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News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry

 

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Cinte Techtextil China 2018

Part 1: Concern About Polyester Price Rise Dominates Over US/China Trade Conflict in Shanghai

(L-R) Filps Lombaert, Steve Warner, Eamonn Grady

Last week I attended the Cinte Techtextil China 2018 show in Shanghai. Show numbers have not yet been officially announced by Messe Frankfurt Hong Kong, a co-organizer of the event. Based on my look over, I would expect the announced attendance should be 13,500 - 14,000, about the same as in 2016.

 

Now when show numbers are flat I'm a bit cynical as organizers almost always say the quality of the visitors is better than the past event --  as was the case during the event managers press conference after the second day. However, in talking with exhibitors, in this case I have to agree with show management. Every exhibitor I spoke with said the quality of visitors was better than in 2016. The show aisles were never crowded but they always had steady traffic during the first 2 days.

 

Holding down the attendence were perhaps 3 factors: 1) The domestic textile industry is experiencing a slow down in many markets; 2) The upcoming ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 textile machinery show also is in Shanghai in a few weeks; and, 3) The sudden sharp increase of polyester fiber in China has caused a number of domestic-textile making operations to close down temporarily. Still, international exhibitors like Picanol and the coordinator of the German pavillion reported excellent visits.

 

Impact of the Trade Dispute

 

The US/China trade dispute which has resulted in a tariff being applied to almost every textile material being exported from China to the US was naturally of concern to Chinese exhibitors. However, it hasn't yet affected the production, nor resulted in any action or pull back. [Click here to read more of this report.] 

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Posted September 13, 2018

Front Page News

Final Mars Spacecraft Parachute Tests Completed. On September 12, 2018, the National Aeronautics Space Agency (NASA) has completed the final of 8 tests of the parachutes being used for the Orion Mars spacecraft. Early indications are the testing of all parachutes were successful. The system has 11 parachutes configured in 4 sets, uses a total of 36,000 square feet of parachute canopy material and has 30 miles of Kevlar lines. Parachutes are deployed in sequence from 300 miles-per-hour to 20 mph. The tests were done using a mock Orion spacecraft dropped from 6.5 miles above the surface. Click here to read a report posted on the Space website. Posted September 15, 2018

Overview of Trelleborg's Recent Expansions.  There is a nice concise article posted on the Rubber News website that details the recent acquisitions of Swedish manufacturer Trelleborg Engineered Coated Fabrics.  The most recent acquisitions have been Laminating Coating Technologies Inc. (Lamcotec) and Dartex Holdings Ltd. Lamcotex makes polyurethane coated and laminated fabrics used in the aerospace industry and Dartex makes coated fabrics for the health care and medical markets. Click here to read the article. Posted September 15, 2018

Photo: Kolon Industries

Kolon Increasing Aramid Fiber Production by 50%. Korea-based Kolon Industries has announced its intention to increase production of the Aramid fiber made under its Heracron brand by 50%. By the 1st quarter of 2020, when the expansion is completed, the annual capacity of the Gumi aramid manufacturing plant will increase from the current 5,000 tons to 7,500 tons. The demand is due to 1) increased demand from global manufacturers in markets such as optical fibers and tire cords, and 2) the company's aim to enter the North American market. The production increase represents an investment of about $18 million. Click here to read more on the Business Korea website. Posted September 15, 2018 

US Tent Maker Acquires Additional Space for Production Facility.  Celina Tent, Inc. has acquired new production space in St. Marys, Oh., USA. The new space is in a former large retail store building, allowing more than 80,000 square feet will be used for sheltering assembly, including all processes from raw material cutting through inspection and packaging. Celina supplies large shelters for agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the US Department of Defense. Celina is a family-owned business, headquartered in Celina, Oh., USA. Click here to read the entire press release. Posted September 13, 2018 

US Army Awards Contract for Parachute System. Airborne Systems North America, Santa Ana, Calif.,  USA, was awarded a $9,575,711 firm-fixed-price contract for the purchase of the Advanced Tactical Parachute System. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Santa Ana, Calif., with an estimated completion date of November 1, 2019. Fiscal 2018 other procurement, Army funds in the amount of $9,575,711 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. USA, is the contracting activity. Posted September 13, 2018

Point Blank Awarded Helicopter Armor Development Contract.  Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation has awarded The Protective Group, a division of Point Blank Enterprises, a contract to provide a high performance, light-weight crew protection kit for the new CH-53 US Marine Corps King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter. The protection kit consists of individual ballistic panels installed beneath the cabin and ramp floor and within the cabin side frames. Click here to read more. Posted September 12, 2018

Joseph Alan Okey, Jr.

Lest We Forget: Joseph Alan Okey, Jr. The US textile industry has lost a gentle voice with the passing of Joseph "Joe" Okey, Jr. on August 31, 2018. Mr. Okey was the former owner of American Monforts, a textile machinery parts supplier, and most recently worked at Marshall & Williams, a division of Navis Tubetex in Charlotte, N.C., USA. He served as chairman of the American Textile Machinery Association and as a board member of the Carolina Textile Club. Click here to read his obituary. Posted September 10, 2018

US Exports in July to Mexico Increases. The US Department of Commerce has released the July export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group.The percentage increase for exports to Mexico from June to July increased while the increase percentage for Canada slowed. Click here to see the entire report released by the Department of Commerce. 

 

 

Year Ending

7/2017

Year Ending

7/2018

 

% Change

Mexico

2.074,058

2,160,269

+4.16

Canada

570,049

599,337

+4.41

China

190,563

223,814

+17.45

Hong Kong

121,413 124,252 +2.34

United Kingdom

101,109

100,413 -0.69
World 4,154,886 4,344,151 +4.56

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted September 10, 2018

INDA Issues Calls for Presentations for World of Wipes® International Conference. INDA's World of Wipes (WOW) International Conference 2019 program committee is now accepting abstracts for its 13th annual event. The conference is being held June 24-27, 2019 in Atlanta, Ga., USA.  Experts are being sought in the areas of dry and wet wipes, end-use markets, substrate formation, raw materials and fibers, liquid ingredients, packaging, machinery and equipment, and market trends and data. Prior to WOW will be INDA's WIPES Academy, a basic training for the entire wipes supply chain. Click here for more information. Posted August 29, 2018 

JEC and Thai Composites Association Host Construction/Architecture Event. The JEC Group and the Thai Composites Association (TCA) held a joint event in Bangkok, Thailand, July 18-19, 2018. The conference focused on the growing construction and architecture markets.  The event attracted 181 delegates from 21 countries; 46% of them were OEMs and composites end users. 19 speakers from 13 countries gave presentations. Posted August 27, 2018

NCTO Testifies on China 301 Hearing, Calls for Tariffs on Textile and Apparel End Items.  As we reported yesterday, the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) Senior Vice President Sara Beatty testified in support of the new Trump Administration retaliatory tariffs proposed against China for textiles and apparel end items. NCTO is the Washington-based trade association representing domestic US textile, filament and fiber producers. Click here to read Ms. Beatty's prepared comments in our special Trade Issues section of the BeaverLake6 Report. We will also soon be posting other testimony from groups and organizations both for and against that involves textile tariff sanctions. Posted August 21, 2018  

Coleman Fails in Attempt to Gain Approval Requesting Additional Production Authority. On August 16, 2018, the US Department of Commerce's Foreign Trade Zones Board published its ruling that denies personal flotation device manufacturer The Coleman Company's additional production authority requested for its Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) facility in Sauk Rapids, Minn., USA. The issue was whether the FTZ board would grant a petition by Coleman to remove a restriction in a previous FTZ grant of authority that precludes inverted tariff benefits on foreign textile materials used in the production of PFDs. Coleman had maintained that it needed this removal in order to stay competitive with foreign importers of PFDs and there was no domestic source available for the material that could offer it at a competitive price. Opposing the approval (and on the winning side) were several domestic weavers who maintained they could produce the material. BeaverLake6 Report has previously covered this issue (click here for an examination of the complex issue). Our thanks to industry trade expert David Trumbull of Agathon Associates for alerting us to the FTZ board's ruling. Posted August 21, 2018

US Army Ballistic Vest Contract Modified. Bethel Industries, Jersey City, N.J., USA, and KDH Defense Systems, Eden, N.C., USA, were awarded a $61,406,405 modification for Modular Scalable Vest Generation II. The Army Contracting Command (ACC) has issued a modification to extend the ordering period and maximum ordering value on existing multiple award Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contracts. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 20, 2019. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., USA, is the contracting activity. Bethel and KDH Defense Systems have a current First Article Test (FAT) approval and are the only sources capable of meeting the Government's required time-frame. This modification is required to ensure a continuity of services until the follow-on contract is awarded. Posted August 21, 2018

Spider Silk Material Delivered to US Army for Ballistic Shootpack Evaluation. Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. announced yesterday that it has delivered ballistic shootpack panels to the U.S. Army made from the company's proprietary Dragon Silk material. The panels will be evaluated for effectiveness in stopping bullets. Dragon Silk is a genetically engineered spider silk which mimics the strength and toughness found in native spider silk. Kriag Biocraft is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., USA with a manufacturing facility in Vietnam. The company reports it is producing 150,000 metric tons of silk per year. Click here to read the company's announcement of the delivery to the US Army. Posted August 21, 2018

US Air Force Awards Low-Speed Parachute Contract. Butler Parachute Systems Inc., Roanoke, Virginia, has been awarded a $41,200,000 contract for low-profile back-mounted parachutes for low-speed bailout. This contract provides for the manufacture and delivery of commercial-off-the-shelf back-mounted parachutes to be used for the purpose of low-speed bailout. Work will be performed in Roanoke, Va., USA, and is expected to be completed by Aug. 14, 2023. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition and one offer was received. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Fiscal 2016 “other procurement” funds in the amount of $5,482,917 will be obligated on the first delivery order, which will be awarded concurrently to the base indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract. Posted August 20, 2018

Opposing Organizations Set to Testify Today on New Round of US Tariffs on China. It should be an interesting day in Washington as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) starts its two weeks of public hearings regarding proposed new tariffs on approximately $200 billion worth of Chinese products, including virtually all textile materials. Both Steve Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, and Sara Beatty, senior vice president of the National Council of Textile Organizations, are set to testify today. Mr. Lamar, representing apparel manufacturers dependent upon imported material, will be undoubtably against the tariffs while Ms. Beatty, representing the domestic textile manufacturing industry, will be testifying in support of the tariffs. BeaverLake6 Report will publish their public testimonies as soon as they becomes available. Posted August 20, 2018

Dr. Aaron Westrick

The Case Against Second Chance Body Armor. The US television network CBS aired a special one-hour episode on its series Whistleblower covering the 14-year lawsuit against the manufacturers of faulty "bulletproof" vests made with the fabric Zylon by Toyobo and fabricated by Second Chance Body Armor, Inc. "The Case Against Second Chance Body Armor" focuses on fraud undertaken by Second Chance, at the time the largest maker of body armor in the US.  The CBS episode features Dr. Aaron Westrick, the whistleblower who exposed the flaws of the body armor sold to hundreds of police agencies throughout the US. Click here if you are interested in viewing the episode. Click here to go to the Whistleblower Protection Blog if you wish to read more about the story. Posted August 20, 2018

Photo courtesy of Lance Cpl. Drake Nichels/U.S. Marine Corps

US Marine Corps Awards Additional Contract to Fix Rucksack Frame Problems. M&M Manufacturing LLC, Lajas, P.R., USA, has been awarded $10,384,670 for modification to a previously awarded contract for the production and delivery of the Marine Corps Pack System and Pack Components.  This modification increases the maximum ceiling of the base contract to $35,895,531.  Work will be performed in Lajas, Puerto Rico, and is expected to be complete by September 14, 2022.  This modification was not competitively procured. The pack system problem has been in the frame made of a composite plastic. Extreme cold weather testing has revealed cracking in the frame. The issue of durability began to appear in 2013. Click here to read more about the frame issue. Posted August 20, 2018

Knowledge Acquisition and Developing Standards for Technical Textiles Urged at Indian Conference. A 2-day conference "Industrial Textiles -- Products, Applications and Prospects" was held last week at the PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore, India. The event was organized by the Department of Textile Technology and Automobile Engineering at PSG. The college has two Centres for Excellence -- one for medical textiles and another for industrial textiles. Ashwin Chandran, the vice-chairman of Southern India Mills Association and chairman and managing director of Precot Meridian, spoke at the event, advising the textile audience that a "must" for the Indian technical textiles industry is looking at knowledge acquisition and developing standards for products. Click here to read more of the speakers and topics at the conference. Posted August 20, 2018

Long-Time Marine Fabricator Receives Lifetime Certification Award. Congratulations to Daniel Lesch of Lesch Boat Cover Co., Norwalk, Oh., USA for recognized by the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) on his contribution to bettering the marine fabrication industry. Mr. Lesch received the organization's Certified for Life Master Fabrics Craftsman (MFC) in Marine. The certification is part of the overall Master Fabrics Craftsman certification program developed by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). MFC is a division of IFAI. According to the association's press release, "The certification recognizes Mr. Lesch's superior knowledge of business and organizational management in the specialty fabrics industry." Posted August 20, 2018

Location Decided for Next Home Furnishings Manufacturing Solutions Expo. Show director Lorie Gross issued a press release this morning announcing the third Home Furnishings Manufacturing Solutions Expo (HFMSE) will be held in Hickory, N.C., USA. The show will take place July 17-19, 2019. The recently held 2018 edition was held in Greenville, S.C.  The show is owned and managed by Exposition Development Company, Inc. Posted August 16, 2018

US Turkey Trade Dispute Could Affect US Technical Textile Supplier. Major US technical textile manufacturer Glen Raven may have just dodged a political bullet which could have had a devastating impact on its operations in Anderson, S.C., USA. A diplomatic dispute involving a US citizen imprisoned in Turkey has led to the US imposing sanctions on two top Turkish leaders and the subsequent escalating tensions between the countries is spilling over to the manufacturing industry. According to the Anderson Independent Mail, a newspaper part of the USA Today network, on August 6, US Senator Lindsey Graham visited the Glen Raven plant in Anderson and said he was trying to prevent the Glen Raven fiber plant from being forced to sever a relationship with its Turkish raw material supplier as President Trump was preparing to implement further sanctions. The August 6 article reported "Glen Raven President and CEO C.G. "Leib" Oehmig IV said any sanctions that prevent his company from obtaining raw materials 'would be devastating.'" Fortunately, the next sanctions announced were on steel and aluminum imports and would not by themselves have an impact on Glen Raven's ability to continue doing business with its Turkish supplier; however, the company still is concerned about the deteriorating business climate in Turkey. BeaverLake6 Report attempted to reach Mr. Oehmig for comment but did not receive a reply by the time of this posting. Click here to read the Anderson Independent Mail article. Posted August 15, 2018

2018 Symposium Session

Advisory Council Named for 2019 Techtextil North America. Messe Frankfurt USA has announced the names of the Advisory Council members for its Techtextil North America event taking place in Raleigh, N.C., USA, February 26-28, 2019. The members are Dr. Roger Barker, Professor, North Carolina State University; Dr. Phillip Bradford, Associate Professor, TECS, North Carolina State University; Sam Buff, Director, Textile Technology Center at Gaston College; Dr. Jeff Joines, Department Head and Professor, TECS, North Carolina State University; Dr. Jesse Jur, Associate Professor, North Carolina State University; Dr. Martin King, Professor, TECS, North Carolina University; and, Dr. Benham Pourdeyhimi, Associate Dean for Industry Research and Extension, William A. Klopman Distinguished Professor, Executive Director, The Nonwovens Institute.  Posted August 15, 2018

Garware-Wall Ropes Announces Company Name Change.  India technical textiles manufacturer Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd. has announced a change in its corporate brand name and identity to Garware Technical Fibres Ltd. (GTFL).  The rebranding is in part of management's decision to focus on doubling its profit over the next 5-7 years and be amongst the top 2 players globally in supplying technical fibers into products used in the agriculture and fisheries industries. Garware also manufacturers products going into other end markets such as geosynthetics and industrial coated fabrics. Click here to read an article posted on the name change. Posted August 15, 2018

INDA Announces Finalists for 2018 RISE® Innovation Award. Three finalists for the prestigious RISE®

Innovation Award will be announced during the next Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics Conference, (RISE®). The event is being held September 11-13, 2018 in Raleigh, N.C., USA.  The finalists are 1) DiviDiaper made by DiviDiaper Inc., a diaper with a divider inside that was developed for infants needing surgery; 2) Evolon® New Generation made by Freudenberg Performance Materials, is a new line of textiles made from super-microfilaments for top-quality bed linen; and, 3) Suominen Intelligent Nonwovens™ by Suominen Corporation that enables an embedded digital traceability and safety tracking process within the nonwoven material. The RISE Innovation Award recognizes innovation within and on the periphery of the nonwovens industry that creatively uses advanced science and engineering principles to solve challenges with the nonwovens and engineered fabrics industry. RISE is organized by INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry. Click here to review the INDA press release. Posted August 14, 2018

Women in Textiles Summit to be Held. The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) will host its first ever Women in Textiles Summit on March 6-8, 2019, in Savannah, Ga., USA. The goal of the summit is to strengthen the advancement of women through an interactive forum that provides education, networking and dialogue about important issues affecting women in business. The summit will explore how women are positively impacting the success of their organizations and the textile industry. Click here to read more about the event. Posted August 10, 2018

Stoll to Present Technical Textiles Symposium. German-based Stoll, a 3D knitting machinery company, has announced its first Stoll Symposium as it celebrates its 145th anniversary. The event will be held September 27, 2018, in New York City, N.Y., USA. The Stoll Symposium is free and will include a session on technical textiles that will discuss current trends of the market in relation to knitting, their businesses, and technical textiles as a whole. Click here to find out more. Posted August 10, 2018

North Carolina State University Named Academic Partner for Upcoming Techtextil North America 2019 Show. North Carolina State University (NSCU) has been named the first-ever academic partner for the Techtextil North America show. The next show will be held in Raleigh, N.C., USA, February 26-28, 2019. Kristy Meade, Show Director for the Technical Shows at Messe Frankfurt, said "Through our collaboration, Techtextil North America 2019 will serve as a direct link between innovators of industry and the next generation of textile professionals, and we hope to create an engaging environment that sparks new ideas, partnerships, and industry growth." Click here to read the entire press release on the partnership. Posted August 10, 2018

Photo Sources: Boeing and SpaceX

Comparing the New Space Suits. The introduction of the new Space-X and Boeing Starliner space suits show how far we've come since those original suits made by Playtex seamstresses in the 1960-70s. There is a neat article posted on Business Insider which has former astronaut Sunita "Suni" Williams comparing the two suits after wearing them. Ms. Williams has also worn the Russian Sokol flight suit. Previous suits typically weighed 33 lbs (15 kg). The new Boeing suit weighs about 12 lbs (5.4 kg). The SpaceX suit is easier to move around. Esthetically and functionally, both suits are way better than the older clunky suits but it is worth noting, too, these suits are not made for space walks. Pleasing of course for the US is that both SpaceX and Boeing suits will be domestically made. The Starliner in "Boeing blue" will be made by David Clark Company. Click here to read more about the suits on the Business Insider website. Posted August 8, 2018  

Tennessee Violator of Berry Amendment Gets 41-Month Sentence. Following up on the BeaverLake6 Report post February 17, 2018  Vincent Lee Ferguson, the former president and CEO of Wellco Enterprises, has been sentence to 41-months in a US federal prison for selling falsely-claimed "Made in the USA" boots. Mr. Ferguson conspired with others in his company to import boots from China and then deceptively market them as "Made in America" to both consumers and the US Department Defense. The fraud violated the US military's Berry Amendment procurement requirement. The company is headquartered in Morristown, Tenn., USA. Click here to read a short article posted on the the Knox News website. Posted August 8, 2018

A&R Tarpaulins Employee Honored at 30 Under 30 Award Ceremony. Recognition of the accomplishments of young adults in the workforce is critical to creating a positive work environment. BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to recognize Jessica Gunawan, an employee at A & R Tarpaulins, Inc., as one selected at the 30 Under 30 Award Ceremony on July 28, 2018 in San Bernardino, California. The 30 Under 30 program honors those who exemplify dedication, innovation and services within California's 47th  assembly district. Ms. Gunawan, an architectural project manager, is a new employee at A & R Tarpaulins and was recognized for the time she gives back to the community in various social matters such as the Food on Foot program and her work in a nonprofit organziation that helps put a stop to human sex trafficking. Posted August 9, 2018

Lest We Forget: Ernest Hagler.  One of the icons in the US tent industry, Ernest "Ernie" Hagler, passed away July 29, 2018, at the age of 96. Mr. Hagler was the former owner and president of the American Canvas Company and Denver Tent Company in Denver, Colo., USA. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was a leader in the tent industry, serving on the board of the Industrial Fabrics Association International. In 1994, he was recognized for his industry and association contributions by receiving the IFAI Honored Life Member designation. Click here to read his obituary. Posted August 7, 2018

Speakers Announced for Southern Textile Research Conference. The planning committee for the 2018 Southern Textile Research Conference has announced the lineup of speakers. The keynote speaker will be Will Duncan, Executive Director for SEAMS. The event will be held in Myrtle Beach, N.C., USA, September 16018, 2018. Click here to find the complete schedule and list of speakers. Posted August 7, 2018

US Export Figures Released for June. The US Department of Commerce has released the June export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group.  Click here to see the entire report released by the Department of Commerce. 

 

 

Year Ending

6/2017

Year Ending

6/2018

 

% Change

Mexico

2,076,381

2,133,663

+2.76

Canada

566,110

602,389

+6.41

China

188,795

225,506

+19.45

Hong Kong

124,441 124,236 -0.16

United Kingdom

100,874

99,913 -0.95
World 4,141,593 4,321,164 +4.34

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted August 7, 2018

Change in Leadership Announced for Nonwovens Company.  Finland-vased Suominen Corporation has appointed Pekka Ojanpää as the new President & CEO of the Company. Ojanpää works currently as the President & CEO of Lassila & Tikanoja Plc and starts as Suominen’s President & CEO latest in February 2019. Suominen’s current President & CEO Nina Kopola will leave her position as President & CEO. Tapio Engström, CFO, has been appointed as Suominen’s interim President & CEO as of August 3, 2018. Suominen is a global manufacturer of nonwoven wipes and personal hygiene products. Click here to read the corporate announcement of the transition. Posted August 6, 2018

Teijin Frontier to Acquire German Automotive Interior Manufacturer.  Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd. announced today that it has agreed to acquire J. H. Ziegler GmbH, a German supplier of automotive interior materials for approximately $146.4 million. Established in 1864, Ziegler makes nonwoven seat wadding materials and sound-absorbing composite solutions. The company operates 5 plants located in Germany, China and Hungary. It posted consolidated sales of over $80.8 million in its last fiscal year. Teijin Frontier is making the acquisition to improve its automotive interior materials' production and sales capabilities in Europe. Teijin Frontier is a subsidiary of Teijin Group, and is a manufacturer of high performance fibers such as aramid and carbon. Click here to read the corporate announcement of the acquisition. Posted July 30, 2018

NASA Completes Another Test of Orion Spacecraft Parachute System. A test was successfully completed July 12, 2018 on the Orion Spacecraft's parachute system. This was the 7th of 8 qualification tests and this time it was to test the parachute's "robustness." The mock spacecraft was dropped from an altitude of 6.6 miles and generated enough speed to simulate forces on the main chutes as a nomal descent. Each of the three main parachutes expanded to 116 feet. Altogether, the spacecraft has 11 parachutes. Click here to read more on the Space Flight Insider website. Posted July 30, 2018

Kenyan Government's Purchases Defective Body Armor. The Nigerian website Pulse reports that an audit of the Kenya Prisons department for 2017 found 600 body armor jackets purchased by the department were defective, arriving without armor plates and incapable of stopping either ballistic or knife stabs. Cost of the body armor was $427,000. Click here to read the posted article. Posted July 30, 2018

New Para-Aramid Factory Announced in China. Yantai Tayho Advanced Materials has announced plans to spend $89 million to build a para-aramid fiber plant in northwest China. The plant is expected to produce 3,000 tons of yarn for the new 5G networks being built across China as well as other civilian and military applications. Plant construction is expected to be completed and trial runs started in early 2020. Yantai Tayho is headquartered in Yantai, Shandong Province, China. Click here to read more. Posted July 30, 2018

US Fabric Shelter Manufacturer to Build New Facility.  Engineering Services and Products Co., operating as ClearSpan Fabric Structures, is building a new $7 million manufacturing structure in Dyersville, Ia., USA. ClearSpan is a fabricator and installer of large fabric tension structure facilities used in the agricultural industry. The new facility will be manufacturing steel beams used in the company's fabric structures. ClearSpan currently employs 263 people in Dyersville in other manufacturing plants. Click here to read more about the new facility. Posted July 30, 2018 

Body Armor Manufacturer Agrees to Settle with US Department of Justice. Finally, Richard Davis, the founder and former president of Second Chance Body Armor Inc., has agreed to settle with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in the lawsuit brought by the government over defective bulletproof vests sold to law enforcement agencies. As BeaverLake6 Report has reported in numerous updates (latest was June 6, 2018), Mr. Davis was accused of knowingly selling the defective body armor containing Zylon fiber. The other defendants in the case, including Zylon's manufacturer Toyobo, have previously settled. Under the settlement, Mr. Davis will relinquish $1.2 million in assets which had already been previously frozen by the US government, plus pay an additional $125,000. Click here to read more at the Legal News Hotline website. Posted July 27, 2018

2018 IGS Award Winner Announced. The International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) has announced Dr. Patrick Fox, Dr. John S. McCartney, and Dr. Yewei Zheng will receive the 2018 IGS Award. The award is given to individuals or groups of individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the development and use of geosynthetics. Dr. Fox is head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Penn State (University Park, Penn., USA). Dr. McCartney is an associate professor at the University of California -- San Diego (San Diego, Calif., USA). Dr. Zheng is an assistant professor at Old Dominion University (Norfolk, Va., USA). The Award will be presented during the 11th International Conference on Geosynthetics in Seoul, South Korea, on September 19, 2018. Click here for more details on the contribution which led to the Award selection. Posted July 27, 2018

Kristy Meade to Speak at SPESA Executive Conference. The SPESA 2018 Executive Conference will feature an impressive array of speakers including Nicole Bivens Collinson, head of the International Trade & Government Relations practice at Sandler, Travis, & Rosenberg, P.A., and Kristy Meade, show director for Messe Frankfurt North America, the organizer of both the Texprocess Americas and Techtextil North America trade shows. The SPESA event will take place September 26-27, 2018 in Louisville, Ky., USA. Ms. Collinson will speak on "Trade, Tariffs, Trump, Turmoil". Ms. Meade's talk is titled "Tales from the Trade Show Floor." Click here to see the full speaker agenda and registration information. Posted July 23, 2018

Space Technology Award Given to Bally Ribbon. Engineered textile material provider Bally Ribbon Mills has been awarded a Space Technology Award from NASA's Technology Mission Directorate for weaving the three-dimensional carbon material used within NASA's Heat Shield for Extreme Entry Environment Technology (HEEET) project. The HEEET project aims to develop a new Thermal Protection System that leverages weaving and 3D printing manufacturing methods for aircraft parts made of carbon composite materials. Bally is headquartered in Bally, Penn., USA. Click here to read more. Posted July 23, 2018

Compilation of Flammability Testing Standards Published. Flammability testing company Govmark Organization’s founder and former CEO Salvatore Messina has published a compilation of the most pertinent federal, state, local and industry voluntary flammability standards that apply to textiles, foams, plastics, and composites used in carpeting/floor-coverings, draperies, mattress, upholstered furniture, and wall-coverings. Summaries and sketches are derived from standards issued by ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials), ICC (International Code Council), NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), City of Boston, Canada/ULC, and the State of California, and federal requirements contained in the two major model building codes promulgated by NFPA and ICC. A good reference book for those in the textile industry. Click here to go to Amazon webside where you can find out more about the book contents or to order. Posted July 23, 2018

Early Registration Discount Extended for Geosynthetics Conference. The deadline to receive an early registration discount for the 11th International Conference on Geosynthetics has been extended to July 30, 2018. The conference is being held September 16-21, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea. Click here to find out more about the event and to take advantage of the early registration discount. Posted July 23, 2018

Sage Automotive Acquired by Asahi Kasei. Tokyo-based Asahi Kasei Corporation has announced it is acquiring interior automotive fabric supplier Sage Automotive Interiors Inc. for $1.1 billion from Clearlake Sage Holding, LLC. The purchase of Sage by Asahi Kasei is in part to move the Japanese company up to a Tier 2 status with the automotive industry. Asahi Kasei makes fibers and textiles. It has been a supplier of fibers to Sage. In 2017 Asahi Kasei had sales of $2.7 billion. Sage had 2017 sales of $475 million. It has 5 locations in the US as well as manufacturing operations in Italy, Poland, Romania, Brazil and China. Sage was originally part of Milliken & Company before it was spun off in 2009. Click here to read the Asahi Kasei press release on the acquisition. Posted July 19, 2018

US Zipper Company Supplying to Military Not in Compliance with Berry Amendment, Loses Contract. Dunlap Industries, a 100-employee manufacturer of zippers located in Dunlap, Tenn., USA, has lost its US military contract because another zipper manufacturer successfully filed a complaint that Dunlap was not making all of its zipper parts used in uniforms in the US as required by the Berry Amendment.  Dunlap president Robert Kwasnik has admitted the company sources the slider of the zipper from outside the country, saying it is virtually impossible to get some parts for a zipper from a US manufacturer. As noted in an Associated Press story, the irony is that the company making the complaint was YKK Corporation, the world's largest supplier of zippers. Although YKK is based in Japan, it supplies the US military through a plant located in Macon, Ga., USA. Click here to read an article posted on the CBS News website. Posted July 19, 2018

Composites Transportation Forum Attracts 600 in Chicago. The JEC Forum on Composites was held June 27-28, 2018 in Chicago, Ill., USA, and attracted 600 participants. The event featured 24 speakers in 4 sessions. Speakers included representatives from Ford Motor Company, Mercedes Benz, Owens Corning and Porcher Industries, covering new composite products being used in automotives, railways, trucks and buses. Click here to learn more about the speakers and also the 5 winners of the JEC Innovation Awards. Posted July 14, 2018 

US Textile Organization Applauds Proposed New Tariffs on Chinses Textiles. The National Council of Textile Organization's (NCTO) has approved the Trump administration's proposed additional Section 301 tariffs on up to $200 billion of Chinese-made products that includes a substantial amount of yarns and finished textile materials. NCTO CEO Auggie Tantillo has said the organization will be thoroughly vetting all the line items to examine how the competitiveness of the US textile industry is impacted. Industry has until August 30, 2018 to give public imput. Click here to read the NCTO statement. Posted July 13, 2018

Halsey M. Cook Jr.

Milliken Appoints New CEO. The board of directors of Milliken & Company has announced the selection of Halsey M. Cook Jr. as president and CEO effective September 1, 2018. J. Harold Chandler will return to his role as the company's chair of the board of directors. Mr. Chandler was elected as president following the abrupt departure of Joseph Salley in October 2016.  Mr. Cook  has a 30-year career leading a wide range of global businesses with significant manufacturing and distribution networks. Milliken is a diverse global manufacturer of products including technical textiles. Click here to read the Milliken company press release. Posted July 13, 2018

Firestone Fibers & Textiles Investing $19 Million. Technical textile fibers manufacturer Firestone Fibers & Textiles Company is investing $19 million to expand its North American headquarters and manufacturing plant in Kings Mountain, N.C., USA. The company also has manufacturing operations in Gastonia, N.C., USA and Woodstock, Ont., Canada. Click here to read an article about the expansion on the Gastone Gazette website. Posted July 13, 2018 

University of Massachusetts Lowell Opens Fabric Discovery Center.  Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker was on hand at the ceremony opening the new Fabric Discovery Center at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. The center will be at the forefront of research into smart fabric applications such as wearable electronics and military uniforms. It was built through the support of a $10 million state grant. The Discovery Center works with the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), an initiative created by the US Department of Defense. Click here to read more about the opening of the center in an article posted on the Boston Globe website. Posted July 13, 2018

US Export Figures Released for May. The US Department of Commerce has released the May export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group. The numbers are showing a healthy +5.16% gain over last year for the same 12-month period. It will be interesting to watch these figures as the trade war with China begins. Click here to see the entire report released by the Department of Commerce. 

 

 

Year Ending

5/2017

Year Ending

5/2018

 

% Change

Mexico

2,066,040

2,131,843

+3.18

Canada

562,309

6083,449

+7.32

China

184,745

225,075

+21.83

Hong Kong

124,263 122,405 -1.50

United Kingdom

97,982

101,479 +3.57
World 4,108,374 4,320,302 +5.16

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted July 10, 2018

South Africa Fines Airbag Maker Toyoda Gosei for Price-Fixing Collusion. Japanese-based airbag manufacturing Toyoda Gosei was fined 6.1 million Rand ($455,700) by South Africa's Competition Committee after the company admitted to colluding with other airbag makers Autoliv and Takata in requests for airbag quotes for Toyota cars made in South Africa. The prosecution is part of a world-wide effort to thwart ad-hoc cartels of similar automotive material suppliers sharing sensitive information. Other participants still being investigated in South Africa include TRW Automotive and Tokai Rika. Click here to read an article about the collusion. Posted July 9, 2018

Astrup Building Set for Remodeling in Cleveland. If you are a custom products manufacturer using canvas or specialty fabrics, you likely remember The Astrup Company, the leading distributor of the materials for almost 100 years until the company was bought and merged into Glen Raven in 2007. An article posted on Crain's Cleveland Business (Cleveland, Oh., USA) discusses the plans to renovate the former Astrup Awning Co.'s 3-story building that dates back to 1911. Because of the rich history of the company which started as a maker of sails, the developer is seeking to have the building listed on the US National Register of Historic Places. Click here to read the article. Posted July 9, 2018

Trelleborg Acquires US Coated Fabrics Manufacturer.  Swedish coated fabric maker Trelleborg, through its Trelleborg Coated Systems division, has signed an agreement to acquire Laminating Coating Technology, Inc. (Lamotec). Lamotec develops and manufactures polyurethane-coated and laminated fabrics primarily used in the aerospace and healthcare/medical industries. Lamotec is headquartered in Monson, Mass., USA. Posted July 9, 2018

China's Yarn Expo Moves to Mid-October. The new China national government-organized China International Import Expo, to be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai in November, has necessitated the need for long-term renovation of the exposition halls at the fairground, requiring Yarn Expo Autumn 2018 to be held one month later, and concurrent with ITMA Asia + CITME, from October 15-17, 2018. Posted July 4, 2018

John Cappo

Armor Express Names New Vice President of Sales. Ballistic body armor manufacturer Central Lake Armor Express Inc. has announced industry veteran Frank Capro is joining the company as its new vice president of sales. Mr. Capro has had a 20-year career in the body armor, protective solutions and public safety industry, most recently as vice president of Public Safety Sales for 5.11 Tactical, a maker of tactical apparel and gear. Armor Express is based in Central Lake, Mich., USA, and is part of KDH Defense Systems. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted July 4, 2018

Stealth Material Developed at University of Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin -- Madison in Madison, Wisc., USA, has an interesting article posted on its website about a new cloaking material the university has developed in collaboration with the National Science Foundation. The material prevents infrared cameras from using heat-seeking sensing to find objects such as a person or a vehicle. Less than 1 millimeter thick, the stealth sheet absorbs approximately 94% of the infrared light it encounters. Click here to read the article. Posted July 4, 2018

Shawmut to Merge Glen Raven Technical Fabrics Headliner Fabrics Operations with Global Lamination Platform. [Updated] Shawmut Corporation, a high-performance composites manufacturer, and Glen Raven Technical Fabrics (GRTF), a technical fabric manufacturer, announced today the companies have agreed to terms to merge GRTF’s automotive headliner and specialty fabrics business into Shawmut. The merged organization will be majority-owned by Shawmut, with Glen Raven as the minority owner. The combined entity will include all Shawmut locations together with Glen Raven’s Park Avenue (Glen Raven, N.C., USA) manufacturing operation and its associated specialty fabric product lines including fabrics for automotive headliner, ultra-lightweight camouflage and netting systems, military apparel and filtration applications. The remaining segments of GRTF, including GlenGuard protective fabrics and Strata, the geosynthetics operation, are not included in the merger. Posted June 28, 2018

Augustine Tantillo

NCTO Leader Receives Award. Congratulations to Augustine (Auggie) Tantillo for being named the 2018 Chapman Award winner by the Southern Textile Association. The award is given to recognize individuals for exemplary service to the US textile industry. Mr. Tantillo has been the president and CEO of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) since 2013. Prior to joining NCTO, Tantillo served as executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) for 10 years. Altogether, he has served the US textile industry for more than 30 years. Click here to read more about his award. Posted June 27, 2018

Awning Manufacturing Company Closes. Shirley Utzinger, owner of Independent Awning and Canvas of Dayton, Oh., USA, has informed those in the region that she has ceased the company's operation. The company was founded in 1915. Posted June 27, 2018

US Department of Commerce Invests $1 million for Cut-and-Sew Textile Training Facility in New Mexico. US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced yesterday that the Department's Economic Development Administration was awarding a $1 million grant to the Partnership for Community Action of Albuquerque, N.M. The grant will be used to construct the Social Enterprise Center, a manufacturing and training facility to support profesional development, direct cut-and-sew manufacturing, and assembly of textiles, entrepreneurship training, as well as workforce education. Click here to read the press release. Posted June 28, 2018

Filtration Show Expected to Attract 1,400 Participants. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, has announced a new website for its upcoming Filtration 2018 International Conference & Exposition. The event is being held in Philadelphia, Penn., USA, October 2-4, 2018. It is expected to attract more than 1,400 participants from the transportation, medical, energy, life science, commercial, nuclear, aerospace, and indoor air quality markets. Click here to view the website. Posted June 27, 2018

Online Visitor Registration Opens for ITMA Asia + CITME 2018.  Registration is now open for the combined ITMA Asia + CITME textile machinery show. The event is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors. It takes place October 15-19, 2018 in Shanghai, China. More than 1,700 textile machinery makers from 28 countries will be exhibiting. A special early discount rate is offered for those registering before September 30. ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 is owned by CEMATEX and its Chinese partners -- the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT, China Textile Machinery Association and China Exhibition Centre Group Corporation. Click here for more information. Posted June 27, 2018

US Protective Gear Maker Moving to Baltimore. It seems kind of fitting since the newspaper US Today named Baltimore the "murder capital of the US" that Semforex Inc., a maker of protective bodywear for the military and police, has announced plans to move the company to the city next month. The company was founded in 2012 and is located in Beltsville, Md., USA. Semforex curently contracts with Blind Industries Services of Maryland to manufacturer its products but plans to begin its own manufacturing after its move. Click here to read an article about the move. Posted June 27, 2018

ITMACH Africa Cancelled. The organizers of ITMACH Africa 2018 has announced the textile machinery show has been postponed (cancelled) due to a scheduling problem with the site location. The show was to take place in Nairobi, Kenya, December 1-3, 2018; however, a new Kenyan government event is overlapping the dates and space of ITMACH Africa at the facility. No new dates were listed in a letter sent to the press. Posted June 27, 2018

Italy Chosen as Location for ITMA 2023. CEMATEX, the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers, today announced that ITMA 2023 will be In Milan, Italy, June 8-14, 2023. The world's largest textile machinery event is held every 4 years. Space for the 2019 show in Barcelona, Spain is already sold out and will feature more than 1,600 exhibitors. Click here to read the CEMATEX press release. Posted June 21, 2018

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

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New Trade Deal with Mexico is Good News for US Textile Industry

Automotive Manufacturing Leading End Market for Technical Textiles Shipped to Mexico. 

 

The United States and Mexico have reached a preliminary agreement that covers a substantial revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); specifically, the rules of origin for automotive parts. It is expected to incentivize billions annually in additional US vehicle and auto parts production. 

 

To qualify for zero tariffs under NAFTA, the current rule of origin requires 62.5% of the automotive parts must be made in NAFTA countries (Mexico, Canada and US). The new agreement increases to 75% for the parts to avoid the tariff. What's intriguing is that we don't know if the countries still include Canada, a substantial manufacturer of vehicles and automotive parts. Regardless, this will most certainly be a boon for US technical textile manufacturers as almost 50% of US technical textiles exports goes to Mexico and automotive fabrics are the leading destination end-product segment in making products such as airbags, headliners and seating.

 

Sobering Thought. Despite the "first glance" optimism, there may well be concern this revision could backfire on the US and Mexico. As I previously noted in my 2018 State of the US Technical Textiles Industry (March/April 2018, Textile World), increasing the percentage of automotive component parts (plus a new requirement that 40-45% of the auto content be made by workers earning at least $16 per hour) could end up pricing Mexican-made vehicles out of the very competitive global marketplace. Mexico currently makes 3.4 million cars annually for the world market.

 

Mea Culpa.  In my same article noted above, I honestly thought revisions to NAFTA would not get done in 2018 because of the elections going on in Mexico, Canada and the US. I underestimated the dodged determination of the Trump Administration to push this trade issue forward. Why Mexico has acted on it without Canada's input is still to be understood.

 

Click here to read the entire statement posted by the US Trade Representative. 

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Posted August 28, 2018

Frédérique Mutel Stepping Down as JEC President

Frederique Mutel

In a message to BeaverLake6 Report, JEC Group President Frédérique Mutel has confirmed she has stepped down at the leader of the composite trade organization that she has led since 1997. At the head of JEC since its creation, Ms. Frederique Mutel fully committed to the expansion of composites, was instrumental in the establishment of JEC as provider of high value knowledge and networking services. At the same time, conducting a strong international development. No replace has been announced.

 

On July 13, 2018, Ms. Mutel was promoted to the rank of Officer in the Order of the Legion of Honour by decree of the President of the France. A very deserving honor for a key leader in the development of the composites industry. Posted July 25, 2018

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

Report Published on the US Technical Textiles Industry

I am pleased to announce the second part of my report 2018 State of the U.S.Technical Textiles Industry has 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 download a copy. 

 

Steve Warner, Publisher

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.

 

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

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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

“BeaverLake6 Report is one of the ‘go-to’ websites that I use. New contributors and  innovative products are regularly featured, which to me, is the lifeblood of the industry.”

 

Ron Gottlieb  

  Director

  Ricky Richards (Sales) Pty Ltd.

 

Read more testimonials by clicking here.

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Beaverlake6 Group, LLC

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.

 

Please click here to view testimonials about Steve Warner, President/CEO of BeaverLake6 Group, LLC.

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

Connect with BeaverLake6 Report publisher Steve Warner via LinkedIn
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