Final Day and Looking Ahead. Like most trade shows, the final day was much quieter than the first two days at 2015 Techtextil North America / JEC Americas. It was a time for exhibitors to themselves get out and walk the show. In trade shows like this, there a multiple levels represented as exhibitors, so many get to talk with other exhibitors who may be their suppliers and customers. What I heard was reinforcement of what I had experienced the first two days: Show attendance was certainly less than the Atlanta shows last year but it was expected and much better than the last "off-year" TTNA event that took place in Anaheim, Cal., USA. And, even with lower numbers than in 2014, the exhibitors were overwhelmingly quite satisfied with the quality of the visitors. In their press release, the JEC Group noted it had a 15% increase in exhibit space from 2014 and provided several good quotes about 2015 including:
Michael Gromacki, Senior Vice President at Dixie Chemicals: "This is our first time exhibiting at JEC Americas and we are very pleased with the turnout."
"With the significant growth in the number of companies participating at this year's JEC Americas reflects the rapidly expanding global market for composites," said Peter Zezima, North American Sales Director, JEC Group.
Another very satisfied person was Kristy Meade, Group Show Director, Messe Frankfurt North America. Ms. Meade was pleased with the visitor turnout and also the response for next year show in Atlanta. She said that already the show floor space is more than 60% reserved and indicated they may have to create a waiting list for potential exhibitors.
Next year in Atlanta, the co-located shows will be joined again by Texprocess Americas, the trade show featuring equipment and technology for the development, sourcing, and production of sewn products. The combined shows will take place May 3-5, 2016.
Individuals in the above picture (L-R) represent the leadership involved in next year's events: Micheal Jaenecke, Techtextil Global Brand Manager, Messe Frankfurt; Frederique Mutel, President, JEC Group; Kathy Fitts, President, Messe Frankfurt North America; Peter Zezima, North American Sales Director for JEC Group; Benton Gardner, President, Sewn Products & Equipment Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA); and David Gardner, Manager, Sewn Products & Equipment Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA).
Day 2: Today I was like a kid in a candy store at the 2015 Techtextil North America / JEC Americas shows. I was wide-eyed with so many opportunities. Attendees took advantage of a full day of educational programs at the TTNA with programs covering tensile structures, medical and nonwoven advancements. I chaired the session called Tensile Structures: Inspiration and Practicality. It featured presentations from three of the preeminent experts in fabric architecture -- Nic Goldsmith, principal at FTL Design Engineering Studio; Bruce Wright, principal at Just Wright Communications; and, Marc Shellshear, Vice President of Gale Pacific. The session was, as the name implied, truly inspiring which prompted many questions from the audience.
On the show floor, it was another strong day for exhibitors. I interviewed 19 exhibitors and 18 told me they were very happy with the quality of the visitors. Leah Perkins, a marketing specialist for Coats North America, said she was new to the industry and this event was a great opportunity to learn what it was all about. Walter Gupper of Sansara International told me he had sold machines today. Siddharth Kusumgar, Director of Kusmumgar Corporates Pvt., Ltd., of Mumbai, India, stopped by my booth and said his company was exploring new markets in the US for his company's technical textiles.
On the JEC side of the shows, the spotlight was on the Shelby Cobra (see picture), an electric-powered car made entirely on a 3-D printer. The Shelby was printed using 20% carbon fiber reinforced ABS material. It is an amazing vehicle.
At the end of the day, I attended the JEC keynote address by R. Byron Pipes, the John Bray Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Purdue University. Dr. Pipes is also the new DIrector of Design and Simulation Technology Area at the new Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI). His presentation was titled "Carbon Fiber Composites Manufacturing Innovation" and he spoke at length about the IACMI initiative, a consortium of universities, industry companies and states in the US Midwest contributing for research on composites. The IACMI is being funded by the Department of Energy and is one of the technology institutes being organized by the US Federal Government.
First Day Impressions: Today the doors opened for the 2015 Techtextil North America and JEC Americas shows in Houston, Texas, USA. The attendance wasn't what it was for Atlanta last year but that was expected. The "off year" of the TTNA Atlanta show is always less attended. What was good to hear was, in comparing the TTNA trade show from the last "off year," the number of exhibitors had almost doubled. And, Frederique Mutel, president of the JEC Group, told me the JEC Americas floor space was 15% larger than the Atlanta show last year, it's first year of co-locating with TTNA.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the rooms were packed for the TTNA symposiums sessions New Fiber Technologies, Smart Textiles Applications, and Aerospace Textile Applications. Compliments to Kari Martin of Messe Frankfurt USA for organizing the sessions.
I was kept busy at my booth on the show floor all through the day. I saw people from startup companies in Silicon Valley to visitors from Russia and Brazil searching for new products. For me, it was a quality attendance which, at the end of the show is the priority that matters.
I did break away from booth duty to interview Marcia Ayala, Vice President, Research & Development at Aurora Specialty Textiles Group (ASTG) of Aurora, Ill., USA. ASTG is a textile finisher, specializing in coating and finishing print media, industrial belting, pressure-sensitive tapes, and medical and industrial applications. Ms. Ayala told me the company has officially opened the doors to a new North America textile factory that offers ultra wide width coating and finishing capabilities. The streamlined 124,000 square foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing operation is located in Yorkville, Illinois, USA. A highlight of the plant is the company’s new fully automated EHWHA ultra wide width coating and finishing line, which works easily with a broad range of woven and non-woven substrates up to 134” wide. It's another investment sign the US domestic industry is gaining strength.
At the press conference held by the leaders of JEC and Techtextil, Michael Jaenecke gave a general overview of the technical textile industry. A few key points he made: The technical textiles industry is worth about $160 bn. In the US, there's been more than $500 million invested in recent years to build or modernize plants which is accounting for an estimated 17,000 more jobs. Mr. Jaenecke also reported the organization of the 2016 Techtextil North America/JEC Americas/TexProcess shows were going very well. TTNA already has 60% of it's floor space sold with a projection of 360 exhibitors, up 10% from the 2014 show.
Ms Mutel made an interesting observation in her presentation, saying the first composite materials were made in the US. I had always thought composite development had originated in Europe. She went on to say the explosive growth in composite applications currently being experienced is the result of the industry being able to make larger composite products that are being used for the automotive, aircraft and wind energy industries. Ms. Mutel also talked about a joint project between JEC and Amoco in Sao Paulo, Brazil called "Compocity" which will be a small-scaled city made entirely of composite materials. It will be displayed November 4-7, 2015. I'll try to get more information on this for a further report.
Tomorrow's another day. Watch for my report.
Posted June 2, 2015
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Since last August, the US Navy has been planning to phase out its iconic traditional wool peacoat in favor of a less expensive, synthetic cold weather parka which is lighter in weight and more versatile in types of inclement weather. It actually replaces two types of coats and the seabag the wool coat is stored.
The wool coat, however, has some powerful friends in the US Congress. Companies such as Northwest Woolen Mills in Woonsocket, R.I. and Sterlingware in Boston, Mass. Altogether, the supply chain involved in the manufacture of these woolen peacoats -- including sheep farmers -- is estimated to account for 400 jobs in the Northeast. Add to the drama that the new parka, made by the long-time military supplier Propper, is expected to be manufactured in Puerto Rico, a perceived feeling the new coat will be made by non-American workers. Read more...
June 29. 2017
Wisconsin Contract Sewer Wins the Amazon Echo at Techtextil North America. Thanks for all who stopped by the BeaverLake6 Report booth at the Techtextil North America show last week in Chicago, Ill., USA. I truly appreciated talking with you about your company and the industry. For those of you who entered the drawing, the winner of the Amazon Echo was Jim Herman, owner of Wisconsew Inc., a contract sewing company located in Shawano, Wis., USA. Special thanks to Eduardo Castañer, publisher and general manager of Davison Publishing, for helping draw the lucky card. Posted June 24, 2017
President of American Fiber Manufacturers Association Passes. The American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA) has reported Paul T. O'Day, president and counsel of the organization, passed away June 1. He was 82 and died peacefully at his home.
In a statement issued today, the organization said: "Mr. O'Day was appointed President of the Association in 1984. He was fiercely dedicated to the industry he loved for 33 years. A true gentleman and powerful intellect, Paul O'Day led the Association with a sophisticated wit and charm."
Posted June 5, 2017
Imagination on Display in Frankfurt. It was known going into the Techtextil and Texprocess shows last week that tthere would be a record number of exhibitors and, further, there was so much attendance the last time in 2015 that the organizer decided to expand the length of the shows to 4 days in 2017. Thus so, it was no real surprise that the final report reveals more than 47,500 visitors came (an increase of 14% over 2015) from 114 countries. According to a poll taken of visitors, 42% felt the economic climate could be consider "good" (compared to only 32% in 2015). The next Techtextil and Texprocess shows in Frankfurt will be held May 14-17, 2019. Click here for more insight into the shows as well as the official final report from Messe Frankfurt. Posted May 17, 2017
US Department of Commerce Leaves Textile Industry Out of Trade Agreement Priorities. Since President Donald Trump took office there has been much talk about the ambitious "America First" trade priorities including pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, the planned renegotiating of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and even revisiting the textile industry's disastrous US-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
So, it would seem logical the US textile industry would be a priority in the changes in all these trade talks. Apparently not.
Last week Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, no stranger to the textile industry, named 6 core industries for its trade agenda -- steel, aluminum, vehicles, aircraft, shipbuilding and semiconductors. Noticeably missing was the consideration of textiles as a vital core industry for inclusion in these trade talks. Despite back-patting about the optimism of working with the new Trump Administration when the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) met in Washington recently for its annual meeting, there seems to be a long road to hoe before textiles is taken seriously by the Federal government for its importance to the US economy. Again, I ask: Who will take the lead in developing a US textile industry vision?
Posted April 26, 2017
"The United States is looked upon by those with whom I inter-related as less and less relevant as an economic force, and has become simply the market into which those within and outside of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries would sell their goods and services with little concern for reciprocity. To me, our immediate withdrawal from TPP after the election only compounds this situation." Click here to read the entire posting by Bud Weisbart, a small business owner and frequent contributor to BeaverLake6 Report. Posted March 29, 2017
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has released President Trump's 2017 Trade Policy Agenda. The document, officially called 2017 Trade Policy Agenda and 2016 Annual Report of the President of the United States on the Trade Agreements Program, outlines the new Administration’s four trade priorities:
BeaverLake6 Report has created a special page within this website and placed the first chapter of the 336-page document which summarizes the policy. Click here to read it. Posted March 2, 2017
Back on March 24, 2016, I was one of the first to predict the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was a dead deal. In fact, I said that I wouldn’t be surprised that, if Donald Trump became President, the agreement is shredded on day one of his new administration. Well, I was off by three days. Yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order, officially withdrawing the United States from the TPP agreement. Now the question is can the National Council of Textile Organizations put together a comprehensive plan for the domestic textile industry in a post-TPP era? Click here to read the rest. Posted January 25, 2017
There are literally dozens of market reports for the many market sections and subsections within the technical textiles industry. In 2017, BeaverLake6 Report will be introducing a few of these reports to our viewers. The first report being features is The Future of Spcialty Geosynthetics to 2021. It was developed by Smithers Apex, a market research firm based in the United Kingdom.
In exchange for the promotion, Smithers Apex agreed to write an exclusive expanded executive summary of the market report for our readers. Click here to view the market summary. Posted January 9, 2017
2016 China Textile Innovation Conference, as an annual summit of industry innovation, was held in Beijing on December 12th, 2016. The conference, themed on “New Opportunity, New Advantages, New Vitality” – Stepping Towards a Textile Power, comprehensively summarized the industry innovation achievements and explored the new advantages in development in order to grasp the strategic opportunity of the new round of industrial changes. BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to present a report on the conference via our partnership with China Textile magazine. Please click here. Posted December 21, 2016
Domestic PFD Manufacturer's Application for FTZ Additional Production Authority Riles Textile Industry Trade Associations. There is a nasty fight taking place these past few months behind the closed doors of Room 48019 at the Herbert C. Hoover Building in Washington, D.C. The room is the office of the Foreign-Trade Zones Board. The fight pits domestic technical textile industry suppliers and a coalition of textile-trade associations against a fairly large domestic end-product cut-and-sew manufacturer. Click here to read the story.
I am pleased to announce BeaverLake6 Report has added a new column called "Jon Klein's Outlook." Jon Klein is the Business Development Leader at PrimaLoft® Aerogel insulation. With over 20 years in the industry, Mr. Klein has extensive experience in the textiles, apparel and footwear industry. Mr. Klein is a frequent contributor of short articles on LinkedIn, the world's largest business network, writing about the various market segments of the technical textiles. This column covers his LinkedIn postings. Please click here to go to his column.
Steve Warner, Publisher
June 27, 2016
Industry Market Report Available. What impact has the sale of decline of military products purchases have on government shelter fabricators? What is the outlook on textiles going into the automotive industry? What are three issues that can negatively impact the growth of the protective clothing market segment?
You can find the answers to all these questions in the 2016 State of the U.S. Technical Textiles Industry report published in Textile World magazine. Part One of the report is in the March/April issue and Part Two will be in the May/June issue.
Click here to go to the report on the Textile World website.
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.
Posted January 17, 2016
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