Mining Smog to Make Carbon Fibers. Could Los Angeles and Beijing be the next hot spots for making carbon fibers? On Tuesday, the nonprofit foundation XPRIZE announced a $20 million NRG Cosia Carbon challenge. The prize will be split between two presented solutions, one focusing on pollution caused by coal and the other on pollution caused by natural gas. The challenge goal is to find a way to pull carbon from the atmosphere and turn it into useful material products.Click here to read more. Posted September 30, 2015
GSE Environmental Announces Closure of Chile Manufacturing Facility. Thanks to Chris Kelsey, editor at geosynthetica.net, for alerting us to a press release this morning from GSE Environmental announcing the company's decision to close its manufacturing plant located in Antogfagasta, Chile. A sales office will remain in Santiago, Chile. Bob Preston, President and CEO, said: "We believe this is the best way to serve our customers across the Americas by streamlining processes, consolidating manufacturing operations, and reducing costs." Click here to read the geosynbthetic.net article. Posted September 29, 2015
DuPont Will Make Ebola Protection Suit Designed by Johns Hopkins Team. During the peak of the Ebola crisis last year, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a global design challenge of products to help protect healthcare workers treating victims of the disease. A team at the Center for Biomedical Engineering Innovation and Design at Johns Hopkins University took up the challenge. After a rigorous review of more than 1500 submitted ideas by last December, USAID selected the Johns Hopkins suit design as one of three which would be recognized. Yesterday, the University announced a version of the suit will be manufactured by DuPont and available early next year. Click here to read an article posted on the Washington Post website. Posted September 28, 2015
Bloomington Tent & Awning Celebrates 125 Years in Business. Not too many companies can mark a 125-year anniversary. Congratulations to Bloomington Tent & Awning of Bloomington, Ill., USA. The company originally started as Plumley Awning Company in 1895. Click here to read a short posted on the pantagraph.com website. Posted September 28, 2015
Gant Named Casual Furniture Market Manager for Glen Raven. Another Gant family member is taking a leadership position in the family-owned textile giant Glen Raven Inc., headquartered in Burlington, N.C., USA. Allen Gant III, son of Glen Raven's CEO Allen E. Gant Jr., has been named Casual Market Manager for Glen Raven Custom Fabrics. His responsibilities include the casual furniture market and specialty outdoor segment. Gant joined the company in 2008. Click here for the Glen Raven press release announcing the appointment. Posted September 28, 2015
New Smart Fibers Developed by Chinese Scientists. According to the Xinhua News Agency, Chinese scientists has created fibers that react after being exposed to certain stimuli which eventually can open opportunities for use in applications such as artificial limbs, smart clothes and automatic shades. The stimuli can be such as light and vapor sensitivity which will cause movement. The movement can be controlled and manipulated. The research team is led by Professor Peng Huisheng at Fudan Univerisity in Shanghai. The research team's work has been published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. Click here to read an article about the discovery. Posted September 28, 2015
Kolon / DuPont Trade Secret Settlement is Recognized in Law Journals. Well, it's kind of a dubious attention for our industry but AmLaw Daily has recognized the Kolon theft of DuPont's Kevlor body armor technology and its subsequent financial settlement as the "Global Dispute of the Year." This follows a similar recognition in July by The American Lawyer, citing the case as the world's most distinguished dispute resolution for 2015 in its annual Global Legal Awards. Click here to read a short description of the award. Posted September 28, 2015
German Nonwoven Manufacturer to Build US Facility. Textile plant investments continue in the southeast US with the news that German nonwoven manufacturer Sandler AG will be opening a plant in Perry, Ga., US. Sandler is family-owned with sales of approximately $346 million and active in buth durable and disposable nonwoven applications. In the durable section, the intended markets are automotive, acoustics and filtration. Sandler offers a diverse range of nonwovens including thermal bonding, spunlaced, needle-punched and melt-blown. Click here to read the company's press release about the expansion into the US. Posted September 24, 2015
170 Year-Old Company Moves into Carbon Fiber for Aerospace and Automotive Industries. In-Cumbria, an online news website covering business in Burneside, England, UK, has a nice short article about James Cropper PLC, a 170 year-old family-owned business. The big news is the company is now moving into manufacturing nonwoven carbon fiber materials for the aviation, aerospace and defense industries. The company, now with 6th-generation Cropper management, has its roots in paper-making but set up a Technical Fibre Products division 30 years ago. It's inspiring to find a company like James Cropper which can adapt to business and technology changes so successfully over these many years. Click here to read the article. Posted September 24, 2015.
Technical Textiles in India to Reach $30bn Over Next 5 Years. In a presentation opening the 2015 Techtextil India event, India's Textile Commissioner Kiran Soni Gupta said that the country's technical textile industry is expected to grow at a rate of 20% annually to reach $30bn over the next 5 years. Sections which will account for much of the growth will be applications in agriculture, automotive, health care and infrastructure markets. Minister Gupta also reported the National Textile Policy is in its final draft and will be announced soon. Click here to read more about her presentation. Posted September 24, 2015
Health Concerns Stops Teijin Aramid Research for New Aramid Copolymers Containing DAPBI. In a press release issued yesterday, Teijin Aramid announced that it is stopping its research program to develop and commercialize aramid copolymers containing DAPBI. The developed prototype materials had good anti-ballistic performance but usage of this substance could be dangerous to people involved in the production of the monomer and copolymer. It was found that the DAPBI monomer is mutagenic, severely toxic to the kidneys at very low dosages, toxic to reproduction and possibly carcinogenic. Click here to read the press release. Posted September 24, 2015
Chinese Automotive Material Manufacturer Investing in US Facility. According to the Carolina Clarion website, Suzhou Glacier Import & Export Co., Ltd., a global textile manufacturer, has created a subsidiary called Cold Mountain Material Corporation and is investing $24 million in a new manufacturing facility in Travelers Rest, S.C., USA. The focus of the operation will be supplying textiles for the automotive interiors industry. Click here to read the article. Posted September 24, 2015
India and the US Hold Strategic Talks that Includes Technical Textile Development Cooperation. As we reported in earlier posts, yesterday United States Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker welcomed India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman for the first U.S.- India strategic and commercial dialogue. The meeting was held in Washington, D.C. The topics included cooperation in technology development for technical textiles. The countries agreed they will facilitate exchanges on technical textiles between centers of excellence in India and U.S. universities. They will encourage industry to participate in trade exhibitions focused on technical textiles in their respective countries. Both sides agreed to consider collaborating on standards in this area, and to address concerns regarding barriers to technical textile exports in the relevant work stream. click here to read further from the press release issued yesterday that was posted on the einnews.com website. Posted September 23, 2015
Finland to Send Winter Tents to Shelter Refugees in Hungary. It's not much considering the human crisis happening in Europe but perhaps it's just a start. Finland's Interior Ministry today announced plans to send 192 cold-weather tents to Hungary to help Syrian and Iraq refugees in need of accomodation. There are already an estimated 475,000 asylum seekers with 5,000 more coming each day. Our industry needs to step into the contribution for providing temporary shelters. Has your company been approached yet by a European country to supply shelters? Let us here from you. Posted September 22, 2015
TenCate Magazine is a Good Read for All in Technical Textiles. This may sound like a promotion for TenCate. We want to recommend reading the Autumn issue of their company publication called Txtures. It's available online and contains articles about applications in protective clothing for firefighters and in the workplace, applications in civil engineering for geosynthetics, and applications for durable material in sports facilities. Naturally all the articles are slanted to promote TenCate products but regardless there was a lot of good information about the challenges of developing materials that solve problems in unique applications. This got us wondering if there are many other company publications like Txtures out there that go beyond just a promotion of the company products? If so, let us know. Click here to go to the Txtures website. Posted September 21, 2015
Small Company Competes Against Large Military Contractors. We found an interesting article posted on the new technology website Alphr about a two-person operation called Intelligent Textiles. Based in the United Kingdom, the company recently was awarded a multimillion dollar deal with the US Department of Defense and is now also working with the UK Ministry of Defence. Intelligent Textiles started out in 2002 making "talking jackets" for children with special needs. Over the years, the company's founders' research has evolved and they developed a proprietary method of weaving two conductive yarns to make a tiny mechanical switch that is perfectly separated or connected, much like a circuit board. Worth a quick read if you like a success story of a very small company operating in a world dominated with big military defense contractors. Click here. Posted September 21, 2015
Philippines Armed Forces Receive Protective Gear. According to the website inquirer.net, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has received $1 million worth of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) protective gear and detection equipment from the United States. The equipment enables the AFP to outfit a platoon-size contingent to conduct CBRN site assessments to mitigate risks and gather intelligence on chemical agents of biological agents and other potential chemical hazards. Click here to read the article. Posted September 18, 2015
"4 Questions to Ask When Buying Body Armor." There is a neat, concise article posted on the website CorrectionsOne about basic questions to consider when purchasing body armor for correctional officers. . The 4 questions to ask are: 1) Is it made of the right material? 2) Does it meet the National Institute of Justice rating? 3) Is it the right fit? 4) How do I take care of it? [Publisher note: We also like this article because it clearly states descriptive words like "bullet-proof" and "stab-proof" vests are wrong.] Click here to read the article. Posted September 17, 2015
Navy Audit Finds 23 of 55 Procurements Sampled Did Not Comply with Berry Amendment or Buy America Act. The US Inspector General Office of the Department of Defense released a report on August 12 on an audit that looked at 53 US Navy and Marine Corp procurement contracts valued at $74 million awarded in FY13 and FY14 for compliance to the Berry Amendment or Buy America Act. The contract includes procurement that includes tents, clothing and other textile items. The audit found 11 of the 23 contracts did not consistently comply with the Berry Amendment. Navy and Marine Corps contracting personnel did not ensure compliance with the Buy America Act for 12 of 32 contracts reviewed. The recommendation was that Navy and Marine Corps officials modify noncompliant contracts to include the appropriate clauses and review potential Antideficiency violations. Click here to read the report. Posted September 14, 2015
Royal Academy of Engineering Innovations Award Candidates Feature Inflatable Incubator and Biodegradable Tent. The Royal Academy of Engineering in the United Kingdom has announced four young engineers from the UK have just been shortlisted for consideration its Launchpad Competition. The competition is "to enable a budding engineering entrepreneur aged 16-25 to start a new business based on their engineering innovation and maximize the chances of its successful growth." Two of the four products are made of technical textiles. There is a biodegradable tent designed to deal with a growing problem of abandoned tents after festivals. It is compostable, built from cellulose fibers and plastics. Its short-term life is ideal with one-time use shelters such as for festivals. The other product is an inflatable incubator, designed to be used in the developing world in the instances of premature births. It is compactable and only a 1/30th the cost of a normal incubator. Click here to read an article on the website wired.co.uk about the products and competition. Posted September 14, 2015
Saudi Arabia Has Enough Empty Tents to Take All Syria Asylum Seekers. It is almost mind-boggling. As the 600,000 Syria refugee plight captures headlines all over the world trying to put up anything to shelter them from the harsh wet, cold weather, there sits an entire tent city in Saudi Arabia with enough shelters already to take the entire refugee population. The scope is staggering: The tent city of Mina in Saudi Arabia is 20 square kilometers and could house three million people. Sitting empty are 100,000 tents with air conditioning, each measuring eight by eight meters, complete with kitchen and bathroom facilities. The tents, however, are used once a year for 5 days during the Hajj pilgrimage which starts September 22 and are thus unavailable to help the immediate humanitarian crisis. This posting is not meant as a criticism of the Saudi government. It's a complicated religious and political situation. There is definitely a need for the tents to accommodate the 5 million religious pilgrims going to Mecca and Mina but it is frustrating to know the tents will be sitting empty for 360 days a year. Click here for more information. Posted September 14, 2015
New India Automotive Safety Regulations Taking Affect Could Increase Annual Airbag Sales to $2 Billion. Normally, we don't like to promote market research studies since many seem to be questionable in the information but the website DNA India has quoted a study conducted by Transparency Market Research that has attracted our attention. The report says that overall revenues from airbag sales in India are set to rise 11% a year to hit $2 billion, outpacing even the growth in China. The cause is the new rules, part of India's Road Transport and Safety Bill that makes airbags mandatory for new cars built in India starting in 2017. Click here to read the article posted on the DNA India website. Posted September 14, 2015
New James Bond Film Features Ejector Seat Parachute. Precision Stitching, a Lenton, UK company, was tasked with producing an ejector seat parachute for the new James Bond film Spectre that will be out in October. Precision Stitches is an industrial textiles company founded by Ray Armstrong in 1992 that has produced numerous movie and television props requiring technical textiles. It is not clear how the parachute will be used but speculation is that it is for a scene involving the famed Aston Martin driven by Bond. Click here to read an article posted on the Nottingham Post website. Posted September 14, 2015
Carbon Fibers Explained. Wow. At a website called dragzine.com, we found a concise but comprehensive article explaining the development, types, and use of carbon fiber in the technical textiles industry. The article is filled with illustrations and pictures, is plainly written without the scientific verbiage, and goes through the different types of carbon fiber materials. Highly recommended if you are unfamiliar with carbon fiber and looking for the one article that will serve as a basic reference. Click here to go to the article. Posted September 14, 2015
Geosynthetic Liner Material Manufacturer Ends Direct Sales, Forms Strategic Distribution and installation Partnerships. Burke Industries has announced exclusive, strategic partnerships with Colorado Lining International Inc. and Layfield Environmental Systems Corp. in the US and Canada. Burke, headquarted in San Jose, Calif., USA, is a manufacturer of CSPE (chlorosulfonated polyethylene) geomembrane liners. The liners are used in applications such as reservoir containment and floating cover systems. Colorado Linings is a contractor and installer of liners. Layfield is a provider of geosynthetics, industrial fabrics and polyethylene film for construction applications. These agreements mean Burke will no longer be handling direct sales or distribution of its products. Our thanks to Chris Kelsey, editor at geosynthetica.net, for alerting us to this news. Click here to read more about the partnerships. Posted September 9, 2015
Medical Fabric Producer Completes $3.3 Million Bridge Loan. According to the website news-medical.net, Vestagen Technical Textiles has announced it has completed a $3.3 million convertible note bridging financing. The additional funds will be used in the ongoing commercialization of VESTEX®, an active barrier technology that combines fluid repellent, antimicrobial and breathability properties. The material is used in medical and protective clothing situations that need to reduce the risk of pathogens and other contaminants. Click here to read the press release. Posted September 9, 2015
India Asks Swiss Government in Investigating Technical Textiles Producer in Black Money Scandal. According to the Economic Times website, the Indian government has asked the Swiss government for information about the Neo Corp International Ltd. (NCIL) as it investigates "black money" companies. "Black money" is a term to describe the hiding of funds by a company to avoid taxes. NCIL is headquartered in Madhya Pradesh, India, and its website describe it as formed in 1985 as a small sack manufacturer which grew to become a multinational technical textiles, including geosynthetics and packaging. Click here to read more about the probe. Posted September 8, 2015
Milliken Acquires Safety Apparel Material Manufacturer. Spartanburg, S.C.-based Milliken & Co. has announced it has acquired Springfield LLC, a manufacturer of flame-resistant materials for safety apparel. Springfield is based in Jericho, New York, USA, with production facilities in South Carolina. Springfield is a major material supplier for the US military, fire safety and gas exploration markets. Milliken's acquisition continues to solidify its presence as a major player for FR material in these safety protective gear markets. Click here to read a report of the acquisition on the GSA Business website. Posted September 8, 2015
US Army Awards +$44.5 Million Contract for Ballistic Vests.According to an article posted on Business Irish today, the US Army has awarded a $44.486 million contract for ballistic vest to a team of military manufacturers -- KDH Defence Industries, Bethel Industries and Hawk Protection. It is a fixed term contract for the Soldier Protection System modular vest. The contract is to be completed by early 2019. Hawk Protection is part of Cooneen Group, an international group of textile companies headquartered in Ireland. Click here to read the article. Posted September 7, 2015
Use of Geosynthetics in Highways Promoted to Public in News Report. The website of the Missoulian, a newspaper in Missoula, Mont., USA, had a great article posted yesterday about how the use of geosynthetics is building better highways in Montana. Nicely researched with interviews from geosynthetic material suppliers and civil engineers. One good takeaway from the article is an estimation offered by Jeff Jackson of the Montana Department of Transportation that 75% of the state roads have a layer of textile materials below the surface. This is the kind of story we like to see because it describes the technical textiles industry's contributions to improve conditions. Click here to read the article. Posted September 7, 2015
US Industrial Fabrics Export Figures Released for July Industrial Fabrics. The US Department of Commerce has released the July export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group. The rankings of the top 5 countries for Specialty and Industrial Fabrics continue to be #1 Mexico, # 2 Canada, # 3 China, # 4 Hong Kong and # 5 Japan. Overall, US Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group increased exports with 12-month year-ending in July at 3.92% or $159,344 million. Click here to see the entire report. Posted September 7, 2015
Automotive Interior Suppliers in Total Turmoil. Our thanks to Jeff Hadden of Kufner Textiles Corp. for telling us about a great article posted on LinkedIn by John McElroy, president of Blue Sky Productions. In his posted article, Mr. McElroy does a very credible job explaining the turmoil in the automotive interior supplier industry brought on by the recent withdrawal from the marketplace of industry giants Johnson Control Incorporated and Magna, and the new joint venture of supplier Faurecia with the Chinese automaker Dongfeng. Low profit margins are to blame for the changes. Click here to read the article. Posted September 5, 2015
Study Recommends Korea Focus on High Performance Materials to Counter China's Surge in Textile Exports. According to the website Business Korea, the Korean Economic Research Institute (KERI) has issued a report called "Competitive Analysis of Korea, China, and Japan and Its Policy Proposals." The report notes that while Japan will continue to lead the three nations in fabric technology, followed by Korea and then China, the technology gap between China and Korea will be halved by 2020. China in the next decade will be extending its exports of low-end products while the market share for Korea in these products will be going down. Therefore, the report recommends Korea should reorganize its textile industry and focus on high performance and differentiated products. Click here to read the article. Posted September 5, 2015
Space Suit Under Development for Long Trip to Mars. There is a great article posted on American Scientist website. Body muscle atrophy and bone loss are critical body concerns over long periods in zero gravity. According to the website, "The European Space Agency is developing a space suit that could help an astronaut landing on Mars or living in space on a long-duration mission. The Gravity Loading Countermeasure Skinsuit (GLCS) has the potential to provide a valuable countermeasure against bone loss by mimicking the effects of gravity." The suit will make its first test in space om September when Danish ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen goes to the International Space Station. The suit was designed by a consortium consisting of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kings College London, University College London and Wyle Laboratories GmbH. Click here to read the article. Posted September 1, 2015
H.B. Fuller Building New Hot-Melt Adhesives Plant in Indonesia. H.B. Fuller has announced the company has begun construction of a new manufacturing facility in Surabaya, Indonesia. The hot-melt and adhesives manufacturer, headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., USA, already has manufacturing facilities in China, the Philippines, Malaysia and Australia. The plant is expected to be online by the second quarter of 2016. H,B. Fuller provides adhesives for customers in the hygiene, packaging, filter and other textile-related industries. Click here to read the company press release. Posted September 1, 2015
Moss Inc. Acquires German Exhibition Products Company. Moss Inc., a designer and manufacturer of tensioned structures and wide-format graphics for exhibition display companies has announced it has acquired Marx + Moschner, a provider of branding products such as silicone edge graphic (SEG) frames and custom printed large format fabric panels, and custom trade show exhibit components for European stand builders. Click here for more information. Posted September 1, 2015
Temporary Shades Are Up at the US Open Tennis Championship Tournament. Our industry is very much on display at the US Open tennis tournament which started today. All you have to do is look up to see the temporary sun shading that has been installed on Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, N.Y., USA. While the superstructure for a retractable roof over the stadium is completed, the roof panels were not ready to be installed by the start of the 2015 Open. Tournament organizers were concerned about shadows from the roof elements causing problems for the players on the court, so they organized temporary shades using over 50,000 square feet of 10 oz per square foot HDPE material (Comtex® by Polyfab USA). The shade was engineered and fabricated by Solar Shade USA, LLC, of Rich Hill, Mo., USA and Installed by Birdair, Inc., Williamsville, N.Y., USA. Posted August 31, 2015
Serge Ferrari Appoints Two Regional Managers. Serge Ferrari North America has announced two new account managers. Ryan Ohr has joined the company as a Regional Sales Manager for the Northwest United States and Western Canada, and Eric Antrim as Regional Sales Manager for the North Central United States. Both report to the National Sales Manager, Steve Fredrickson. Serge Ferrari is a manufacturer of flexible composite membranes. Posted August 31, 2015
Awning Business Closes After 89 Years. We learned from the sharonherald.com website today that Grimm's Awnings of Sharon, Penn., USA, is closing its doors after being in the custom awning business for 89 years. In addition to awnings, the business makes boat covers and other custom canvas products. Co-owner Jerry Grimm says the closing is due to a changing business environment and lack of demand in the Shenango Valley. The company has been in his family since it was started by Mr. Grimm's grandfather. His daughter, Kim Hughes, represents the fourth generation of family involvement. Click here to read the article. Posted August 30, 2015
Teijin Begins Production of New Meta-Aramid Fiber. Teijin Corp. (Thailand) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Teijin Ltd., announced that it has begun producing Teijinconex® neo, a new type of highly heat-resistant and dyeable meta-aramid fiber. The plant is in Ayutthaya, Thailand and expects an annual output of 2,200 tons. According to the company's press release, with this new plant, "Teijin expects to take a leading position in the global market for protective apparel, targeting sales of 20 billion yen ($160 million) by 2020." Click here to read the company press release. Posted August 28, 2015
DoD Announces New Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Is there a possible important role for technical textiles in the announcement today by US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in awarding of the Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Flexible Hybrid Electronics (MIIFHE) to a consortium of 162 companies, universities, and non-profits led by the FlexTech Alliance? The new institute will be focused on the innovative production of electronics and sensors packaging through emerging techniques in electronic device handling and high precision printing on flexible, stretchable substrates. We couldn't find any textile company yet involved in the FlexTex alliance, yet we know smart textiles are becoming increasingly important in the flexible electronics markets. If your company is into smart technology, you should keep a watch of the new institute. The US Department of Defense is providing $75 million in funding with another $90 million expected from industry, academia, and local governments. Earlier this year, the Department of Defense announced the creation of the Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Click here for more information on the new Manufacturing Innovation for Flexible Hybrid Electronics. Posted August 28, 2015
Could Cornstarch Replace Layers of Aramid Fabrics in "Bulletproof" Vests? It's an interesting concept being investigated by Professor Eric Brown at the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Yale University. Professor Seshadri Ramkumar reports on the concept in his latest TexSnips blog. A unique cornstarch-water mixture responds to impacts well. Upon impact, it cracks resembling solids and then it returns to fluid state. It ls a phenomenon known as "shear thickening." According to the Professor Brown, certain type of fluids like the cornstarch/water mix will change properties due to various stresses. a potential application could using it in bulletproof vests, replacing aramid fabrics. Click here to read the TexSnip posting. Click here to read the original report on the Yale website. Posted August 28, 2015
Picanol Sales Increase 18% in H1 2015. The Picanol Group, a manufacturer of textile machinery, announced in a press release an increase in turnover for the first half of 2015 of €259.8 million, up 18% over the 2014 H1. Net sales grew to €30.3 million compared to €24.6 million in the same period of the prior year. The increase was due to a high global demand of textile weaving equipment. Orders booked for H2 2015 are also strong. Based on the current market situation, the Picanol Group expects the turnover for its activities to be in line with H2 2013FY 2013 was a record year for the company. Click here to read the press release. Posted August 28, 2015.
Turkish Company Establishes Nonwovens Operation in US. According to a report posted on Greenville On-Line, Mogul, a privately-owned Turkish company that focuses on the production and sale of nonwovens, is establishing its first North American operation in Laurens Country, S.C., USA. It will be investing $17.5 million in the purchase and refurbishing of an existing plant. The new North American operations will be through a subsidiary called Mogul South Carolina Nonwovens Corp. The plant will focus on manufacturing spunlaced products that have medical, hygienic and personal wet wipe applications. Established in 1997, Mogul is headquartered in Gaziantep, Turkey. Click here to read the article. Posted August 28, 2015
Orion Parachute System Withstands Failure Test. As we first posted on August 5, the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) successfully conducted a test of the Mars Orion spacecraft's parachute system on August 26. The dramatic test simulated a failure scenario in which one of the two drogue parachutes, used to slow and stabilize Orion at high altitude, and one of its three main parachutes, used to slow the crew module to landing speed, did not deploy. As part of the test, engineers also evaluated a change to the risers, which connect the parachutes to the vehicle, from steel to a textile material, as well as the use of lighter weight suspension lines for several of the parachutes. Both changes reduce overall mass and volume of the system. The first parachutes deployed when the crew module was traveling more than 300 mph. This August 24 airdrop was one of eleven planned test drops over a three-year period. Click here to read the NASA press release. Posted August 28, 2015
Nonwovens Leader Passes. Sad news received from the INDA organization today. The nonwovens industry is mourning the loss of Edward "Ed" Vaughn, Professor Emeritus at Clemson University. Dr. Vaughn, 75, of Clemson, S.C., USA, died August 20. He had spent his entire 37-year professional career on the faculty of Clemson. He taught many of INDA's training classes and also served as the Managing Editor of the Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics published by INDA. The organization recognized Dr. Vaughn in 2004 for his contributions with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Posted August 25, 2015
New Airbag Manufacturing Plant Opens in India. The Occupant Safety Division of RANE TRW Steering Systems has opened an airbag manufacturing plant near Chennai, India. The plant is located next door to the division's seatbelt plant. Both the seatbelt and airbag plants are a joint venture between the Rane Group and ZF TRW. The plant expects to generate 500,000 airbags annually. Click here to read an article about the plant opening on the The Times of India website. Posted August 24, 2015
University of Maine Research Could Help NASA Put Man on Mars. It's pleasing for those of us in the industry to see how technical textile products may be helping in space exploration. There is an article on the Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine, USA) website posted today about how the University of Maine is working closely with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on the development of the Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD). According to the article, "The HIAD is made up of a series of large inner tube-like inflatable rings called tori, arranged in the decreasing diameter and connected by fabric to form a cone shape." This could then be used on the outside of the spacecraft to slow the vehicle down as it enters Mars' atmosphere. The university is in the third year of a $750,000 four-year NASA grant to evaluate different styles of inflatable braided fabrics. It appears, too, this tori may a different style of the doughnut inflatable ring being tested around the middle of the re-entry vehicle. Click here to read the article. Posted August 24, 2015
Local Awning Company Featured. It's always nice to see a story about a small business in our industry. The Richmond Times-Dispatch (Richmond, Va., USA) has a feature about Watkins Awnings of Richmond. Fabric awnings represents about 70% of their sales. Business has increased 20% every year since he 2009. Click here to read the story posted on the Times-Dispatch website. Posted August 24, 2015
Pakistan Event Discusses Technical Textiles. Pakistan's National Textile University (NTU) announced a strong group of regional speakers for the upcoming Textile Asia 2015 trade exhibition taking place August 29-31, 2015 in Lahore, Pakistan. Speakers from NTU will include Prof Dr Tanveer Hussain, Dr Yasir Nawab, Dr Munir Ashraf, Dr Abher Rasheed, Dr Sheraz Ahmad and Dr Muhammad Tausif from UET Faisalabad Campus. They will be presenting talks on technical textiles, textile composite materials, self-cleaning textiles, e-textiles, non-destructive testing of textiles and nonwoven textiles. More than 100,000 corporate visitors are expected to attend the overall event. Click here for more information. Posted August 24, 2015
Internet Funding Effort Raises $720,000 to Save Moon Suit. The Smithsonian Institute located in Washington, D.C., USA, started a fund-raising 30-day campaign in July called "Reboot the Suit" to raise the $500,000 estimated needed to repair and display the spacesuit worn by astronaut Neil Armstrong when he made his 1969 historic Moon walk. Over the 46 years since the suit was worn, it has shown gradual deterioration and was in need of extensive repairs. The Internet fundraiser actually raised almost $720,000 from 9,500 contributors. The suit will be part of a 2020 museum display called "Destination Moon." The excess funds raised in the campaign will be used to repair and display the silver pressure suit worn by original Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard on NASA's first manned spaceflight in 1961. Click here to read more about the restoration effort on the space.com website. Posted August 23, 2015
A Closer Look at Wingsuits. You've probably seen videos of those crazy people who jump without a parachute; instead, they wear a bird-like wingsuit. The website for Men's Journal has a good concise article about the Aura 2 wingsuit made by Seattle-based Squirrel. While the article is about a specific type of wingsuit, it does a nice job of explaining how the wingsuit works. Our only complaint is that the Squirrel manufacturing website does not contain much information about the company itself. Would it hurt to list an address and the history of the company? Click here to read the Men's Journal article. Posted August 22, 2015
India-US Strategic Dialog in September Includes Technical Textiles. As we first reported in January, the first India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialog has been announced. The first meeting will be held September 22, 2015 in New Delhi. The US delegation will be co-chaired by Secretary of State John Kerry and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. The Indian delegation will be led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The objective of the dialog is greater convergence of trade through reducing investment barriers and streamlining commercial regulations to open new markets and facilitate new technologies. Technical textiles is one of the six targeted segments to be discussed. Click here to read an article posted on the Indian website The Business Standard for more information. Posted August 19, 2015
FTZ Board Issues Notice Production Request for Personal Flotation Device Manufacturer. An application requested has been submitted to the US Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by The Coleman Company, Inc., headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, USA, for its facility located in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, USA. The Coleman facility in Sauk Rapids employs 252 and manufactures personal flotation devices (PFDs). Coleman requested FTZ production authority in 2014 and, after an initial review, was approved subject to a restriction that precludes inverted tariff benefits on foreign textitle fabrics and cases/bags of textile materials used in production of PFDs and cushions for US domestic consumption. The new request seeks to remove the restrictions and also add several new components to Coleman's scope of authority. Click here to read the application notice posted on the Federal Register website. Posted August 19, 2015
Men, Protect Your Fertility with Technical Textiles. Oh dear. There's something new to worry about. Most men have never given the harmful side effects of electromagnetic radiation a thought as they go about their lives connected to their WIFI, smart phones and computers. Many men stick their cell phones in the front pants pocket. Not good. According to the Yahoo gadget website, the phones emit radiation which can affect a man's fertility. Once again technical textiles can provide a solution. A new men's underwear called Wireless Underwear, using a material called RadiaTex, is now available to shield and protect a man's most precious assets. Click here to read about the development. Posted August 19, 2015
Ford Replacing Fabric Airbag with Plastic. The Ford Motor Company website has a very interesting story on the planned replacement of passenger side knee airbag on the 2016 Mustang with an inflatable flexible bladder integrated into the glove box. According to the website: "To make the new knee airbag possible, Ford engineers developed and tested innovative materials, and construction techniques. Unlike a traditional fabric airbag, the new system consists of a pliable, injection-molded plastic bladder sandwiched between the inner and outer glove bax door panels." Click here to read the Ford website article. Posted August 14, 2015
Takata Future Analysis Discussed on CNBC World. Can Takata survive its exploding airbag fiasco? Scott Upham, a corporate strategist and market researcher for Valient Market Research, answered questions about the long-term outlook of airbag system maker Takata Corporation on the August 13 edition of CNBC's Asia Squawk Box. Click here to view the video. Posted August 14, 2015
Biblical-Inspired Tents Featured in Sydney Architectural Competition. According to the Australian website blouinartinfo.com., the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF) of Sydney is unveiling the 2015 edition of its "Fugitive Structures" temporary pavilion project on August 20. The 2015 project was created through a collective architectural effort by Sack and Reicher+ Muller of Tel Aviv and fabric expert Eyal Zur. The project is modeled after the traditional sukkah, a symbolic wilderness shelter used by the Israelites in their flight from Egypt. Very interesting. Click here for the article and more pictures. Posted August 13, 2015
Garware-Wall Ropes Net Profit Jumps 50%. According to a report posted on The Financial Express website, Garware-Wall Ropes Q1FY16 net profit jumped 50% to Rs.14.6 crores. Net sales grew by 20.5% in the quarter compared to last year. The 1st Quarter ended June 30, 2015. Garware is a manufacturer of technical textiles for the Indian and global markets. Management cited the expansion into new products and markets created the increased financial performance. Click here for reading more. Posted August 10, 2015
New Type of Bullet-Resistant Vests Being Developed in India. According to the website The Times of India, bullet-resistant vests for the Indian armed forces will become lighter by 2kg as researchers are working on replacing several layers Kevlar™ aramid fiber content with a polymeric liquid under a project being developed by the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization. The new liquid bullet-resistant liquid will be encapsulated by three layers of Kevlar but reducing the current number of layers from seven to four, making the vest much lighter. Average weight of the current vests are 3.8kg. Click here to read more. Posted August 10, 2015
June US Export Figures Show Continued Growth for Industrial Fabrics. The US Department of Commerce has released the June export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group. Comparing 12-month years ending June 30, the report finds a continued increase this year now growing to $201,098,000 from the previous year. This is up almost $50,000,000 from the increase shown in the May year-to-year report. Total US exports in Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group for the 12-month period ending June 30 is $4,220,291,000. Click here to see the entire report. Posted August 8, 2015
US Department of Defense Awards Shelter Contract. CAMSS Shelters, Kirkland, Washington, USA has been awarded a maximum $200,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery contract for commercial shelters. This was a competitive acquisition with 20 responses received. This is a one-year base contract and three one-year option periods. Location of performance is Washington, with an Aug. 6, 2016, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2015 through fiscal 2016 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [Publisher note: This is the third of an expected four large contracts awarded for shelters, the other two announced are Anchor Industries and Diamond Brand Canvas Products. The expected minimum value of the contract for each company is $25,000.] Posted August 8, 2015
Mission to Mars Space Wear Competition Narrows Selection. In June, a specialist jury selected 10 students from the entrants to go through the first round of the "Spacetex 2030" design competition. The competition is to design the "everyday" wear used by the space ship crew during the long voyage to Mars. It was created by the "Spacetex" research partners from the Hohenstein Institute (Bönnigheim - Germany), Schoeller Textil AG (Sevelen – Switzerland), Charité (Berlin – Germany) and DLR (Bonn/Bremen – Germany). Dr. Jan Beringer of the Hohenstein Institute in Bonningheim, Germany was the chair of the jury in the selection process. The winner(s) will receive prize money amounting to 3000 euros. Click here for a complete description of the project. Posted August 7, 2015
New Manufacturing Facility in Japan for Nonwoven Manufacturer. The China Chemical Fiber website posted that Asahi Kasei Fibers will be breaking ground on a new production facility for its Bemliese™ cellulose nonwoven fabric in Nobeoka, Miyazaki, Japan. Production is expected to begin in March 2017, adding 1500 tons/year of the mateterial to its existing 4000 tons/year. The material is used in the industrial, landscaping and liquid filtration markets. Click here to read the entire article. Posted August 6, 2015
TTP Negotiations Fail to be Final. How many times now after the conclusion of a round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement talks has the US negotiator come out and said in summarizing the talks "Significant progress has been made..." This happened again last week after the latest round was held in Hawaii. Many had expected this to be the finalization of the negotiations but the end result was no concluding deal was accomplished. Small but thorny issues continued on agreement sections like automotive parts, intellectual property, and dairy products. The textile section did not appear to be affected. US President Barack Obama has to be disappointed the economic and trade ministers of the 12 nations could not reach agreement. Now the issue will start to become an election campaign issue in both the US and Canada. The last chance before the election season hits full swing is the meeting scheduled for late August in Malaysia. Posted August 5, 2015
Safety Concerns Raised After Deadly Tent Collapses. ABC News has posted a short article on its website reporting on safety measures tent installers take to prevent the deadly tragedies like what happened on August 3 (see our August 4 post). ABC's affiliate station WLS interviewed spokespeople from Cirque du Soleil and Chicago Special Events Management on their installation techniques and safety measures. Good to see the quick positive response from the special events industry. It would be good, too, to see an immediate industry response from trade associations that represent the industry like the Tent Rental Division of IFAI and the American Rental Association. A tent failure for a company is also a failure for the industry in the eyes of the consumer. Click here to read the ABC posting. Posted August 6, 2015
NASA Testing Spacecraft's Parachutes in a Failure Situation. NASA is inviting the media to attend a test of the Orion spacecraft's parachutes that is being held August 26 at the US Army's Yuma Proving Grounds in Ariz., USA. An engineering model of the spacecraft will drop from an airplane 35,000 feet up to evaluate how it fares when the parachute system does not perform as expected. During the test, Orion engineers will carry out a scenario in which one of the spacecraft’s two drogue parachutes and one of its three main parachutes fail. Click here to read the press release. Posted August 5, 2015
Geosynthetic Industry Veteran Announces Retirement. It's hard to believe that Paul Barker is retiring. He has been in the geosynthetics business for 52 years, the last 28 with Agru America. Mr. Barker calm demeanor and stately manner characterizes the word "gentleman" in an otherwise fast-changing industry. He has been recognized by Agru America President Robert Johnson as helping grow Agru America into one of the geosynthetic leaders in the North American marketplace. Mr. Barker officially retires from the company on August 31. Click here to read a nice tribute to him posted today on the geosynthetica.net website. Posted August 4,. 2015
Public Tent Collapses in Two US Locations Kill Three People. Yesterday was a tragic day for the tent industry in the US. Severe storms hit a music concert in Illinois and a circus in New Hampshire that resulted in the collapse of tents and the killing of three people. In both instances, news reports have quoted officials saying they will be looking into the installation of the tent. The tent rental industry, through the work of the Tent Rental Division (TRA) of the industrial Fabrics Association International, has done extensive industry education on proper staking and ballasting of commercial tents. In 2004, TRA published The IFAI Procedural Handbook for the Safe Installation and Maintenance of Tents and in 2012 published a comprehensive ballasting study with guideline recommendations. Click here to read the report on the Illinois blowdown and click here to read about the New Hampshire collapse. Posted August 4, 2015
Southern Mills Files Patent Suit Against International Textiles Group. It's a bit confusing because Southern Mills is part of the TenCate Protective Fabrics group and International Textiles Group does business in this particular segment as Safety Components. Southern Mills is contending in its patent infringement suit that International Textile's infringement is in the manufacture of its Glide™ product. The complaint alleges that warp and fill weaving technques are used to present the Kevlar® fiber toward the wearer and the Blend Flame Resistant Fiber away from the wearer is part of its US Patent. Click here for more information. Posted August 4, 2015
Designer of NASA's Mars Parachute Interviewed. One of the reasons we love publishing BeaverLake6 Report is that it helps us find the people who make up the industry like Dr. Anita Sengupta. The website The Verge has a fascinating interview with Dr. Sengupta, the project manager for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Cold Atom Laboratory located in Pasadena, Calif., USA.. Dr. Sengupta's interview isn't really about how she helped design the 70-foot parachute for NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity but it is about how she got into her field. It's inspirational and contains the excitement and energy that is found throughout the industry. Click here to read the article. Posted August 2, 2015
US Nonwovens Company Acquired. The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C., USA) is reporting that Charlotte-based Avintiv is being acquired by Berry Plastics Group Inc. Avintiv was previously called the Polymer Group Inc. until a name change in June (see our June 17 post on the name change). Avintiv manufactures nonwoven materials with three areas of focus -- Infection protection, high performance solutions for infrastructure and transportation, and for personal hygiene such as wipes and baby diapers. It has operations in 14 countries and employs more than 4,500 worldwide. Berry Plastics is based in Evansville, Ind., USA. Click here to read the article. Posted July 31, 2015
Chile Chooses US-Made Fabrics for New Firefighter Turnout Gear. High-performance fabrics of Safety Components, Inc., Greenville, S.C., USA, have been selected for new turnout gear that will protect firefighters within The Republic of Chile. The order amounts to equipping about 6000 Chilean firefighters over a three-year period. Materials used will be Safety Component's Armor AP for the outer shell and the Glide Thermal for the liner. Click here to read an article about the purchase on the Fire Engineering website. Posted July 29, 2015
BBC Reports on Scottish Technical Textile Manufacturer Facility Decision to Expand into China. The British Broadcasting Corporation had an interesting article posted on its website today on two Scottish firms that have announced expansion plans in China. J&D Wilkie Ltd., one of the companies, is a vertical manufacturer of yarns, materials and finished products made from technical textiles. Finished products include radar camouflage textiles and flexible body armor marketed under the name Jack Ellis Body Protection. Wilkie is opening a new ₤3 million factory in Jianxing near Shanghai to enable it to expand its finished technical products offerings. Click here to read the BBC post. Posted July 29, 2015.
Sympatex Names New Vice President for North America. Sympatex Technologies, a manufacturer of high-tech materials for apparel functional applications, announced on July 24 it had appointed Derek Spingler as the new Vice President for North America. Sympatex is headquartered in Unterfohring, Germany, with a distribution office in Newburyport, Mass., USA. Click here to read the press release announcing Mr. Spingler's appointment. Posted July 28, 2015
US Commerce Department Releases New Technical Textiles Export Market Report. As part of the International Trade Administration's (ITA) new Top Market Series, the US Department of Commerce has published a 46-page export market report covering technical textiles and apparel markets. The study examines the US technical textile industry and highlights key markets that will see increased exports by US domestic producers, including a focus on past performance of exports and projects estimates for growth through 2016 in 8 countries. BeaverLake6 Report enthusiastically recommends the ITA's report. It's complimentary and can be download by clicking here. Posted July 27, 2015
Mobile App Developed for Calculations in Fabric Measurements. Here's something that will definitely be useful if you are going to ITMA in Milan later this year. Picanol NV is adding a calculator to a weaving application for mobile phones for determining fabric length and weight. The calculator helps you to estimate the length of warp yarn remaining on the warp beam as well as the total weight. Another calculator that was previously developed is the yarn-number convertor. Click here to read more about the apps. Posted July 27, 2015
Article Focuses on FR Protective Fabrics. There was an excellent article posted June 24 on the Innovation on Textiles website entitled "American Mills Focusing on Protective Fabrics for Energy Workers." The author, Debra Cobb, did a nice job in summarizing the current state of need for labor force flame-resistant gear protection. Click here to read the article. Posted July 26, 2015
Doomed Rocket's Cargo Could Have Been Saved If Parachutes Had Deployed. Two minutes into the June 28 launch of the SpaceX Dragon space capsule hauling needed supplies to the International Space Station exploded. The suspected cause of the explosion? An internal chain reaction cause by a 2-foot steel strut failure inside the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket. The company's founder and CEO Elon Musk said the $110 million worth of NASA equipment and supplies would have survived if the parachutes normally used for descent at mission's end could have been activated. The appropriate software, however, wasn't installed for this flight. In the future the rocket cargo space capsule will be equipped for deploying in a similar launch failure situation. Click here to read an article posted on the Florida Today website. Posted July 26, 2015
Amfuel Plans Expansion in Texas. American Fuel Cell and Coated Fabrics Company (Amfuel) has announced plans to expand with a new facility in Wichita Falls, Texas, USA, creating possibly 280 jobs. Based now in Magnolia, Arkansas, USA, Amfuel is a manufacturer of fuel cells for the aerospace industry and rubberized custom coated fabrics used in flexible bladders to store fuel and other liquids. Amfuel is owned by Zodiac Aerospace and has its origin as part of Firestone Fabrics Company. There is some question as to whether the Wichita Falls announcement is an actual expansion or is more a relocation of the Magnolia facility. Amfuel has been embroiled in a labor dispute with workers in Magnolia. Click here to read an article about the Wichita move posted on the Magnolia Reporter newspaper. Posted July 26, 2015
Private Investment Consortium to Purchase TenCate. Another private equity acquisition was announced this past week. In a joint press release issued by the management of Royal Ten Cate NV (TenCate) and Tennessee Acquisition B.V., the Dutch maker of materials used in protective clothing, geosynthetics and composites has agreed to be acquired. Tennessee Acquisitions will make a public offer for all outstanding shares. The offer memorandum is expected to be published in September or October, according to Loek de Vries, CEO of Ten Cate. The total purchase offer is expected to be €675 million ($732 million). One of the factors which may have led to the buyout was that Ten Cate reported a loss last year for the first time since 2001, primarily due to a down market for military armor products. In a separate press release dated July 23, TenCate reported 5% organic sales growth with net profit sharply higher. In strong sales positions were military protective fabrics, artificial turf and aerospace composites. Sales in industrial protective fabrics and geotextiles were affected by the reduced activity in the oil and gas industry. Click here to read the acquisition press release. Posted July 24, 2015
Alien Invasion or Cool Tent Innovation? We talked about these tents about a year ago but they are so cool, we just had to mention them again. The website aol.travel.uk has a short article on the incredible tents being made by a company called Tentsile located in the United Kingdom. The tents are designed to be erected off the ground and create less of an environmental impact. Click here to read the article. Posted July 25, 2015
Serge Ferrari Announces New General Manager for North America. We missed this announcement when the press release first went out a few weeks ago but it's worth noting: Serge Ferrari, a coated fabric and composite material manufacturer, has appointed Ilse Beterams as its new general manager for North America. Ms. Beterams is a 23-year veteran of the company, and her list of accomplishments includes many large projects such as overseeing the development of the structures using Ferrari fabrics at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Steve Frederickson, the national sales manager of Serge Ferrari North America, reports to Ms. Beterams. Posted July 16, 2015
Canadian Parachute Company Still Operating. Well, not exactly the same company is still operating. In May 2014, we reported Airborne Systems Canada Ltd. of Belleville, Ont., was ceasing operation in Canada in August 2014 due to a restructuring of its parent company. Managers and employees of the affected plant banded together and formed Miltex Solutions Canada. The new company has gone outside the niche of parachutes but stayed in technical textile products, providing specialized products to the Canadian military. One of their products is the Artic tent liner. Click here to read a nice article about the rise of this new company that was posted yesterday on the The Intelligencer website. Posted July 16, 2015
Highway Safety Administration Opens Probe on Second Airbag Manufacturer. If misery loves company, Takata should be dusting off the welcome mat for ARC Automotive Inc., another manufacturer of automotive airbag systems. Based upon reports of airbag ruptures in a 2004 Kia Optima and in a 2002 Chrysler Town and Country minivan, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced today it was opening an investigation into the inflators made by ARC Automotive. The company is headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., USA. In the Chrysler situation, the inflators were then provided to Key Safety Systems, another parts manufacturer, for assembly into the minivan's airbag system. Regarding the Kia Optima failure, according to the NHTSA website: "The air bag module in question was manufactured by Delphi and had a single stage ARC inflator. The root causes of the rupture is presently unknown. Presently, this is the only known incident involving the subject inflator in a Kia vehicle." The website said both inflators were hybrids and are no longer used. Click here to read the NHTSA probe announcement. Posted July 14, 2015
US Releases May Export Figures for Industrial Fabrics. The US Department of Commerce has released the May exports numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group. Comparing 12-month years ending May 31, the report finds an increase of $153.6 million this current year over the previous year. Mexico remains the US's strongest country of designation, accounting for about 48% of the exports, a slight drop in percentage from last month's comparison. Canada, China, Hong Kong and Japan are the other countries in the top five. Click here to see the entire report. Posted July 13, 2015
Sioen Ships a Container of Tarps Made by European Fabricators to Nepal. Congratulations to Sioen Industries NV for providing the fabric and to its customers for making tarps from Sioen technical fabrics which are desperately needed in Nepal. More than 100,000 m² of material were made into tarps and tents large enough to each provide temporary shelters for up to 10 people. It would be nice to see more material suppliers organize efforts like this. If you have a story on how your company helps in disaster situations, please let us know. Click here to learn who the fabricators were in this Sioen project. Posted July 14, 2015
The Role of 3D Printing in Geosynthetics. Our friend Chris Kelsey has a neat interview with Dr. Gary Fowmes on the development of 3D printing for geosynthetic materials. The interview is posted on the geosynthetica.net website. Dr. Fowmes is a Lecturer in Engineering Geology at Loughborough University's School of Civil and Building Engineering (Leicestershire, UK) and is also the Chairman of the United Kingdom Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society. Click here to go to the geosynthetica.net website to read the article. Posted July 13, 2015
Highlander Partners Acquires Twitchell Technical Products. Highlander Partners, L.P., a private investment firm based in Dallas, Texas, USA, has announced the acquisition of Twitchell Technical Products, LLC. Twitchell is a Dothan, Ala., USA, manufacturer of engineered polymer fabrics and coatings that are used in a diverse range of end products, including interior window shades, awnings, screens, wall and floor coverings, environment protection and containment products, and automotive components. Twitchell, currently owned by another private investment company affiliated with Capital Partners, will retain the current management team, led by President and CEO Jeff Register. Click here to read the Highlander Partners press release announcing the acquisition. Posted July 11, 2015
British Columbia Company Awarded $7.2 Million Contract to Supply Inflatable Boats. The Canadian Coast Guard has awarded a $7.2 million contract to Zodiac Hurricane Technologies Inc. of Delta, B.C., Canada, to supply 27 rescue boats. Boat construction will begin within the next month and will be finished by March 2017. Click here to read more. Posted July 7, 2015
Did Google Get It Wrong With Levi Apparel Partnership? There was a lot of excitement in late May when Google announced Project Jacquard, partnering with Levi Strauss to develop smart fashion jeans (see our May 29 post). However, we found an interesting article posted on the website Control Engineering Asia that argues Google got it wrong and Project Jacquard will go the way of Google Glass -- a lot of hype but no practical market. The article, basing research originally published by Lux Research, Inc., argues there is not enough compelling demand in fashion apparel to justify the additional cost to the consumer; instead, Lux researchers argue more value and and success in marketing smart textiles will come from applications in the medical products market. Click here to read the article. Posted July 6, 2015
China Company Unloads Barges Using Airbags. Loading and stacking huge containers are now problem when you are in a major port but what happens when you're unloading in an area that doesn't have crane facilities? There is an interesting article on the website maritimeprofessional.com about Eversafe Marine, a Chinese manufacturer contracted to provide airbags to unload two 1400-ton 300-foot barges made in China and shipped to Guinea. The 18 airbags used are 1.5 meters in diameter and used as pneumatic rollers to the shore when they launched the barge from the barge-carrier. Click here to read the article. Posted July 7, 2015
Johnston Textiles Liquidating Phenix City Plant. We are sorry to learn that the Johnston Textiles plant in Phenix City is being shut down. According to the Columbus Ledger Enquirer (Columbus, Ga., USA), the property and equipment are up for sale. Operating as Johnston Fabrics and Finishing, the company was producing material for the hospitality, industrial and technical textile markets. Click here to read the newspaper article. Posted July 2, 2015
Dye House Gets Sizeable Loan. The Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier (Biddeford, Maine, USA) reports the Saco River Dyehouse is the recipient of a $220,000 loan from the Maine Technology Institute. The company dyes 10,000 pounds of yarn monthly. The funding will be used to purchase new equipment which will allow the start in dyeing technical fibers for applications such as nylon cords and rope. Click here to read the article. Posted July 2, 2015
Army Waits a Decade for Bullet-Proof Jackets. You have to be patient for new equipment if you're trying to modernize the Indian Army. According to the website The Times of India, the Army is yet to receive the complete number of basic light-weight modular bullet-proof vests it originally ordered a decade ago. In October 2009, the nation's defence acquisition council cleared the purchase of the remaining 186,000 from the original order of 353,000. Still not delivered, the defence ministry announced an emergency procurement of 50,000 of the vests but even that procurement order hasn't produced the required vests. Click here to read the article. Posted July 1, 2015
Geosynthetics Manufacturer Announces Plans to Expand US Plant. According to the Charlotte Business Journal website, Huesker Inc. will invest more than $8.5 million to triple the size of its geosynthetics manufacturing facility. The company makes erosion-control products for the industrial and agricultural markets. The expansion will create 20 jobs at the facility located in Shelby, N.C., USA. Huesker Inc. is owned by Huesker Synthetic GmbH of Gescher, Germany. Click here to read the article. Posted July 1, 2015
DuPont Settles Two Nomex® Counterfeit Cases. We found an article on the ConstrutionWeekOnline.com website reporting that DuPont Protection Technologies has signed settlement agreements in two separate counterfeit cases invloving fake DuPont Nomex® protective apparel. The counterfeit products were sold into the oil and gas industries by Safety Depot of Indonesia and DeLUX and ASTOMA, a manufacturer in Slovakia. Click here to read more. Posted July 1, 2015
Picanol Creates Rapier Machine to Handle Heavy Weight Fabrics. According to a press release issued by textile equipment supplier Picanol, the company has extended the capabilities of its flexible rapier machine by creating a module to handle heavy fabrics such as canvas and filament filter. Click here to read the release. Posted July 1, 2015
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Contact us by clicking here and reserve this prime ad location.
October 8-10: 2018 AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition, Washington, D.C., USA
October 9-12: Nonwoven Fabric Property Development and Characterization, Raleigh, N.C., USA
October 10-11: 4th International Conference on Nonwovens for High-Performance Applications, Cannes, France
October 15-19: ITMA Asia + CITME 2018, Shanghai, China
October 15-19: CAMX, Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, Dallas, Texas, USA
October 16-17: GeoDallas 2018, Dallas, Texas, USA
October 16-18: IFAI Expo 2018, Dallas, Texas, USA
Click here to view the complete technical textiles events calendar that includes show information links.
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
Fiber Publication Acquired. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, today announced the acquisition of two leading industry publications: International Filtration News and International Fiber News. The association purchased the publications from International Media Group, Inc., based in Tempe, Az., USA. The purchase price and terms were not disclosed. The publications each have circulations of 8,000-plus domestic and international readers and have served their readers for over three decades. Both are published six times a year in print and digital formats. The acquisitions will expand INDA’s reach and relevance in the key markets the print and digital publications serve with a particular emphasis on the filtration and separation segment as INDA launches its new FiltXpo event to be held in Chicago every 18 months starting February 26-28, 2020. Click here to read the INDA press release on the purchase. Posted October 2, 2018
On September 24, 2018, US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the University of Rhode Island Business Engagement Center helped to launch the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN). The event was held in Pawtucket, R.I., US, at the Slater Mill Museum. RITIN is a trade group formed with the objective to guide the growth of the state's textile industry in the 21st century. "The Rhode Island Textiles Innovation Network is an innovative business partnership to help Rhode Island stay at the forefront of advanced textile manufacturing," said US Congressman David Cicilline. 14 companies of the state's textile industry participated in the meeting including American Cord & Webbing, Cooley Group, and Kenyon Industries. Click here to view a video of the opening address by Lori Urso, Director of Slater Mill Museum. [Note: The original post reported an incorrect the date of the meeting.] Posted September 28, 2018
Automotive Manufacturing Leading End Market for Technical Textiles Shipped to Mexico.
The United States and Mexico have reached a preliminary agreement that covers a substantial revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); specifically, the rules of origin for automotive parts. It is expected to incentivize billions annually in additional US vehicle and auto parts production.
To qualify for zero tariffs under NAFTA, the current rule of origin requires 62.5% of the automotive parts must be made in NAFTA countries (Mexico, Canada and US). The new agreement increases to 75% for the parts to avoid the tariff. What's intriguing is that we don't know if the countries still include Canada, a substantial manufacturer of vehicles and automotive parts. Regardless, this will most certainly be a boon for US technical textile manufacturers as almost 50% of US technical textiles exports goes to Mexico and automotive fabrics are the leading destination end-product segment in making products such as airbags, headliners and seating.
Sobering Thought. Despite the "first glance" optimism, there may well be concern this revision could backfire on the US and Mexico. As I previously noted in my 2018 State of the US Technical Textiles Industry (March/April 2018, Textile World), increasing the percentage of automotive component parts (plus a new requirement that 40-45% of the auto content be made by workers earning at least $16 per hour) could end up pricing Mexican-made vehicles out of the very competitive global marketplace. Mexico currently makes 3.4 million cars annually for the world market.
Mea Culpa. In my same article noted above, I honestly thought revisions to NAFTA would not get done in 2018 because of the elections going on in Mexico, Canada and the US. I underestimated the dodged determination of the Trump Administration to push this trade issue forward. Why Mexico has acted on it without Canada's input is still to be understood.
Click here to read the entire statement posted by the US Trade Representative.
Posted August 28, 2018
In a message to BeaverLake6 Report, JEC Group President Frédérique Mutel has confirmed she has stepped down at the leader of the composite trade organization that she has led since 1997. At the head of JEC since its creation, Ms. Frederique Mutel fully committed to the expansion of composites, was instrumental in the establishment of JEC as provider of high value knowledge and networking services. At the same time, conducting a strong international development. No replace has been announced.
On July 13, 2018, Ms. Mutel was promoted to the rank of Officer in the Order of the Legion of Honour by decree of the President of the France. A very deserving honor for a key leader in the development of the composites industry. Posted July 25, 2018
Are you looking for a quick understanding of the China technical textiles industry? Through our special relationship with China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) and their China Textile publication, BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to post the English-translation of the recently issued "Status Quo of China's Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Industry, 2017." The report covers the different levels of the industry, geographic export demographics, and forecast the needs in the major end market applications. Click here to read the report in our China Textile website section. Posted June 18, 2018
I am pleased to announce the second part of my report 2018 State of the U.S.Technical Textiles Industry has been published by Textile World magazine.
This first part features a general industry overview, plus an evaluation of the status and impact of US trade positions.
The second part, featured in the April/May issue will cover major end markets for technical textiles such as automotive and military.
Click here to go to the Textile World website to download a copy.
Steve Warner, Publisher
The joint owners of the ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 textile machinery exhibition have announced new dates for the 6th combined showcase to be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre in Shanghai, China. The new dates are October 15-19, 2018. According to show owners CEMATEX and Chinese partners, the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT (CCPIT-Tex), China Textile Machinery Association (CTMA) and China Exhibition Centre Group Corporation (CIEC), the shift in the exhibition dates is due to a new national initiative, which affected the scheduling of all events at the exhibition center in October. [Note: BeaverLake6 Report is an industry media partner for the show.] Posted February 11, 2018
In October at the IFAI Expo 2017, I had the opportunity to sit down with -- at the time -- incoming Glen Raven CEO Leib Oehmig for an interview that has now been posted on the Textile World website and will also be in their printed November/December issue.
I've known Mr. Oehmig for probably more than 20 years and have watched his steady management progression within the Glen Raven organization. During the interview, he was very gracious with his time at a busy show and transparent in answering questions on a far-ranging number of topics including the management transition from Alan Gant, Jr., to Mr. Oehmig, the first non-Gant family member to lead Glen Raven. Click here to read the interview and learn more about the thoughts of one of our industry leaders.
As the saying goes "Politics make strange bedfellows." Today we find more than one-third of the Senate Democrats urging the inclusion of key amendments in the US FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (2018 NDAA) that would strengthen the US government's "Buy American" policies.
Versions of the NDAA were recently passed by both the Senate and House and a joint committee is working out a single bill. The submitted Senate version, however, left out proposed key amendments designed to prevent the weakening of domestic sourcing for the US military. One amendment included the prevention for lifting of the restrictions in place for domestic sourcing of wearable electronic products and another amendment prevents certain exceptions to the Berry Amendment which would allow non-domestic sourcing through memoranda of agreement with foreign governments.
What's the "strange bedfellows" aspect? Well, "Buy American" is also one of the key positions taken by the Trump administration. So, we have both the Democrats and the Trump administration on the same side, trying to keep strong the US domestic capability for supplying the military. Strange bedfellows given the current political animosity in Washington...but still the cooperation is vital for the US domestic textile industry.
Posted November 3, 2017
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.
June 29. 2017
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:
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
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
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.
Posted January 17, 2016
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