BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry

 

Accurate    Concise    Timely

Special Report

State of the Chinese Technical Textiles Markets in 2017

Are you looking for a quick understanding of the China technical textiles industry? Through our special relationship with China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) and their China Textile publication, BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to post the English-translation of the recently issued "Status Quo of China's Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Industry, 2017." The report covers the different levels of the industry, geographic export demographics, and forecast the needs in the major end market applications. Click here to read the report in our China Textile website section. Posted June 18, 2018

Front Page News

Canadian Retaliatory Tariffs on US Goods Include Sleeping Bags and Inflatable Boats. In response to the US's announcement of tariffs on Canadian-made steel and aluminum, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has released a list of more than C$16.6 billion worth of US imported goods that will be hit by retaliatory tariffs, starting July 1, 2018 and lasting until the US tariffs are ended. The list of items affected include inflatable boats and sleeping bags. Click here to read the complete list. Posted June 18, 2018

Chinese-Made Textile Machinery Removed from Tariff List. The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has scored a significant victory for the US domestic textile manufacturing industry after the Trump administration released June 15 the list of imported Chinese-made items that will be subject to 25% tariffs. The preliminary April 3, 2018 list had included textile machinery. In his May 19 testimony to the United States Trade Representative, NCTO President/CEO Auggie Tantillo made persuasive arguments on the harm textile machinery tariffs could do to the US domestic textile manufacturing industry. Click here to read the NCTO statement released after the June 15 decision by the Trump administration. Posted June 18, 2018 

D. Rousse presents award to Dr. Haynes

INDA Gives Lifetime Achievement Award. At the WOW conference last week, INDA's President Dave Rousse  gave the association's 2017 Lifetime Technical Achievement Award to Brian Haynes, Ph.D., Senior Technical Director in Global Nonwovens, Kimberly-Clark Corporation.  Dr. Haynes was recognized for his career involvement and commitment to bringing innovative science-based polymer process approaches and process issues to the nonwoven industry. Click here to read more about the award and Dr. Haynes' accomplishments. Posted June 15, 2018

Canadian Military Sleeping Bag Shortage. There's an interesting article on the Canadian website Defence Watch on a shortage of sleeping bags and rucksacks for new Canadian army recruits. The army is apparently asking its soldiers to give up extra rucksacks and sleeping bags. It is believed that around 4,000 soldiers in the Canadian forces have 2 or more rucksacks. As for a shortage of sleeping bags, there is speculation that the shortage may have occurred because a lot of Canadian military equipment has been shipped to Ukraine in the last 4 years including 2,300 ballistic vests, 735 sleeping bags and 100 tents. Click here to read the article. Posted June 15, 2018 

Nonwoven Wipes Event Held Last Week. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, reports its 12th annual World of Wipes® (WOW) International Conference June 5-8 successful in connecting 440 participants from 22 countries advancing their business in wipes. WOW networking events included 52 tabletop displays. The event was highlighted with the announcement Diamond Wipes Internationals’ Hero Wipes was the 2018 recipient of the World of Wipes Innovation Award®. The innovative new wipe removes toxic, cancer-causing carcinogens from firefighters’ skin. The event was held in Chicago, Ill., USA. Next year's event will be held June 24-27, 2019 in Atlanta, Ga., USA. Click here to read the INDA press release summarizing the event. Posted June 14, 2018

John Carter

Lest We Forget: John Carter. While it happened in March, we would be remiss in failing to note here the passing of John Carter, founder of J & J Carter Ltd., a pioneering tensile structure maker, based in Andover, Hampshire, UK. Mr. Carter founded his company in 1988 and over the years had won national and international awards for tensile design and manufacturing. He was a friend and colleague to many in the industry and active in industry trade associations. Click here to find a nice tribute that is posted on the company's website. Posted June 13, 2018

Filtration Group Acquires Aviation Filter Media Manufacturing Business. Filtration Group Corporation has acquired the acquisition of the global Facet filtration business from Parker-Hannifin Corporation. Facet, based in Cleveland, Oh., USA is a major provider of aviation fuel filters. The addition of Facet creates an expansion of Filter Group's operations in aviation, marine, and diversified industrial and environmental markets. In 2017, as part of the settlement of an antitrust suit brought by the US Department of Justice after a merger of Parker-Hannifin and CLARCOR, the only other maker of aviation fuel filters Parker-Hannifin was required to fully divest the Facet filtration business. The agreement now to sell Facet to Filtration Group restores a competitive market. Filtration Group is headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., USA, with facilities in 28 countries. Click here to read the company's press release of the purchase. Posted June 13, 2018

Automotive Seat Manufacturer CEO Abruptly Resigns. The board of automotive seat manufactuer Adient plc, announced today R. Bruce McDonald has stepped down as the company's chairman and CEO. Retired GM president and chief executive officer Frederick A. Henderson has been named as the interim CEO. Adient, with more than 85,000 employees and 238 manufacturing facilities worldwide, has struggled financially since its spinoff in 2016 from Johnson Controls Inc. The company's is headquartered in Plymouth, Mich., USA. Click here to read the company press release. Posted June 11, 2018

Santex Rimar Announces Management Change. Italian textile machinery producer Santex Rimar Group has announced its board of directors has appointed Simone Rancan as the company's new CEO, Mr. Rancan joined Santex in 2016. He replaces Stefano Gallucci.  Mr. Gallucci is becoming the CEO of CenterVue, a medical device company which is also part of Santex. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted June 11, 2018

US Department of Commerce Releases April Export Figures. The US Department of Commerce has released the April export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group and the numbers are showing a healthy gain over last year for the same 12-month period. Overall exports in this group have increased 5.16%. Click here to see the entire report released by the Department of Commerce. 

 

 

Year Ending

4/2017

Year Ending

4/2018

 

% Change

Mexico

2,054,541

2,123,528

+3.36

Canada

558,656

599,508

+7.31

China

182,216

222,004

+21.84

Hong Kong

126,523127,542 121,936 -3.63

United Kingdom

97,073

101,018 +4.06
World 4,085,830 4,296,522 +5.15

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted June 8, 2018

INDA's RISE® 2018 Conference Speakers Announced, Nominations for Innovation Award Opens. Biomimetics in nonwovens, light-weighting of auto materials, battery separator developments, and the latest in electrospinning nanotechnology will be among the topics offered at the 8th edition of RISE, the conference on Research, Innovation and Science for Engineered Fabrics. Organized by INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, the event is taking place September 11-13, 2018, in Raleigh, N.C., USA. Nominations for the RISE Innovation Award, which recognizes innovation in areas within the nonwovens industry, are now being accepted. Click here to find out more about RISE. Posted June 5, 2018 

Body Armor Federal Lawsuit Drags on for 14th Year. It's really turned into a fascinating case: Both a fiber producer and the then-leading manufacturer of body armor for law enforcement being sued by the US government for knowingly marketing a defective product. Earlier this year, BeaverLake6 Report posted on the settlement which resulted in Toyobo, the manufacturer of the Zylon fiber paying out $66 million. But the lawsuit goes on for Richard Davis, the founder of Second Chance Body Armor Inc., despite the urging of the US District Judge for him to settle the case. Click here to read an article on this affair on the website Court House News. Posted June 5, 2018

US Geosynthetics Manufacturer Acquires Erosion Control Company. Hanes Geo Components, of Winston Salem, N.C., USA, has announced its agreement to acquire DDD Erosion Control of Ashburn, Ga., USA. DDD Erosion Control is a manufacturer of silt fence products. Hanes Companies is a subsidiary of Leggett & Platt, a diversified manufacturer of textiles for end-market segments including construction, transportation and home.  Click here for more information. Posted June 5, 2018

Teijin Breaks Ground for Carbon Fiber Facility in US.  Composite companies continue to build plants near automotive manufacturing operations. Teijin Limited held yesterday the groundbreaking of their new carbon fiber production facility of its wholly owned subsidiary Teijin Carbon Fibers, Inc. The new facility is expected to create about 220 jobs with $600 million worth of investment by around 2030. Click here to read the company press release. Posted June 2, 2018

Call for Presentations for Digital Print Conference. Two major industry organizations -- Specialty Graphics Industry Association (SGIA) and AATCC -- are again organizing a digital print conference. The Digital Textile Printing Conference is being held December 5-6, 2018 in Durham, N.C., USA. The organizations have now issued a "Call for Papers." Interested individuals should submit an abstract to Johnny Shell by June 30, 2018. Click here for more information about the event. Posted June 2, 2018

Zoltek to Increase Carbon Fiber Production at Hungarian Facility. Zoltek Companies, Inc., a producer of industrial grade carbon fiber, has announced an increase in production capacity at its facility in Nyergesujfalu, Hungary. Zoltek will increase the plant's production capacity by 50% to 15,000 tons annually.  The increase is because of the growing demand for carbon fiber for the automotive and wind energy industries. The expansion will cost approximately $130 million and generate about 350 additional jobs. Headquartered in the US, Zoltek is a subsidiary of Toray. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted June 2, 2018

Crown Capital Investments Acquires Graniteville Specialty Fabrics. [Updated] Graniteville Specialty Fabrics announced today that it has been acquired by Crown Capital Investments LLC, a private family office investment firm based in Atlanta, Ga., USA. GSF, based in Graniteville, S.C., USA, is a specialty textile manufacturer and distributor of engineered coated products used for such items as military shelters, marine covers and tents. Headquarters and the manufacturing operations will remain in Graniteville. Jim Egan, president of the company, told BeaverLake6 Report, the current management team is being kept in place. Posted June 1, 2018

CEO of Samsonite Resigns Following Investigation of False Claims.  The Board of Samsonite, the world's largest luggage company, has announced Ramesh Tainwala, has stepped down as CEO of the company. Various news outlets have reported Mr. Tainwala, who had been the company's CEO since 2014, had been lately accused of falsely claiming he had a PhD on his resume. Kyle Gendreau, the company's Executive Director and CFO, has been appointed the new CEO, effective immediately. Click here to read the company's official press release on the change. Posted June 1, 2018

Textile Mill Featured in Public Radio Report.  There is a great article posted on Public Radio's Marketplace website about the Monte Galbraith, President of DNA Textile Group in Columbus, Ga., USA, and the company's efforts to navigate through the changing manufacturing landscape for textiles in the US. One of only three denim manufacturers left in the US three years ago, Mr. Galbraith made the decision to shut down the denim operations to focus on technical specialty fabrics. He said the transition will cost his company $7 million but believes its the only option for the company to survive. Click here to read the article. Posted June 1, 2018

Visitors going through special German pavilion.

Atlanta Trade Shows Attract Strong Audience and Rave Reviews. The recent combined Techtextil North America and Texprocess Americas 2018 trade shows saw a record attendance of 8,292 visitors and 567 exhibitors. The attendance of the two shows was an increase of about 4% over their last co-located shows in 2016. Country pavilions included Italy, Texclubtec, Belgium, China, Taiwan, High-Tex from Germany, and SEAMS Made in USA. Techtextil North America 2019 will take place in Raleigh, N.C., USA. Texprocess Americas is held every two years and will be held next in Atlanta in 2020. Click here to read the official press release which includes show comments by visitors and exhibitors. Posted May 31, 2018

Alexium Names Interim CEO. The Board of Directors of Alexium International Group Limited, a manufacturer of flame retardant technologies for the technical textiles industry, has named Dr. Robert Brookins as the company's interim CEO. Dr. Brookins replaces Dirk Van Hyning, who resigned for personal reasons. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Brookins had served Alexium in a variety of operational roles since joining the company in 2010. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted May 30, 2018

NCTO CEO/President Auggie Tantillo

US Textile Organization Testifies on Trump's Proposed China Tariffs. President and CEO Auggie Tantillo of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) testified May 19, 2018 in Washington at the United States Trade Representative (USTR) hearing regarding the proposed China 301 tariffs.  NCTO, as well as the United States Industrial Fabrics Institute (USIFI) and Narrow Fabrics Institute (NFI), supported the Trump administration's Section 301 case for retaliatory tariff action against China and requested the tariff list be expanded to include Chinese textiles, home furnishings, advanced textiles and apparel products. The USIFI and NFI are divisions of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Mr. Tantillo also requested the current inclusion of textile-making machinery be dropped from the proposed list. Click here to read Mr. Tantillo's public comments statement. Click here to view a 25-page document used to support his comments. Posted May 17, 2018

US Senator Introduces Legislation to Help Law Enforcement Agencies Obtain Better Body Armor. While the current Bullet Proof Vest Partnership (BP) grant program funded by the US Department of Justice has already helped local and state law enforcement officials purchase more than 1.3 million ballistic vests, most of the body armor has been Type II vests which are intended to stop handgun-fired ballistics. On May 15, 2018, US Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado introduced a bill to provide $1.1 billion to help fund the costlier higher protection of Type III ballistic armor, capable of protection against assault rifles. Click here to read Senator Garner's press release.  Posted May 17, 2018

Geosynthetics Company Acquires Fiberglass Material Maker. SKAPS Industries has announced its acquisition of fiberglass weaver and knitter Matrix Composites. SKAPS, headquartered in Athens, Ga., USA, manufactures geosynthetic and nonwoven drainage products for environmental and civil use.  Matrix, based in Henderson, Ky., USA, produces woven, knitted and nonwoven fiberglass materials. Click here to read the SKAPS announcement. Posted May 16, 2018

Photo Source: Recaro website

Self-Cleaning Aircraft Seats in the Works. Well, it's coming for passengers in First Class. According to a report on Bloomberg, Recaro Aircraft Seating GmbH says it's developing a seat infused with a disinfectant that destroys almost every germ on contact within seconds. Bloomberg posts "A 2014 study at Auburn University found the MRSA -- a super-bug resistant to many antibiotics treatments -- can live for a week in the fabric of a seat pocket nestled in a small blob of saliva." [Something I am sure we all think about.] The seat is expected to be introduced within the next two years. Recaro makes about 120,000 seats each year and serves airlines such as Cathay Pacific Airways. Click here to read the complete Bloomberg post. Posted May 14, 2018

High-Performance Nonwoven Conference Names Keynote Speaker. The organizer of the 4th International Conference on Nonwovens for High Performance, taking place in Cannes, France, October 10-11, 2018, has announced the keynote presentation will be given by Heinz Meierkord, CEO, Advansa & outgoing CIRFS President. CIRFS is the European man-made fibers association. Mr. Meierkord's presentation is titled "Manmade Fibres – Myths and Reality" and will examine the pros and cons of natural vs manmade fibers, sustainability, and microfiber waste. Click here to learn more about the schedule of speakers and registration information. Posted May 14, 2018 

Indorama Acquires Controlling Interest in Israeli Nonwovens Company.  Indorama Ventures Public Company Ltd. has announced it is acquiring a controlling interest in Avgol Industries 1953 Ltd., the 3rd largest global manufacturer of nonwovens for hygiene applications. The acquisition price is $314 million. Avgol is headquartered in Israel and operates manufacturing plants in 6 countries, employing more than 900 people. The hygiene market, including disposable diapers, is the largest segment of the nonwovens industry and is projected to grow globally at 6-7% annually. The adult incontinence product market is particularly attractive because this type of product uses 6 times the fiber content compared to baby diapers. Indorama Ventures is based in Thailand, with approximately 18,000 employees world-wide and 2017 consolidated revenue of $8.4 billion. Click here to read Indorama's press release on the pending acquisition. Posted May 14, 2018

Yoga Pants Could Burn More than Fat. The website MarketWatch has a short article about the potential hazard of wearing yoga pants while having an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan done. To reduce odor and bacteria, many brands of yoga clothing have tiny silver threads woven into the material. These helpful fibers, though, can also conduct heat and cause heat induction-style skin burns if you're wearing the clothing while undergoing an MRI. Many hospitals are now posting warnings prohibiting yoga attire, including brands such as Lululemon, Gap's Athleta and Columbia Sportswear's Omni-Heat clothing. Click here to read the article. Posted May 14, 2018

EDANA Announces Life Time Achievement Award.  Congratulations to Professor Michael Hauschild of the Technical University of Denmark. Professor Hauschild received the 2018 EDANA LCA Life Time Achievement Award in Rome on May 13, 2018. EDANA is the European-based  trade association serving the nonwovens and related industries. The award was given at the annual conference of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in recognition of his 25-year world in the field of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Click here to read the EDANA press release. Posted May 14, 2018

Hoigaard's Custom & Awnings Acquired. According to a posting on the Specialty Fabrics Review website, Hoigaard's Custom Canvas & Awnings, once one of the most influential regional awning companies in the US, has been acquired by G & J Awning of Sauk Rapids, Minn., USA.  Hoigaard's was founded 120 years ago and was a charter member of the National Tent & Awning Association (now Industrial Fabrics Association International) when it was created in 1912. Click here to read the article. Posted May 11, 2018

Canvas Product Manufacturer in Botswana Featured. On the opposite side of the world from the previous story below, there is another nice feature article posted on the website The Monitor about two women in Botswana who have created a company called Canvas Manufacturers. The company makes canvas products like tents, duffel bags, back packs, car covers and travel bags.The two owners -- Qaitse Motoma and Gotsemodimo Shamokuni --say they have been helped getting started by Gender Affairs Department, a government agency promoting gender equality in business. Click here to read the story. Posted May 8, 2018

Tent Maker Successful in Michigan. There is a nice article published on the Travers City Record Eagle (Traverse City, Mich., USA) website on the continued success of a local company called TentCraft. The company, founded 11 years ago, makes custom event tents and employs 85 full-time workers with about 20 more in seasonal situations. Click here to read the story. Posted May 8. 2018

More than 1600 Companies Reserve Exhibit Space for Asian Textile Machinery Show. The organizers of the 6th edition of ITMA Asia + CITME have announced the show floor will contain more than 1,600 textile machinery manufacturers. The companies will take more than 170,000 square meters of space to showcase state-of-the-art machinery as well as products that boost automation and energy-saving features. After China, the largest countries represented in order are Germany, Italy, Japan and Switzerland. The show takes place in Shanghai, October 15-19, 2018. Click here for more information. Posted May 8, 2018

Disney Designs VR Jacket. Do you need a hug but there's no one around? Use the new jacket called The Force designed by Disney and MIT. Besides the previous used vibrations and electrodes to create sensations, the designers have incorporated 26 airbags within the VR jacket that quickly inflate and deflate to give the sensation of moving outside pressure. According to the article posted on our favorite idea magazine Popular Mechanics, the jacket will probably be used in gaming applications. Click here to read the article. Posted May 8, 2018

US Department of Commerce Releases March Export Figures. The US Department of Commerce has released the March export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group. Overall exports in this group jumped to a 4.34% increase over the previous 12-month period ending March 31. Exports to China increase 25.5% in the comparison period. Click here to see the entire report released by the Department of Commerce. 

 

 

Year Ending

3/2017

Year Ending

3/2018

 

% Change

Mexico

2,063,075

2,098,416

+1.7

Canada

558,754

597,639

+7.0

China

177,164

222,418 +25.5

Hong Kong

127,542 122,390 -4.0

United Kingdom

95,320

101,814 +6.8
World 4,079,592 4,264,421 +4.5

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted May 8, 2018

US Government Directs $11 Million from Fraud Case be Given to Purchase Police Ballistic Vests.  On May 3, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the US Department of Justice (DOJ) will use $11 million of the recent $66 million settlement with fiber maker Toyobo to help fund the purchases of more than 18,700 additional bullet-resistant vests for law enforcement through the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Program. (See our March 17 post about the suit settlement.) According to the May 3 DOJ release, "Since 2007, the body armor industry has paid the United States more than $132 million to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act by knowingly manufacturing and selling defective bulletproof vests containing Zylon." The fiber was made by Toyobo. The United States is proceeding against the two remaining participants in the fraudulent Zylon scheme: Richard C. Davis, the former President of Second Chance Body Armor, Inc., and Honeywell International, Inc. Click here to read the entire DOJ press release. Posted May 5, 2017

Technical Fabrics Manufacturer Creates New Position. The Thrace Group has announced that Andreas Lake will assume the newly created position of Group Development Director for the Technical Fabrics division.  Brian Sparks, formerly VP of Sales and Business Development, will replace Mr. Lake as the General Manager of the Thrace LINQ organization in Summerville, S.C., USA.  Mr. Lake has been with Thrace since 2014 and has 26 years in the nonwoven fabric industry.  Mr. Sparks’ background is 17 years in the technical fabrics industry, and he has been with Thrace LINQ since 2010.Thrace LINQ is a supplier of woven and nonwoven technical fabrics for a wide variety of textile applications in the Americas. Its corporate office and North American manufacturing and distribution center is located in Summerville. Thrace LINQ is a member of The Thrace Group of Athens, Greece. Posted May 3, 2018

Glove Maker Expands Manufacturing with $8.7 Million Investment. According to the website MiBiz, HexArmor, a manufacturer of personal protective equipment, will be investing $8.7 million to upgrade its Grand Rapids, Mich., USA, glove manufacturing facility. In support of the investment, the Michigan Economic Bureau is providing an additional $350,000. The parent company is Performance Fabrics Inc. Click here to read the MiBiz posting. Posted May 3, 2018

Ballistic Vest Panels Contract Awarded for US Army. Point Blank Enterprises, doing business as The Protective Group, Pompano Beach, Fla., USA has been awarded a $33,140,900 firm-fixed-price, fixed-quantity contract for rifleman sets with tactical assault panels. The panels are made of woven aramid yarns. This is a one-year contract, with deliveries over a 13-month period. This was a competitive acquisition with three offers received. Locations of performance are Florida and Puerto Rico, with an Oct. 31, 2019, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2018 through 2019 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-18-C-0006). Posted May 3, 2018

Takata Finalizes Asset Sale and Purchaser Renamed. A consortium led by its parent Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corporation and PAG, an Asia based private equity firm and Future Industry Investment Fund has provided the funding to Key Safety Systems (KSS) to successfully complete the acquisition of substantially all of the global assets of Japan-based Takata Corporation, the beleaguered manufacturer of vehicle safety systems including seat belts, airbags, steering wheels and child seats as well as other automotive products. Also going to the new company is North Carolina-based coated fabric manufacturer Highland Industries. KSS, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., USA, is a global leader in mobility safety. The combined company is being rebranded Joyson Safety Systems. Click here to read the Joyson press release. Posted April 26, 2018

Safety Supply Corporation Acquires Glove Company. Safety Supply Corporation, a manufacturerof personal protective equipment, has announced an agreement to acquire LFS Glove, a division of LFS, Inc. The newly formed subsidiary of Safety Supply will be named Bellingham Glove, Inc., and will be part of the Safety Supply's Radians group of companies. Radians is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., USA. LFS Glove had been headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, USA. Radians will now open a Bellington Glove sales office in Bellingham. Click here to read the company press release on the acquisition. Posted April 24, 2018

Registration is Open for Home Furnishings Show. The 2018 Home Furnishings Manufacturing Solutions Expo (HFMSE) has now opened its registration. HFMSE is taking place July 18-19, 2018 in Greenville, S.C., USA.  HFMSE features a wide variety of exhibitors showcasing the latest in manufacturing equipment, systems, software and technology specifically developed for the furniture and home furnishings industry. Click here for more information. Posted April 23, 2018 

Italian Exhibitors Organize Stand at Digital Print. Italian textile print machinery manufacturers will be at the upcoming FESPA Global Print Expo, May 15-18, 2018, in Berlin, Germany. The event is billed as Europe's largest trade show for the wide format print industry with 600 exhibitors and 18,000 expected visitors. In addition to Italian companies with their very own stand, six companies will set up shop in the common area created by ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers and the Italian Trade Agency. The Italian companies exhibiting in the ACIMIT / Italian Trade Agency area are: Arioli Group, Beta Machinery, Caru, Mcs, Monti-Mac and Unitech.The event marks the very first time ACIMIT promotes a collective effort at the world’s foremost print exhibition. Posted April 23, 2018

Article Posted on Contribution of Local Coated Fabrics Producer. The Lowell Sun newspaper website published a nice article yesterday about Bradford Industries, headquartered in Lowell, Mass., USA. Bradford is a manufacturer of automotive airbag fabrics, inflatable side rollover curtains, and other high-tech applications for the automitve, military and sporting goods markets. Click here to read the article. Posted April 23, 2018

ITMA 2019 Exhibit Space Sold Out. Exhibition space for ITMA 2019 in Barcelona, Spain has been sold out, according to the show owner CEMATEX. Space has been reserved by over 1,500 companies from 45 countries. Plans are underway to open more space. The top countries exhibiting are Italy, Germany and Spain. ITMA 2019 will be held June 20-26, 2019. Click here to visit the ITMA website for the latest information. Posted April 23, 2018

New Report Shows Growth in European Nonwovens Production. EDANA, the European nonwovens and related industries association, has disclosed the results of its annual nonwovens industry survey. In 2017, nonwovens production in Greater Europe increased in volume by 4.3% to reach 2,544,450 tons with a total estimated turnover near $9,614 million (+5.6%). Jacques Prigneaux, EDANA’s Market Analysis and Economic Affairs Director, elaborated “We continue to see the expected variances within the EU region. Although some established players like France and the Benelux countries were at a standstill, many pushed on from last year with Greece, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovenia, the UK and Ireland all witnessing growth. In Greater Europe as a whole, the standout performers were Turkey, posting a double-digit growth rate, and Russia, where growth exceeded 9%.” Click here to read more. Posted April 23, 2018

Steve Schiffman

IFAI Names New President. The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has named Steve Schiffman, the association's vice president of media and sales, as its new president and CEO. Mr. Schiffman will replace Mary Hennessy, who is retiring June 1, 2018. Prior to joining IFAI in 2013, Mr. Schiffman had an extensive career in regional publishing. At IFAI, he has been managing advertising and exhibit sales, membership recruitment and retention, web development, and the editorial and circulation departments. Click here to read the IFAI press release. Posted April 21, 2018

US Navy Body Armor Contract Awarded. According to a release on the Propper International company website, the US Navy has awarded a $30.4 million contract for the new Naval Security Forces Vest (NSFV). The contract is shared by the company's subcontractor Applied Fiber Concepts as well as KDH Defense Systems and Carter Enterprises. Up to 51,000 vests could be ordered at 2000-5000 vests per order, 2-3 times per year. The vests consist of a base vest and modular components for tailoring protection levels. Click here to read more. Posted April 17, 2018

DowDuPont Investing in Virginia Kevlar Plant. Last month BeaverLake6 Report  (March 16, 2018) posted about the closing of the Deepwater, N.J., USA chemical plant used by DowDupont to make aramid fibers such as well-known Kevlar. The Chesterfield Observer (Chesterfield, Va., USA) posted an interesting article April 16 on the $50 million investment into the DowDuPont's Spruance plant in Chesterfield. More than 80% of the Kevlar fiber is now produced at the facility with the remainder at its Ireland plant. The article also covers briefly the opinion that after a dominating 50-year run, there are now better materials out there such as Honeywell's Spectra Shield. Click here to read the article. Posted April 16, 2018

Photo: US Army

US Air Force Awards Bomb Disposal Protection Suit Contract. Med-Eng LLC, Ogdensburg, N.Y., USA has been awarded a $15,000,000 firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for explosive ordnance disposal bomb suits.  This contract provides for the delivery of a full bomb suit ensemble and associated accessories.  Work will be performed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and is expected to be complete by March 2023. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and one offer was received.  Med-Eng is a business unit of The Safariland Group. The order is for up to 305 explosive disposal suits. Posted April 16, 2018

Scottish Technical Textiles Company Doubles Net Profits with International Trade. The Wilkie Group has announced its net profits more than doubled the past year due to its increased presence in China, India, USA and European countries. The 150-year-old company, headquartered in Angus, Scotland, is a vertically integrated textile company with in-house yarn spinning, warping, weaving and finishing and a fabricator of technical textiles and end-products such as protective vests. It has been operating in China since 2007, and in 2015 opened a new $7.1 million factory near Shanghai, China. Through its Jack Ellis Body Protection division, Wilkie has been awarded a contract to supply $2.3 million of protective vests to the Hong Kong Police and Customs authority. Click here to read more. Posted April 13, 2018

Call for Board Candidates for Trade Association.  The Leadership Development Committee of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is now seeking candidates to fill two upcoming positions on the organization's board of directors. In order to be considered, a candidate must be employed from a member company.  IFAI is a 1500-member non-profit trade association representing the specialty fabrics industry. Click here to request  an application. Deadline for application submission is May 31, 2018. Posted April 12, 2018

Italian Textile Equipment Manufacturer to Go Public. Itema Sp.p.A. filed yesterday with the Italian stock exchange (Borsa Italiana) an application to list ordinary shares of the company. It plans to go public within the second quarter of the year. The ordinary shares being offered will represent at least 35% of the capital. Headquartered in Italy with global operations, Itema is a manufacturer of weaving machines, spare parts and integrated services. Click here to read more from the company's press release. Posted April 10, 2018

Secretary Wilbur Ross

US Secretary of Commerce to Speak at Smart Fabrics Summit. US Department of Commerce Wilbur Ross will be the keynote speaker at the Smart Fabrics Summit, taking place April 24, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Secretary Ross will give the closing presentation at the day-long event that is co-hosted by the US Department of Commerce and the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Also on the agenda are presentations from Jeff Rasmussen, IFAI's Director of Market Research, Chris Semonelli, president of Coated Technical Solutions, and a panel discussion regarding the development of performance standards for smart fabrics. Click here to go to the event's website to see the complete list of speakers and registration information. Posted April 10, 2018

US Army Awards $480 Million Camouflage Netting Contract. HDT Expeditionary Systems Inc., Solon, Ohio (W911QY-18-D-0213); Saab Barracuda LLC, Lillington, North Carolina (W911QY-18-D-2011); and Fibrotex USA Inc., Washington, District of Columbia (W911QY-18-D-0210), will share in a $480,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for development and procurement of the Ultra-Lightweight Camouflage Net System Increment 1. Bids were solicited via the Internet with five received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of April 30, 2028. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Posted April 9, 2018

U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Emily Knitter

US Military Body Armor Changing for Women. In March, US Army Lt. Col. Ginger L. Whitehead, product manager for Soldier Protective Equipment, gave a presentation for the Pentagon's Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services regarding new changes that ensure protective gear fits correctly for women with hair buns. According to an article posted on military.com by writer Hope Hodge Seck, "Women in uniform had been complaining that the 'X-Back' design of the apparatus holding the chin straps interfered with hair buns, making it difficult for the helmet to fit securely on the head, with the straps in the proper places."  In another presentation, the Marine Corps presenter said it is expanding its protective gear fit to the 2nd percentile of female troops to the 98th percentile of males, from the previous 5th to 95th percentile. This change means another 8,856 smaller-stature and 5,711 larger Marines will get gear that fits. Click here to read the article. Posted April 9, 2018

US Contract Awarded for Tactical Vests Conversion Kits. Carter Enterprises LLC, doing business as Mil-Spec Enterprises, Brooklyn, New York, has been awarded a maximum $15,854,179 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity contract for improved outer tactical vest generation III conversion kits, yoke and collar assemblies, groin protector ballistic inserts and universal external side plate pouches. This is a one-year base contract with one one-year option period. This was a competitive acquisition with three offers received. Location of performance is New York, with an April 5, 2019, performance completion date. Using military services are Air Force and Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2018 through 2019 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-18-D-1040). Posted April 9, 2018

US Department of Commerce Releases February Export Figures. The US Department of Commerce has released the February numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures. Overall exports exports in this group continued to rise, achieving a 5.2% increase over the previous 12-month period ending February 28. The NAFTA partners now have a 63% share of the exports. Exports to China continues to see healthy gains. Click here to see the entire report released by the Department of Commerce. 

 

 

Year Ending

2/2017

Year Ending

2/2018

 

% Change

Mexico

2,056,986

2,096,943

+1.9

Canada

556,599

596,297

+7.2

China

173,239

216,567 +25.0

Hong Kong

125,886 121,415 -3.6

United Kingdom

93,813

100,764 +7.4
World 4,049,319 4,259,825 +5.2

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted April 9, 2018

Textile Machinery on Tariff List of Chinese Products. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today released the initial list of $50 billion of Chinese products facing 25% US tariffs. The list composed of more than 1300 products includes fiber, textile and sewing machinery. This action will have a significant impact on the US domestic textile manufacturing industry which is dependent on foreign makers of most equipment. The products targeted are reported to be specifically known as part of China's "Made in China 2025" plan. There will be an approximate 60-day period for public comment and hearings with the International Trade Commission on the list before it goes into effect. Click here to see the product list. Posted April 3, 2018

NASA Rocket Launches Supersonic Mars Parachute. Following the successful testing of the ESA Mars parachute last week, NASA launched its own Mars parachute test March 31. The latest was carrying the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE). The rocket reached an altitude of 32 miles before deploying the ASPIRE at supersonic speed. This was the second deployment test for the planned Mars project. Everything went according to plan. Click here to read more. Posted April 2, 2018

Michael McDonald

Sewn Equipment Trade Group Names New Executive Director. The Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA) has announced the appointment of Michael McDonald as the new SPESA Executive Director. He will be replacing current president, Benton Gardner, and managing director, Dave Gardner, upon their retirement at the end of 2018. Mr. McDonald was previously Manager of Government Relations for the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA). SPESA is a trade asociation devoted to the advancement of suppliers of machinery, technology, ancillary equipment, parts, service and other solutions for the development, manufacture, and distribution of sewn products. Posted April 1, 2018

Photo source: Geosynthetic Materials Association

Trump Administration Seeks Input from Geosynthetics Trade Group. Members of the Executive Council of the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) were invited to attend high-level meetings with White House senior staff to discuss President Donald Trump’s Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America. The GMA members discussed the “innovative and transformative” benefits of geosynthetic products and the role geosynthetics can play in helping the Administration achieve the President’s goal of reducing project timelines, lowing overall costs, and increasing the life span of our nation’s infrastructure system. The GMA will be hosting its Spring Lobby Day May 16-17, 2018, in Washington. The event involves meetings with members of the US House of Representatives and US Senate and their staffs. GMA is a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Click here to find out more about the GMA Spring Lobby Day. Posted March 30, 2018

First Test Success for Largest Mars Mission Parachute. The USA's NASA-planned mission to Mars isn't the only game in town. The European Space Agency (ESA) also has a mission planned for July 2020. The ESA venture, named ExoMars, will deliver a rover and a surface science platform. On March 29, ESA successfully held its first test of the parachute which will be used to carry the payload to the planet's surface. With its 35-meter diameter canopy, it's the largest parachute ever tested to fly a Mars mission. The first test dropped a module from 1.2 km above ground. The next test will be from an altitude of 30 km.  Click here to read the ESA press release. Posted March 30, 2018

Canadian Webbing Manufacturer Investing in Modernizing Plant. The publication Industry Week has a terrific article posted on its website this week on the $2.8 million investment by Belt-Tech, Inc. for its Quebec manufacturing plant. Belt-Tech's products are webbing for seat belts, webbing for air bags (automotive), industrial webbing for slings, webbing for safety harnesses, and webbing for parachutes (military). According to the article, the Canadian company provides nearly a third of the webbing used in cars and trucks in North America. The investment includes new weaving machines and a state-of-the-art drying system comes after seeing a recent 30% surge in orders from the North American auto industry. Click here to read the article. Posted March 30, 2018

Serge Ferrari Acquires Composites Manufacturer Plastitex.  Serge Ferrari Group has completed the acquisition of Plastitex, an Italian manufacturer of specialty composite materials for indoor and outdoor furniture. Based in Carmignano di Brenta in Northern Itally, Plastitex employs approximately 60 people at two production facilities located in Carmignano and Novi Grad, Croatia. Plastitex designs and produces high-performance fabrics made by synthetic fibers and polymeric yarns. Click here to read more about the acquisition. Posted March 28, 2018

Takata Whistleblowers Receive $1.13 Million. The law firm Constantine Cannon LLP announced today that two of its whistleblower clients will receive more than $1.13 million to settle their claims for whistleblower awards for information they provided to the U.S. government in its criminal case against Takata Corp, the now-bankrupt maker of defective airbags. The whistleblowers, Mark Lillie and another man who remains anonymous, are both former Takata employees who provided extensive assistance to government investigators under the Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act, a federal whistleblower-reward program. In January 2017, Takata pled guilty to wire fraud and agreed to pay $1 billion in criminal penalties stemming from the company's fraudulent conduct in relation to sales of defective airbag inflators. The criminal action also resulted in three high-level Takata executives pleading guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy charges. Click here to read the law firm's entire press release. Posted March 27, 2018

Coats Appoints New President for Performance Materials Business. Industrial thread manufacturer Coats has announced the appointment of Keith DuPont as President, Performance Materials. The Coats Performance Materials business includes hi-tech end uses such as automotive, composites, fiber optics, flame retardant and engineered performance fabrics and knits. Mr. DuPont replaces Shantanu Banerjee who has become the company's Group Head of Innovation with responsibility for its 3 Innovation Hubs located in the USA, China and Turkey. A couple of facts at the bottom of the press release were interesting: More than 100 million car airbags are made using Coats' Performance Materials thread every year and the company makes enough thread every month to stretch from the Earth to the Sun. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted March 27, 2018

US Trade War Could Hit Outdoor Products Industry. The Denver Post (Denver, Co., USA) posted an article March 23 on the potential impact of a trade war that could result in drastically increased prices for camping tents imported into the US from China. According to the article, the outdoor industry already pays steep tariffs applied to its products coming into the US, an average of 17.6% for backbacks and tents. Because of the layers of distributors and retailers costs, a 25% increase in tariff could actually end up resulting in a 75% increase to the consumer. The outdoor industry's lobbyists are in Washington right now, working to make sure outdoor items such as apparel, tents and sleeping bags are excluded from the tariff list. Click here to read the article. Posted March 27, 2018

Kanye West's Apparel Company Embroiled in Lawsuit Over Camouflage Pattern. There is an interesting article on the Outside website entitled "The Camo Wars Behind the Kanye West Lawsuit." Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, which owns cmouflage brand Realtree, has filed a lawsuit alleging entertainer Kanye West's apparel company Yeezy has infringed on its camouflage patterns. Realtree is one of the country's leading camouflage companies. It makes patterns and licenses them to other companies that make items such as clothing and tents. Click here to read the article. Posted March 26, 2018

Marty Moran

NCTO Elects 2018 Chairman. The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has elected Marty Moran, CEO of Buhler Quality Yarns Corp, as its Chairman for 2018. Mr. Moran is CEO of Georgia-headquartered Buhler Quality Yarns Corp, a subsidiary of South Korea's Samil Spinning Company. NCTO also elected Don Bockoven, President & CEO of Leigh Fibers, as the organizations 2018 Vice Chairman. Posted March 26, 2018

Karla Clem

Polo Custom Products CEO Leadership Change. Although there has been no official announcement, it appears President & CEO Karla Clem of Polo Custom Products, Inc., has left the Topeka, Kansas, USA custom industrial sewing manufacturer. Ms. Clem had been employed by the company since 1991, serving as its president since 2009. Polo supplies custom sewn and sealed products to several OEM markets including medical, safety, industrial electronics and military. Kent Lammers, Polo's executive vice president and CFO, has been appointed to replace her. Posted March 23, 2018

North America Technical Textiles Operations Announced by METYX Group. METVX Group has completed an agreement to acquire a manufacturing facility for its new METYX USA Technical Textiles Division. The site is located in Ranlo, a town near Charlotte, N.C.  The new facility will employ up to 200 people and manufacture a range of glass and carbon fabrics to serve the North American composites market. METYX Group is headquartered in Turkey and is a division of Telateks A.S., a manufacturer of high-performance technical textiles, including multiaxial reinforcements, carbon reinforcements, RTM reinforcements, woven reinforcements, and vacuum bagging products. Click here to read the coroporate press release. Posted March 22, 2018

NCTO Chairman Presents "2018 State of the US Textile Industry" Address.  Outgoing 2017-18 National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) Chairman William V. McCrary Jr. delivered the trade associations' "2018 State of the US Textile Industry" overview at the NCTO's 15th Annual Meeting on March 22, 2018 in Washington, D.C., USA. Mr. McCrary's speech outlined 1) US textile supply chain economic, employment and trade dates; 2) the 2018 policy priorities of domestic textile manufacturers; and, 3) other NCTO activities. Click here to go to the NCTO website to read the text of his remarks. Posted March 22, 2018

Management Buyout for Sioen Filtration. Concluding that Sioen Filtration is no longer part of the core activities, Belgium-based Sioen Industries Group has agreed to sell the subsidiary to Pierre Loungueville and his partners. Mr. Loungueville is currently the manager of Sioen Filtration. The company specializes in the development, production and sales of a wide range of industrial filters. The transfer is planned for April 1, 2018. Click here to read Sioen Group's press release. Posted March 22, 2018

Dr. Aaron Westrick

"Bullet Proof" Vest False Claims Act Case Ends in Victory for Whistleblower.  The US Department of Justice announced today that Japanese manufacturing company, Toyobo Co., Ltd., agreed to pay $66 million to settle allegations that it conspired to sell defective body armor to American police departments, federal law enforcement agencies and the U.S. military.  The settlement was reached as part of a False Claims Act initiated by a whistleblower, Aaron Westrick, Ph.D. The case originated in 2001, when Toyobo informed Second Chance Body Armor (SCBA), formerly the largest bullet proof vest company in the United States, that Zylon™, a high-performance fiber made by Toyobo and being supplied to SCBA for its body armor, may experience degradation. Dr. Westrick was an employee at the time of SCBA. Click here to read more on the lawsuit. Posted March 17, 2018

Photo Source: DuPont

DuPont to Close Chemical Plant Used to Make Its Aramid Fibers. DuPont has announced it will eliminate about 100 jobs and close its Deepwater, N.J., USA plant used to make aramids intermediates for Kevlar® and Nomex® fibers. Company spokesperson Dan Turner said in an email to the press "Since there are no other suppliers of these materials in the U.S., Transpek Limited in India will be the primary supply source."  While outsourcing the intermediates, DuPont still will produce Kevlar and Nomex fibers at its Richmond, Va., USA manufacturing plant. It plans to invest $50 million to modernize the facility. Click here to read an article posted on Chemical & Engineering News website. Posted March 16, 2018

Toray to Purchase TenCate Advanced Composites Holding B.V. As we reported March 13, Koninklijke Ten Cate was looking for a strategic partner to purchase its subsidiary TenCate Advanced Composites Holding B.V.  Toray Industries, Inc., a carbon fiber manufacturer, has now announced they have reached an agreement to acquire the Dutch carbon fiber composite material manufacturer. The purchase price is estimated to be $1.15 billion. Click here to read the Toray company press release. Posted March 16, 2018

Jules Duguay

Serge Ferrari Americas Names Vice President. Serge Ferrari, a manufacturer of flexible composite material technology, has announced that Jules Duguay has been appointed Vice President, Serge Ferrari Americas. Mr. Duguay is a 20-year industry veteran. He will lead the business operation in North, Central and South America. Mr. Duguay was most recently the General Manager of Mermet Corporation, a manufacturer of solar screen fabrics. Posted March 16, 2018

Nonwovens Association Elects New Board Members. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, announces five newly elected members to its 2018 Board of Directors. These accomplished new Directors demonstrate extraordinary commitment and strong leadership to the nonwovens industry: Mary Liz Cahill, Business Development Manager, SWM International; Luca di Benedetto, President, ATEX, Inc.; Ricardo Fasolo, Managing Vice President, Fitesa Inc.; Larry Grabowy, President & CEO, Tufco LP; and, Richard Palmer, President & Co-Founder, Nehemiah Manufacturing. Click here to read more about the selections. Posted March 15, 2018

TenCate Advanced Composites Reported for Sale. The editor of the website CompositesWorld is reporting TenCate Advanced Composites confirmed during the recent JEC World in Paris that management "is exploring options for a potential strategic partner to acquire the company." TenCate Advanced Composites products include thermoset-based and thermoplastic-based prepregs; film adhesives; syntactics; and resins. The company supplies prepregs in fabric, unidirectional tape, chopped fiber, and reinforced thermoplastic laminate forms. Toray, Hexcel, Teijin, Solvay, Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites, and Arkema were all mentioned as possible suitors. TenCate Advanced Composites is a division of privately held Koninklijke Ten Cate B.V., headquartered in The Netherlands. Click here to read the report on the CompsitesWorld website. Posted March 13, 2018

Earlier Dates and New Location for 2019 Techtextil North America. A new location and an earlier time of year highlights the announcement of 2019 Techtextil North America (TTNA19). The event will be held February 26-28, 2019, in Raleigh, N.C., USA. The date is much earlier than is normal but makes sense in avoiding taking place too close to Techtextil 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany. The Frankfurt show takes place May 14-17, 2019. TTNA18 is set for Atlanta, May 22-24, 2018. Posted March 13, 2018

SYFA Spring Technical Conference Features Nonwovens Research Director. The Synthetic Yarn & Fabrics Association's 2018 Spring Technical will feature Brad Kalil, Director of Market Research for INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry. In addition to Mr. Kalil, the program includes 8 other speakers, including Dr. John Connaughton, Professor of Financial Economics at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. SYFA Spring Technical Conference 2018 will be held April 26-27, 2018, in Charlotte, N.C., USA. Click here for the schedule of speakers. Posted March 13, 2018

US Department of Commerce Releases January Export Figures. The US Department of Commerce has released the January numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures. Overall exports rose 4.68% in January 31 year-ending comparison with 2017. As we have seen for a number of months, the largest percentage gain in US exports was to China at 27% over the previous year.  Click here to see the entire report for the January numbers. 

 

 

Year Ending

1/2017

Year Ending

1/2018

 

% Change

Mexico

2,065,352

2,085,890

+1.0

Canada

554,922

594,011

+7.0

China

170,106

216,347 +27.2

Hong Kong

127,254 122,972 -3.4

United Kingdom

94,130

101,819 +8.2
World 4,045,486 4,237,832 +4.7

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted March 13, 2018

INDA Changes Frequency and Creates Permanent Location for Filtration Show. INDA, the organizer of the annual Filtration International Conference & Exposition, has announced the event is changing frequency to 18 months. the change is effective after the October 2-4 event in Philadelphia, Penn., USA. The change means no event in 2019. The expanding time between shows avoids conflicts with the already crowded filtration events taking place around the world. INDA said in its press release that the show is also expanding beyond nonwovens to include engineered media, filtration & separation technologies, filter making equipment, and other equipment related to the industry. Further, after the 2018 event in Philadelphia, the future Filtration International Conference & Exposition will be held exclusively in Chicago. The first show under this change will be in February 2020. Click here to read the press release. Posted March 13, 2018

JEC World 2018 Closes with Record Attendance. A record 42,445 visitors attended JEC World 2018 in Paris. The 3-day composites event took place March 6-8, 2018. Visitors came from 115 countries to see more than 1300 exhibitors. One of the highlights of the event was a visit by Ms. Delphine Gény-Stephann, the French Secretary of State to the Minister of Economy and Finance. Posted March 8, 201

US Textile, Fiber Trade Associations Announce Merger.  The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) and the American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA) announced a merger of their respective organizations effective April 1, 2018. The move has been expected since the passing last year of long-time AFMA president Paul O'Day. The two organizations have often been aligned on major trade issues. Both are based in the Washington, D.C. area. The merged organizations will be called by the name National Council of Textile Organizations. Click here to read the entire NCTO press release. Posted March 8, 2018

German Textile Machinery Association Holding Conference in India. The German-based VDMA Textile Machinery Association has announced a workshop and forum for Indian textile and nonwoven manufacturers. The event is taking place May 15-16, 2018 in Mumbai. More than 30 German textile machinery and component manufacturers are participating, giving 36 application-oriented presentations on spinning, knitting, weaving, finishing, dyeing and embroidery. Click here to gain more information as well as the names of participating German companies. Posted March 7, 2018

Startup Booster Winners Announced at JEC World.  The world's largest composites trade show, JEC World 2018, started in Paris today, with the announcement of the 3 winners of JEC's Startup Booster Competition. The winners were 1) N12 Technologies (USA), a creator of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes at interlaminar interfaces which allow tougher, lighter, and more durable composite structures; 2) Inca-Fiber GmbH (Germany), the creator of a new electroplating procedure to metallize carbon fibers in a single step using electrolytes to enhance the fiber's properties; and, 3) Sound Bounce (Ireland), the developer of a novel patented material which provides over 100 times better noise attenuation in a small package compared to similar materials.  Posted March 6, 2018

Comments Sought on Proposed Revisions to Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor Standard. The US National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is seeking comments on proposed revisions to NIJ Standard 0101.06NIJ Standard on Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor. A draft of the revised document specifies minimum performance requirements and test methods for the ballistic resistance of body armor used by US law enforcement that is intended to protect the torso against handgun and rifle ammunition.  NIJ, the U.S. Army, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and others have been cooperating to harmonize laboratory test procedures and practices in ASTM Subcommittee E54.04 on Personal Protective Equipment within Committee E54 on Homeland Security Applications. Comments to the proposed draft must be submitted by May 23, 2018. Click here to obtain a  copy of the draft, plus how to submit comments on the changes. Posted March 6, 2018

Source: NC State University

"The Bold New Face of Textiles.  "There is a very nice article on the North Carolina State University website on new career opportunities in the domestic US technical textiles industry, including end markets such as medical, military and aerospace. The College of Textiles at NSCU, Raleigh, N.C., USA, has 58 faculty members and almost 1,000 undergraduate students. It's a refreshing look filled with optimism as the industry overall is still fighting the image of only providing a career in apparel manufacturing. Click here to read the article. Posted March 6, 2018  

Webbing Company Announces US Expansion.  German-headquartered Oppermann Webbing Inc. has announced it will be creating 71 jobs as part of a $10 million expansion in Powdersville, S.C., USA. The company manufactures a variety of webbing products including tie-downs and aircraft safety belts. Oppermann is a family owned business with 9 global locations. The US plant was established in 2004. Click here to read more. Posted March 4, 2018

Navis TubeTex Buys Consultex and Tandamatic. Navis TubeTex, a provider of  finishing machinery to the textile industry, announced today their purchase of Consultex Spray Systems and Tandematic.  Based in Lexington, N.C., USA, Navis TubeTex designs, engineers and manufactures machinery for the knit, woven, nonwoven, technical and geotextile industries. Consuoltex produces a spray system used in the textile, film, nonwoven, paper and bettery industrys. Tandematics is a maker of low tension feeding systems and stenter auxiliaries. Click here for the Navis announcement. Posted March 2, 2018

Last Chance: Call for IGS Council Candidates. The International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) has issued a Call for Candidates to fill governing positions. There are 8 positions available -- President, Vice President and 6 Council Members.  Candidate requirements included being an IGS member. The position terms are for four years, beginning September 25, 2018. The deadline for nominees is March 1, 2018. Click here for more information. Posted February 2018

US Anti-Microbial Fiber and Yarn Producer Obtains Distribution Agreement in Japan. Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.and PurThread Technologies, Inc. have entered into a distributorship agreement for Mitsui USA to distribute PurThread’s antimicrobial fibers and yarns to textiles and soft goods in Japan. PurThread fibers and yarns are used in businesses serving the healthcare, consumer, home, military, and industrial markets in the United States. PurThread, incorporated in 2009 and based in Cary, N.C., USA, was formerly known as ProtectStyle Corporation. Click here to read the corporate announcement of the distribution agreement. Posted February 28, 2018

Nonwovens Association Wins Awards. Congratulations to EDANA, the nonwovens industry trade association based in Brussels, Belgium. The organization was recognized in two categories at the 2018 European Association Awards held in Brussels on February 23, 2018. EDANA won the Best Association Conference Award for organizing Outlook 2017 and was honored with the silver award in the category for Best Provision of Industry Information and Intelligence for EDANA’s Marketing Intelligence service and tools. Posted February 27, 2018

American & Efird to be Acquired. Global investment firm Platinum Equity announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire American & Efird (A&E) from KPS Capital Partners. Headquartered in Mt. Holly, N.C., USA, A& E manufactures and distributes industrial and consumer sewing thread used by producers of apparel, automotive components, medical supplies and industrial products. Click here to read the company press release. Posted February 26, 2018 

Sattler Names Northeast US Sales Manager. Awning and marine fabric manufacturer Sattler Group has announced Hans Schwieger as its Northeast Sales Manager. Mr. Schwieger has been in the technical textiles industry for 20 years, joining Sattler on February 24, 2018. Sattler Group is part of Sattler AG, an acrylic fabric maker headquartered in Germany with a distribution office in Hudson, N.C., USA. Posted February 24, 2018

©Bigelow Space Operations, LLC 2018

Bigelow Aerospace Announces the Creation of Space Operations Company. Bigelow Aerospace, the developer of the inflatable space module being tested at the International Space Station, has established Bigelow Space Operations (BSO), a commercial space company that will manage and operate space stations developed by Bigelow Aerospace. Two modules are scheduled to launch in 2021.  A new manufacturing facility is planned to build the modules. Click here for more information. Posted February 23, 2018

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  • June 19-20: Elementary Nonwovens Training Course, Cary, N.C., USA

  • June 21-23: OFPANZ Conference 2018, Christchurch, New Zealand

  • June 27-28: The Future of Composites in Transportation, Chicago, Ill., USA

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

Report Published on the US Technical Textiles Industry

I am pleased to announce the first part of my report 2018 State of the U.S.Technical Textiles Industry has just been published by Textile World magazine. 

 

This first part features a general industry overview, plus an evaluation of the status and impact of US trade positions.

 

The second part, featured in the April/May issue will cover major end markets for technical textiles such as automotive and military.

 

Click here to go to the Textile World website to read the first part. 

 

Steve Warner, Publisher

Status of China’s Industrial Textiles Industry

BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to present a new report on the state of China's industrial textiles industry, presented through our exclusive exchange with China Textile magazine. In China's 13th "Five-Year Program" period, industrial textiles are focused on new materials and applications for environmental protection, infrastructure construction, medical treatment and health care, emergency and public safety, and military and civilian integration. Click here to go to the article.

New Dates for ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 Textile Machinery Show

The joint owners of the ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 textile machinery exhibition have announced new dates for the 6th combined showcase to be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre in Shanghai, China. The new dates are October 15-19, 2018. According to show owners CEMATEX and Chinese partners, the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT (CCPIT-Tex), China Textile Machinery Association (CTMA) and China Exhibition Centre Group Corporation (CIEC), the shift in the exhibition dates is due to a new national initiative, which affected the scheduling of all events at the exhibition center in October. [Note: BeaverLake6 Report is an industry media partner for the show.] Posted February 11, 2018

New Glen Raven CEO Interviewed for Textile World Magazine

CEO Leib Oehmig

In October at the IFAI Expo 2017, I had the opportunity to sit down with -- at the time -- incoming Glen Raven CEO Leib Oehmig for an interview that has now been posted on the Textile World website and will also be in their printed November/December issue.

 

I've known Mr. Oehmig for probably more than 20 years and have watched his steady management progression within the Glen Raven organization. During the interview, he was very gracious with his time at a busy show and transparent in answering questions on a far-ranging number of topics including the management transition from Alan Gant, Jr., to Mr. Oehmig, the first non-Gant family member to lead Glen Raven. Click here to read the interview and learn more about the thoughts of one of our industry leaders.

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

"Buy American" Amendments Needed in US FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act

As the saying goes "Politics make strange bedfellows." Today we find more than one-third of the Senate Democrats urging the inclusion of key amendments in the US FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (2018 NDAA) that would strengthen the US government's "Buy American" policies.

 

Versions of the NDAA were recently passed by both the Senate and House and a joint committee is working out a single bill. The submitted Senate version, however, left out proposed key amendments designed to prevent the weakening of domestic sourcing for the US military. One amendment included the prevention for lifting of the restrictions in place for domestic sourcing of wearable electronic products and another amendment prevents certain exceptions to the Berry Amendment which would allow non-domestic sourcing through memoranda of agreement with foreign governments.

 

What's the "strange bedfellows" aspect? Well, "Buy American" is also one of the key positions taken by the Trump administration. So, we have both the Democrats and the Trump administration on the same side, trying to keep strong the US domestic capability for supplying the military. Strange bedfellows given the current political animosity in Washington...but still the cooperation is vital for the US domestic textile industry. 

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Posted November 3, 2017

Is Saving the US Navy's Peacoat a Matter of National Security?

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...

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

June 29. 2017

President Trump's Reveals 2017 Trade Policy Agenda

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:

  • Defending the US National Sovereignty over Trade Policy
  • Strictly Enforcing US Trade Laws
  • Using Leverage to Open Foreign Markets
  • Negotiating New and Better Trade Deals

​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

What's the NCTO Game Plan for the Post-TPP Era?

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

Steady Growth Prospects for Expanding Specialty Geosynthetics

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 Explores the Roads to a Textile Power

Sun Ruizhe

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

In My Opinion

Re-Shoring: Good for the Goose is Not Good for the Gander?

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.

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Media Partners

In My Opinion

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

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  Director

  Ricky Richards (Sales) Pty Ltd.

 

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Secretary Gary Locke, US Dept. of Commerce, and Steve Warner Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Steve Warner

Success in our industry is all about knowledge, integrity and developing relationships. BeaverLake6 Group, LLC, publisher of BeaverLake6 Report, is a management consulting firm focused on helping businesses understand the complex global technical textiles industry.

 

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Connect with Steve Warner, publisher of BeaverLake6 Report, at LinkedIn.

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