown. This new weaving machine is a further development of the existing GT-Max. The main highlights of the GTMax-i are the reinforced gripper system and heavier machine drive, which allows higher production speeds. Also the dobby and undermotion have been completely redesigned.
In total 7 Picanol machines will be on display. Five on its own booth. One Picanol OMNIplus Summum with jacquard will be on display at the Bonas booth and another one on the Staubli booth.
As a technological market leader, Picanol constantly invests in R&D to assure the highest performance of its weaving machines, both for new machines and for those already installed in the field. For each new product development launched on new machines, the Picanol aftermarket team investigates how the new feature can bring a solution or benefit to get the most out of the weaving machine. Also the after market upgrade possibilities will be presented on the Picanol booth.