BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

Archived Industry News

July 1 - September 30, 2017

DuraFiber Technologies US Polyester Facility Acquired.  PolyQuest, Incorporated and Straterra Holdings announced today the formation of Fiber Innovators International, LLC (a joint venture between the respective companies) that has acquired the former DuraFiber Technologies facility in Grover, N.C., USA. The company will continue to produce 500 denier and lower polyesterthreads at the facility. PolyQuest, a privately held company headquartered in Wilmington, N.C., is the largest distributor of PET resins in the U.S. and Canada. Straterra Holdings is a privately held company composed of former key management of DuraFiber Technologies, including CEO Frank Papa and CFO Erwin Bette. According to a source close to the acquisition, the new company is also looking at acquiring the remaining DuraFiber Technologies plant in Germany. Posted September 29, 2017

Nonwoven Producer Commits $9 Million to Expand Production Operations. Thrace-LINQ, a producer of nonwovens  used in a variety of textile applications, including geosynthetics, automotive, construciton and floor cover, has announced it is expanding its Summerville, S.C., USA, production facility. Construction should begin in the second quarter of 2018. Thrace-LINQ is a company within The Thrace Group, heaquartered in Athens, Greece. Click here to read the entire South Carolina Department of Commerce press release. Posted September 24, 2017

Custom Canvas Shop Featured in Local Newspaper.  There is a nice article posted on the Finger Lake Times website  (Finger Lake, N.Y., USA) on Geneva Awning & Tent Works. The company was founded 141 years ago as Warder Tent. At the time they made canvas sails for boats. The company has since expanded to renting tents and personalized awnings for residential and commercial buildings. Current owners Tom and Kim Ess took over the business in 2000. Click here to read the article. Posted September 24, 2017

Autoliv Initiates Strategy to Separate into Two Companies. The ripple affect in the airbag industry caused by the Takata fiasco is at the heart of the strategy by Autolive, Inc. to formally separate into two companies -- Passive Safety and Electronics. Passive Safety will contain the airbag systems, steering wheels and seatbelts segments of the company. This market segment is expected to grow from $20 billion in 2017 to $25 billion by 2025. Currently, Autoliv is the industry's leader with a 39% market share in passive safety products. Click here to read the company's press release on its strategic plans. Posted September 21, 2017

3 Emerging Trends for the Geogrids Market. At BeaverLake6 Report, we have always looked with skepticism at the plethora of technical textile "market studies" being offered by market research firms. There seems to be a report available for every conceivable niche technical textile market segment, and most, quite honestly, just take previously available public market information, re-package it, and then charge an outrageous price. There is one, though, that came across our desk today by Technavio which offers some valid observations in its summary description of the geo grid (and geosynthetics) market, citing 3 market drivers. The trends are not "earth-shattering" revelations but they are valid not only for the geosynthetics industry but also for many other product segments: 1) Increasing mergers & acquisitions; 2) Adoption of natural material over synthetic materials; and, 3) Increasing investments in research and development. Click here if you want to see more in the summary description of the report. Posted September 15, 2017

Parachute Manufacturer Sued by Family of Killed Special Forces Soldier. In September 2015 US Army Special Forces Captain James Ahn was killed in a training accident when his reserve parachute failed to open properly. A subsequent Army investigation found that parachute manufacturer Airborne Systems North America had missed sewing a 4-inch ring in a riser, which guides the cords connecting the parachute to the backpack. The family of Captain Ahn has now filed suit against Airborne Systems for wrongful death. Click here to read more about the suit. Posted September 15, 2017

Registration Opens for Middle East & North Africa Nonwovens Symposium 2018. EDANA, the European-based nonwovens trade association, has opened registration for the 4th edition of its MENA (Middle East & North Africa) Symposium.  The conference will be held February 6-7, 2018 in Dubai, U.A.E. The event will feature a trade show and an extensive educational track, showing the latest nonwoven industry trends and developments in technologies, markets and applications. Click here for more information. Posted September 14, 2017

Flax Cluster to be Established in Kaliningrad. The newsletter Textiles Eastern Europe is reporting in its September issue the Russian government will be providing subsidies for the establishment of flax production in the Kaliningrad region, the Russian province between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. According to the report, a significant part of the funds will be invested in a new flax processing plant. The majority of future production will be used for the medical, construction and military sectors. The newsletter is subscription-based. Click here to visit the publisher's website. Posted September 14, 2017

US Glove-Maker Files for Bankruptcy Protection. Work glove manufacturer Ironclad Performance Wear Corp. has filed for Chapter 11 US federal bankruptcy in California. The company plans to continue to operate as normal due to a $2 million debtor-in-possession loan from Radians Wareham Holdings, Inc., ahead of a planned Section 363 company assets sale to Radians for $20 million. Radians is a manufacturer of work safety apparel. Ironclad was founded in 1998 and makes task-specific work gloves for many end markets including construction and military applications. Click here to read an article on the filing. Posted September 14, 2017

Nonwovens Company to Open Second Plant in Kentucky. Nonwoven fabrics manufacturer WPT Corp. has announced it will open a $6 million plant in Beaver Dam, Ky., USA. The plant will manufacture nonwoven materials for the hygiene and filtration end markets. This is the second operation in western Kentucky. Other products made by the company include nonwovens for landscape fabrics, cable wrap, fire-retardant roof membrane and hot oil filtration media. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted September 13, 2017

Hexcel Launches $9.79 Million Project to Create New Carbon Fiber Fabrics. Composite manufacturer Hexcel Corporation announced yesterday it will be launching a new UK government-back £7.4 million research and development project -- MAXIM -- and expanding its manufacturing facility in Leicester, East Midlands, UK. The 4-year Multi-Axial Infused Materials (MAXIM) project, backed by the UK Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and match-funded by the UK Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, will be responsible for developing cost-effective materials and manufacturing solutions for large aerospace and automotive composite structures. Hexcel will be installing a state-of-the-art machine for carbon non-crimp fabrics development. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted September 13, 2017

SDL Atlas Names Exclusive Germany and Switzerland Distributor. SDL Atlas, a manufacturer of textile testing solutions, has announced that Vebotech GmbH is now the exclusive distributor for its equipment in Germany and Switzerland. Vebotech, with headquarters in Mönchengladbach, Germany,  has over 40 years of experience with textile testing equipment and the textile industry in Europe. Click here for more information about the announcement. Posted September 8, 2017

Status of US Geosynthetics Manufacturing After Hurrican Harvey. Our good friend Chris Kelsey, editor of the geosynthetica.com website has done a quick check on the impact of Hurricane Harvey in Texas on the ethylene production supply line the key ingredient to making geomembrane liners. More than 40% of ethylene production is done in the region devasted by the flooding. Conclusion is that while the storm did shut down much of the production for a few days, the industry appears to be already recovering. Click here to read his report. Posted September 8, 2017

After Investigation, FDA Tells Hospitals the 3M Surgical Warming Lanket is Fine to Use. After receiving complaints related to possible hgher surgical infection risk when using the 3M Bair Hugger surgical warming blanket, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated but has found no "conclusive" evidence of higher infections. Information released from the FDA recently showed that doctors and hospitals could safely continue to use the 3M forced-air warming blanket during surgery. This announcement comes after thousands of lawsuits were filed stating the devices increased the potential for serious surgical infections. The Bair Hugger device is a widely used system designed to help promote post-surgical healing while reducing the risk of infections. It does this by keeping a patient’s body a consistent temperature during surgery. Click here to read the press release. Posted September 6, 2017

Car and Driver Magazine Offers Look at New Material for Cars. Under the headline "Cabon Fiber is Old News", the publication Car and Driver has posted a very interesting and readable article about new materials which can be used inside automotive vehicles. "Smart textiles that detect an occupant's size, weight, temperature, and even mood, counteract fatigue, insulate the occupant from ambient noise, or simply change color." Click here to read this past-paced article. Posted September 6, 2017

Apple Applies for Three Fabric Patents for Apple Watch Bands. The US Patent & Trademark Office published 3 recent Apple patent applications regarding Apple Watch bands. One of the patents involves creating 3D braided fabrics that contain small embedded pockets. The second patent involves embedding electrical components. The third patent is for embedding sensing devices. Click here to read more posted on the IDropNews website with links to the actual patents. Posted September 6, 2017

New Airbag Plant in Vietnam. Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. announced August 30 its intention to build a new plant in Vietnam to meet growing demand for airbags as safety regulations become more stringent in regions around the world. The new plant will be established as a branch plant of Toyoda Gosei subsidiary Toyoda Gosei Haiphong Co., Ltd. (TGHP), and is expected to start production in July 2019. Click here to read more. Posted September 6, 2017

Dow DuPont Merger Complete. It's been kind of lost in industry trade news but the merger of chemical giants Dow Chemical and DuPont closed on August 31, 2017. The new company is called DowDuPont (DWDP). The company, however, is temporary. As it was originally intended when the two companies announced the merger two years ago, within 18 months DWDP plans to separate into 3 distinct companies -- agriculture, specialty products and materials. Almost all the fiber products known by the technical textiles industry including Kevlar®, Tyvek® and Nomex® will be found in the new specialty products company. Click here for more information. Posted September 5, 2017

To Cut Costs, 350 Fewer "Bulletproof" Vests Ordered by Indian State Police. Following a terrorist act in 2008 that exposed inferior ballistic armor vests used by its police force, the Indian state of Maharashtra had finally approved a request to procure 5,000 better vests from a Germany manufacturer. However, the Maharashtra police forgot about the Customs fee for foreign-made vests. As a result, the order had to be reduced to 4,650 vests. It seems there is government bureaucracy in every country. Click here to read the article posted on the Mubai Mirror website. Posted August 29, 2017

Automotive Seating Supplier to be Acquired. Adient PLC announced on August 21 it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Futuris Group. The purchase price is approximately $360 million. Privately held Futuris is headquartered in Oak Park, Mich, USA. Futuris is a manufacturer of fully integrated automotive seating and interior systems with operations in 15 facilities across North America and Asia. Its primary customers are Tesla, Ford and General Motors. Adient, headquartered in Detroit, Mich., is a 2016 spinoff from Johnson Controls, Inc. Like Futuris, Adient is a global automotive seat system provider with 75,000 employees operating 230 manufacturing/assembly plants in 33 countries. Click here for more information about the acquisition. Posted August 29, 2017

W. L. Gore Fined $3.3 Million by Korean Fair Trade Commission. US fabric producer W. L. Gore & Associates (Hong Kong) Ltd. has been fined over $3 million by the Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) for restricting sales of Gore-Tex clothes at big-store outlets to keep the price high for the material. According to the FTC report, Gore holds a dominating 60% share in the Korea fabric market for waterproof, breathable fabrics used in the outdoor industry. The relevant Fair Trade Act prohibits a company form unfairly imposing restrictions on its business partner's business activities. The period when this violation occurred was 2010 to 2012. Click here to report an article on the action. Posted August 29, 2017

Small Heart Monitor Pouch Company Thrives in $20bn Medical Equipment Industry. There's a very nice feature article posted on The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La., USA) website on EME Company, Inc., EME, headquartered in Prairieville, La., is a textile manufacturer that produces hospital and personal use fabric products used in labor and delivery, ambulatory monitoring, EKG, personal ID and personal security. The operations include narrow web knitting, circular knitting, dye/finishing, ultrasonic welding, heat welding, heat laminating, film printing, label printing, die cut and sewing. Click here to read the article. Posted August 27, 2017

New Graphene Association Announces the Launch of International Conference. The recently formed National Graphene Association has announced the organization of Graphene Innovation Summit & Expo, to be held October 29-31, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn., USA. Graphene is an ultra-thin two-dimensional layer of carbon that conducts electricity. Click here for more information about the association and the upcoming event. Posted August 25, 2017

Private Equity Company Acquires Tex Tech Industries. Arlington Capital Partners, a US private equity firm, announced yesterday it had acquired Tex Tech Industries, Inc. Tex Tech, headquartered in Portland, Maine, USA, is a manufacturer of a wide variety of woven and nonwoven technical textiles for end markets such as the military, filtration and aerospace. It has manufacturing operations in the US, Thailand and China. Click here for more information. Posted August 25, 2017

Russian Companies May Be Supplying Pyongyang with Aramid Fiber for Rockets. According to an article posted yesterday on the KoreJoongAng Daily website, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) may be illegally obtaining aramid fiber from a Russian company. The fiber is being used in its manufacture of casings for solid-fuel rockets The article quotes Michael Duitsman, a research associate with the US Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Mr Duitsman suggested that North Korea may be using the same fiber for its solid rocket casing as the type of fiber confiscated by Russian authorities in December 2016. Click here to read the article. Posted August 25, 2017

BRS Aerospace Appoints Fernando de Caralt as CEO. BRS Aerospace, a manufacturer of whole aircraft parachute systems, has named Fernando de Caralt as its chief executive officer. Mr. de Caralt had previously served as President and CEO of CIMSA Ingenierla de Sistemas, a parachute manufacturer located in Spain. BRS has supplied more than 35,000 parachute systems since its founding in 1980. It has manufacturing facilities in South St. Paul, Minn., USA and Pinebluff, N.C., USA. Click here to read the company's press release on the appointment. Posted August 24, 2017

Lest We Forget: Robert Chapman III Passes. Inman Mills CEO Robert (Rob) H. Chapman III, died August 23, 2017. He was 66. Mr. Chapman was 5th generation family leadership of Inman Mills, headquartered in Spartanburg County, S.C., USA. His cousin Norman Chapman is the company's president. Inman is a manufacturer of yarns and fabrics for a wide variety of usage including technical textiles for the military, protective clothing and automotive markets. Mr. Chapman had also recently completed serving as the president of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO). Click here for more information. Posted August 24, 2017

Senior Management Changes at Key Safety Systems. Key Safety Systems (KSS), the airbag manufacturer which recently acquired the Takata Corp's airbag manufacturing operation, has announced Jason Luo has resigned as president and chief executive officer. Mr. Luo has taken the position of corporate VP, chairman and CEO of greater China for Ford Motor Company. Yuxin Tang will now become executive director and interim president of KSS, effective September 1, 2017. KSS also announced the formation of a new interim management committees to oversee the company's operations and planned transaction and integration with Takata. Click here to read the KSS press release. Posted August 24, 2017

Raven Industries to Acquire Colorado Lining. Raven Industries, Inc., announced yesterday that it has signed an asset purchase agreement to acquire the assets of Colorado Lining International, Inc., headquartered in Parker, Colo., USA. The approximate purchase price is $14 million. Raven, based in Sioux Falls, S.D., USA, is a manufacturer of high performance flexible films for the geosynthetics, lighter than air, buildingand agricultural industries. Colorado Lining is a geomembrane fabricator and installer and will now be operating under Raven's Engineered Films division. Click here to read Raven's press release. Posted August 23, 2017

Energized Fabrics Could Keep Soldiers Warm and Battle-Ready in Frigid ClimatesMuch of the US Army’s cold-weather hand gear was designed more than 30 years ago, so soldiers often opt to buy more technically advanced winter gloves at retail stores. To keep military personnel more comfortable and battle-ready in bitterly cold climates, scientists are now conducting research aimed at creating high-tech fabrics that heat up when powered and that capture sweat. These fabrics could also conceivably make their way to consumer clothing in the future. The researchers are presenting their results today at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Washington, D.C., USA. Click here to read the ACS press release on the presentation. Posted August 21, 2017

Lest We Forget: André Rollin. One of the early advocates for the use geosynthetics was André RollinM.Sc.A., Ph.D., FEIC, FCSME. He passed away August 123, 2017 in Hudson, Que., Canada. Mr. Rollin was a geotechnical engineer and industry consultant, conducting research and promoting the applications of geosynthetics since the 1970s. He served on many organizing and technical program committees for important geosynthetic events over more than 40 years including the international geosynthetics conferences organized by the International Geosynthetics Society, the Industrial Fabrics Association International, and the North American Geosynthetics Society. Click here to read a nicely done obituary by Chris Kelsey on the geosynthetica.net website. Posted August 21, 2017

Southern Weaving Being Acquired. Andreas Oppermann, President of Oppermann GmbH, a global manufacturer of textile webbing products, has announced his intent to acquire the assets of Southern Weaving Company. In the near term, Oppermann plans to continue operating the Southern Weaving facilities located in Greenville and Anderson, S.C., USA. Oppermann GmbH will continue to service webbing markets from its existing production facility in Piedmont, S.C. while undergoing a plant expansion capable of merging Greenville production within the next year. Southern Weaving’s current Anderson facility is planned to remain in operation in support of existing markets, customers and products. Oppermann is headquartered in Einbeck, Germany, where it also maintains a production facility. The company also operates plants in the UK, China and Slovakia, as well as the Piedmont facility (Oppermann Webbing, Inc.). Its products are used over a wide spectrum of applications in many international market segments, including industrial, transportation, construction and aviation. Thanks to Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International for alerting us to the news. Posted August 17, 2017

Indorama Acquires DuraFiber Plants in Mexico and France. Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) has announced its intention to purchase DuraFiber Technologies México Operations, S. A. DE C. V. (DFT), makers of technical textiles for industrial, tire reinforcement and specialty applications as well as PET High Modulus Low Shrinkage (PET HMLS), PET Heavy Denier Industrial (PET HDI) and Nylon 6 which are used in tire cord, singly-ply roofing, tents, automotive airbags, seat belts, safety harnesses and ropes. IVL is also acquiring DuraFiber Longlaville in France. The acquisitions will significantly increased IVL's participation in the automotive market segment. Click here to read the IVL press release. Posted August 15, 2017

Toray Industries to Build Technical Textiles Plant in India. According to The Hindu Business Line, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced today that Toray Industries will invest $146.7 million in a new manufacturing facility in the southern Indian state to make technical textiles. The plant will be located in Sri City. The facility will be part of Toray's India Expansion Plan. Click here to read the article. Posted August 11, 2017

US Structure Manufacturer Acquires $24.2 Million in Assets from Large Party Tent Supplier. Mahaffey Fabric Structures, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., USA, has announced its acquisition of $24.2 million in assets from Classic Party Rentals, once the largest commercial tent renter in the US. The acquisition amounts to 3.1 million square feet of tent and structure inventory. Classic Tent will continue to operate, primarily in the southwest US. With the asset purchase, Mahaffey, already a major fabricator of commercial fabric structures, becomes the largest tent rental (marquee hirer) supplier in North America. Click here to read more on the acquisition. Posted August 6, 2017

June US Technical Textiles Export Figures Released by Department of Commerce. The US Department of Commerce released today the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end June 30. The overall global export figure showed improved results over the previous month's release, increasing by almost 1.5% over the same period last year.  Mexico, the top destination for technical textiles exports, has continued it slight month-by-month decline. China, the 3rd largest destination for exports, showed a large 17.59% increase. Click here to see the entire report. 

 

 

Year Ending

6/2016

Year Ending

6/2017

 

% Change

Mexico

2,087,166

2,076,381

-0.52

Canada

554,539

566,110

+2.09

China

160,552

188,795

+17.59

Hong Kong

136,557

124,441

-9.87

United Kingdom

91,119

100,874

+10.71

World 4,080,980 4,141,593 +1.49

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted August 5, 2017

US Army Exercises Contract Option with Spider Silk Developer. Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc., a  developer of spider silk based fibers, announced August 2 that the US Army awarded the optional phase of its contract with the company valued at more than $900,000. Under this exercised option, the Kraig Biocraft will work to design, produce, and deliver additional recombinant spider silk materials tailored for the protective needs of soldiers. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., USA. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted August 4, 2017

Gehring-Tricot Subsidiary Expands to New Facility. According to an article posted on The Herald News website, Tweave, a manufacturer of stretch high performance sports fabric, is moving from its Norton, Mass., USA location to a larger facilty in Fall River, Mass. Tweave's markets include military and industrial applications. It is a subsidiary of Gehring-Tricot, acquired in 2008. Click here to read the article. Posted August 4, 2017

Another Awning Saves a Toddler. It's happened again. A toddler falls out the window and bounces on the fabric awning below, being saved from serious injury. This time it was in Bushwick, Brooklyn, N.Y., USA. A two-year old girl survived a 3-story fall when she landed on a store awning beneath her apartment window. Click here to read the story. Posted August 2, 2017

Russia is Developing a Parachute System to Airdrop Armored Vehicles with Personnel Inside. According to the Russian news agency TASS, the Russian Airborne Force is getting a new Bakhcha-UPDS multi-cupola parachute system in 2018. The parachute system will make it possible to air-drop the BMD-4M airborne infantry fighting vehicle. What's unique about the plan is that the crew will already be strapped into the vehicle when it is dropped from the transport plane, making it operation-ready as soon as it hits the ground. Click here to read the Russian article at the TASS website. Posted August 1, 2017

Wearable Shirt for Cows Keeps Them Cooler in Summer, Producing More Milk. This was recently posted by Lina Rambausek on the Smart Textiles group page in LinkedIn. A Japanese underwear manufacturer Gunze Ltd., in partnership with the Kyoto Prefectural Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Technology Center, has developed a high-tech garment to keep cows from overheating. If a cow is heat-stressed, it produces less milk. The wearable shirt fits over the cow's neck and shoulders and has sensors that monitors the moisture of the material. If it senses the material is too dry, water is pumped through a tube to douse the animal, cooling the hide. Every day technical textiles is solving a problem. Click here to read more. Posted August 1, 2017

Glen Raven to Buy Sunbury Textiles. In a press release issued today, Glen Raven, Inc. announced it is acquiring Sunbury Textile Mills, headquartered in Sunbury, Penn., USA. Sunbury is a manufacturer of decorative jacquard fabrics. The company has already had a 20-year relationship with Glen Raven, having an exclusive license to produce Glen Raven's Sunbrella® fabrics for the outdoor/indoor furniture markets. Under the agreement, Sunbury will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Glen Raven, Inc. and will operate as part of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, LLC. Click here to read the press release. Posted August 1, 2017

Italian Textile Machinery Sales Shows Significant Increase for 2nd Quarter of 2017. According to data compiled by ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, the order index for textile machinery during the period from April to June rose by 26% compared to the same period in 2016. The significant increase was in the Italian domestic market at +66%; however, even the foreign markets increased 22%. ACIMIT president Alessandro Zucchi expressed the satisfaction of the entire sector: “The data confirms that a recovery is currently underway for our domestic market. This is the third consecutive quarter that the order index is on the rise.” Posted August 1, 2017

More Robotics and Need for Trained Sewing Machine Operators Highlighted in Article. There is an interesting article posted on the technology website ZDNet on the growing trend of robotic sewers in the US as some end product manufacturing from companies like Nike and Adidas is coming back to the domestic shores. To be competitive, the US fabricators are turning to more robotics such as Atlanta-based SoftWear Automation's "Sewbots."  There is also a shortage of trained sewing operators.  The Industrial Fabric International Association's sewing training program is mentioned in the article. Click here to read the article. Posted July 29, 2017

Foss Manufacturing Sells Its Nonwovens Technical Textiles Division. Foss Manufacturing Company, LLC announced July 28, 2017 it has sold its Northern Division, which manufacturers needle punch nonwoven materials in Hampton, N.H., USA for automotive, craft and industrial applications, to AstenJohnson Holdings, Ltd. The new name of this division under AstenJohnson will be Foss Performance Materials. At the same time, the remaining independent independent Foss Manufacturing is rebranding to become Foss Floors. It is headquartered in Rome, Ga. USA. Posted July 28, 2017

Inflatable Boat Procurement Problems for Canadian Military. There's an interesting article posted on the CBC News website regarding the problems the Public Services and Procurement Canada has had in procuring 350 new inflatables landing craft for the Canadian military. The first request for competitive bids was issued in May 2016, was revised in July 2016, and then cancelled after questions from the industry regarding the expected performance specifications. The department then issued a second tender in November 2016 and received 4 bidders. In January 2017, the contact went to Zodiac Hurricane Technologies Inc. of Delta, B.C, for about $6.4 million. But then came accusations of fair bid evaluation conduct. The department has now decided to cancel the Zodiac deal and start over again. Click here to read the article. Posted July 28, 2017

Newtex Acquires HIgh Temperature Fabic Distributor. US manufacturer Newtex , a producer of high temperature materials, announced yesterday that it has completed its acquisition of Thermostatic Industries, Inc., a Huntington Park, Calif., USA distributor of high temperature textiles and fabricated heat shield products. This acquisition adds a West Coast distribution for Newtex. The purchase of Thermostatic also gains Newtex the distribution rights to 3M's Nextel industrial materials. Click here to read the Newtex press release. Posted July 27, 2017

Bigelow Expandable Activity Module is Functioning in Space. Do you remember our posts last May about the launch and placement of the fabric Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) for the International Space Station (ISS)? It was only a prototype and expected to be tested for two years, then detached and left to burn up in the atmosphere. However, after being in space a full year, it has performed so well NASA says there is really no reason to throw it away and the new plan is to use BEAM as a storage module for as long as the ISS continues to operate. Meanwhile Bigelow Enterprises, the maker of the BEAM, plans to build a 20 times bigger module called the B330, intending it to be used as a stand-alone space station. Expected launch date is in 2020. Click here to read a post about the success of BEAM on the NPR website. Posted July 27, 2017

Canada's Transportation Safety Board Recommends Mandatory Personal Flotation Devices Be Worn on Commercial Fishing Vessels. Upon releasing its finding of a 2016 commercial fishing tragedy which claimed two lives, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) recommends to the government of New Brunswick that it requires crews on fishing vessels to wear suitable personal floatation devices (PFDs) at all times on deck. Currently, New Brunswick is one of only two provinces which does not have a mandatory PFD requirement for fishing crews. Click here to read an article posted on the Markets Insider website. Posted July 27, 2017

Lest We Forget: Former ITG President Dies. International Textile Group (ITG) former President and CEO Joseph L. Gorga died unexpectedly on July 22, 2017. He was 65 years old. Mr. Gorga was named president and CEO of the Greensboro, N.C., USA, company upon its formation 2004. ITG has 5 companies under its management, including Burlington Labs and automotive safety products fabric supplier Safety Components International. During his industry career, Mr. Gorga had also served in voluntary leadership positions including as a director and vice chairman of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) and chairman of the National Textile Association. Click here to read his obituary in the Triad Business JournalPosted July 26, 2017 

Strata Systems Announces Retirement of Company Co-Founders. Our good friends at geosynthetica.net are reporting global geosynthetics manufacturer Strata Systems, Inc. has announced company co-founders Chip Fuller and Rich Enger are retiring. Also retiring is the company's long-time Project Manager Dave Butchart.  Mr. Fuller and Mr. Enger co-founded the company in 1994. In 2009, the company was acquired by Glen Raven Technical Fabrics. Congratulations to all three for a lifetime of service in growing the applications and acceptance of geosynthetics. Click here to read the short post on the geosynthetica.net website. Posted July 26, 2017

Saint-Gobain Acquires German Scrim Manufacturer. Advance fabric manufacturer Saint-Gobain has announced its acquisition of Kirson, a major European producer of reinforced scrim and combination products of scrim and nonwoven fabrics. In 2016, Kirson revenues reached 27 million euros. The acquisition is pending German government antitrust review. Click here to read the company press release. Posted July 26, 2017

Labor Issue Settled at Trelleborg US Plant. The union representing Trelleborg AB workers at the company's Fair Haven Heights plant in New Haven, Conn., USA, have approved a new contract. Trelleborg, a Swedish-based coated fabrics manufacturer, had recently acquired the plant through its purchase of Uretek. This was the first contract with the workers since the purchase and the employees were concerned about lost benefits and the removal of job protection language from previous contacts. Workers started picketing the plant as the old contract was set to expire (see our June 24 post). While Telleborg remained firm on several key issues in the new offered contract, the company did offer increased wages and improved some minor working conditions. The union passed the new contract on July 1 with a near unanimous vote. Click here to read an article on the issue posted on the New Haven Independent website. Posted July 24, 2017

New FHWA Report Estimates Construction Costs Grew By 68% in Past 13 years. If you supply geosynthetics or other materials to help maintain the US infrastructure, you may be interested in the report the US Federal Highway Administration released on July 19. The report is the National Highway Construction Cost Index, which is a quarterly estimate of the rising cost of domestic highway construction and maintenance over time. It is the first time the Index has been published since the agency made major methodological revisions to improve its accuracy. The new report shows construction costs today are up by 67% from similar costs in 2003. Click here to read the FHWA press release and find out more about the report. Posted July 24, 2017

Firefighter Protective Clothing Maker to be Acquired. MSA Safety Inc., headquartered in Pittsburgh, Penn., USA, has announced its intention to acquire Globe Holding Company LLC, in an all-cash transaction valued at $215 million. Globe, based in Pittsfield, N.H.,, is the US's largest provider of firefighter protective clothing and boots, with annual revenue of approximately $110 million. Click here to read the MSA press release. Posted July 15, 2017

US Department of Defense Report Finds More than $453 million in Procurement Contracts Not in Compliance with the Berry Amendment and Buy American Act. Not a good report: On July 7, the Office of Inspector General (IG) at the US Department of Defense released its audit of the Defense Logistics Agency to determine whether DLA personnel complied with the Berry Amendment and the Buy American Act. The IG reviewed a non-statistical sample of 88 contracts with an obligated value of $386.9 million, out of 2,382 contracts across DLA with an obligated value of $700.4 million, awarded from October 1, 2014, through March 31, 2016.  DLA contracting personnel complied with the Berry Amendment for 13 of the 32 contracts reviewed. However, DLA personnel at 3 of the 4 contracting offices visited did not comply with the Berry Amendment for the remaining 19 contracts, valued at $453.2 million. Click here to read the IG report. Posted July 15, 2017

DuraFiber Technologies Announces Next Steps for U.S. Plants. DuraFiber Technologies, a global supplier of high-tenacity polyester fibers, engineered fabrics, sewing threads and advanced materials, announced yesterday that it has taken the next steps to prepare its US production facilities in Salisbury, N.C., Shelby, N.C., and Winnsboro, S.C. to be idled if a buyer is not identified by September 11, 2017. The actions follow a series of initiatives to lower production costs in response to increased competition in the textile industry, as well as a thorough review of strategic alternatives, including potential asset sales. DuraFiber's international operations in France, Germany, and Mexico are unaffected by this announcement and will continue to operate as usual. Click here to read the press release. Posted July 14, 2017

Texas Establishes Grant Program to Finance 50,000 Ballistic Vests for Law Enforcement Officers. On the one-year anniversary of 5 Dallas police officers killed even though wearing ballistic vests, the US State of Texas has formally opened a $25 million grant program, allowing law enforcement agencies in the state to purchase rifle-resistant body armor. Texas Governor Greg Abbott had formally signed the funding bill in late May. According to a report on the Dallas Morning News website, "rifle-resistant vests cost about $500 and last approximately five years, meaning the grant program can supply about 50,000 vests to Texas officers." The agencies have until September 6, 2017 to submit their applications. Click here to read the website article. Posted July 10, 2017

Honda Develops Airbag for Its Scooters. While airbags have been available as an option for motorcycles for the last decade, the smaller compact scooters haven't had the same availability until now. At the Honda Meeting 2017, held June 5-7, 2017, the company showed its new technologies, including the development of an airbag for its motorbikes. Made in collaboration with Autolive Inc., a supplier of automotive airbag safety systems, the scooter airbag can deploy in 0.04-0.05 seconds. Click here to read an article about its development on the Solar Power Plant Business website. Posted July 10, 2017

Crypton Names New Vice President of Marketing. The Crypton Companies, a provider of performance fabrics in the contract, home furnishings and apparel markets, has announced it has hired Matt Targett as Vice President of Marketing. This is a new position and he will be based in the company’s Bloomfield Hills. Mich., USA, office. The Crypton Companies have patented and branded environmentally responsible textile performance solutions since 1993. The company’s flagship product, CRYPTON ® Fabric, is used in the healthcare, hospitality, government, education and contract segments. Posted July 10, 2017

Ballistic Vest Manufacturer Featured on Business Website. Crain's Detroit Business website has an informative article on the rise of Armor Express Inc. from the ashes of bankrupted Second Chance Body Armor. In 2004, Second Chance Body Armor was the largest supplier of ballistic vests to US law enforcement but was forced to file for bankruptcy that year when it was discovered the fiber being use, Zylon made by Toyobo, degraded faster than had originally been expected and the company was forced to recall 120,000 vests. The material was subsequently decertified by the National Institute of Justice for use in vests. Armor Express, based in Central Lake, Mich., USA, started up a week after Second Chance's sold its assets in 2005 to Armor Holdings, Inc., parent company of Armor Express. The company now employs 157 people with annual revenue close to $30 million. The founder, Matt Davis, son of 2nd Chance's founder Richard Davis, says Armor Express' vests are worn by 800,000 police officers. Click here to read the article. Posted July 10, 2017

De Boer Acquired by Losberger. We missed this when it was announced in late May but it is still very much worth noting: Two of the major fabric event structure fabricators in Europe are joining together with the acquisition by Germany's Losberger Holding GmbH of The Netherlands' De Boer Structures Holding DV.  The new combined company will be called Losberger De Boer GroupThe combination of Losberger and De Boer, which will have a joint turnover of approximately $377 million and employing about 1,200, will result in a leading company in the rental and sale of temporary accommodations in the Industrial, Event, and Rapid Deployment Systems (RDS) market segments in Europe, with strong positions in the Middle EastUSAChina and South America. Click here to read the Losberger press release on the acquisition. Posted July 6, 2017

OMNOVA Reports Growth in Second Quarter, Problems with Chinese Coated Fabrics Operations. Despite reporting a net sales14% growth in the 2nd Quarter, OMNOVA Solutions Inc., a chemical and coated fabric producer headquartered in the US, reported a net loss due to its coated fabrics operation in China.  According to its press release announcing 2nd Quarter results, Anne Noonan, OMNOVA's President/CEO said: "We are considering all options as we proactively address our unprofitable China coated fabrics business. We expect resolution before the end of July 2017."  Earlier this year, OMNOVA realigned its businesses into two segments: Specialty Solutions and Performance Materials. Specialty Solutions includes coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers, nonwovens, laminates & film, and oil & gas. Performance Materials represents more mature markets including coated fabrics, tire cord and carpet. Click here to read a report on their financial outlook. Posted July 6, 2017

Indian Defence Force to Acquire Advance Surveillance Balloons. Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd., a manufacturer of technical textiles for the Indian and global markets, announced the signing yesterday of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel's Aero-T with the intention to combine their capability for manufacturing and supplying advanced aerostats for the Indian defense force. Aerostats are surveillance balloons equipped with radar and other detection devices that are tethered and capable of reaching altitudes of up to 15,000 feet. Click here to read more on the Indian Defence Aviation Post website. Posted July 6, 2017

Overall US Exports of Technical Textiles Flat but China's Share is Growing. The US Department of Commerce released today the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end May. The overall global export figure showed flat results at -0.19%. China, however, continues its trend these last few months to come on strong with a 14.9% increase from the previous year. Mexico, our largest export country, saw a drop of 1.6%. Click here to see the entire report. 

 

 

Year Ending

5/2016

Year Ending

5/2017

 

% Change

Mexico

2,099,286

2,066,040

-1.58

Canada

558,190

562,309

+0.74

China

160,817

184,745

+14.88

Hong Kong

137,765

124,263

-9.80

United Kingdom

91,637

97,982

+6.92

World 4,116,122 4,108,374 -0.19

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted July 6, 2017

Interview Reveals Key Safety System Wanted Takata's Seat Built Business. Crain's Detroit Business website has just published a really interesting article about Key Safety System's year-long pursuit of Takata Corp, beating out its rival and 10-times bigger airbag maker Autoliv. The interview revealed Key Safety's objective was not the airbag business but rather Takata's seatbelt business which accounted for about $2.6 billion in revenues last year. Click here to read the interview. Posted July 3, 2017

Toray Reported to be Buying 30% of Pacific Textiles. The Nikkei Asian Review is reporting Japanese textile maker Toray Industries is acquiring a 30% stake in Pacific Textiles, the world's largest knit fabric supplier. Total price is estimated at $536 million. Pacific Textiles is based in Hong Kong. Click here to read the article. Posted July 3, 2017

American Flag Manufacturer Featured as US Readies for Celebrating Its Independence Day. As those in the United States get set to celebrate our Independence Day tomorrow, the Miami Herald today featured a nice story about a Freedom Flag and Banner, a Miami, Fla., US company which has been making American flags since 1989. Over the last 28 years, Barbara Dabney, founder and owner, has made flags that represent more than 300 countries and territories. Ms. Dabney says her business is like a barometer of the latest news. After 9/11, she was making up to 400 flags a day. Other world events produce demand for other country flags. Click here to read the article. Posted July 3, 2017

US Technical Textile Distributor Acquires Pacific Coast Fabrics. Indiana-headquartered Top Value Fabrics (TVF), a distributor of industrial, print media and recreational fabrics, has announced its acquisition of Pacific Coast Fabrics (PCF), a distributor of digital and apparel textiles, based in California. Both companies source internationally and also have partner relationships with textile mills in Europe. TVF is primarily a distributor of vinyl coated fabrics and mesh. Its partner mill is Aurich Textiles. PCF's partner mill Georg+Otto Friedrich makes warp-knitted fabrics for a range of end markets. Click here to read the TVF press release. Posted July 3, 2017

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Coming Events

  • September 26-27: 2018 SPESA Executive Conference, Louisville, Ky., USA

  • September 27-28: 5th Digital Textile Congress 2018, Ghent, Belgium

  • October 2-3: Filter Media Training Course, Philadelphia, Penn., USA

  • October 2-4: Filtration 2018 International Conference & Exposition, Philadelphia, Penn., USA

  • October 7-8: 2018 Southern Textile Research Conference, Myrtle Beach., N.C., USA

  • 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.

New Trade Deal with Mexico is Good News for US Textile Industry

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. 

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Posted August 28, 2018

Frédérique Mutel Stepping Down as JEC President

Frederique Mutel

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

State of the Chinese Technical Textiles Markets in 2017

Are you looking for a quick understanding of the China technical textiles industry? Through our special relationship with China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) and their China Textile publication, BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to post the English-translation of the recently issued "Status Quo of China's Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Industry, 2017." The report covers the different levels of the industry, geographic export demographics, and forecast the needs in the major end market applications. Click here to read the report in our China Textile website section. Posted June 18, 2018

Report Published on the US Technical Textiles Industry

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

New Dates for ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 Textile Machinery Show

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

New Glen Raven CEO Interviewed for Textile World Magazine

CEO Leib Oehmig

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.

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

"Buy American" Amendments Needed in US FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act

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. 

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Posted November 3, 2017

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.

 

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

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

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