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A century of Barmag innovation

Jorney to becoming the preferred technological partner for the manmade fibre industries in China, India and Turkey.

28th March 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Remscheid, Germany

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

Barmag, established in 1922, was one of the world’s first companies to construct machines for the large-scale production of synthetic staple fibres. The manufacturer of manmade fibre spinning systems and texturing machines based in in Remscheid, Germany – part of the Swiss Oerlikon Group since 2007 – has shaped technological progress in the sector with ever more innovation focusing on sustainability and digitalization.

Barmer Maschinenfabrik Aktiengesellschaft (Barmag) wass founded in Barmen, located in the Bergische Land region, on March 27, 1922. The German and Dutch founders were entering unchartered technological territory created as the result of a groundbreaking invention – in 1884, French chemist Count Hilaire Bernigaud de Chardonnet had used nitrocellulose to produce the first so-called artificial silk, later known as rayon.

The following decades saw rapid development focusing on the search for synthetic textile fibres and their manufacturing technologies.

The latest filament spinning lines operate at speeds of up to 480 km/h. © Oerlikon

As one of the first machine factories, Barmag battled its way through the eventful early years of the manmade fibre industry and suffered extensive destruction of its factories at the end of World War Two.

Pure synthetics

Rebuilding was successful and with the unstoppable success story of purely synthetic plastic fibres such as polyamide, the company flourished from the 1950s through to the 1970s, establishing sites in all international industrial regions and garnering prestige across the globe in the process. In the ups and downs of expansion, global competition and crises, Barmag reached the pinnacle of the market and became the preferred technological development partner for the manmade fibre industries in China, India and Turkey.

Today, Oerlikon Barmag is a leading supplier of manmade fibre filament spinning systems and part of the Manmade Fibres Solutions business unit of the Oerlikon Polymer Processing Solutions Division.

In the past, this has been marked by  innovations such as the Wings generation of winders for POY in 2007 and Wings for FDY (fully drawn yarns) in 2012.

Smart factories

Currently, the focus of further developments is very much on digitalization and sustainability. As one of the world’s first systems manufacturers, Oerlikon Barmag has been implementing fully-networked smart factories for globally-leading polyester manufacturers since the end of the last decade. Within this context, digital solutions and automation are also helping to provide greater climate and environmental compatibility.

Modern Barmag texturing installation. © Oerlikon

This sustainability commitment is not only evidenced by the e-save label introduced for all products back in 2004 – Oerlikon is endeavoring to also make all its sites carbon-neutral by 2030 and to acquire its energy exclusively from renewable sources.

“Innovation begins with creativity and remembering the past provides plenty of motivation and inspiration for the future,” says Georg Stausberg, CEO of Oerlikon Polymer Processing Solutions.

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