News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry
Accurate ♦ Concise ♦ Timely
Sioen Announces Two Acquisitions. European coated fabric producer Sioen Industries NV announced today it was purchasing Belgium-based Dynatex s.a. and French-based Le Comptoir Zouloo. Dynatex was incorporated in 2003 and one of its best-know products is a multi-axial aramid reinforcement fabric used in situations where the fabric is needed to contribute to the structural integrity of the product and protect against vandalism and theft such as soft-side truck covers. Le Comptoir Zouloo specializes in the production and sale of color pigments. Click here to read the Sioen press release. Posted April 24, 2015
US Trade Representative Michael Froman on Pending Trade Agreements. On March 29, Ambassador Michael Froman gave a presentation at the National Council of Textile Organizations annual meeting in Washington on the status and importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) agreements. We have published his prepared remarkts on a special page in the BeaverLake6 Report website. To view them click here. Posted April 21, 2015
JEC Innovation Award Winners Named. In a press release today, JEC Group, the composite industry organization, has announced 10 winners of JEC Innovation Awards -- Houston. The winners will be officially awarded at JEC Americas 2015, taking place June 2-4 in Houston, Texas, USA. The 11th category -- Student Award -- will be announced later. The named company winners are:
▪ Raw Materials -- Blueshift International Materials (USA)
▪ Consumer Electronics -- Motorola Mobility LLC (USA)
▪ Biocomposites -- Composites Innovation Center Manitoba Inc. (Canada)
▪ Process -- CETIM (France)
▪ Equipment -- RUAG Space (Switzerland)
▪ Mass Production -- Bcomp (Switzerland)
▪ MRO --German Aerospace Center (Germany)
▪ Automotive -- Johnson Controls GmbH (Germany)
▪ Aeronautics -- Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft-und Raumfahrt (Germany)
▪ Software -- e-Xstream Engineering (Luxembourg)
The awards will be given at the JEC Americas Welcome Reception on June 2. Posted April 20, 2015
Rice University Students Designing Virtual Reality Glove for Gaming. According to a press release from Rice University, "Engineering students are working to make virtual reality a little more real with their invention of a glove that allows a user to feel what they're touching while playing video games." The glove is made with inflatable air bladders underneath the finger. When a gamer reaches out to touch an object, the bladders slightly inflate to give the user a feel of grabbing the object. It's an interesting concept and a nice video that's on their site. Click here to read the press release and watch an interesting video. Posted April 24, 2015
Projects Singled Out in the Competition for Building with Textiles. Congratulations to the winners of the student competition "Textile structures for new building." Acording to a press release by the organizer of the 2015 Techtextil in Frankfurt, the winners of this 13th competition will have their innovative ideas displayed at the Techtextil show in Frankfurt, May 4 to 7, 2015.
+ Macro Architecture. Project: Aviary at Bujalacayado, Guadalajara
+ Materials Innnovations. Project: Chromosonic
+ Composites and Hybrid Structures. Project: Breathing Skins
+ Micro Arhcitecture. Project: Project: Fabric Foam©
Click here to view the entire press release. Posted April 23, 2015
US Trade Group Endorses Trade Promotion Authority. The US National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has issued a press statement endorsing the Bipartisan Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 that is being considered by the US Congress. The legislation, otherwise known as Trade Promotion Authority, will allow President Barack Obama to "fast-track" the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as well as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) once the negotiations on the agreements are over. Click here to go to the NCTO website and read the press release. Posted April 21, 2015
AATCC Announces Education Award Recipient. AATCC, the Association of Textile, Apparel & Materials Professionals, honored Nelson E. Houser on March 9 with the AATCC Education Award in recognition of his numerous contributions to the association's education and training activities. Mr. Hauser is the first recipient of this new award. He is credited with the creation of AATCC's first education webinars. Mr Houser, an AATCC member since 1965, also served a term as President of the organization from 1997 to 1998. Click here to read more about his achievements and the award. Posted April 21, 2015
Truck Cover Manufacturer Plans Major Expansion in South Dakota. According to the website Area Development Online, TruXedo Inc., one of the US largest fabricators of light-duty truck toneau covers, plans a 40,000 square foot expansion at its Yankton, South Dakota (USA) manufacturing plant. The expansion and job training expenses will be partially funded by a South Dakota Jobs grant. Click here to read the report. Posted April 20, 2015
Tributes to Frei Otto. Last month BeaverLake6 Report noted legendary architect Frei Otto had passed away March 9 just days before he was to receive the prestigious Pritzker Award. In recent days we have seen a couple of worthy tributes to this innovative man who was a driving force in the development of lightweight fabric structures. Bruce Wright, AIA, wrote an article that appeared in the online publication Fabric Architecture called "Remembering Frei Otto" that includes comments from a number of his colleagues. Phillip Drew's article "Frei Otto: Structural Bioengineer Who Developed Lightweight, High-Performance Structures." was published April 19 in The Sydney Morning Herald. Click here to read Mr. Wright's article and here to read Mr. Drew's article. Posted April 20, 2015
Miller Weldmaster Appoints New Sales Manager. Miller Weldmaster, a manufacturer and distributor of various technical textile welding machines, continues the integration of its purchase of several product lines from Sinclair Equipment with the appointment of Jamie Nute as the sales manager for Miller Weldmaster's alternative distribution department. Mr. Nute had previously worked for Sinclair for 20 years. He will be responsible for implementing the sales and marketing transition of the Sinclair product line as well as sales and service in the company's eastern US sales territory. Posted April 13, 2015
Future in Textiles Conference Starts This Week. It's not too late to register and attend the Futures in Textiles conference taking place April 16-17 in Charlotte, N.C., USA. BeaverLake6 Report likes this event because it always features top-notch speakers on trending topics and, equally important, it is designed with the visitor in mind. The conference is held at the Sheraton Airport Hotel, starts at Noon on April 16 and ends at Noon on April 17, allowing plenty of time for most visitors to travel in and out on those same dates. Organized by the Synthetic Yarn and Fiber Association. Click here to go to the event website. Posted April 12, 2015
Interview with Leader in Indian Technical Textiles Industry. The website indiainfoline.com has a short but interesting interview with Shujaul Rehman, President and COO of Garware Wall Ropes Ltd. Garware is located in M.I.D.C Chinchwad, Pune, India. The company, founded in 1976, is an international supplier of netting, ropes and coated fabrics for a variety of markets including fishing, civil engineering/construction and military applications. In the interview, Mr. Rehman answers questions concerning the financials of his own company as well as the outlook for the technical textile markets in India. Click here to read the interview. Posted April 12, 2015
Nonwoven Association Appoints Director of Education and Technical Affairs. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, announced on April 9 the appointment of James Loftus as its new Director of Education and Technical Affairs. Mr. Loftus has held previous positions at Owens Corning and Union Carbide. He also served a term on the INDA Board of Directors while working in the industry. Click here to read the INDA press release. Posted April 12, 2015
NASA Favors Propulsive Mars Landing Over Supersonic Parachutes. Somewhat disappointing news is coming from the National Aeronautic Space Administration (NASA). According to the NASA website spaceflight.com, NASA's Human Architecture Team (HAT) is now favoring to remove supersonic parachutes as an option for landing "human-scale hardware" on the surface of Mars. In part, the decision seems to have been made by the failure in June 2014 of a re-entry test involving the Supersonic Disk Sail Parachute and the new thinking of a larger and heavier landing craft. It still may be possible to use the supersonic parachutes in tandem with a propulsive system to slow the landing craft. Click here to read the article. Posted April 11, 2015
February US Export Figures for Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Released. The US Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) has released the February export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. Comparing 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 12-month periods ending February 28, total US exports again surged, increasing by $257 million or 6.6%. Mexico, the leading source for US exports, bounced back in February and increased for the 12-month moving year to 10.71%. Exports to China, the 3rd largest export destination, continued to decrease from the previous 12-month period. Click here to go to the OTEXA web page to view export figures. Posted April 10, 2015
Protective Glove Maker Ansell Purchases Microgard. US-headquartered Ansell Ltd. has announced it plans to acquire UK-based protective clothing maker Microgard Ltd. Microgard is a manufacturer of protective hand and arm products and should complement Ansell's already strong penetration in diverse markets such as military, pharmaceutical and health/medical. Ansell had sales last year of about $113 million while Microgard had sales of $43 million. Click here to read a posting about the pending sale. Posted March 31, 2015
Abstract Deadline Extended for GeoAmericas 2016. It seems rare these days that a deadline is firm when it involves an event's Call for Paper. People wait until the last minute, organizers get nervous and the decision is made to allow a few more days. It's happened again, this time for GeoAmericas 2016. The event being held next year in Miami Beach, Fla., USA, has extended its deadline for abstracts from March 30 to April 10, 2015. Click here to find out more about an abstract submission. Posted March 31, 2015
IGS Shows Growth in Annual Report to the Membership. The latest issue of IGS News has been published (Volume 31, No. 1), and in it Secretary Elizabeth Paggs gave a succinct report on the state of the International Geosynthetics Society. Key takeaways about the professional society: Membership increased 58% from 2010 to 2014. The number of country/regional chapters grew by 34% to 43. There are now 3,000+ members, 400+ student members and 160+ corporate members. Very impressive gains when considering many other organizations have suffered declining membership during the same period. Posted March 31, 2015
Alaska Custom Tent Company Featured in Article. We found a nice article posted over the weekend on the Fairbanks Daily News website about Alaska Tent & Tarp, a Fairbanks, Ak., USA. The company employs about 35 people and is a manufacturer of custom products including tents and other types of shelters designed for the extreme Arctic conditions. The company also manufactures secondary containment systems and euipment covers used by the oil industry. Click here to read the article. Posted March 30, 2015
Could An Airframe Parachute Have Saved the Germanwinds Plane? It seems hard to believe but Boris Popov, Founder and CEO of Minneapolis-based BRS Aerospace, said in a Forbes magazine website today that he feels an airframe parachute might have prevented the tragic consequences of the Germanwinds crash. BRS has been manufacturing plane parachutes since 1993. While the company's parachute systems are becoming widely accepted in the small plane market, BRS has also tested systems capable of deploying parchute systems that can safely bring down a 12-passenger commuter aircraft. According to the Forbes article, Mr. Propov said "It basically requires a square foot of material to bring down one pound of aircraft. For a 500,000-pound Boeing 757, you'll need half a million square feet of parachute cloth." Ckick here to read the article. Posted March 30, 2015
Geosynthetics Society Relaunches Educate the Educators Program. In the 1980s, the Geotextile Division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) began an education program called Educate the Educators. The idea was to help those in academia understand the applications of geosynthetics with the intent the participants would then include geosynthetics in their engineering programs. Now the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) has revived the Educate the Educators™ and it has been opened up for not only academics but also those in government, geosynthetic suppliers and industry civil engineering firms. The first session will be held July 28-29, 2015 in Austin, Texas, USA. Attendance will be capped at about 40. Most of the costs such as travel, hotel. and meals will be covered. The program is being sponsored by a number of organizations including the Geosynthetic Materials Association of IFAI, the North American Geosynthetics Society and the Geosynthetic Institute. Those interested in attending must apply and be accepted. IFAI is handing the registration. Click here to apply. Posted March 30, 2015
Miller Weldmaster Appoints Chief Marketing Officer. Congratulations to our friend Jeff Sponseller. We received word today Miller Weldmaster Corporation has appointed Mr. Sponseller as its Chief Marketing Officer. Miller Weldmaster, headquartered in Navarre, Oh., USA, is a manufacturer of industrial fabric welding equipment. In this new position, Mr. Sponsseller will be in charge of new product development, branding, positioning and product strategies. He has been with Miller Weldmaster for more than 15 years, holding key management positions. Posted March 30, 2015
UN Orders 10,000 of IKEA's Refugee Shelters. Fabric tents as the primary long-term shelter solution for refugees may soon be going away. As we first reported in July 2013, IKEA came up with an idea to replace traditional fabric tents with more longer-lasting rigid-wall shelters for the growing global number of war and natural disaster refugees. The initial test order of 4,000 shelters has recently turned into additional 10,000. While we hate to see our industry lose out to a different technology, this switch makes economic and human dignity sense. The average refugee's stay has now reached an astounding (and depressing) 17 years. The fabric tent lasts 6 months in a refugee camp. The IKEA shelter will last 3-4 years. The IKEA shelter also allows better interior height, security, and the potential of other basic amenities. Click here to read the article. Posted March 28, 2015
Researchers Create Structures Tougher Than Bulletproof Vests. According to a press release issued by the University of Texas Dallas, "Researchers at the university have created new structures that exploit the electromechanical properties of specific nanofibers to stretch to up to seven times their length, while remaining tougher than Kevlar." The findings have now been published in the ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, a journal of the American Chemical Society. Researchers twisted the fibers into yarns, and then continued to twist the material into coils. Click here to read the press release. Posted March 28, 2015
Light-Emitting Fibers Developed. One of our favorite websites, Gizmodo, has an interesting article on the development of a new light-emitting fiber that could be woven into fabrics. According to the website, "The fibers use a stainless steel wire core, which is coated with a thin layer of ZnO nanoparticles and then wrapped in electroluminescent polymer. Finally, a transparent coating of carbon nanotubes is applied." In the reader comments which follows the article, the concern over wash ability of the fabric with the fibers was risen. Click here to read the article. Posted March 28, 2015
Freudenberg Invests in New Production Line for Automotive Industry. The March 24 press release from Freudenberg & Vilene, part of the Freudenberg Nonwovens Group, reported the company is building a new production line for automotive headliners at its Suzhou facility in China. What's interesting in the press release (besides the company news) are some factors they give about the Chinese automotive market. According to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), 1.9 million vehicles were sold in China in January 2015, up 13% over the previous January. Also, according to the release, Freudenberg is currently the only company offering in-house printed headliners. Click here to read the press release. Posted March 26, 2015
British Tent Manufacturer Gets Investment Infusion. Secco, a tent manufacturer headquartered in Aldridge, West Midlands, UK, has secured a ₤325,000 (US$528.000) investment through a peer-to-peer lending network. Secco is tha manufacturer of a range of outdoor industry products including tents and motorhome awnings. It sells primarily online and through trade shows. Its brands include Khyam, Flexidome and Ridgidome. The funds will be used to increase Khyam inventory in preparation for the camping season and also to support the development and launch of a new caravan awning range. Click here to read an article about the investment. Posted March 26, 2015
US Agency Awards Grant for Design of New Ebola Protective Suit. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded a partnership of Cornell University, International Personnel Protection Inc. (IPP) and Kappler Inc. one of 12 grants from its Fighting Ebola challenge. There were more than 1,500 submitted proposals. The grant will be for the partners to develop a protective suit for healthcare workers re-engineered to be more breathable while still providing leak-free barrier protection, improved hood design and easier removal. Click here to read an interesting article on the Cornell Chronicle website about the development challenges. Posted March 26, 2015
FabricLink Network Announces the Year's Top 10 Innovations. The trade-to-consumer website FabricLink (FLN) has released its annual Top 10 Innovations Awards for 2014-15. The selections are presented to companies offering exceptional textile-based material technologies that have launched during the past year and are now commercially available. The FLN awards recognize the research and development effort required to create new products that address needs within the many specialty fabrics niche markets such as applications in automotive, civil engineering and military. The 2014-15 awards include products made by 3M, Mount Vernon Mills, Teijin Aramid and Carhartt. Click here to check out all the award-winning products. Posted March 23, 2015
President Obama Creates Innovation Institute Focused on Technical Textiles. The Obama Administration announced yesterday the formation of its 9th manufacturing hub competition for a specific industry. The hub will be called the Revolutionary Fiber and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Its focus will be on the development of new fibers and fabrics in the technical textiles industry. The technical textiles hub joins 8 other industries under the National Network for Manufacturing program. All of the hubs are to be overseen by the US Department of Defense. The initital $150 million funding for the technical textiles hub will be $75 million from public funding and $75 million from private investment. The hub will be open to manufacturers, universities and nonprofit organizations. There is no word yet where the hub will be located. Click here to read more. Posted March 19, 2015
Inflatable Boat Manufacturer Awarded $45 Million Contract. Louisiana-based US shipbuilder Metal Shark has been awarded a $15,309,410 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the construction of 7-meter rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) in support of future US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) requirements. The award includes options that, if exercised, will bring the total contract value to $47,408,209. Click here to read the company news release. Posted March 19, 2015
TPP Agreement Negotiations Becoming More Transparent. BeaverLake6 Report has been a critic on the lack of transparency in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations since the first day we began publishing in July 2012. Apparently, the White House feels they are now close enough to reaching an agreement that they have to start mending some Congressional fences and are now making more freely available the full negotiating text, including summaries of each chapter in the agreement. In making an announcement today, chief negotiator Michael Froman said "The Obama administration is committed to maximizing the transparency of U.S. trade negotiations consistent with negotiating the best possible agreement for the American people." Click here to read an article about this on The Hill website. Posted March 18, 2015
Trade Advisory Service Celebrates First Year. We are pleased to note Trade Advisory Service, a website developed by Agathon Associates, is marking its first-year anniversary. Frequent BeaverLake6 Report contributor David Trumbull is the publisher of the website. Mr. Trumbull has more than 20 years of experience in textiles and international trade. Trade Advisory Service is a fee-based subscription service that offers the latest information on US regulations affecting trade including development of new Free Trade Zones, U.S. Customs and Border Protection tarriff classifications, and proposed US regulations which could affect trade. To find out more, click here to go to Mr. Trumbull's Agathon Associates website. Posted March 18, 2015
Inflatable Living Compartments Being Delived to International Space Station. Great article on the Science Recorder website about what will be the newest addition to the International Space Station (ISS). It's an inflatable spacecraft that the astronauts will attach and use as expanded living space and test facility. The unit is made by Bigelow Aerospace of Las Vegas, Nev., USA, and measures 13 by 10 feet. The fabric's exact composition is proprietary but what's been said are the walls are made with multiple layers of woven Kevlar on the outside, then layers of the glass fiber called Newtex (used for thermal insulation) and then Nomex on the inside of the shell. There may also be layers of a relatively new manufactured fiber call Vectran, a liquid crystal polymer which will give the shell thermal stability. The capsule will be shipped to the ISS on September 2. Click here to read the article. Posted March 15, 2015
US Army Researching Uniforms that Automatically Decontaminate. The US Army website has an interesting article posted on the work being done at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Md., USA, developing "uniforms and chemical protective suits that decontaminate themselves and are cool enough to wear for extend periods in hot climates." The team is led by the Natick Soldier Systems Center. The project is focused on a new product called UIPE -- Uniform Integrated Protective Ensemble. UIPE 1 is already undergoing field testing and is replacing JSLIST -- Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology. The next generation is UIPE 2, a thinner and more mobile suit. Click here to read the article. Posted March 14, 2015
Texprocess Americas 2014 is Recognized by Trade Show Executive Magazine. Those of us in attendance at the 2014 Texprocess knew it was a terrific show last May in Atlanta, Ga., USA. Now it is being recognized for an overall increase in total attendance by Trade Show Executive magazine's Fastest 50 Class of 2014. Texprocess Americas 2014 saw an increase in total attendace from 2,464 in 2012 to 2,975 in 2014. It was part of the co-located mega-event along with Techtextil North America 2014 and 2014 JEC Americas (but attendance figures for the three were kept separate). Congratulations to the entire management team. The next Texprocess Americas will be held again in Atlanta, May 3-5, 2016. Posted March 2015
Picanol Group Reports Decline in Turnover in 2014. It's difficult to match a record-setting year. The Picanol Group, a leading manufacturer of technical textiles machinery, released its Annual Report for 2014. The report shows a decline in consolidated turnover from €559.9 million in 2013 to €418.2 million in 2014. However, it is important to remember that 2013 was the best year in the company's history. For the first half of 2015, Picanol expects to realize an increase in turnover over the first half of 2014. The company anticipates that the global market for weaving machines in 2015 will remain at approximately the same level as 2014. Reading into that statement, it appears Picanol intends to enlarge its share of the global machinery market. Click here to view their Annual Report. Posted March 12, 2015
Fabric Architect Frei Otto Dies. One of the world's formost proponent in the design of fabric structures, Frei Otto, died at age 89, on March 9. Ironically, Mr. Otto received his final recognition the next day when he was named the 40th winner of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize. There is an excellent story about his accomplishments in The Economist. Click here to read. Posted March 11, 2015
New Nonwovens Conference to be Organized in China. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, has announced it has joined with China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) to co-organize a new nonwovens event in Asia -- the China International Nonwovens Expo & Forum (CINE). The event will be held October 14-16, 2015 in Shanghai, China. Other co-organizers of the event are China Council for the Promotion of International Trade's Sub-Council of Textile Industry (CCPIT-TEX) and Messe Frankfurt. Very interesting and powerful co-organizers. Click here to read the entire INDA press release. Posted March 11, 2015
Destroyed Airship Prompts Lawsuit Against the US Navy. Who would have thought we'd have two postings this week on separate airship stories? This time Aeroscraft Aeronautical Systems, a commercial airship manufacturer based in Montebello, Calif., USA, has filed a $65 million lawsuit against the US Navy after its experimental helium-filled dirigible was destroyed when a part of the roof of the Navy hangar where it was being stored collapsed in October 2013. Click here to read more on the Fox website about the lawsuit. Posted March 11, 2015
Smart Textiles "Lightening the Load for Soldiers." There's a very interesting, informative article on the website CNET which reviewed military applications of smart textiles, including fabric keyboards and wearable gear. The article focuses on the technical textile product developments by Intelligent Textiles Ltd., a British firm. Weight reduction and more flexibility were the key product development drivers. Worth the read for those thinking about the next new application for their material. Click here to read the article. Posted March 11, 2015
National Council of Textile Organizations to Meet in Washington. The National Council of Textile Organizations 2015 Annual Conference has the theme "The 21st Century U.S. Textile Industry: Capitalizing on the Resurgence." The conference is taking place March 25-26, 2015 in Washington, D.C., USA. This year the conference looks at the current state of the US textile industry, exploring recent "re-shoring" trends and initiatives, and considering a changing polical landscape which includes the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Click here to go to NCTO's website. Posted March 11, 2015
JEC Announces Event Name Change. At the start of the JEC Europe Composites Show & Conference 2015 in Paris yesterday, the show organizer JEC Group announced the event's name is changing in 2016 to JEC World. The 2015 JEC World is also moving to the Paris Nord Villepinte fairgrounds in order to meet increased exhibit space demands. The event will take place March 8-10, 2016. Posted March 11, 2015
Giant Airship Almost Ready. There's a very nice article posted on the CNN website today about the new giant airship called the Airlander10. The airship was originally manufacturered by the British design company Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) for the US military but fell victim to budget cuts. The airship, using helium, is 300-feet long, has a skin made of carbon fiber, Kevlar and Mylar. and can haul 10 tons. It should be ready for operation by the end of 2015. No word on how the ship will used but it could be both commercial and military applications. Click here to view the article. Posted March 10, 2015
Swiss Sent "Stealth" Textiles to Russia. The swissinf.ch website is reporting "A Swiss shipment of high-tech stealth textiles to Russia was greenlighted after sanctions had already been put in place on military equipment to Russia and Ukraine." The shipment's value was $91.4 million and reportedly had been approved because the order was already finalized befoe the sanctions were announced. The "stealth" textiles were materials made which were designed to evade infrared and radar detection. The article doesn't tell the type of fabric or who manufactured it. Click here to read. Posted March 9, 2015
January US Export Figures for Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Released. The US Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) has released the January export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. Comparing 2014 and 2015 12-month periods ending January 31, total US exports increased by $259.8 million or 6.7%. Mexico, the largest destination of exports, was up almost 12% during the 12-month comparison period. Mexico, however, did see a decline in January 2015 over the previous January 2014. Exports to China, the 3rd largest export destination, was also off in January by almost 5%. Click here to go to the OTEXA webpage to view export figures. Posted March 9, 2015
Body Armor Company Wins Subcontract on US Department of Homeland Security Contract. Protect the Force, Inc., a subsidiary of Mission Ready Services Inc., has been awarded a 14-month $97,500 subcontract through prime contractor North Carolina State University's Textile Protection and Comfort Center to develop an Advanced Mulitpurpose Base ensemble for Emergency Responders. The contract includes identification of materials as they relate to functional design, prototyping, end-user functionality requirements, etc. Click here to read the company press release. Posted March 9, 2015
3D Knitting Helps in Making Prosthetics and Other Advanced Products. Don't you just love to read about how consumers are becoming more aware of the advances in our industry? The website The Guardian has a short interesting article on the relatively recent technological changes in knitting, an 8,000 year-old method of forming material. The first major change in the mass production of apparel in the 1950s and digital interface starting in the 1970s. One example of new technology is the knitting for carbon fibers into fabrics that are then impregnated with resin and products such as prosthetics that are light, strong and stiff with electronics embedded into the weave. Click here to read the article. Posted March 9, 2015
Dangerous Awnings Putting Lives at Risk in New Zealand. ...or at least that's what the headline shouted today on the Dominion-Post (Wellington, N.Z.) website. The article then opens with "Wellington has hundreds of defective, potentially-dangerous awnings, and the council is seeking new powers to force owners to fix them." The flap is all about urban development, violations of building codes and the potential of damage from another devastating earthquake. The article fails to mention, though, the type of material used for the awnings they found defective. It seems to us (BeaverLake6 Report) that if they haven't already, the Outdoor Fabrics Association of New Zealand (OFPANZ) should get ahead of the damaging story and work with the Wellington city government. Make a postive out of a negative. Click here to read the newspaper website article. Posted March 9, 2015
Inflatable Dams in the Works for Arkansas River Project. Once again technical textiles are finding to be an attractive alternative material to solve a problem. The Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla., USA) website has an article today reporting several low-water dams are being rebuilt on the Arkansas River passing through Tulsa. The fix proposed is to use inflatable bladder systems to replace the previous hydraulic lift systems that have failed several times at different dams in the region over the past few years. The design is called an "Obermeyer Gate," a gate that rises vertically when a large coated fabric bladder at its base is inflated and helps forms a wall to reduce the flow of water. Besides the lesser economic costs, the deflation of the bladders allows more water to be released to avoid flooding during the specific times of the year. Click here to read more. Posted March 9, 2015
Oerlikon Board of Director Changes. The Chairman of the Board of Directors OC Oerlikon Corporation AG, Tim Summers, has informed the Board that he will not stand for re-election at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders being held April 8th. Two other current Board Directors, Carl Stadelhofer and Kurt Hausheer, will also not stand for re-election. Dr. Michael Süss is being proposed to the Shareholders as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors. Dr. Süss has been a Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and CEO of the Siemens Energy Sector. Oerlikon, headquartered in Switzerland, is a manufacturing of textile production equipment. click here to read the company press release. Posted March 8, 2015
Coal Ash Disposal Becomes a Big Business For Geosynthetics. The key North America market drivers for the geosynthetics industry are the US Environmental Protection Agency's regulations. The most influencing regulation for the geosynthetics market just may be the one taking effect in May 2015 requiring the building of 700 coal ash containment facilities. Business journalist Lee Buchsbaum has an article posted on the geosynthetica.net website that is worth a read if you're interested or affected by this market. Click here to read the article. Posted March 6, 2015
New National Standard for Face Masks to Take Effect. Millions of Chinese citizens routinely wear protective face masks in cities like Beijing because of the oppressive smog. Currently, there is no minimum national standard for the masks. China Business News is reporting the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision tested 69 random samples and over 80% of the products failed to meet requirements for protection against PM2.5, including well-know brands like 3m and BlueShields. PM2.5 refers to filtering out particles as small as 25 micrometers. The China Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Association and several other government organizations and test centers are now charged with drafting technical regulations for the daily use face mask industry. Click here to read the article posted on China's ECNS.cn website. Posted March 6, 2015
Industry Veteran Retires. After 44 years with the DOT brand of fasteners, first at TRW and later at Scovill Fasteners, BeaverLake6 Report has received word our good friend Frank Wright has retired. His last day as an employee of Scovill (Boston, Mass., USA) was February 27. However, we're very happy to confirm Mr. Wright will be staying in the industry as a consultant to Scovill. Mr. Wright is one of those individuals that will make you enjoy being part of this market. We wish him only the best in his new position. Posted March 6, 2015
World's Toughest Shoelaces? Yes, we now know who makes the world's toughest shoelace. According to the BusinessKorea website, Kolon Sport has been certifed to have the world's toughest shoelace by the Guinness World Records. The shoelace is called the Heraclace. At its Korea Record Institute certification testing, the shoelace, made of Heracron fiber developed by Kolon Industries, Seoul, Korea, lifted 710 kilograms. Click here to read the complete article. Posted March 6, 2015
Latest ITMA Brochure Available. November seems like a long time away but people traveling to ITMA 2015 in Milan, Italy need to start planning now. Choice hotels fill up fast for a show this big. The show organizer has just published a new brochure that includes show and conference registration and Milan area information. Click here to view it. Posted March 6, 2015
Thomas Federle Honored by INDA. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, recongized Thomas W. Federle, Ph.D., Research Fellow at Procter & Gamble, with its prestigious 2015 Lifetime Technical Achievement Award. INDA President David Rousse presented the award at the association's Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference, February 23-25, in Hilton Head, S.C., USA. Click here to read the entire press release. Posted March 6, 2015
US Customs Seizes Backpacks, Lunch Bags. In two separate incidents, US Customs and Border Protection announced on their website CBP officers at the Houston Seaport (Houston, Texas, USA) seized more than 6000 children's backpacks and lunch bags after testing confirmed unacceptable levels of lead. The backpacks and lunch bags orginated in China and were destined for the American marketplace. Read more about the seizures on the CBP website by clicking here. Posted March 6, 2015
5% Tax on Technical Textiles in India. According to Business Standard websiite, India's Gujarat state government's finance minister Saurabh Patel has announced that the government will impose a 5% Value Added Tax (VAT) on technical textiles. The tax is expected to raise about $800 million [which means if our calculations are correct the total consumption value of technical textiles in Gujaret is $16 billion]. Fabrics for garments and domestic use will remain exempt from tax in the state. Click here to read the article. Posted March 4, 2015
TenCate Records 4% Organic Revenue Growth in 2014. Royal TenCate Corporation recorded a nice increase in 2014, according to a press release issued by the company a few days ago. The good news was found particularly in the 2nd half of the year. Organic growth in the last 6 months of 2014 was 9%. One of the reasons for the increase was the demand for the company's TenCate Defender™ M materials for the military. Click here for the entire TenCate press release. Posted March 4, 2015
Update: Regarding New US Law Banning Foreign-Made Flags for DoD. Our thanks to David Trumbull of Agathon Associates for clarifying the post we put up yesterday regarding our surprise the Berry Amendment didn't already apply to the purchase of US flags for the DoD. The Berry Amendment does apply to flags but only if DoD buys more than $150,000 worth in a single order, something which very rarely happens. So, this new law is more symbolic with little practical significance. Posted March 4, 2015
Foreign-Made American Flags Banned by US Military. Now here is something that surprises us. We always thought American flags made for the US military were required to be made in the US under the Berry Amendment. Apparently this hasn't been the case. Under a new law signed as part of the 2014 US government's omnibus appropriations bill requires any flag purchased by the US Defense Department to be 100% made in America. However, another bill that called for all American flags flown on government facilities be American made failed to pass. Click here to read the article posted on military.com website about the issue. Posted March 3, 2015
Nonwovens Association Launches a Statistics App to Follow Market Trends. Here's a great new program offered by a trade association: EDANA, the global association for nonwovens and related industries, has launched a statistical app which provides updates on the main trends in the nonwovens industry. Indicators in the feedstock, raw materials and end-use markets are analysed within the macreconomic context. The program is available on both the Android and Apple platforms. Click here for more information. Posted March 3, 2015
Jansani to Receive AATCC's 2015 Chapin Award for Service to the Industry. An important value of an industry trade association or professional society is to recognize those who are making a difference, who are selfless in their contribution to better the industry. In recognition of his outstanding service to AATCC, the organization has named Kantilal (Kanti) A. Jasani as the 2015 recipient of the Harold C. Chapin Award. The Award is presented annually to a senior member with at least 20 years of continuous membership in AATCC, and who has contributed outstanding service, enabling the Association to attain the objectives for which it was founded. Click here to visit the AATCC website to find out more about Mr. Jasani's contribution. Posted March 2, 2015
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BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to present an exclusive report by Mr. Howard Lo of the Taiwan Texile Research Institute on the recent 9th International Technical Textiles Symposium which took place in Taipei City, Taiwan. One of the key points of interest was the first-time delegation from IFAI Japan, led by Ms. Junko Takai, Chair of IFAI Janan and President of Hivix Co., Ltd. Mizuho, Japan. Click here to read the report. Posted April 12, 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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