BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry

 

Accurate    Concise    Timely

China Report

2019 Brief Analysis of China's Industrial Textile Industry

Thanks to the BeaverLake6 Report's arrangements with China Textile magazine and the China Nonwoven & Industrial Textile Association (CNITA), we have received the report "A Brief Analysis of Economic Operation of the Industrial Textile Industry in the First Half of 2019" writtened by CNITA's market research department.  

 

In the first half of 2019, China's economy faced a complicated development environment.  Issues such as the downturn in automotive demand and the US/China trade dispute are having an impact.  Production is still growing but the markets are relatively flat.  Click here to read the entire report in the China section.  Posted December 3, 2019

2019 Eurasian Geosynthetics Symposium Held in China

Flora Zhao, China Textiles

The second edition of the Eurasian Geosynthetics Symposium (EAGS 2019) was held November 18-19, 2019 in Beijing, China.  Many of the leading experts in geosynthetics delivered presentations.  Ms. Flora Zhao, the director of the editorial department for China Textile magazine, has given us an extensive review of the symposium program.  Click here to go to our China section to read her report.  Posted November 24, 2019

Front Page News

Thrace Linq Decreasing Geosynthetic Manufacturing Presence in the US.  In its cover summary to investors reporting on the financial results of the 9-month period 2019, Thrace Group reported on the decreased demand in the geosynthetics section in the US market for its products and its subsequent decision to transfer the nonowoven needle-punch production line from its subsidiary Thrace Linq Inc. facility in Summerville, S.C., USA. The production line is going to Thrace's Don & Low Ltd. subsidiary, based in Forfar, Scotland.  Click here for more information.  Posted December 6, 2019

400 Companies in Technical Textiles in Québec.  There is a very nice article in the latest issue of Textile World (TW) magazine (November/December 2019) on the technical textile industry in the Canadian province of Québec.  TW's contributing editor Jim Kaufmann reports on the formation of the new TechniTextile Québec, a non-profit organization working under Québec's Ministry of Economy and Innovation that has identified more than 400 companies involved within the province who are involved in technical textiles either as a supplier or a fabricator of products made from the materials.  Click here to read the article.  Posted December 6, 2019  

Hand Protection in Oil and Gas Industry.  There is a good basic article in OSHA's Occupational Health & Safety magazine on selecting the right glove for hand protection in the oil and gas industry.  Referencing WorkSafeBC magazine, the article states impact injuries to wrists, fingers, and hands accounted for 20% of all body parts injured in the oil and gas industry between 2009-2013.  The article covers high visibility, cut- and impact-resistance, and environmental concerns.  Click here to read the article. Posted December 6, 2019

Research Being Done on Reducing Damage from Shark Bites.  Fliders University in Australia has published its research to determine the best materials to be used in wetsuits to mitigate the damage from shark bites.  The researchers tested 9 different fabrics and found the most-effective to be the material that incorporated ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber onto neoprene. The tests included measuring the bite force and quantifying damages to the new fabrics following a bite from 3-4 m total length.  More force was required to puncture the material compared to standard neoprene-made suits.  UHMWPE fibers are also used in ballistic protection vests.  Click here to look at the research paper published in the research journal PLOS|OnePosted December 6, 2019 

Three European Fiber Producers Merge.  Fiber companies Lumat Group, Dominion Fiber Technologies (DFT) and EuroFibers, have officially announced their merger.  The new group will operation under the name FibrXL, starting January 2020.  Marcel Alberts, previously of EuroFibers, and Jeroen Drenth, previously of Lumat, will continue as managing directors of the combined company.  Click here for more information. Posted December 6, 2019

Trelleborg Reorganizes Business Units.  Sweden-based Trelleborg Group has announced a reorganization of its business segments, reducing from 5 to 3 segments starting in 2020.  Trelleborg Coated Systems will be discontinued as a business area.  Dario Porta, Business Area President of Trelleborg Coated Systems, will leave Trelleborg's Group management at year-end and become Business Unit President of the printing blankets operations.  The engineered coated fabrics operations of Trelleborg Coated Systems will now be transferred to Trelleborg Industrial Solutions.  Click here to read the company's press release on the reorganization. Posted December 6, 2019

US Senator Introduces Bill to Provide Proper-Fitting Body Armor for Females in Service.  On December 4, 2019, legislation was introduced in the US Senate that will ensure female combat soldiers and Marines have properly fitting equipment. The legislation has bipartisan support with being co-sponsored by Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), Martha McSally (R-Arizona) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut).  Click here to read more.  Posted December 5, 2019   

October Export Figures Released by US Department of Commerce for Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group.  The US Department of Commerce has released the October export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. Exports were down overall -3.41% and only Germany of the top 5 countries for exports showed a gain in year-endings October 31 comparison between 2018 and 2019.  Click here to see the entire October 2019 report.

 

 

 

Year Ending

10/2018

Year Ending

10/2019

 

% Change

Mexico

2,204571

2,043,838

-7.29

Canada

594,680

590,635

-0.68

China

223,370

220,056

-1.48

Hong Kong

124,992 114,651

-8.27

Germany

97,697

106,493

+9.00

World 4,395,851 4,245,955 -3.41

Posted December 5, 2019

Dr. Robert Koerner Photo source: Geosynthetic Institute website

Lest We Forget:  Geosynthetic Industry Pioneer Dr. Robert M. Koerner Passes.  It is with regret to announce Dr. Robert (Bob) M. Koerner and his wife Paula W. Koerner died this past weekend.  Dr. Koerner was a driver in developing the acceptance of geosynthetic materials for use in geotechnical civil engineering projects.  In addition to being a prolific author of papers and presentations, Dr. Koerner also founded the Geosynthetic Institute, participated in many industry professional societies, and was a long-standing professor of Civil Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphis, Penn., USA.  [On a personal note, I first met Dr. Koerner in 1979 during the organization of the Second International Conference on Geotextiles.  He was an outstanding individual and will be greatly missed.]  Posted December 4, 2019

INDA Announces Technical Sessions Speaker Lineup.  INDA, the organizer of its annual filtration conference FiltXPO, has released the names of more than 30 speakers for the technical sessions.  The event is taking place February 26-28, 2020 in Chicago, Ill., USA.  Keynote speakers include Michael O'Laughlin of Lydall Performance Materials, Michael Phillips, Ph.D., of MilliporeSigma, Tafreshi Hooman, Ph.D., of the Virginia Commonwealth University, and Shagufta Patel, Ph.D., of Parker Hannifin Company.  The event will also include an exhibition featuring up to 200 exhibitors.  Click here for more information.  Posted December 4, 2019

Proposals for New Biological Smart Protective Suits Sought by DARPA.  The US Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting innovative proposals to address the following areas: (1) novel textiles that prevent chemical and biological (CB) agent access to the body; and (2) a tissue barrier countermeasure (BCM) that neutralizes CB agents should they come in contact with the skin, airway, or eyes. Proposed research should investigate approaches that enable revolutionary advances in the development of wearable, lightweight, and smart materials that resist CB agent penetration/attachment.   Those interested in participating are invited to attend the Proposers Day being held in Washington, D.C., December 4, 2019. Click here for more information about attending the Proposers Day.  Click here to read more about the overall program.  The abstract deadline for submitting a proposal is January 7.  Posted December 3, 2019

Article Summarizes Aircraft Seatbelt Market.  The Points Guy travel website has posted a very decent overview of the aircraft seat belt market.  The article focuses on Amsafe, a manufacturer headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., USA.  According to the article, AmSafe makes 95% of all airplane seatbelts sold worldwide.  Key points: Annually, the company sells 1.75 million regular seat belts and 100,0000 crew seat belts, and 25,000 airbag-enabled seat belts.  Southwest Airlines is the only major carrier not using AmSafe-made seatbelts. Click here to read the article. Posted December 2, 2019

Parachute Problems Could Delay European Mission to Mars by 2 Years.  It seems NASA is not the only space agency having a problem with the parachute systems used in its spacecraft (see our November 25 post).  The European-Russian Exo-Mars mission, which is an attempt to land a rover on Mars, is facing a 2-year delay because of issues with the spacecraft's parachutes tearing from their bags as they are released during descent testing.  The parachute system first deploys a 15-meter-wide parachute designed to slow the craft's descent in the Mars atmosphere from 1700 to 400 kilometers per hour, then a 35-meter parachute will slow the craft to a much lower speed, before it is jettisoned at an altitude of 1 kilometer and the retrorockets take over  This week, new parachutes are being test at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., USA.  The parachutes must pass a final inspection by late April 2020 or it will lose it's next-summer's launch window and result in a 2-year delay. Click here to read more.  Posted December 2, 2019

Freudenberg Acquires Needle Punch Nonwoven Producer.  Germany-headquartered Freudenberg has acquired Filc, a producer of needle punch nonwoven textiles and laminated materials with a focus on the automotive and construction industries.  Filc is privately owned and headquartered in Slovenia, with 2 other productions sites in Slovenia and a sales office in the US.  The company was founded in 1937 and has been in nonwovens since 1963.  Click here to read the Freudenberg press release.  Posted November 28, 2019

Pharr Announces Plans to Sell Off 2 Business Units.   Pharr, a diversified provider of differentiated textile products and assorted real estate businesses, has reached agreements with Coats Group plc (Coats) to purchase Pharr High Performance, yarn supplier for the protective apparel industry; and Mannington Mills (Mannington) to purchase Pharr Fibers & Yarns and Phenix Flooring, suppliers of yarns, residential carpet and specialty flooring products.  The acquisitions are expected to close in early 2020.  The purchase by Coats, a UK-based company, will expand their footprint in North America.  Founded in 1939, Pharr HP has about 350 employees.  Sales for its latest financial year were estimated at USD82 million.  Click here to read the Pharr HP press release.  Posted November 26, 2019

Automotive Textile Conference Announces More Presentations.  Three more presentations have been added to the conference program for Textile Opportunities in a Changing Automotive Industry, February 5-6, 2020. The event is being held near Birmingham, UK.   The presentations are Borealis Polyolefin on sustainable coated fabrics designed for recycling and zero-waste manufacture for automotive applications;  Centre of Nanotechnology and Smart Materials (CeNTI) will present their innovations in electroactive fibres for smart automotive interiors; and Sinterama spa will present the challenges and benefits of upcycling polyester for automotive applications. Early discounted registration will end November 29, 2019. Click here to go to the conference’s web page.  Posted November 26, 2019

Nigerian Air Force in Talks with Domestic Textile Producer to Supply Military Products.  The News Agency of Nigeria reports the Nigerian Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshall Saddique Abubaker, has met with the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology in Zaria, Nigeria and then proceeded to meet with the management of ZIL, a Nigerian tarpaulin manufacturer located in Zaria.  The discussion with ZIL was an initial visit to look at the company's facility.  Next week there will be discussions about the company supplying the Nigerian Air Force with "bullet proof" vests, tents, vehicle covers and other products.  ZIL was established in 1975 and produces over 2 million square meters of canvas tarpualin fabrics. Click here to read more.  Posted November 25, 2019

Photo: NASA

Parachute Problems May Severely Limit 2020 American Participation on the International Space Station.  On November 14, 2019, the NASA Office of Inspector General issued "NASA's Management of Crew Transportation to the International Space Station", an audit that summarizes the on-going problems with the re-entry parachute and launch abort systems for the new spacecrafts being developed to shuttle cargo and crew to the International Space Station (ISS).  The problems for Boeing's Starliner and SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft are causing significant delays in vehicle certifications.  It is not expected either company will be able to provide a spacecraft until at least next June.  In 2020 only one reservation has been made for a NASA astronaut to fly aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS.  The US astronaut's Soyuz trip will start in March with a return in October; thus, it's possible after the October return there will be for the first time no US presence on the ISS. Click here for more information.  Posted November 25, 2019  

Automotive composites featured at JEC Asia 2019

JEC Asia 2019 Attracts 6,500 Visitors.  JEC Asia 2019 was held in Seoul, South Korea, November 13-15, 2019.  The event attracted more than 6,500 attendees from 49 countries and showcased 200 composite industry suppliers in the exhibition. Three education sessions featured 40 international speakers.  JEC Group CEO Eric Pierrejean announced a name change for the event going forward to JEC Korea in recognition of its 3 successful show in Seoul.  JEC Korea 2020 will be held November 11-13, 2020 in Seoul.  Click here to read more about the event and the naming of the major award-winners recognized.  Posted November 20, 2020

Hygienix 2019 Addresses Sustainability in Absorbent Hygiene & Personal Care.  Over 500 absorbent hygiene and personal care professionals from 30 countries and throughout the supply chain participated in the 5th edition of INDA’s Hygienix™ held in Houston, Texas, USA, November 11-14, 2019. In addition to the educational program involving 36 speakers, Hygienix featured 53 table top exhibitors.  The 2019 INDA Lifetime Technical Award was presented to Stephen Chester, former Technical Service & Development Manager with Fitesa, for his long-established technical career and key innovations in the nonwovens industry. The 2019 INDA Lifetime Service Award was presented to Nick Hrinko, Business Development/Americas, Lenzing Fibers, for his long service to INDA and the nonwovens industry.  Hygienix 2020 will be held November 16-19, in New Orleans, La., USA.  Click here to read the complete press release on the conference.  Posted November 20, 2019

Teijin Aramid Increases Twaron Capacity.  Teijin Aramid, producer of Twaron fiber, has announced the second round of activities to increase its production capacity by 25%.  The objective was established in 2017.  The capacity increase will take place at the Delfzijl and Emmen factories in the Netherlands.  Delfziljl is the production site for monomer and polymer and the Emmen plant is used for spinning.  Twaron is used in a range of products including air cargo containers and heat resistant clothing.  Click here to read the company press release. Posted November 14, 2019

Roman Truba, SBI Chief Photo source: mil.gov.ua

Bail Set for Senior Official Charged in Ukrainian "Bulletproof" Vest Scandal.  Things are moving along quickly in the Ukrainian scandal involving the purchase of thousands of defective military ballistic vests.  [See our post from yesterday.]   Roman Truba, the chief of the Ukraine State Bureau of Investigation, has announced a $3.1 million bail has been set for the head of the Main Directorate of Ukraine's Defense Ministry.  Although he was not specially named at the press conference announcing the bail, sources are identifying the suspect as Major General Dmytro Marchenko.  Click here to read more.  Posted November 12, 2019 

Counterfeit Airbags Seized in California.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that on September 12, 2019, CBP officers assigned to Ontario International Airport express air cargo operations in Ontario, Calif., USA, in coordination with import specialists assigned to the Automotive & Aerospace Center of Excellence (AA Center) seized eight counterfeit Honda airbags arriving in two express packages from China.  AA Center import specialists confirmed that the airbags were in violation of the Honda protected trademark. If genuine, the seized airbags would have an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $4,856.  Click here to go to the Textile and Trade website to read the full details.  Posted November 12, 2019

Steve Schiffman

IFAI President Honored by Publication Association. Industrial Fabrics Association International President/ CEO Steve Schiffman was awarded the Hedley Donovan Award at the Annual Awards Gala organized by the Minnesota Media and Publishing Association (MMPA). The Hedley Donovan Award was created in 1999 by the MMPA to recognize individuals who have shown outstanding lifelong dedication and made exceptional contributions to Minnesota's magazine industry.  Mr. Schiffman has been active in the regional media arena for 30 years.  In addition to his recognition, 3 IFAI publications -- Geosynthetics, Marine Fabricator, and Specialty Fabrics Review -- won MMPA awards announced at the Gala.  Posted November 11, 2019

Corsair MZs 1-4 Ballistic Vest

Ukraine Government Begins Probe of Faulty Ballistic Vest Purchases.  According to the Ukraine State Bureau of Investigations, five defense officials are under investigation involving the purchase of substandard "bulletproof" vests.  [See our July16, 2019 original post.]  About 20,000 Corsair MZs 1-4 vests were purchased.  According to the charges, 79 out of the 100 tested vests tested failed to provide the intended ballistic resistance required.  The 5 purchasing officials reportedly knew the vests had failed the testing but went ahead with the purchases.  Also being investigated is the purchase of 100,000 sets of military uniforms and defective tents.  Click here to read more.  Posted November 11, 2019

INDEX 2020 Opens Registration.  INDEX 2020, being held in Geneva, Switzerland, March 31 - April 3, 2020, has opened its visitor registration.  The nonwovens trade show is held every 3 years.  In 2017, INDEX 2017 had 12,700 visitors from 100+ countries to see 660 exhibitors.  Click here for registration information.  Posted November 11, 2019

Arville Acquires Air Filtration Company.  UK technical textiles producer Arville Textile Ltd. has announced its acquisition of Delta Filter Services Ltd.  The acquired company is a fabric dust filter manufacturer with products used in a wide range of applications, including the food and pharmaceutical industry.  Arville is headquartered in West Yorkshire, UK, and Delta is being incorporated into the company's fabrication business unit in Bradford, Yorkshire.  Click here for more information.  Posted November 11, 2019

Erik Jarvie

FabriTec Structures Announces New Vice President.  Congratulations to Erik Jarvie for being appointed Vice President of Business Development at FabriTec Structures, LLC.  Mr. Jarvie was previously a director at TensionStructures.com, a division of Eide Industries, Cerritos, Calif., USA.  FabriTec Structures, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, USA, is a lightweight structures contractor, specializing in the design and construction of cable and tensile membrane structures.  Posted November 8, 2019

Photocraph:  US Army's White Sands Missile Range Photograph: US Army's White Sands Missile Range

SpaceX Conducts Successful Test of Crew Dragon Parachutes.  While the Boeing Starliner experience an unexpected parachute failure to deploy on November 4 (see post below), SpaceX tested its own parachute system the day prior with the intent to show its Mark 3 Crew Dragon parachute system could work with a failure of one of its 4 main parachutes.  This was the 13th successful test of the system. Click here to see a video of the test.  Posted November 7, 2019

Pad Abort Test This Week Successful Despite Failure of a Main Parachute.  The launch of the new Boeing Starliner spacecraft on November 4 at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, USA, was designed to test the pad abort system, simulating a failure of the engines immediately after ignition.  The flight only lasted 95 seconds but the test saw that one of the 3 main parachutes unexpectantly failed to deploy.  Landing with only 2 parachutes still fell within the safety parameters of the system but it does reveal the continuing problems affecting the parachute system which has forced several system redesigns.  Click here to read more.  Posted November 7, 2019

US Department of Commerce Releases September Export Figures for Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group.  The US Department of Commerce has released the September export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. Exports were again down in general.  Germany and Canada were the only countries in the top 5 that showed export increases. Click here to see the entire September 2019 report.

 

 

 

Year Ending

09/2018

Year Ending

09/2019

 

% Change

Mexico

2,183,055

2,087913

- 4.36

Canada

592,276

593,189

+ 0.15

China

222,523

217,221

- 2.38

Hong Kong

120,784 120,773

- 0.01

Germany

96,852

104,831

+ 8.24

World 4,364493 4,295,240 - 1.59

Posted November 7, 2019

Jonathan Curry

Managing Director Leaves Geosynthetic Materials Association.  Jonathan Curry, the managing director for the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA), a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, has left the organization to become the new executive director of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota (ASEC/MN).  Mr. Curry has received industry recognition for his GMA work over the last 4 1/2 years.  IFAI has not yet announced who will be replacing Mr. Curry.  Posted November 3, 2019

Graphics Association Elects New Leadership. Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) announced the appointment of its 2019 - 2020 board members during a special meeting that took place in conjunction with PRINTING United, in Dallas, Texas, USA, October 23-25, 2019.  Scott Crosby, tc  holland & crosby, will serve as Chairman and Christopher Bernat, Vapor Apparel/Source Substrates LLC, will serve as First Vice Chair. Tom Davenport, Motion Textile, will serve as Treasurer, and Dean DeMarco, IDL Worldwide, will perform the duties of Secretary. SGIA’s 2018-2019 Chairman, Thomas Cooper of WestRock, serves as Immediate Past Chairman. Meanwhile, 2017-2018 Chairman Edward Cook, Jr. of ECI Screen Print Inc., has been named Chairman of the Chairman’s Advisory Council. Scott Schinlever, Gerber Technology, takes on the role of Associate Vice Chairman. Click here to view the complete list of board members selected to serve during 2019-2020.  Posted October 29, 2019

US Defense Logistics Agency Issues Contract for Helmet Pad Suspension System.  National Industries for the Blind, Alexandria, Virginia, has been awarded a $13,404,000 modification exercising the third one-year option period of a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods for the advanced combat helmet pad suspension system.  This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.  Locations of performance are Virginia, Penn. and N.C., with an Oct. 26, 2020, performance completion date.  Using military service is Army.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Penn., USA.  Posted October 29, 2019

New President Appointed at CTT Group.  The President of the Board of Directors of the CTT Group and President of Belt-Tech Products Inc., Robert Bélanger, has announced the appointment of Olivier Vermeersch as President/Chief Executive Officer of the CTT Group, one of the Collegial Center for Technology Transfer (CCTT) of the Cégep of Saint-Hyacinthe. Mr. Vermeersch succeeds Jacek Mlynarek.  Mr. Mlynarek will remain associated to CTT Group as a strategic advisor. CTT Group is a testing laboratory and R&D facility specializing in technical textiles, advanced textile-based materials and geosynthetics. The company is in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., Canada.  Posted October 26, 2019

Foundation Formed for Geosynthetics Education. The International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) has officially formed the IGS Foundation with the purpose of raising funds to further educate the world about geosynthetics.   The foundation's initial goal is to raise $1 million annually to invest in educational programs.  The investment will help train entrants to the industry and those who teach them.  IGS foundation board is chaired by Jacques Cote of Solmax. The foundation secretary/treasurer is Boyd Ramsey of Boyd Ramsey Consulting LLC.  Click here to read more.  Posted October 26, 2019

Toray Agrees to Acquire Alva Sweden AB.  Toray Industries, Inc. has announced it has concluded an agreement with AB Anders Westerlind to purchase all of the shares of Alva Sweden AB (“ASE”), a manufacturer of cushions for automotive airbag systems, and acquire ASE and its two subsidiaries, Alva Confecções S.A. of Portugal and Alva Tunisia SA of Tunisia (these three entities are hereafter collectively referred to as “Alva”). AB Anders Westerlind wholly owns ASE.  Alva, headquartered in Mölndal, Sweden, has manufactured cushions for automotive airbag systems in Europe since 1997. Toray’s airbag business encompasses nylon fiber production operations in Japan, Thailand, and Mexico, and fabric manufacturing sites in Japan, Thailand, China, the Czech Republic, India, and Mexico.  Click here to read the press release.  Posted October 22, 2019

Strong Attendance Reported.  The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) issued a press release today which reports "strong attendance" at the recently completed IFAI Expo 2019 in Orlando, Fla., USA.  According to the release, the event hosted more than 325 exhibiting companies and a total of 4,412 verified participants from 64 countries.  Besides the exhibition, the event had 83 educational sessions, plus 28 of its "campfire-style" on the show floor sessions.  Click here to read the IFAI show press release.  Posted October 21, 2019 

Regional Custom Fabrics Association Holding Annual Meeting.  The Canvas Products Association, Zone 7, has announced its schedule for it annual meeting and conference.  The event is being held in State College, Penn., USA.  Click here to view the schedule, registration fees and housing information.  Posted October 19, 2019

Photo source: Virgin Galactic website

Virgin Galactic Partners Unveil Exclusive Space System for Private Astronauts.  Probably just coincidental timing that on the same day NASA introduced new space suits [see post below] that Virgin Galactic also held a news conference along with UnderArmor, its Technical Space Partner, to unveil the new spacewear that Virgin Galactic's private astronauts will be wearing for their commercial trips to outerspace.  The spacesuits are made of lightweight flight-grade fabrics, with "cushioning in elbows, knees and in the footwear, to provide safety in out-of-seat zero gravity."  Each spacesuit will be tailored made for the astronaut and they get to keep the suits after the trip.  Click here to read an article posted on the New York Times website about the press reveal.  Posted October 16, 2019

Dates Announced for Cinte Techtextil China 2020.  Organizers of Cinte Techtextil China 2020 in Shanghai, China, have announced the event will be September 2-4, 2020.  The technical textile show is co-organized by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd., The Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT, and China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA).  In 2018, Cinte Techtextil China had 13,203 visitors from 55 countries with a trade floor featuring 485 exhibitors. Click here for more information.  Posted October 16, 2019  

Image Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

NASA Shows New Spacesuits Prototypes.  Next generation spacesuits were unveiled at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., USA, on October 15.  One of the suits, shown was for use on the lunar surface, is the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU).  The other suit shown was bright orange and known as the Orion Crew Survival Crew System.  It's to be used for the spacecraft's launch and return periods as well as emergency situations on board the spacecraft.    According to a NASA official, the xEMU suit is the first new design in 40 years and will provide much greater mobility than the Apollo-era moon-walking suits. The new xEMU suit is designed to fit both male and female body physiques.  Click here to read an article about the news conference.  Posted October 16, 2019

Photo courtesy of MBDA website.

Emerging Types of Military Camouflage.  It used to be camouflage was simply a pattern either painted or printed on a flat surface.  Our favorite magazine, Popular Science, has a neat article that takes a look at both static and adaptive technology.  Multisorv camouflage by MBDA, for example, deals in multilayers that trap the air and helps prevent infrared detection.  Swedish camouflage maker Saab Barracuda has introduced its newest textile camouflage called Advanced Reversible Camouflage Screen emissive (ARCASe), a material that's patterned on both sides and fold in spots so that it creates a sense of color shifting and movement.  Click here if you want to learn more.  Posted October 15, 2019

Brian Little

Bondex Names New President.  Bondex, Inc., a manufacturer of technical nonwovens and custom materials, has appointed Brian Little as President, effective October 1, 2019.  Mr. Little replaces retiring president Steve Fransoso, who served 23 years with the parent company Andrew Industries, including the last 5 years as the Bondex CEO.  Mr. Little has over 19 years of experience in specialty fibers and nonwovens industries. Starting in 2016, he held the position of Sr. Vice President Sales and Marketing for Bondex. Prior to joining Bondex, he spent 16 years with DuPont in various technical and marketing leadership roles at DuPont, in both aramids and nonwovens businesses.  Bondex is located in near Augusta, Ga., USA.  Click here to read the entire Bondex press release on the leadership change.  Posted October 14, 2019

Freudenberg Acquires Technology from Innovative Startup.  The Freudenberg global technology group has acquired the activities of the startup FRICTins GmbH from Wolnzach, Germany – including FRICTins’ innovative technology to increase the friction coefficient. This allows lightweight and more compact component designs as well as the transmission of up to 5-times higher torque and shear forces. According to Freudenberg, these features are of critical relevance in applications within E-mobility and its increasing performance requirements regarding the connection of parts.  “In the future, Freudenberg will offer the global automotive industry a cost-efficient, hard-particle coated nonwoven solution – ideally suited for the realization of new powertrain designs and lightweight concepts”, stated Dr. Frank Heislitz, CEO of Freudenberg Performance Materials.  Click here to read the complete Freudenberg press release on the acquisition. Posted October 14, 2019

Natick Scientists Invent New Reflective Thread.  The US Patent Office on October 1, 2019 awarded a patent on a retro-reflective thread.  The inventors are Michael Ghebrebrhan and Landa Hoke, scientists at the U.S. Army Soldier Center, Natick Mass., USA.  As noted in an article posted on the TechLink website, "The current method for creating what is known as retro-reflective material -- material that bounces light particles in all directions, rather than just back toward the light source -- involves sowing or otherwise bonding retro-reflective  surfaces onto an article that is desired to have an area of retro-reflectivity."  The scientists have produced a fiber thread with inherent retro-reflective properties.  Click here to read more on the TechLink website which includes a link to the actual patent.  Posted October 14, 2019   

Evelyne Cholet

New Leadership at French Textile Machinery Association.  Better late than never in letting BeaverLake6 Report readers know that Ms. Evelyne Cholet, the secretary-general of UCMTF (the French Textile Machinery Association) for the last 34 years, retired shortly after ITMA 2019 was held in Barcelona in June 2019.  UCMTF is comprised of about 30 textile machinery equipment manufacturers located in France.  Christian Guinet, the former UCMTF international vice president, has been selected as the organization's new secretary-general.  UCMTF is part of CEMATEX, the coalition of European national textile machinery associations, which owns both ITMA and ITMA Asia.  Posted October 14, 2019 

Seizo Shimamaki

Lest We Forget:  Seizo Shimamaki Passes.  Yamaten Co. Ltd. of Osaka, Japan has announced it's chairman Seizo Shimamaki passed away September 22, 2019.  Mr. Shimamaki was also one of the founding members of IFAI Japan, a country sector of the Industrial Fabrics Association International.  Yamaten is a supplier of parts and retractable awnings to the awning industry.  His son, Manabu Shimamaki, is the president of the company.  Posted October 9, 2019

A&E Expands with New Facility in Vietnam.  Industrial thread maker American & Effird (A&E) has completed its 28th manufacturing facility with the grand opening of its new Vietnam site.  The facility is located in Nhon Trach Industrial Park 6, Dong Nai Province.  A&E is part of Elevate Textiles.  Click here to read the entire release. Posted October 7, 2019

US Department of Commerce Releases August Export Figures for Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group.  The US Department of Commerce has released the August export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. It was a down month overall including all 5 of the top country designations. Germany, though, saw almost a 12% surge of US exports and has passed the United Kingdom now as one of the top 5 designations.  Click here to see the entire August 2019 report.

 

 

 

Year Ending

08/2018

Year Ending

08/2019

 

% Change

Mexico

2,177,080

2,100,629

-3.51

Canada

595,945

594,609

-0.22

China

219,967

216,454

-1.60

Hong Kong

123,064 121,938

-0.92

Germany

94,841

106,003

+11.77

World 4,359,529 4,307,930 -1.18

Posted October 6, 2019

Kenny Goodman

National Spinning Appoints New Vice President of Operations.    National Spinning Company, Inc. has named Kenny Goodman as its Vice President Operations.  Mr. Goodman was previously the company's Technical Yarn Sales Manager and prior to joining National Spinning had been president of Goodman Yarn Sales, LLC.  National Spinning is a yarn spinner, headquartered in Whiteville, N.C., USA.  The company also has a nonwovens operation and a fiber blending facility.  Posted October 6, 2019

Janesville Fiber Solutions Acquired.  Motus Integrated Technologies, a supplier of automotive interior products, has closed its previously announced acquisition of Janesville Fiber Solutions, formally a division of Jason Industries, Inc.  Motus is a provider of headliners, overhead systems, and automotive interior door and onsole armrests to the automotive industry. With the acquisition, Motus adds Janesville’s high-performance engineered acoustical and thermal fiber automotive solutions. Motus operates globally with more than 2,000 associates in five facilities in North America and Europe. Janesville Fiber Solutions is a producer of acoustical and thermal fiber  insulation for a variety of automotive applications. Founded in 1874, the company is based in Southfield, Mich., USA.  Click here for more information about the merger. Posted September 28, 2019

Fiber Innovators Closing North Carolina Plant. The Charlotte Business Journal has reported Fiber Innovators International is closing its plant located in Grover, N.C., USA.  The company makes high tenacity polyester filament yarn for core-spun, high-strength sewing thread.  Fiber Innovators purchased the plant from DuraFiber Technologies in 2017.  The closing affects approximately 100 workers. Posted September 27, 2019 

Freudenberg Submits Offer for Low & Bonar.  Freudenberg Group CEO Dr. Mohsen Sohi has announced the company has submitted an offer to acquire 100% of technical textile producer Low & Bonar PLC.  According to the September 20, 2019 press release, the acquisition would allow Freudenberg to further expand its technical expertise in spunlaid nonwovens. In addition, the acquisition would open up new areas of activity to Freudenberg. In the past financial year, Low & Bonar generated global sales of approximately $433 million. The acquisition is subject to, among other things, Low & Bonar shareholder approval and approval by antitrust authorities.  Low & Bonar is a 116 year-old company with more than 1,900 employees. It is headquartered in the UK with facilities in 11 countries located in Europe, North America and Asia.  Click here to read more.  Posted September 23, 2019

Shade Systems Breaks Ground on Major Plant Expansion.   Shade Systems, Inc. has announced it is expanding its manufacturing plant and headquarters located in Ocala, Fla., USA.  The company will be more than doubling its current 50,000 sq. ft. space.  Shade Systems is a manufacturer of outdoor shade products, including public spaces, amusement parks and car parks.  The new addition is expected to be completed by March 2020 and will be used to house a second powder-coating line, expand the sewing department, and for other related manufacturing technologies.  Posted September 22, 2019

ClearSpan Invests in Company Growth.  Fabric building manufacturer ClearSpan Structures has announced that it has completed construction on a new $10 million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.  The plant is located within the ClearSpan's 60-acre campus in Dyersville, Iowa., USA, and is expected to bring an additional 75-100 jobs.  Posted September 18, 2019

Photo: SpaceX

NASA Parachute Development Collaborative Effort.  There is a short informative article posted on the NASA website that describes the partnership between NASA, Boeing and SpaceX on the development of the Commercial Crew Program parachute system to be used by both the Boeing Starliner and the SpaceX's Dragon spacecrafts that will be transporting humans and cargo to the International Space Station.  The Dragon's capsule's reentry system is comprised of 2 drogue parachutes and 4 main ring-sail parachutes.  Altogether, SpaceX has completed 30 drop tests and 18 system-level tests of the system.  According to the posted article, "NASA's Commercial Crew Program is a public-private partnership with Boeing and SpaceX to take the experience of NASA and couple it with new technology and designs being pioneered by private industry."  Click here to read the entire article.  Posted September 18, 2019

Fabric Structure Manufacturer Awarded Maximum $200 Million Contract.  Alaska Structures Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz., USA, has been awarded a maximum $200,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for commercial shelters. This is a one-year base contract with three one-year option periods. Locations of performance are Arizona and New Mexico, with a September. 25, 2020, performance completion date. Using US military services are Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Posted September 18, 2019

Female Military Backpacks Being Designed in the UK. There is an interesting article posted on the United Kingdom website Express website on the research being done at the UK's Army Infantry Training Cente in Catterick, North Yorkshire, which is aiming to develop better backpacks for females as the first women prepare to start training for infantry units.  The article says research has shown female hearts and lungs are 25% smaller and bone density thinner, raising the likelihood of stress fractures in legs and hips. The average weight of a military backpack carried is 123 lbs. Female-fitting backpacks are already available commercially but the current military standard is "one size fits all."  [Perhaps US military backpack suppliers should get ahead of the curve and start looking at offering different styles to the procurement offices]. Click here to read the post. Posted September 16, 2019

German Nonwoven Producer Expanding US Plant. Sandler Nonwoven Corporation, the US subsidiary of Sandler AG, is investing more than $60 million dollars in the expansion of its U.S. plant. According to a company press release, construction of the new building in Perry, Ga. has already begun. The new 135,000 sq ft. building will house production and warehouse facilities, and will include a new manufacturing line for nonwovens used in hygiene applications. Production is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2020. This investment will create 70 new jobs in different departments at the Perry site.  Sandler AG is headquartered in Saale, Germany.  Posted September 16, 2019 

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See our Archives sections for older information. 

Coming Events

  • December 4-6:  Zone 7 Annual Conference, State College, Penn., USA
  • December 5-8: ITMACH India, Gandhinaga, India
  • December 11-12:  Digital Textile Printing Conference 4.0, Durham, N.C., USA
  • December 11-13:  18th Shanghai International Nonwovens Exhibition (SINCE 2019), Shanghai, China

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

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IFAI Expo 2019 Analysis

The IFAI Expo 2019 was held last week in Orlando, Fla., USA.  The exhibition was a smaller event than in years past but it still remains a powerful showcase of industry products.  In the Special Report section, you will find analysis of the show, plus news that comes from the Industrial Fabrics Association International's Annual Meeting and the winners of the International Achievement Awards. Click here to read the articles.  Posted October 10, 2019

Final Report Issued on 2018 China Industrial Textiles Industry

In 2018, China's industrial textile industry maintained a relatively rapid growth. The year, though, also found more complex challenges for the industry, including the tariff issues with the US. Thanks to BeaverLake6 Reports' exclusive arrangement with China Textile magazine, we are presenting the English-translated version of the final 2018 report written by the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textile Association (CNITA).  The report included information on fiber and material production, plus selected large end-product markets. Click here to read the report. Posted September 3, 2019

Do Profit and Convenience Muck Up the Moral Concern in Tariff Testimony by US Domestic Textile Industry?

NCTO Members Testifying at US International Trade Commission.  Surprisingly, there appears to be a little worry the announced new US tariffs on China (Section 301) may be reaching too far with its scope. The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), which has been firmly behind most of the textile-tariffs against China over the last year, is expressing concern the new Tranche Four retaliatory tariffs may affect US imports on products needed by the US domestic textile industry. 

 

[Read the rest of my editorial that takes NCTO to task for its hypocritical "moral" argument supporting the proposed additional products but excluding its industry's suppliers by clicking here.]

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Posted June 17, 2019

China's Industrial Textile Market Demands Still Remains Vigorous

Despite the increasingly complex industry demands, the Chinese technical textiles market was relatively stable. Nonwovens output increased over last year. Key specific markets such as tire cord also increased in 2018 over 2017. Overall operating income for industrial textiles used in China reached $34 billion. Click here to read the complete summary provided to BeaverLake6 Report by China Textile magazine through our exclusive relationship. Posted February 15, 2019

Does IDEA Show Need to be in Miami Beach?

INDA, the Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry, has issued its final report on IDEA19.  The event held March 25-27, 2019 in Miami Beach, Fla., USA, attracted 6,500+ participants and 509 exhibiting companies from 75 countries.  Show floor space was a record 168,600 square feet, a 9% increase over the previous show. 

 

Surprisingly, the people and exhibitor participation figures are not record numbers. The IDEA16 show in Boston, Mass., USA, attracted 7000+ and 555 exhibitors. 

 

So, why was participation down this year from IDEA16?  I think an explanation for the decline is the South Florida location of IDEA19.  Click here to read more.

President Li Lingshen, President, China Nonwovens & Industrial Texiles Association

President Li Lingshen

BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to provide an exclusive interview with Li Lingshen, Ph.D., Vice President of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, and President of the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association, the overseeing organization for the technical textiles industry in China. Click here to read the interview.

NCTO Neglects Automotive Textiles as Organizations Testify          on Proposed USMCA Impact

Positive Reviews but Still Uncertainty. On November 16, 2018, two of the US textile industry associations testified before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in a special hearing to determine the economic impact of the proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).  The leaders of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) provided statements on how they feel the new agreement will affect their member companies. 

 

The two organizations clearly have different biases; however, in looking over the AAFA and NCTO statements, it appears to me that while the organizations both clearly said they were not offering an endorsement yet of the agreement, they gave general overall approval for USMCA, acknowledging the 1992 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) needed updating. Both organizations are taking a wait-and-see attitude to more fully look at how the agreement impacts the complex supply chain of textiles and apparel. Click here to read more.

NAFTA Replacement Agreement Negotiated. On October 1, President Donald Trump announced the US, Mexico and Canada had reached an agreement whichreplaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that went into effect in 1994. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) contains provisions and language that has an impact on the technical textiles industry; the most important are 1) a special section covering textiles and apparel and 2) rules of origin that will require 75% of automotive content (under NAFTA 62.5%) be made in North America. Mexico and Canada are the two largest importers of US made technical textiles and the automotive industry is the largest intended end market of these technical textiles. Click here to go to the United States Trade Representative's website and read the "Textiles and Apparel Goods" chapter. Posted October 3, 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. 

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