News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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. “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
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
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.
Posted October 6, 2019
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
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
Crypton to Acquire Abercrombie Textiles. Upholstery fabric manufacturer Crypton Cos. has announced its intention to acquire Abercrombie Textiles of Clifton, N.C., USA. Abercrombie has been a material supplier partner of Crypton for 17 years. John Reagan, owner of Abercrombie, will remain with the company. Crypton plans to incorporate Abercrombie into its Crypton Home division, plus add another 25 employees to Abercrombie's workforce over the next year. Berkeley Capital, a private equity firm, has a majority stake in Crypton Cos. Click here to read more from the Charlotte Business Journal. Posted September 16, 2019
India Develops National Ballistic Vest Rating Standard, Exporting Vests to +100 Countries. India has become only the 4th country to develop ballistic vest standards (US., UK and Germany are the others) and is reportedly exporting the vests to more than 100 countries. The vests are certified to a new Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) that was published in December 2018. The Indian army is now procuring vests meeting the new BIS standard. The companies producing the vests are the government's Medani and Ordnance Factory, and the private companies SNPP, Starwire and MKU. More than 200,000 vests have already been produced under the standard's criteria. Click here to read more posted on The Economic Times website. Posted September 16, 2019
Geosynthetics Conference Extends Abstract Submission Deadline. The organizer of EuroGeo Warsaw 2020 has announced the deadline for submitting abstracts for paper presentation has been extended from August 30, 2019 to October 4, 2019. [Seriously, when has a conference ever held firm to its original submission deadline dates?] EuroGeo Warsaw 2020 is organized by the Polish Geosynthetics Association (PSG), a chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS), and will be held September 6-9, 2020 in Warsaw, Poland. This will be the 7th EuroGeo conference organized under the auspices of the IGS. EuroGeo 2016 was held in Slovenia and attracted 683 participants and 46 exhibitors. Click here for abstract submission information. Posted September 16, 2019
Radiation Protection Vest to be Tested at ISS. The October 21 launch of the resupply ship for the International Space Station (ISS) will be carrying special vests designed to protect asstronauts from radiation caused by unpredictable solar particle events. The AstroRad Vest has been developed by StemRad, an Israeli-based company, and Lockheed Martin. Astronauts over a 2-4 week period will provide input on the garments as they wear them while performing daily tasks. Click here to read more about the AstroRad Vest. Posted September 10, 2019
Bally Ribbon Featured on Space Website. The website NASASpaceflight posted a nice article on the contributions of technical textile producer Bally Ribbon Mills (BRM) to the various NASA space exploration programs, including the newest partnership in one of several entry, descent and landing projects announced by NASA to prepare for Moon and Mars missions. BRM has developed a new carbon fabric heat shield for the landing crafts. The company is headquartered in Bally, Penn., USA. Click here to read the article. Posted September 10, 2019
Merger Called Off for Nonwoven Companies. AstenJohnson and Heimbach have called off the mergers of their respective paper machine clothing business units. The merger had been announced in April 2019 (see our April 15 post). Both companies are saying the timing was not right for the merging of the business. Heimbach is headquartered in Germany and AstenJohnson is in the US. Click here to read the AstenJohnson press release. Posted September 10, 2019
IFAI Expo Considered for Do-Gooder Award. The Industrial Fabrics Association International's (IFAI) Expo 2018, held last year in Dallas, Texas, USA, has been announced as a finalist for Trade Show Executive magazine's Gold 100 Award for the Do-Gooder award category. The Do-Gooder category is specifically for shows that promote events for philanthropy or social causes. As it has in past years, the IFAI Expo 2018 put together its Manufacturing for Good booth. The booth was a partnership of Expo exhibitors, visitors and sponsors, brought together to produce duffel bags for the Bridge Homeless Recovery Center in North Texas. The award winners will be announced at Trade Show Executive's Gold 100 Awards and Summit taking place September 25-27, 2019, in San Diego, Calif., USA. Posted September 10, 2019
Outdoor Retailer Summer Show Reviewed. Apparel magazine has posted a review of the 2019 Summer Outdoor Retailer Show held in Denver, Colo., USA, in July 2019. The show attracted more than 23,500 visitors. The article by veteran industry writer John McCurry focuses on new products and services introduced by technical textiles exhibitors including Unifi, Gehrig-Tricot Corp., Hohenstein Institute, and Cordura. Click here to read the article. Posted September 7, 2019
Keyston Bros Acquires Regional DLT Corporation. On its LinkedIn website, US industrial and upholstery fabrics distributor Keyston Bros announced it had acquired mid-west upholstery fabric distributor DLT Corporation. DLT was founded in 1913 and is headquartered in Warrenville, Ill., USA. The move expands Keyston Bros services in the Chicago and Detroit regions. Posted September 7, 2019
SAERTEX® Acquires TK Industries. Composite manufacturer SAERTEX has announced its acquisition of TK Industries GmbH. The purchase allows SAERTEX to further expanding its range of heavy-tow carbon fiber multiaxial fabrics. TK Industries is a specialized, medium-sized fabric manufacturer based in Selbitz, Germany. At its production site, TK Industries processes carbon fibers for composite materials used in the transportation and boating industries. Posted September 6, 2019
Unifi Appoints New EVP/CFO. Unifi, Inc. has announced the appointment of Craig A. Creaturo as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, effective September 9, 2019. Christopher A. Smosna, who has served as Interim Chief Financial Officer since December 2018, will continue in his role as Vice President & Treasurer. Mr. Creaturo recently served as Chief Financial Officer & Vice President-Administration of Chromalox, Inc., an advanced thermal technologies manufacturing company. Unifi, Inc. is a manufacturer of synthetic and recycled performance fibers. Click here to read the company’s press release. Posted September 6, 2019
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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
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
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.]
Posted June 17, 2019
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
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.
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.
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
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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