BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry

 

Accurate    Concise    Timely

Publisher Note

Be Alert for Hotel Booking Scam for Big Events. It’s that time of year. This week I got a call from a person claiming to be with the housing bureau that is being used by the Techtextil North America show. The woman was very professional and wanted to let me know all the hotels are booking fast for the May event in Atlanta. She suggested a couple of hotels, gave me their rates and wanted me to book the room right then. As a former event manager, I knew this was a scam. Housing bureaus for events do not call you. To use an official conference or trade show hotel, you should always go through the event’s website. These unscrupulous scammers are only trying to take your credit card number and you will be left not only with a charge but with no hotel room when you arrive at the event.

Steve Warner, Publisher

Posted February 12, 2016

Front Page News

Wearable Technology and Electronic Textiles Workshop Planned. Standards for Wearable Technology & Textile Electronics is a two-day wearable devices being planned for March 8-0 in Raleigh, N.C., USA. The primary goal of the event will be to report on the state of the technology and identify the research needs of academics and industry to develop unified standards and regulatory procedures that are accepted across disciplines. Leaders in standards development and regulatory policies will present on noninvasive wearables design and textile electronics design. The outcomes from this workshop will be reported to various stakeholders in the area of wearable smart devices. This event is organized and led by the Nanosystems Engineering Research Center (NERC) on Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) through funding from the National Science Foundation. Click here for more information. Posted February 11, 2016

December US Industrial Fabrics Export Figures Released. The US Department of Commerce has released the December export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics 206 Group. The numbers in the table below represent 12-month totals for the top five countries with year ending November 2014 and 2015.  Click here to see the entire report. Posted January 6, 2016

 

 

Country

Year Ending

12/2014

Year Ending

12/2015

 

% Change

Mexico

1,983,379

2,181,371

+6.0

Canada

586,697

564,444

-3.6

China

169,828

169,437

-0.2

Hong Kong

145,795

140,870

-3.4

United Kingdom

86,518

90,090

+4.1

(Figures in ,000)

Photo: US Army

US Army Tests New Robo-Parachute Delivery System. There is an intersting article posted on the IEEE Spectrum website on the development of pinpoint accuracy for US Army cargo airdrops involving "robo-parachutes." The parachute has a new type of navigational software developed by the Draper Laboratory that use the latest satellite imaging instead of GPS. Click here to read the article. Posted February 9, 2016

 

USTR Receives GSP Tariff Waiver Petition from Philippines Regarding Backpacks and Luggage. The United States Trade Representative (USTR) Office has received a petition from the Philippines seeking to include travel goods on the list of products with duty-free access covered by the US generalized system of preferences (GSP). The petition includes such items as luggage, backpacks, sports and travel bags, and handbags. Currently, these types of products have tariffs of between 4.7% and 20%. Despite the tariffs already in place, the US is the largest market for the Philippines, accounting for 54% of their exports. More than 5 million backpacks, sports and travel bags were exported to the US in 2014.. The USTR is also considering a Philippines petition for a waiver on the limitations set for the export of hydration backpacks. Click here to read the article posted on the Phiippine Daily Inquirer.website. Posted February 8, 2016

AATCC Announces Program for 2016 International Conference. . AATCC, the Association of Textile, Apparel & Materials Professionals, has announced Keith Hoover, Vice President of Material Process & Color Innovation at Under Armour, will provide the keynote presentation at the AATCC's 2016 International Conference. The conference will include a pre-event fabric finishing tutorial and a full educational track, plus a poster session and the announcement of the Herman and Myrtle Goldstein Student Paper Competition. The conference will take place April 19-21, 2016 in Williamsburg, Va., USA. Click here to more information at the AATCC website. Posted February 8, 2016

CLARCOR Acquires Assets of TDC Filter Manufacturing. Filtration products manufacturer C;ARCOR announced February 1 its subsidiary CLARCOR Industrial Air division has acquired TDC Filter Manufacturing Inc., a US manufacturer and supplier of pleated filter bags, dust collection cartridges and gas turbine air filters, for approximately $11 million. TDC had approximately $17 million of revenue in 2015. CLARCOR is headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., USA. Click here to read a posting on the Clarcor website about the acquisition. Posted February 8, 2016

GyroGlove

Glove Reduces Hand Tremors in Parkinson's Patient. The MIT Technology Review website has a really interesting article about the development by medical student Joon Faii Ong of a glove which can help significantly reduce the hand tremors for those suffering from Parkinson's disease.  Working with a number of other students from Imperial College London, Mr. Ong has developed a glove that is fitted with a small gyroscope that "instantaneously and proportionally resists a person's hand movement, thereby dampening any tremors." Called a GyroGlove, the glove is still at the prototype stage and has not yet been commercially introduced. According to the article, in 2015 Mr. Ong's new company, GyroGear, was named inaugural champion of the F Factor, the European Union's largest tech challenge. Click here to read the article. Posted February 7, 2016 

Legislation Introduced in Wisconsin for Mandatory Wearing of PFDs for Children. The Sauk Prairie Eagle (Sauk Prairie, Wis., USA) reports on its website that a bipartisan effort is being made in the Wisconsin state legislature to require children under the age of 13 to wear a US Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) when in a boat or using other types of watercrafts. It is amazing that Wisconsin, which has more than 15,000 lakes within its borders, is almost the last state not yet to require mandatory PFD wearing for children. The only other state is Virginia. Click here to read the article. Posted February 5, 2016

Professor M. Sung Ha

Selection of 2016 JEC Innovation Awards Announced. The JEC Group, the international composites industry organization, has announced the 28 champions of the industry receiving a 2016 JEC Innovation Awards.  The awards ceremony will take place on March 8, during the 2016 JEC World in Paris, France, March 8-10. One of the awards is the Life Achievement Award. It is being given to M. Sung Ha, a professor at Hanyang University in South Korea. Click here to go to the special BeaverLake6 Report page which lists all the 28 award recipients. Posted February 5, 2016

Panel Discusses Antimicrobial Fabrics. The website American Laundry News has a very good primer on the state of using antimicrobial fabrics in the healthcare industry. The posted article summarizes a panel discussion held at the recent Clean Show called Going Hi-Tech: Emerging Textile Technologies. Much like FR materials, there are two types of applications of antimicrobials to textiles -- inherent in the fiber development process and post-treatment applied during the finishing process. One of the panelists, Joe Scully, president of In Textiles LLC of Lake Forest, Ill., USA, an importer of healthcare textiles, noted that the proper antimicrobial technology is the "holy grail" and it has not yet been found. Click here to read the article. Posted February 4, 2016  

Source: Kama Jania

Bolt Tent Designed to Protect Campers Against Lightning. One of our favorite websites for showcasing technical textiles ideas and innovation applications is gizmag.com. The site has just put up an interesting article about a "lightening-proof" tent designed by Industrial Design student Kama Jania from the Anlto University in Helsinki, Finland. Ms. Jania has designed a series of these tents she calls "Bolt Tents."  Along with the article, there is a video showing her experiments as she developed the design of the tent. Click here to visit the Gizmag website. Posted February 4, 2016

Nonwoven RISE® Conference Inspires New Thinking about Engineered Fabrics. INDA's Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics (RISE®) took place January 25-28 in New Orleans, La., USA. More than 100 technical professionals participated, representing nonwoven industry experts, scientist and R&D specialists. The RISE® Durable Product Award was presented to Suominen for FibrellaLite, a nonwoven product for absorbent hygiene products. The next RISE conference, will be held January 23-26, 2017 in Sugar Land, Texas, USA. Click here to read the INDA press release with a full report on the event. Posted February 3, 2016

Solar Cloth Company Announces Merger with Base Structures. The Solar Cloth Company (SCC), located in Cambridge, UK,  has announced a merger with fabric structures manufacturer Base Structures Ltd. SCC is a maker of thin film photovoltaic (TFPV) flexible solar panels which can be bonded to fabrics. Base Structures, headquartered in Bristol, UK, is an international fabricator in the lightweight fabric structures market with high profile projects such as London's 02 arena and the London 2012 basketball stadium. The merger will allow the two companies to collaborate in manufacturing lightweight fabric structures with solar panels for carports. Click here to read more about the merger. Posted February 3, 2016

US Airbag Manufacturer to be Acquired by Chinese Automotive Parts Conglomerate. The airbag industry consolidation apparently is continuing with a report posted by Crain's Detroit Business that US-based Key Safety Systems Inc. will be acquired by Chinese automotive parts manufacturer Ningo Joyson Electronic Corporation for $920 million. Key Safety is a manufacturer of seatbelts and airbags, employing 12,000 worldwide. The company was formed in 2003 with the acquisition of Breed Technologies Inc. assets. Last year, airbag manufacturer TRW was acquired by ZF Friedrichshafen AG and PHP became a subsidiary of Indorama. Click here to read the Crain's Detroit Business article. Posted February 2, 2016 

Microfibres Inc. will Stop Manufacturing in US, Files for Bankruptcy Protection. The Providence Journal (R.I., USA) website reported Microfibres Inc., a privately-held manufacturer of high-performance, stain-resistant flocked fabrics for the upholstery, furniture and specialty products markets has announced it will end its US manufacturing presence in response to both domestic and global challenges. Microfibres is headquartered in Pawtucket, R.I., with its manufacturing plant in Winston-Salem, N.C. the company was founded in 1926 as the Rayon Processing Company of Rhode Island, later changing its name to Microfibres. On January 29, the company filed a voluntary petition for liquidation under Chapter 7 in the US Bankruptcy Court. Click here to read the Providence Journal article. Posted February 2, 2016

US Military Uniform Contractor Sentenced for Fraud. The Arizona Star website reports the owners of Barrier Wear, a Colorado-based contractor to the US military for cold-weather trousers, have been sentenced for fraud involving the mislabeling of more than 320,000 garments, representing about two-thirds of the $48 million contract. According to the investigation, Barrier Wear "falsely certified that the Army's purchase of the clothing complied with the Berry Amendment and were made in the US." The trousers actually were made in Baviacora, Sonora, Mexico, and shipped to a facility in Nogales. Arizona, where the original labels were removed and new labels were sewn showing them as being made in the US. A US Customs inspector became suspicious of the 2013 shipment at the Mexican-US border which led to an investigation. Incredibly, the owners of the company, Paul Grillo and Raymond Lawson, who both plead guilty December 9 to one felony, only had to agree to forfeit $2.1 million and serve probation despite the investigation showing they went to elaborate lengths to conceal their deception from Federal auditors. Click here to read the article. Posted February 1, 2016

Adrian Wilson

Airbag Industry Overview. [ Publisher Note: This is a revised post originally placed January 22. The author had taken down the post to revised some figures in his report. It is now up on the website noted at the end of this post.] In a January 22 post on the website Innovation In Textiles, Adrian Wilson does an excellent job in summarizing the state of the global airbag market. It appears from the article that much of his information came from a presentation by David Hart of PCI Consulting Group, delivered PCI's Anuual Fibre Conference, held this year  in Milan, Italy in November during the ITMA show. The article covers types of yarns, names the leading airbag producers, and looks at the projected market growth. Click here to read Mr. Wilson's article. Re-posted February 1, 2016  

Vietnam Grows concerned as China Takes Over Textile Firms. The February edition of Textiles South East Asia notes concern by Nygyen Van Hoan, former president of the Hanoi College of Textile, Garment Industry & Fashion, and Thai Tri Dung of the Ho Chi Minh City Economics University in the growing series of merger and acquisition deals that have been made recently between Vietnamese and Chinese businesses in the textile and clothing industry. An increasing number of Vietnamese companies have become Chinese subsidiaries. Click here to go to the Textiles South East Asia website. Note, though, the newsletter is subscription based. Posted February 1, 2016

Solar-Powered Fabric Used in Jackets. Normally BeaverLake6 Report does not post product promotion news releases but one came across the desk today about ThermalTech's smart fabrics used in its jackets that is interesting. The company promotes the jacket as using the world's first solar-powered smart fabric. The fabric is made from a stainless steel yarn and absorbs energy from the sun and can then generate as much as 18 degrees F of heat in a matter of only two minutes. The fabric is designed to be lightweight, thin and water-repellent. We're not sure what advantage the jacket has at night, though. Click here to read more details about the product at the Tech Times website. Posted February 2, 2016

Geosynthetics Society Looking at Name Change. The North American Geosynthetics Society (NAGS) is strongly considering a name change. NAGS represents the chapter members in Canada and the United States of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS). A voting ballot was sent January 25 via email to the NAG's membership. If passed, the new name will be IGS - North America (IGS-NA). The reason for the suggested change is to better brand allign itself with the IGS name. Voting will remain open until March 8. Other issues on the ballot under consideration include a new Mission Statement and allowing non-voting members on the governing council. Posted February 2,1, 2016

New Protective Apparel Research and Development Facility Opens in Calgary. A Canadian government agency called Western Economic Diversification Canada has funded the newly opened apparel research and development facility in Calgary, Alta., Canada. The agency, through the Western Diversification Program, has invested closed to $3 million in partnership with AGM Wear Ltd. to create the Apparel Innovation Centre (AIC). The facility is located at Olds College. It is the only R&D facility in western Canada. The AIC will include hot liquid and steam protection testing chambers for testing personal protective equipment for burn resistance. It will also include a Newton Thermal Manikin, a device used to simulate comfort and thermal sensation data. Click here to read the Canadian government press release on the ACI's opening. Posted January 31, 2016

US Webbing Manufacturer Exiting MIlitary Market, Closing Plant. AEC, a supplier of narrow fabrics for the apparel, automotive, bedding, and a variety of other markets has decided to end supplying the military with webbing products and close its Yzex Street plant located in Asheboro, N.C., USA. AEC has other plants located in Asheboro, Boykins, Va., USA, El Salvador, and Honduras. Click here to read an article about the closing posted on the Asheboro Currier-Tribune website. Posted January 29, 2016

US Yarn Producer Announces Plant Expansion. The Charlotte Business Journal reported today that Meridian Specialty Yarn Group Inc. will spend $8 million to expand its yarn plant in Valdese, N.C., USA. Meridian produces dyed yarns for retail and craft markets as well as for the carpets, furniture, window treatment, automotive and industrial textiles markets. The town of Valdese and Burke County are awarding Meridian $900,000 in incentives to be paid over five years. Click here to read the article. Posted January 29, 2016

Smart Backpacks by Co.Alition

Smart Backpack Featured on Shark Tank Television Show. Sorry for the late notice but tonight's episode of the popular US television series Shark Tank features what is described as a high-tech backpack that comes with a wireless hard drives so you'll always be connected and charged. The company is called Co.Alition. It was formed by a couple of entrepreneurs from Colorado. Will they get they get an investor to provide the funding? Stay tuned. The show is on the ABC network. Posted January 29, 2016

SpaceX Successfully Tests Parachutes for New Space Shuttle. While BeaverLake6 Report has provided a number of posts regarding the testing of parachutes for the Orion spacecraft intended for the journey to Mars, there is also a competition going on between the private upstart SpaceX and Boeing in providing the next version of the shuttle which will take astronauts to the International Space Station. Both companies are working on separate partneships with NASA in its Commerical Crew Program. Last week SpaceX had a successful test of the four main parachutes which will help land their Dragon spacecraft upon its return to Earth. The test involved a simulated capsule drop from a C-130 cargo aircraft. Click here to read the article posted on the Space Daily website. Posted January 29, 2016

American Rental Association CEO to Retire. The American Rental Association (ARA) has announced its CEO and Executive Vice President Christine Wehrman will retire upon the appointment of her successor later this year. ARA, headquartered in Moline, Ill., USA, is an international trade association for owners of equipment rental businesses and the manufacturers and suppliers to the industry. The party and commercial tent rental business is an important segment of the techical textiles industry. Ms. Wehrman has enjoyed an excellent management record during her 15 years of leadership. Click here to read the ARA press release announcing the retirement. Posted January 28 2016

Photo by Wally G.

What Happened to the CBGB Awnings? There's a nice little muse posted on the Gothemist website wondering whatever happened to the awnings that once marked the entrance to the iconic CBGB Club in New York City. Apparently there were at least three awnings during the club's history. The first was up from 1973 to 1987. Another awning covered the entrance from 1987 to 2000. The final awning was up during the last 6 years until the club closed in 2007. The punk rock group Jody Foster's Army allegedly stole the original awning. The second awning was taken down after a group called The Toilet Boys spray-painted their name on it (as was the custom during that era). It was reportedly thrown in a dumpster but rescued by a CBGB employee after hours. The last awning is said in the story to be in Ohio. It's a fun read if you are into New York club music history or awnings or are the type of person who wonders about these mysteries in life. Click here to read. Posted January 28, 2016

NASA/JPL Image

"Landing a House on Mars." The Air & Space magazine's February/March issue has a neat article on the design challenges in the creation of the parachutes which will be used for the Mars landing of the Orion space vehicle expected sometime around 2020. The parachutes will be one of three devices used to slow the descent of the craft in Mars' thin atmosphere. The first stage of descent braking devices is the deployment of an inflatable "doughnut" type of ring around the middle of the craft to create drag and slow the vehicle down to Mach 2; then the parachutes deploy, slowing the craft to subsonic speed; and, finally, rocket thrusters are used. The parachutes will be the biggest ever made, more than 100 feet wide, 50% larger than the ones previously used for prior landing crafts on the Mars surface. It took two failures in the actual testing of an unmanned vehicle to create the current parachute system. Click here to read a condensed online version of the article. Posted January 25, 2015

Bulletproof Vest Partnership Results for 2015. The Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) created by the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant of 1998 awarded funding for almost 52,000 vests in 2015 for state and local law enforcement agencies. The program is administered by the US Department of Justice. Funding is provided for up to half the cost of the vests, depending on the needs of the applicants. The 2015 vest funding went to 2,965 jurisdictions. The BVP was reauthorized in 2015 and will go through 2020, expecting to fund more than 200,000 vests. Posted January 25, 2016   

AATCC Foundation Offering 11 Scholarships for 2016. Applications are now being accepted for 11 scholarships being offered in 2016 by the AATCC Foundation. The submission deadline is March 31, 2016. The AATCC, while an independent organization, is administered by the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. The scholarships are varied and are good opportunities for deserving students, both undergraduates and post-graduates. Click here to see the available scholarships. Posted January 25, 2016

Airbags are Too Expensive to Install Says GM CEO. How do you defend the indefensible? Well, that is what General Motors CEO Mary Barra tried on January 20 in Davos, Switzerland when talking at the World Economic Forum. Ms. Barra was responding to mounting criticism GM has faced from consumer safety groups that cars produced in Latin America like the best-selling Aveo in Mexico do not provide any airbags. She said her company was acting in the interest of consumers in those parts of the world. Airbags are just too expensive and the consumer is cost-conscious in making a buying decision. Her company does not feel obligated to provide airbags in countries that do not have explicit government safety regulations for even frontal airbags. Click here to read the report posted on the International Business Times website. Posted January 24, 2016

Adrian Wilson

Airbag Industry Overview. In a January 22 post on the website Innovation In Textiles, Adrian Wilson does an excellent job in summarizing the state of the global airbag market. It appears from the article that much of his information came from a presentation by David Hart of PCI Consulting Group, delivered PCI's Anuual Fibre Conference, held this year  in Milan, Italy in November during the ITMA show. The article covers types of yarns, names the leading airbag producers, and looks at the projected market growth. Click here to read Mr. Wilson's article. Good concise article. Posted January 22, 2016  [Updated: Since posting this, it looks like the operator of the Innnovation in Textiles website has removed the article. We are trying to find another link for it.]

Ahlstrom Sells Its Glassfiber Business. Ahlstrom, a manufacturer of high-performance materials, announced today it has sold its Building & Wind business unit to Owens Corning. The business unit produces glassfiber tissue used mainly in flooring applications as well as windmill blade reinforcement. The unit has two plants in Finland and one in Russia. Ahlstrom is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland and Owens Corning is headquartered in Toledo, Oh., USA. Click here to read more about the acquisition. Posted January 21, 2016

US Textile Association Endorses the Trans-Pacific Partneship Agreement. No surprise that the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) announced today its membership had voted to formally support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement. NCTO had endorsed and actively advocated for the passage of the Trade Authority Promotion (TPA) last year which was the critical step needed to get the TPP agreement in front of Congress for an up-or-down vote at some point in the future. Posted January 21, 2016

Photo Source: AMI

Maine FR Fabric Manufacturer Alleges China Dumping Material Into US Market. The Maine Portland Press Herald (Portland, Maine, USA) reported today that Auburn Manufacturing, Inc. (AMI), of Mechanic Falls, Maine, has filed an unfair trade petition with the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission, alleging China is unfairly subsidizing its manufacturers who are makers of silica-based fabrics and are then exporting them to the US. AMI is a manufacturer of these types of high performance textiles that are used for extreme heat protection. AMI also says it is the principle supplier of the fabrics to the US Navy and is alleging the US Navy is violating the Berry Amendment. Under the Berry Amendment, military purchases of more than $150,000 and are textile-types of products, have to be primarily or entirely sourced from American manufacturers. Without relief, AMI officials have said it may have to close its two manufacturing operations in Maine. Click here to read the article. Posted January 21, 2016  

Viet Nam Seeking Local Suppliers in Anticipation of TPP Agreement Textile Yarn Forward Rule. According to the website Viet Nam News, "The Vietnamese garment and textile firms are increasing their investments in locally made raw materials in an effort to satisfy strict rules of origin set by free trade agreements of which Viet Nam is a member."  A recent Viet Nam and European textile agreement called for "fabric forward" rule of origin. The Trans Pacific Partnership agreement that includes the US calls for a "yarn forward" rule of origin. The garment and textile industry have been dependent on imported raw materials for a long time. About 70% of yarns and fibers are imported. The country needs about 8.5 billion meters of fabric annually but produces only 3 billion meters. Click here to read the article. Posted January 20, 2016

Indian Army Chief Promises 186,000 "Bulletproof" Vests for Soldiers. Does it sound familiar? We've published several posts in the past about the Indian army officials pledging assurances of ordering needed ballistic vests. The new vests were suppose to be delivered in 2009 but delayed until 2012 to conform to new specifications. Still, it's now 2016 and no new vests are being distributed. To meet immediate critical needs, 50,000 vests are being procured that meet the old requirements. The delay is probably nothing sinister. It is more likely just delays caused by government bureaucracy. Read the post published on The Economic Times website by clicking here. Posted January 20, 2016

BondCote Appoints Military and Customer Service Manager. BondCote Corporation, headquartered in Pulaski, Va., USA, has announced the promotion of Paul Riggins to the position of Associate Military & Customer Services Manager. Mr. Riggins joined BondCote more than 8 years ago. BondCote is a manufacturer of coated and laminated fabrics for the military and other technical textiles markets. Posted January 19, 2016

French Textile Machinery Report on ITMA. We are pleased to provide BeaverLake6 Report viewers with a special report written by the French textile machinery association UCMTF on the results of the French exhibitors at the ITMA show in Milan in November. Click here to read the report. Posted January 18, 2016  

TenCate Takeover by Private Consortium Fails, Offer Now is Increased. As we first reported on December 17, the effort by the private equity group Gilde Buy Out Partners has failed to garner enough shares to successfully purchase Royal Ten Cate NV (TenCate). The Netherlands-headquartered TenCate is a major player in the geosynthetics, FR clothing and ballistic vest industries. As a result of the shareholder rejection, the consortium announced January 13 an increased bid for the company. It has raised its offer to $28.16/share. This offer increases the overall value to $774.8 million, a 34% premium to TenCate's share price before the consortium first announced it was pursuing the company. Validating the need to increase the offer was the announcement by TenCate on January 12 of better than expected full-year 2015 sales of 1.16 billion. Posted January 16, 2016

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Jute Fiber Finds Role in Automotive Composite Materials. There's an interesting article found on The Hindu Business Line website about the increased use of jute fibers in composites intended for automotive components. The acceptance movement is increased, in part, by the drive to use sustainable natural products. In the article, according to Sanjay Kajaria, former Chairman of the Indian Jute Mills's Association, Mercedes, Ford, Toyota, Tesla and Chrysler may have already started using jute-based composites for some of their car interior parts such as door panels and dashboards. Click here to read the article. Posted January 16, 2016

Imported Chinese Geogrids Alleged to Being Sold in US for Less Than Fair Value. According to the trade consulting firm Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services, Inc., a petition was filed this past week with the US International Trade Commission alleging that imports of biaxial integral geogrid products from China are being sold at less than fair value, with an alleged dumping margin of 202.42%, and are benefitting from countervailable subsidies. The products covered by this petition are used for reinforcement in roads and other construction. They consist of a polymer grid or mesh material (whether or not finished, slit, cut-to-length, attached to woven or non-woven fabric or sheet material, or packaged) in which four-sided openings in the form of squares, rectangles, rhomboids, diamonds or other four-sided figures predominate. Click here to read more. Posted January 16, 2016

NASA Finished Orion Parachute Tests. The US National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) is getting closer to the testing of humans aboard the new Orion spacecraft. The 7th and final testing of the spacecraft's parachute system was carried out successfully on January 13 in Arizona. The test didn't involve testing the spacecraft itself; instead, a special dart-shape vehicle designed to increase descent speed was pulled out of the cargo bay of a C-17 aircraft. In addition to continuing the testing of the parachute material and design, the test was also done on newer, lighter-weight suspension line material. The next step is to begin qualifying the parachutes for crewed missions as soon as July. This series should take 7-8 tests. Click here to read an article about the January 13 test on the Space Insider website. Posted January 16, 2016 

Dodge Viper Production to be Dropped Because of New Airbag Safety Regulations. Fiat Chrysler Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive at Fiat Chrysler, has hinted at the Detroit Auto Show going on this week that the Dodge Viper muscle car might be axed at the end of the 2017 model year because it cannot meet the new US federal safety standard intended to prevent occupant ejection. The standard, FMVSS #226, requires side curtain airbags. Viper engineers cannot figure out how to fit the curtain airbags without significantly reducing the car's already limited headroom. Click here to read an article about this posted on the Motor Trend website. Posted January 16, 2016

Canadian Coated Fabrics Manufacturer Plans $80 Million Investment in Texas Plant. According to company news release issued January 5, vinyl-coated fabric maker Canadian General Tower plans to invest $80 million in a manufacturing facility in New Braunfels, Texas, USA. Canadian General Tower is headquartered in Cambridge, Ont., Canada. The new business will be named CGT U.S. Ltd. The company's main market is automotive seating, but also supplies fabrics for swimming pool liners and various other consumer and industrial applications. Click here to read the release posted on the Plastic News website. Posted January 9, 2016

Polyester Fibers Announces Corporate Name Change to Fibrix. Polyester Fibers LLC, a manufacturer of nonwoven products and materials, announced January 7 that it is changing its corporate name to Fibrix, LLC as part of a company-wide rebranding initiative to align the organization's image with its emerging global strategy. Fibrix is headquartered in Conover, N.C., USA, and focuses its brands towards the filtration, furniture and bedding, and automotive markets. It has 9 manufacturing and distribution facilities. Posted January 8, 2016

China's 13th 5-Year Plan to Focus More on High-End Applications for Technical Textiles. China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is expected to release a development plan for the textile industry during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020) in the first half of 2016, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Thursday. During 2016-2020, China's textile industry is projected to maintain a double-digit growth and the authorities will pay more attention to development of fabrics for industrial use, according to a source of the China National Textile and Apparel Council. During the period, the textile industry will focus on industrial transformation and upgrading and move towards a high-end direction. Given the rapid growth of the automotive industry, textiles for automobile use will embrace huge development in coming years, the source added. Posted January 8, 2016

Spring Window Fashions Acquires Largest Awning Retractable Company in the US. According to a press release issued yesterday, Springs Window Fashions, LLC, has acquired SunSetter Products Limited Partnership. Headquartered in Malden, Mass., USA, SunSetter is the largest manufacturer of fabric retractable patio awnings and other sun control products. Founded in 1988, SunSetter has sold over 700,000 awnings through its extensive distribution network. Springs Window Fashions, based in Middleton, Wisc., USA, supplies retailers and distributors with blinds, shades, specialty treatments and window hardware, including the Bali® and Graber® brands. Click here to read the entire press release. Posted January 7, 2016

Photo credit: North Face

Your Next Jacket Could Be Made of Cobwebs. Probably not but that's a possibility when using the new synthetic spider silk technology. There is an interesting article on the Outside website about Japanese companies Spiber and Goldwin, a Tokyo-based licensee of The North Face, jointly revealing the Moon Parka. It is the first prototype jacket made of synthetic spider silk. According to the article, spiders can make up to 7 different types of silk. The strongest is called dragline silk. It's 3-times stronger than the aramid fiber Kevlar. The article is revealing in that it names 4 companies synthesizing spider silk -- Spiber, Kraig Labs, Araknitek, Bolt Threads and AMSilk. While Spiber has developed this prototype jacket using a synthetic version of dragline silk, it's just too expensive for a consumer product. The real applications of synthetic silk technology are more likely to be found in biomedical situations such as tendon repair, sutures and burn bandages. Click here to read the Outside article. Posted January 7, 2016

INDA's RISE® Conference Announces Final Speaker Lineup. INDA, the nonwoven trade association, has announced the speaker lineup for its Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics (RISE®) conference. Speakers will be focused on the following themes: Industry Opportunities and Challenges; Machinery Advancements; Energy Economics and Olefin Trends; Innovative Hygiene Technologies; and, Advanced Materials. Click here to go the INDA website and view the speaker lineup. Posted January 7, 2016

Sunbrella® and Architizer Announce the Fourth Annual "Future of Shade" Design Competition. Glen Raven, the manufacturer of the acrylic-woven Sunbrella line of shade material has announced an international call for entries for the fourth annual "Future of Shade" Design Competition. There are three unique categories in the competition: 1) Humanitarian; 2) Wellness Garden; and, 3) Building Shade. There is a $10,000 winner prize for each category, plus a special jury-awarded prize in the Building Shade category, selected by members of the Miami Design District, of a $25,000 commission within the District in 2016. Architizer, Glen Raven's partner in this program, is a web database for sourcing architectural and building products. Click here for further information on the design competition. Registration is open until March 20, 2016. Posted January 7, 2016 

Is the TPP A Done Deal for the US? Well, maybe...but probably not in an election year like 2016. Three months ago, the finalized Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was submitted to the US Congress for approval. The passage of the Trade Promotion Authority earlier in 2015 has ensured that no changes could be made to the agreement signed by the 12 nations. An article posted on the website Foreign Policy offers a couple of obstacles facing TPP passage: First, the American public has soured on globalization, especially with a slowing domestic economy and stagnant wages. Second, special interest groups have become very adept at stopping action that the majority of voters favor. The TPA which cleared the way for TPP passed only by the slim margin of 219-211 in the House of Representatives. Many of those voitng for TPA could switch their votes on TPP if the agreement is seen taking away American jobs. Click here to read the article. Posted January 7, 2016

November US Industrial Fabrics Export Figures Released. The US Department of Commerce has released the November export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics 206 Group. The numbers in the table below represent 12-month totals for the top five countries with year ending November 2014 and 2015. 

 

 

Country

Year Ending

11/2014

Year Ending

11/2015

 

% Change

Mexico

1,969,720

2,092,319

+6.2

Canada

582,506

569,869

-2.2

China

174,157

171,597

-1.5

Hong Kong

146,344

143,587

-1.9

United King

86,067

89,399

+3.9

(Figures in ,000)

Click here to see the entire report. Posted January 6, 2016

Registration is Open for IDEA16. INDA, the trade association for the nonwovens industry, has announced online registration is open for its IDEA16 Conference and Expo being held in Boston, Mass., USA, May 3-5, 2016. The event is for the nonwovens and engineered fabrics industry, is expected to have about 450 exhibitors and 7,000+ attendees, and is held once every three years. Click here to go to the IDEA16 website. Posted January 6, 2016

Photo Source: CIHAN

Fake Life Jackets Being Sold to Syrian Refugees. Turkish police have seized over 1,200 fake life jackets destined for use by migrants trying to reach Greece by sea. To make matters even worse, the illegal factory in Izmir, Turkey, was using underage labor to manufacture the life jackets. The fake items were stuffed with packaging rather than flotation materials. Click here to read the article posted on the Huryet Daily News website. Posted January 6, 2015

Coolcore LLC finalizes Purchase of Tempnology Assets. Coolcore LLC, a manufacturer of thermoregulation fabrics, announced January 5 it acquired substantially all assets and intellectural property from Tempnology on December 18, 2015. Tempnology had filed for bankruptcy in September 2015. Tempnology recently won the award for "Best Innovation -- Sports and Outdoor Apparel" for its patented line of cooling fabrics from the ITMA Future Materials Awards. Coolcore is headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., USA. Click here to read the release on the purchase. Posted January 6, 2016

Hexcel Acquires Remaining Interest in Formax UK Joint Venture. Composites manufacturer Hexcel Corporation announced yesterday it has acquired the full ownership of Formax UK Limited. Hexcel had previously acquired 50% in the privately-owned company. Located in Leicester, UK, Formax is a manufacturer of composite reinforcements, specializing in the production of lightweight carbon fiber multi-axials and highly engineered glass fiber and aramid fiber fabrics. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted January 6, 2016

"Happy Manipulating!!!" An internal company email with "Happy Manipulating!!!" from an airbag testing engineer is probably not going to help airbag system manufacturer Takata Corporation in a personal injury lawsuit. The New York Times has obtained emails that were recently unsealed as part of a personal injury lawsuit against Takata. This story just keeps getting worse for the beleaguered textile and airbag system manufacturer that has now amounted to almost 20 million vehicle recalls and $70 million in fines. While the problem is about exploding propellant in the airbag system and has nothing to do with the actual technical textile airbag, the fiasco may ultimately force Takata completely out of the airbag system market which would put a demand on the few remaining major suppliers. Cllick here to read the New York Times article. Posted January 5, 2016   

Serbia Manufacturer Opens New Factory for Wheelchair Production. If you are interested in Eastern European textile and related product manufacturing, the newsletter Textiles Eastern Europe is a good source for information. In this month's edition (January 2016), the newsletter included a small piece about Fori Textile Serv  The company, headquartered in Krjujevac, Serbia, has announced it will open a plant for the production of wheelchairs. What's applicable to our industry is that Fori Textil Ser is part of the Slovenian group Fori, a manufacturer of automotive seating for companies such as Opel, Ranault, Peugot and BMW, and much of a wheelchair consists of technical textile upholstered fabrics. Click here for more information from the Fori website. Click here for more information on subscribing to Textiles Eastern Europe and its sister publication Textiles South East AsiaPosted January 4, 2016

HoverCover Bag

Hoverboard Fires Creates New Market for Technical Textiles. One of the hottest new gifts for Christmas was the hoverboard; however, the product has also been in the news for its lithium batteries tendency to overheat and catch fire. There is an interesting article posted on the CBS News website about Newtex Industries, a supplier of heat and fire-resistant materials and end products for the military and commercial construction applications. Newtex, headquartered in Victor, N.Y., USA,  has created the HoverCover Fire Resistant Hoverboard Bag for storing the hoverboard when charging. This story reminds us to always be on the lookout to watch for trends and opportunities. Click here to read the article. Posted January 3, 2016

Sourcing Journal Lists Six Examples of Textiles and Technology Linking up in 2015. There is an interesting article posted on the Sourcing Journal website entitled "6 Times Textiles and Technology Teamed Up to Change Apparel in 2015." While the title seems apparel-oriented, the article is actually about smart fabrics technology and the examples include solar fabric research being done at the University of Wisconsin and the new wearable FlexTech Alliance in San Jose, Calif., USA, that is providing the lead for an industry/government Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The Sourcing Journal article only gives a brief synopsis about each example but does provide a link to a more extensive article about the example. Click here to read the article. Posted January 2, 2016

NC State Names New Dean for College of Textiles. Dr. David Hinks has been named dean of North Carolina State University's College of Textiles after serving as its interim leader since July 2014. Dr. Hinks is considered an expert in color and dye chemistry and serves as the Cone Mills Professor of Textile Chemistry and also director of NC State's emerging Forensic Sciences Institute. He leads more than 140 faculty and staff who monitor 1,000 undergraduates and more than 200 graduate students. Click here to read more from the press release issued by NC State. Posted December 29, 2015 

Chevrolet Aveo

Wall Street Journal Article Urges General Motors to Make Airbags Standard Equipment Included in Cars Manufactured for the Latin American Market. As we posted on November 17, General Motors produces the top selling car in Mexico -- the Aveo --  and airbags are not mandatory. Now, according to a Wall Street Journal article published December 27, four American consumer-advocacy groups, including Consumer Reports and Public Citizen, have sent a letter to GM chief executive Mary Barra calling on the company to make airbags a standard feature on all cars it makes. Mexico, in particular, is a focus becase it is one of the fastest-growing markets for cars. Adding airbags as standard equipment in Mexico increases the cost of the car by $100 to $150. Click here to read the article on the WSJ website. Posted December 28, 2015

Free Trade Zone Hearing for Personal Flotation Device Manufacturer Postponed. The public hearing on the application for additional production authority submitted by The Coleman Company, Inc., for activity in Sauk Rapids, Minn., USA has been rescheduled. The Commerce examiner will hold the public hearing on February 24, 2016. Textile trade specialist David Trumbull has a nice background explanation of this application on his Textiles and Trade website. Click here to view the informatin. Posted December 27, 2015 

Massachusetts Wins No Matter Which Group Selected for the New Government Research Initiative. MIT (Cabridge, Mass., USA) and the University of Massachusetts (Lowell, Mass., USA) are members of competing coalitions seeking the new Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute involves being funded by the US Department of Commerce. The winning consortium will receive a five-year government grant totaling $75 million (which must be matched by state and private industry funding). The University of Massachusetts is partnering with Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, the University of Maryland, the University of Oregon, and companies in the industry. The article said that MIT hasn't named its partners but it is known MIT has formed a coalition group called the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) Institute which is comprised of about 70 educational institutes, trade organizations and private industry companies. The coalition selection by the Department of Commerce was supposed to be in December but it looks like they are running out of time this month to make the announcement. Click here to read the article that appeared December 19 on the Boston Globe website. Posted December 27, 2015 

14% Increase in Visitors at FESPA China 2015. The third showing of FESPA China saw a marked improvement in attendance. According to a December 21 FESPA press release, the show, held October 21-23 in Shanghai, attracted more than 9,400 visitors and 357 participating exhibitors. 54% of the visitors were involved in textile printing. FESPA is a global federation of 37 national associations for the screen printing, digital printing and textile printing community. Click here to read the organization's press release. Posted December 22, 2015

 

Ice Cream Shop Fined for Using Logo on Awning. The locals are calling it "cone-gate." The owners of The Sweet Shop in Palm Springs, Fla., USA, have found out the hard way not to ignore the town's building code authority. The town has an ordinance against company logos on awnings. Thomas Tomas, the owner, was originally told to cover up the logo on the awning in July 2015 and he complied. But in November the city found out  he had the ice cream cones visible again. He was then fined $2,000. Mr. Tomas is appealing the decision. Click here to read the story. Posted December 22, 2015 

Protective Clothing Manufacturer Reveals Update on Discontinued Operations in Brazil. Lakeland Industries, one of the world's largest providers of protective clothing for the healthcare, industrial and first responder markets, has announced that it entered into a $2.3 million loan agreement to its former Brazil subsidiary (Lakeland Brazil) to  "completely resolve, pay and close the two largest outstanding VAT tax claims upon an amnesty agreement with the State of Bahia in Brazil."  Lakeland had previously announced its intention to discontinue operations in Brazil. Click here to read the report posted on the NASDAQ website. Posted December 22, 2015

TenCate Plans to Go Private May Be In Doubt. The website DutchNews.nl is reporting today the planned move to sell Royal Ten Cate NV (TenCate) to the private equity group Gilde Buy Out Partners may not have enough support from the shareholders. TenCate is a major player in the global geosynthetics and protective clothing markets. The website is reporting the takeover had been conditional on two-thirds of the shares being made available. The takeover was conditional on two-thirds of the shares being tendered.The Gilde had expected 95% of the shares would be tendered but as of December 16 only a little more than 60% had been tendered. Click here to read the posted article. Posted December 17, 2015

Wearable Keyboard Development Reviewed. There is an interesting article on the website Live Science which reviews some of the research being done on wearable electronics such as a sewn-in flexible keyboard. It reviews the work being done at the National School of Mines in Gardanne, France. Click here for read the article on the website.. Posted December 16, 2015

Register Now for Complimentary Passes to Attend JEC World. If you are planning to attend the 2016 JEC World Composites Show and Conferences, you can save up to €80 by registering before December 31. JEC is offering complimentary passes for this early registration. The show takes place in Paris, March 8-10. Click here to go to the JEC World registration website page. Also, make sure to check out the special section in BeaverLake6 Report that has information on all the JEC shows in 2016 by clicking herePosted December 16, 2015

Utah State Awarded $1 million for Spider Silk Research Project. Utah State University (USU) has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract with Salt Lake City-based Technology Holding LLC from the US Army to continue research and development of Soldier Silk manufacturing, The total contract award is $1 million and is managed through the Army Research Office. The SBIR program is a highly competitive awards-based program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal research and development that has the potential for commercialization. This 2015 grant comes after the Office of Naval Research 2014 awarded USU USTAR-endowed professor Randy Lewis a two-year grant $1.3 million grant to study adhesive spider silk for naval applications. Click here to read the press release published on the Textile World website. Posted December 16, 2015

UK Navy Orders 60 Rigid Inflatable Boats. According to the website DefenseWorld.net, BAE Systems, a military defense contractor, has been awarded a ₤13.5 million ($20.26 million) contract from the United Kingdom navy for 60 rigid inflatable boats (RIB). BAE is a global manufacturer headquartered in London. Click here to read the press release. Posted December 16, 2015

Fire Damages Awning Company Plant. A fire yesterday that started on the second floor of the Midwest Awnings, Inc. manufacturing facility in Cameron, Ill., USA, has severely damaged the building. The 30-year-old company had 5 employees in the building when the fire happened. Midwest Awnings is a manufacturer of canvas awnings and other custom products, and serves the Quad Cities and Galesburg, Ill., regions. Click here to read a news article of the fire. Posted December 15, 2015

Federal Agency Charges Companies with 'Bamboo-zling' Consumers with False Product Claims. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fined major retailers for falsely labeling rayon textiles as "bamboo." According to the FTC press release issued December 9, "Since 2009, the Commission has been actively working to correct the mislabeling and deceptive advertising of rayon textile products as “bamboo.” Although rayon fiber may be manufactured from many different cellulose sources – including bamboo – the resulting textile fiber must be identified in labeling and advertising as rayon (or viscose) and not by the cellulose source." Click here to read the FTC release. Posted December 14, 2015

"Bulletproof" Backpacks are Selling Well. There is an interesting article on the Boston Globe website. The newspaper profiled Bulletblocker, a manufacturer which specializes in making "bulletproof" backpacks, lab coats and other everyday items for business workers and students. Products include a $125, 3-ring-binder Kevlar panel insert and a denim jacket lined with Kevlar. Bulletblocker, located in Lowell, Mass., USA, has seen a 70% jump in business since the Paris terrorists attacks in November. In the year following the 2012 attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School, the company sold 10,000 "bulletproof" backpacks. The company is especially busy during the holidays. According to the newspaper interview with the owner Ed Bourke, "We get a lot of people asking about ballistic ratings, and what to wear for specfic events they're going to." Click here to read the Boston Globe article. Posted December 14, 2015

US Defense Logistics Agency Awards FR Uniform Contract. Aurora Industries LLC, Camuy, Puerto Rico, USA, has been awarded a maximum $12,118,776 modification exercising the third one-year option period of a one-year base contract  with three one-year option periods for flame resistant uniforms. This is a firm-fixed-price contract. Location of performance is Puerto Rico, with a December 28, 2016, performance completion date. Using military services are US Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2016 through fiscal 2017 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Penn., USA. Posted December 11, 2015

Tough Job Destroying the Avondale Mills Smokestack.  File this in the "What Could Go Wrong?" section. On November 24, there was an attempt to demolish a 158 foot tall smokestack on the site of a former Avondale Mills plant in Pell City, Ala., USA. After two explosive charges failed to bring it down, they sent in a backhoe to finish the demolition. What could go wrong?  Click here to watch the video. Our thanks to Chris Kelsey, editor of geosynthetic.net, for passing this along. Posted Devember 11, 2015 

Polartec to Close Malden Mills Plant. You may remember the fire that destroyed the Malden Mills textile plant in Lawrence, Mass., USA not so much about the fire itself but that the owner of the company, Aaron Feuerstein, continued to pay his workers during the rebuild of the mill. This uncommon generosity made headlines. Now, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the fire, Polartec LLC, has announced it will be closing the manufacturing operations and shifting the work to plants in New Hampshire and Tennessee. The company had struggled in recent years and after going through bankruptcy had been acquire in 2007 by Versa Capital Management. Later, the company was renamed Polartec, and continues to make the specialty fabric sold to the military and high-end outdoor apparel companies. Click here to read the article posted today on the Boston Globe website. Posted December 11, 2015

Three Finalists Announced for RISE® Durable Product Award. Three finalists have been nominated for the prestigious Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics Conference (RISE) Durable Product Award that recongizes innovation in new commercial nonwoven durable products. The award will be presented at the RISE conference being held January 25-28 in New Orleans, La., USA. The three products nominated are: Gebecon Needle by Gros-Beckert: Fibrella Lite by Suominen; and, Ultra SCS by ITW Dynatec.  Click here to find out more abou these products in the INDA press release. Posted December 10, 2015

US Defense Logistics Agency Awards Shelter Contract. Johnson Outdoors Inc., doing business as Eureka Tents, Binghamton, N.Y., USA has been awarded a maximum $200,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery contract for commercial tents. This was a competitive acquisition with 20 responses received. This is a one-year base contract with three one-year option periods. Location of performance is New York, with a Dec. 8, 2016, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2016 through fiscal 2017 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Penn., USA (SPE1C1-16-D-1010). Posted December 9, 2015

Hospitality Trade Mission Planned for Dubai. Export Trade Consultants (ETC) and Jay Dashi International Consultation announced the organization of a trade mission to Dubai, UAE. The trip will be May 17-20, 2016. Those attending will be producers and suppliers of hospitality-related products and services. The trade mission will be led by Lawrence Brill, Principal of ETC and former Director of the Export Program for Textiles and Apparel at the US Department of CommerceThe trip's mission is to give participants an inside track on the numerous hotel, restaurant, and public projects which are underway for the Expo 2020 in Dubai. The show wll be running October 20, 2020 through April 10, 2021 with a format similar to a World's Fair. Click here to read the entire news release about the organization of the trip. Posted December 9, 2015

Registration Opens for Techtextil North America. It's not too late to think early.

Registration for the 13th edition of Techtextil North America and the third edition of Texprocess Americas is now open. The 2016 event is scheduled to run May 3-5 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga.. USA. JEC Americas is once again co-located on the same show floor which will result in a dynamic synergy creating the largest technical textiles, nonwovens, textile machinery, composites, sewn products and equipment trade show in the United States. The 2014 three-in-one event hosted 759 exhibitors from 29 countries attracting over 9,000 visitors. Click here to go to the Techtextil North America website. Posted December 9, 2015

National Law Review Looks at False Claims Associated with US Berry Amendment and Buy America Act. There is an interesting article posted on the National Law Review website about the origins and current applications of the US Berry Amendment and Buy America Act. The article focused on false claims of products being made in America. According to the Department of Justice, 638 false claims lawsuits were noted in FY2015; however, because these cases remain under seal sometimes for year, we do not know how many involved violations of Buy America Act or the Berry Amendment. Click here to read the article. Posted December 9, 2015

Photo Source: Toyota

Center Airbags Up for Next Generation Cars. Over the years, the number of airbags in cars has increased, especially in premium models. One of the last remaining needed protection areas is against injuries caused between occupants in a side impact crash. Nearly 30% of total side crashes involve far side impact events.To help mitigate the injuries car manufacturers GM and Toyota and airbag system manufacturer ZF Friedrichshafen AG have been researching the advantages of a center mounted airbag. Click here to read the short article posted on the website carandbike. Posted December 9, 2015

Chinese Manufacturers Losing Cost Advantages over US. According to an article posted on the website Chiina Daily, China's manufacturing cost edge over the US has slipped from 14% in 2004 to 4% in 2014 due to US lower energy costs, more efficient logistics and the greater availability of some raw materials such as cotton. The article cited information found in the 2015 China Purchasing Development Report, released on December 3 by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing. Click here to read the article. Posted December 9, 2015

Serafin Group Acquires Hahl-Pedex Group. With retroactive effect from January 1, 2015, the Serafin Group has acquired the Hahl-Pedex Group. Serafin, headquartered in Munich, Germany, is active in the technical textiles segment through its subsidiary Perlon Nextrusion Monofil GmbH in products such as synthetic brush filaments, abrasive filaments and monofilaments. The company also has locations in the US, South Korea and China. Starting January 1, 2016, the CEO of the Group for Technical Textiles will be Florian Kisling, the current CEO of the Hahl-Pedex Group. Click here to view the company's press release on the announcement. Posted December 7, 2015

FR Fabric Test Project Included in Latest Resupply Launch for the International Space Station. The December 6 launch of the Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft headed for the International Space Station included a science experiment called BASS-M (Burning and Suppression of Solids -- Milliken). The project will evaluate flame retardant and resistant textiles as a mode of personal protection from fire-related hazards. As the press release states: "Studying flame retardant and resistant behavior of different materials in microgravity will aid in better designs for future textiles and benefit those who wear protective clothing, such as military personnel and civilian workers in the electrical and energy industries." Click here to read the entire press release. Posted December 7, 2015

Wearable Smart Textiles Conferences Combine and Announce for Boston. Organizers of WEAR Conference 2016 announced the event will take place May 24-26 in Boston, Mass., USA. The 2016 WEAR Conference will be the first year of the merged Smart Fabrics & Wearable Technology conference and Wearable Technology UX. The original conference dates back to 2004. According to the organizers, this "super" event will attract a global delegation of established brands and startups from across the value chain -- retail sports giants, medical device manuafactuers, major fashion brands, consumer electronics companies, raw materials and component-makers, and end-users. Members of the advisory committee come from big players in the fashion, sports and electronics industries including adidias, Microsoft and Indiegogo. Click here to go to the organizer's website. Posted December 7, 2015

NIOSH Develops Data Base for Proper Firefighters PPE Fit. The US National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) has announced it has developed the first database of firefighter body measurements which can be used to develop proper fitting personal protective equipment. The database includes 71 body measurements and can be used for updating the designs of such items as seat belts, gloves, and protective clothing. Click here to read the article posted on the Occupational Health & Safety website. Posted December 6, 2015

Xerium Selects North American Product Manager.  Xerium Technologies, Inc. has announced the hiring of John Schauer to the position of Product Manager -- Nonwovens Market. Xerium, an Austrian nonwoven manufacturer, said in the announcement that Mr. Schauer will be responsible for leading Xerium's North American nonwovens business plan as well as coordinating Xerium's global efforts. The company is a supplier of technically advanced belts, fabrics, aprons and roll cover technology. Posted December 5, 2015

Keeping Workers Safe with FR Technology. We found on the website Occupational Health & Safety a very good, concise article explaining flame-resistant (FR) fabrics for keeping workers safe by Jennifer Hopf, Digital Marketing Specialist at Westex by Milliken, Oak Brook, Ill., USA. It explains how FR fabrics are made flame-resistant, industry terminology such as the difference between "inherently" and "treated" materials, and what to look for when selecting FR clothing. We recommend this read for people not yet very involved in FR garment or material selection. Click here to go to the website. Posted December 5, 2015

US Congress Sends Historic Surface Transportation Legislation to the President, Includes Funding for the Export-Import Bank. The technical textiles industry got double good news last night with the announcement Congress passed what is now called "Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act." The $305 billion authorization has now been sent to the White House where President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law. As you know if you are a regular visitor to BeaverLake6 Report, we have been advocating for the passage for the last year. The highway portion of the bill includes specific mention of innovative products like geosynthetics. The Export-Import Bank of the US (Ex-Im) has for many years helped manufacturers by providing loans to export their products. The Bank's existence, however, has not been without controversy despite its profitability. Congress allowed its funding authorization to expire June 30. Click here to read more about the highway portion of the Act and click here to read more about the Ex-Im benefits. Posted December 4, 2015  

Commerce Report Spotlights Impact of Trade Agreement. US Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M. Selig today released the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Opportunities for the U.S. Textiles and Apparel Sector Report. The report details how the elimination of various tariffs and other TPP commitments to level the playing field will benefit American companies competing in TPP markets. The textiles and apparel sector includes products such as man-made fibers, yarn, knit and woven fabric, non-wovens, industrial/advanced textile materials, knit and woven apparel, carpets and rugs, and home furnishing products. Click here to view the full report. Posted December 4, 2015

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Larry Brill, Principal

 

Telephone:

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ExporttradeConsultants.com

Coming Events

  • February 24-26: Techtextil Russia 2016, Moscow, Russia
  • February 25-27: WCPA 2016 Annual Meeting & Expo, Rohnert Park, Calif., USA
  • March 7-10: INDA's Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference, Cary, N.C., USA
  • March 8-9: Standards for Wearable Technology & Textile Electronics , Raleigh, N.C., USA
  • March 8-10: JEC World Composities Show and Conference 2016, Paris, France
  • March 16-17: Textile Coating and Laminating Conference 2016, Prague, Czech Republic
  • March 18-21: 40th Annual SWIFA Convention, Grapevine, Texas, USA
  • March 23-24: 2016 International Technical Textiles Symposium, Taipei, Taiwan

Click here to view the complete technical textiles events calendar that includes show information links.

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In My Opinion

Warner's Eleven Things That Mattered for Our Industry in 2015

In 2015, I posted more than 425 items of interest for our industry on the BeaverLake6 Report website. In reviewing it all last week, it got me to thinking about putting together a list of influential events, news and trends that I observed during the past year. I have focused primarily on the US marketplace but each of “the things that mattered” to me has global implications.

 

So, here go my thoughts in no particular order of importance. Let me know if you agree or if I have missed some. Click here to read the list.

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Posted January 17, 2016

Textile Industries Media Group, LLC Acquires the Textile Assets of Billian Publishing, Inc.

Textile Industries Media Group, LLC, a newly formed Georgia-based corporation, has acquired Billian Publishing, Inc.'s textile assets including Textile World, Textiles Panamericanos and Textile World Asia, the affiliated magazines, websites and e-newsletters.

 

"After many years of ownership and support, Billian Publishing made the strategic decision to exit textile publishing," said Jim Borneman, past president, Biillian Publishing. " I can't thank the board and the Billian family enough for their many years of dedication and support of the textile industry through their commitment to the textile trade magazines.  Also, their offer to sell the assets to Textile Industries Media Group, LLC creates a terrific opportunity for the brands to continue. Textile World has been published in one form or another since 1896, and the opportunity provided by Billian is an extremely generous one."

 

"Many of the staff will continue their work for Textile Industries Media Group, LLC, and every effort is being made for a seamless transition. Textile Industries Media Group, LLC has every intention of continuing the magazines, websites and e-newsletters. There are some changes in store for the properties, including new website designs that are tablet friendly and an updated e-newsletter platform. Thank you to our loyal readers, and for continued support from our advertisers during this time of change."

 

Posted January 5, 2016

In Pursuit of Clarity

Read the latest thoughts on our industry from small business owner Bud Weisbart, IFM, MFC., Mr. Weisbart is vice president of AR Tech, Fontana, Calif., USA. HIs company is a manufacturer of a variety of products to the shade, architectural and aerospace industries. In his new contribution, he continues his conversation about the makeup of people in our industry. Click here to read. Posted January 25, 2016

Tick-Tock: Plotting the Passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

What are the dates that are critical fhe US Congress passing the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement? Can it be done in 2016? Click here for a calendar developed by Paul O'Day, president of the American Fiber Manufacturers Association. 

What Will the TPP Agreement Mean for the Technical Textile Industry?

David Trumbull

US technical and industrial textile manufacturers appear to have gotten a fairly good deal in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement reports David Trumbull, principal of Agathon Associates. Mr. Trumbull has two decades' experience in the textile industry, including many years in trade advisory positions. He has just completed a thorough look at the TPP agreement and offers his assessment as to what it means for the technical textiles industry in this exclusive contribution to BeaverLake6 Report. Click here to read his analysis. Posted November 19, 2015

JEC Event Pages Now Available

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 2016, JEC World 2016 and JEC Americas 2016. Click here to go immediately to the JEC home page. Make sure to come back often to these pages for the most up-to-date information on the events.

NCTO was Wrong to Support TPA and TPP So Early in the Game

I don’t get the logic behind the National Council of Textile Organizations' (NCTO) support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. In my opinion, NCTO’s primary desire for supporting TPP is the textile economic containment of China. This approach will fail with TPP and may end up putting the US domestic industry at future risk with other trade agreements ... Click here to read the rest of the column. 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Posted August 4, 2015

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