BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

Archived Industry News

April 1 - June 30, 2019

Whatever Happened to the Traditional Shop Awning?  There is a terrific article posted on the UK website Ian Visits on the history of the traditional commercial shop awning. A couple of the tidbits revealed are that the rise of shop awnings occurred with the increased use of glass windows in storefronts and the increased use of Greek and Roman style shops that included pilasters and half-columns on the sides of the shops. In the UK, one of the first companies to mass produce the awnings was London-based Deans Blinds of Putney.  (The company had started out as a fabricator of canvas water bags for the British forces.)  Click here to read the article. Posted June 28, 2019

Major US Marine Dock System Manufacturers Announce Merger. HydroHoist Marine Group and ShoreMaster, LLC have announced a merger of their businesses. The combined enterprise will make it the largest dock and boat lift player in North America.  Located in Fergus Falls, Minn., USA, ShoreMaster Fabric Incorporated, a division of ShoreMaster, is a manufacturer and supplier to the marine industry with various fabric products, including boat covers, boat lift canopy covers, bimini boat tops, and related marine accessories.  Posted June 28, 2019

Space Capsule Completes Final Parachute Test.  Boeing cleared another milestone toward launching its Starliner space capsule with the fifth, and final, qualification test of the vehicle’s parachute system on June 25, 2019.  The final test was the most difficult. Two parachutes were disabled on a Starliner test article that was dropped from a balloon at an altitude of 40,000 feet. During a four-minute descent, the other parachutes deployed, and the capsule touched down as planned at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range. Each Starliner will carry more than half a dozen parachutes, which are manufactured by Airborne Systems of Santa Ana, Calif. Airbags made by Delaware’s ILC Dover will cushion Starliner at landing. Those airbags and other landing systems have already been qualified for crews through rigorous test programs. During the latest test, one out of the two drogue parachutes and one out of the three main parachutes were intentionally disabled.  Click here to read the entire Boeing press release on the recent test.  Posted June 26, 2019

Bill Passes US House of Representatives to Close Kissell Amendment Loophole.  The U.S. House of Representatives on June 10, 2019  approved H.R. 2083, the Homeland Procurement Reform (HOPR) Act. The legislation is designed to ensure  the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) including Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Secret Service, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) purchase uniforms and equipment manufactured in the United States.  The bill establishes specific criteria that increases the ability of DHS to obtain American-made personal protective equipment (PPE) and organizational clothing and individual equipment (OCIE). The HOPR Act builds upon earlier procurement provisions such as the Berry Amendment and the Kissell Amendment. The bill will now move on to the Senate. Click here to read more. Posted June 26, 2019

Milliken Appoints President for Newly Acquired  Polartec Division.  Milliken & Company has announced Steve Layton as president of its newly purchased Polartec business.  Polartec, an outdoor fabric producer, was acquired in early June 2019.  Mr. Layton joined Millien in 2012, most recently serving as vice president of sales and marketing for the Westex by Milliken textiles business.  He replaces the outgoing Polartec CEO Gary Smith.  Click here to read the Milliken/Polartec press release. Posted June 26, 2019

Scottish Technical Textile Producer Prepares for Layoffs.  The website The Courier has posted news on the planned redundancy (layoffs) at technical textile producer Don & Low.  The company, located in Forfar, Angus, Scotland, employs around 500 at its headquarters and, according to a letter sent from company chairman Vassilis Zairopoulos, the company will eliminate 55 current positions due to increased competition from imports and changing consumer preferences affecting its nonwovens used for carpet-backing. The company dates back to 1792 and was purchased by Thrace Plastics, part of Thrace Group, in 1999. This is the second Scottish technical textile producer announcing significant redundancy lately (see the May 2 post on Scott & Fyfe). Click here to read more about the Don & Low announcement. Posted June 25, 2019

US Body Armor Company Award $215.9 Million Contract.  The US Marine Corps Systems Command has awarded a $215.9 million contract to Point Blank Enterprises, Inc., of Pompano Beach, Fla., USA for the Marine Corps Low Intensity Threat Environment (LITE) new small arms protective insert. Posted June 25, 2019

Geosynthetics Producer Expanding with New US Manufacturing Facility.  Geosynthetics manufacturer Solmax has announced that it is expanding its operations and establishing a manufacturing facility in Nevada, USA.  CEO Jean-Louis Vangeluwe said in a press release the manufacturing facility will be fully operational by mid-2020.  Following the integration of the Solmax and GSE Environmental businesses into one combined strong global entity – Solmax’s goal is to continue to grow its industry leadership position in the geosynthetics sector with strength, reach, capacity and talent to reshape the geosynthetics industry.  Solmax is headquartered in Varennes, Que., Canada.  Posted June 20, 2019

Savaria to Acquire Sling Manufacturer Silvalea. Savaria Corporation, a manufacturer of products in the healthcare accessibility industry, has announced it is acquiring Silvalea Group. Established in 1993, Silvalea is a manufacturer of patient transfer slings and accessories.  It is headquartered in Newton Abbot, UK.  In its last fiscal year, the Silvalea Group recorded revenue of $6.8 million on sales of 70,000 slings. The slings are made from various types of textiles, depending on the application. Savaria is headquartered in Laval, Que., Canada. Click here to read the press release. Posted June 20, 2019

Apollo Spacecraft Computer was Handwoven by Textile Workers.  In commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing, the website Fast Company has a fascinating article on the textile aspects of the spacecrafts that flew to the Moon. The lunar rover, for example, used a mesh tire made of piano wire woven by hand. The parachutes bringing the spacecrafts back to Earth used 7,200 square feet of fabric and had 2 million stiches sewn by women from an apparel company. Perhaps the best reveal was the circuits of the flight computers as well as the actual programs were woven by hand by women using looms using needles with wire attached to them instead of thread, making what is called "rope core memory."  Click here to read the article. Posted June 18, 2019

New President for Miller Weldmaster. Miller Weldmaster, a manufacturer of textile welding systems, has announced that it has appointed Brent Nussbaum as President, effective June 1, 2019.  Mr. Nussbaum was named to succeed Scott Miller as the president. Mr. Miller will continue his company ownership. Mr. Nussaum has been with the company for 21 years. Miller Weldmaster is headquartered in Navarre, Oh., USA. Posted June 18, 2019

Outdoor Tactical Gear Fabricator Opens New Facility in California.  Outdoor Research, a Seattle-based maker of tactical gloves for the military as well as other sewn outdoor products for consumers, has opened a new production facility in El Monte, Calif., USA. According to an article posted on The Seattle Times website, company management would have preferred to stay in the Seattle, Wash., area but could not find enough skilled sewers.  The new facility is employing 105 workers. Click here to read the article. Posted June 18, 2019

Article Looks at Connecticut Parachute Company's Role in D-Day.  In the last week, there has been much in the news about the 75th Anniversary of D-Day during World War II. An article posted on the website of Connecticut Magazine reviewed the contribution of the Pioneer Parachute Company located in Manchester, Conn., USA. More than 13,000 paratroopers used Pioneer chutes during the invasion of France. The company was originally started as a silk mill in 1838 and by the 1920s was a supplier of parachute fabric to manufacturers. In 1938, it began its own parachute manufacturing and by 1942 was the world's leading producer of nylon parachutes, turning out 300 parachutes a day.  Later, Pioneer developed parachutes for NASA space craft. The company has undergone ownership change and its main production plant has moved to Mississippi. Click here to read the article. Posted June 12, 2019

Asian Pacific Sales Manager Hired for Aircraft Fabric Maker. Tapis Corporation a manufacturer of high-performance fabrics for seating and vertical surface applications in the aviation industry, has announced the hiring of industry veteran Dominic Duffy as vice president of sales for Asia Pacific.  Mr. Duffy will represent Tapis in Singapore, Thailand, China, Australia, Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan among other Asian nations. He has experience in aircraft manufacture, structural and non-structural composites and, for the last 20 years, has focused on aircraft interiors and seating systems.  Prior to joining Tapis, he was business development manager for Asia Pacific with Zodiac Cabin Interiors and regional sales manager for Asia Pacific with Zodiac Seats UK (Contour). In both roles, he liaised between the product sales teams at both seating companies and the airlines, helping to ensure successful sales and delivery of products.  Posted June 12, 2019

Milliken to Acquire Polartec.  Milliken & Company has announced today it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Polartec, LLC from Versa Capital Management, LLC. The acquisition is expected to close later this month.  Headquartered in Andover, Mass., USA, Polartec makes textiles for the workwear, outdoor and military. Versa had previously acquired the Polartec assets from Malden Mills in 2007. Click here to read the Milliken press release on the acquisition. Posted June 11, 2019

$8.9 Million Contract Awarded by US Military Includes Tentage. Mahaffey Tent & Awning Co. Inc., Memphis, Tenn., USA was awarded a $8,976,868 modification (P00006) to contract W9124E-16-D-0006 for shower trailers, environment control units, light sets, tentage of various sizes and configurations, hand washing stations, generators, cots, and other logistical life support equipment. Work will be performed in Fort Polk, La., USA, with an estimated completion date of June 20, 2021. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance US Army funds in the amount of $8,976,868 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Fort Polk, La., is the contracting activity. Posted June 11, 2019

Joyson Safety Systems announces Tri-Party Joint Venture with ANAND Group and Abhishek Industries.  Joyson Safety Systems (JSS), a supplier of mobility safety systems including airbags and seatbelts, has announced the formation of a Tri-Party Joint Venture to merge its two Joint Ventures in India. KSS Abhishek Safety Systems Private Limited (“KSSA”) which is a Joint Venture of JSS with Abhishek Industries is being merged with Takata India Pvt. Ltd (“TIPL”). TIPL is a Joint Venture between ANAND Group and JSS. The new tri party Joint Venture will be called “Joyson ANAND Abhishek Safety Systems Private Limited” (“JAASS”). The merger of the two entities is subject to approval to India's National Company Law Tribunal.  Under the terms of the new Joint Venture agreement, the new shareholding structure of JAASS will be: JSS 65%, ANAND Group 30% and Abhishek Industries 5%.  Posted June 8, 2019

April US Exports in Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Released.  The US Department of Commerce has just released the April export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. In the first 4 months, Mexico, China and Hong Kong showed significant declines.  Comparing year-endings April 30, China is showing a decline of 2.87%. over last year. Click here to see the entire April 2019 report.

 

 

Year Ending

04/2018

Year Ending

04/2019

 

% Change

Mexico

2,123,528

2,162,953

+1.86

Canada

599,508

599,652

+0.02

China

222,004

215,652

-2.87

Hong Kong

121,936 122,325

+0.32

United Kingdom

101,018

105,644 +4.58
World 4,296,522 4,365,197 +1.60

Posted June 7, 2019

Fabric Shelter Frame Contract Award by US Military. Camel Manufacturing Co., Pioneer, Tenn., USA, has been awarded a maximum $10,222,198 firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for manufacturing and delivery of the expandable tent frame and components.  This was a competitive acquisition with two responses received.  This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods.  Location of performance is Tennessee, with a June 4, 2020, performance completion date.  Using military services are US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the US Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Penn., USA. Posted June 6, 2019

Milliken Acquires Healthcare Company.  Milliken & Company announced today the acquisition of Andover Healthcare, a manufacturer of cohesive bandages and compression systems for the healthcare, animal health, and sports medicine markets. The company will be joining Milliken Healthcare Products LLC.  Andover Healthcare is a family-owned business headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., US. Click here to read the official press release. Posted June 5, 2019

$200 Million Shelter Contract Awarded.  HDT Expeditionary Systems Inc., Solon, Oh., USA, has been awarded a maximum $200,000,000 firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for commercial off-the-shelf shelters and tents. This was a competitive acquisition with one response received. This is a one-year base contract with 3 one-year option periods. Locations of performance are Alabama, Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky, with a June 4, 2020, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. Posted June 3, 2019

New York Man Charged with Selling Counterfeit Protective Clothing to the US Military.  A wholesaler of military uniform items and gear has been indicted for trafficking in counterfeit goods and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Ramin Kohanbash, the owner of California Surplus, Inc., Gan Eden, LLC, and FR-HQ, LLC, allegedly sold the US military and government agencies more than $20 million worth of Chinese-made gear between 2013 and 2018. The gear included fake specialized cold-weather Multi-Cam® parkas that were supposed to be made with fabric having Near-Infrared signature management technology, making the parka more difficult to detect by night vision goggles. In addition to falsely claiming they were made in the US as per the requirement of the Berry Amendment, the counterfeit goods also did not work as intended.  Click here to read the indictment. Posted June 1, 2019

Solmax Appoints New Global Technical Director.  Geosynthetics manufacturer Solmax has announced the appointment of Eric Blond to serve as its Global Technical Director. Mr. Blond holds nearly 25 years of experience in geosynthetic testing.  He had previously served at CTT Group in charge of the Geosynthetic division known as SAGEOS. Solmax is headquartered in Varennes, Que., Canada. Posted May 31, 2019

US Vice President Mike Pence Visits Yarn Manufacturer.  US Vice President Mike Pence traveled to the heart of the domestic textile industry on May 22 and visited the Parkdale Mills yarn manufacturing plant in Monroe, N.C. His trip was to help the Trump Administration promote its proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the intended replacement for the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Parkdale, one of the world's largest yarn producers, is a prime benefiter of the "yarn forward" criteria included in both NAFTA and the new USMCA.  Also attending the visit was US Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Click here to read Vice President Pence's official remarks during the visit. Posted May 31, 2019

President Signs Law for Permanent Renewal of "Bulletproof" Vest Program.  No more having to go through a renewal process every few years. On May 24, 2019, President Donald Trump signed into law legislation that permanently reauthorizes the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program through the US Department of Justice. (See the May 9 post for more information about the grant program.)  The legislation was amended by Senator Lindsey Graham to rename the program the Patrick Leahy Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program in recognition of the work done by Senator Patrick Leahy, one of two original sponsors of the bill 20 years ago, to continually make sure the program was funded.  Posted May 29, 2019 

TREVIRA CEO CONTRACT RENEWED.  Trevira CEO Klaus Holz and Trevira’s parent company, Indorama Ventures, will continue to work together for a further 3 years following a mutually agreed renewal of Mr. Holz’s contract. The contract was due to expire at the end of this year, but it has now been extended until the end of 2022. Mr. Holz took up his position as a managing director of Trevira at the beginning of 2011 and has been sole managing director of Trevira GmbH since 2013.  Trevira GmbH is a European manufacturer of fibers and filament yarns for technical applications and hygiene products as well as for home textiles, automotive interiors and functional apparel. The company’s head office is in Bobingen, Germany. Posted May 29, 2019

Nonwoven Producer Opens Sales Office in Korea.  Jacob Holm Group, a manufacturer of spunlaced nonwoven fabrics, has announced the opening of a new sales office in Seoul, South Korea, as the most recent expansion of the company's presence in Asia. The Jacob Holm Group already has established offices in China, Japan and Malaysia.  Posted May 24, 2019

Lion First Responder Builds New Manufacturing Facility.  Person protection equipment manufacturer Lion First Responder has announced it is hiring for 75 full-time jobs for its new manufacturing facility in Dayton, Oh., USA. The facility will be producing firefighter turnout coats as well as chemical and biological protective gear for first responders.  Click here to read more. Posted May 24, 2019

Glen Raven Opens New Sunbrella Headquarters. In a press release issued May 20, Glen Raven Inc. announced the opening of its Sunbrella division's new headquarters located in Burlington, N.C., USA. The renovated building was the first wholly owned production facility for the company built in 1901. Click here to read more on Burlington's The Times-News website. Posted May 22, 2019

March US Exports in Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Released.  The US Department of Commerce is finally catching up from the January shutdown in issuing its monthly export reports. It has now released the March export figures in the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group.  The report shows that the US is now starting to see the affects of the US / China trade dispute. China's is its third largest export destination for technical textiles. The report shows a decline of almost 2% over the past 12 months over the previous 12-month period. Click here to see the entire March 2019 report.

 

 

Year Ending

03/2018

Year Ending

03/2019

 

% Change

Mexico

2,098,416

2,187,754

+4.26

Canada

596,639

598,893

+13.65

China

224,418

218,167

-1.91

Hong Kong

122,390 122,027

-0.30

United Kingdom

101,814

105,352 +3.47
World 4,264,421 4,386,276 +2.86

Posted May 22, 2019

Lydall Technical Nonwovens Divests Geosynthetic Installation Business Unit. Nonwoven material manufacturer Lydall, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary Texel Technical Materials, Inc., has announced that it completed the sale of Texel Geosol, Inc. on May 9, 2019 to FC Géosynthétiques, Inc. Geosol installs geosynthetic products in the civil engineering and environmental protection sectors, principally within the province of Quebec, Canada. “The divestiture of Geosol follows Lydall’s strategy to focus on our core technologies and capabilities that improve our effectiveness and positioning as a specialty materials provider,” said Dale G. Barnhart, President and CEO of Lydall, Inc. Texel Technical Materials Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lydall, Inc.  headquartered in Manchester, Conn., USA. Click here to read the company’s press release. Posted May 20, 2019

US Defense Logistics Agency Awards Shelter Contract. LiteFighter System LLC, Canton, Ga., USA, has been awarded a maximum $200,000,000 firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for commercial-off-the-shelf shelters and tents. This was a competitive acquisition with one response received. It is a 12-month base contract with three one-year option periods. Locations of performance are Kentucky, Mississippi and Georgia, with a May 9, 2020, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force 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. Posted May 10, 2019

US Defense Logistics Agency Awards Shelter Contract. LiteFighter System LLC, Canton, Ga., USA, has been awarded a maximum $200,000,000 firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for commercial-off-the-shelf shelters and tents. This was a competitive acquisition with one response received. It is a 12-month base contract with three one-year option periods. Locations of performance are Kentucky, Mississippi and Georgia, with a May 9, 2020, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force 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. Posted May 10, 2019

Indian Government Adopting New Military Procurement Policy.  The India Defence Ministry is creating a new procurement policy that will push for more domestic content in products.  One of the product areas being targeted is military textiles.  In the new procurement policy, the content of the product from domestic sources will be determined prior to the bidding.  Products that are affected include ballistic vests, sleeping bags, and high altitude clothing.  The minimum domestic content will be 50%. The overall content is not a fixed rate but will be determined by the product. Click here to read an article about the new policy. Posted May 10, 2019

Bipartisan Bill To Reauthorize Bulletproof Vest Grant Program Introduced in US Congress.  16 US Senators, representing both Republicans and Democrats, have introduced legislation to permanently reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, a federal intiative that helps state and local law enforcement agencies purchase ballistic vests for law enforcement officers. The grant program has been funded for 20 years, awarding over $467 million in matching federal funds for the purchase of more than 1.3 million vests. Congress has renewed the program 5 times, most recently in 2016. The current authorization expires in 2020. Click here to read more. Posted May 9, 2019

SpaceX Crew Dragon Parachutes Failed April Test.  At a hearing of the House Science Committee's space subcommittee, NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Bill Gerstenmaier revealed that an April test of the SpaceX Crew Dragon parachute system failed so drastically that it has the potential to affect future capsule parachute designs. In the test, one of the 4 parachutes was purposefully failed to demonstrate the capability of the overall system. However, the remaining 3 parachutes failed to support the load, causing the test sled to hit the ground harder, damaging it. Mr. Gerstenmaier told the subcommittee NASA and SpaceX are still studying whether the failure was a design or equipment problem. Prior to the April experience, there had been 5 previous successful testing with one of the 4 parachutes disabled.  Click here to read more at the SpaceNews.com website. Posted May 9, 2019

Italian Textile Machinery Sales Decline in 1st Quarter. The order index for Italian textile machinery carried out by ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, for 2019 January-March period ranging from January to March 2019 dropped 3% compared to the same period of the previous year.  The drop was due to foreign sales where orders fell by 11%. On the domestic front, orders increased by 84% compared to the first quarter 2018.  ACIMIT President Alessandro Zucchi commented, "Regarding foreign markers, the slowdown is a result of deep rooted feeling of uncertainty currently permeating the global economy with multiple pressures on global trade in different geographical areas." Posted May 7, 2019 

Tex Tech Completes Acquisition of US Coater and Laminator. Tex Tech Industries, Inc., a portfolio company of Arlington Capital Partners, has announced it has successfully completed the acquisition of the coating and laminating operations and U.S. defense-related operations of Highland Industries, Inc., a former subsidiary of Takata Corp. The acquired businesses will be renamed Tex Tech Coatings, LLC and will operate as a division of Tex Tech. Tex Tech Coatings, headquartered in Kernersville, N.C., USA, is a supplier of coated and laminated products across a variety of end markets including aerospace & defense, industrial, and medical. Tex Tech Coatings will be led by the existing management team, including Scott Burkhart as President of Coatings, Kelly Moore as VP of Finance, and Justin Barnett as Director of Coatings Sales. Click here to read the entire press release. Posted May 2, 2019

February US Exports in Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Released.  The US Department of Commerce has released the February export figures in the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. In comparing the 2018/2019 12-month periods ending February 28, there is still a strong overall increase of +3.19%; however, comparing year-to-date for 2019 vs. 2018, we start to see a small export decline for the US.  If the trend continues, we will start to see the Year Ending figures start to decline, too, within the next few months. Click here to see the entire February report that includes both ways of recording, plus historical calendar year numbers going back to 2015. 

 

 

Year Ending

02/2018

Year Ending

02/2019

 

% Change

Mexico

2,096,943

2,199,218

+4.88

Canada

596,257

597,799

+0.26

China

216,567

221,786

+2.41

Hong Kong

121,415 124,884

+2.86

United Kingdom

100,764

105,158 +4.36
World 4,259,825 4,395,822 +3.19

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted May 2, 2019

Serious Troubles for Scottish Technical Textile Manufacturers. Competition from foreign companies have had a serious negative effect on Scott & Fyfe, a manufacturer of technical textiles located in Tayport, Scotland. The company was established in 1864 and now supplies a wide range of technical textiles for the construction, medical, sports, aerospace and energy industries. Local newspapers reported management was planning to lay off up to 19 of the 80-employee workforce because of significant declining sales over the last 6 months. Click here to read more. Posted May 2, 2019 

AR Tech Builds Containment Cover for Space Telescope.  AR Tech, a subsidiary of A&R Tarpaulins Inc., recently completed a more than two-year project for Northrop Grumman who is working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on the James Webb Space Telescope.  AR Tech is located in Fontana, Calif., USA, and began collaborating with Northrop engineers in August 2016 on the concept of a large contamination cover for the telescope. The cover included inner and outer components. The production process of the 36-foot-tall cover included 300 hours of labor, per piece. The covers were delivered in October 2018 and featured in a video released by NASA Goddard in February 2019. Posted May 2, 2019

HUESKER Promotes US Subsidiary Leader, Announces Several Other Senior Management Changes.  CEO Sven Schröer of HUESKER Inc., the US subsidiary of HUESKER Group, is returning to the company's headquarters in Germany. Dr. F.-Hans Grandin, Chairman of the Management Board, announced Mr. Schröer will join the Management Board as Managing Director, in charge of HUESKER's geosynthetics sales worldwide.  Flávio Teixeira Montez will take over Mr. Schröers current responsibility as CEO of the US subsidiary HUESKER Inc. in Charlotte, NC. Mr. Montez co-founded HUESKER Ltda in São José dos Campos, Brazil, in 1998, which he developed into one of the most successful subsidiaries within the HUESKER Group. André Estêvão Ferreira da Silva, who joined HUESKER 20 years ago and has been an integral part of the success in Brazil, already has taken over as the new Managing Director of HUESKER Ltda. from Mr Montez. Posted May 2, 2019

Polartec and Kraig BioCraft Laboratories Announce Plans to Bring Spider Silk Materials to Consumer Market.  Polartec, a manufacturer of outdoor apparel and insulating fabrics, and Kraig Biocraft Laboratories (Kraig), a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of spider silk, have announced plans to bring to market the first fabrics made from spider silk. Initially developed for specialized military applications, the companies say the high-strength material made from recombinant spider silk will eventually service the global market for high performance textiles and apparel. Click here to read the announcement. Posted April 30, 2019

Fabric Military Shelter Kits Contract Awarded. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, Merrimack, N.H., USA, was awarded a $19,491,157 firm-fixed-price contract for protective fabric shelter kits. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Work will be performed in Merrimack, N.H., with an estimated completion date of April 28, 2024. Fiscal 2018 other procurement, Army funds in the amount of $1,681,301 were obligated at the time of the award. Posted April 29, 2019

Thermal Signature Difficult to Mask in Military Camouflage Efforts. There is an interesting article posted on the Business Insider website today about US military efforts to deal with thermal detection in camouflage clothing. Retired Army Lt. Col. Timothy O'Neill, a consultant for HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp, explains that heat is energy and must somehow be dissipated or vented. US scientists are experimenting with aerosol particles that block infrared light. "Quantum stealth" is another idea: It's a light-bending camouflage material able to bend the electromagnetic spectrum around a target. Click here to read the article. Posted April 29, 2019

Sustainability Report Issued. American & Efird (A&E), a portfolio company of Elevate Textiles and the world’s foremost manufacturer and distributor of industrial and consumer sewing thread, embroidery thread and technical textiles, announced its Earth Day release of its 9th annual, Corporate Sustainability Report, “A Focus on the Future.” Highlighting its annual progress in environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility, A&E measured its performance against goals outlined within its Eco-Driven® program, the Ten Threads of Sustainability, with a mission of ensuring that future generations will have a great place to live and work. Click here to read the full press release which details specific accomplishments within the report. Posted April 26, 2019

Two Awning Companies in Arizona Close.  Consumers appeared to be caught unaware of the sudden closing of two awning manufacturers located near Phoenix, Ariz., USA. Awnings By Design LLC of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Sun City Awning LLC of El Mirage, Ariz., both owned by Brian Beachy, announced through postings on their respective websites they had closed, effective April 1, 2019. The Sun City Awning website said the company was founded in 1971 and was the largest awning and patio cover company in Arizona. The Awnings By Design website said the company was established in 1982.  Following consumer complaints, the Arizona Register of Contractors has suspended their licenses to do business. Posted April 23, 2019.

Management Acquires Losberger Cover All.  Losberger De Boer has announced that it has sold the company division Losberger Cover All to current management Jochen Groth and Ralf Schrenk. Losberger Cover All is located Stralsund, Germany and produces pre-fabricated and flexible hall shelters for agriculture, industry, equestrian sport and sport venues. Losberger, founded in 1919, had acquired De Boer Structures Holding BV in 2017, and the combined company renamed Losberger De Boer. Losberger Cover All is focused on the production of storage halls, and a strategic evaluation of the overall company determined the division would be better positioned as an independent company. Click here to read the press release. Posted April 22, 2019

Italian Textile Machinery Maker Announces Formation of New Company for Technical Textiles. The Italian textile machinery manufacturer Itema Group has announced the formation of Itematech, a new company exclusively dedicated to producing weaving machines for the benefit of technical fabrics weavers. The new company is a result of the recent partnership of Itema and PTMT (formerly Panter), a maker of techincal textiles machines.  Itema will be introducing the new company at the upcoming Techtextil show in Frankfurt, Germany. May 14- 17, 2019. Click here for more information. Posted April 18, 2019

Report on the US Army's New Soldier Protection System. The website US Army-Technology has a nice overview of the new US Army's Soldier Protection System (SPS) that has been introduced this year. The SPS has several sub-systems including the Vital Torso Protection (VTP) variants.  The Torso and Extremity Protection (TEP) is further comprised of multiple components, including the Modular Scalable Vest (MSV), the Ballistic Combat Shirt (BCS), the Blast Pelvic Protector (BPP) and Ballistic Battle Belt (B3).  The modular vest is scalable for different situations and sizes, and is replacing the Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV) which was introduced in the 1990s.  The module component system provides more that gives a better fit for women and men of smaller statue. Click here to read the article. Posted April 16, 2019

AstenJohnson and Heimbach to Merge PMC Businesses. Heimbach and AstenJohnson have announced plans to merge their Paper Machine Clothing (PMC) and Advanced Fabrics businesses. Heimbach is based in Germany and AstenJohnson is based in the US. They have had a partnership for almost 40 years. The merger will not affect Heimbach Technical Textiles, nor AstenJohnson's technical textiles and filtration business. Click here to read the AustenJohnson press release. Posted April 15, 2019

Fabrics That Protect Against Chemical Warfare Agents.  According to a post on the North Carolina State University website "Researchers at North Carolina State University and the U.S. Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center developed functional textiles that neutralized a blistering agent simulant under conditions of 80 percent relative humidity. The new coating also captured ammonia gas."  The new coated composites have potential to be used as a bae film in protective textiles. Click here to read the article. Posted April 12, 2019

Lest We Forget: Anthony J. Centofanti Passes. Anthony "Tony" J. Centofanti of Avon, Conn., USA, passed away on April 4, 2019. Mr. Centofanti's professional career was in the nonwovens and technical textiles industry. He began working for Albany International and Tex-Tech Industries before managing Poly-Bond.  He then became President and CEO of National Nonwovens in Easthampton, Mass., USA. He had also served on the board of INDA, the Association of the Nonwovens Industry. Mr. Centofanti was 75 years old. Click here to read his obituary. Posted April 12, 2019

New Research Published on Gas-Detecting Color-Changing Threads. There is an interesting paper published in the journal Scientific Reports on the research Tufts University (Medfort, Mass., USA) is conducting on threads which change color when detecting certain types of gas.  What makes the threads particularly attracting are they can be woven into material which is washable and, thus, reuseable. Potential applications are military and industrial chemical exposure situations. Click here to read an article about the research taking place. Posted April 9, 2019

Inflatable Space Module Being Developed for Lunar Orbit Habitat. Space contractor Sierra Nevada Corporation of Sparks, Nev., USA held an open house April 2, 2019, allowing members of the press to see the prototype of the company's Large Inflatable Fabric Environment (LIFE) space habitat module.  Sierra Nevada is one of 5 companies bidding to provide the habitat component for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's NextSTEP project, designed to return humans to the Moon by 2024. Habitat testing on Earth will begin within the next several months. Another of the 5 companies is Bigelow Aerospace that has already tested its inflatable Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) at the International Space Station (see our post in the Archives section for May 29, 2016).  The fabric used in both inflatable modules is woven from Vectran, a high-strength polyester fiber made by Kuraray. Vectran woven fabrics has also been used in spacesuits and for all the airbags landings on Mars. Click here for an article on the Sierra Nevada article posted on the Boulder Daily Camera website. Special thanks to BL6's faithful reader Sue Zorichak for alerting us to the story. Posted April 4, 2019

Technical Textiles Sourcing Website Names Top Innovation Awards. Each year the online textile sourcing website FabricLink, releases its Top 10 Textile Innovation Awards as recognition to those organizations and product developers who pursue their ideas and strive for excellence in their textile advancements.  Click here to read a complete review for each of these winners. Posted April 4, 2019

Elevate Textiles Names New President/CEO. Elevate Textiles has announced today the appointment of Per-Olof Loof as President and Chief Executive Officer. The company is a manufacturer of advanced materials. It was renamed with the intergration of American & Efird and the companies in the portfolio of International Group (Burlington, Cone Denim, Gutermann and Safety Component), both companies owned by Platinum Equity, a private investment company.  Mr. Loof most recently served as CEO of Kemet Electronics Corporation. Elevate Textiles is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., USA. Posted April 4, 2019

January US Exports in Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Released. It appears the China/US trade disagreement is starting to affect the US exports of technical fabrics to the US. The January report still shows an increase in a January year-ending comparison; however, it is only 1.6% compared to almost 4% the previous month. Click here to see the entire January report. 

 

 

Year Ending

01/2018

Year Ending

01/2019

 

% Change

Mexico

2,085,890

2,209,525

+5.93

Canada

594,011

596,355

+13.53

China

216,347

219,791

+1.59

Hong Kong

122,972 123727

+0.61

United Kingdom

101,819

103,895 +2.04
World 4,237,832 4,408,107 +4.02

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted April 4, 2019

Bulk Container Maker Acquires Propex Foreign Holdings. BAG Corp, a fabricator of flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBC), has announced that it has acquired Propex Foreign Holdings, a subsidiary of Propex Global. Propex Foreign Holdings is a manufacturer of FIBC fabrics and is based in Matehaula, Mexico. BAG Corp is based in Richardson, Texas, USA. Click here to read the BAG Corp press release on the acquisition. Posted April 2, 2019

Freudenberg Acquires Majority Stake in Chinese Filter Manufacturer.  Freudenberg’s Filtration Technologies Business Group has acquired a majority shareholding in Apollo Air-Cleaner Co., Ltd. The purchase agreement was signed in December 2018; however, approval was needed by the Chinese antitrust authorities. Apollo Air-Cleaner is a provider of air and water filtration solutions in China. In 2017, Apollo generated sales of 750 million RMB (approximately US$111.5 million) and has roughly 1,000 employees. Apollo will continue as a joint venture between Freudenberg (75%) and the previous sole proprietor Apollo Trading Group, Japan (25%), under the name Freudenberg Apollo Filtration Technologies. Freudenberg Filtration Technologies will bring its current consumer filtration business into the joint venture. Click here to read Freudenberg's press release on the acquisition. Posted April 2, 2019

Hexcel and Arkema to Open a Joint Research and Development Lab in France. Carbon composite manufacturer Hexcel and PEKK manufacturer Arkema have announced they will open a joint research and development laboratory in Les Avenieres, France this month. This follows the companies' previous announcement in March 2018 they were forming a strategic alliance to develop thermoplastic composite materials for the aerospace sector. According to the press release, the companies' objective is to develop carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic prepreg tapes to enable lightweight parts to be produced for future generations of aircraft. Click here to read the press release. Posted April 1, 2019

Coming Events

  • November 11-14:  Hygienix, Houston, Texas, USA
  • November 13-15:  JEC Asia 2019, Seoul, South Korea
  • November 18-19:  EurAsian Geosynthetics Symposium 2019, Beijin, China
  • November 18-21:  Defense & Security 2019, Bangkok, Thailand
  • November 19-21:  Absorbent Hygiene Training Course, Cary, N.C., USA
  • November 19-21:  Milipol Paris 2019, Paris, France
  • November 20-22:  Techtextil India 2019, Mumbai, India

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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