Dilo Group advancing sustainability through decades of innovation and detail

Headquartered in Germany, Dilo Group is a leading supplier of complete lines for nonwoven fabric production, traditionally specialized in all types of needling lines for staple fiber products as well as high-speed needle looms for spunbonds. Recently, Johann-Philipp Dilo, CEO of Dilo Group, spoke to TexSPACE Today about the company’s latest developments in the nonwoven sector for sustainability and energy saving.

Philipp Dilo was also President of the Textile Machinery Association of VDMA from 2005 to 2008, and a member of the CEMATEX Board during the same period.

TexSPACE Today: As we know Dilo is a pioneer name among the nonwoven machinery lines, please give us an overview of how important is sustainability and energy saving in the current business landscape for Dilo Group.

Photo: MicroPunch Line showcased at ITMA 2023

Johann Philipp Dilo: Dilo has launched at ITMA 2023 its ‘MicroPunch’ intensive needling technology which provides a potential for energy savings, particularly when producing light weights in a range of 40 – 100 g/sqm used in the hygiene sector in comparison with other consolidation technologies.

These energy savings are a decisive feature considering the increase in energy costs for gas and electricity. Concerning sustainability Dilo is engaged together with our partners Dell’Orco & Villani and TechnoPlants in the area of recycling textile garments through a mechanical tearing process to reclaim staple fiber useful as fiber material in the nonwoven process.

TexSPACE Today: What are the latest technological developments that Dilo Group has implemented to enhance sustainability in nonwoven production?

Johann Philipp Dilo: Mechanical recycling for textile fiber requires nonwoven machinery and components specifically designed to provide easy access to machines for cleaning and maintenance through an elaborate concept of dedusting through vacuuming particular areas of the fiber processing machinery.

TexSPACE Today: Can you please discuss Dilo Group’s approach to energy efficiency in nonwoven production facilities? Are there any cutting-edge technologies that Dilo Group is incorporating to reduce energy consumption and the environmental footprint?

Johann Philipp Dilo: Up to ca. 50% of the energy consumption in a nonwoven line is associated with the pneumatic fiber transport within the process of fiber preparation, opening and blending and supplying the fiber to the web forming equipment. This includes also the dedusting and recycling of fiber within the production line.

Dilo’s DILOWATT system can be applied to reduce the energy needed for pneumatic fiber transport by adapting the fan speed of airflow and the exhaust capacity for dedusting to the real measured requirements.

TexSPACE Today: What challenges does Dilo Group face in implementing sustainable and energy-efficient technologies in their nonwoven machinery? And how did you overcome it?

Johann Philipp Dilo: Through our continued improvement process the requirements to improve sustainability and energy efficiency have been a long-term process over the years through many detailed improvements and innovations.

TexSPACE Today: As the industry cares more about the Circular Economy and Recycling, what steps are Dilo Group taking to support the nonwoven manufacturing industry? Are there any projects or technologies at Dilo Group that focus on recycling or upcycling nonwoven materials?

Johann Philipp Dilo: This whole area of recycling is covered by Dilo as the general contractor and Dilo’s cooperation with the specialists of tearing equipment Messrs. Dell’Ocro & Villani and TechnoPlants for specific aerodynamic web formation.

TexSPACE Today: Have you observed any changes in customer preferences or market demand for sustainable nonwoven solutions? How do sustainability and energy-saving features influence the market acquisition of Dilo Group’s nonwoven lines?

Image: Recycled Fibre Products

Johann Philipp Dilo: The awareness of the importance of line installations which provide energy savings and improve sustainability within a recycling process has been improving significantly over the last 3 to 5 years.

The energy savings, however, as a technical feature is ready to be included in complete installations of production lines. The sustainability process and organization of recycling garment and reclaiming textile clippings through the tearing process is a complex task; particularly when the aim is to deviate from the current “downcycling” principles where garment waste ends in lower-grade nonwovens applications only used as insulation or cushioning as an underlay.

The subject of upgrading waste fiber applications to quality nonwovens requires close cooperation among garment producers, consumers and the recycling industry e.g.

TexSPACE Today: What is the vision for the future of Dilo Group in terms of sustainability and energy-saving practices in the nonwoven sector? Are there upcoming projects or developments that you can share, focusing on furthering sustainability goals?

Johann Philipp Dilo: Dilo Group is ready to include the concepts of “MicroPunch” and DILOWATT in the deliveries of complete lines and is currently providing a testing facility for the development of new nonwoven products through “MicroPunch”. Also, applications of artificial intelligence assisting the operation of complete lines is researched in cooperation with our partners. The engineering for complete lines for recycling garments is offered.

TexSPACE Today: Is there anything else you would like to highlight regarding Dilo Group’s commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency in the nonwoven sector?

Johann Philipp Dilo: Generally speaking, Dilo is convinced that needling line solutions and the related technology based on staple fiber are offering highly advanced web forming and consolidation. The needling technology particularly features a large potential for energy-efficient production including sustainability through the recycling of textile waste. Needling lines are among those technologies that include a long-term potential for a successful future.

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