20/01/2016 – Interview — auf Deutsch lesen

Quality, what is it?

German machine technologies live up to the highest quality standards. But what exactly does quality mean and how important is it in the eyes of German engineering association VDMA? We spoke to Elgar Straub, Managing Director of VDMA Garment and Leather Technology.

Elgar Straub Photo: VDMA

Elgar Straub Photo: VDMA


Elgar Straub: We see it as achieving what is technically possible whilst considering the needs and wishes of our customers. In doing so, we naturally have to observe all legal requirements and the standards specified by the customer.

ES: Yes, indeed. You can still find sewing technology made in Germany. Its excellent reputation is also illustrated by how successful the German producers are compared to their international competitors, having clawed back a greater market share in recent years.

ES: Well, that varies from customer to customer. Perfect quality assurance very much depends on the technology used, but also on the customer’s own quality assurance procedures.

ES: Irrespective of any studies, it is quite clear that the machine technology has a substantial influence on the product quality. Nowadays, we generally have online access to the majority of machines, giving us the power to determine how the products are made.

ES: We believe that quality has become more important again in recent years. Consumer knowledge about quality has improved, as has the image of quality in apparel production.

One example is traceability from the fabrics and chemicals used right the way back to cotton production. The social aspects of clothing manufacturing have become more important for consumers. Even countries like Bangladesh are giving this factor greater priority.

ES: Primarily, we expect further improvements in quality. Industry 4.0 is all about enhancing flexibility in production to pave the way for top quality even in small production runs.

ES: I’d like to see more high-quality products at retail.

Mr Straub, many thanks for talking to us.

The questions were asked by Iris Schlomski on behalf of textile network

Part 2 of this year’s series appears in our next issue: Quality and Öko-Tex, how do they fit?