As the key site for the construction of Monforts finishing machines, Montex Maschinenfabrik in Austria is currently working flat out to meet a very busy new order schedule, while also finalising the new exhibits which will be unveiled at ITMA 2019 in Barcelona this June.
“We have been working very closely with the Monforts research and development team in Mönchengladbach, Germany, to take the latest new ideas through testing and prototyping, in readiness for the exhibition and for future series production,” says Montex plant manager Gert Hanzl. “We are fully exploiting the many new possibilities being offered by Industry 4.0 in the continuous development of design and manufacturing methods.”
Located in St. Stefan, in the centre of Austria’s Lavant Valley, Montex Maschinenfabrik was founded by Monforts in 1982 as an advanced manufacturing hub.
“Our area is known as the ‘paradise of Carinthia’ due to its favourable climate,” says Gert. “Lignite was mined up to a depth of 600 metres here until 1968. From the outset of Montex in 1982, we have specialised in all aspects of machine production, including high-precision sheet metal working, laser cutting and welding, the assembly of components, painting and shipping, along with a well-organised spare parts service.”
The Montex machine shop is equipped with advanced Trumpf laser and CNC cutting machines and presses, with the powder coating of exterior panels also carried out for rapid turnaround.
“The respective electrical switch cabinets for the machines are delivered just-in-time from Monforts in Germany according to our production schedules,” says Gert.
While there is standardisation in series-produced Monforts machines, Montex is increasingly called upon to construct tailor made machines with unique designs, according to the special needs of the customers.
“We aim for the best combination of already-proven components and carefully-tested special constructions,” says Gert. “We are able to handle extremely large projects, having recently shipped a complete finishing line to one customer within eight weeks, and we were particularly pleased with our proven design of a challenging stenter frame with a 320-degree temperature chamber. We are currently manufacturing machines with working widths of 5.6 metres and we can produce those with widths of up to seven metres, if requested.”
The core Monforts machine range, including the industry standard Montex stenters, along with relaxation dryers, Thermex dyeing ranges and Monfortex/Toptex compressive shrinking ranges as well as Matex padders and Eco Applicator minimal coating units, has been significantly expanded with the acquisition of Timatec in 2015, to include a complete portfolio of coating units for virtually all applications in textiles. These have been further developed and been adapted to Monforts electrical plc-control standards and are now available as the Monforts texCoat and Allround units.
“The business is currently running very well and with ITMA 2019 approaching we are ready to meet a special challenge,” Gert says, emphasising that the loyalty and satisfaction of the Montex workforce is of paramount importance.
“We have employees who have worked at this site since the foundation of Montex Austria, but it’s very important that we train apprentices at the same time, in order to pass on our know-how and ensure the high standard that customers expect from Monforts systems is maintained going forward,” he says. “One of the key advantages of being here in the heart of Europe is the Trial Training System – one of the best training systems in the world. It combines theoretical instruction in a vocational school with practical training both within the company and in training workshops.
“Established staff also train regularly to develop new skills and everyone is involved at all stages of production and trained to multi-task. This gives us flexibility and strength.”