20 years of innovation: interview with Walter Wirz

CREALET celebrates its 20th anniversary

For 20 years CREALET has been supporting its customers in the field of warp yarn feeding. The products are used in wide and ribbon weaving machines as well as in warp knitting machines.

Walter Wirz

Many wonderful and eventful days have passed since the foundation of CREALET AG in 2003.

Walter Wirz, former CEO of Willy Grob AG and co-founder and CEO of CREALET AG, gives a brief insight into the past 20 years.

What were the motives for founding CREALET AG?

Before founding CREALET AG, I was Managing Director of Willy Grob AG in Eschenbach SG. Willy Grob AG was a manufacturer of warp beams and mechanical belt brakes, warp beam transport carriages, etc.

However, the competitive pressure from various European competitors was so great that new products were needed. The mechanical belt brakes for the fancy warp beams kept reaching the limits of warp tension control. This was the trigger to drive the warp beam instead of using brakes.

In 1983, the first electronic warp let-off system KAST 483 was installed on weaving machines.

The products were successful until weaving machine manufacturers integrated their own warp let-off controls into the weaving machine controls. This caused a massive drop in sales. For this reason, Willy Grob AG wanted to get out of this business and concentrate on the production of batch winders.

In 2003 I decided to found CREALET AG together with Leo Kuster, the developer of the KAST 483, Jörg Schmid, Schmid Maschinenbau AG, and Altmann Holding AG.

A management buy-out agreement was drawn up, which guaranteed CREALET the takeover of the two product lines “warp let-off” and “tyre cord”.

CREALET’s new business model was to ensure the supply of spare parts for the tyre cord units on the market and, in the warp let-off sector, to develop and manufacture customised warp yarn feeding systems.

What were the teething problems?

With the management buy-out and the founding of a new company, a new company name also had to be found. The name CREALET came from “Creative warp let-off”.

This name was new and unknown.

Original CREALET logo (2003-2019)

Current CREALET logo (since 2019)

Since we wanted to address customers worldwide, representatives had to be won over immediately. They had to be convinced of our idea. This was a challenge because it was a service that did not exist yet. We were motivated and that gave us the strength to master the not always easy start-up phase.

Informing clients about our activities is still a challenge today. We try to do this mainly through our agencies, our website, our quartely CREALETTER and communication via various social media platforms.

Since 2007 we also regularly have booths at trade fairs. Next will be this year’s ITMA 2023 in Milan.

Save the Date!

See us in Hall 6 at Stand B306

“Creativity, flexibility, and experience are our strengths
and have made us a successful partner.”

What are CREALET AG’s strengths?

CREALET has been building warp yarn feeding systems for 20 years for customers who depend on constant warp yarn tension. For this purpose, we develop solutions that are mounted on or behind the production machines.

The most important customer requirements for us can be defined shortly as follows:

  • efficient and simple warp tension control
  • higher, constant, and reproducible fabric quality
  • cost reduction by eliminating non-value adding activities
  • higher production output

By meeting these customer requirements, CREALET has been able to win more and more customers since its foundation in 2003. Creativity, flexibility, and experience are our strengths and have made us a successful partner.

CREALET is – and always was – determined to remain at the forefront of technological development and take a leading role in electronically controlled warp feeding systems for wide and narrow weaving machines. Digital transformation is in CREALET’s DNA.

What is your best memory from the founding period?

The foundation day was a very emotional day. Before we went to the notary, we thought again whether the decision we had made was the right one.

Is there a market for our idea?

“Little by little it became clear that
our business idea worked.”

The bank checked our business plan and provided us with the necessary capital. At the notary’s office, the shareholders’ agreement and the memorandum of association were drawn up and signed. Crealet AG was founded.

Motivated and with great commitment, we started our business activities. Little by little it became clear that our business idea worked. Of course, there were ups and downs, but that is part of it like salt in the soup. It was also a relieving feeling when we were able to pay back the start-up capital we had provided. A great time!

Do you remember who your first client was?

Of course, I remember that customer. It was a Czech company that I was already working with as managing director of Willy Grob AG. It was a small spare parts order, not really worth mentioning, but it was the first order and therefore unforgettable.

What would you like to wish CREALET AG’s customers and employees on its 20th anniversary?

First of all, I would like to thank all employees for their loyal and continuous commitment to the benefit of the customers and the company. This is the only way that CREALET can celebrate its 20th anniversary.

“There are personalities at the helm of the company
who have a wealth of experience.”

I wish my son Andreas Wirz and Mario Kuster, who took over the management in May 2022, much happiness and success. I am pleased that with these successors there are personalities at the helm of the company who have a wealth of experience and will certainly be committed partners for the customers.

I would like to sincerely thank the numerous customers all over the world for their loyalty and the many orders we have had the pleasure of carrying out over the years. You can be sure that the CREALET team will continue to do its utmost to fulfil your wishes in the future.

Both CREALET generations