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News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry

 

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Photo Source: Burton

NASA-Inspired USA Olympic Uniforms for Snowboarders. Burton Snowboards, the official provider of snowboarding equipment for the US Olympic snowboard team, has unveiled the snappy new uniforms to be worn at the 2018 games taking place in Pyeonchang, South Korea. According to an article posted on the Forbes magazine website, "The uniform infuses a lightweight, aluminum-coated fabric typically used for audio equipment with technical properties made for snowboarding in any weather condition...The company claims the resulting fabric is light, waterproof, and reflective to both light and sound. Next, to pay homage to the spirit of the American space program, the competition jacket has hand-drawn patches depicting the American flag and 'USA' in space-age font." Click here to read the article. Posted November 20, 2017

Ballistic Vest Company Point Blank Enterprises Faces Class Action Lawsuit on Alleged Defective Products. According to the website Class Action, "The Ohio State Troopers Association, Inc., the International Union of Police Associations, and three individual officers have filed a proposed class action lawsuit that alleges the shoulder straps on certain model bulletproof vests manufactured by defendant Point Blank Enterprises, Inc. are defective to the extent that they pose a 'life-threatening safety issue' and cannot be reasonably relied upon for their intended use." The lawsuit was filed October 19, 2017 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Point Blank is one of the largest suppliers of ballistic vests to US law enforcement and military agencies. Click here to read the Class Action article and also to read the entire 34-page filed document. Posted November 20, 2017 

UMass Lowell Given Grant to Research Smart Fabric. According to an article posted on the University of Massachusetts' website, Governor Charlie Bakerhas awarded UMass Lowell (Lowell, Mass., USA) an $11.3 million state grant to establish the Fabric Discovery Center (FDC). The Discovery Center is one of a series being organized by the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (see earlier posting today about the Drexel Discovery Center). One goal of the UMass FDC research is to seamlessly embed flexible hybrid electronics into fabric by threading conductive wire, which is indistinguishable from normal thread, thereby creating the next generation of smart fabrics,” said Professor Ramaswamy Nagarajan. Click here to read the UMass announcement. Posted November 20, 2017<< New image with text >>

Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition Announces New Additions to Board. The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) has announced Dr. Scott Harley of BAE Systems and Bruce LaFlam of Milliken and Company have been elected to its board of directors. In addition, Frank Montie of Brookwood Companies was elected to serve as the next WPRC Chairman of the Board. The organization's founding chairman Luke Hillier will be stepping up to Chairman Emeritus. Established in 2009, WPRC is an advocacy association with more than 40 US companies involved in military contract-related textile products. Its projects this year focused on expanding domestic source requirements to the US Department of Homeland Security, protecting the Berry Amendment, promoting the use of "Best Value" contracting methodologies for the Personal Protective Equipment/Organizational Clothing industry, and supporting additional funding for the Soldier Enhancement Progam and the Rapid Equipping Force. Click here to read the WPRC's press release announcing the board additions plus listing the 9 new members who joined in 2017. Posted November 20, 2017

Drexel Latest to Open Fabric Discovery Center under AFFOA Coalition. Drexel University in Philadelphia, Penn., USA, has announced it is establishing a statewide center that will "help companies, entrepreneurs and innovators take their advanced-textile concept from prototype to product." The research facility is one of the Fabric Discovery Centers being supported by the US Department of Defense's Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) initiative. Drexel's first project is development of a functional fabric touch sensor. While Drexel will be the physical home of the center, it will bring together research and expertise from universities across the state that are also members of AFFOA, including Carnegie Mellon, Penn State University and Jefferson University. Similar AFFOA centers are now in place in Massachusetts: The AFFOA Fabrics Discovery Center Headquarters, in Cambridge, Mass.; the Defense Fabric Discovery Center at MIT's Lincoln Lab, and the University of Mass. Lowell Fabric Discovery Center. Click here to read more about the Drexel center Posted November 20, 2017

NASA's Mars 2020 Mission Performs First Supersonic Parachute Test. The first testing last month of NASA's Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE) was described by one official as "wild." The parachute system was launched into the upper-atmosphere from the Goddard Space Flight Center near Hampton, Virginia, USA. "It was quite a ride," said Ian Clark, the test's technical lead from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For the first time NASA got to see the supersonic parachute system in real action asit successful released at 1.8 times the speed of sound. The parachute is designed to slow the spacecraft down as it enters the Martian atmosphere at over 12,000 mph. The next ASPIRE test is planned for February 2018. Click here to read the complete NASA press release. Posted November 17, 2017

European Union to Fine Airbag and Seat Belt Manufacturer Cartel. According to the Reuters news agency, the European Union (EU) is finalizing its 6-year investigation into an alleged cartel of a group of car seat belt and airbag makers and is about to announce fines for the companies involved. Cartels are prohibited by EU rules. Airbag producer TRW Automotive, which was acquired by Germany's ZF Friedrichschefen AG, has already acknowledged that two of its factories in Germany were investigated. Autoliv, the world's largest airbag manufacturer, has declined to comment on the investigation. Companies have an incentive to admit their wrong-doing, receiving a 10% discount in the penalty fines handed out by the EU. Click here to read the Reuters report published in Automotive News EuropePosted November 17, 2017

Berry Gobal Group to Acquire Clopay Plastic Products. Berry Global Group, Inc. (Berry) has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Clopay Plastic Products Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Griffon Corporation, for $475 million. Berry, headquartered in Evansville, Ind., USA, is a manufacturer of engineered materials, nonwoven specialty materials, and consumer packaging. Clopay, based in Mason, Oh., USA, is a global supplier of printed breathable films as well as elastic films and laminates used in markets such as healthcare, construction and industrial protective apparel. Click here to read the Berry announcement. Posted November 17, 2017

US Federal Court Dismisses Legal Motions Alleging False and Misleading Claims Against Protective Material Manufacturer. Vestagen Protective Technologies, Inc., which manufactures and markets VESTEX® Active Barrier fabric healthcare uniforms, lab coats and patient garments, today announced that a U.S. federal court in California denied all additional legal motions against Vestagen brought by medical garment manufacturer Strategic Partners, Inc. (SPI). The SPI motions followed a recent jury trial for its 2016 lawsuit, in which the jury found in favor of Vestagen. The Court decisions this week confirm the jury verdict, rejecting SPI's allegations that Vestagen had made false and misleading advertising and marketing claims about VESTEX. The Court's denial of these new motions means the jury verdict for Vestagen will stand. Click here to read the company's press release on the Court's action. Posted November 17, 2017

Representatives of Messe Frankfurt and SPESA Sign Agreement

Messe Frankfurt, Inc. and SPESA Will Continue to Co-Produce Equipment Show. You can relax if you were worried about who would be managing the 2032 Texprocess Americas show. Yesterday, Messe Frankfurt, Inc. and SPESA (Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas) announced an agreement to extend the current contract to co-produce the biennial Texprocess Americas trade show through 2032. Since 2010 Texprocess has been co-located with the Textextil North America show in Atlanta on even years. The signing is good news for visitors and exhibitors of Texprocess Americas and Techtextil North America. Both were both included in the 2016 Trade Show News Network's Top 250 Trade Shows in the United States. Posted November 10, 2017

JEC Asia Attracts Record Numbers. The strategic move from Singapore to Seoul, South Korea proved to be a good change for the 10th JEC Asia international composite event. More than 230 exhibiting companies from Asia, Europe and North America were represented in the trade show. Overall, JEC Asia 2017 attracted 6,271 visitors from 42 countries. This was the first time JEC Asia was held outside of Singapore. Next year JEC Asia 2018 will again be held in Seoul, November 14-16, 2018. Posted November 7, 2017

Swedish Textile Machinery Association Opens Office in Vietnam. The opening of a Vietnam office for the Textile Machinery Association of Sweden (TMAS) supports the growing importance of the textile industry in the southeast Asian country. The office, located in Ho Chi Minh City, will be managed by Tran Phuoc Thanh. Mr. Tran formerly worked for the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group. TMAS has 9 member companies. Click here to read the TMAS press release. Posted November 6, 2017

September Export Figures Released by US Department of Commerce. The US Department of Commerce has released the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end September 30. Exports to Mexico, the US's largest export destination, remains flat, whilesales to China have continued to double-digit growth. Click here to see the entire report. 

 

 

Year Ending

9/2016

Year Ending

9/2017

 

% Change

Mexico

2,070,343

2,062,079

-0.4

Canada

558,168

580,196

+3.9

China

163,069

198,961 +22.0

Hong Kong

131,776 124,860 -5.2

United Kingdom

90,666

100,546 +10.9
World 4,063595 4,162,674 +2.4

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted November 6, 2017

India's Textile Minister Addresses Need for Domestic Technical Textile Industry to Standardize. At the 3rd National Conclave on Standards and Technical Textiles taking place November 2, 2017 in New Delhi, India, Anant Jumar Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, discussed the need for faster technical textile standard development. According to an article posted on the Business Standard website, Mr. Singha said that rapid growth is expected in domestic production and that 8 committees had been formed at the Centre of Excellences in India to expedite the process of developing standards. Click here to read the article. Posted November 3, 2017

Airbag and Seatbelt Safety Discussed for School Buses. The website School Transportation News has an interesting interview with Nick Awabdy, vice president of Engineering at IMMI, a global manufacturer of commercial restraint systems for both people and products. In the article, Mr. Awabdy says the current high costs of airbags make installation of them a "nonstarter" for budget-conscious school systems. However, he says, "It will happen." New technology and placement consideration including roof-rail and side airbags covering the windows make it possible to eliminate any secondary body impacts during a crash. New lap-belt technology, improved education of the positive affects of use, and continuing falling prices for seat modules make it increasingly viable for the inclusion of seatbelts in school buses. Click here to read the article. Posted November 3, 2017

Call for Papers Issued for 2018 International Nonwovens Symposium. EDANA, the Eurpopean-based association for the nonwovens industry, has issued a call for papers for the 2018 International Nonwovens Symposium, taking place in Rome, Italy. The Symposium is being held May 23-24 and will feature a mix of topics on nonwovens across all types of applications. Table top exhibits will also be offered. Click here to learn more about the Symposium. Posted November 3, 2017

(L-R) Regina Brückner, Fritz P. Mayer, Verena Thies

New Chairperson at German Textile Machinery Association. In a press release issued yesterday, the VDMA Textile Machinery Association announced Regina Brückner, Managing Associate of Brückner Trockentechnik, is the new chairperson of the association. She was elected at the members’ meeting in Berlin.The new executive board was completed with Verena Thies, Thies Textilmaschinen, and Fritz P. Mayer, Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik, who were elected as vice chairpersons, and the following elected as directors: Johann Phillip Dilo, Oskar Dilo Maschinenfabrik; Peter D. Dornier, Lindauer Dornier; Arno Gärtner, Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik; Roland Hampel, A. Monforts Textilmaschinen; Dr. Janpeter Horn, Herzog; Markus Kleindorp, Memminger-Iro; Martin Küppers, Saurer Schlafhorst; Georg Stausberg, Oerlikon Textile; Andreas Lukas, Andritz Küsters; Benjamin Mayer, Mayer & Cie; Eric Schöller, Groz-Beckert; and, Heinrich Trützschler, Trützschler. Posted November 3, 2017

New Company Name for Former Durafiber Plant in Germany. As we reported last month, the Durafiber Technologies plant in Bad Herseld, Germany was purchased by internal management and a private investment company. Today the high tenacity yarn producer announced that effective November 1, 2017 its new name has become The FilamentFactory GmbH. Posted November 3, 2017

US Textile Association Praises Trump's Determination on China Antidumping Issue. With President Donald Trump headed to Asia today on a visit that includes Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, the Washington-based US National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) praised the Trump administration’s recent determination China’s non-market economy status for antidumping purposes and called for even more aggressive U.S. enforcement to crack down on unfair trade practices. “The evidence could support no other decision,” said NCTO President & CEO Auggie Tantillo. He added, “Properly defining China as a non-market economy simply confirms what every U.S. manufacturer already understands — China has a set of unfair and extraordinary advantages that allow them to displace investment, production and employment in our market.” Click here to read the entire NCTO press release. Posted November 3, 2017

Timothy P. Kurzweg

Drexel Names New Vice Provost. Timothy P. Kurzweg, an electrical and computer engineering professor at Drexel University, Philadelphia, Penn., USA, has been appointed vice provost for undergraduate education to foster student achievement at the university. Mr. Kurzweg has undergone several well-funded research studies in recent  work at Drexel, including receiving a nearly $1.4 million award from the National Institutes of Health for work in smart textiles. He and his collaborators also received an $800,000 grant for further research into textiles used in a medical setting. Posted November 3, 2017

Canadian Textile Science Institute Schedules Meeting. The 117th Scientific Session of The Institute of Textile Science will be held on February 6, 2018, in Montreal, Que., Canada, one day before the opening of the IFAI Canada Expo 2018. It will be held simultaneously at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Alb., by video conference. The theme of the scientific session is The Role of Textiles and Related Flexible Materials in Infrastructure Renewal. The session will focus on the use of textiles composites, polymers, and other flexible materials in the renewal of bridge, highways, and other engineered structures. Click here for more information. Posted November 3, 2017

Serbian Ballistic Equipment Facility Opens. According to the newsletter Textiles Eastern Europe, Serbian textile producer Yumco has opened a new facility in Vranje called Balistika. The company will produce protective ballistic equipment such as "bulletproof" vests and gloves. The company's general manager said the facility will produce 20,000 protective vests and 10,000 protective equipment kits a year. Click here to go to Textiles Eastern Europe website. [Note: The newsletter is subscription based.] Posted November 1, 2017

Regional Fabricators Conference Organized for Cincinnati. Registration is now open for the Canvas Products Association, Zone 7(CPA-Zone 7) conference in Cincinnati, Oh., USA. The event takes place December 6-9, 2017. Featured speakers include industry experts Kevin Kelly, Mark Stiver and Byron Yonce. CPA-Zone 7 is a regional gathering of companies involved in the manufacture of end products such as awning, marine, truck covers, tarps and other unique custom applications. Click here to find out more information about participating. Posted November 1, 2017

Advisory Council Named for 2018 Techtextil North America. Mess Frankfurt North America, the organizer of 2018 Techtextil North America (TTNA), has announced the formation of an advisory council to help develop educational programming for the event being held May 22-24, 2018 in Atlanta, Ga., USA. The members are Jan Beringer, Hohenstein Institute; Margaret Bishop, Fashion Institute of Technology; Magali Brown, NICCA Chemicals; Sam Buff, Textile Technology Center at Gaston College; Dr. Wei Gao, North Carolina State University; Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi, The Nonwovens Institute; and, Dr. Gang Sun, University of California, Davis. Posted November 1, 2017

2018 World Directory of Manufactured Fiber Producers Released. The 2018 World Directory of Manufactured Fiber Producers was released yesterday by the Fiber Economics Bureau (FEB). The annual directory is based on the FEB's World Survey of Manufactured Fiber Production, Capacity, and Producers, and on reports from the extensive network of trade contacts the FEB has established over the last 3 decades.  The digital edition lists almost 1,400 company names with extensive company contact details in 64 countries. Click here to find out more about the directory or to order a copy. Posted November 1, 2017  

Smart Textile Event Scheduled for September 2018 during Dornbirn International Fiber Conference.  Preparations have started for the second SALTEX event September 12-13, 2018 in Dorbirn, Austria. The first SALTEX was held in October 2016 with 63 exhibitors and around 900 trade visitors from 13 countries. The main topic of the 2nd SALTEX will be smart textiles and high performance materials. SALTEX is being held alongside the Dornbirn-GFC (formerly Dornbirn-MFC) international fiber conference. Click here to read more about SALTEX 2018. Posted October 30, 2017

INVISTA Enters into Definitive Agreement to sell Apparel & Advanced Textiles Business. INVISTA has entered into a definitive agreement with Shandong Ruyi Investment Holding to sell INVISTA’s Apparel & Advanced Textiles business, one of INVISTA’s four major business units. Closing is expected by mid-2018. The purchase price is undisclosed. INVISTA will retain ownership of its nylon, polyester, polyols and licensing businesses and related brands. This includes INVISTA’s nylon 6,6 intermediates business, its global nylon polymer and fiber portfolio, and brands including CORDURA® fabric. INVISTA will also retain its intellectual property rights for 1,4 butanediol (BDO), tetrahydrofuran (THF) and polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) technologies and will continue to license these technologies on a global basis.  Click here to read the complete company press release on the sale. Posted October 30, 2017

Roy Schweinfurth

Lest We Forget: Industry Leader Roy Schweinfurth Passes. It is with regret to give the news that retired industry leader Roy Schweinfurth has died at age 91. Mr. Schweinfurth was formerly the owner of Awnco, a Chicago-area custom awning manufacturer. He earned the professional certification Master Fabric Craftsman from the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) and served in many leadership positions in the organization, culminating in being elected as its president (now chairman of the board) from 1985 to 1987. Click here to read the obituary posted on the Chicago Tribune website. Posted October 28, 2017

EDANA Announces Winners of 2017 Nonwovens Innovation Academy Poster Contest Awards. 

EDANA, the association for the nonwovens and related industries, announced the 3 laureates of the Poster Contest Awards during a ceremony at the Nonwovens Innovation Academy (NIA), 25th - 26th October in Chemnitz, Germany.

The three winners are Frederik Cloppenburg, Head of the Research Group, Nonwoven Technology - Institut für Textiltechnik der RWTH Aachen University (Germany); Zuhaib Hassan, PhD Student - Istanbul Technical University (Turkey); and, Pranil Vora, Textile Technology Student - D.K.T.E Textile & Engineering Institute (India). The three laureates will be invited to present their research at the International Nonwovens Symposium in Rome, on May 23-24, 2018, in front of over 250 attendees. Click here to read the complete detailed press release which lists their poster topics as well as the full list of presented posters. Posted October 28, 2017

Fiber and Yarn Distribution Agreement Announced. TNC Global of Greensboro, N.C., USA, and The Radici Comfort Fibres Business Area, headquartered in Gandino, Italy, have announced the signing of a distribution agreement for the US and Canada. TNC will be responsible for the distirbution of Radici Nylon and Ployester fiber and filament yarn products. Posted October 25, 2017

Ballistic Gear Manufacturer Continues Acquisition Spree. JLL PB Holding LLC, the parent company of Point Blank Enterprises (“Point Blank”), a producer of soft and hard body armor and related protective equipment, announced today the acquisition of substantially all the assets of Short Bark Industries, a certified Berry Amendment compliant manufacturer of tactical and strategic gear and uniforms for various branches of the U.S. military. Point Blank also announced the formation of a new division, Protective Apparel & Uniform, which will incorporate the Short Bark business. This makes the third acquisition by Point Blank in 2017, following the May purchase of Gould & Goodrich, a maker of gun holsters, duty belts and other protective gear in Lillington, N.C., USA, and the August purchase of United Shield International Limited, a maker of protective body armor in Andover, Hampshire, U.K. Click here to read the Point Blank press release. Posted October 25, 2017

Partnership Announced in the Development of Wearables Designed for Military Applications. Zansors, a micro-sensor technology company, and Blauer Manufacturing Inc., a maker of uniforms and protective apparel for first responders and military, have announced a partnership to introduce wearable technology in defense textiles. According to the press release issued yesterday, fabrics enhanced with sensors can be developed to change colors, be more sweat-friendly, ballistic-hardened, or tear and puncture proof. Zansors is located in the metro-Washington, D.C., area and Blauer is located in Boston, Mass., USA. Click here to read the press release. Posted October 25, 2017

Great Success Reported by IFAI Expo Organizer. The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has released it post-event report for the IFAI Expo 2017 held in September in New Orleans, La., USA. According to the release, the event attracted more than 4,500 participants (visitors and exhibitors).and 380 exhibiting companies. Both numbers were down about 10% from the previous show but not unexpected given the location this year compared to the event being held in Charlotte, N.C. in 2016. Overall, the 2017 event featured more than 50 speakers giving presentations in various formats including small "campfire" sessions on the show floor as well as the extensive Advanced Textiles sessions held the day prior to the exhibition opening.  The IFAI Expo 2018 next year will be held in Dallas, Texas, USA, October 15-18. It will be co-locating with the CAMX composites show. Posted October 25, 2017

Italian Textile Machinery Association Continues to See Positive Trend in 2017. ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, has released a report that shows Italian textile machinery sales rose 6% compared to the same period in 2016. Click here to read the press release. Posted October 25, 2017

Huge Attendance Came to New Orleans for SGIA 2017 Expo. More than 19,000 visitors descended on New Orleans October 10-12 to attend the Specialty Graphics Imaging Association's 2017 Expo. The annual event is the largest print show in North America. The exhibition featured 597 industry suppliers. During the event, SGIA revealed a new show called THREADX was being organized for the decorative apparel industry. THREADX will take place February 25-28, 2018 in Palm Springs, Calif., USA. SGIA 2018 Expo will be taking place October 18-20 in Las Vegas Nev., USA. Posted October 20, 2017

Simon Léger

Serge Ferrari Names Sales Manager for Canada. In a press release posted today, Serge Ferrari, has announced the appointment of Simon Léger as its Regional Sales Manager for Canada. Mr. Léger brings to Serge Ferrari more than 15 years of experience in the building finishing industry.  The company is a producer of flexible material used for solar protection, marine, architectural, building facade, and other applications. Posted October 19, 2017

Rhode Island Governor Extolls Textile Industry Roots in the State. Rhode Island (USA) Governor Gina Raimondo met with members of the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN) yesterday as she visited a Kenyon Industries manufacturing plant. The company, a division of Brookwood Industries, is a dyer, finisher, coater and printer of woven synthetic fabrics for end markets such as recreation and military. RITIN was formed about a year ago and today has more than 60 state textile manufacturers  involved. A goal is to present a positive image of the growing applications for technical textiles, targeting students graduating from high school. Click here to read an article posted on The Westerly Sun website. Posted October 19, 2017

Image courtesy The Korean Herald

Hyundai Mobis Reveals Sunroof Airbag. The South Korea automotive parts supplier Hyundai Mobis announced yesterday it has introduced the industry's first panorama sunroof airbag.  According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 260 passengers in the US have been thrown through the sunroof in accidents occurring between 2000 and 2015. Hyundai Mobis is a relative newcomer in the airbag supplier industry, only mass-producing airbag systems since 2002. Click here to read an article on this new system on The Korea Herald website. Posted October 19, 2017

INDA Releases North American Nonwovens Industry Outlook Report. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, has released a new industry outlook report, "North American Nonwovens Industry Outlook, 2016-2021."  The report's author is Brad Kalil, INDA's Director of Market Research & Statistics. The 370-page report details capacity, production and trade flows, and demand data are present for 2011 and 2016, plus a forecast for 2021. Click here for more information. Posted October 18, 2017

Filtration 2017 Attracts More Than 1,400 in Chicago. INDA's Filtration 2017 International Conference & Exposition was held October 10-12 in Chicago,  Ill., USA. According to the organizer, more than 1,400 participated in the event. The trade show featured 140-plus exhibitors. It was announced Filtration 18 will take place October 2-4, 2018, in Philadelphia. Click here to read the INDA press release on the recent 2017 conference and show.  Posted October 16, 2017

North American Textile Trade Agreements to be Discussed. SPESA, the Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of Americas, has organized an excellent panel to discuss textile trade issues, specifically NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement), during its upcoming SPESA 2017 Executive Conference. The event is being held in Memphis, Tenn., USA, November 7-9, 2017. The panel will consist of leaders of major North American textile trade organizations: Auggie Tantillo, president of the National Council of Textile Organizations, Steve Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, Bob Kirke, executive director of the Canadian Apparel Federation, and Manuel Motano, deputy director of the Mexican Institute for Competiveness. Click here to learn more about the conference. Posted October 16, 2017 

August Export Figures Released by US Department of Commerce. The US Department of Commerce has released the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end August 31. The overall global export figure showed a continued improvement that we began to see several months ago, increasing in August by 2.1% over the same period last year.  While Mexico continues to be the dominant destination of US technical textile exports with slightly under 50%, the US exports to China have seen double-digit percentage growth these past few months. It's something US trade organizations like NCTO should be watching. Click here to see the entire report. 

 

 

Year Ending

8/2016

Year Ending

8/2017

 

% Change

Mexico

2,072,844

2,066,661

-0.30

Canada

555,974

578,235

+4.00

China

164,808

159,593

+18.68

Hong Kong

130,718

122,167

-6.54

United Kingdom

98,292

99,782

+10.51

World 4,068,612 4,155,146 +2.13

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted October 16, 2017

Apparel Manufacturer Commits $100 Million to New Canadian Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster. Myant Inc., an apparel manufacturing company involved in smart fabrics, confirmed yesterday that it has committed $100-million to the proposed Canadian advanced manufacturing supercluster. The "supercluster" is part of a $950 million national program similar to the innovation centers being set up in the US. According to Tony Chahine, CEO and Founder of Myant: "The Canadian supercluster will bring together more than 100 academic institutions, not-for-profits, healthcare groups and manufacturers to establish high quality and resilient jobs, and talent and training in leading industries that intersect manufacturing and technology." Click here to read more. Posted October 12, 2017

Harold Hill

SYFA Conference Theme: Tools for Transformation in Textiles. The Synthetic Yarn & Fabric Association (SYFA) Fall Conference's keynote speaker will Harold Hill, president of Glen Raven Technical Fabrics. The SYFA event will be held October 26-27, 2017, in Charlotte, N.C., USA. The theme this year is "Tools for Transformation in Textiles." Mr. Hill's presentation is titled "Building a Culture of Innovation." Other speakers include Dr. Mike Fralix, president and CEO of TC2, Alasdair Carmichael of PCI Wood Mackenzie, Dr. Roger Tutterow of Kennesaw State University, and Sara Beatty of the National Council of Textile Organizations. Click here to see the full conference program and registration information. Posted October 12, 2017

JEC Asia Show Fully Booked. The 10th JEC Asia is being held in Seoul, South Korea for the first time, November 1-3, 2017, after being located in Singapore for the previous events. It appears to have been a good decision to move the event. JEC, the composite industry's organization, has announced the trade show is fully booked with more than 215 companies exhibiting. In the educational conference sessions, there will be 45 presentations. Click here for more information. Posted October 12, 2017

German Textile Machinery Technology Showcased in Special US Presentation. VDMA, the German textile machinery association, is organizing a special B2B business forum themed "German Technology Meets US Textile. It will be held November 6 in Charlotte, N.C., USA., and feature 3 parallel sessions -- fiber and yarn industry, nonwovens and technical industry, and apparel, home textile & carpet industry. More than 25 VDMA member companies will be participating. The event is free of charge and includes a conference dinner for networking. Click here for the program and registration information [Note: BeaverLake6 Report is a media partner for the event.] Posted October 11, 2017

Green Textile Changes Name and Rebrands. After more than 75 years, Green Textile is rebranding to Signet Mills to reflect its efforts to be custom and unique in supplying engineered materials for the medical, industrial and automotive industries. The company is headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C., USA. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted October 11, 2017 

Geosynthetics Society Selects Rome for 2022 International Conference. While no official announcement has been made by the International Geosynthetics Society (IFS), one of the organization's Council members posted on LinkedIn that during their meeting in Morocco two days ago the Council voted to select Rome, Italy to host the 12th International Conference on Geosynthetics (12ICG) in 2022. The events are held every 4 years and the 11ICG is being held September 16-21, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea. Posted October 10, 2017

Second Smart Textiles Conference Scheduled for April in Washington. The US Department of Commerce has announced it is once again partnering with the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) in the organizing of Smart Fabrics Summit 2018. The event will be held April 24, 2018 in Washington, D.C., USA. This is the second collaboration between the government department and the trade association on smart textiles. The first event held in 2016 attracted a sold-out audience. Agenda and registration information will be published in November. Click here to go to the read the Department of Commerce's press release. Posted October 10, 2017

INDA Launches New Directory of Pilot Lines for Nonwoven Product Development. INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, has launched print and web versions of a new Directory of Pilot Lines for Nonwoven/Engineered Materials Product Development.  This is the first and only compendium of those pilot facilities who offer commercially available machine time for the necessary trial activity associated with the development of new nonwoven fabrics/structures. The Directory catalogs 32 pilot facilities in the US, Europe and Asia.  There is a brief description of each facility’s process capability, size or throughput limits, and contact information. Click here for more information about the directory. Posted October 11, 2017

German DuraFiber Technologies Plant Acquired by Internal Management up and Private Investment Group. Following on the heels of the announcement the Shelby, N.C., USA plant had been sold to an internal management buyout group and a private investment company, DuraFiber Technologies (FDT) GmbH in Bad Hersfeld, Germany has also had an internal management buyout. Ralph Van Loo will remain in his position as the company's CEO. The Bad Hersfeld plant makes high tenacity multifilament yarns manufactured from PET (polyethylene terephthalate), PEEK (polyetheretherketone), PPS (polyphenylene sulfide) and PBT (polybutylene terephalate). The end markets include applications requiring high strength, from architectural design to seat belt yarns, from MRG to sewing threads and specialty applications. The ownership group in the Bad Hersfeld acquisition is completely different from the investment group acquiring the Shelby plant. Posted October 10, 2017

Digital Printing Conference Set for November in North Carolina. Two professional organizations -- AATCC and SGIA -- have joined together to organize Digital Textile Printing Conference Version 2.0. The "2.0" in the title is referencing this is their second collaborative effort following the inaugural event in December 2016. The 2017 event is being held November 29-30 in Durham, N.C., USA. 17 presentations are scheduled. Click here to see the list of presenters and topics, plus registration information. Posted October 11, 2017 

Maine High Temperature Fabric Manufacturer Receives Excellence Award. Auburn Manufacturing, headquartered in Mechanic Falls, Maine, USA, was given the 2017 Maine MEP Manufacturing Excellence Award today. The award recognizes leadership, vision and manufacturing excellence. Auburn Manufacturing make extreme heat resistant industrial textiles. Last year, the company successful brought forth an anti-dumping claim against a Chinese manufacturer bringing heat-resistant fabrics into the US. Click here to read an article posted on the Portland Press Herald website. Posted October 6, 2017

Healthcare Uniform Provider Secures $9.5 Million. Vestagen Protective Technologies, Inc., which develops and markets VESTEX® Active Barrier1 fabric healthcare uniforms, lab coats and patient garments, announced yesterday the closing of a $9.5 million financing. Existing investors Advent Life Sciences and HealthQuest Capital, and new investors Greenline Ventures, Northwell Ventures and Mercy Health of Cincinnati, participated in the funding round. Proceeds from the financing will primarily be used to generate additional clinical evidence of VESTEX’s ability to protect healthcare workers and patients from the risks of unanticipated exposures to body fluids, to obtain regulatory review of the protective properties of VESTEX fabric and to expand the company’s commercialization activities. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted October 6, 2017

Allen Gant, Jr.

New Leadership at Glen Raven. Congratulations to Allen Gant Jr., as he officially stepped down as president and CEO of Glen Raven Inc. this afternoon. Mr. Gant has recorded a remarkable tenure in guiding Glen Raven during the past 18 years. Under his leadership, the company has expanded into Asia, Europe, Brazil and India, as well as grown beyond the traditional industrial fabric products offered when he took over. Mr. Gant will continue to serve as chairman of the board of the family-owned business. Succeeding him is Leib Oehmig, the first non-family member to serve as president and CEO. Mr. Oehmig was previously the company's chief operating officer. Posted October 5, 2017

Firestone Fibers and Textiles Facility in Canada to Close. Bridgestone Canada Inc. announced today it would close the Firestone Fibers and Textiles facility in Woodstock, Ont., Canada in 2018. The plant manufactures Nylon 6 for external customers, and reinforcement materials for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, Firestone Industrial Products and Firestone Building Products. More than 180 jobs will be lost with the closing that will take place over an 18-month period, starting in December 2017. Click here for more information. Posted October 4, 2017

Rebranding "Nonwovens." In an effort to better reflect the dynamic, technology-based nature of the nonwoven industry, INDA has launched a new tagline of "Advancing Engineered Material Solutions" under its logo and added as a tagline. INDA President Dave Rouse explains:  “The INDA initiative includes a video that positions “nonwovens” as “engineered materials” and highlights the breadth of nonwoven applications; a new Academic Outreach Initiative to attract young talent to the industry; and is working with EDANA, the European nonwovens association, to secure approval for a new definition of nonwovens through the International Standards Organization (ISO). These three initiatives are critical to ensure our industry is properly recognized, attractive to newcomers and defined as being independent from textiles to enable fair tariff treatment.” Click here to read the press release. Posted October 4, 2017

Jerry Grimaud

Grimaud Receives Honor Life Member Status by IFAI. Congratulations to Jerry Grimaud, owner of Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc., of St. Louis, Mo., USA, for being selected by the board of the Industrial Fabrics Association International to receive the organization's prestigious Honored Life Member (HLM) status. The honor given to only a select group of individuals who have shown a commitment to IFAI for meritorious or outstanding work accomplished for the organization. Posted October 4, 2017

Smart Textiles are in "Trough of Disillusionment." At least that's the impression of Ben Cooper, managing director of IOClothes, who was participating in a panel discussion at the IFAI Expo in New Orleans last week, as he explained the struggles of smart textile applications breaking into the commercial market. Debra Cobb, editor of Knitting Industry, was at the event and has written an excellent report on the smart textiles aspects found both on the trade show floor and at the special Advanced Textiles symposium. LIke most new emerging industries, there is a knowledge communication gap between two merging industries -- electronics and textiles. Click here to go to the Knitting Industry website to read the article. Posted October 4, 2017

American Association Urges End of Using Prison Labor in Textile Fabrication Industry. The website Fibre2Fashion.com has a very nice article posted reporting on the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), an alliance of groups representing firms from the Canadian, Mexican and US textile sectors, efforts to urge the US Government to plug the loopholes in the implementation of the Berry Amendment in military clothing, textile and footwear procurement and stop the patronage offered to Federal Prison Industries (FPI). "The strongest note of concern is raised about the ‘unfair competition’ from the FPI, which conducts business under the name UNICOR. As FPI is permitted to compete as a small business, an entity that is many times larger than the largest US military uniform contractor can take contracts reserved for small and disadvantaged businesses.UNICOR employs more than 12,000 inmates at 83 facilities and has annual revenues of around $500 million. While the US federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and state minimum wages are approaching $15 an hour, UNICOR products are manufactured at prison facilities by inmates paid as little as 23 cents per hour. Moreover, UNICOR facilities are not required to comply with regulations regarding safe workplaces, handling of hazardous materials and fair labor practices and its factories are set up partly through tax-payer funds, while private facilities enjoy no such advantages, according to AAFA." Click here to read the Fibre2Fashion article. Posted October 3, 2017

Inflatable Boat Manufacturer Acquired. According to New Zealand's The National Business Review, Future Mobility Solutions has announced it is acquiring US boat-maker Willard Marine for $6.85 million. Williad builds military grade rigid inflatable boats and generated $13.1 million in revenue in 2016. Customers include the US Navy, US Army Corps of Engineers and foreign military. Future Mobility Solutions is based in Auckland, New Zealand, and was formerly known as Sealegs International. The acquisition now allows Future Mobility Solutions to supply the US military under the Berry Amendment made in the USA requirement. Click here to read the article. Posted October 3, 2017 

Porcher Industries Acquires P-D Interglas Technologies from Preiss Daimler Group. Porcher Industries has today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Interglas Technologies operation including all business operations, work-force resources, assets, infrastructure and brand rights from the Preiss Daimler Group. Interglas Technologies GmbH is a German producer of technical fabrics for aeronautic, industrial, electrical and building applications. The company has over 50 years of experience in the manufacturing and innovation of glass, carbon, basalt, aramid and other synthetic fabrics. Headquartered in Germany, with production facilities in Erbach, the company is a key supplier of technical fabrics, both within Germany and worldwide. Click here to read the Porcher press release. Posted October 3, 2017

Canadian Airbag Manufacturer Settles 20-Year-Old Lawsuit. Magna International Inc. has settled a lawsuit that sought damages of $2.6-billion against the company after it sold its airbag business in 1997 to TRW (now part of ZF Friedrichshafen AG. Magna has agreed to pay $25-million to Windsor, Ont., Canada-based companies Centoco Holdings Ltd. and KS Centoco Ltd., and relinquish a 23-per-cent stake in steering-wheel manufacturer KS Centoco as part of the settlement. According to an article posted on The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ont., Canada) website, Magna sold its airbag business to TRW Inc. in 1997 for $570-million, KS Centoco and Centoco claimed the deal cut them out of rights they had to use a Gemany-based company's airbag technology. Click here to read the article. Posted October 3, 2017

Steven L. Ellington

New Chairman at Industrial Fabrics Association International.  Congratulations to Steven L. Ellington, IFM, President of TriVantage, a Glen Raven company, for becoming the 52nd Chairman of the Board at the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) at the start of the organization's annual meeting on September 27, 2017. Mr. Ellington had previously been serving as the association's 1st Vice Chairman/Chairman-Elect. Kathy Schaefer, IFM, of Glawe Awnings and Tents Company, began a 2-year term as the 1st Vice Chairman/Chairman-Elect. Amy Bircher, president of MMI Textiles Inc., was elected as 2nd Vice Chairman. Posted October 2, 2017

Photo by Mount Vernon FR

Specialty Fabrics on Display at National Safety Council Expo. Sourcing Journal has posted on its website a quick review on specialty FR textiles exhibited at the National Safety Council Expo 2017 that are used in workwear. The show was held September 25-27 in Indianapolis, Ind., USA.  A few of the companies featured in the article are Polartec, Mount Vernon Mills and Matrix World Group. Click here to read the article. Posted October 2, 2017

Russia Working on Third Generation of Ratnik Combat Gear. According to Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces Col. General Oleg Salyukov in an interview post on the Russian news agency Tass, the third generation of the Ratnik combat gear may appear by 2022. The Ratnik-3 exoskeleton suit is being developed by TsNIITochMash.The total weight of the 3rd-generation gear will be reduced by 30%. It is comprised of 59 items including various bulletproof vests and protective helmets,and a combat one-piece garment. Click here to read the Tass article. Posted October 2, 2017

Researchers to Develop Sensing Fabrics for Monitoring Civil Infrastructures. A team of UMass Lowell (Lowell, Mass., USA) researchers has partnered with a research and development company to create new, cost-effective sensor-laden textiles that can be used to monitor the structural health and integrity of vital infrastructures across the country, including buildings and skyscrapers, roadways, bridges, tunnels, railway tracks, dams and pipelines. The Lowell researchers are collaborating with researchers from Saint-Gobain, a multinational corporation with an R&D center based in Northborough, to develop fabrics integrated with optical fibers and sensors. These fabrics can be applied to existing structures to monitor strain or detect cracks in their early stages, thereby minimizing maintenance costs, environmental impacts and disruptions to the people’s lives and businesses. The project is supported by an $853,000 grant from the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), which is part of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation Institutes. Click here to read the article. Posted October 2, 2017

2017 International Achievement Award winners announced at IFAI Expo. Winners in IFAI’s International Achievement Awards (IAA) competition, recognizing design excellence in specialty fabrics applications, were announced on Sept. 28 at the organization’s annual meeting at IFAI Expo 2017. A total of 235 entries from 11 countries were received, resulting in 41 Award of Excellence (AOE) winners and 31 Outstanding Achievement Awards. Seven AOE recipients were also chosen as “Best in Category” winners:

  • Fabric Structures: Commercial Industrial Delta SA (CIDELSA); Lima, Peru
  • Awnings and Canopies: J. Miller Canvas Inc.; Santa Ana, Calif, USA
  • Fabric Environments: Fabric Images Inc.; Elgin, Ill., USA
  • Marine Fabrication: David’s Custom Trimmers; Wakerley, Queensland, Australia
  • Tent Rental and Manufacturing: Fiesta Tents Ltd.; Saint-Laurent, Quebec, Canada
  • Geosynthetics: ACE Geosynthetics Inc.; Taichung City, Taiwan
  • Advanced Textiles: Coppins Sea Anchors Ltd.; Motueka, New Zealand

Detailed product descriptions and photos of all 2017 IAA winners will soon be posted on the IAA website. Posted October 2, 2017

Security, Safety and Fire Protection Show Readies to Feauture Technical Textile Products. The 20th anniversary edition of Intersec will be held Janaury 21-23, 2018 in Dubai, U.A.E. Fire & Rescue section is the second largest section respresented in the show with more than 400 exhibitors including all major fireman turncoat manufacturers. New this year will be the Wearable Security Pavilion, spotlighting advanced textiles. Click here for more information on the show. Posted October 2, 2017

DuraFiber Technologies US Polyester Facility Acquired.  PolyQuest, Incorporated and Straterra Holdings announced today the formation of Fiber Innovators International, LLC (a joint venture between the respective companies) that has acquired the former DuraFiber Technologies facility in Grover, N.C., USA. The company will continue to produce 500 denier and lower polyesterthreads at the facility. PolyQuest, a privately held company headquartered in Wilmington, N.C., is the largest distributor of PET resins in the U.S. and Canada. Straterra Holdings is a privately held company composed of former key management of DuraFiber Technologies, including CEO Frank Papa and CFO Erwin Bette. According to a source close to the acquisition, the new company is also looking at acquiring the remaining DuraFiber Technologies plant in Germany. Posted September 29, 2017

IFAI President Announces Intention to Retire. Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) President and CEO Mary Hennessy has announced her intention to retire effective June 1, 2018. Ms. Hennessy was appointed to her position in June 2012. The IFAI Board of Directors has announced its intention to conduct a national search for Ms. Hennessy's replacement. Posted September 27, 2017.

Nonwoven Producer Commits $9 Million to Expand Production Operations. Thrace-LINQ, a producer of nonwovens  used in a variety of textile applications, including geosynthetics, automotive, construciton and floor cover, has announced it is expanding its Summerville, S.C., USA, production facility. Construction should begin in the second quarter of 2018. Thrace-LINQ is a company within The Thrace Group, heaquartered in Athens, Greece. Click here to read the entire South Carolina Department of Commerce press release. Posted September 24, 2017  

Custom Canvas Shop Featured in Local Newspaper.  There is a nice article posted on the Finger Lake Times website  (Finger Lake, N.Y., USA) on Geneva Awning & Tent Works. The company was founded 141 years ago as Warder Tent. At the time they made canvas sails for boats. The company has since expanded to renting tents and personalized awnings for residential and commercial buildings. Current owners Tom and Kim Ess took over the business in 2000. Click here to read the article. Posted September 24, 2017

Autoliv Initiates Strategy to Separate into Two Companies. The ripple affect in the airbag industry caused by the Takata fiasco is at the heart of the strategy by Autolive, Inc. to formally separate into two companies -- Passive Safety and Electronics. Passive Safety will contain the airbag systems, steering wheels and seatbelts segments of the company. This market segment is expected to grow from $20 billion in 2017 to $25 billion by 2025. Currently, Autoliv is the industry's leader with a 39% market share in passive safety products. Click here to read the company's press release on its strategic plans. Posted September 21, 2017

Composites Show Rescheduled. Wow. It took less than 14 days for CAMX 2017 to be rescheduled. After postponing the show due to Hurricane Irma, the show organizers have announced the event will be held December 12-14, 2017, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. USA. Details about confirming your registration for the new dates or requesting refunds will be sent via email as soon as possible within the next seven days. Additional information on the schedule at a glance, the conference program, and the exhibit hall is expected within the next 2-3 weeks. Congratulations to the show organizers and the staff at the Orange County Convention Center for its quick work. Posted September 17, 2017

3 Emerging Trends for the Geogrids Market. At BeaverLake6 Report, we have always looked with skepticism at the plethora of technical textile "market studies" being offered by market research firms. There seems to be a report available for every conceivable niche technical textile market segment, and most, quite honestly, just take previously available public market information, re-package it, and then charge an outrageous price. There is one, though, that came across our desk today by Technavio which offers some valid observations in its summary description of the geo grid (and geosynthetics) market, citing 3 market drivers. The trends are not "earth-shattering" revelations but they are valid not only for the geosynthetics industry but also for many other product segments: 1) Increasing mergers & acquisitions; 2) Adoption of natural material over synthetic materials; and, 3) Increasing investments in research and development. Click here if you want to see more in the summary description of the report. Posted September 15, 2017

Parachute Manufacturer Sued by Family of Killed Special Forces Soldier. In September 2015 US Army Special Forces Captain James Ahn was killed in a training accident when his reserve parachute failed to open properly. A subsequent Army investigation found that parachute manufacturer Airborne Systems North America had missed sewing a 4-inch ring in a riser, which guides the cords connecting the parachute to the backpack. The family of Captain Ahn has now filed suit against Airborne Systems for wrongful death. Click here to read more about the suit. Posted August 15, 2017 

Registration Opens for Middle East & North Africa Nonwovens Symposium 2018. EDANA, the European-based nonwovens trade association, has opened registration for the 4th edition of its MENA (Middle East & North Africa) Symposium.  The conference will be held February 6-7, 2018 in Dubai, U.A.E. The event will feature a trade show and an extensive educational track, showing the latest nonwoven industry trends and developments in technologies, markets and applications. Click here for more information. Posted September 14, 2017

Flax Cluster to be Established in Kaliningrad. The newsletter Textiles Eastern Europe is reporting in its September issue the Russian government will be providing subsidies for the establishment of flax production in the Kaliningrad region, the Russian province between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. According to the report, a significant part of the funds will be invested in a new flax processing plant. The majority of future production will be used for the medical, construction and military sectors. The newsletter is subscription-based. Click here to visit the publisher's website. Posted September 14, 2017

US Glove-Maker Files for Bankruptcy Protection. Work glove manufacturer Ironclad Performance Wear Corp. has filed for Chapter 11 US federal bankruptcy in California. The company plans to continue to operate as normal due to a $2 million debtor-in-possession loan from Radians Wareham Holdings, Inc., ahead of a planned Section 363 company assets sale to Radians for $20 million. Radians is a manufacturer of work safety apparel. Ironclad was founded in 1998 and makes task-specific work gloves for many end markets including construction and military applications. Click here to read an article on the filing. Posted September 14, 2017

Hurricane Forces Postponement of CAMX Composites Show. Due to the impact of Hurricane Irma, CAMX - The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, scheduled for September 11-14, 2017 in Orlando, Fla., USA, had to be postponed. CAMX is the largest composites show held in North America. It is co-produced by the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE). The organizers are seeking a new site with the hope of still holding the event in 2017. Click here to read the official CAMZ press release on the postponement. Posted September 13, 2017

Nonwovens Company to Open Second Plant in Kentucky. Nonwoven fabrics manufacturer WPT Corp. has announced it will open a $6 million plant in Beaver Dam, Ky., USA. The plant will manufacture nonwoven materials for the hygiene and filtration end markets. This is the second operation in western Kentucky. Other products made by the company include nonwovens for landscape fabrics, cable wrap, fire-retardant roof membrane and hot oil filtration media. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted September 13, 2017

Hexcel Launches $9.79 Million Project to Create New Carbon Fiber Fabrics. Composite manufacturer Hexcel Corporation announced yesterday it will be launching a new UK government-back £7.4 million research and development project -- MAXIM -- and expanding its manufacturing facility in Leicester, East Midlands, UK. The 4-year Multi-Axial Infused Materials (MAXIM) project, backed by the UK Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and match-funded by the UK Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, will be responsible for developing cost-effective materials and manufacturing solutions for large aerospace and automotive composite structures. Hexcel will be installing a state-of-the-art machine for carbon non-crimp fabrics development. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted September 13, 2017

SDL Atlas Names Exclusive Germany and Switzerland Distributor. SDL Atlas, a manufacturer of textile testing solutions, has announced that Vebotech GmbH is now the exclusive distributor for its equipment in Germany and Switzerland. Vebotech, with headquarters in Mönchengladbach, Germany,  has over 40 years of experience with textile testing equipment and the textile industry in Europe. Click here for more information about the announcement. Posted September 8, 2017

Status of US Geosynthetics Manufacturing After Hurrican Harvey. Our good friend Chris Kelsey, editor of the geosynthetica.com website has done a quick check on the impact of Hurricane Harvey in Texas on the ethylene production supply line the key ingredient to making geomembrane liners. More than 40% of ethylene production is done in the region devasted by the flooding. Conclusion is that while the storm did shut down much of the production for a few days, the industry appears to be already recovering. Click here to read his report. Posted September 8, 2017

After Investigation, FDA Tells Hospitals the 3M Surgical Warming Lanket is Fine to Use. After receiving complaints related to possible hgher surgical infection risk when using the 3M Bair Hugger surgical warming blanket, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated but has found no "conclusive" evidence of higher infections. Information released from the FDA recently showed that doctors and hospitals could safely continue to use the 3M forced-air warming blanket during surgery. This announcement comes after thousands of lawsuits were filed stating the devices increased the potential for serious surgical infections. The Bair Hugger device is a widely used system designed to help promote post-surgical healing while reducing the risk of infections. It does this by keeping a patient’s body a consistent temperature during surgery. Click here to read the press release. Posted September 6, 2017 

July US Technical Textiles Export Figures Released by Department of Commerce. The US Department of Commerce has released the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end July 31. The overall global export figure showed a continued improvement that we began to see several months ago, increasing in July by almost 2.5% over the same period last year.  Mexico, the top destination for technical textiles exports, managed to increase slightly after months of small declines. China, the 3rd largest destination for exports, again showed double-digit growth. Click here to see the entire report. 

 

 

Year Ending

7/2016

Year Ending

7/2017

 

% Change

Mexico

2,065,190

2,074,058

+0.43

Canada

553,968

574,049

+3.62

China

163,508

190,563

+16.55

Hong Kong

135,777

121,413

-10.58

United Kingdom

90,708

101,109

+11.47

World 4,053,630 4,154,886 +2.50

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted September 6, 2017

Car and Driver Magazine Offers Look at New Material for Cars. Under the headline "Cabon Fiber is Old News", the publication Car and Driver has posted a very interesting and readable article about new materials which can be used inside automotive vehicles. "Smart textiles that detect an occupant's size, weight, temperature, and even mood, counteract fatigue, insulate the occupant from ambient noise, or simply change color." Click here to read this past-paced article. Posted September 6, 2017

Apple Applies for Three Fabric Patents for Apple Watch Bands. The US Patent & Trademark Office published 3 recent Apple patent applications regarding Apple Watch bands. One of the patents involves creating 3D braided fabrics that contain small embedded pockets. The second patent involves embedding electrical components. The third patent is for embedding sensing devices. Click here to read more posted on the IDropNews website with links to the actual patents. Posted September 6, 2017

New Airbag Plant in Vietnam. Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. announced August 30 its intention to build a new plant in Vietnam to meet growing demand for airbags as safety regulations become more stringent in regions around the world. The new plant will be established as a branch plant of Toyoda Gosei subsidiary Toyoda Gosei Haiphong Co., Ltd. (TGHP), and is expected to start production in July 2019. Click here to read more. Posted September 6, 2017

Dow DuPont Merger Complete. It's been kind of lost in industry trade news but the merger of chemical giants Dow Chemical and DuPont closed on August 31, 2017. The new company is called DowDuPont (DWDP). The company, however, is temporary. As it was originally intended when the two companies announced the merger two years ago, within 18 months DWDP plans to separate into 3 distinct companies -- agriculture, specialty products and materials. Almost all the fiber products known by the technical textiles industry including Kevlar®, Tyvek® and Nomex® will be found in the new specialty products company. Click here for more information. Posted September 5, 2017

To Cut Costs, 350 Fewer "Bulletproof" Vests Ordered by Indian State Police. Following a terrorist act in 2008 that exposed inferior ballistic armor vests used by its police force, the Indian state of Maharashtra had finally approved a request to procure 5,000 better vests from a Germany manufacturer. However, the Maharashtra police forgot about the Customs fee for foreign-made vests. As a result, the order had to be reduced to 4,650 vests. It seems there is government bureaucracy in every country. Click here to read the article posted on the Mubai Mirror website. Posted August 29, 2017

Automotive Seating Supplier to be Acquired. Adient PLC announced on August 21 it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Futuris Group. The purchase price is approximately $360 million. Privately held Futuris is headquartered in Oak Park, Mich, USA. Futuris is a manufacturer of fully integrated automotive seating and interior systems with operations in 15 facilities across North America and Asia. Its primary customers are Tesla, Ford and General Motors. Adient, headquartered in Detroit, Mich., is a 2016 spinoff from Johnson Controls, Inc. Like Futuris, Adient is a global automotive seat system provider with 75,000 employees operating 230 manufacturing/assembly plants in 33 countries. Click here for more information about the acquisition. Posted August 29, 2017

W. L. Gore Fined $3.3 Million by Korean Fair Trade Commission. US fabric producer W. L. Gore & Associates (Hong Kong) Ltd. has been fined over $3 million by the Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) for restricting sales of Gore-Tex clothes at big-store outlets to keep the price high for the material. According to the FTC report, Gore holds a dominating 60% share in the Korea fabric market for waterproof, breathable fabrics used in the outdoor industry. The relevant Fair Trade Act prohibits a company form unfairly imposing restrictions on its business partner's business activities. The period when this violation occurred was 2010 to 2012. Click here to report an article on the action. Posted August 29, 2017

Heart Monitoring Equipment Pouch

Small Heart Monitor Pouch Company Thrives in $20bn Medical Equipment Industry. There's a very nice feature article posted on The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La., USA) website on EME Company, Inc., EME, headquartered in Prairieville, La., is a textile manufacturer that produces hospital and personal use fabric products used in labor and delivery, ambulatory monitoring, EKG, personal ID and personal security. The operations include narrow web knitting, circular knitting, dye/finishing, ultrasonic welding, heat welding, heat laminating, film printing, label printing, die cut and sewing. Click here to read the article. Posted August 27, 2017

IFAI Announces Annual Business Meeting. The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) will hold its Annual Meeting in New Orleans, La., USA, on September 27, 2017, during its IFAI Expo. It appears from the press release, the Annual Meeting is open only to IFAI members; however, the business meetings of the 15 IFAI divisions and country sectors that are taking place September 27-2 are open for non-members to attend, allowing these specialized groups to showcase their activities to those attending the IFAI Expo who are not members of the organization. Click here to find out dates and locations of the events. Posted August 26, 2017

New Graphene Association Announces the Launch of International Conference. The recently formed National Graphene Association has announced the organization of Graphene Innovation Summit & Expo, to be held October 29-31, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn., USA. Graphene is an ultra-thin two-dimensional layer of carbon that conducts electricity. Click here for more information about the association and the upcoming event. Posted August 25, 2017

Private Equity Company Acquires Tex Tech Industries. Arlington Capital Partners, a US private equity firm, announced yesterday it had acquired Tex Tech Industries, Inc. Tex Tech, headquartered in Portland, Maine, USA, is a manufacturer of a wide variety of woven and nonwoven technical textiles for end markets such as the military, filtration and aerospace. It has manufacturing operations in the US, Thailand and China. Click here for more information. Posted August 25, 2017

Russian Companies May Be Supplying Pyongyang with Aramid Fiber for Rockets. According to an article posted yesterday on the KoreJoongAng Daily website, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) may be illegally obtaining aramid fiber from a Russian company. The fiber is being used in its manufacture of casings for solid-fuel rockets The article quotes Michael Duitsman, a research associate with the US Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Mr Duitsman suggested that North Korea may be using the same fiber for its solid rocket casing as the type of fiber confiscated by Russian authorities in December 2016. Click here to read the article. Posted August 25, 2017

BRS Aerospace Appoints Fernando de Caralt as CEO. BRS Aerospace, a manufacturer of whole aircraft parachute systems, has named Fernando de Caralt as its chief executive officer. Mr. de Caralt had previously served as President and CEO of CIMSA Ingenierla de Sistemas, a parachute manufacturer located in Spain. BRS has supplied more than 35,000 parachute systems since its founding in 1980. It has manufacturing facilities in South St. Paul, Minn., USA and Pinebluff, N.C., USA. Click here to read the company's press release on the appointment. Posted August 24, 2017

Lest We Forget: Robert Chapman III Passes. Inman Mills CEO Robert (Rob) H. Chapman III, died August 23, 2017. He was 66. Mr. Chapman was 5th generation family leadership of Inman Mills, headquartered in Spartanburg County, S.C., USA. His cousin Norman Chapman is the company's president. Inman is a manufacturer of yarns and fabrics for a wide variety of usage including technical textiles for the military, protective clothing and automotive markets. Mr. Chapman had also recently completed serving as the president of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO). Click here for more information. Posted August 24, 2017

Senior Management Changes at Key Safety Systems. Key Safety Systems (KSS), the airbag manufacturer which recently acquired the Takata Corp's airbag manufacturing operation, has announced Jason Luo has resigned as president and chief executive officer. Mr. Luo has taken the position of corporate VP, chairman and CEO of greater China for Ford Motor Company. Yuxin Tang will now become executive director and interim president of KSS, effective September 1, 2017. KSS also announced the formation of a new interim management committees to oversee the company's operations and planned transaction and integration with Takata. Click here to read the KSS press release. Posted August 24, 2017

Raven Industries to Acquire Colorado Lining. Raven Industries, Inc., announced yesterday that it has signed an asset purchase agreement to acquire the assets of Colorado Lining International, Inc., headquartered in Parker, Colo., USA. The approximate purchase price is $14 million. Raven, based in Sioux Falls, S.D., USA, is a manufacturer of high performance flexible films for the geosynthetics, lighter than air, buildingand agricultural industries. Colorado Lining is a geomembrane fabricator and installer and will now be operating under Raven's Engineered Films division. Click here to read Raven's press release. Posted August 23, 2017

Credit: US Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Cente

Energized Fabrics Could Keep Soldiers Warm and Battle-Ready in Frigid ClimatesMuch of the US Army’s cold-weather hand gear was designed more than 30 years ago, so soldiers often opt to buy more technically advanced winter gloves at retail stores. To keep military personnel more comfortable and battle-ready in bitterly cold climates, scientists are now conducting research aimed at creating high-tech fabrics that heat up when powered and that capture sweat. These fabrics could also conceivably make their way to consumer clothing in the future. The researchers are presenting their results today at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Washington, D.C., USA. Click here to read the ACS press release on the presentation. Posted August 21, 2017

André Rollin

Lest We Forget: André Rollin. One of the early advocates for the use geosynthetics was André RollinM.Sc.A., Ph.D., FEIC, FCSME. He passed away August 123, 2017 in Hudson, Que., Canada. Mr. Rollin was a geotechnical engineer and industry consultant, conducting research and promoting the applications of geosynthetics since the 1970s. He served on many organizing and technical program committees for important geosynthetic events over more than 40 years including the international geosynthetics conferences organized by the International Geosynthetics Society, the Industrial Fabrics Association International, and the North American Geosynthetics Society. Click here to read a nicely done obituary by Chris Kelsey on the geosynthetica.net website. Posted August 21, 2017 

Southern Weaving Being Acquired. Andreas Oppermann, President of Oppermann GmbH, a global manufacturer of textile webbing products, has announced his intent to acquire the assets of Southern Weaving Company. In the near term, Oppermann plans to continue operating the Southern Weaving facilities located in Greenville and Anderson, S.C., USA. Oppermann GmbH will continue to service webbing markets from its existing production facility in Piedmont, S.C. while undergoing a plant expansion capable of merging Greenville production within the next year. Southern Weaving’s current Anderson facility is planned to remain in operation in support of existing markets, customers and products. Oppermann is headquartered in Einbeck, Germany, where it also maintains a production facility. The company also operates plants in the UK, China and Slovakia, as well as the Piedmont facility (Oppermann Webbing, Inc.). Its products are used over a wide spectrum of applications in many international market segments, including industrial, transportation, construction and aviation. Thanks to Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International for alerting us to the news. Posted August 17, 2017

Indorama Acquires DuraFiber Plants in Mexico and France. Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) has announced its intention to purchase DuraFiber Technologies México Operations, S. A. DE C. V. (DFT), makers of technical textiles for industrial, tire reinforcement and specialty applications as well as PET High Modulus Low Shrinkage (PET HMLS), PET Heavy Denier Industrial (PET HDI) and Nylon 6 which are used in tire cord, singly-ply roofing, tents, automotive airbags, seat belts, safety harnesses and ropes. IVL is also acquiring DuraFiber Longlaville in France. The acquisitions will significantly increased IVL's participation in the automotive market segment. Click here to read the IVL press release. Posted August 15, 2017

Search Committee Formed to Find New AATCC Executive Director. The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) has formally announced an Executive Search Committee has been formed to hire a new AATCC Executive Director. John "Jack" Daniels, the current Executive Director, announced in July his intention to retire in March 2018. Individuals interested in applying should contact Amy Holland, AATCC's Business Services Director, at amy@aatcc.org. Posted August 14, 2017

Toray Industries to Build Technical Textiles Plant in India. According to The Hindu Business Line, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced today that Toray Industries will invest $146.7 million in a new manufacturing facility in the southern Indian state to make technical textiles. The plant will be located in Sri City. The facility will be part of Toray's India Expansion Plan. Click here to read the article. Posted August 11, 2017

US Structure Manufacturer Acquires $24.2 Million in Assets from Large Party Tent Supplier. Mahaffey Fabric Structures, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., USA, has announced its acquisition of $24.2 million in assets from Classic Party Rentals, once the largest commercial tent renter in the US. The acquisition amounts to 3.1 million square feet of tent and structure inventory. Classic Tent will continue to operate, primarily in the southwest US. With the asset purchase, Mahaffey, already a major fabricator of commercial fabric structures, becomes the largest tent rental (marquee hirer) supplier in North America. Click here to read more on the acquisition. Posted August 6, 2017

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Coming Events

  • November 21-24: Milipol Paris 2017, Paris, France

  • November 27-30: ShanghaiTex 2017, Shanghai, China

  • November 29-30: Digital Textile Printing Conference, Durham, N.C., USA

  • November 30 -December 1: Aachen-Dresden-Denkendorf International Textile Conference 2017, Stuttgart, Germany

  • December 5-6: Nonwoven Product Development and Innovation, Raleigh, N.C., USA

  • December 6-9: Canvas Products Association - Zone 7 Annual Meeting, Cincinnati, Oh., USA

  • December 7-10: ITMACH India, Gandhinager, Gujarat, India

  • December 12-14: CAMX 2017, Orlando, Fla., USA

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

"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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