BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

Archived Industry News

January 1 - March 31, 2016

APV Announces New Vice President. APV Engineered Coatings, a custom formulator and manufacturer of industrial coatings and advanced chemical products, has promoted John Russel to the position of Vice President and Technical Director. APV is located in Akron, Oh., USA. Click here to read the company press release announcing the promotion. Posted March 29, 2016

Bouncy Castle Mishap Results in Death and Criminal Charges. We've talked about this issue before: Large inflatable toys being improperly managed on-site. This time a 7-year old girl died in Britain over the weekend when the bouncy castle she was playing in was swept away by a strong gust of wind. Two people from the firm that runs the inflatable bouncy castle attraction were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence. There needs to be a required for owner/operators of these products to show proper anchoring system techniques. Click here to read the article posted on the FoxNews website. Posted March 28, 2016

Company Plans Hotels and Stations in Space Using Inflatable Modules. Bigelow Aerospace is promoting the idea of using inflatable modules as hotels in space. It sounds a bit far-fetched until you realize how far the idea has progressed. NASA has signed a $17.4 million contract with Bigelow to find out if it's possible to build future low-cost inflatable space stations. On April 8, 2016, the first deflated Bigelow module called BEAM (Bigelow Expandable Activity Module) will launch with the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft for a trip to the International Space Station. Once there, it will be attached to the ISS and inflated until the module grows to 10.5 feet wide and 565 feet cubed. It will then be tested for 2 years, to determine leak rate, thermal properties, and radiation protection. The advantage of an inflatable module are payload weight and bulk. One day a larger version of the BEAM could be used for a space station in orbit around the Moon or Mars or as a commercial hotel orbiting the Earth. Click here to read a fascinating article posted on the Ars Technica website and click here for another great article about the inflatable module posted on the Popular Science website. Posted March 28, 2016

Selecting High-Visibility Personal Protective Equipment. There is a nice basic short article posted on the website Safety & Health on selecting high-visibility personal protective apparel. The article covers background color, flame-retardant, temperature and tear-away considerations. You can read the article in 30 seconds and come away with a fundamental understanding on the criteria issues for high-visibility vests. Click here to read. Posted March 28, 2016

Self-Cleaning Nanoparticle-Coated Textiles Being Developed in Australia. One of our favorite "go-to" consumer magazines Popular Science has a very interesting article on the research being done by RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. They are working on the development of self-cleaning fabrics. According to the article, the researchers "have created a nanoparticle coating that quickly eliminated dirt or stains when exposed to visible light." The researchers tested both silver and copper nanoparticles coated on cotton fibers. It turns out that the silver-coated cotton performed better in self-cleaning the fabric. Click here to read the Popular Science article. Posted March 26, 2016

Corruption Alleged in South Korea Military Ballistic Vest Contract. According to an article on the Korea Joongang Daily website, the South Korea Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea (BAI) has accused the Ministry of National Defense and several other government bodies of receiving bribes to enter into an exclusive contract with a private company to develop bulletproof armor. Another Korean news outlet has identified that company as Samyang Cometech Co., Ltd., of Seoul, South Korea. The exclusive contract revealed is worth about $231 million and calls for providing 308,500 vests from 2014 to 2025. About 35,000 vests have already been supplied. Tests have shown the armor is easily punctured by North Korean armor-piercing ammunition. The BAI announced the findings on March 23 based on a review of the Ministry of National Defense, Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), and three other institutions. Click here to read the article from the Joongang Daily website. Posted March 24, 2016

Autoliv Increases Share of 2015 Airbag Market. There is an interesting article on the Bloomberg News website reporting on the growth of Autoliv these past couple of years in the wake of Takata's airbag recall mess. According to the report, about half of all frontal airbag orders for new cars last year went to Autoliv. Projections are for 7% annual growth through the next decade. Click here to read the article. Posted March 24, 2016

TenCate Geosynthetics Announces Two Top Leadership Position Appointments. TenCate global group director Wally Moore has announced in a March 21 press release the appointment of Lee Bryan as global director of product supply for TenCate Geosynthetics and the appointment of John Henderson as president of TenCate Geosynthetics Americas. Posted March 23, 2016

Top Innovation Winners Announced for 2015-2016. FabricLink.com, the online trade-to-consumer online resource website, has announced its Top 10 Textile Innovation Awards for 2015-2016. The winners are: Adidas for the Adidas’ 3D Shoe Made from Ocean Plastic Waste; Alexium for its Alexflam-Crockban™ chemistry; Bolt Threads for its Engineered Silk™ technology; Directa Plus S.p.A. and Colmar for the Colmar sportswear collection made from Directa Plus’ Graphene Plus (G+) fiber; Georgia Tech and SoftWear Automation for their fully-automated, robotic sewing machine technology; Jason Mills for its Transparent Screening Fabric; the Newton® Wovenaire® Crib Mattress; Nikwax and DownLite for their Nikwax Hydophobic Down (NHD); Teijin for its Functional Polyester Towel Fabric; and, the EDAG Light Cocoon vehicle structure, made from the Texapore Softshell fabric. Click here to read more about these awards. Posted March 22, 2016

Long-Time President of Glawe Awning and Tent Retires. Not many people can say they worked for a company for 70 years but that is what Vern Schaefer has done at Glawe Awning and Tent of Dayton, Oh., USA. Mr. Schaefer recently announced his retirement as president of the company. His position will be taken over by his daughter Kathy Schaefer. Among the many accomplishments during his career, Mr. Schaefer served from 1980-81 as President of the Canvas Products Association International (the position is now Chairman of the Board and the organization is now known as Industrial Fabrics Association International). He was given the IFAI Honored Life Member status in 1985 in recognition of his service to the association. Posted March 21, 2016 

Backpack Developed for Students with Autism. A new backpack called the Nesei Backpack has been designed by a group of students at the University of Minnesota to help those with autism in school. According to a report posted on the ABC News website, "it features straps that mimic a person hugging a student, along with pouches for electronics and weights. The backpack also has clips for any sensory tools a student on the spectrum might need along with a slot for a name card so the student can be easily identified if needed." Along with the tight hugging straps, the weights in the backpack give the student a sense of deep pressure and security. Click here to read the article. Posted March 21, 2016

No Mandatory Automotive Airbags for India. Despite recent statements, the government of India has now decided the time isn't right to impose a mandatory requirement for new cars to have airbags. Road, Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had said in January "No car will be built without airbag..."  Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh speaking at the same Road Safety conference said that airbags will be made compulsory in every car sold in India. The decision not to now make airbags mandatory is very puzzling. Click here to read more. Posted March 18, 2016

NASA Announces Winning Concepts for Space Suit Textile Testing Competition. The National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) has announced the winners of its Space Suit Textile Testing Challenge. Future space suits need to be developed for extra-terrestrial exploration beyond low-earth orbit, which will require expanding environmental hazard protection to encompass planetary environments such as those on the moon, Mars, and large asteroids. A major consideration in these environments is the lack of commonality of the dirt and dust environment and those on Earth. A result of these differences is no standard assessment technique for determining the wear performance of newly developed environmental protection garment (EPG) designs vs current and past thermal micrometeoroid garment (TMG) designs. The Challenge offered three prizes of $5,000 for winning ideas on how to test the outer protective layer of spacesuit material for performance in different kinds of planetary environments, such as like Mars or large asteroids. Winners for the Space Suit Textile Testing Challenge:

  • Evaluating Space Suit Textile Abrasion in Planetary Environments -- Ahilan Anantha Krishnan
  • Cylindrical Abrasion Method -- Himel BaruaThomas L. CollinsRiniah FoorEvan HessJoey StavaleChristopher DanielsHeather OravecJanice Mather and M.J. Braun
  • Point-of-Failure Based System Using High Velocity Abrasives -- John Holler

​Posted March 17, 2016

New President at Lectra North America. Lectra has announced the appointment of Jason Adams as President, Lectra North America. According to a company press release on the appointment, Mr. Adams will report directly to Daniel Harai, Lectra CEO. Lectra North America is based in Atlanta, Ga., USA, The company is a manufacturer of computer-aided cutting equipment used by the technical textiles industry, including automotive car seats, interiors and airbags. Click here to read the press release. Posted March 16, 2016

January US Industrial Fabrics Export Figures Released. The US Department of Commerce has released the January export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics 206 Group. The numbers in the table below represent 12-month totals for the top five countries with year ending January 2015 and 2016. Japan has dropped out of the top 5, replaced by the United Kingdom. Click here to see the entire report. Posted March 14, 2016

 

 

Country

Year Ending

1/2015

Year Ending

1/2016

 

% Change

Mexico

1,981,913

2,103,333

+6.1

Canada

588,103

564,050

-4.1

China

168,287

166,716

-1.5

Hong Kong

147,872

140,092

-4.7

United Kingdom

86,827

90,230

+3.9

(Figures in ,000)

Chinese Nonwoven Manufacturer to Invest $31.6 Million in US Plant. Chinese textile companies continue their investments in building US manufacturing plants. The latest to announce is Uniquetex, a joint venture between two Chinese manufacturers -- Foshan Nanhai Beautiful Nonwoven Co., and Wezhou Chaolong Textile Machinery Co. Uniquetex will build a $31.6 million production facility in Grover, N.C., USA. The new venture will also receive an $800,000 state grant. The joint venture company will manufacturer nonwoven fabrics used by medical and healthcare providers. Foshan Nanhai is one of China's largest nonwoven textile producers. Wenzhou Chaolong is a developer of equipment and technologies for nonwoven manufacturing. Click here to read more on Sourcingjournalonline.comPosted March 12, 2016

3 Great Opportunities for US Manufacturers to Promote Overseas. The Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) at the US Department of Commerce is seeking US manufacturers interested in testing the export waters. OTEXA will have USA Pavilion sample booths at three events this year: Eurosatory 2016 (military and law enforcement), June 13-17 in Paris, France; Offshore Northern Seas (gas and oil industry), August 29 - September 1 in Stavanger, Norway; and, Land Forces 2016 (military and law enforcement), September 6-9 in Adelaide, Australia. If you are interested in providing samples of your products for the OTEXA booth at a show, contact Mary-Lynn Lansgraff at mary-lynn.landgraf@trade.gov.  Posted March 9, 2016

Lest We Forget: Two Industry Experts Have Passed. News of the passing of two well-known industry experts has reached us. Professor Masami Fukuoka died on January 27. Professor Fukuoka was very active in promoting the application of geosynthetics in civil engineering projects. He was a founding member of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS), serving 2 terms on its council, and helped the IGS expand internationally with the organization of the IGS's Japan chapter. Professor Fukuoka was also president for the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. Click here to read a nice memoriam posted by Chris Kelsey on the geosynthetic.net website. Also passing was consultant Michael Stoud. He died on December 16. Mr. Stroud worked for many years at Celanese/Kosa before leaving the company to work with PCI Fibres consulting group. He was a familiar face at many technical textile trade shows and conferences in North America and Europe. Posted March 8, 2016

Chinese Airbag Manufacturer Sees Opportunity with Takata Troubles.  As BeaverLake6 Report reported on February 2, Chinese automotive parts manufacturer Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp. has purchased US airbag manufacturer Key Safety Systems for $920 million. The website for Automotive News has now posted an article based on an interview with Wang Jianfeng, founder of Ningbo Joyson, describing his intent to make the company a major global player in the airbag industry which is currently dominated by Takata (Japan), Autoliv (Sweden) and ZF Friedrichshafen (Germany). Click here to read the article. Posted March 8, 2016

Tessenderlo Group and Picanol Group Call Off Plan to Merge. Textile machinery manufacturer Picanol Group and chemical specialty company Tessenderlo Group have decided not to go ahead with a planned merger that had been announced January 25. The Picanol Group's board of directors had concluded there was insufficient market support at the terms reasonable for Picanol and its shareholders to complete the transaction successfully. Both companies are headquartered in Belgium. Click here to read the company press release. Posted March 7, 2016

Sioen Industries Acquires Italian Geotextile Manufacturer. Management at Sioen Industries, a diversified manufacturer of technical textiles, has announced the acquisition of Manifattura Fontana S.P.A., an Italian producer of geotextile nonwovens. Manifattura Fontana, S.p.A., located in Valstagna, Vicenze, was founded in 1704 and since 1932 has been in the hands of the family Fontana. It is a manufacturer of nonwoven needlefelt. The purchase reinforces Sioen's nonwovens business and broadens its involvement in technical textiles markets. Click here to read the company press release. Posted March 7, 2016

How They Did Ballistic Vest Testing in the Old Days. We had to share with you today this amazing picture. It was posted on the LinkedIn page for the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center. The picture shows a field test being done on ballistic vests back in 1923. They must have used the new guy at the company. Posted March 3, 2016

Asian Textile Industry Investing in Vietnam. There is a nice concise article posted on the yarnsandfibers.com website about the investments being made in the Vietnam textile industry by companies in surrounding countries including Japan, Taiwan, India, China and South Korea. Japanese firms, for example, have invested more than $37 billion in Vietnam as of the end of 2014, including Kuraray Trading, Toray Industries, Shikibo, and Itochu. While most of the article is focused on apparel, there are applications cited for the technical textiles industry. All this investment is due to the anticipation resulting from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Click here to read the article. Posted March 3, 2016

Nanofibers Conference Announced for September.  INDA and The Nonwovens Institute have announced the Nanofibers, Applications and Related Technologies (NART 2016) Conference will be held Spetember 13 -15 in Raleigh, N.C., USA. NART 2016 will feature presentations on micro and nanofiber technology and trends; micro and nanofibers and related materials; and, micro and nanofibers and other nanomaterials in products. Click here for more information. Posted March 3, 2016

Glass Fabric Manufacturer to Invest $90 million in US Expansion. Latvia-headquartered JSC Valmieras stikla šķiedra has announced its intention to expand its line of glass woven high silica technical textiles and composites at the Valmiera Glass USA Corp. plant, located in Dublin, Ga., USA. The expansion will create 425 new jobs. the products are used in the automotive, oil & gas, and aerospace industries. Click here to read the company press release. Posted March 2, 2016

Children's Swimming Pool Used as a Holding Tank for Radioactive Water? BeaverLake6 Report is always a cheerleader for new applications using technical textiles; however, the use of a backyard swimming pool to hold contaminated water (pictured) gives us pause. Perhaps we were too enthusiastic about how technical textiles can solve problems. According to the Vermont Business Magazine website, the Entergy Nuclear's Vermont Yankee plant located Vernon, Vt., USA, is using the Intex Easy Set swimming pool as a holding container for low-level radioactive water. A few hundred gallons a day of groundwater is seeping into the plant and then becomes contaminated. Pumps collect the groundwater. The PVC swimming pools are sold at Target and other retailers. The power plant spokesman Marty Cohn said that "there is no health or safety impact to the public or employees from this issue." The company now says it is moving to more "robust" bladders to hold the leaking groundwater. Click here to read the article. Posted February 29, 2016

US Senator Criticizes Air Force for Failure to Adhere to Berry Amendment. As a follow up to our February 26 post which noted the US Department of Defense Inspector General's office report on the Air Force's compliance to Berry Amendment and the Buy America Act in making purchasing decisions, US Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut has issued harsh criticism for the lack of compliance. Senator Murphy said the non-compliance hurts the American defense industry. Posted February 29, 2016

Nano Technology in Textiles. There is a very nice concise article about the state of nano-engineered functional textiles posted on the website Nanowerk. The article describes the various applications possible for nano technology includes UV protection, medical applications and functional smart textile apparel. The article also talks about the challenges within the industry including the health concern and the insufficient durability of nano coatings on textile fibers after washing. Recommended reading if you want a better understanding of nano technology in textile applications. Click here to go to the Nanowerk website. Posted February 29, 2016

Prince Charles Visits Parachute Factory in Wales. It's nice to read that our industry was recognized by Prince Charles. He toured yesterday the Airborne Systems parachute manufacturing factory in Llangeino, Wales. Airborne Systems employs more than 350 workers, making parachutes that are supplied to the UK military and other military around the world. Click here to read a short article on the factory visit posted on the royalcenter.com.uk website. Posted February 29, 2016

Developer of Spider Silk Based Fabrics Enters Research and Production Agreement with Vietnam Government Entity. More news about the super fiber industry: Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc., a developer of spider silk based fibers, has announced the signing of a cooperative agreement with a governmental entity in Vietnam to develop and produce advanced silk technologies. Kraig Biocraft is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., USA. Click here to read the press announcement. Posted February 29, 2016

Albany International Acquires Composites Business. There seems to be a lot of movement in the composites industry these days, particularly when the products pertain to the automotive and aerospace industries. The latest is the news that advanced textile manufacturer Albany International Corporation has announced its acquisition of Harris Corporation's composite aero-structures division for $210 million. Harris had previously acquired the business through its 2015 purchase of Exelis Inc. The business unit is a supplier of advanced composite products primarily for airframe applications. Albany International, based in Rochester, N.H., USA,  has two business units -- Advanced Engineered Composites (AEC) and Machine Clothing. Click here to read the Albany International press release on the acquisition. Posted February 29, 2016 

Fierce Competition in Global Market for Super Fibers. The website for Korea JoonAng Daily has a very neat concise article filled with information on the current market state for the aramid, carbon and other "super" fibers being used. The article's focus is on the challenges for South Korea to stay competitive in a global market filled with fierce competition. In this 5 minutes read, you can get a quick grasp of the high-strength fiber market, including names of the major producers, the products they produce, and the end-market applications. According to the Japan research center Fuji Keizai Group, the global market was estimated at $6.144 billion in 2015 and projected to reach $9.273 billion by 2022. Click here to read the article. Posted February 28, 2016

Coated Woven Fabric Producer Agrees to be Acquired by Owens Corning. InterWrap®, headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, announced on February 24 it has reached an agreement to be acquired by Owens Corning. InterWrap produces geosynthetics, packaging material, and extrusion coated woven fabrics. The company has international manufacturing and distribution facilities in North America, Europe, India and China. Sales in 2015 were estimated at US$250 million. Based in Toledo, Oh., USA, Owens Corning is a manufacturing of insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites. Click here to read a press release about the acquisition. Posted February 28, 2016

Audit Examines US Air Force's Purchase Compliance to Berry Amendment and Buy America Act. The Pentagon's Inspector General (IG) has released a report detailing the US Air Force's compliance to the Berry Amendment and Buy America Act. The new IG report is the third audit of a military branch required by the fiscal 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. The IG report reviewed 54 contracts, valued at $19.3 million that were awarded from October 1, 2013, through May 15, 2015. The report showed Air Force contracting personnel did not comply with the Berry Amendment for 6 of the 21 contracts reviewed. Air Force personnel from five contracting offices did not ensure 12 of 33 contracts complied with the Buy America Act. Last August, the IG released a report showing 22 of the Navy's procurements sampled did not comply with the Berry Amendment or the Buy America Act. Click here to read the report. Posted February 26, 2016

US Congress Passes Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. With all the news about the passage last year of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the pending vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, there seemed to be little notice yesterday with the US Congress passing and President Barack Obama signing the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. The Act addresses a number of key trade issues, including currency manipulation and creation of new oversight on trade enforcement by the US Trade Presentative (USTR). Click here to read an article posted on the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development website. Posted February 25, 2016 

New Vice President Named for Aurora Specialty Textiles Group. Aurora Specialty Textile Group, Inc. (ASTG), headquartered in Yorkville, Ill., USA, has promoted Marcia Ayala from Vice President of Research & Development to Vice President. As Vice President, Ms. Ayala’s primary responsibilities include product development and quality, as well as new business development and expanded operational responsibilities. She will also continue to manage the company’s research and development department. Ayala has been with ASTG since 2006. Posted February 25, 2016

Airship Can Help Save Costs in African Mining Operations. We love find examples of how the technical textiles industry continues to solve problems. There is a great article posted on the CNN website today about the development of the Lockheed Martin LMH1 Hybrid Airship. The airship has been 20 years in development and in November 2015 the US Federal Aviation Administration approved a certification plan with a anticipated airship launch in 2018. The cost of each hybrid airship is projected to be about $40 million but Lockheed Martin feels they will prove to be cost-effective in situations like hauling products in remote parts of the world such as in African mining operatons where the costs of roads or rail systems would be prohibitive. The first hybrid airship is being designed for a 20 ton cargo and up to 19 passengers. Click here to read the article. Click here if you want to go directly to the Hybrid Airship website to see a very cool video of the airship. Posted February 24, 2016

Should Civilians Be Allowed to Wear Bullet-Proof Vests? That's is the title of an interesting article posted on the CNN Money website. The article discusses the pros and cons of allowing civilians to wear "bullet-proof" vests. Some states currently allow people to wear their own ballistic vests -- as long as they are not committing a violent felony. One thing we learned while pursuing some of the websites the article mentions is that there are currently 30,000 K-9 police dogs in the US and still not many of them are wearing ballistic vests. Click here to read the article. Posted February 24, 2016

Industry Consultant Passes. Noted textile supply chain industry consultant Mary O'Rouke died February 22 in Ventnor, N.J., USA, after a three-year battle with cancer. Ms. O'Rourke was President and Managing Director of the O’Rouke Group Partners and had twenty-eight years of professional consulting experience, in addition to previous retail buying, merchandising and sourcing experience. Ms. O’Rouke’s international expertise in the retail/apparel/textile supply chain was substantial, and she was a frequent keynote speaker at textile and apparel industry functions on global economic, market and consumer trends and relevant implications for these industries. Posted February 24, 2016

Picanol Reports Strong Sales in 2015 and Projects Continuing Strong Sales in 2016. Belgium-base textile equipment manufacturer Picanol Group announced a 2015 turnover increase of 26.6% over 2014 and a net profit of 60.6 million (about US$93.7 million). Equally impressive were the booked sales for 2016 and the projection of another strong year. The 2015 increase was due in part to the favorable exchange rate of the euro as well as the high demand in the Picanol Weaving Division. Click here to read the company news release about its financial year. Posted February 22, 2016

How to Buy Cold Water Rescue Suits. There is a nice concise article on the Fire Chief website on considerations in buying a cold water rescue suit. There are lots of types of applications including cold water, swift water operations, surf rescue, boat or personal watercraft operations or surface ice rescue. Click here to read the article. Posted February 22, 2016

Takata May Consolidate Airbag Manufacturing Plants to Pay for Recall. Well, it's been more than a month since our last post about the Takata airbag system fiasco. The estimated number of vehicles involved in the recall is now at 50 million, pretty much the entire output of cars since 2008 using the Takata airbag inflating propellant. Now comes word that Takata is strongly considering consolidating its airbag production facilities in Europe and maybe selling off its non-airbag parts such as the seat belt and steering column business units. Click here to read an article posted on The Japan TimesPosted February 19, 2016

Kolon Industries 2015 Results in Profits Due to Technical Textiles. According to an article posted on the Korean business news website pulsenews.com, South Korea's Kolon Industries Inc. turned out sizable profits in 2015 through high-performance of its synthetic fibers for tire cords and airbags. The company had an operating income of $59.1 million, up 23% from the previous year. Management is quoted in the article as saying the profits was achieved despite a general weak global economy and also strong challenges from Chinese manufacturers. Click here to read the article. Posted February 18, 2016

6 Incredible Futuristic Tent Designs. Looking for inspiration? Or maybe affirmation that you work in a pretty cool industry? The redbull.com website has a fun little article which features 6 futuristic tent designs. Those shown are a house in the trees, a tent kayak, a solar-powered tent, an inflatable tent, a glamping-style tent and a module doughnut tent. The doughnut tent (featured in picture) is particular interesting given its sweet look and its flexibility in changing shape as more modules are added. Click here to view. Posted February 18, 2016

Largest Tent in the World Being Built for 2016 Olympics. Portuguese shelter manufacturer Irmarfer is fabricating and installing what is reported to be the largest tent in the world for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The tent will be made of PVC screen and will be 75 meters wide, 22 meters high and 400 meters long. There will be no supporting pillar in its center but rather have 80 arches to support the roof. Click here to read more at the International Meetings Review website. Posted February 18, 2016

How to Buy Body Armor for EMS Personnel. There's a good basic article on the website ems1.com about the growing market for tactical ballistic vests for EMS first responders. The article discusses types of body armor, the level of protection needed by EMS providers and the cost vs. level of need. Click here to read the article. Posted February 16, 2016

Canadian Manufacturer Acquires True Textiles. The Quebec holding company Duvaltex has purchased specialty textile maker True Textiles. The purchase will combine True Textiles with the Quebec-based Victor Textiles. Both Victor and True Textiles make fabrics used for office, institutional, health care and hospitality customers. In addition to these companies, Duvaltex also owns Guilford of Maine and Teknit. True Textiles is headquartered in Grand Rapid, Michigan, USA, with production facilities in North Carolina and an interior design office in New York City. Click here to read an article on the acquisition which appeared today in the Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine, USA). Posted February 15, 2016

Liberia Receiving Military Tents and Uniforms from China. According to the website Front Page Africa, China is stepping up military equipment assistance in Liberia as the United Nations continues to drawdown its role in the country. Just prior to the February 11 celebration of the 59th Armed Forces Day in Monrovia, the People's Republic of China donated a second batch of substantive military assistance to the Liberian Army. The donation included 40 military tents and 10,000 uniforms. China has been supplying military equipment to Liberia since 2004. Click here to read the article. Posted February 15, 2016

TenCate Acquisition Completed. Tennessee Acquisition B.V. has successfully acquired 98.01% of all shares of Koninklijke Ten Cate N.V. (TenCate) with an additional tendered 12.21% shares during the Post Acceptance Period. TenCate, headquartered in Almelo, Netherlands, is a multinational manufacturer of protective fabrics, composites for space and aerospace, anti-ballistics, geosynthetics and synthetic turf. It is reported that key executive management will remain. Tennessee Acquisition is an investment management firm. In its original July 2015 press release announcing the tendered offer, the investment company said it expected TenCate's business strategy will allow the company to improve and invest in the existing five market groups. Posted February 14, 2016 

New Aramid Fiber Fabrics Developed for Protection from Airborne Volcanic Fragments. Technical textiles continue to solve problems. Japanese aramid fiber producer Teijin Limited has announced the development of two new fabrics using its Twaron and Technora para-aramid fibers. Normally, BeaverLake6 Report does publish company press releases promoting new products but the unique application is interesting. The Japanese Cabinet Office has issued new regulations for strengthening evacuation facilities located near volcanoes. Teijin developed its new para-aramid fibers in consulation with the Cabinet Office, the National Defense Academy, and the Mount Fuji Research Institute of the Yamanashi prefectural government. Sales are expected to reach 50,000 square meters by the fiscal year ending in March 2017. Click here to read the Teijin press release. Posted February 14, 2016

December US Industrial Fabrics Export Figures Released. The US Department of Commerce has released the December export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics 206 Group. The numbers in the table below represent 12-month totals for the top five countries with year ending November 2014 and 2015.  Click here to see the entire report. Posted February 9, 2016

 

 

Country

Year Ending

12/2014

Year Ending

12/2015

 

% Change

Mexico

1,983,379

2,181,371

+6.0

Canada

586,697

564,444

-3.6

China

169,828

169,437

-0.2

Hong Kong

145,795

140,870

-3.4

United Kingdom

86,518

90,090

+4.1

(Figures in ,000)

US Army Tests New Robo-Parachute Delivery System. There is an interesting article posted on the IEEE Spectrum website on the development of pinpoint accuracy for US Army cargo airdrops involving "robo-parachutes." The parachute has a new type of navigational software developed by the Draper Laboratory that uses the latest satellite imaging instead of GPS. Click here to read the article. Posted February 9, 2016

USTR Receives GSP Tariff Waiver Petition from Philippines Regarding Backpacks and Luggage. The United States Trade Representative (USTR) Office has received a petition from the Philippines seeking to include travel goods on the list of products with duty-free access covered by the US generalized system of preferences (GSP). The petition includes such items as luggage, backpacks, sports and travel bags, and handbags. Currently, these types of products have tariffs of between 4.7% and 20%. Despite the tariffs already in place, the US is the largest market for the Philippines, accounting for 54% of their exports. More than 5 million backpacks, sports and travel bags were exported to the US in 2014.. The USTR is also considering a Philippines petition for a waiver on the limitations set for the export of hydration backpacks. Click here to read the article posted on the Philippine Daily Inquirer website. Posted February 8, 2016

CLARCOR Acquires Assets of TDC Filter Manufacturing. Filtration products manufacturer C;ARCOR announced February 1 its subsidiary CLARCOR Industrial Air division has acquired TDC Filter Manufacturing Inc., a US manufacturer and supplier of pleated filter bags, dust collection cartridges and gas turbine air filters, for approximately $11 million. TDC had approximately $17 million of revenue in 2015. CLARCOR is headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., USA. Click here to read a posting on the Clarcor website about the acquisition. Posted February 8, 2016

Glove Reduces Hand Tremors in Parkinson's Patient. The MIT Technology Review website has a really interesting article about the development by medical student Joon Faii Ong of a glove which can help significantly reduce the hand tremors for those suffering from Parkinson's disease.  Working with a number of other students from Imperial College London, Mr. Ong has developed a glove that is fitted with a small gyroscope that "instantaneously and proportionally resists a person's hand movement, thereby dampening any tremors." Called a GyroGlove, the glove is still at the prototype stage and has not yet been commercially introduced. According to the article, in 2015 Mr. Ong's new company, GyroGear, was named inaugural champion of the F Factor, the European Union's largest tech challenge. Click here to read the article. Posted February 7, 2016

Legislation Introduced in Wisconsin for Mandatory Wearing of PFDs for Children. The Sauk Prairie Eagle (Sauk Prairie, Wis., USA) reports on its website that a bipartisan effort is being made in the Wisconsin state legislature to require children under the age of 13 to wear a US Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) when in a boat or using other types of watercrafts. It is amazing that Wisconsin, which has more than 15,000 lakes within its borders, is almost the last state not yet to require mandatory PFD wearing for children. The only other state is Virginia. Click here to read the article. Posted February 5, 2016

Bolt Tent Designed to Protect Campers Against Lightning. One of our favorite websites for showcasing technical textiles ideas and innovation applications is gizmag.com. The site has just put up an interesting article about a "lightening-proof" tent designed by Industrial Design student Kama Jania from the Anlto University in Helsinki, Finland. Ms. Jania has designed a series of these tents she calls "Bolt Tents."  Along with the article, there is a video showing her experiments as she developed the design of the tent. Click here to visit the Gizmag website. Posted February 4, 2016

Solar Cloth Company Announces Merger with Base Structures. The Solar Cloth Company (SCC), located in Cambridge, UK,  has announced a merger with fabric structures manufacturer Base Structures Ltd. SCC is a maker of thin film photovoltaic (TFPV) flexible solar panels which can be bonded to fabrics. Base Structures, headquartered in Bristol, UK, is an international fabricator in the lightweight fabric structures market with high profile projects such as London's 02 arena and the London 2012 basketball stadium. The merger will allow the two companies to collaborate in manufacturing lightweight fabric structures with solar panels for carports. Click here to read more about the merger. Posted February 3, 2016

US Airbag Manufacturer to be Acquired by Chinese Automotive Parts Conglomerate. The airbag industry consolidation apparently is continuing with a report posted by Crain's Detroit Business that US-based Key Safety Systems Inc. will be acquired by Chinese automotive parts manufacturer Ningo Joyson Electronic Corporation for $920 million. Key Safety is a manufacturer of seatbelts and airbags, employing 12,000 worldwide. The company was formed in 2003 with the acquisition of Breed Technologies Inc. assets. Last year, airbag manufacturer TRW was acquired by ZF Friedrichshafen AG and PHP became a subsidiary of Indorama. Click here to read the Crain's Detroit Business article. Posted February 2, 2016 

Microfibres Inc. will Stop Manufacturing in US, Files for Bankruptcy Protection. The Providence Journal (R.I., USA) website reported Microfibres Inc., a privately-held manufacturer of high-performance, stain-resistant flocked fabrics for the upholstery, furniture and specialty products markets has announced it will end its US manufacturing presence in response to both domestic and global challenges. Microfibres is headquartered in Pawtucket, R.I., with its manufacturing plant in Winston-Salem, N.C. the company was founded in 1926 as the Rayon Processing Company of Rhode Island, later changing its name to Microfibres. On January 29, the company filed a voluntary petition for liquidation under Chapter 7 in the US Bankruptcy Court. Click here to read the Providence Journal article. Posted February 2, 2016

US Military Uniform Contractor Sentenced for Fraud. The Arizona Star website reports the owners of Barrier Wear, a Colorado-based contractor to the US military for cold-weather trousers, have been sentenced for fraud involving the mislabeling of more than 320,000 garments, representing about two-thirds of the $48 million contract. According to the investigation, Barrier Wear "falsely certified that the Army's purchase of the clothing complied with the Berry Amendment and were made in the US." The trousers actually were made in Baviacora, Sonora, Mexico, and shipped to a facility in Nogales. Arizona, where the original labels were removed and new labels were sewn showing them as being made in the US. A US Customs inspector became suspicious of the 2013 shipment at the Mexican-US border which led to an investigation. Incredibly, the owners of the company, Paul Grillo and Raymond Lawson, who both plead guilty December 9 to one felony, only had to agree to forfeit $2.1 million and serve probation despite the investigation showing they went to elaborate lengths to conceal their deception from Federal auditors. Click here to read the article. Posted February 1, 2016

Airbag Industry Overview. [ Publisher Note: This is a revised post originally placed January 22. The author had taken down the post to revised some figures in his report. It is now up on the website noted at the end of this post.] In a January 22 post on the website Innovation In TextilesAdrian Wilson does an excellent job in summarizing the state of the global airbag market. It appears from the article that much of his information came from a presentation by David Hart of PCI Consulting Group, delivered PCI's Annual Fibre Conference, held this year in Milan, Italy in November during the ITMA show. The article covers types of yarns, names the leading airbag producers, and looks at the projected market growth. Click here to read Mr. Wilson's article. Re-posted February 1, 2016

Solar-Powered Fabric Used in Jackets. Normally BeaverLake6 Report does not post product promotion news releases but one came across the desk today about ThermalTech's smart fabrics used in its jackets that is interesting. The company promotes the jacket as using the world's first solar-powered smart fabric. The fabric is made from a stainless steel yarn and absorbs energy from the sun and can then generate as much as 18 degrees F of heat in a matter of only two minutes. The fabric is designed to be lightweight, thin and water-repellent. We're not sure what advantage the jacket has at night, though. Click here to read more details about the product at the Tech Times website. Posted February 2, 2016

Vietnam Grows concerned as China Takes Over Textile Firms. The February edition of Textiles South East Asia notes concern by Nygyen Van Hoan, former president of the Hanoi College of Textile, Garment Industry & Fashion, and Thai Tri Dung of the Ho Chi Minh City Economics University in the growing series of merger and acquisition deals that have been made recently between Vietnamese and Chinese businesses in the textile and clothing industry. An increasing number of Vietnamese companies have become Chinese subsidiaries. Click here to go to the Textiles South East Asia website. Note, though, the newsletter is subscription based. Posted February 1, 2016

New Protective Apparel Research and Development Facility Opens in Calgary. A Canadian government agency called Western Economic Diversification Canada has funded the newly opened apparel research and development facility in Calgary, Alta., Canada. The agency, through the Western Diversification Program, has invested closed to $3 million in partnership with AGM Wear Ltd. to create the Apparel Innovation Centre (AIC). The facility is located at Olds College. It is the only R&D facility in western Canada. The AIC will include hot liquid and steam protection testing chambers for testing personal protective equipment for burn resistance. It will also include a Newton Thermal Manikin, a device used to simulate comfort and thermal sensation data. Click here to read the Canadian government press release on the ACI's opening. Posted January 31, 2016

US Webbing Manufacturer Exiting MIlitary Market, Closing Plant. AEC, a supplier of narrow fabrics for the apparel, automotive, bedding, and a variety of other markets has decided to end supplying the military with webbing products and close its Yzex Street plant located in Asheboro, N.C., USA. AEC has other plants located in Asheboro, Boykins, Va., USA, El Salvador, and Honduras. Click here to read an article about the closing posted on the Asheboro Currier-Tribune website. Posted January 29, 2016

US Yarn Producer Announces Plant Expansion. The Charlotte Business Journal reported today that Meridian Specialty Yarn Group Inc. will spend $8 million to expand its yarn plant in Valdese, N.C., USA. Meridian produces dyed yarns for retail and craft markets as well as for the carpets, furniture, window treatment, automotive and industrial textiles markets. The town of Valdese and Burke County are awarding Meridian $900,000 in incentives to be paid over five years. Click here to read the article. Posted January 29, 2016

Smart Backpack Featured on Shark Tank Television Show. Sorry for the late notice but tonight's episode of the popular US television series Shark Tank features what is described as a high-tech backpack that comes with a wireless hard drives so you'll always be connected and charged. The company is called Co.Alition. It was formed by a couple of entrepreneurs from Colorado. Will they get they get an investor to provide the funding? Stay tuned. The show is on the ABC network. Posted January 29, 2016

SpaceX Successfully Tests Parachutes for New Space Shuttle. While BeaverLake6 Report has provided a number of posts regarding the testing of parachutes for the Orion spacecraft intended for the journey to Mars, there is also a competition going on between the private upstart SpaceX and Boeing in providing the next version of the shuttle which will take astronauts to the International Space Station. Both companies are working on separate partnerships with NASA in its Commercial Crew Program. Last week SpaceX had a successful test of the four main parachutes which will help land their Dragon spacecraft upon its return to Earth. The test involved a simulated capsule drop from a C-130 cargo aircraft. Click here to read the article posted on the Space Daily website. Posted January 29, 2016

What Happened to the CBGB Awnings? There's a nice little muse posted on the Gothemist website wondering whatever happened to the awnings that once marked the entrance to the iconic CBGB Club in New York City. Apparently there were at least three awnings during the club's history. The first was up from 1973 to 1987. Another awning covered the entrance from 1987 to 2000. The final awning was up during the last 6 years until the club closed in 2007. The punk rock group Jody Foster's Army allegedly stole the original awning. The second awning was taken down after a group called The Toilet Boys spray-painted their name on it (as was the custom during that era). It was reportedly thrown in a dumpster but rescued by a CBGB employee after hours. The last awning is said in the story to be in Ohio. It's a fun read if you are into New York club music history or awnings or are the type of person who wonders about these mysteries in life. Click here to read. Posted January 28, 2016

"Landing a House on Mars." The Air & Space magazine's February/March issue has a neat article on the design challenges in the creation of the parachutes which will be used for the Mars landing of the Orion space vehicle expected sometime around 2020. The parachutes will be one of three devices used to slow the descent of the craft in Mars' thin atmosphere. The first stage of descent braking devices is the deployment of an inflatable "doughnut" type of ring around the middle of the craft to create drag and slow the vehicle down to Mach 2; then the parachutes deploy, slowing the craft to subsonic speed; and, finally, rocket thrusters are used. The parachutes will be the biggest ever made, more than 100 feet wide, 50% larger than the ones previously used for prior landing crafts on the Mars surface. It took two failures in the actual testing of an unmanned vehicle to create the current parachute system. Click here to read a condensed online version of the article. Posted January 25, 2015

Bulletproof Vest Partnership Results for 2015. The Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) created by the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant of 1998 awarded funding for almost 52,000 vests in 2015 for state and local law enforcement agencies. The program is administered by the US Department of Justice. Funding is provided for up to half the cost of the vests, depending on the needs of the applicants. The 2015 vest funding went to 2,965 jurisdictions. The BVP was reauthorized in 2015 and will go through 2020, expecting to fund more than 200,000 vests. Posted January 25, 2016  

Airbags are Too Expensive to Install Says GM CEO. How do you defend the indefensible? Well, that is what General Motors CEO Mary Barra tried on January 20 in Davos, Switzerland when talking at the World Economic Forum. Ms. Barra was responding to mounting criticism GM has faced from consumer safety groups that cars produced in Latin America like the best-selling Aveo in Mexico do not provide any airbags. She said her company was acting in the interest of consumers in those parts of the world. Airbags are just too expensive and the consumer is cost-conscious in making a buying decision. Her company does not feel obligated to provide airbags in countries that do not have explicit government safety regulations for even frontal airbags. Click here to read the report posted on the International Business Times website. Posted January 24, 2016

Airbag Industry Overview. In a January 22 post on the website Innovation In TextilesAdrian Wilson does an excellent job in summarizing the state of the global airbag market. It appears from the article that much of his information came from a presentation by David Hart of PCI Consulting Group, delivered PCI's Anuual Fibre Conference, held this year  in Milan, Italy in November during the ITMA show. The article covers types of yarns, names the leading airbag producers, and looks at the projected market growth. Click here to read Mr. Wilson's article. Good concise article. Posted January 22, 2016  [Updated: Since posting this, it looks like the operator of the Innnovation in Textiles website has removed the article. We are trying to find another link for it.]

Ahlstrom Sells Its Glassfiber Business. Ahlstrom, a manufacturer of high-performance materials, announced today it has sold its Building & Wind business unit to Owens Corning. The business unit produces glassfiber tissue used mainly in flooring applications as well as windmill blade reinforcement. The unit has two plants in Finland and one in Russia. Ahlstrom is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland and Owens Corning is headquartered in Toledo, Oh., USA. Click here to read more about the acquisition. Posted January 21, 2016

US Textile Association Endorses the Trans-Pacific Partneship Agreement. No surprise that the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) announced today its membership had voted to formally support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement. NCTO had endorsed and actively advocated for the passage of the Trade Authority Promotion (TPA) last year which was the critical step needed to get the TPP agreement in front of Congress for an up-or-down vote at some point in the future. Posted January 21, 2016

Maine FR Fabric Manufacturer Alleges China Dumping Material Into US Market. The Maine Portland Press Herald (Portland, Maine, USA) reported today that Auburn Manufacturing, Inc. (AMI), of Mechanic Falls, Maine, has filed an unfair trade petition with the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission, alleging China is unfairly subsidizing its manufacturers who are makers of silica-based fabrics and are then exporting them to the US. AMI is a manufacturer of these types of high performance textiles that are used for extreme heat protection. AMI also says it is the principle supplier of the fabrics to the US Navy and is alleging the US Navy is violating the Berry Amendment. Under the Berry Amendment, military purchases of more than $150,000 and are textile-types of products, have to be primarily or entirely sourced from American manufacturers. Without relief, AMI officials have said it may have to close its two manufacturing operations in Maine. Click here to read the article. Posted January 21, 2016  

Viet Nam Seeking Local Suppliers in Anticipation of TPP Agreement Textile Yarn Forward Rule. According to the website Viet Nam News, "The Vietnamese garment and textile firms are increasing their investments in locally made raw materials in an effort to satisfy strict rules of origin set by free trade agreements of which Viet Nam is a member."  A recent Viet Nam and European textile agreement called for "fabric forward" rule of origin. The Trans Pacific Partnership agreement that includes the US calls for a "yarn forward" rule of origin. The garment and textile industry have been dependent on imported raw materials for a long time. About 70% of yarns and fibers are imported. The country needs about 8.5 billion meters of fabric annually but produces only 3 billion meters. Click here to read the article. Posted January 20, 2016

Indian Army Chief Promises 186,000 "Bulletproof" Vests for Soldiers. Does it sound familiar? We've published several posts in the past about the Indian army officials pledging assurances of ordering needed ballistic vests. The new vests were supposed to be delivered in 2009 but delayed until 2012 to conform to new specifications. Still, it's now 2016 and no new vests are being distributed. To meet immediate critical needs, 50,000 vests are being procured that meet the old requirements. The delay is probably nothing sinister. It is more likely just delays caused by government bureaucracy. Read the post published on The Economic Times website by clicking herePosted January 20, 2016

BondCote Appoints Military and Customer Service Manager. BondCote Corporation, headquartered in Pulaski, Va., USA, has announced the promotion of Paul Riggins to the position of Associate Military & Customer Services Manager. Mr. Riggins joined BondCote more than 8 years ago. BondCote is a manufacturer of coated and laminated fabrics for the military and other technical textiles markets. Posted January 19, 2016

TenCate Takeover by Private Consortium Fails, Offer Now is Increased. As we first reported on December 17, the effort by the private equity group Gilde Buy Out Partners has failed to garner enough shares to successfully purchase Royal Ten Cate NV (TenCate). The Netherlands-headquartered TenCate is a major player in the geosynthetics, FR clothing and ballistic vest industries. As a result of the shareholder rejection, the consortium announced January 13 an increased bid for the company. It has raised its offer to $28.16/share. This offer increases the overall value to $774.8 million, a 34% premium to TenCate's share price before the consortium first announced it was pursuing the company. Validating the need to increase the offer was the announcement by TenCate on January 12 of better than expected full-year 2015 sales of 1.16 billion. Posted January 16, 2016

Jute Fiber Finds Role in Automotive Composite Materials. There's an interesting article found on The Hindu Business Line website about the increased use of jute fibers in composites intended for automotive components. The acceptance movement is increased, in part, by the drive to use sustainable natural products. In the article, according to Sanjay Kajaria, former Chairman of the Indian Jute Mills's Association, Mercedes, Ford, Toyota, Tesla and Chrysler may have already started using jute-based composites for some of their car interior parts such as door panels and dashboards. Click here to read the article. Posted January 16, 2016

Imported Chinese Geogrids Alleged to Being Sold in US for Less Than Fair Value. According to the trade consulting firm Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services, Inc., a petition was filed this past week with the US International Trade Commission alleging that imports of biaxial integral geogrid products from China are being sold at less than fair value, with an alleged dumping margin of 202.42%, and are benefitting from countervailable subsidies. The products covered by this petition are used for reinforcement in roads and other construction. They consist of a polymer grid or mesh material (whether or not finished, slit, cut-to-length, attached to woven or non-woven fabric or sheet material, or packaged) in which four-sided openings in the form of squares, rectangles, rhomboids, diamonds or other four-sided figures predominate. Click here to read more. Posted January 16, 2016

NASA Finished Orion Parachute Tests. The US National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) is getting closer to the testing of humans aboard the new Orion spacecraft. The 7th and final testing of the spacecraft's parachute system was carried out successfully on January 13 in Arizona. The test didn't involve testing the spacecraft itself; instead, a special dart-shape vehicle designed to increase descent speed was pulled out of the cargo bay of a C-17 aircraft. In addition to continuing the testing of the parachute material and design, the test was also done on newer, lighter-weight suspension line material. The next step is to begin qualifying the parachutes for crewed missions as soon as July. This series should take 7-8 tests. Click here to read an article about the January 13 test on the Space Insider website. Posted January 16, 2016 

Dodge Viper Production to be Dropped Because of New Airbag Safety Regulations. Fiat Chrysler Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive at Fiat Chrysler, has hinted at the Detroit Auto Show going on this week that the Dodge Viper muscle car might be axed at the end of the 2017 model year because it cannot meet the new US federal safety standard intended to prevent occupant ejection. The standard, FMVSS #226, requires side curtain airbags. Viper engineers cannot figure out how to fit the curtain airbags without significantly reducing the car's already limited headroom. Click here to read an article about this posted on the Motor Trend website. Posted January 16, 2016

Canadian Coated Fabrics Manufacturer Plans $80 Million Investment in Texas Plant. According to company news release issued January 5, vinyl-coated fabric maker Canadian General Tower plans to invest $80 million in a manufacturing facility in New Braunfels, Texas, USA. Canadian General Tower is headquartered in Cambridge, Ont., Canada. The new business will be named CGT U.S. Ltd. The company's main market is automotive seating, but also supplies fabrics for swimming pool liners and various other consumer and industrial applications. Click here to read the release posted on the Plastic News website. Posted January 9, 2016

Polyester Fibers Announces Corporate Name Change to Fibrix. Polyester Fibers LLC, a manufacturer of nonwoven products and materials, announced January 7 that it is changing its corporate name to Fibrix, LLC as part of a company-wide rebranding initiative to align the organization's image with its emerging global strategy. Fibrix is headquartered in Conover, N.C., USA, and focuses its brands towards the filtration, furniture and bedding, and automotive markets. It has 9 manufacturing and distribution facilities. Posted January 8, 2016

China's 13th 5-Year Plan to Focus More on High-End Applications for Technical Textiles. China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is expected to release a development plan for the textile industry during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020) in the first half of 2016, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Thursday. During 2016-2020, China's textile industry is projected to maintain a double-digit growth and the authorities will pay more attention to development of fabrics for industrial use, according to a source of the China National Textile and Apparel Council. During the period, the textile industry will focus on industrial transformation and upgrading and move towards a high-end direction. Given the rapid growth of the automotive industry, textiles for automobile use will embrace huge development in coming years, the source added. Posted January 8, 2016

Spring Window Fashions Acquires Largest Awning Retractable Company in the US. According to a press release issued yesterday, Springs Window Fashions, LLC, has acquired SunSetter Products Limited Partnership. Headquartered in Malden, Mass., USA, SunSetter is the largest manufacturer of fabric retractable patio awnings and other sun control products. Founded in 1988, SunSetter has sold over 700,000 awnings through its extensive distribution network. Springs Window Fashions, based in Middleton, Wisc., USA, supplies retailers and distributors with blinds, shades, specialty treatments and window hardware, including the Bali® and Graber® brands. Click here to read the entire press release. Posted January 7, 2016

Your Next Jacket Could Be Made of Cobwebs. Probably not but that's a possibility when using the new synthetic spider silk technology. There is an interesting article on the Outside website about Japanese companies Spiber and Goldwin, a Tokyo-based licensee of The North Face, jointly revealing the Moon Parka. It is the first prototype jacket made of synthetic spider silk. According to the article, spiders can make up to 7 different types of silk. The strongest is called dragline silk. It's 3-times stronger than the aramid fiber Kevlar. The article is revealing in that it names 4 companies synthesizing spider silk -- Spiber, Kraig Labs, Araknitek, Bolt Threads and AMSilk. While Spiber has developed this prototype jacket using a synthetic version of dragline silk, it's just too expensive for a consumer product. The real applications of synthetic silk technology are more likely to be found in biomedical situations such as tendon repair, sutures and burn bandages. Click here to read the Outside article. Posted January 7, 2016

Sunbrella® and Architizer Announce the Fourth Annual "Future of Shade" Design Competition. Glen Raven, the manufacturer of the acrylic-woven Sunbrella line of shade material has announced an international call for entries for the fourth annual "Future of Shade" Design Competition. There are three unique categories in the competition: 1) Humanitarian; 2) Wellness Garden; and, 3) Building Shade. There is a $10,000 winner prize for each category, plus a special jury-awarded prize in the Building Shade category, selected by members of the Miami Design District, of a $25,000 commission within the District in 2016. Architizer, Glen Raven's partner in this program, is a web database for sourcing architectural and building products. Click here for further information on the design competition. Registration is open until March 20, 2016. Posted January 7, 2016 

Is the TPP A Done Deal for the US? Well, maybe...but probably not in an election year like 2016. Three months ago, the finalized Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was submitted to the US Congress for approval. The passage of the Trade Promotion Authority earlier in 2015 has ensured that no changes could be made to the agreement signed by the 12 nations. An article posted on the website Foreign Policy offers a couple of obstacles facing TPP passage: First, the American public has soured on globalization, especially with a slowing domestic economy and stagnant wages. Second, special interest groups have become very adept at stopping action that the majority of voters favor. The TPA which cleared the way for TPP passed only by the slim margin of 219-211 in the House of Representatives. Many of those voitng for TPA could switch their votes on TPP if the agreement is seen taking away American jobs. Click here to read the article. Posted January 7, 2016

November US Industrial Fabrics Export Figures Released. The US Department of Commerce has released the November export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics 206 Group. The numbers in the table below represent 12-month totals for the top five countries with year ending November 2014 and 2015. 

 

 

Country

Year Ending

11/2014

Year Ending

11/2015

 

% Change

Mexico

1,969,720

2,092,319

+6.2

Canada

582,506

569,869

-2.2

China

174,157

171,597

-1.5

Hong Kong

146,344

143,587

-1.9

United King

86,067

89,399

+3.9

(Figures in ,000)

Click here to see the entire report. Posted January 6, 2016

Registration is Open for IDEA16. INDA, the trade association for the nonwovens industry, has announced online registration is open for its IDEA16 Conference and Expo being held in Boston, Mass., USA, May 3-5, 2016. The event is for the nonwovens and engineered fabrics industry, is expected to have about 450 exhibitors and 7,000+ attendees, and is held once every three years. Click here to go to the IDEA16 website. Posted January 6, 2016

Fake Life Jackets Being Sold to Syrian Refugees. Turkish police have seized over 1,200 fake life jackets destined for use by migrants trying to reach Greece by sea. To make matters even worse, the illegal factory in Izmir, Turkey, was using underage labor to manufacture the life jackets. The fake items were stuffed with packaging rather than flotation materials. Click here to read the article posted on the Huryet Daily News website. Posted January 6, 2015

Coolcore LLC finalizes Purchase of Tempnology Assets. Coolcore LLC, a manufacturer of thermoregulation fabrics, announced January 5 it acquired substantially all assets and intellectural property from Tempnology on December 18, 2015. Tempnology had filed for bankruptcy in September 2015. Tempnology recently won the award for "Best Innovation -- Sports and Outdoor Apparel" for its patented line of cooling fabrics from the ITMA Future Materials Awards. Coolcore is headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., USA. Click here to read the release on the purchase. Posted January 6, 2016

Hexcel Acquires Remaining Interest in Formax UK Joint Venture. Composites manufacturer Hexcel Corporation announced yesterday it has acquired the full ownership of Formax UK Limited. Hexcel had previously acquired 50% in the privately-owned company. Located in Leicester, UK, Formax is a manufacturer of composite reinforcements, specializing in the production of lightweight carbon fiber multi-axials and highly engineered glass fiber and aramid fiber fabrics. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted January 6, 2016

"Happy Manipulating!!!" An internal company email with "Happy Manipulating!!!" from an airbag testing engineer is probably not going to help airbag system manufacturer Takata Corporation in a personal injury lawsuit. The New York Times has obtained emails that were recently unsealed as part of a personal injury lawsuit against Takata. This story just keeps getting worse for the beleaguered textile and airbag system manufacturer that has now amounted to almost 20 million vehicle recalls and $70 million in fines. While the problem is about exploding propellant in the airbag system and has nothing to do with the actual technical textile airbag, the fiasco may ultimately force Takata completely out of the airbag system market which would put a demand on the few remaining major suppliers. Cllick here to read the New York Times article. Posted January 5, 2016

Serbia Manufacturer Opens New Factory for Wheelchair Production. If you are interested in Eastern European textile and related product manufacturing, the newsletter Textiles Eastern Europe is a good source for information. In this month's edition (January 2016), the newsletter included a small piece about Fori Textile Serv  The company, headquartered in Krjujevac, Serbia, has announced it will open a plant for the production of wheelchairs. What's applicable to our industry is that Fori Textil Ser is part of the Slovenian group Fori, a manufacturer of automotive seating for companies such as Opel, Renault, Peugot and BMW, and much of a wheelchair consists of technical textile upholstered fabrics. Click here for more information from the Fori website. Click here for more information on subscribing to Textiles Eastern Europe and its sister publication Textiles South East AsiaPosted January 4, 2016

Hoverboard Fires Creates New Market for Technical Textiles. One of the hottest new gifts for Christmas was the hoverboard; however, the product has also been in the news for its lithium batteries tendency to overheat and catch fire. There is an interesting article posted on the CBS News website about Newtex Industries, a supplier of heat and fire-resistant materials and end products for the military and commercial construction applications. Newtex, headquartered in Victor, N.Y., USA,  has created the HoverCover Fire Resistant Hoverboard Bag for storing the hoverboard when charging. This story reminds us to always be on the lookout to watch for trends and opportunities. Click here to read the article. Posted January 3, 2016

Sourcing Journal Lists Six Examples of Textiles and Technology Linking up in 2015. There is an interesting article posted on the Sourcing Journal website entitled "6 Times Textiles and Technology Teamed Up to Change Apparel in 2015." While the title seems apparel-oriented, the article is actually about smart fabrics technology and the examples include solar fabric research being done at the University of Wisconsin and the new wearable FlexTech Alliance in San Jose, Calif., USA, that is providing the lead for an industry/government Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The Sourcing Journal article only gives a brief synopsis about each example but does provide a link to a more extensive article about the example. Click here to read the article. Posted January 2, 2016

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Coming Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is Saving the US Navy's Peacoat a Matter of National Security?

Since last August, the US Navy has been planning to phase out its iconic traditional wool peacoat in favor of a less expensive, synthetic cold weather parka which is lighter in weight and more versatile in types of inclement weather. It actually replaces two types of coats and the seabag the wool coat is stored.

 

The wool coat, however, has some powerful friends in the US Congress. Companies such as Northwest Woolen Mills in Woonsocket, R.I. and Sterlingware in Boston, Mass. Altogether, the supply chain involved in the manufacture of these woolen peacoats -- including sheep farmers -- is estimated to account for 400 jobs in the Northeast. Add to the drama that the new parka, made by the long-time military supplier Propper, is expected to be manufactured in Puerto Rico, a perceived feeling the new coat will be made by non-American workers. Read more...

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

June 29. 2017

President Trump's Reveals 2017 Trade Policy Agenda

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has released President Trump's 2017 Trade Policy Agenda. The document, officially called 2017 Trade Policy Agenda and 2016 Annual Report of the President of the United States on the Trade Agreements Program, outlines the new Administration’s four trade priorities:

  • Defending the US National Sovereignty over Trade Policy
  • Strictly Enforcing US Trade Laws
  • Using Leverage to Open Foreign Markets
  • Negotiating New and Better Trade Deals

​BeaverLake6 Report has created a special page within this website and placed the first chapter of the 336-page document which summarizes the policy. Click here to read it. Posted March 2, 2017

What's the NCTO Game Plan for the Post-TPP Era?

Back on March 24, 2016, I was one of the first to predict the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was a dead deal. In fact, I said that I wouldn’t be surprised that, if Donald Trump became President, the agreement is shredded on day one of his new administration. Well, I was off by three days. Yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order, officially withdrawing the United States from the TPP agreement. Now the question is can the National Council of Textile Organizations put together a comprehensive plan for the domestic textile industry in a post-TPP era? Click here to read the rest. Posted January 25, 2017

Steady Growth Prospects for Expanding Specialty Geosynthetics

There are literally dozens of market reports for the many market sections and subsections within the technical textiles industry. In 2017, BeaverLake6 Report will be introducing a few of these reports to our viewers. The first report being features is The Future of Spcialty Geosynthetics to 2021. It was developed by Smithers Apex, a market research firm based in the United Kingdom. 

 

In exchange for the promotion, Smithers Apex agreed to write an exclusive expanded executive summary of the market report for our readers. Click here to view the market summary. Posted January 9, 2017

2016 China Textile Innovation Conference Explores the Roads to a Textile Power

Sun Ruizhe

2016 China Textile Innovation Conference, as an annual summit of industry innovation, was held in Beijing on December 12th, 2016. The conference, themed on “New Opportunity, New Advantages, New Vitality” – Stepping Towards a Textile Power, comprehensively summarized the industry innovation achievements and explored the new advantages in development in order to grasp the strategic opportunity of the new round of industrial changes. BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to present a report on the conference via our partnership with China Textile magazine. Please click here. Posted December 21, 2016

In My Opinion

Re-Shoring: Good for the Goose is Not Good for the Gander?

Domestic PFD Manufacturer's Application for FTZ Additional Production Authority Riles Textile Industry Trade Associations. There is a nasty fight taking place these past few months behind the closed doors of Room 48019 at the Herbert C. Hoover Building in Washington, D.C. The room is the office of the Foreign-Trade Zones Board. The fight pits domestic technical textile industry suppliers and a coalition of textile-trade associations against a fairly large domestic end-product cut-and-sew manufacturer. Click here to read the story.

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Media Partners

In My Opinion

In 2015, I posted more than 425 items of interest for our industry on the BeaverLake6 Report website. In reviewing it all last week, it got me to thinking about putting together a list of influential events, news and trends that I observed during the past year. I have focused primarily on the US marketplace but each of “the things that mattered” to me has global implications.

 

So, here go my thoughts in no particular order of importance. Let me know if you agree or if I have missed some. Click here to read the list.

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Posted January 17, 2016

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Ron Gottlieb  

  Director

  Ricky Richards (Sales) Pty Ltd.

 

Read more testimonials by clicking here.

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Beaverlake6 Group, LLC

Secretary Gary Locke, US Dept. of Commerce, and Steve Warner Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Steve Warner

Success in our industry is all about knowledge, integrity and developing relationships. BeaverLake6 Group, LLC, publisher of BeaverLake6 Report, is a management consulting firm focused on helping businesses understand the complex global technical textiles industry.

 

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

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

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