News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry
Accurate ♦ Concise ♦ Timely
[Follow my coverage of the IFAI Expo each day, October 6-8. This is my 38th year of participating in the event. Full disclosure as you take in my comments and observations: I was the president of IFAI for 20 years until retiring in 2011. Steve Warner, Publisher, BeaverLake6 Report]
Click here to read yesterday's observations.
Best Opening Day in Years for the Show. Congratulations to Chairman Dave Clarke, President Mary Hennessy and everyone working on the IFAI Expo. They delivered today. After three years of declining attendance, it looks like the IFAI show is back on track. On the show floor, the Specialty Fabrics and Shadow & Weather sections were busy the entire day. These sections are the heart and soul of the organization and it shows that the IFAI as an organization represents the companies in those industries.
Advanced Textiles, the third of the three sections, still needs to find an audience. It started off very active but quickly died down after the first couple of hours. My thought after seeing this is that Advanced Textiles may not be a sustainable stand alone section in the IFAI Expo. It might be better to just place these types of exhibitors within the Specialty Fabrics section. But it's early to say for sure this is a solution. It may be that show visitors in the other sections will come over tomorrow to visit the Advanced Textiles exhibitors.
We'll see what tomorrow brings in attendance but overall it's a very good start for the exhibition.
Advanced Textiles Education Track Does Better 2nd Day. The second day of the Advanced Textiles education symposium found better in attendance. I could only stay for the first presentation but it was a classic well- delivered analysis by IFAI's Director of Market Research Jeff Rasmussen on "Current Developments in the Smart and Interactive Fabrics Market." The room was packed. Mr. Rasmussen, in his quiet manner, demonstrated extensive knowledge in the niche markets that make up the technical textiles industry.
Annual Meeting of the IFAI. The existence of the IFAI Expo is due its organization under the Industrial Fabrics Association International, a 1400-member international trade association. Each year at the IFAI Expo the organization's Annual Membership Meeting takes place. Here are the highlights announced at this morning's meeting:
Chairman’s Award: Given to Robert Cole, owner of Goodwin-Cole Company, Sacramento, Calif., USA. Mr. Cole has been active in the industry since 1936, interrupted only by his service in World War II. Mr. Cole was president of the Canvas Products Association International – the former name of IFAI – from 1983 to 1985. The Chairman’s Award is IFAI’s highest honor.
Professional Certification: Those awarded Master Fabric Craftsman were Dave Elliott, David’s Custom Trimmer, Brisbane, Queenland, Australia; Neil Hancock, Aussie Boat Covers, Elwood, Vic., Australia; and, Kathryn Maistao, Fairwinds Canvas, Racine, Wis., USA. Certified for Life were (IFM) Peter McKernan, Herculite Products Inc., Emigsville, Penn., USA; (Awning & Canopies MFC) Dan Spearing, Pike Awning, Portland, Ore., USA; (Marine Exterior MFC) Greg Smith, Afton Marina & Yacht Club, Afton, Minn., USA; and Steve Szenay, Serge Ferrari North America, Pompano Beach, Fla., USA.
Industrial Fabrics Innovation Award was presented to BondCote Corp, a division of Heytex Corp., Pulaski, Va., USA. Ted Anderson, president, accepted the award to his company and then announced he was donated the $1500 prize back to the foundation to fund future scholarships.
Former Chairman Kevin Yonce, IFM, MFC, CPP, announced the IFAI Board of Directors election results. Boyd Ramsey, GSE Environmental LLC, Houston, Texas, USA, was re-elected for a three-year term as a Director; Gifford Del Grande of AEC Narrow Fabrics, Asheboro, N.C., USA, elected for a three-year term as a Director; Katharine Schaefer, IFM, of Glawe Awning and Tent Company, Fairborn, Oh., USA, was elected as 2nd Vice Chairman; and Steven Ellington, Trivantage, Glen Raven, N.C., USA, elected as 1st Vice Chairman/ Chairman-Elect. Also appointed to fill a two-year unexpired Director term was Scott Massey of Awning Cleaning Industries, New York, N.Y., USA; and, Robert Rosania, Ehmke Manufacturing, Company, Philadelphia, Penn., USA.
Chairman David Clarke introduced the 51st IFAI Chairman of the Board Katie Bradford, MFC, IFM, of Custom Marine Canvas, Noank, Conn., USA.
Lectra Wins Intellectual Property Case in Germany. In a press release issued today, Lectra, a manufacturer of technical textile cutting equipment and software systems, announced that a German competitor’s machine was declared as infringing a Lectra’s patent protecting a solution for cutting one-piece-woven (OPW) airbags in Germany. The final court ruling stated that the competitor’s OPW-airbag-cutting machine makes use of Lectra patent EP 1 321 839’s inventive technical teaching, thus legally acknowledging that the machine infringes the patent. The Lectra patent describes an OPW-airbag-cutting machine as integrating three elements: a cut-on-the-fly cutting system for cutting patterns in sheet material; a vision system for locating on-the-fly landmarks in sheet material; and a control system that allows a pattern to be cut at the same time as the vision system locates the next landmark, while the sheet material continues to progress along the cutting table. Click here to read the entire press release. Posted October 6, 2015
Protective Clothing Manufacturer Makes Acquisition. Fire-Dex of Medina, Oh., USA, a manufacturer of protective firefighting clothing, has acquired TECGEN PPE, a flame , resistant fabric and garment technology from National Safety Apparel (NSA), Cleveland, Oh., USA. Fire-Dex is the exclusive licensee of the TECGEN PPE product line for the first responder market. This unique technical solution will expand Fire-Dex’s head-to-toe offering. Click here for more information on the acquisition. Posted October 8, 2015
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Reached. It took a couple of extra days but there are reliable reports the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement has been finalized today in Atlanta, Ga., USA. According to BeaverLake6 Report sources, the agreement will have the "yarn forward" rule demanded by the National Council of Textile Organizations NCTO) and, equally important, is word that the short-supply list of products exempted from "yarn forward" requirements is limited. Let's now have a look for the first time what they have been negotiating in secret and hope the agreement avoids the disasterous affects for the US domestic textile industry that came from the North American Free Trade Agreement. Posted October 5, 2015
IFAI Reports US Department of Defense Purchase Level Requirement for US-Made Products to Stay at $150,000. The Specialty Fabrics Review, published by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), posted on its website the "Berry Amendment Threshold to Stay at $150,000." We think the announcement is a little premature as the US 2016 National Defense Authorization Act has not yet been passed. Nonetheless, it looks very likely the threshold will remain at this level when the 2016 authorization act is passed. The Berry (and Kissel) amendments, which were renewed by both the US House and Senate a few months ago for inclusion in the authorization act, requires the US Department of Defense to procure textiles and certain other textile-products to be made in the US, if available, once the purchasing amount reaches $150,000. Click here to read the Review's article. Posted October 3, 2015
August US Industrial Fabrics Export Figures Released. The US Department of Commerce has released the August export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group. Mexico continues to be the dominant country for what is classified as specialty and industrial fabrics, accounting for almost 50% of the worldwide US exports. The rankings of the top 5 countries continue to be #1 Mexico, #2 Canada, #3 China, #4 Hong Kong and #5 Japan. Overall, the US Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group increased exports with 12-month year-ending in August at 3.92% or $159.4 million. Click here to see the entire report. Posted October 4, 2015
Australian University Research Develops Knitted Stretch-Sensing Fabric. According to an article posted on the Australian website abc.net, a wearable knee sleeve, knitted from stretch-sensing fibers that can detect human movement, has been developed by researchers at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales. The sleeve could be used to better control bending tolerances of the knee and prevent injuries in athletes and faster recovering after knee replacement. The researchers first developed a new, robust hybrid yarn that is pulled out of a solution made from a mixture of organic conducting polymers and polyurethane. The yarn strands are then blended with Spandex yarns that creates an electrically conductive textile. With a batter hookup to the material, the stretch of the yarn can be measure. Another application for the material could be seat belts. Click here to read the article. Posted October 2, 2015
Geosynthetics Show Issues "Call for Proposals." The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has issued a "call for proposal" for session presentation topics, training lectures, and short courses to be held at Geotechnical Frontiers 2017, March 12-15, 2017 in Orlando, Fla., US. The theme of the conference is Innovation and Collaboration in Technology and Practice. Contact Barbara Connett, Secretary General, for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted October 1, 2015
TPP Agreement May Be Reached Today. The Washington Post is reporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement may be concluded after today's meeting in Atlanta, Ga., USA. Even as the talks reach the final stage, there is still concern expressed in the US domestic textile industry about the agreement. Yesterday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution's website posted on article in which TenCate expressed fear their company's competitiveness "would be threatened by a deal that cuts barriers and writes rules but creates only toothless enforcement." Click here to read the Atlanta Journal Constitution's article. Posted October 1, 2015
Mining Smog to Make Carbon Fibers. Could Los Angeles and Beijing be the next hot spots for making carbon fibers? On Tuesday, the nonprofit foundation XPRIZE announced a $20 million NRG Cosia Carbon challenge. The prize will be split between two presented solutions, one focusing on pollution caused by coal and the other on pollution caused by natural gas. The challenge goal is to find a way to pull carbon from the atmosphere and turn it into useful material products.Click here to read more. Posted September 30, 2015
GSE Environmental Announces Closure of Chile Manufacturing Facility. Thanks to Chris Kelsey, editor at geosynthetica.net, for alerting us to a press release this morning from GSE Environmental announcing the company's decision to close its manufacturing plant located in Antogfagasta, Chile. A sales office will remain in Santiago, Chile. Bob Preston, President and CEO, said: "We believe this is the best way to serve our customers across the Americas by streamlining processes, consolidating manufacturing operations, and reducing costs." Click here to read the geosynbthetic.net article. Posted September 29, 2015
DuPont Will Make Ebola Protection Suit Designed by Johns Hopkins Team. During the peak of the Ebola crisis last year, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a global design challenge of products to help protect healthcare workers treating victims of the disease. A team at the Center for Biomedical Engineering Innovation and Design at Johns Hopkins University took up the challenge. After a rigorous review of more than 1500 submitted ideas by last December, USAID selected the Johns Hopkins suit design as one of three which would be recognized. Yesterday, the University announced a version of the suit will be manufactured by DuPont and available early next year. Click here to read an article posted on the Washington Post website. Posted September 28, 2015
Bloomington Tent & Awning Celebrates 125 Years in Business. Not too many companies can mark a 125-year anniversary. Congratulations to Bloomington Tent & Awning of Bloomington, Ill., USA. The company originally started as Plumley Awning Company in 1895. Click here to read a short posted on the pantagraph.com website. Posted September 28, 2015
Gant Named Casual Furniture Market Manager for Glen Raven. Another Gant family member is taking a leadership position in the family-owned textile giant Glen Raven Inc., headquartered in Burlington, N.C., USA. Allen Gant III, son of Glen Raven's CEO Allen E. Gant Jr., has been named Casual Market Manager for Glen Raven Custom Fabrics. His responsibilities include the casual furniture market and specialty outdoor segment. Gant joined the company in 2008. Click here for the Glen Raven press release announcing the appointment. Posted September 28, 2015
Fibers Congress Wraps Up in Austria. The 54th Dornbirn Man-Made Fibers Conference was held September 16-18 in Dornbirn, Austria. Dornbirn has gained a reputation as the pre-eminent annual meeting place of the scientific community in the fiber world. More than 100 presentations were given at the recent event. BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to have Dr. Isa Hofmann, managing director of IHOFMANN, give us a special report on the program and of plans for the 2016 event. Please click here to read Dr. Hofmann's report. Posted September 28, 2015
New Smart Fibers Developed by Chinese Scientists. According to the Xinhua News Agency, Chinese scientists has created fibers that react after being exposed to certain stimuli which eventually can open opportunities for use in applications such as artificial limbs, smart clothes and automatic shades. The stimuli can be such as light and vapor sensitivity which will cause movement. The movement can be controlled and manipulated. The research team is led by Professor Peng Huisheng at Fudan Univerisity in Shanghai. The research team's work has been published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. Click here to read an article about the discovery. Posted September 28, 2015
Kolon / DuPont Trade Secret Settlement is Recognized in Law Journals. Well, it's kind of a dubious attention for our industry but AmLaw Daily has recognized the Kolon theft of DuPont's Kevlor body armor technology and its subsequent financial settlement as the "Global Dispute of the Year." This follows a similar recognition in July by The American Lawyer, citing the case as the world's most distinguished dispute resolution for 2015 in its annual Global Legal Awards. Click here to read a short description of the award. Posted September 28, 2015
German Nonwoven Manufacturer to Build US Facility. Textile plant investments continue in the southeast US with the news that German nonwoven manufacturer Sandler AG will be opening a plant in Perry, Ga., US. Sandler is family-owned with sales of approximately $346 million and active in buth durable and disposable nonwoven applications. In the durable section, the intended markets are automotive, acoustics and filtration. Sandler offers a diverse range of nonwovens including thermal bonding, spunlaced, needle-punched and melt-blown. Click here to read the company's press release about the expansion into the US. Posted September 24, 2015
170 Year-Old Company Moves into Carbon Fiber for Aerospace and Automotive Industries. In-Cumbria, an online news website covering business in Burneside, England, UK, has a nice short article about James Cropper PLC, a 170 year-old family-owned business. The big news is the company is now moving into manufacturing nonwoven carbon fiber materials for the aviation, aerospace and defense industries. The company, now with 6th-generation Cropper management, has its roots in paper-making but set up a Technical Fibre Products division 30 years ago. It's inspiring to find a company like James Cropper which can adapt to business and technology changes so successfully over these many years. Click here to read the article. Posted September 24, 2015.
Technical Textiles in India to Reach $30bn Over Next 5 Years. In a presentation opening the 2015 Techtextil India event, India's Textile Commissioner Kiran Soni Gupta said that the country's technical textile industry is expected to grow at a rate of 20% annually to reach $30bn over the next 5 years. Sections which will account for much of the growth will be applications in agriculture, automotive, health care and infrastructure markets. Minister Gupta also reported the National Textile Policy is in its final draft and will be announced soon. Click here to read more about her presentation. Posted September 24, 2015
Health Concerns Stops Teijin Aramid Research for New Aramid Copolymers Containing DAPBI. In a press release issued yesterday, Teijin Aramid announced that it is stopping its research program to develop and commercialize aramid copolymers containing DAPBI. The developed prototype materials had good anti-ballistic performance but usage of this substance could be dangerous to people involved in the production of the monomer and copolymer. It was found that the DAPBI monomer is mutagenic, severely toxic to the kidneys at very low dosages, toxic to reproduction and possibly carcinogenic. Click here to read the press release. Posted September 24, 2015
Chinese Automotive Material Manufacturer Investing in US Facility. According to the Carolina Clarion website, Suzhou Glacier Import & Export Co., Ltd., a global textile manufacturer, has created a subsidiary called Cold Mountain Material Corporation and is investing $24 million in a new manufacturing facility in Travelers Rest, S.C., USA. The focus of the operation will be supplying textiles for the automotive interiors industry. Click here to read the article. Posted September 24, 2015
India and the US Hold Strategic Talks that Includes Technical Textile Development Cooperation. As we reported in earlier posts, yesterday United States Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker welcomed India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman for the first U.S.- India strategic and commercial dialogue. The meeting was held in Washington, D.C. The topics included cooperation in technology development for technical textiles. The countries agreed they will facilitate exchanges on technical textiles between centers of excellence in India and U.S. universities. They will encourage industry to participate in trade exhibitions focused on technical textiles in their respective countries. Both sides agreed to consider collaborating on standards in this area, and to address concerns regarding barriers to technical textile exports in the relevant work stream. click here to read further from the press release issued yesterday that was posted on the einnews.com website. Posted September 23, 2015
Finland to Send Winter Tents to Shelter Refugees in Hungary. It's not much considering the human crisis happening in Europe but perhaps it's just a start. Finland's Interior Ministry today announced plans to send 192 cold-weather tents to Hungary to help Syrian and Iraq refugees in need of accomodation. There are already an estimated 475,000 asylum seekers with 5,000 more coming each day. Our industry needs to step into the contribution for providing temporary shelters. Has your company been approached yet by a European country to supply shelters? Let us here from you. Posted September 22, 2015
Yarn and Fiber Association Announces Speaker Line-Up for Fall Conference. The Synthetic Yarn & Fiber Association has announced the names of the speakers for the organization's SYFA Fall Conference 2015. The speakers include: Hardy Poole, Vice President of the National Council of Textile Organizations giving an update on the new Revolutionary Fiber and Textiles Institute for Manufacturing Innovation; Paul O'Day, President of the American Fiber Manufacturers Association; and, Roger Tutterow, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Director of Econometric Center at Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Ga., USA, speaking on the current economic, political and business climate. Click here to go to the SYFA conference website. Posted September 21, 2015
TenCate Magazine is a Good Read for All in Technical Textiles. This may sound like a promotion for TenCate. We want to recommend reading the Autumn issue of their company publication called Txtures. It's available online and contains articles about applications in protective clothing for firefighters and in the workplace, applications in civil engineering for geosynthetics, and applications for durable material in sports facilities. Naturally all the articles are slanted to promote TenCate products but regardless there was a lot of good information about the challenges of developing materials that solve problems in unique applications. This got us wondering if there are many other company publications like Txtures out there that go beyond just a promotion of the company products? If so, let us know. Click here to go to the Txtures website. Posted September 21, 2015
Small Company Competes Against Large Military Contractors. We found an interesting article posted on the new technology website Alphr about a two-person operation called Intelligent Textiles. Based in the United Kingdom, the company recently was awarded a multimillion dollar deal with the US Department of Defense and is now also working with the UK Ministry of Defence. Intelligent Textiles started out in 2002 making "talking jackets" for children with special needs. Over the years, the company's founders' research has evolved and they developed a proprietary method of weaving two conductive yarns to make a tiny mechanical switch that is perfectly separated or connected, much like a circuit board. Worth a quick read if you like a success story of a very small company operating in a world dominated with big military defense contractors. Click here. Posted September 21, 2015
Philippines Armed Forces Receive Protective Gear. According to the website inquirer.net, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has received $1 million worth of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) protective gear and detection equipment from the United States. The equipment enables the AFP to outfit a platoon-size contingent to conduct CBRN site assessments to mitigate risks and gather intelligence on chemical agents of biological agents and other potential chemical hazards. Click here to read the article. Posted September 18, 2015
2015 Nonwovens Standard Procedures Released. EDANA and INDA, the global nonwovens associations, jointly announce the launch of the 2015 edition of Nonwovens Standards Procedures. These published procedures help technically define the nonwovens industry, with specifiers for the properties, composition, and specifications of its products. Offering harmonized language for the industry across the USA and Europe, and recognized by many other individual markets, the procedures offer a way for the nonwovens industry to communicate both across the globe, and within the supply chain to ensure that product properties can be consistently described, produced, and tested. The 2015 edition includes updated or modified procedures with a new numbering structure to make the document more intuitive to search and use. Each method now also includes a page to summarize and track relevant changes made to the document. In an effort to make all methods more consistent, each one is now presented in a format building on the International Standards Organisation (ISO) template. Click here to read more information or find out how to order. Posted September 17, 2015
JEC Asia Announces Keynote Speakers. The JEC Group, organizer of JEC Asia 2015, has announced the names of the three renowned inspirational individuals as keynote speakers -- Water Tay, Dr. William Tan, and David Lim. The three keynote speakers will illustrate human development, team spirit and winning methods. JEC Asia 2015 is being held October 20-22, in Singapore. Click here to go to the special JEC Events section on BeaverLake6 Report and read more about the speakers and the topics of their presentations. Posted September 17, 2015
"4 Questions to Ask When Buying Body Armor." There is a neat, concise article posted on the website CorrectionsOne about basic questions to consider when purchasing body armor for correctional officers. . The 4 questions to ask are: 1) Is it made of the right material? 2) Does it meet the National Institute of Justice rating? 3) Is it the right fit? 4) How do I take care of it? [Publisher note: We also like this article because it clearly states descriptive words like "bullet-proof" and "stab-proof" vests are wrong.] Click here to read the article. Posted September 17, 2015
ITMA Returns to Barcelona in 2019. CEMATEX, the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers, has announced today Barcelona, Spain, will be the host city for the 18th edition of ITMA, June 20-26, 2019. Barcelona was most recently the location for ITMA in 2011. ITMA is the world's largest exhibition of textile and garment machinery technology. This year ITMA 2016 is taking place in Milan, Italy, November 12-19, and the organizer is expecting more than 100,000 visitors and 1600 exhibitors. Posted September 16, 2015
Navy Audit Finds 23 of 55 Procurements Sampled Did Not Comply with Berry Amendment or Buy America Act. The US Inspector General Office of the Department of Defense released a report on August 12 on an audit that looked at 53 US Navy and Marine Corp procurement contracts valued at $74 million awarded in FY13 and FY14 for compliance to the Berry Amendment or Buy America Act. The contract includes procurement that includes tents, clothing and other textile items. The audit found 11 of the 23 contracts did not consistently comply with the Berry Amendment. Navy and Marine Corps contracting personnel did not ensure compliance with the Buy America Act for 12 of 32 contracts reviewed. The recommendation was that Navy and Marine Corps officials modify noncompliant contracts to include the appropriate clauses and review potential Antideficiency violations. Click here to read the report. Posted September 14, 2015
Royal Academy of Engineering Innovations Award Candidates Feature Inflatable Incubator and Biodegradable Tent. The Royal Academy of Engineering in the United Kingdom has announced four young engineers from the UK have just been shortlisted for consideration its Launchpad Competition. The competition is "to enable a budding engineering entrepreneur aged 16-25 to start a new business based on their engineering innovation and maximize the chances of its successful growth." Two of the four products are made of technical textiles. There is a biodegradable tent designed to deal with a growing problem of abandoned tents after festivals. It is compostable, built from cellulose fibers and plastics. Its short-term life is ideal with one-time use shelters such as for festivals. The other product is an inflatable incubator, designed to be used in the developing world in the instances of premature births. It is compactable and only a 1/30th the cost of a normal incubator. Click here to read an article on the website wired.co.uk about the products and competition. Posted September 14, 2015
Saudi Arabia Has Enough Empty Tents to Take All Syria Asylum Seekers. It is almost mind-boggling. As the 600,000 Syria refugee plight captures headlines all over the world trying to put up anything to shelter them from the harsh wet, cold weather, there sits an entire tent city in Saudi Arabia with enough shelters already to take the entire refugee population. The scope is staggering: The tent city of Mina in Saudi Arabia is 20 square kilometers and could house three million people. Sitting empty are 100,000 tents with air conditioning, each measuring eight by eight meters, complete with kitchen and bathroom facilities. The tents, however, are used once a year for 5 days during the Hajj pilgrimage which starts September 22 and are thus unavailable to help the immediate humanitarian crisis. This posting is not meant as a criticism of the Saudi government. It's a complicated religious and political situation. There is definitely a need for the tents to accommodate the 5 million religious pilgrims going to Mecca and Mina but it is frustrating to know the tents will be sitting empty for 360 days a year. Click here for more information. Posted September 14, 2015
New India Automotive Safety Regulations Taking Affect Could Increase Annual Airbag Sales to $2 Billion. Normally, we don't like to promote market research studies since many seem to be questionable in the information but the website DNA India has quoted a study conducted by Transparency Market Research that has attracted our attention. The report says that overall revenues from airbag sales in India are set to rise 11% a year to hit $2 billion, outpacing even the growth in China. The cause is the new rules, part of India's Road Transport and Safety Bill that makes airbags mandatory for new cars built in India starting in 2017. Click here to read the article posted on the DNA India website. Posted September 14, 2015
New James Bond Film Features Ejector Seat Parachute. Precision Stitching, a Lenton, UK company, was tasked with producing an ejector seat parachute for the new James Bond film Spectre that will be out in October. Precision Stitches is an industrial textiles company founded by Ray Armstrong in 1992 that has produced numerous movie and television props requiring technical textiles. It is not clear how the parachute will be used but speculation is that it is for a scene involving the famed Aston Martin driven by Bond. Click here to read an article posted on the Nottingham Post website. Posted September 14, 2015
Techtextil India to Open with Address by Textile Commissioner. Mrs. Kiran Soni Gupta, Textile Commissioner, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India will give the opening address at next week's Techtextil India 2016 in Mumbai. The symposium and trade show will be September 24-26. The exhibition will have 145 exhibitors from 10 countries. Click here for more information about Mrs. Gupta's participation. Posted September 14, 2015
Carbon Fibers Explained. Wow. At a website called dragzine.com, we found a concise but comprehensive article explaining the development, types, and use of carbon fiber in the technical textiles industry. The article is filled with illustrations and pictures, is plainly written without the scientific verbiage, and goes through the different types of carbon fiber materials. Highly recommended if you are unfamiliar with carbon fiber and looking for the one article that will serve as a basic reference. Click here to go to the article. Posted September 14, 2015
Geosynthetic Liner Material Manufacturer Ends Direct Sales, Forms Strategic Distribution and installation Partnerships. Burke Industries has announced exclusive, strategic partnerships with Colorado Lining International Inc. and Layfield Environmental Systems Corp. in the US and Canada. Burke, headquarted in San Jose, Calif., USA, is a manufacturer of CSPE (chlorosulfonated polyethylene) geomembrane liners. The liners are used in applications such as reservoir containment and floating cover systems. Colorado Linings is a contractor and installer of liners. Layfield is a provider of geosynthetics, industrial fabrics and polyethylene film for construction applications. These agreements mean Burke will no longer be handling direct sales or distribution of its products. Our thanks to Chris Kelsey, editor at geosynthetica.net, for alerting us to this news. Click here to read more about the partnerships. Posted September 9, 2015
Medical Fabric Producer Completes $3.3 Million Bridge Loan. According to the website news-medical.net, Vestagen Technical Textiles has announced it has completed a $3.3 million convertible note bridging financing. The additional funds will be used in the ongoing commercialization of VESTEX®, an active barrier technology that combines fluid repellent, antimicrobial and breathability properties. The material is used in medical and protective clothing situations that need to reduce the risk of pathogens and other contaminants. Click here to read the press release. Posted September 9, 2015
India Asks Swiss Government in Investigating Technical Textiles Producer in Black Money Scandal. According to the Economic Times website, the Indian government has asked the Swiss government for information about the Neo Corp International Ltd. (NCIL) as it investigates "black money" companies. "Black money" is a term to describe the hiding of funds by a company to avoid taxes. NCIL is headquartered in Madhya Pradesh, India, and its website describe it as formed in 1985 as a small sack manufacturer which grew to become a multinational technical textiles, including geosynthetics and packaging. Click here to read more about the probe. Posted September 8, 2015
Milliken Acquires Safety Apparel Material Manufacturer. Spartanburg, S.C.-based Milliken & Co. has announced it has acquired Springfield LLC, a manufacturer of flame-resistant materials for safety apparel. Springfield is based in Jericho, New York, USA, with production facilities in South Carolina. Springfield is a major material supplier for the US military, fire safety and gas exploration markets. Milliken's acquisition continues to solidify its presence as a major player for FR material in these safety protective gear markets. Click here to read a report of the acquisition on the GSA Business website. Posted September 8, 2015
IFAI Japan Hosts Delegation of Taiwan Technical Textile Association. Not even the threat of a vicious typhoon bearing down on their island could stop a delegation representing the Taiwan Technical Textile Association (TTTA) from attending the IFAI Japan symposium. The annual event was held this year on August 21 in Tokyo. The 16-member TTTA delegation was led by TTTA Chairman Ching-Ming Jow (who is also President of Ho Yu Textile Co. Ltd.) Mr. Jow and IFAI Chairman of the Board David Clarke (also President of Royal Tencate USA) each gave presentations. TTTA has invited the members of IFAI Japan to attend their next technical textiles symposium that is scheduled for March 23-24, 2016. Unfortunately, the inclement weather held attendance down in Tokyo to 50 participants. However, this is the type of interaction which will build long-term relations between organizations. Special thanks to Kiko Tagawa of IFAI Japan and Howard Lo of TTTA for providing this information. Posted September 7, 2015.
US Army Awards +$44.5 Million Contract for Ballistic Vests. According to an article posted on Business Irish today, the US Army has awarded a $44.486 million contract for ballistic vest to a team of military manufacturers -- KDH Defence Industries, Bethel Industries and Hawk Protection. It is a fixed term contract for the Soldier Protection System modular vest. The contract is to be completed by early 2019. Hawk Protection is part of Cooneen Group, an international group of textile companies headquartered in Ireland. Click here to read the article. Posted September 7, 2015
Use of Geosynthetics in Highways Promoted to Public in News Report. The website of the Missoulian, a newspaper in Missoula, Mont., USA, had a great article posted yesterday about how the use of geosynthetics is building better highways in Montana. Nicely researched with interviews from geosynthetic material suppliers and civil engineers. One good takeaway from the article is an estimation offered by Jeff Jackson of the Montana Department of Transportation that 75% of the state roads have a layer of textile materials below the surface. This is the kind of story we like to see because it describes the technical textiles industry's contributions to improve conditions. Click here to read the article. Posted September 7, 2015
US Industrial Fabrics Export Figures Released for July Industrial Fabrics. The US Department of Commerce has released the July export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group. The rankings of the top 5 countries for Specialty and Industrial Fabrics continue to be #1 Mexico, # 2 Canada, # 3 China, # 4 Hong Kong and # 5 Japan. Overall, US Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group increased exports with 12-month year-ending in July at 3.92% or $159,344 million. Click here to see the entire report. Posted September 7, 2015
Automotive Interior Suppliers in Total Turmoil. Our thanks to Jeff Hadden of Kufner Textiles Corp. for telling us about a great article posted on LinkedIn by John McElroy, president of Blue Sky Productions. In his posted article, Mr. McElroy does a very credible job explaining the turmoil in the automotive interior supplier industry brought on by the recent withdrawal from the marketplace of industry giants Johnson Control Incorporated and Magna, and the new joint venture of supplier Faurecia with the Chinese automaker Dongfeng. Low profit margins are to blame for the changes. Click here to read the article. Posted September 5, 2015
Study Recommends Korea Focus on High Performance Materials to Counter China's Surge in Textile Exports. According to the website Business Korea, the Korean Economic Research Institute (KERI) has issued a report called "Competitive Analysis of Korea, China, and Japan and Its Policy Proposals." The report notes that while Japan will continue to lead the three nations in fabric technology, followed by Korea and then China, the technology gap between China and Korea will be halved by 2020. China in the next decade will be extending its exports of low-end products while the market share for Korea in these products will be going down. Therefore, the report recommends Korea should reorganize its textile industry and focus on high performance and differentiated products. Click here to read the article. Posted September 5, 2015
Sewn Products Industry Association Holding Executive Meeting. The SPESA 2015 Executive Conference theme is "Industry Ideas Worth Sharing." The Conference will be held at The Biltmore in Coral Gables, Fla., USA, on November 4-5. The program includes: Economics of Business in Today's Political Climate | Cuba at the Crossroads: New Policies, Laws & Potential Opportunities | Status of Ongoing US Free Trade Agreements: An Inside Look | Speed, Security, Sustainability: What You Need to Know | Industry 4.0 in the Apparel Industry | SPESA Speaks | Cyber Security | Education for Our Industry: What's Available? |Texprocess Americas 2016 Update.Click here to go to the SPESA event website. Posted September 3, 2015
Space Suit Under Development for Long Trip to Mars. There is a great article posted on American Scientist website. Body muscle atrophy and bone loss are critical body concerns over long periods in zero gravity. According to the website, "The European Space Agency is developing a space suit that could help an astronaut landing on Mars or living in space on a long-duration mission. The Gravity Loading Countermeasure Skinsuit (GLCS) has the potential to provide a valuable countermeasure against bone loss by mimicking the effects of gravity." The suit will make its first test in space om September when Danish ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen goes to the International Space Station. The suit was designed by a consortium consisting of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kings College London, University College London and Wyle Laboratories GmbH. Click here to read the article. Posted September 1, 2015
Toray Considering Expanding Textile Production Capacity in Czech Republic. According to the website yarnsandfibers.com, Toray Textiles Central Europe (TTCE), a subsidiary of Japanese-based Toray Industries, is looking at expanding production capacity later this year at its plant in Prostejov, Czech Republic. The plant produces 100% polyester flament fabrics used in making textiles for automotive air bags, outerwear and industrial applications. Click here to read the article. Posted September 1, 2015
H.B. Fuller Building New Hot-Melt Adhesives Plant in Indonesia. H.B. Fuller has announced the company has begun construction of a new manufacturing facility in Surabaya, Indonesia. The hot-melt and adhesives manufacturer, headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., USA, already has manufacturing facilities in China, the Philippines, Malaysia and Australia. The plant is expected to be online by the second quarter of 2016. H,B. Fuller provides adhesives for customers in the hygiene, packaging, filter and other textile-related industries. Click here to read the company press release. Posted September 1, 2015
Moss Inc. Acquires German Exhibition Products Company. Moss Inc., a designer and manufacturer of tensioned structures and wide-format graphics for exhibition display companies has announced it has acquired Marx + Moschner, a provider of branding products such as silicone edge graphic (SEG) frames and custom printed large format fabric panels, and custom trade show exhibit components for European stand builders. Click here for more information. Posted September 1, 2015
Winners of JEC Asia Innovation Awards Announced. The JEC Group, the global composites trade organization and the organizer of JEC Asia in Singapore, has announced the 14 winners of the JEC Asia Innovation Awards 2015. Winners were selected from the following categories: Raw Materials, Equipment, Thermoset Process, Thermoplastic Process, Quality Control, Mining Aeronautics: Future of MRO, Transportation, Automotive, Railway, Recycling and 3D Printing. The award winners came from 10 countries. The awards, plus a Life Achievement Award and a Student Award, will all be recognized at a ceremony held on October 20, during the JEC Asia Composites Show and Conference (October 20-22). Click here to the 14 announced winners and their projects. Posted August 31, 2015
Temporary Shades Are Up at the US Open Tennis Championship Tournament. Our industry is very much on display at the US Open tennis tournament which started today. All you have to do is look up to see the temporary sun shading that has been installed on Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, N.Y., USA. While the superstructure for a retractable roof over the stadium is completed, the roof panels were not ready to be installed by the start of the 2015 Open. Tournament organizers were concerned about shadows from the roof elements causing problems for the players on the court, so they organized temporary shades using over 50,000 square feet of 10 oz per square foot HDPE material (Comtex® by Polyfab USA). The shade was engineered and fabricated by Solar Shade USA, LLC, of Rich Hill, Mo., USA and Installed by Birdair, Inc., Williamsville, N.Y., USA. Posted August 31, 2015
Serge Ferrari Appoints Two Regional Managers. Serge Ferrari North America has announced two new account managers. Ryan Ohr has joined the company as a Regional Sales Manager for the Northwest United States and Western Canada, and Eric Antrim as Regional Sales Manager for the North Central United States. Both report to the National Sales Manager, Steve Fredrickson. Serge Ferrari is a manufacturer of flexible composite membranes. Posted August 31, 2015
Awning Business Closes After 89 Years. We learned from the sharonherald.com website today that Grimm's Awnings of Sharon, Penn., USA, is closing its doors after being in the custom awning business for 89 years. In addition to awnings, the business makes boat covers and other custom canvas products. Co-owner Jerry Grimm says the closing is due to a changing business environment and lack of demand in the Shenango Valley. The company has been in his family since it was started by Mr. Grimm's grandfather. His daughter, Kim Hughes, represents the fourth generation of family involvement. Click here to read the article. Posted August 30, 2015
Teijin Begins Production of New Meta-Aramid Fiber. Teijin Corp. (Thailand) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Teijin Ltd., announced that it has begun producing Teijinconex® neo, a new type of highly heat-resistant and dyeable meta-aramid fiber. The plant is in Ayutthaya, Thailand and expects an annual output of 2,200 tons. According to the company's press release, with this new plant, "Teijin expects to take a leading position in the global market for protective apparel, targeting sales of 20 billion yen ($160 million) by 2020." Click here to read the company press release. Posted August 28, 2015
DoD Announces New Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Is there a possible important role for technical textiles in the announcement today by US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in awarding of the Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Flexible Hybrid Electronics (MIIFHE) to a consortium of 162 companies, universities, and non-profits led by the FlexTech Alliance? The new institute will be focused on the innovative production of electronics and sensors packaging through emerging techniques in electronic device handling and high precision printing on flexible, stretchable substrates. We couldn't find any textile company yet involved in the FlexTex alliance, yet we know smart textiles are becoming increasingly important in the flexible electronics markets. If your company is into smart technology, you should keep a watch of the new institute. The US Department of Defense is providing $75 million in funding with another $90 million expected from industry, academia, and local governments. Earlier this year, the Department of Defense announced the creation of the Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Click here for more information on the new Manufacturing Innovation for Flexible Hybrid Electronics. Posted August 28, 2015
Could Cornstarch Replace Layers of Aramid Fabrics in "Bulletproof" Vests? It's an interesting concept being investigated by Professor Eric Brown at the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Yale University. Professor Seshadri Ramkumar reports on the concept in his latest TexSnips blog. A unique cornstarch-water mixture responds to impacts well. Upon impact, it cracks resembling solids and then it returns to fluid state. It ls a phenomenon known as "shear thickening." According to the Professor Brown, certain type of fluids like the cornstarch/water mix will change properties due to various stresses. a potential application could using it in bulletproof vests, replacing aramid fabrics. Click here to read the TexSnip posting. Click here to read the original report on the Yale website. Posted August 28, 2015
Picanol Sales Increase 18% in H1 2015. The Picanol Group, a manufacturer of textile machinery, announced in a press release an increase in turnover for the first half of 2015 of €259.8 million, up 18% over the 2014 H1. Net sales grew to €30.3 million compared to €24.6 million in the same period of the prior year. The increase was due to a high global demand of textile weaving equipment. Orders booked for H2 2015 are also strong. Based on the current market situation, the Picanol Group expects the turnover for its activities to be in line with H2 2013. FY 2013 was a record year for the company. Click here to read the press release. Posted August 28, 2015
Turkish Company Establishes Nonwovens Operation in US. According to a report posted on Greenville On-Line, Mogul, a privately-owned Turkish company that focuses on the production and sale of nonwovens, is establishing its first North American operation in Laurens Country, S.C., USA. It will be investing $17.5 million in the purchase and refurbishing of an existing plant. The new North American operations will be through a subsidiary called Mogul South Carolina Nonwovens Corp. The plant will focus on manufacturing spunlaced products that have medical, hygienic and personal wet wipe applications. Established in 1997, Mogul is headquartered in Gaziantep, Turkey. Click here to read the article. Posted August 28, 2015
Orion Parachute System Withstands Failure Test. As we first posted on August 5, the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) successfully conducted a test of the Mars Orion spacecraft's parachute system on August 26. The dramatic test simulated a failure scenario in which one of the two drogue parachutes, used to slow and stabilize Orion at high altitude, and one of its three main parachutes, used to slow the crew module to landing speed, did not deploy. As part of the test, engineers also evaluated a change to the risers, which connect the parachutes to the vehicle, from steel to a textile material, as well as the use of lighter weight suspension lines for several of the parachutes. Both changes reduce overall mass and volume of the system. The first parachutes deployed when the crew module was traveling more than 300 mph. This August 24 airdrop was one of eleven planned test drops over a three-year period. Click here to read the NASA press release. Posted August 28, 2015
Nonwovens Leader Passes. Sad news received from the INDA organization today. The nonwovens industry is mourning the loss of Edward "Ed" Vaughn, Professor Emeritus at Clemson University. Dr. Vaughn, 75, of Clemson, S.C., USA, died August 20. He had spent his entire 37-year professional career on the faculty of Clemson. He taught many of INDA's training classes and also served as the Managing Editor of the Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics published by INDA. The organization recognized Dr. Vaughn in 2004 for his contributions with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Posted August 25, 2015
New Airbag Manufacturing Plant Opens in India. The Occupant Safety Division of RANE TRW Steering Systems has opened an airbag manufacturing plant near Chennai, India. The plant is located next door to the division's seatbelt plant. Both the seatbelt and airbag plants are a joint venture between the Rane Group and ZF TRW. The plant expects to generate 500,000 airbags annually. Click here to read an article about the plant opening on the The Times of India website. Posted August 24, 2015
University of Maine Research Could Help NASA Put Man on Mars. It's pleasing for those of us in the industry to see how technical textile products may be helping in space exploration. There is an article on the Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine, USA) website posted today about how the University of Maine is working closely with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on the development of the Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD). According to the article, "The HIAD is made up of a series of large inner tube-like inflatable rings called tori, arranged in the decreasing diameter and connected by fabric to form a cone shape." This could then be used on the outside of the spacecraft to slow the vehicle down as it enters Mars' atmosphere. The university is in the third year of a $750,000 four-year NASA grant to evaluate different styles of inflatable braided fabrics. It appears, too, this tori may a different style of the doughnut inflatable ring being tested around the middle of the re-entry vehicle. Click here to read the article. Posted August 24, 2015
INDA Filtration Conference to View Future of Filter Media Requirements. The organizer of INDA's Filtration International Conference & Exposition has announced Armando Brunetti, Executive Vice President of Camfil Americas will be the event's keynote speaker. Camfil, headquartered in Sweden, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of air filter products, a major market for nonwoven fabrics. Filter media in this market segment are valued at $15.4 billion in North America. Mr. Brunetti will share his perspectives on customers' needs based on the realities of the North American market and global business trends. The theme of the event is "Pure Opportunities." Click here to read the press release issued by INDA on Mr. Brunetti's keynote announcement. Posted August 24, 2015
Local Awning Company Featured. It's always nice to see a story about a small business in our industry. The Richmond Times-Dispatch (Richmond, Va., USA) has a feature about Watkins Awnings of Richmond. Fabric awnings represents about 70% of their sales. Business has increased 20% every year since he 2009. Click here to read the story posted on the Times-Dispatch website. Posted August 24, 2015
Pakistan Event Discusses Technical Textiles. Pakistan's National Textile University (NTU) announced a strong group of regional speakers for the upcoming Textile Asia 2015 trade exhibition taking place August 29-31, 2015 in Lahore, Pakistan. Speakers from NTU will include Prof Dr Tanveer Hussain, Dr Yasir Nawab, Dr Munir Ashraf, Dr Abher Rasheed, Dr Sheraz Ahmad and Dr Muhammad Tausif from UET Faisalabad Campus. They will be presenting talks on technical textiles, textile composite materials, self-cleaning textiles, e-textiles, non-destructive testing of textiles and nonwoven textiles. More than 100,000 corporate visitors are expected to attend the overall event. Click here for more information. Posted August 24, 2015
Internet Funding Effort Raises $720,000 to Save Moon Suit. The Smithsonian Institute located in Washington, D.C., USA, started a fund-raising 30-day campaign in July called "Reboot the Suit" to raise the $500,000 estimated needed to repair and display the spacesuit worn by astronaut Neil Armstrong when he made his 1969 historic Moon walk. Over the 46 years since the suit was worn, it has shown gradual deterioration and was in need of extensive repairs. The Internet fundraiser actually raised almost $720,000 from 9,500 contributors. The suit will be part of a 2020 museum display called "Destination Moon." The excess funds raised in the campaign will be used to repair and display the silver pressure suit worn by original Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard on NASA's first manned spaceflight in 1961. Click here to read more about the restoration effort on the space.com website. Posted August 23, 2015
A Closer Look at Wingsuits. You've probably seen videos of those crazy people who jump without a parachute; instead, they wear a bird-like wingsuit. The website for Men's Journal has a good concise article about the Aura 2 wingsuit made by Seattle-based Squirrel. While the article is about a specific type of wingsuit, it does a nice job of explaining how the wingsuit works. Our only complaint is that the Squirrel manufacturing website does not contain much information about the company itself. Would it hurt to list an address and the history of the company? Click here to read the Men's Journal article. Posted August 22, 2015
American Flock Association Prepares for 30th Annual Meeting. The American Flock Association will be hosting its 30th Anniversary Annual Meeting on October 15-16, 2015. The event will be held at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Mass., USA. Click here to go to the event's website for more information. Posted August 22, 2015
India-US Strategic Dialog in September Includes Technical Textiles. As we first reported in January, the first India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialog has been announced. The first meeting will be held September 22, 2015 in New Delhi. The US delegation will be co-chaired by Secretary of State John Kerry and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. The Indian delegation will be led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The objective of the dialog is greater convergence of trade through reducing investment barriers and streamlining commercial regulations to open new markets and facilitate new technologies. Technical textiles is one of the six targeted segments to be discussed. Click here to read an article posted on the Indian website The Business Standard for more information. Posted August 19, 2015
Former DuPont Employee Sentence in Theft of Trade Secrets. [Corrected: August 22, 2015] Former DuPont employee Edward Schulz was sentenced August 17 to two years' probation, a $75,000 fine and 500 hours of community service for his role in stealing trade secrets related to the company's Kevlar® aramid fiber products and selling them to Kolon Industries of South Korea. Previously, ex-DuPont engineer Michael Mitchell had also been convicted and sentenced to serve 18 months in a US Federal Prison for handing over trade secret documents to Kolon Industries. Click here to read a press release posted on the website of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. Posted August 19, 2015
FTZ Board Issues Notice Production Request for Personal Flotation Device Manufacturer. An application requested has been submitted to the US Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by The Coleman Company, Inc., headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, USA, for its facility located in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, USA. The Coleman facility in Sauk Rapids employs 252 and manufactures personal flotation devices (PFDs). Coleman requested FTZ production authority in 2014 and, after an initial review, was approved subject to a restriction that precludes inverted tariff benefits on foreign textitle fabrics and cases/bags of textile materials used in production of PFDs and cushions for US domestic consumption. The new request seeks to remove the restrictions and also add several new components to Coleman's scope of authority. Click here to read the application notice posted on the Federal Register website. Posted August 19, 2015
Men, Protect Your Fertility with Technical Textiles. Oh dear. There's something new to worry about. Most men have never given the harmful side effects of electromagnetic radiation a thought as they go about their lives connected to their WIFI, smart phones and computers. Many men stick their cell phones in the front pants pocket. Not good. According to the Yahoo gadget website, the phones emit radiation which can affect a man's fertility. Once again technical textiles can provide a solution. A new men's underwear called Wireless Underwear, using a material called RadiaTex, is now available to shield and protect a man's most precious assets. Click here to read about the development. Posted August 19, 2015
Messe Frankfurt Announces New Nonwovens Event in China. The German exhibition company Messe Frankfurt, organizers already of the Techtextil events in China, US, Russia and German, is planning a new event in China to focus on nonwovens. The event is called China International Nonwovens Expo & Forum (CINE) . It will be held in Shanghai, October 14-16, 2015 and is co-organized by the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT, the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) and INDA, the North American-based nonwovens trade association. CINE is being positioned to be held on the "off" year of the CINTE Techtextil China event. Click here to read the organizer's press release. Posted August 19, 2015
Ford Replacing Fabric Airbag with Plastic. The Ford Motor Company website has a very interesting story on the planned replacement of passenger side knee airbag on the 2016 Mustang with an inflatable flexible bladder integrated into the glove box. According to the website: "To make the new knee airbag possible, Ford engineers developed and tested innovative materials, and construction techniques. Unlike a traditional fabric airbag, the new system consists of a pliable, injection-molded plastic bladder sandwiched between the inner and outer glove bax door panels." Click here to read the Ford website article. Posted August 14, 2015
Takata Future Analysis Discussed on CNBC World. Can Takata survive its exploding airbag fiasco? Scott Upham, a corporate strategist and market researcher for Valient Market Research, answered questions about the long-term outlook of airbag system maker Takata Corporation on the August 13 edition of CNBC's Asia Squawk Box. Click here to view the video. Posted August 14, 2015
Biblical-Inspired Tents Featured in Sydney Architectural Competition. According to the Australian website blouinartinfo.com., the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF) of Sydney is unveiling the 2015 edition of its "Fugitive Structures" temporary pavilion project on August 20. The 2015 project was created through a collective architectural effort by Sack and Reicher+ Muller of Tel Aviv and fabric expert Eyal Zur. The project is modeled after the traditional sukkah, a symbolic wilderness shelter used by the Israelites in their flight from Egypt. Very interesting. Click here for the article and more pictures. Posted August 13, 2015
Garware-Wall Ropes Net Profit Jumps 50%. According to a report posted on The Financial Express website, Garware-Wall Ropes Q1FY16 net profit jumped 50% to Rs.14.6 crores. Net sales grew by 20.5% in the quarter compared to last year. The 1st Quarter ended June 30, 2015. Garware is a manufacturer of technical textiles for the Indian and global markets. Management cited the expansion into new products and markets created the increased financial performance. Click here for reading more. Posted August 10, 2015
New Type of Bullet-Resistant Vests Being Developed in India. According to the website The Times of India, bullet-resistant vests for the Indian armed forces will become lighter by 2kg as researchers are working on replacing several layers Kevlar™ aramid fiber content with a polymeric liquid under a project being developed by the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization. The new liquid bullet-resistant liquid will be encapsulated by three layers of Kevlar but reducing the current number of layers from seven to four, making the vest much lighter. Average weight of the current vests are 3.8kg. Click here to read more. Posted August 10, 2015
US Department of Defense Awards Shelter Contract. CAMSS Shelters, Kirkland, Washington, USA has been awarded a maximum $200,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery contract for commercial shelters. This was a competitive acquisition with 20 responses received. This is a one-year base contract and three one-year option periods. Location of performance is Washington, with an Aug. 6, 2016, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2015 through fiscal 2016 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [Publisher note: This is the third of an expected four large contracts awarded for shelters, the other two announced are Anchor Industries and Diamond Brand Canvas Products. The expected minimum value of the contract for each company is $25,000.] Posted August 8, 2015
June US Export Figures Show Continued Growth for Industrial Fabrics. The US Department of Commerce has released the June export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group. Comparing 12-month years ending June 30, the report finds a continued increase this year now growing to $201,098,000 from the previous year. This is up almost $50,000,000 from the increase shown in the May year-to-year report. Total US exports in Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group for the 12-month period ending June 30 is $4,220,291,000. Click here to see the entire report. Posted August 8, 2015
Mission to Mars Space Wear Competition Narrows Selection. In June, a specialist jury selected 10 students from the entrants to go through the first round of the "Spacetex 2030" design competition. The competition is to design the "everyday" wear used by the space ship crew during the long voyage to Mars. It was created by the "Spacetex" research partners from the Hohenstein Institute (Bönnigheim - Germany), Schoeller Textil AG (Sevelen – Switzerland), Charité (Berlin – Germany) and DLR (Bonn/Bremen – Germany). Dr. Jan Beringer of the Hohenstein Institute in Bonningheim, Germany was the chair of the jury in the selection process. The winner(s) will receive prize money amounting to 3000 euros. Click here for a complete description of the project. Posted August 7, 2015
Call for Papers for Geosynthetics Middle East 2015. The German organization SKZ is issueing a Call for Papers for its Geosynthetics Middle East 2015 conference set for November 16-17, 2015 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The main focus of the event will be geosynthetics used in infrastructure, transportation, oil and gas, water, and energy. Click here to go the their website's paper submission page. Posted August 7, 2015
New Manufacturing Facility in Japan for Nonwoven Manufacturer. The China Chemical Fiber website posted that Asahi Kasei Fibers will be breaking ground on a new production facility for its Bemliese™ cellulose nonwoven fabric in Nobeoka, Miyazaki, Japan. Production is expected to begin in March 2017, adding 1500 tons/year of the mateterial to its existing 4000 tons/year. The material is used in the industrial, landscaping and liquid filtration markets. Click here to read the entire article. Posted August 6, 2015
TTP Negotiations Fail to be Final. How many times now after the conclusion of a round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement talks has the US negotiator come out and said in summarizing the talks "Significant progress has been made..." This happened again last week after the latest round was held in Hawaii. Many had expected this to be the finalization of the negotiations but the end result was no concluding deal was accomplished. Small but thorny issues continued on agreement sections like automotive parts, intellectual property, and dairy products. The textile section did not appear to be affected. US President Barack Obama has to be disappointed the economic and trade ministers of the 12 nations could not reach agreement. Now the issue will start to become an election campaign issue in both the US and Canada. The last chance before the election season hits full swing is the meeting scheduled for late August in Malaysia. Posted August 5, 2015
Trade Publication Wins Award on Technical Textiles Reporting. Congratulations to the publishing team at the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC). The trade association announced yesterday their bi-monthly magazine AATCC Review had received a Tabbie Award for an in-depth feature article published in the November/December 2014 issue. Written by feature writer Glenna Musante, the article "Mopping Up Disasters: Textiles Protect People and the Planet" focused on the critical role nonwovens played in the cleaning up of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster as well as in other environmental liguid spill situations. The Tabbie Awards are sponsored by the Trade Association Business Publications International. More than 400 editorial and design entries were submitted for the 2015 contest. Click here to read the article. Posted August 6, 2015
Safety Concerns Raised After Deadly Tent Collapses. ABC News has posted a short article on its website reporting on safety measures tent installers take to prevent the deadly tragedies like what happened on August 3 (see our August 4 post). ABC's affiliate station WLS interviewed spokespeople from Cirque du Soleil and Chicago Special Events Management on their installation techniques and safety measures. Good to see the quick positive response from the special events industry. It would be good, too, to see an immediate industry response from trade associations that represent the industry like the Tent Rental Division of IFAI and the American Rental Association. A tent failure for a company is also a failure for the industry in the eyes of the consumer. Click here to read the ABC posting. Posted August 6, 2015
NASA Testing Spacecraft's Parachutes in a Failure Situation. NASA is inviting the media to attend a test of the Orion spacecraft's parachutes that is being held August 26 at the US Army's Yuma Proving Grounds in Ariz., USA. An engineering model of the spacecraft will drop from an airplane 35,000 feet up to evaluate how it fares when the parachute system does not perform as expected. During the test, Orion engineers will carry out a scenario in which one of the spacecraft’s two drogue parachutes and one of its three main parachutes fail. Click here to read the press release. Posted August 5, 2015
Geosynthetic Industry Veteran Announces Retirement. It's hard to believe that Paul Barker is retiring. He has been in the geosynthetics business for 52 years, the last 28 with Agru America. Mr. Barker calm demeanor and stately manner characterizes the word "gentleman" in an otherwise fast-changing industry. He has been recognized by Agru America President Robert Johnson as helping grow Agru America into one of the geosynthetic leaders in the North American marketplace. Mr. Barker officially retires from the company on August 31. Click here to read a nice tribute to him posted today on the geosynthetica.net website. Posted August 4,. 2015
Public Tent Collapses in Two US Locations Kill Three People. Yesterday was a tragic day for the tent industry in the US. Severe storms hit a music concert in Illinois and a circus in New Hampshire that resulted in the collapse of tents and the killing of three people. In both instances, news reports have quoted officials saying they will be looking into the installation of the tent. The tent rental industry, through the work of the Tent Rental Division (TRA) of the industrial Fabrics Association International, has done extensive industry education on proper staking and ballasting of commercial tents. In 2004, TRA published The IFAI Procedural Handbook for the Safe Installation and Maintenance of Tents and in 2012 published a comprehensive ballasting study with guideline recommendations. Click here to read the report on the Illinois blowdown and click here to read about the New Hampshire collapse. Posted August 4, 2015
Southern Mills Files Patent Suit Against International Textiles Group. It's a bit confusing because Southern Mills is part of the TenCate Protective Fabrics group and International Textiles Group does business in this particular segment as Safety Components. Southern Mills is contending in its patent infringement suit that International Textile's infringement is in the manufacture of its Glide™ product. The complaint alleges that warp and fill weaving technques are used to present the Kevlar® fiber toward the wearer and the Blend Flame Resistant Fiber away from the wearer is part of its US Patent. Click here for more information. Posted August 4, 2015
Designer of NASA's Mars Parachute Interviewed. One of the reasons we love publishing BeaverLake6 Report is that it helps us find the people who make up the industry like Dr. Anita Sengupta. The website The Verge has a fascinating interview with Dr. Sengupta, the project manager for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Cold Atom Laboratory located in Pasadena, Calif., USA.. Dr. Sengupta's interview isn't really about how she helped design the 70-foot parachute for NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity but it is about how she got into her field. It's inspirational and contains the excitement and energy that is found throughout the industry. Click here to read the article. Posted August 2, 2015
We try to keep on this page only information about the technical textiles industry posted for the last 30-60 days. Please go to the Archived sections to view posts older than the one immediately above this message.
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I am pleased to announce BeaverLake6 Report will again be an Industry Supporter of Textile World Innovation Forum 2015. The Forum, organized by Textile World magazine, is a high-level management conference for industry leaders. It will be held December 1-2, 2015, in Charlotte, N.C., USA. I am honored to be invited as one of the speakers. My presentation will be "State of the Technical Textiles Industry in North America." The highlight of the event will be the awarding of 2015 Innovation Award. Click here to learn more about this unique gathering of the textile industry.
Steve Warner, Publisher
As you know if you've been reading BeaverLake6 Report for any length of time, we have been a constant critic of the lack of transparency during the four-year negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. The trade agreement has the potential to dramatically affect the global technical textiles industry. This week the Office of the United States Trade Representative released a fairly detailed summary of the latest negotiations which took place in July 2015, in Maui, Hawaii, US. BeaverLake6 Report has placed the entire presentaton on its Special Reports section. Please click here to read the summary. Posted September 9, 2015
We are pleased to now offer a special Sponsored page for the JEC Group. JEC is the largest composites industry organization in the world with a network of 250,000 professionals. JEC represents, promotes and expands composites markets by providing global or local networking and information services
With their new Sponsored page on BeaverLake6 Report, JEC will be featuring their three major events -- JEC Asia 2015, JEC World 2016 and JEC Americas 2016. The pages are now under development and we have first posted information on the upcoming JEC Asia 2015 in Singapore, listing the exhibitors and the winners of the JEC Asia Innovation Awards.
Click here to go immediately to the JEC Asia page. Make sure to come back often to these pages for the most up-to-date information on the events.
As we enter the last months before the International Textile Machinery Association (ITMA) show begins in Milan, BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to present a special interview with Mr. Bruno Ameline, chairman of the French Textile Machinery Association (UCMTF), conducted by Mrs. Evelyne Cholet, secretary general of the organization. Mr. Ameline discusses the European market conditions for textile machinery, global outreach, and intellectual property issues, a particular concern for machinery manufacturers displaying at an event like ITMA. Click here for the interview.
Posted August 24, 2015
Community Engagement Creates Employee and Customer Commitment, Benefits All. Organizations -- whether mom and pop or global conglomerates -- drive their success with well-defined missions, visions and core values. They know why they are in business, where they aim to go, and what are the non-negotiable ways of interacting with customers and coworkers...One of the key ways that organizations can further connect brand to reputation is through commitment to community relations...
Click here to read the entire commentary by Ms. McKinney.
Bud Weisbart, MFC, IFM, Vice President, AR Tech, Fontana, Calif., USA
Despite an 80-year history of helping small businesses and a generating of $7 billion more than the cost of its operations over the last two decades, EXIM’s funding has been caught up in the politics of Washington. Current funding lapsed at the end of June. On July 1, EXIM stopped providing funding. The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan effort to reauthorize EXIM but the House of Representatives failed to act on the bill before going on its August break. Click here to read more.
Posted August 4, 2015
US Commerce Department Releases New Technical Textiles Export Market Report. As part of the International Trade Administration's (ITA) new Top Market Series, the US Department of Commerce has published a 46-page export market report covering technical textiles and apparel markets. The study examines the US technical textile industry and highlights key markets that will see increased exports by US domestic producers, including a focus on past performance of exports and projects estimates for growth through 2016 in 8 countries. BeaverLake6 Report enthusiastically recommends the ITA's report. It's complimentary and can be download by clicking here. Posted July 27, 2015
Seaman Corp., located in Wooster, Oh., USA, is one of the largest suppliers of coated fabrics in North America. Steve Warner, publisher of BeaverLake6 Report, interviewed Richard Seaman, Chairman of the Board and President of Seaman Corp., for the March/April issue of Textile World magazine. Click here to read the Textile World interview. Posted March 23, 2015
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