BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry

 

Accurate    Concise    Timely

Front Page News

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 Fererari, 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, 2018. 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

June US Technical Textiles Export Figures Released by Department of Commerce. The US Department of Commerce released today the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end June 30. The overall global export figure showed improved results over the previous month's release, increasing by almost 1.5% over the same period last year.  Mexico, the top destination for technical textiles exports, has continued it slight month-by-month decline. China, the 3rd largest destination for exports, showed a large 17.59% increase. Click here to see the entire report. 

 

 

Year Ending

6/2016

Year Ending

6/2017

 

% Change

Mexico

2,087,166

2,076,381

-0.52

Canada

554,539

566,110

+2.09

China

160,552

188,795

+17.59

Hong Kong

136,557

124,441

-9.87

United Kingdom

91,119

100,874

+10.71

World 4,080,980 4,141,593 +1.49

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted August 5, 2017

US Army Exercises Contract Option with Spider Silk Developer. Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc., a  developer of spider silk based fibers, announced August 2 that the US Army awarded the optional phase of its contract with the company valued at more than $900,000. Under this exercised option, the Kraig Biocraft will work to design, produce, and deliver additional recombinant spider silk materials tailored for the protective needs of soldiers. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., USA. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted August 4, 2017

Gehring-Tricot Subsidiary Expands to New Facility. According to an article posted on The Herald News website, Tweave, a manufacturer of stretch high performance sports fabric, is moving from its Norton, Mass., USA location to a larger facilty in Fall River, Mass. Tweave's markets include military and industrial applications. It is a subsidiary of Gehring-Tricot, acquired in 2008. Click here to read the article. Posted August 4, 2017

Photo: Google Maps

Another Awning Saves a Toddler. It's happened again. A toddler falls out the window and bounces on the fabric awning below, being saved from serious injury. This time it was in Bushwick, Brooklyn, N.Y., USA. A two-year old girl survived a 3-story fall when she landed on a store awning beneath her apartment window. Click here to read the story. Posted August 2, 2017

Photo Credit: MIT

MIT Hosts "Hackathon" to Created Functional Fabric Products to Aid Emergency Response.The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) Institute, and MD5, a partnership between the US Department of Defense and a network of national research universities all came together July 29-31 to host a student hackathon to design novel solutions for the battlefield, disaster sites and other dangerous environments using technical textiles. Held at MIT, near Boston, Mass., USA, more than 20 teams of students participated. Two winning teams earned grand prizes of up to $15,000 for their products -- a sensor-laden clothing that detects potential injury which allows prioritization of care and a double-sided, multipurpose blanket for people displaced from their homes.  Click here to read more at the MIT News website. Posted August 2, 2017

Russia is Developing a Parachute System to Airdrop Armored Vehicles with Personnel Inside. According to the Russian news agency TASS, the Russian Airborne Force is getting a new Bakhcha-UPDS multi-cupola parachute system in 2018. The parachute system will make it possible to air-drop the BMD-4M airborne infantry fighting vehicle. What's unique about the plan is that the crew will already be strapped into the vehicle when it is dropped from the transport plane, making it operation-ready as soon as it hits the ground. Click here to read the Russian article at the TASS website. Posted August 1, 2017

Wearable Shirt for Cows Keeps Them Cooler in Summer, Producing More Milk. This was recently posted by Lina Rambausek on the Smart Textiles group page in LinkedIn. A Japanese underwear manufacturer Gunze Ltd., in partnership with the Kyoto Prefectural Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Technology Center, has developed a high-tech garment to keep cows from overheating. If a cow is heat-stressed, it produces less milk. The wearable shirt fits over the cow's neck and shoulders and has sensors that monitors the moisture of the material. If it senses the material is too dry, water is pumped through a tube to douse the animal, cooling the hide. Every day technical textiles is solving a problem. Click here to read more. Posted August 1, 2017

Glen Raven to Buy Sunbury Textiles. In a press release issued today, Glen Raven, Inc. announced it is acquiring Sunbury Textile Mills, headquartered in Sunbury, Penn., USA. Sunbury is a manufacturer of decorative jacquard fabrics. The company has already had a 20-year relationship with Glen Raven, having an exclusive license to produce Glen Raven's Sunbrella® fabrics for the outdoor/indoor furniture markets. Under the agreement, Sunbury will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Glen Raven, Inc. and will operate as part of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, LLC. Click here to read the press release. Posted August 1, 2017

Italian Textile Machinery Sales Shows Significant Increase for 2nd Quarter of 2017. According to data compiled by ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, the order index for textile machinery during the period from April to June rose by 26% compared to the same period in 2016. The significant increase was in the Italian domestic market at +66%; however, even the foreign markets increased 22%. ACIMIT president Alessandro Zucchi expressed the satisfaction of the entire sector: “The data confirms that a recovery is currently underway for our domestic market. This is the third consecutive quarter that the order index is on the rise.” Posted August 1, 2017

More Robotics and Need for Trained Sewing Machine Operators Highlighted in Article. There is an interesting article posted on the technology website ZDNet on the growing trend of robotic sewers in the US as some end product manufacturing from companies like Nike and Adidas is coming back to the domestic shores. To be competitive, the US fabricators are turning to more robotics such as Atlanta-based SoftWear Automation's "Sewbots."  There is also a shortage of trained sewing operators.  The Industrial Fabric International Association's sewing training program is mentioned in the article. Click here to read the article. Posted July 29, 2017

Foss Manufacturing Sells Its Nonwovens Technical Textiles Division. Foss Manufacturing Company, LLC announced July 28, 2017 it has sold its Northern Division, which manufacturers needle punch nonwoven materials in Hampton, N.H., USA for automotive, craft and industrial applications, to AstenJohnson Holdings, Ltd. The new name of this division under AstenJohnson will be Foss Performance Materials. At the same time, the remaining independent independent Foss Manufacturing is rebranding to become Foss Floors. It is headquartered in Rome, Ga. USA. Posted July 28, 2017

Inflatable Boat Procurement Problems for Canadian Military. There's an interesting article posted on the CBC News website regarding the problems the Public Services and Procurement Canada has had in procuring 350 new inflatables landing craft for the Canadian military. The first request for competitive bids was issued in May 2016, was revised in July 2016, and then cancelled after questions from the industry regarding the expected performance specifications. The department then issued a second tender in November 2016 and received 4 bidders. In January 2017, the contact went to Zodiac Hurricane Technologies Inc. of Delta, B.C, for about $6.4 million. But then came accusations of fair bid evaluation conduct. The department has now decided to cancel the Zodiac deal and start over again. Click here to read the article. Posted July 28, 2017

Newtex Acquires HIgh Temperature Fabic Distributor. US manufacturer Newtex , a producer of high temperature materials, announced yesterday that it has completed its acquisition of Thermostatic Industries, Inc., a Huntington Park, Calif., USA distributor of high temperature textiles and fabricated heat shield products. This acquisition adds a West Coast distribution for Newtex. The purchase of Thermostatic also gains Newtex the distribution rights to 3M's Nextel industrial materials. Click here to read the Newtex press release. Posted July 27, 2017

Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Thomas Pesquet are pictured inside BEAM. Pesquet is also wearing the experimental SkinSuit. Source: NASA

Bigelow Expandable Activity Module is Functioning in Space. Do you remember our posts last May about the launch and placement of the fabric Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) for the International Space Station (ISS)? It was only a prototype and expected to be tested for two years, then detached and left to burn up in the atmosphere. However, after being in space a full year, it has performed so well NASA says there is really no reason to throw it away and the new plan is to use BEAM as a storage module for as long as the ISS continues to operate. Meanwhile Bigelow Enterprises, the maker of the BEAM, plans to build a 20 times bigger module called the B330, intending it to be used as a stand-alone space station. Expected launch date is in 2020. Click here to read a post about the success of BEAM on the NPR website. Posted July 27, 2017

Canada's Transportation Safety Board Recommends Mandatory Personal Flotation Devices Be Worn on Commercial Fishing Vessels. Upon releasing its finding of a 2016 commercial fishing tragedy which claimed two lives, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) recommends to the government of New Brunswick that it requires crews on fishing vessels to wear suitable personal floatation devices (PFDs) at all times on deck. Currently, New Brunswick is one of only two provinces which does not have a mandatory PFD requirement for fishing crews. Click here to read an article posted on the Markets Insider website. Posted July 27, 2017 

Lest We Forget: Former ITG President Dies. International Textile Group (ITG) former President and CEO Joseph L. Gorga died unexpectedly on July 22, 2017. He was 65 years old. Mr. Gorga was named president and CEO of the Greensboro, N.C., USA, company upon its formation 2004. ITG has 5 companies under its management, including Burlington Labs and automotive safety products fabric supplier Safety Components International. During his industry career, Mr. Gorga had also served in voluntary leadership positions including as a director and vice chairman of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) and chairman of the National Textile Association. Click here to read his obituary in the Triad Business Journal. Posted July 26, 2017  

JEC Returns to Chicago in 2018, Ending Event's Co-Location with Techtextil North America. As we speculated a couple of weeks ago, the JEC Group has announced its "The Future of Composites in Construction" will not be co-locating again in 2018 with Techtextil North America (TTNA) in Atlanta May 22-24. One of the impediments to the co-location is the TTNA already established May dates which overlap the SAMPE composite show set for Long Beach, Calif., USA. The 2017 JEC event in Chicago last month attracted 3,096 visitors, including 550 attendees to the conference segment. The JEC press release also revealed the show will be in Chicago again in 2019. Click here to read the press release. Posted July 26, 2017

Chip Fuller

Strata Systems Announces Retirement of Company Co-Founders. Our good friends at geosynthetica.net are reporting global geosynthetics manufacturer Strata Systems, Inc. has announced company co-founders Chip Fuller and Rich Enger are retiring. Also retiring is the company's long-time Project Manager Dave Butchart.  Mr. Fuller and Mr. Enger co-founded the company in 1994. In 2009, the company was acquired by Glen Raven Technical Fabrics. Congratulations to all three for a lifetime of service in growing the applications and acceptance of geosynthetics. Click here to read the short post on the geosynthetica.net website. Posted July 26, 2017

Saint-Gobain Acquires German Scrim Manufacturer. Advance fabric manufacturer Saint-Gobain has announced its acquisition of Kirson, a major European producer of reinforced scrim and combination products of scrim and nonwoven fabrics. In 2016, Kirson revenues reached 27 million euros. The acquisition is pending German government antitrust review. Click here to read the company press release. Posted July 26, 2017

Labor Issue Settled at Trelleborg US Plant. The union representing Trelleborg AB workers at the company's Fair Haven Heights plant in New Haven, Conn., USA, have approved a new contract. Trelleborg, a Swedish-based coated fabrics manufacturer, had recently acquired the plant through its purchase of Uretek. This was the first contract with the workers since the purchase and the employees were concerned about lost benefits and the removal of job protection language from previous contacts. Workers started picketing the plant as the old contract was set to expire (see our June 24 post). While Telleborg remained firm on several key issues in the new offered contract, the company did offer increased wages and improved some minor working conditions. The union passed the new contract on July 1 with a near unanimous vote. Click here to read an article on the issue posted on the New Haven Independent website. Posted July 24, 2017

New FHWA Report Estimates Construction Costs Grew By 68% in Past 13 years. If you supply geosynthetics or other materials to help maintain the US infrastructure, you may be interested in the report the US Federal Highway Administration released on July 19. The report is the National Highway Construction Cost Index, which is a quarterly estimate of the rising cost of domestic highway construction and maintenance over time. It is the first time the Index has been published since the agency made major methodological revisions to improve its accuracy. The new report shows construction costs today are up by 67% from similar costs in 2003. Click here to read the FHWA press release and find out more about the report. Posted July 24, 2017

Daniels to Retire from AATCC. After 21 years of service, Executive Vice President John Y. "Jack" Daniels will retire from AATCC on March 2, 2018. AATCC (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists) is headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA. The organization provides test method development, quality control materials and professional networking in more than 80 countries. A search committee has been formed to find Mr. Daniels' successor. Click here to read the AATCC press release announcing the retirement plans and Mr. Daniels' accomplishments in his distinguished career. Posted July 17, 2017

Standard to Provide Terminology for Smart-Textile Industry. According to an ASTM press release, a proposed ASTM International standard will support continued growth of the smart-textiles industry by outlining common terms that can be used as the textiles and electronics industries converge and new products are introduced into the market. The standard, created by ASTM International’s Committee on Textiles (D13), will include definitions that help differentiate various products and components. According to members of the committee, the standard will help buyers – both businesses and consumers – better understand what smart-textiles products they are purchasing. Click here to read the organization’s press release. Posted July 17, 2017

Firefighter Protective Clothing Maker to be Acquired. MSA Safety Inc., headquartered in Pittsburgh, Penn., USA, has announced its intention to acquire Globe Holding Company LLC, in an all-cash transaction valued at $215 million. Globe, based in Pittsfield, N.H.,, is the US's largest provider of firefighter protective clothing and boots, with annual revenue of approximately $110 million. Click here to read the MSA press release. Posted July 15, 2017

ASTM International’s Committee on Geosynthetics Honors Y. Grace Hsuan With L. David Suits Award. Congratulations to Dr. Y. Grace Hsuan, professor, at Drexel University, Philadelphia, Penn., USA, has received the L. David Suits Award from ASTM International’s Committee on Geosynthetics (D35). The committee recognized Dr. Hsuan for her dedication to the geosynthetics industry. She has been an ASTM International member since 1993. Posted July 15, 2017

US Department of Defense Report Finds More than $453 million in Procurement Contracts Not in Compliance with the Berry Amendment and Buy American Act. Not a good report: On July 7, the Office of Inspector General (IG) at the US Department of Defense released its audit of the Defense Logistics Agency to determine whether DLA personnel complied with the Berry Amendment and the Buy American Act. The IG reviewed a non-statistical sample of 88 contracts with an obligated value of $386.9 million, out of 2,382 contracts across DLA with an obligated value of $700.4 million, awarded from October 1, 2014, through March 31, 2016.  DLA contracting personnel complied with the Berry Amendment for 13 of the 32 contracts reviewed. However, DLA personnel at 3 of the 4 contracting offices visited did not comply with the Berry Amendment for the remaining 19 contracts, valued at $453.2 million. Click here to read the IG report. Posted July 15, 2017

 DuraFiber Technologies Announces Next Steps for U.S. Plants. DuraFiber Technologies, a global supplier of high-tenacity polyester fibers, engineered fabrics, sewing threads and advanced materials, announced yesterday that it has taken the next steps to prepare its US production facilities in Salisbury, N.C., Shelby, N.C., and Winnsboro, S.C. to be idled if a buyer is not identified by September 11, 2017. The actions follow a series of initiatives to lower production costs in response to increased competition in the textile industry, as well as a thorough review of strategic alternatives, including potential asset sales. DuraFiber's international operations in France, Germany, and Mexico are unaffected by this announcement and will continue to operate as usual. Click here to read the press release. Posted July 14, 2017

Giant Outdoor Retailer Show Selects Denver as New Location. Emerald  Expositions, LLC, , the producer of the biannual Outdoor Retailer shows, has announced the selection of Denver, Colo., USA, as the location for its shows, beginning January 2018. The shows --  Outdoor Retailer Summer Market and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market -- are moving from Salt Lake City, Utah, after a dispute with the state on its use of public land. The 2017 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, taking place July 26-29, 2017, will be the last event held in Salt Lake City. Click here to read the press release on the move. Posted July 10, 2017 

Texas Establishes Grant Program to Finance 50,000 Ballistic Vests for Law Enforcement Officers. On the one-year anniversary of 5 Dallas police officers killed even though wearing ballistic vests, the US State of Texas has formally opened a $25 million grant program, allowing law enforcement agencies in the state to purchase rifle-resistant body armor. Texas Governor Greg Abbott had formally signed the funding bill in late May. According to a report on the Dallas Morning News website, "rifle-resistant vests cost about $500 and last approximately five years, meaning the grant program can supply about 50,000 vests to Texas officers." The agencies have until September 6, 2017 to submit their applications. Click here to read the website article. Posted July 10, 2017

Photo Source: Honda

Honda Develops Airbag for Its Scooters. While airbags have been available as an option for motorcycles for the last decade, the smaller compact scooters haven't had the same availability until now. At the Honda Meeting 2017, held June 5-7, 2017, the company showed its new technologies, including the development of an airbag for its motorbikes. Made in collaboration with Autolive Inc., a supplier of automotive airbag safety systems, the scooter airbag can deploy in 0.04-0.05 seconds. Click here to read an article about its development on the Solar Power Plant Business website. Posted July 10, 2017 

Japanese Technical Textile Forum Announces Keynote Speaker. The IFAI Japan Annual Meeting and Forum begins July 13, 2017, in Tokyo, Japan. The keynote speaker is Dr. Tohru Nakata, Artificial Intelligence Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). Dr. Nakata's presentation topic is "Human Error Prevention." IFAI Japan is a country section of Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Click here to contact Ms. Kikuko Tagawa, IFAI Japan's executive director, for more information about the Forum. Posted July 10, 2017

Crypton Names New Vice President of Marketing. The Crypton Companies, a provider of performance fabrics in the contract, home furnishings and apparel markets, has announced it has hired Matt Targett as Vice President of Marketing. This is a new position and he will be based in the company’s Bloomfield Hills. Mich., USA, office. The Crypton Companies have patented and branded environmentally responsible textile performance solutions since 1993. The company’s flagship product, CRYPTON ® Fabric, is used in the healthcare, hospitality, government, education and contract segments. Posted July 10, 2017

Ballistic Vest Manufacturer Featured on Business Website. Crain's Detroit Business website has an informative article on the rise of Armor Express Inc. from the ashes of bankrupted Second Chance Body Armor. In 2004, Second Chance Body Armor was the largest supplier of ballistic vests to US law enforcement but was forced to file for bankruptcy that year when it was discovered the fiber being use, Zylon made by Toyobo, degraded faster than had originally been expected and the company was forced to recall 120,000 vests. The material was subsequently decertified by the National Institute of Justice for use in vests. Armor Express, based in Central Lake, Mich., USA, started up a week after Second Chance's sold its assets in 2005 to Armor Holdings, Inc., parent company of Armor Express. The company now employs 157 people with annual revenue close to $30 million. The founder, Matt Davis, son of 2nd Chance's founder Richard Davis, says Armor Express' vests are worn by 800,000 police officers. Click here to read the article. Posted July 10, 2017 

"Educate the Professor" Seminar Being Held On Building Material Fabrics. The Fabric Structures Association (FSA) and the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA), both divisions of Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), are hosting a two-day "Educate the Professor" seminar on the fundamentals of using technical textiles as building materials. The intent is similar to IFAI's already successful geosynthetics program call "Educate the Educators." Professors who attend these courses can bring their knowledge to students at their respective institutions. The program will be held in Minneapolis, Minn., USA. Click here to read a short article about the program posted on the Specialty Fabrics Review website. Posted July 7, 2017

De Boer Acquired by Losberger. We missed this when it was announced in late May but it is still very much worth noting: Two of the major fabric event structure fabricators in Europe are joining together with the acquisition by Germany's Losberger Holding GmbH of The Netherlands' De Boer Structures Holding DV.  The new combined company will be called Losberger De Boer GroupThe combination of Losberger and De Boer, which will have a joint turnover of approximately $377 million and employing about 1,200, will result in a leading company in the rental and sale of temporary accommodations in the Industrial, Event, and Rapid Deployment Systems (RDS) market segments in Europe, with strong positions in the Middle EastUSAChina and South America. Click here to read the Losberger press release on the acquisition. Posted July 6, 2017

OMNOVA Reports Growth in Second Quarter, Problems with Chinese Coated Fabrics Operations. Despite reporting a net sales14% growth in the 2nd Quarter, OMNOVA Solutions Inc., a chemical and coated fabric producer headquartered in the US, reported a net loss due to its coated fabrics operation in China.  According to its press release announcing 2nd Quarter results, Anne Noonan, OMNOVA's President/CEO said: "We are considering all options as we proactively address our unprofitable China coated fabrics business. We expect resolution before the end of July 2017."  Earlier this year, OMNOVA realigned its businesses into two segments: Specialty Solutions and Performance Materials. Specialty Solutions includes coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers, nonwovens, laminates & film, and oil & gas. Performance Materials represents more mature markets including coated fabrics, tire cord and carpet. Click here to read a report on their financial outlook. Posted July 6, 2017

Indian Defence Force to Acquire Advance Surveillance Balloons. Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd., a manufacturer of technical textiles for the Indian and global markets, announced the signing yesterday of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel's Aero-T with the intention to combine their capability for manufacturing and supplying advanced aerostats for the Indian defense force. Aerostats are surveillance balloons equipped with radar and other detection devices that are tethered and capable of reaching altitudes of up to 15,000 feet. Click here to read more on the Indian Defence Aviation Post website. Posted July 6, 2017

Overall US Exports of Technical Textiles Flat but China's Share is Growing. The US Department of Commerce released today the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end May. The overall global export figure showed flat results at -0.19%. China, however, continues its trend these last few months to come on strong with a 14.9% increase from the previous year. Mexico, our largest export country, saw a drop of 1.6%. Click here to see the entire report. 

 

 

Year Ending

5/2016

Year Ending

5/2017

 

% Change

Mexico

2,099,286

2,066,040

-1.58

Canada

558,190

562,309

+0.74

China

160,817

184,745

+14.88

Hong Kong

137,765

124,263

-9.80

United Kingdom

91,637

97,982

+6.92

World 4,116,122 4,108,374 -0.19

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted July 6, 2017

Interview Reveals Key Safety System Wanted Takata's Seat Built Business. Crain's Detroit Business website has just published a really interesting article about Key Safety System's year-long pursuit of Takata Corp, beating out its rival and 10-times bigger airbag maker Autoliv. The interview revealed Key Safety's objective was not the airbag business but rather Takata's seatbelt business which accounted for about $2.6 billion in revenues last year. Click here to read the interview. Posted July 3, 2017

Toray Reported to be Buying 30% of Pacific Textiles. The Nikkei Asian Review is reporting Japanese textile maker Toray Industries is acquiring a 30% stake in Pacific Textiles, the world's largest knit fabric supplier. Total price is estimated at $536 million. Pacific Textiles is based in Hong Kong. Click here to read the article. Posted July 3, 2017

American Flag Manufacturer Featured as US Readies for Celebrating Its Independence Day. As those in the United States get set to celebrate our Independence Day tomorrow, the Miami Herald today featured a nice story about a Freedom Flag and Banner, a Miami, Fla., US company which has been making American flags since 1989. Over the last 28 years, Barbara Dabney, founder and owner, has made flags that represent more than 300 countries and territories. Ms. Dabney says her business is like a barometer of the latest news. After 9/11, she was making up to 400 flags a day. Other world events produce demand for other country flags. Click here to read the article. Posted July 3, 2017

US Technical Textile Distributor Acquires Pacific Coast Fabrics. Indiana-headquartered Top Value Fabrics (TVF), a distributor of industrial, print media and recreational fabrics, has announced its acquisition of Pacific Coast Fabrics (PCF), a distributor of digital and apparel textiles, based in California. Both companies source internationally and also have partner relationships with textile mills in Europe. TVF is primarily a distributor of vinyl coated fabrics and mesh. Its partner mill is Aurich Textiles. PCF's partner mill Georg+Otto Friedrich makes warp-knitted fabrics for a range of end markets. Click here to read the TVF press release. Posted July 3, 2017

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Coming Events

  • October 22-23: 32nd Annual Meeting of American Flock Association, Novi, Mich., USA

  • October 24-26: Automotive Interiors Expo 2017, Novi, Mich., USA

  • October 24-27: Intermediate Nonwovens Training Course, Cary and Raleigh, N.C., USA

  • October 25-26: Nonwovens Innovation Academy, Chemnitz, Germany

  • October 26-27: SYFA 2017 Fall Conference, Charlotte, N.C., USA

  • October 29-31: Graphene Innovation Summit & Expo, Nashville, Tenn., USA

  • November 6: German Technology Meets US Textile, Charlotte, N.C., USA

  • November 6-9: 3rd Annual HYGIENIX Conference, Austin, Texas, USA

  • November 7-9: SPESA Executive Conference, Memphis, Tenn., USA

  • November 7-8: 2017 RISI Asia Pacifice Hygiene Products Symposium, Shanghai, China

  • November 8-9: TCL 2017 (Textile Coating and Laminnating Conference), Berlin, Germany

  • November 8-10: SINCE 2017 (Shanghai International Nonwovens Conference & Exhibition), Shanghai, China 

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

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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