BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

Archived Industry News

July 1 - September 30, 2018

Awning and Tent Company Featured for Its 141 Years in Business There is a nice article on the Springfield News-Sun website that features Glawe Awnings and Tents of Fairborn, Oh., USA. The company is a regional fabricator and installer of commercial display tents as well as awnings and other custom products. It's history dates back to 1877. The website also has a video featuring CEO Vern Schaefer, recalling the history of the company and the technology advances today that keeps it competitive. Service to bettering the industry itself is in the family DA. Mr. Schaefer, his daughter Katherine Schaefer and his son-in-law Thomas Fridley have all held the top volunteer leadership position in the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Click here to read the article and view the narrative video. Posted September 28, 2018

Marine Corps Awards $62.6 Million Contract for Next Generation Body Armor Plate Carriers. Vertical Protective Apparel LLC, Shrewsbury, N.J., USA, has been awarded a ceiling $62,612,464 five-year, firm-fixed-price,contract for the purchase of up to 225,886 Plate Carrier Generation IIIs and data reports. Work will be performed in Shrewsbury, N.J., and is expected to be completed by September 2023. The PC Gen III body armor system features a 25% weight reduction and has additional modularity to make it application for different needs. Additionally, it will be available in 8 sizes, including 3 smaller sizes than the current vest, to make it a more customized fit. Interestingly, the new vest material is using a laser cut material that only absorbs 7% of water compared to 70% of the previous legacy system. Click here to read more.  Posted September 28, 2018

$30 Million Military Cot Contract Awarded. North American Manufacturing, Scranton, Penn., USA, has been awarded a maximum $30,000,000 contract for military folding cot by the US Defense Logistics Agency. This was a competitive acquisition with one response received. This is a two-year base contract with three one-year option periods. Location of performance is Pennsylvania, with a Sept. 25, 2020, performance completion date. Using customers are Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and other federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2018 through 2020 defense working capital funds. Posted September 26, 2018

"Floating" Backpacks Being Evaluated by US Military. The website Military Times has an interesting article about a product made by start-up US manufacturer Lightning Packs. The company has developed a backpack using what they call Suspended Load Technology. The pack uses a double-frame and pulley system that "floats" the pack up and down on a plastic rail, reducing the impact of the load on the body by a reported 80-90%.  According to the Military Times website, the US military is evaluating the potential of the backpacks. Click here to read the read. Posted September 24, 2018

Interactive Website Launched to Showcase NASA-Influenced Technologies.  The National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) has launched a website called Home and City that showcases 130 spinoff technologies now found in everyday life. Products include a number of examples of technical textile materials used in firefighter protective gear, membrane structures, ballistic vests, and medical products, including a unique pressure garment that is now used to save thousands of women around the world from post-birth bleeding. The website is a good basic introduction to inspire new workers and students on the impact of our industry. Click here to go to the interactive site. Posted September 21, 2018

Federal Prison Industries Awarded $110 Million Tactical Vest Contract.  Federal Prison Industries Inc., Washington, D.C., USA, (also known as UNICOR) was awarded a $110,231,607 firm-fixed-price contract for interceptor body armor and outer tactical vests. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 29, 2023. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Posted September 21, 2018

US Army Contract Awarded from Flame-Resistant Trousers.  Bethel Industries, Inc., Jersey City, N.J., USA has been awarded a maximum $65,320,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for flame resistant trousers for the Army Combat Uniform. This was a competitive acquisition with 12 responses received. This is an 18-month base contract with one one-year option period. Maximum dollar amount is for the life of the contract, including the option. Location of performance is New Jersey, with a March 18, 2021, estimated performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2018 through 2021 defense working capital funds. Posted September 21, 2018

Russian Military Claims Textile Materials Developed to Make Helmets Invisible.  The website Innovations in Textiles has posted an interesting article that reports "A new textile material has been recently designed by the Russian military and industrial corporation Rostec to mask soldiers and military equipment...the new material has chameleon like properties and can adapt to the colour of the environment." The investment cost of the material is estimated to be $100-150 million. Click here to read the article. Posted September 21, 2018

Final Mars Spacecraft Parachute Tests Completed. On September 12, 2018, the National Aeronautics Space Agency (NASA) has completed the final of 8 tests of the parachutes being used for the Orion Mars spacecraft. Early indications are the testing of all parachutes were successful. The system has 11 parachutes configured in 4 sets, uses a total of 36,000 square feet of parachute canopy material and has 30 miles of Kevlar lines. Parachutes are deployed in sequence from 300 miles-per-hour to 20 mph. The tests were done using a mock Orion spacecraft dropped from 6.5 miles above the surface. Click here to read a report posted on the Space website. Posted September 15, 2018

Overview of Trelleborg's Recent Expansions.  There is a nice concise article posted on the Rubber News website that details the recent acquisitions of Swedish manufacturer Trelleborg Engineered Coated Fabrics.  The most recent acquisitions have been Laminating Coating Technologies Inc. (Lamcotec) and Dartex Holdings Ltd. Lamcotex makes polyurethane coated and laminated fabrics used in the aerospace industry and Dartex makes coated fabrics for the health care and medical markets. Click here to read the article. Posted September 15, 2018

Kolon Increasing Aramid Fiber Production by 50%. Korea-based Kolon Industries has announced its intention to increase production of the Aramid fiber made under its Heracron brand by 50%. By the 1st quarter of 2020, when the expansion is completed, the annual capacity of the Gumi aramid manufacturing plant will increase from the current 5,000 tons to 7,500 tons. The demand is due to 1) increased demand from global manufacturers in markets such as optical fibers and tire cords, and 2) the company's aim to enter the North American market. The production increase represents an investment of about $18 million. Click here to read more on the Business Korea website. Posted September 15, 2018 

US Tent Maker Acquires Additional Space for Production Facility.  Celina Tent, Inc. has acquired new production space in St. Marys, Oh., USA. The new space is in a former large retail store building, allowing more than 80,000 square feet will be used for sheltering assembly, including all processes from raw material cutting through inspection and packaging. Celina supplies large shelters for agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the US Department of Defense. Celina is a family-owned business, headquartered in Celina, Oh., USA. Click here to read the entire press release. Posted September 13, 2018 

US Army Awards Contract for Parachute System. Airborne Systems North America, Santa Ana, Calif.,  USA, was awarded a $9,575,711 firm-fixed-price contract for the purchase of the Advanced Tactical Parachute System. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Santa Ana, Calif., with an estimated completion date of November 1, 2019. Fiscal 2018 other procurement, Army funds in the amount of $9,575,711 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. USA, is the contracting activity. Posted September 13, 2018

Point Blank Awarded Helicopter Armor Development Contract.  Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation has awarded The Protective Group, a division of Point Blank Enterprises, a contract to provide a high performance, light-weight crew protection kit for the new CH-53 US Marine Corps King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter. The protection kit consists of individual ballistic panels installed beneath the cabin and ramp floor and within the cabin side frames. Click here to read more. Posted September 12, 2018

Lest We Forget: Joseph Alan Okey, Jr. The US textile industry has lost a gentle voice with the passing of Joseph "Joe" Okey, Jr. on August 31, 2018. Mr. Okey was the former owner of American Monforts, a textile machinery parts supplier, and most recently worked at Marshall & Williams, a division of Navis Tubetex in Charlotte, N.C., USA. He served as chairman of the American Textile Machinery Association and as a board member of the Carolina Textile Club. Click here to read his obituary. Posted September 10, 2018

US Exports in July to Mexico Increases. The US Department of Commerce has released the July export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group.The percentage increase for exports to Mexico from June to July increased while the increase percentage for Canada slowed. Click here to see the entire report released by the Department of Commerce. 

 

 

Year Ending

7/2017

Year Ending

7/2018

 

% Change

Mexico

2.074,058

2,160,269

+4.16

Canada

570,049

599,337

+4.41

China

190,563

223,814

+17.45

Hong Kong

121,413 124,252 +2.34

United Kingdom

101,109

100,413 -0.69
World 4,154,886 4,344,151 +4.56

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted September 10, 2018

NCTO Testifies on China 301 Hearing, Calls for Tariffs on Textile and Apparel End Items.  As we reported yesterday, the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) Senior Vice President Sara Beatty testified in support of the new Trump Administration retaliatory tariffs proposed against China for textiles and apparel end items. NCTO is the Washington-based trade association representing domestic US textile, filament and fiber producers. Click here to read Ms. Beatty's prepared comments in our special Trade Issues section of the BeaverLake6 Report. We will also soon be posting other testimony from groups and organizations both for and against that involves textile tariff sanctions. Posted August 21, 2018 

Coleman Fails in Attempt to Gain Approval Requesting Additional Production Authority. On August 16, 2018, the US Department of Commerce's Foreign Trade Zones Board published its ruling that denies personal flotation device manufacturer The Coleman Company's additional production authority requested for its Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) facility in Sauk Rapids, Minn., USA. The issue was whether the FTZ board would grant a petition by Coleman to remove a restriction in a previous FTZ grant of authority that precludes inverted tariff benefits on foreign textile materials used in the production of PFDs. Coleman had maintained that it needed this removal in order to stay competitive with foreign importers of PFDs and there was no domestic source available for the material that could offer it at a competitive price. Opposing the approval (and on the winning side) were several domestic weavers who maintained they could produce the material. BeaverLake6 Report has previously covered this issue (click here for an examination of the complex issue). Our thanks to industry trade expert David Trumbull of Agathon Associates for alerting us to the FTZ board's ruling. Posted August 21, 2018

US Army Ballistic Vest Contract Modified. Bethel Industries, Jersey City, N.J., USA, and KDH Defense Systems, Eden, N.C., USA, were awarded a $61,406,405 modification for Modular Scalable Vest Generation II. The Army Contracting Command (ACC) has issued a modification to extend the ordering period and maximum ordering value on existing multiple award Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contracts. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 20, 2019. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., USA, is the contracting activity. Bethel and KDH Defense Systems have a current First Article Test (FAT) approval and are the only sources capable of meeting the Government's required time-frame. This modification is required to ensure a continuity of services until the follow-on contract is awarded. Posted August 21, 2018

Spider Silk Material Delivered to US Army for Ballistic Shootpack Evaluation. Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. announced yesterday that it has delivered ballistic shootpack panels to the U.S. Army made from the company's proprietary Dragon Silk material. The panels will be evaluated for effectiveness in stopping bullets. Dragon Silk is a genetically engineered spider silk which mimics the strength and toughness found in native spider silk. Kriag Biocraft is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., USA with a manufacturing facility in Vietnam. The company reports it is producing 150,000 metric tons of silk per year. Click here to read the company's announcement of the delivery to the US Army. Posted August 21, 2018

US Air Force Awards Low-Speed Parachute Contract. Butler Parachute Systems Inc., Roanoke, Virginia, has been awarded a $41,200,000 contract for low-profile back-mounted parachutes for low-speed bailout. This contract provides for the manufacture and delivery of commercial-off-the-shelf back-mounted parachutes to be used for the purpose of low-speed bailout. Work will be performed in Roanoke, Va., USA, and is expected to be completed by Aug. 14, 2023. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition and one offer was received. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Fiscal 2016 “other procurement” funds in the amount of $5,482,917 will be obligated on the first delivery order, which will be awarded concurrently to the base indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract. Posted August 20, 2018

Opposing Organizations Set to Testify Today on New Round of US Tariffs on China. It should be an interesting day in Washington as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) starts its two weeks of public hearings regarding proposed new tariffs on approximately $200 billion worth of Chinese products, including virtually all textile materials. Both Steve Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, and Sara Beatty, senior vice president of the National Council of Textile Organizations, are set to testify today. Mr. Lamar, representing apparel manufacturers dependent upon imported material, will be undoubtably against the tariffs while Ms. Beatty, representing the domestic textile manufacturing industry, will be testifying in support of the tariffs. BeaverLake6 Report will publish their public testimonies as soon as they becomes available. Posted August 20, 2018

The Case Against Second Chance Body Armor. The US television network CBS aired a special one-hour episode on its series Whistleblower covering the 14-year lawsuit against the manufacturers of faulty "bulletproof" vests made with the fabric Zylon by Toyobo and fabricated by Second Chance Body Armor, Inc. "The Case Against Second Chance Body Armor" focuses on fraud undertaken by Second Chance, at the time the largest maker of body armor in the US.  The CBS episode features Dr. Aaron Westrick, the whistleblower who exposed the flaws of the body armor sold to hundreds of police agencies throughout the US. Click here if you are interested in viewing the episode. Click here to go to the Whistleblower Protection Blog if you wish to read more about the story. Posted August 20, 2018

US Marine Corps Awards Additional Contract to Fix Rucksack Frame Problems. M&M Manufacturing LLC, Lajas, P.R., USA, has been awarded $10,384,670 for modification to a previously awarded contract for the production and delivery of the Marine Corps Pack System and Pack Components.  This modification increases the maximum ceiling of the base contract to $35,895,531.  Work will be performed in Lajas, Puerto Rico, and is expected to be complete by September 14, 2022.  This modification was not competitively procured. The pack system problem has been in the frame made of a composite plastic. Extreme cold weather testing has revealed cracking in the frame. The issue of durability began to appear in 2013. Click here to read more about the frame issue. Posted August 20, 2018

US Turkey Trade Dispute Could Affect US Technical Textile Supplier. Major US technical textile manufacturer Glen Raven may have just dodged a political bullet which could have had a devastating impact on its operations in Anderson, S.C., USA. A diplomatic dispute involving a US citizen imprisoned in Turkey has led to the US imposing sanctions on two top Turkish leaders and the subsequent escalating tensions between the countries is spilling over to the manufacturing industry. According to the Anderson Independent Mail, a newspaper part of the USA Today network, on August 6, US Senator Lindsey Graham visited the Glen Raven plant in Anderson and said he was trying to prevent the Glen Raven fiber plant from being forced to sever a relationship with its Turkish raw material supplier as President Trump was preparing to implement further sanctions. The August 6 article reported "Glen Raven President and CEO C.G. "Leib" Oehmig IV said any sanctions that prevent his company from obtaining raw materials 'would be devastating.'" Fortunately, the next sanctions announced were on steel and aluminum imports and would not by themselves have an impact on Glen Raven's ability to continue doing business with its Turkish supplier; however, the company still is concerned about the deteriorating business climate in Turkey. BeaverLake6 Report attempted to reach Mr. Oehmig for comment but did not receive a reply by the time of this posting. Click here to read the Anderson Independent Mail article. Posted August 15, 2018

Garware-Wall Ropes Announces Company Name Change.  India technical textiles manufacturer Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd. has announced a change in its corporate brand name and identity to Garware Technical Fibres Ltd. (GTFL).  The rebranding is in part of management's decision to focus on doubling its profit over the next 5-7 years and be amongst the top 2 players globally in supplying technical fibers into products used in the agriculture and fisheries industries. Garware also manufacturers products going into other end markets such as geosynthetics and industrial coated fabrics. Click here to read an article posted on the name change. Posted August 15, 2018

Comparing the New Space Suits. The introduction of the new Space-X and Boeing Starliner space suits show how far we've come since those original suits made by Playtex seamstresses in the 1960-70s. There is a neat article posted on Business Insider which has former astronaut Sunita "Suni" Williams comparing the two suits after wearing them. Ms. Williams has also worn the Russian Sokol flight suit. Previous suits typically weighed 33 lbs (15 kg). The new Boeing suit weighs about 12 lbs (5.4 kg). The SpaceX suit is easier to move around. Esthetically and functionally, both suits are way better than the older clunky suits but it is worth noting, too, these suits are not made for space walks. Pleasing of course for the US is that both SpaceX and Boeing suits will be domestically made. The Starliner in "Boeing blue" will be made by David Clark Company. Click here to read more about the suits on the Business  Insider website. Posted August 8, 2018 

Tennessee Violator of Berry Amendment Gets 41-Month Sentence. Following up on the BeaverLake6 Report post February 17, 2018  Vincent Lee Ferguson, the former president and CEO of Wellco Enterprises, has been sentence to 41-months in a US federal prison for selling falsely-claimed "Made in the USA" boots. Mr. Ferguson conspired with others in his company to import boots from China and then deceptively market them as "Made in America" to both consumers and the US Department Defense. The fraud violated the US military's Berry Amendment procurement requirement. The company is headquartered in Morristown, Tenn., USA. Click here to read a short article posted on the the Knox News website. Posted August 8, 2018

A&R Tarpaulins Employee Honored at 30 Under 30 Award Ceremony. Recognition of the accomplishments of young adults in the workforce is critical to creating a positive work environment. BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to recognize Jessica Gunawan, an employee at A & R Tarpaulins, Inc., as one selected at the 30 Under 30 Award Ceremony on July 28, 2018 in San Bernardino, California. The 30 Under 30 program honors those who exemplify dedication, innovation and services within California's 47th  assembly district. Ms. Gunawan, an architectural project manager, is a new employee at A & R Tarpaulins and was recognized for the time she gives back to the community in various social matters such as the Food on Foot program and her work in a nonprofit organziation that helps put a stop to human sex trafficking. Posted August 9, 2018

Armor Express Names New Vice President of Sales. Ballistic body armor manufacturer Central Lake Armor Express Inc. has announced industry veteran Frank Capro is joining the company as its new vice president of sales. Mr. Capro has had a 20-year career in the body armor, protective solutions and public safety industry, most recently as vice president of Public Safety Sales for 5.11 Tactical, a maker of tactical apparel and gear. Armor Express is based in Central Lake, Mich., USA, and is part of KDH Defense Systems. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted July 4, 2018

US Export Figures Released for June. The US Department of Commerce has released the June export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group.  Click here to see the entire report released by the Department of Commerce. 

 

 

Year Ending

6/2017

Year Ending

6/2018

 

% Change

Mexico

2,076,381

2,133,663

+2.76

Canada

566,110

602,389

+6.41

China

188,795

225,506

+19.45

Hong Kong

124,441 124,236 -0.16

United Kingdom

100,874

99,913 -0.95
World 4,141,593 4,321,164 +4.34

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted August 7, 2018

Change in Leadership Announced for Nonwovens Company.  Finland-vased Suominen Corporation has appointed Pekka Ojanpää as the new President & CEO of the Company. Ojanpää works currently as the President & CEO of Lassila & Tikanoja Plc and starts as Suominen’s President & CEO latest in February 2019. Suominen’s current President & CEO Nina Kopola will leave her position as President & CEO. Tapio Engström, CFO, has been appointed as Suominen’s interim President & CEO as of August 3, 2018. Suominen is a global manufacturer of nonwoven wipes and personal hygiene products. Click here to read the corporate announcement of the transition. Posted August 6, 2018

Teijin Frontier to Acquire German Automotive Interior Manufacturer.  Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd. announced today that it has agreed to acquire J. H. Ziegler GmbH, a German supplier of automotive interior materials for approximately $146.4 million. Established in 1864, Ziegler makes nonwoven seat wadding materials and sound-absorbing composite solutions. The company operates 5 plants located in Germany, China and Hungary. It posted consolidated sales of over $80.8 million in its last fiscal year. Teijin Frontier is making the acquisition to improve its automotive interior materials' production and sales capabilities in Europe. Teijin Frontier is a subsidiary of Teijin Group, and is a manufacturer of high performance fibers such as aramid and carbon. Click here to read the corporate announcement of the acquisition. Posted July 30, 2018

NASA Completes Another Test of Orion Spacecraft Parachute System. A test was successfully completed July 12, 2018 on the Orion Spacecraft's parachute system. This was the 7th of 8 qualification tests and this time it was to test the parachute's "robustness." The mock spacecraft was dropped from an altitude of 6.6 miles and generated enough speed to simulate forces on the main chutes as a nomal descent. Each of the three main parachutes expanded to 116 feet. Altogether, the spacecraft has 11 parachutes. Click here to read more on the Space Flight Insider website. Posted July 30, 2018

Kenyan Government's Purchases Defective Body Armor. The Nigerian website Pulse reports that an audit of the Kenya Prisons department for 2017 found 600 body armor jackets purchased by the department were defective, arriving without armor plates and incapable of stopping either ballistic or knife stabs. Cost of the body armor was $427,000. Click here to read the posted article. Posted July 30, 2018

New Para-Aramid Factory Announced in China. Yantai Tayho Advanced Materials has announced plans to spend $89 million to build a para-aramid fiber plant in northwest China. The plant is expected to produce 3,000 tons of yarn for the new 5G networks being built across China as well as other civilian and military applications. Plant construction is expected to be completed and trial runs started in early 2020. Yantai Tayho is headquartered in Yantai, Shandong Province, China. Click here to read more. Posted July 30, 2018

US Fabric Shelter Manufacturer to Build New Facility.  Engineering Services and Products Co., operating as ClearSpan Fabric Structures, is building a new $7 million manufacturing structure in Dyersville, Ia., USA. ClearSpan is a fabricator and installer of large fabric tension structure facilities used in the agricultural industry. The new facility will be manufacturing steel beams used in the company's fabric structures. ClearSpan currently employs 263 people in Dyersville in other manufacturing plants. Click here to read more about the new facility. Posted July 30, 2018 

Body Armor Manufacturer Agrees to Settle with US Department of Justice. Finally, Richard Davis, the founder and former president of Second Chance Body Armor Inc., has agreed to settle with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in the lawsuit brought by the government over defective bulletproof vests sold to law enforcement agencies. As BeaverLake6 Report has reported in numerous updates (latest was June 6, 2018), Mr. Davis was accused of knowingly selling the defective body armor containing Zylon fiber. The other defendants in the case, including Zylon's manufacturer Toyobo, have previously settled. Under the settlement, Mr. Davis will relinquish $1.2 million in assets which had already been previously frozen by the US government, plus pay an additional $125,000. Click here to read more at the Legal News Hotline website. Posted July 27, 2018

Space Technology Award Given to Bally Ribbon. Engineered textile material provider Bally Ribbon Mills has been awarded a Space Technology Award from NASA's Technology Mission Directorate for weaving the three-dimensional carbon material used within NASA's Heat Shield for Extreme Entry Environment Technology (HEEET) project. The HEEET project aims to develop a new Thermal Protection System that leverages weaving and 3D printing manufacturing methods for aircraft parts made of carbon composite materials. Bally is headquartered in Bally, Penn., USA. Click here to read more. Posted July 23, 2018

Compilation of Flammability Testing Standards Published. Flammability testing company Govmark Organization’s founder and former CEO Salvatore Messina has published a compilation of the most pertinent federal, state, local and industry voluntary flammability standards that apply to textiles, foams, plastics, and composites used in carpeting/floor-coverings, draperies, mattress, upholstered furniture, and wall-coverings. Summaries and sketches are derived from standards issued by ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials), ICC (International Code Council), NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), City of Boston, Canada/ULC, and the State of California, and federal requirements contained in the two major model building codes promulgated by NFPA and ICC. A good reference book for those in the textile industry. Click here to go to Amazon webside where you can find out more about the book contents or to order. Posted July 23, 2018

Sage Automotive Acquired by Asahi Kasei. Tokyo-based Asahi Kasei Corporation has announced it is acquiring interior automotive fabric supplier Sage Automotive Interiors Inc. for $1.1 billion from Clearlake Sage Holding, LLC. The purchase of Sage by Asahi Kasei is in part to move the Japanese company up to a Tier 2 status with the automotive industry. Asahi Kasei makes fibers and textiles. It has been a supplier of fibers to Sage. In 2017 Asahi Kasei had sales of $2.7 billion. Sage had 2017 sales of $475 million. It has 5 locations in the US as well as manufacturing operations in Italy, Poland, Romania, Brazil and China. Sage was originally part of Milliken & Company before it was spun off in 2009. Click here to read the Asahi Kasei press release on the acquisition. Posted July 19, 2018

US Zipper Company Supplying to Military Not in Compliance with Berry Amendment, Loses Contract. Dunlap Industries, a 100-employee manufacturer of zippers located in Dunlap, Tenn., USA, has lost its US military contract because another zipper manufacturer successfully filed a complaint that Dunlap was not making all of its zipper parts used in uniforms in the US as required by the Berry Amendment.  Dunlap president Robert Kwasnik has admitted the company sources the slider of the zipper from outside the country, saying it is virtually impossible to get some parts for a zipper from a US manufacturer. As noted in an Associated Press story, the irony is that the company making the complaint was YKK Corporation, the world's largest supplier of zippers. Although YKK is based in Japan, it supplies the US military through a plant located in Macon, Ga., USA. Click here to read an article posted on the CBS News website. Posted July 19, 2018

US Textile Organization Applauds Proposed New Tariffs on Chinese Textiles. The National Council of Textile Organization's (NCTO) has approved the Trump administration's proposed additional Section 301 tariffs on up to $200 billion of Chinese-made products that includes a substantial amount of yarns and finished textile materials. NCTO CEO Auggie Tantillo has said the organization will be thoroughly vetting all the line items to examine how the competitiveness of the US textile industry is impacted. Industry has until August 30, 2018 to give public imput. Click here to read the NCTO statement. Posted July 13, 2018

Milliken Appoints New CEO. The board of directors of Milliken & Company has announced the selection of Halsey M. Cook Jr. as president and CEO effective September 1, 2018. J. Harold Chandler will return to his role as the company's chair of the board of directors. Mr. Chandler was elected as president following the abrupt departure of Joseph Salley in October 2016.  Mr. Cook  has a 30-year career leading a wide range of global businesses with significant manufacturing and distribution networks. Milliken is a diverse global manufacturer of products including technical textiles. Click here to read the Milliken company press release. Posted July 13, 2018

Firestone Fibers & Textiles Investing $19 Million. Technical textile fibers manufacturer Firestone Fibers & Textiles Company is investing $19 million to expand its North American headquarters and manufacturing plant in Kings Mountain, N.C., USA. The company also has manufacturing operations in Gastonia, N.C., USA and Woodstock, Ont., Canada. Click here to read an article about the expansion on the Gastone Gazette website. Posted July 13, 2018

University of Massachusetts Lowell Opens Fabric Discovery Center.  Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker was on hand at the ceremony opening the new Fabric Discovery Center at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. The center will be at the forefront of research into smart fabric applications such as wearable electronics and military uniforms. It was built through the support of a $10 million state grant. The Discovery Center works with the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), an initiative created by the US Department of Defense. Click here to read more about the opening of the center in an article posted on the Boston Globe website. Posted July 13, 2018

US Export Figures Released for May. The US Department of Commerce has released the May export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group. The numbers are showing a healthy +5.16% gain over last year for the same 12-month period. It will be interesting to watch these figures as the trade war with China begins. Click here to see the entire report released by the Department of Commerce. 

 

 

Year Ending

5/2017

Year Ending

5/2018

 

% Change

Mexico

2,066,040

2,131,843

+3.18

Canada

562,309

6083,449

+7.32

China

184,745

225,075

+21.83

Hong Kong

124,263 122,405 -1.50

United Kingdom

97,982

101,479 +3.57
World 4,108,374 4,320,302 +5.16

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted July 10, 2018

South Africa Fines Airbag Maker Toyoda Gosei for Price-Fixing Collusion. Japanese-based airbag manufacturing Toyoda Gosei was fined 6.1 million Rand ($455,700) by South Africa's Competition Committee after the company admitted to colluding with other airbag makers Autoliv and Takata in requests for airbag quotes for Toyota cars made in South Africa. The prosecution is part of a world-wide effort to thwart ad-hoc cartels of similar automotive material suppliers sharing sensitive information. Other participants still being investigated in South Africa include TRW Automotive and Tokai Rika. Click here to read an article about the collusion. Posted July 9, 2018

Astrup Building Set for Remodeling in Cleveland. If you are a custom products manufacturer using canvas or specialty fabrics, you likely remember The Astrup Company, the leading distributor of the materials for almost 100 years until the company was bought and merged into Glen Raven in 2007. An article posted on Crain's Cleveland Business (Cleveland, Oh., USA) discusses the plans to renovate the former Astrup Awning Co.'s 3-story building that dates back to 1911. Because of the rich history of the company which started as a maker of sails, the developer is seeking to have the building listed on the US National Register of Historic Places. Click here to read the article. Posted July 9, 2018

Trelleborg Acquires US Coated Fabrics Manufacturer.  Swedish coated fabric maker Trelleborg, through its Trelleborg Coated Systems division, has signed an agreement to acquire Laminating Coating Technology, Inc. (Lamotec). Lamotec develops and manufactures polyurethane-coated and laminated fabrics primarily used in the aerospace and healthcare/medical industries. Lamotec is headquartered in Monson, Mass., USA. Posted July 9, 2018

Stealth Material Developed at University of Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin -- Madison in Madison, Wisc., USA, has an interesting article posted on its website about a new cloaking material the university has developed in collaboration with the National Science Foundation. The material prevents infrared cameras from using heat-seeking sensing to find objects such as a person or a vehicle. Less than 1 millimeter thick, the stealth sheet absorbs approximately 94% of the infrared light it encounters. Click here to read the article. Posted July 4, 2018

Coming Events

  • April 23-24: Elementary Nonwovens Training Course, Cary, N.C., USA
  • April 24-25: 2019 Southeast Region Federal and Defense Textiles Summit, Hickory, N.C., USA
  • April 25-26: SYFA Spring 2019 Conference, Charlotte, N.C., USA
  • May 1-3: Innovative Textile & Apparel Americas 2019, Raleigh, N.C., USA
  • May 5-8:  NETnc 2019, Indianapolis, Ind., USA
  • May 6-8: Industrial Fabrics Association International Outlook Conference 2019, Greensboro, Ga., USA
  • May 7-9: Outlook Plus Latin America 2019, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • May 8-10: SEAMS Spring Networking Conference, Savannah, Ca., USA
  • May 14-15: Filtex 2019. Berlin, Germany
  • May 14-17: Techtextil 2019, Frankfurt, Germany
  • May 14-17: Texprocess 2019, Frankfurt, Germany
  • May 14-17: European Sign Expo / FESPA Global Print Expo, Munich, Germany
  • May 22-24: Textile Roofs 2019, 24th International Workshop on the Design and Practical Realization of Architectural Membrane Structures, Berlin, Germany
  • May 21-23: Automotive Interiors Expo Europe 2019, Stuttgart, Germany

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

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China's Industrial Textile Market Demands Still Remains Vigorous

Despite the increasingly complex industry demands, the Chinese technical textiles market was relatively stable. Nonwovens output increased over last year. Key specific markets such as tire cord also increased in 2018 over 2017. Overall operating income for industrial textiles used in China reached $34 billion. Click here to read the complete summary provided to BeaverLake6 Report by China Textile magazine through our exclusive relationship. Posted February 15, 2019

Does IDEA Show Need to be in Miami Beach?

INDA, the Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry, has issued its final report on IDEA19.  The event held March 25-27, 2019 in Miami Beach, Fla., USA, attracted 6,500+ participants and 509 exhibiting companies from 75 countries.  Show floor space was a record 168,600 square feet, a 9% increase over the previous show. 

 

Surprisingly, the people and exhibitor participation figures are not record numbers. The IDEA16 show in Boston, Mass., USA, attracted 7000+ and 555 exhibitors. 

 

So, why was participation down this year from IDEA16?  I think an explanation for the decline is the South Florida location of IDEA19.  Click here to read more.

President Li Lingshen, President, China Nonwovens & Industrial Texiles Association

President Li Lingshen

BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to provide an exclusive interview with Li Lingshen, Ph.D., Vice President of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, and President of the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association, the overseeing organization for the technical textiles industry in China. Click here to read the interview.

Final Analysis of IFAI Expo 2018 and CAMX18

IFAI President S. Schiffman

IFAI Expo 2018 was the first show under IFAI's new CEO/President Steve Schiffman. In a quick conversation on the first day, Mr. Schiffman thought event attendance was on target with the expectation of a 500 increase over the 4500 total participants (counting both exhibitors and visitors) they had in 2017 in New Orleans. Similarly, a conversation with one of the managers of ACMA, a partner in CAMX, said their pre-registration had already topped the 6500 they had last year in Orlando. (Keep in mind, though, the 2017 CAMX show had to be rescheduled from September to December because of Hurricane Irma.) Click here to read more about the shows. 

NCTO Neglects Automotive Textiles as Organizations Testify          on Proposed USMCA Impact

Positive Reviews but Still Uncertainty. On November 16, 2018, two of the US textile industry associations testified before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in a special hearing to determine the economic impact of the proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).  The leaders of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) provided statements on how they feel the new agreement will affect their member companies. 

 

The two organizations clearly have different biases; however, in looking over the AAFA and NCTO statements, it appears to me that while the organizations both clearly said they were not offering an endorsement yet of the agreement, they gave general overall approval for USMCA, acknowledging the 1992 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) needed updating. Both organizations are taking a wait-and-see attitude to more fully look at how the agreement impacts the complex supply chain of textiles and apparel. Click here to read more.

NAFTA Replacement Agreement Negotiated. On October 1, President Donald Trump announced the US, Mexico and Canada had reached an agreement whichreplaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that went into effect in 1994. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) contains provisions and language that has an impact on the technical textiles industry; the most important are 1) a special section covering textiles and apparel and 2) rules of origin that will require 75% of automotive content (under NAFTA 62.5%) be made in North America. Mexico and Canada are the two largest importers of US made technical textiles and the automotive industry is the largest intended end market of these technical textiles. Click here to go to the United States Trade Representative's website and read the "Textiles and Apparel Goods" chapter. Posted October 3, 2018

State of the Chinese Technical Textiles Markets in 2017

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

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