2019 marks the starting signal for the production of braiding machines at Mayer & Cie.’s Albstadt headquarter. These special machines are only distantly related to circular knitting machines, but they are good old aquaintances: US affiliate Mayer Industries in Orangeburg, South Carolina, built the special machines for more than 40 years. 2017 Mayer & Cie. decided to take over this line of business. 2018 was dominated by comprehensive preparations for the relocation of production.
The newly formed team headed by Patrick Moser, manager of the braiding machine department, was able to complete the zero series model of the first machine at the end of 2018. Delivery of the first double-decker series machine is planned for mid-February. Their destination is Italy, one of the most important current sales markets for Mayer & Cie. braiding machines. Another key target market is China, the world’s largest manufacturer of hydraulic hoses.
Manager Moser is satisfied with the first month’s production of these special machines in Albstadt. “We are slightly behind schedule,” he says, “but when you consider that we have manufactured something totally new here, we can be satisfied on the whole. We can also assume that we will be back on schedule at the beginning of the second quarter.” The braiding machine team, at present 12 in number, is supported by a number of fitters from the circular knitting machine department, where weaker core business demand has freed up manpower for the new line of business. “The order books for braiding machines are full and from today’s perspective production is assured until 2020,” Moser says. With demand still exceeding production capacity in Albstadt-Tailfingen, braiding machine production at Mayer Industries is likely to continue until the end of the year.
For some years the marketing of braiding machines has been handled by Albstadt-based Mayer Braidtech. Since this year customers also visit the production site in Albstadt. “For our customers and their confidence in the product it is of no consequence whether we manufacture our machines in Albstadt or in Orangeburg,” Moser says, concluding his first review of the new department.