Traditionally innovative – for 70 years
KARL MAYER is 70
A history of success
After founding his company in 1937 the young Karl Mayer switched from overhauling engines to the more lucrative business of manufacturing textile machines ten years later. His pioneering spirit and enthusiasm for technology enabled him to acquire the necessary know-how for manufacturing warp knitting machines and to share his knowledge with very committed colleagues. Just one year later, in 1948, the first KARL MAYER warp knitting machine left the Obertshausen works. Further success followed. In 1954 the deliveries exceeded 1000 and by the end of 1990 KARL MAYER had supplied 75,000 machines - and hence twothirds of the world production - to all four corners of the earth. The company aimed at globalization early on - it set up international representatives and established overseas subsidiaries. Thus Karl Mayer set up its first subsidiary in the USA in 1955 and a second one in Brazil in 1966. In the years to follow subsidiaries were established in Japan, then in England, Hong Kong and Italy. In 1968 KARL MAYER became more than 50 % involved in its Japanese subsidiary - the first overseas company to do so in a Japanese company. Today Nippon Mayer Co. Ltd. in Fukui City in Hondo is a 100 % subsidiary. Further activities in Asia included setting up the KARL MAYER branch in Hong Kong in 1985 and the presentday KARL MAYER Textile Machinery Ltd in Wujin, Peoples' Republic of China, ten years later. In 1999 Karl Mayer took over all the business sections of the Chinese joint venture partner and opened a new factory in Wujin. In 2002 this was added to in the shape of the service company KARL MAYER Technical Service Ltd, also located in Wujin. A worldwide market share of over 70 % is testimony to the success of the globalizationoriented company strategy of the manufacturer. Today KARL MAYER machines operate in more than 80 countries of the world and exports exceeded the 90 % mark as far back as 1980.
In addition to globalization the company also embarked on a skilful selection of strategic business areas. Thus KARL MAYER set up the warp preparation sector for warp knitting in 1950. In 1991 this was technologically completed by introducing the first KARL MAYER warp preparation system for weaving to the market. It was further added to by the acquisition of the Italian company Rotal and the foundation of KARL MAYER Rotal in 1998 for the production of sizing machines.
In addition the markets for KARL MAYER products were expanded by adding the promising technical textiles sector to typical enduse areas such as net curtains, household textiles and clothing. An important step here was the acquisition of Malimo Maschinenbau in 1992.
KARL MAYER today
Today the KARL MAYER Group employs approximately 2400 operatives worldwide and has an annual turnover of around 400 million euros. The production capacity in Hesse alone covers an area of 120,000 m2 and the workforce numbers approximately 1500.
These figures testify to the company's flexibility, particularly in the textile sectors characterized by structural changes. Even setbacks could always be made good. The recipe for success here was; optimization of the fabric groups through technical leadership, conviction through quality, a combination of the traditional and the innovative, and an onsite presence in the case of customers. In particular, however, a comprehensive restructuring in previous years has led to a policy of consistently being able to meet market demands. The changes carried out were associated with a high level of investment and consisted, in the main, of the construction of a new logistics, customer and development centre, the introduction of SAP, process reorganization, the modernization of CAD workplaces, and the largescale replacement of machine stock. In addition to the investments in Germany the production capacities in China at that time were expanded - measures to ensure a secure future for the KARL MAYER Group and its customers. The Obertshausen location is excellent and sustainable, stated the new managing director at the side of Fritz P. Mayer, Dr Martin Prillmann, and will continue its history of success.
The latest milestones in this connection: the delivery of the 250th raschel lace machine of the new generation in December 2006 only three years after it had been introduced to the market and a large package of innovations in the bag for ITMA in Munich. Surely many good grounds for celebrating the 70th birthday in a fit and proper manner!