NC State Names New Dean for College of Textiles. Dr. David Hinks has been named dean of North Carolina State University's College of Textiles after serving as its interim leader since July 2014. Dr. Hinks is considered an expert in color and dye chemistry and serves as the Cone Mills Professor of Textile Chemistry and also director of NC State's emerging Forensic Sciences Institute. He leads more than 140 faculty and staff who monitor 1,000 undergraduates and more than 200 graduate students. Click here to read more from the press release issued by NC State. Posted December 29, 2015
Wall Street Journal Article Urges General Motors to Make Airbags Standard Equipment Included in Cars Manufactured for the Latin American Market. As we posted on November 17, General Motors produces the top selling car in Mexico -- the Aveo -- and airbags are not mandatory. Now, according to a Wall Street Journal article published December 27, four American consumer-advocacy groups, including Consumer Reports and Public Citizen, have sent a letter to GM chief executive Mary Barra calling on the company to make airbags a standard feature on all cars it makes. Mexico, in particular, is a focus becase it is one of the fastest-growing markets for cars. Adding airbags as standard equipment in Mexico increases the cost of the car by $100 to $150. Click here to read the article on the WSJ website. Posted December 28, 2015
Free Trade Zone Hearing for Personal Flotation Device Manufacturer Postponed. The public hearing on the application for additional production authority submitted by The Coleman Company, Inc., for activity in Sauk Rapids, Minn., USA has been rescheduled. The Commerce examiner will hold the public hearing on February 24, 2016. Textile trade specialist David Trumbull has a nice background explanation of this application on his Textiles and Trade website. Click here to view the informatin. Posted December 27, 2015
Massachusetts Wins No Matter Which Group Selected for the New Government Research Initiative. MIT (Cabridge, Mass., USA) and the University of Massachusetts (Lowell, Mass., USA) are members of competing coalitions seeking the new Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute involves being funded by the US Department of Commerce. The winning consortium will receive a five-year government grant totaling $75 million (which must be matched by state and private industry funding). The University of Massachusetts is partnering with Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, the University of Maryland, the University of Oregon, and companies in the industry. The article said that MIT hasn't named its partners but it is known MIT has formed a coalition group called the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) Institute which is comprised of about 70 educational institutes, trade organizations and private industry companies. The coalition selection by the Department of Commerce was supposed to be in December but it looks like they are running out of time this month to make the announcement. Click here to read the article that appeared December 19 on the Boston Globe website. Posted December 27, 2015
Ice Cream Shop Fined for Using Logo on Awning. The locals are calling it "cone-gate." The owners of The Sweet Shop in Palm Springs, Fla., USA, have found out the hard way not to ignore the town's building code authority. The town has an ordinance against company logos on awnings. Thomas Tomas, the owner, was originally told to cover up the logo on the awning in July 2015 and he complied. But in November the city found out he had the ice cream cones visible again. He was then fined $2,000. Mr. Tomas is appealing the decision. Click here to read the story. Posted December 22, 2015
Protective Clothing Manufacturer Reveals Update on Discontinued Operations in Brazil. Lakeland Industries, one of the world's largest providers of protective clothing for the healthcare, industrial and first responder markets, has announced that it entered into a $2.3 million loan agreement to its former Brazil subsidiary (Lakeland Brazil) to "completely resolve, pay and close the two largest outstanding VAT tax claims upon an amnesty agreement with the State of Bahia in Brazil." Lakeland had previously announced its intention to discontinue operations in Brazil. Click here to read the report posted on the NASDAQ website. Posted December 22, 2015
TenCate Plans to Go Private May Be In Doubt. The website DutchNews.nl is reporting today the planned move to sell Royal Ten Cate NV (TenCate) to the private equity group Gilde Buy Out Partners may not have enough support from the shareholders. TenCate is a major player in the global geosynthetics and protective clothing markets. The website is reporting the takeover had been conditional on two-thirds of the shares being made available. The takeover was conditional on two-thirds of the shares being tendered.The Gilde had expected 95% of the shares would be tendered but as of December 16 only a little more than 60% had been tendered. Click here to read the posted article. Posted December 17, 2015
Wearable Keyboard Development Reviewed. There is an interesting article on the website Live Science which reviews some of the research being done on wearable electronics such as a sewn-in flexible keyboard. It reviews the work being done at the National School of Mines in Gardanne, France. Click here for read the article on the website.. Posted December 16, 2015
Utah State Awarded $1 million for Spider Silk Research Project. Utah State University (USU) has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract with Salt Lake City-based Technology Holding LLC from the US Army to continue research and development of Soldier Silk manufacturing, The total contract award is $1 million and is managed through the Army Research Office. The SBIR program is a highly competitive awards-based program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal research and development that has the potential for commercialization. This 2015 grant comes after the Office of Naval Research 2014 awarded USU USTAR-endowed professor Randy Lewis a two-year grant $1.3 million grant to study adhesive spider silk for naval applications. Click here to read the press release published on the Textile World website. Posted December 16, 2015
UK Navy Orders 60 Rigid Inflatable Boats. According to the website DefenseWorld.net, BAE Systems, a military defense contractor, has been awarded a ₤13.5 million ($20.26 million) contract from the United Kingdom navy for 60 rigid inflatable boats (RIB). BAE is a global manufacturer headquartered in London. Click here to read the press release. Posted December 16, 2015
Fire Damages Awning Company Plant. A fire yesterday that started on the second floor of the Midwest Awnings, Inc. manufacturing facility in Cameron, Ill., USA, has severely damaged the building. The 30-year-old company had 5 employees in the building when the fire happened. Midwest Awnings is a manufacturer of canvas awnings and other custom products, and serves the Quad Cities and Galesburg, Ill., regions. Click here to read a news article of the fire. Posted December 15, 2015
Federal Agency Charges Companies with 'Bamboo-zling' Consumers with False Product Claims. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fined major retailers for falsely labeling rayon textiles as "bamboo." According to the FTC press release issued December 9, "Since 2009, the Commission has been actively working to correct the mislabeling and deceptive advertising of rayon textile products as “bamboo.” Although rayon fiber may be manufactured from many different cellulose sources – including bamboo – the resulting textile fiber must be identified in labeling and advertising as rayon (or viscose) and not by the cellulose source." Click here to read the FTC release. Posted December 14, 2015
"Bulletproof" Backpacks are Selling Well. There is an interesting article on the Boston Globe website. The newspaper profiled Bulletblocker, a manufacturer which specializes in making "bulletproof" backpacks, lab coats and other everyday items for business workers and students. Products include a $125, 3-ring-binder Kevlar panel insert and a denim jacket lined with Kevlar. Bulletblocker, located in Lowell, Mass., USA, has seen a 70% jump in business since the Paris terrorists attacks in November. In the year following the 2012 attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School, the company sold 10,000 "bulletproof" backpacks. The company is especially busy during the holidays. According to the newspaper interview with the owner Ed Bourke, "We get a lot of people asking about ballistic ratings, and what to wear for specfic events they're going to." Click here to read the Boston Globe article. Posted December 14, 2015
US Defense Logistics Agency Awards FR Uniform Contract. Aurora Industries LLC, Camuy, Puerto Rico, USA, has been awarded a maximum $12,118,776 modification exercising the third one-year option period of a one-year base contract with three one-year option periods for flame resistant uniforms. This is a firm-fixed-price contract. Location of performance is Puerto Rico, with a December 28, 2016, performance completion date. Using military services are US Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2016 through fiscal 2017 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Penn., USA. Posted December 11, 2015
Tough Job Destroying the Avondale Mills Smokestack. File this in the "What Could Go Wrong?" section. On November 24, there was an attempt to demolish a 158 foot tall smokestack on the site of a former Avondale Mills plant in Pell City, Ala., USA. After two explosive charges failed to bring it down, they sent in a backhoe to finish the demolition. What could go wrong? Click here to watch the video. Our thanks to Chris Kelsey, editor of geosynthetic.net, for passing this along. Posted December 11, 2015
Polartec to Close Malden Mills Plant. You may remember the fire that destroyed the Malden Mills textile plant in Lawrence, Mass., USA not so much about the fire itself but that the owner of the company, Aaron Feuerstein, continued to pay his workers during the rebuild of the mill. This uncommon generosity made headlines. Now, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the fire, Polartec LLC, has announced it will be closing the manufacturing operations and shifting the work to plants in New Hampshire and Tennessee. The company had struggled in recent years and after going through bankruptcy had been acquire in 2007 by Versa Capital Management. Later, the company was renamed Polartec, and continues to make the specialty fabric sold to the military and high-end outdoor apparel companies. Click here to read the article posted today on the Boston Globe website. Posted December 11, 2015
US Defense Logistics Agency Awards Shelter Contract. Johnson Outdoors Inc., doing business as Eureka Tents, Binghamton, N.Y., USA has been awarded a maximum $200,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery contract for commercial tents. This was a competitive acquisition with 20 responses received. This is a one-year base contract with three one-year option periods. Location of performance is New York, with a Dec. 8, 2016, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2016 through fiscal 2017 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Penn., USA (SPE1C1-16-D-1010). Posted December 9, 2015
Hospitality Trade Mission Planned for Dubai. Export Trade Consultants (ETC) and Jay Dashi International Consultation announced the organization of a trade mission to Dubai, UAE. The trip will be May 17-20, 2016. Those attending will be producers and suppliers of hospitality-related products and services. The trade mission will be led by Lawrence Brill, Principal of ETC and former Director of the Export Program for Textiles and Apparel at the US Department of Commerce. The trip's mission is to give participants an inside track on the numerous hotel, restaurant, and public projects which are underway for the Expo 2020 in Dubai. The show wll be running October 20, 2020 through April 10, 2021 with a format similar to a World's Fair. Click here to read the entire news release about the organization of the trip. Posted December 9, 2015
National Law Review Looks at False Claims Associated with US Berry Amendment and Buy America Act. There is an interesting article posted on the National Law Review website about the origins and current applications of the US Berry Amendment and Buy America Act. The article focused on false claims of products being made in America. According to the Department of Justice, 638 false claims lawsuits were noted in FY2015; however, because these cases remain under seal sometimes for year, we do not know how many involved violations of Buy America Act or the Berry Amendment. Click here to read the article. Posted December 9, 2015
Center Airbags Up for Next Generation Cars. Over the years, the number of airbags in cars has increased, especially in premium models. One of the last remaining needed protection areas is against injuries caused between occupants in a side impact crash. Nearly 30% of total side crashes involve far side impact events.To help mitigate the injuries car manufacturers GM and Toyota and airbag system manufacturer ZF Friedrichshafen AG have been researching the advantages of a center mounted airbag. Click here to read the short article posted on the website carandbike. Posted December 9, 2015
Chinese Manufacturers Losing Cost Advantages over US. According to an article posted on the website Chiina Daily, China's manufacturing cost edge over the US has slipped from 14% in 2004 to 4% in 2014 due to US lower energy costs, more efficient logistics and the greater availability of some raw materials such as cotton. The article cited information found in the 2015 China Purchasing Development Report, released on December 3 by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing. Click here to read the article. Posted December 9, 2015
Serafin Group Acquires Hahl-Pedex Group. With retroactive effect from January 1, 2015, the Serafin Group has acquired the Hahl-Pedex Group. Serafin, headquartered in Munich, Germany, is active in the technical textiles segment through its subsidiary Perlon Nextrusion Monofil GmbH in products such as synthetic brush filaments, abrasive filaments and monofilaments. The company also has locations in the US, South Korea and China. Starting January 1, 2016, the CEO of the Group for Technical Textiles will be Florian Kisling, the current CEO of the Hahl-Pedex Group. Click here to view the company's press release on the announcement. Posted December 7, 2015
FR Fabric Test Project Included in Latest Resupply Launch for the International Space Station. The December 6 launch of the Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft headed for the International Space Station included a science experiment called BASS-M (Burning and Suppression of Solids -- Milliken). The project will evaluate flame retardant and resistant textiles as a mode of personal protection from fire-related hazards. As the press release states: "Studying flame retardant and resistant behavior of different materials in microgravity will aid in better designs for future textiles and benefit those who wear protective clothing, such as military personnel and civilian workers in the electrical and energy industries." Click here to read the entire press release. Posted December 7, 2015
NIOSH Develops Data Base for Proper Firefighters PPE Fit. The US National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) has announced it has developed the first database of firefighter body measurements which can be used to develop proper fitting personal protective equipment. The database includes 71 body measurements and can be used for updating the designs of such items as seat belts, gloves, and protective clothing. Click here to read the article posted on the Occupational Health & Safety website. Posted December 6, 2015
Xerium Selects North American Product Manager. Xerium Technologies, Inc. has announced the hiring of John Schauer to the position of Product Manager -- Nonwovens Market. Xerium, an Austrian nonwoven manufacturer, said in the announcement that Mr. Schauer will be responsible for leading Xerium's North American nonwovens business plan as well as coordinating Xerium's global efforts. The company is a supplier of technically advanced belts, fabrics, aprons and roll cover technology. Posted December 5, 2015
Keeping Workers Safe with FR Technology. We found on the website Occupational Health & Safety a very good, concise article explaining flame-resistant (FR) fabrics for keeping workers safe by Jennifer Hopf, Digital Marketing Specialist at Westex by Milliken, Oak Brook, Ill., USA. It explains how FR fabrics are made flame-resistant, industry terminology such as the difference between "inherently" and "treated" materials, and what to look for when selecting FR clothing. We recommend this read for people not yet very involved in FR garment or material selection. Click here to go to the website. Posted December 5, 2015
US Congress Sends Historic Surface Transportation Legislation to the President, Includes Funding for the Export-Import Bank. The technical textiles industry got double good news last night with the announcement Congress passed what is now called "Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act." The $305 billion authorization has now been sent to the White House where President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law. As you know if you are a regular visitor to BeaverLake6 Report, we have been advocating for the passage for the last year. The highway portion of the bill includes specific mention of innovative products like geosynthetics. The Export-Import Bank of the US (Ex-Im) has for many years helped manufacturers by providing loans to export their products. The Bank's existence, however, has not been without controversy despite its profitability. Congress allowed its funding authorization to expire June 30. Click here to read more about the highway portion of the Act and click here to read more about the Ex-Im benefits. Posted December 4, 2015
Commerce Report Spotlights Impact of Trade Agreement. US Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M. Selig today released the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Opportunities for the U.S. Textiles and Apparel Sector Report. The report details how the elimination of various tariffs and other TPP commitments to level the playing field will benefit American companies competing in TPP markets. The textiles and apparel sector includes products such as man-made fibers, yarn, knit and woven fabric, non-wovens, industrial/advanced textile materials, knit and woven apparel, carpets and rugs, and home furnishing products. Click here to view the full report. Posted December 4, 2015
October US Industrial Fabrics Export Figures Released. The US Department of Commerce has released the October export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics 206 Group. The world market for US exports in this group amounted to $4.2 billion for the 12-month period ending October 31. The annual increase rate for the comparable last year and this year12-month periods dropped from 3.28% in September to 2.78% in October. The rankings of the top 5 countries continue to be #1 Mexico, #2 Canada, #3 China, #4 Hong Kong and #5 Japan. Exports to China continued to be less than last year but the difference has grown slightly smaller in October. South Korea (#9) saw a 12-month 13.7% decrease in exports. Clck here to see the entire report. Posted December 4, 2015
Worldwide Large Format Printer Shipments Slip Again in the Third Quarter of 2015. According to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC), large format printer (LFP) shipments declined -4% when compared to Q3 2014. According to Tim Greene, Research Director, U.S. Large Format Printer Tracker, "The third quarter is often the slowest quarter of the year in the global wide format business while the fourth quarter is often the strongest, as many print-for-pay shops take advantage of aggressive end-of-year manufacturer promotions. While aqueous inkjet printer shipments declined, shipments of large format UV and eco-solvent printers grew in the third quarter based on some model-end clear outs and price cuts. While Latex shipments declined slightly worldwide in 3Q15 compared to 2Q15, Latex printer shipments grew 5% year to date in 2015." Click here to read the press release about the report. Posted December 2, 2015
High-Tech Lighweight Load Lugger. How cool is this industry? We came across an article on gizmag about an inflatable cargo boat that is compact enough to haul in a car or light truck and yet itself can haul a car or light truck across open water. The Hovercraft has inflatable panels made of double-wall Hypalon and can be used for everything from flood rescue to transporting construction equipment, produce and animals. The ferryboat is made by Hovercraft d.o.o. of Strahovica, Slovenia. Click here to read the article. Posted November 30, 2015
Rigid Wall Shelters Replacing Tents for Housing Refugees. As in the US military procurement, we are starting to see a trend towards replacing tents with longer lasting structures to house refugees. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has this year placed orders of 4,728 rigid wall refugee shelters. The IKEA Foundation has designed the shelter and helped to fund the structure's fabricator Better Shelter. While the shelters cost three times that of a tent of equal size, the structure has a life expectancy of six times the fabric tent. The modular shelter has integrated lights and solar panels. Click here to read more on the website qz.net. Posted November 30, 2015
Thai Awning Company Aims to Double Revenues in 5 Years. There is an interesting interview posted on the Thailand-based website The Nation with Mr. Nakorn Thanathaweerat, one of the owners of Thaweewat Canvas-Aluminum Co. on celebrating the company's 50th anniversary. The company was founded by Mr. Thanathaweerat's grandfather. The company originally started in making bamboo awnings but then moved into canvas tent and awnings under Mr. Thanathaweerat's father. He became the 3rd-generation manager in 1996 with his brother and sister. In 2001, they invested in building a new plant for their operations. Today, the company has annual revenues over $1 million and plans to double sales in 5 years. Click here to read the article. Posted November 28, 2015
Industrial Curtain Manufacturer Moves to Larger Facility. Steel Guard Safety Corp., a manufacturer of industrial curtains walls for loading docks, welding, and insulation, has moved to a new facility in South Holland, Ill., USA, a Chicago suburb. One of its top-selling products is Electro-Shield, an industrial anti-static curtain designed to protect machinery, industrial equipment and electronics from static charges. Click here to read more about the move and the company. Posted November 27, 2015
Bangladesh Customs Sieze Container with Laminated Fabrics. According to the Bangladesh website The Financial Express, the country's Customs Intelligence and Investigation Department seized a 40-foot long container loaded with 19 tons of laminated fabrics worth $139,000 on the charge of false declaration. Global Business House Ltd, the importer, had attempted to pass the materials off as low quality and thus subject to the minimum duty rate when in fact they were of much higher quality and required a corresponding higher duty rate. Click here to read the article. Posted November 27, 2015
"Bulletproof" Panel Unveiled at Milipol Paris 2015. At Milipol Paris 2015, a trade show focused on internal security equipment and held November 17-20, Hyosung, a South Korea manufacturer of aramid fibers, introduced what is claimed to be the world's largest "bulletproof" panel. The panel has a resin with sprayed on aramid fiber called Alkex. The panel was co-developed by Axia Materials, a small South Korea thermoplastic composite producer. Hyosung's bulletproof panel is three meters wide and 12 meters long. It is intended for use in applications such as additional protection in armored vehicles and in reinforcing refugee shelters in situations such as typhoons and earthquakes. Click here for more information. Posted November 24, 2015
Lack of Funding Closing Down the American Textile History Museum. Due to a lack of funding, the American Textile History Museum (ATHM) in Lowell, Mass., USA, is temporarily closing the exhibits to the public as of January 1,2016. Visits will still be available by appointment. If you are interested in contributing to keeping the museum open to the public, please click here. Posted November 24, 2015
Travel Goods Association Releases State of the US Travel Goods Market. We missed this report when it was first released by the Travel Goods Association but still worth noting as the organization's State of the U.S. Travel Goods Market 2003-2014 has some good statistics on US market trends. The travel sports bag market grew 3.4% in 2014. The business cases/computer bags market declined 4.7% as more business travelers used backpacks. US consumers bought an astonishing 173.7 million backpacks in 2014. Student backpacks also are starting to be designed to carry less weight as books are replaced with lighter weight electronic devices. Click here to read the report summary. Posted November 22, 2015.
Celina Tent Awarded Contract to Manufacture Humanitarian Tents. Celina Tent of Celina, Oh., USA, posted a press release November 19, announcing it had been awarded a contract to manufacture Humanitarian General Purpose Tent Systems (HGPTS) for the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Since 2006, Celina Tenta has provided FEMA with nearly 5,000 of these 16' x 16' HGPTS shelters. In addition to these shelters, Celina Tent provides for private label manufacturing of textile products. Click here to read the press release. Posted November 22, 2015
Fabric Survival Equipment Shop Ensures Safety for Air Force Personnel. There is an interesting article posted on Air Force Print News Today about the work being done at the Fabric Survival Equipment Shop at Robbins Air Force Base in Warner Robbins, Ga., USA. The shop's mission is to provide all the equipment necessary for warfighters to survive in an emergency situation. The shop works on three diferent types of parachutes, inflatable escape slides, personal flotation devices, inflatable rafts, flight suits, cargo nets and many other items made of technical textiles. Click here to view the article. Posted November 22, 2015
President Barack Obama today has signed into law a bill that extends federal transportation funding through December 4. The funding authorization had been set to expire Friday night although there are already set aside enough funds to last through December. The new massive $325 billion Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 contains a key amendment that says "...the use of durable, resilient, and sustainable materials and practices, including the use of geosynthetic materials and other innovative technologies in carrying out the activities of the Federal Highway Administration." which recognizes geosynthetics as a material which should be consdiered." The bill also includes funding for the Export-Import Bank which will help small business manufacturers. Click here to read more about the extension. Posted November 20, 2015
TPP Agreement May Be Reached Today. The Washington Post is reporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement may be concluded after today's meeting in Atlanta, Ga., USA. Even as the talks reach the final stage, there is still concern expressed in the US domestic textile industry about the agreement. Yesterday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution's website posted on article in which TenCate expressed fear their company's competitiveness "would be threatened by a deal that cuts barriers and writes rules but creates only toothless enforcement." Click here to read the Atlanta Journal Constitution's article. Posted October 1, 2015
E-Textiles and Fashion Not Blending Well Yet. There is interesting insight on the difficulty of wearable electronics being accepted by fashion designers in an article on the EETimes website. The article notes there are few examples of commercially successful electronic fabrics due to issues with textiles, conductive threads, and ways of connecting them to electronic equipment. Electronic textiles are making much faster headway into apparel applications in healthcare and industrial sections. Clare King, president of Propel LLC, a specialty textile manufacturer, said "If companies can make a viable yarn out of one of the conductive polymers that have been developed, that will be a game changer." Click here to read the story. Posted November 20, 2015
Can an Advertised Two-Person Tent Really Fit Two People? There is an interesting article posted on the website Outside that discusses the need to combine, volume, weight and square footage in publishing the "livability" size of tents. The premise is that more specification information is now needed to make a purchasing decision. It wasn't needed 10 years ago when people bought tents after looking at them set up in a display section at a retail store. However, most tents are now purchased on line and tents are only being described by weight and square footage. One tent maker is now advocating all manufacturers should publish tent volume and, more important, a livability index -- a ratio of a tent's weight to space, making sure an advertised two-person tent can really fit two people. Click here to read the article. Posted November 20, 2015
September US Industrial Fabrics Export Figures Released. The US Department of Commerce has released the September export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics 206 Group. Comparing the current last 12-month period over the previous 12-month period, the world market for US exports in this group is at a 3.28% increase. Mexico continues to be the dominant recipient country, accounting for almost 50% of the worldwide US exports. The rankings of the top 5 countries continue to be #1 Mexico, #2 Canada, #3 China, #4 Hong Kong and #5 Japan. It's interesting to note that in comparing this current 12-month period with the previous 12-month period, exports to China have dropped 4%. Click here to see the entire report. Posted November 19, 2015
Three Days Left to Prevent Highway Funding Shutdown. The US Congress has only until Friday to prevent a highway-funding shutdown. The $325 billion Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 is currently being reviewed. Earlier this month, geosynthetic advocacy groups like the Geosynthetic Materials Association were able to have an amendment successfully inserted into the House version of the bill language pertaining to geosynthetics. Included in the bill is also funding for the Export Import Bank. The method of funding and for how long remains differences which have to get resolved between the House and Senate versions. Click here to read more. Posted November 17, 2015
No Airbags in Most Popular Car? Here's an extreme to the other post below about the Flesby. The best-selling car in Mexico from September 2013 through August 2015 was the Chevrolet Aveo. The car has no airbags. It has received 0 out of 5 possible stars for adult occupant protection from the New Car Assessment Program, an independent Latin America group that evaluates the safety of cars. Click here to read more. Posted November 16, 2015
Toyoda Reveals Concept Car with External Airbags. At the recently completed Tokyo Motor Show 2015, Toyoda Gosei displayed a concept car named the Flesby. It is a mini-vehicle that is padded with external airbags. Toyoda is partially owned by Toyota and is a major manufacturer of automotive airbags and other automotive component parts. Don't rush to go out to purchase the Flesby. Toyoda says it probably won't be ready for production until 2030. Click here to see a video report on the car during the Tokyo auto show. Posted November 16, 2015
Geomembrane Lining Company Opens New Facility in California. Colorado Lining International (CLI) has opened a new geomembrane fabrication facility in Colton, Calif., USA. CLI provides contracting, fabrication, and installation services to the containment industry in the United States and internationally in waste management, water resources, oil and gas, and industrial processing. CLI has been particularly involved in complex and critical water infrastructure projects utilizing fabricated materials that are custom built for the application. Click here to read the company press release on the opening of the new facility. Posted November 14, 2015
China Claims Stealth Drones Using Parachutes are a "Battlefield Game-Changer." There was an interesting article posted yesterday on the South China Morning Post website that said "Chinese researchers have completed the final field tests of a 'paragliding drone' in the western province of Tibet, a milestone seen as a prelude to China soon embarking on its first robotic air cargo fleet for military operations or disaster relief. Instead of using fixed wings or rotors like conventional drones, the newly test drones rely on a powered parachute for lift." The results showed that the unmanned parachutes could be deployed in harsh environments such as high-altitude areas with thin air. Click here to read the article. Posted November 11, 2015
Pakistan Distributes 43,625 Tents to Earthquake Survivors. According to the website Dispatch News Desk, Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has distribute 43,625 tents in The Khyber Pahtunkhwa Province since the 7.5 magnitude earthquake on October 26 hit the region as well as the Badakshan Province in Afghanistan. The earthquake killed more than 300 people and left thousands homeless. Click here to read more. Posted November 9, 2015
Sioen Industries to Cease Production at Ireland Plant. A report posted on the donegalnow.com website says that Belgium-based coated fabric producer Sioen Industries will cease its manufacturing at the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park in Donegal, Ireland. The Ireland plant manufactures a range of high-end technical protective clothing for a number of markets, and include rainwear, high visibility clothing and flame retardant clothing. It will relocate all production to its plant in Romania. Click here to read the article. Posted November 7, 2015
DuPont Protection Technologies Announces Winners in Glove Innovation Awards. DuPont Protection Technologies has announced the winners in the second annual DuPont™ Kevlar® Innovation Awards. Winning glove entries were chosen based on designs that utilized Kevlar® fiber in the glove construction, were unique and groundbreaking in their approach, and challenged the boundaries of conventional cut protection. the winning entries this year were HyFlex® 11-541 from Ansell; Memphis 9178NFO from MCR Safety; SBKG from Superior Glove Works Ltd; FR Emergency Gas Glove from Youngstown Glove Company; and the MATA/KVBK40 from Worldwide Protective Products. Click here to read the DuPont press release. Posted November 7, 2015
Public Hearing Set for Coleman's Foreign Trade Zone Application. At the request of The Coleman Company, a public hearing will be held on its application for additional production authority for activity within Subzone 119I in Sauk Rapids, Minn., The Coleman facility employs 252 and is used for the production of personal flotation devices and cushions constructed with textile fabrics. Coleman requested FTZ production authority in a notification proceeding in 2014. Click here to read more about the Coleman FTZ application in David Trumbull's Textiles & Trade website. Posted November 6, 2015
Legendary Parachute Designer Passes. Dan Poynter was one of the earliest advocates of self-publisher, founding Para Publishing in 1969 and then writing more than 100 books on writing and self-publisher. He was a visionary in the new world of digital publishing and was a founding member of the Publishers Marketing Association. But it was earlier in his life that he made a name for himself in the parachute industry. Mr. Poynter began his career with the management of a parachute company in California, after which he became more involved with the design aspect of parachutes and became a design specialist. According to the website Drop Zone, he released in 1972 "The Parachute Manual—A Technical Treatise on the Parachute", which is often seen as one of the leading early publications on skydiving gear. Click here to learn about his remarkable career. Posted November 5, 2015
Howa Textile Invests $13.1 Million in New Kentucky Plant. Regional clustering of component manufacturers in the automotive industry continues with the announcement that Japanese automotive equipment supplier Howa Textile Industry is investing more than $13 million to build its 4th US manufacturing plant. America Howa Kentucky, Inc., will build its new facility in Midway, Ky., USA, near the Toyota Motor manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Ky. Howa will be fabricating automotive headliners in its new plant, fusing textile materials to polyurethane foam substrate. Click here to read an article posted on the Plastics News website about the project. Posted November 5, 2015
Transportation Bill Update: Geosynthetics Included in an Amendment. The US House of Representatives is considering more than 300 amendments to the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015. Yesterday, Representative Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) successfully introduced an amendment that said “SEC. 1431. USE OF DURABLE, RESILIENT, AND SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS AND PRACTICES: To the extent practicable, the Secretary shall encourage the use of durable, resilient, and sustainable materials and practices, including the use of geosynthetic materials and other innovative technologies, in carrying out the activities of the Federal Highway Administration.” The inclusion is due in large part to the lobbying done by the Geosynthetics Materials Association, a division of Industrial Fabrics Association International. Posted November 5, 2015
US Transportation Secretary Confident Highway Infrastructure Funding Bill Will Get Passed. The US House of Representatives is now considering the multi-year $325 billion Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was interviewed October 2 on the MSNBC news channel. He was optimistic the bill would pass because it has large bi-partisan support. This is good news for the geosynthetics industry because it includes $270 million for road construction, a major application for geosynthetics. Congress is facing a self-imposed November 20 deadline to get the bill passed and funds authorized. Click here to read an article about the interview that was posted on The Hill website. Posted November 4, 2015
Kolon Industries Growing in Markets for Spunbond. According to Korea IT Times, the Korean-based Kolon Industries has seen continued growth of its spunbond material into civil engineering drainage filters. The material reportedly has captured 70% of the spunbond filter drainage market. Click here to read the release. Posted November 4, 2015
Technical Textiles Recycling Plant in Poland on Target. Solvay, an international chemical group, has announced that its Move4earth™ project for the recycling of technical textile waste from post-industrial sources is well on target. Construction is underway for an industrial-scale facility to become operational in 2016 in Gorzów, Poland. The project is focused on designing, implementing and validating an innovative recycling process designed to revalue technical textile waste, initially from airbags, into high-quality polyamide 6.6 (PA6.6) grades with reduced environmental impacts to complement Solvay Engineering Plastics’ Technyl® Force portfolio of engineering polymers. Click here to read the press release. Posted November 2, 2015
New Leadership at Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures. According to the St. Louis Business Journal, Jerry Grimaud, sole owner of Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc., of St. Louis, Mo., USA, has stepped down from the fabric structures company, retiring after the company had successfully adopting a new employee stock ownership plan for the 72 employees. Succeeding Mr. Grimaud as the company's president is Michael Bowman. Mr. Bowman joined the company in 2007 and became vice president in 2010. Mr. Gimaud had joined the company in 1979, becoming a minority partner in 1984, and in 2005 had bought out his partner, Bob Helmsing, to become the company's sole owner. The company was founded in 1941 and had grown to $10.7 million in revenue last year. Click here to read the article posted about the succession. Posted November 1, 2015
Vietnam to Raise Fabric Production Capacity to Meet Trade Deal Requirements. There is a good quick look on a Vietnam website called tuoitrenews.vn that reviews Vietnam's capacity to produce fibers and fabrics to meet the "yarn forward" rule of origin called for in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the "fabric forward" rule of origin in their newly signed EU agreements. The focus is on the garment industry but the numbers are revealing on how much Vietnam will have to shift and increase fiber and fabric resources with the new agreement that probably can also be applied to techical textiles and products made from technical textiles. Click here to read the article. Posted October 28, 2015
Reporter Volunteers to Get Shot to Demonstrate Effectiveness of Bullet-Proof Vest. There is one of those "oh-my-gosh videos" that we found on the euronews.com website. It's a reporter visiting Miguel Caballero, a bullet-proof clothing manufacturer in Bogota, Columbia. The vests are ultra-thin and very stylish, perfect business work attire in a country ravaged by narco-terrorism and kidnappings, but even sold by department stores such as Harrods in London. After signing a letter of liability discharge, the reporter demonstrates the product's effectiveness by putting on a vest and allowing himself to get shot right by a .38 caliber handgun placed about six inches away from his chest. What's even more amazing is it's done right on the factory floor while people all around him continue to make vests. Click here to view. Posted October 26, 2015
Anniversary Yesterday of First Parachute Jump. Did you miss it? Well, perhaps we should clarify that yesterday, October 23, was the anniversary date of the first "successful" parachute jump. It took place on October 22, 1797. Andre-Jacques Gernerin of France was the first to design and test parachutes capable of slowing a man's fall from a high altitude. In his historic feat, Mr. Garnerin used a hydrogen balloon to get to an altitude of 3,200 feet. He then attached a parachute of his design and jumped. He failed to include an airvent at the top of the chute which made it oscillate wildly but he landed safely. His wife, Jeanne-Genevieve late became the first female parachutist. Click here to read a story about the parachutes early days. Posted October 23, 2015
TenCate Releases Third Quarter 2015 Results. Koninklijke Ten Cate NV (TenCate) recorded sales of €297 million ($327.4 million) in the 3rd Quarter 2015. Revenues from military protective fabrics sales went as expected, according to the company. The sales for its Defender™ M sales increased sharply when compared to the same period 2014. However, industrial protective fabrics sales were increasingly affected by the negative developments in the oil and gas industry following the global lower crude oil prices. TenCate Geosynthetics reported lower quarterly sales, specifically in the US, but noted a large order from Brazil will have a positive impact in 2015. Click here to read the complete TenCate financial press statement issued October 22. Posted October 23, 2015
Carbon Flax Hybrid Developed. It's interesting that flax, one of the world's oldest known fiber for textiles, can be combined with carbon, to create a hybrid composite material that offers more attractive physical properties than carbon fiber-based material itself. The manufacturer of the hybrid, Composite Evolution of Chesterfield, UK, says the hybrid material costs les. has a weight reduction and better aesthetics, and has a new sound dampening qualities better than carbon fiber material. All these benefits make a carbon flax hybrid an attractive new material for the automotive and sporting good industries. Click here to read the article posted on EngineerLive. Posted October 23, 2015
Grant Given to University to Improve Emergency Tents. The materials science researchers at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) have received a five-year, $3.6 million grant from the US National Science Foundation (NSF). According to Penn's publication Penn Current, "The grant is to develop multifunctional coatings for emergency tents, enabling them to manage water in both drought and flood conditions, prevent the spread of bacteria, and help channel sunlight to solar panels." Click here to read more about the project. Posted October 22, 2015
Inflatable Boat Company Plans Workforce Expansion. Inflatable boat manufacturer Wing Inflatables is planning on adding up to 77 new hires thanks to an increase in demand and a recent $3.15 million loan from the city of Arcata (Calif., USA). The company makes boats for all the branches of the US military, plus the Candian Armed Forces and Australian Navy. Click here to read a story posted on the website Times-Standard about the anticipated expansion. Posted October 22, 2015
JanSport Backpack Company Co-Founder Dies. If you ever toted a load of books in your high school and college days, chances are you used a JanSport backpack. JanSport, based in Alameda, Calif., USA, was one of the companies which helped create the consumer backpack market in the 1970s. On October 19, Skip Yowell, co-founder of the company, died at the age of 69. Mr. Yowell started the company with his cousin Murray Pletz in 1967. In 1970, after enduring a terrible storm while camping, Mr. Yowell and Mr. Pletz also designed what Mr. Yowell later described as the first marketable dome tent. Biggest mistake of his life? According to his autobiography "The Hippie Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder and Other Mountains," the co-founders never patented their tent invention. Mr. Pletz left the company in 1982 and Mr. Yowell retired in 2005 as vice president of sales. Click here to read the obituary posted on the Los Angeles Times website. Posted October 21, 2015
Miller Weldmaster Launches New Website. In this day and age you have to be constantly changing your look and upgrading your website. Miller Weldmaster, a manufacturer of industrial welding equipment used in seaming technical textiles, has created a new website. New features include easier-to-access on its products and a new service and support center feature. Check it out at www.millerweldmaster.com. Posted October 21, 2015
Retired Cooley Vice President Passes. Sad to note Joseph R. Greco, retired vice president of Sales for Cooley Inc., of Pawtucket, R.I., USA, passed away on October 14 at the age of 90. In addition to Cooley, Mr. Greco worked for several other technical textile suppliers during his long industry career including Coated Technical Solutions and Erez USA. In 1996, Mr. Greco was awarded Honored Life Member status in the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the industry, Posted October 19, 2015
AEC Narrow Fabrics Names New Product Manager. Fabric supplier AEC Narrow Fabrics has selected industry veteran Laura Alfred to serve as product manager, according to the website Bedtimes Magazine. AEC is located in Asheboro, N.C., USA. Ms. Alfred had previously served as accounts manager for Lava Textiles. Click here to read the announcement. Posted October 16, 2015
European Tent Manufacturer Says Tents Are Not Proper Shelters for Refugees. The website NL Times has posted an article quoting Dorrie Eilers, of special events tent manufacturer Neplunus, saying that tents should not be the solution for housing the flood of refugees coming into Europe, especially for the winter months where there could be snow accumulation. The owner of the Netherlands-base company, explaining why Neplunus would not be providing tents during the refugee crisis, said "Tents are not suitable to accommodate people for a longer period of time You can do much better for a proper temporary housing." Click here to read the article. [Meanwhile the Associate Press reported yesterday the Austrian government plans to have 4 huge tents built and installed at its border to house thousands of refugees for the winter.] Posted October 16, 2015
Noxious Gases Detected by Graphene-Coated E-Fabrics. There is an interesting article posted on the website R&D.com on how scientists in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) have developed wearable, graphen-coated fabrics that can detect dangerous gases present in the air. Once detected, the wearer is alerted by a light-emitting diode (LED) light. The researchers at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute and Konkuk University coated cotton and polyester yarn with a nano-glue called boving serum albumin. The yarns were then wrapped in graphene oxide sheets. Click here to read more. Posted October 14, 2015
Vietnam Preparing for Trans-Pacific Partnership Impact. The Nikkei Asian Review has posted a report on the preparations in Vietnam and other Southeast Asia countries for the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group called Vinatex is growing its network of plants in advance of the pact's enactment. The most recent development is the breaking ground in March of a $55 million factory that will cover every step of the textile-making process, from spinning thread and weaving cloth to cutting and sewing finished products. It will be opened by 2017. Vinatex has invested more than $400 million since 2013 in building 15 centers for yarn, cloth and other production. Click here to read the article. Posted October 12, 2015
Iran Makes New Generation of Ballistic Vest. Researchers at Malek-Ashtar University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, have announced they have designed and manufactured a new generation of liquid armors using nanotechnology to make light and flexible ballistic vests. The armor is composed of two main components, including a fabric with high tensile strength such as Kevlar® and hardened undercutting fluid. The liquid absorbs the impact. Click here to read for more information. Posted October 12, 2015
Protective Clothing Manufacturer Makes Acquisition. Fire-Dex of Medina, Oh., USA, a manufacturer of protective firefighting clothing, has acquired TECGEN PPE, a flame , resistant fabric and garment technology from National Safety Apparel (NSA), Cleveland, Oh., USA. Fire-Dex is the exclusive licensee of the TECGEN PPE product line for the first responder market. This unique technical solution will expand Fire-Dex’s head-to-toe offering. Click here for more information on the acquisition. Posted October 8, 2015
Lectra Wins Intellectual Property Case in Germany. In a press release issued today, Lectra, a manufacturer of technical textile cutting equipment and software systems, announced that a German competitor’s machine was declared as infringing a Lectra’s patent protecting a solution for cutting one-piece-woven (OPW) airbags in Germany. The final court ruling stated that the competitor’s OPW-airbag-cutting machine makes use of Lectra patent EP 1 321 839’s inventive technical teaching, thus legally acknowledging that the machine infringes the patent. The Lectra patent describes an OPW-airbag-cutting machine as integrating three elements: a cut-on-the-fly cutting system for cutting patterns in sheet material; a vision system for locating on-the-fly landmarks in sheet material; and a control system that allows a pattern to be cut at the same time as the vision system locates the next landmark, while the sheet material continues to progress along the cutting table. Click here to read the entire press release. Posted October 6, 2015
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Reached. It took a couple of extra days but there are reliable reports the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement has been finalized today in Atlanta, Ga., USA. According to BeaverLake6 Report sources, the agreement will have the "yarn forward" rule demanded by the National Council of Textile Organizations NCTO) and, equally important, is word that the short-supply list of products exempted from "yarn forward" requirements is limited. Let's now have a look for the first time what they have been negotiating in secret and hope the agreement avoids the disasterous affects for the US domestic textile industry that came from the North American Free Trade Agreement. Posted October 5, 2015
IFAI Reports US Department of Defense Purchase Level Requirement for US-Made Products to Stay at $150,000. The Specialty Fabrics Review, published by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), posted on its website the "Berry Amendment Threshold to Stay at $150,000." We think the announcement is a little premature as the US 2016 National Defense Authorization Act has not yet been passed. Nonetheless, it looks very likely the threshold will remain at this level when the 2016 authorization act is passed. The Berry (and Kissel) amendments, which were renewed by both the US House and Senate a few months ago for inclusion in the authorization act, requires the US Department of Defense to procure textiles and certain other textile-products to be made in the US, if available, once the purchasing amount reaches $150,000. Click here to read the Review's article. Posted October 3, 2015
Australian University Research Develops Knitted Stretch-Sensing Fabric. According to an article posted on the Australian website abc.net, a wearable knee sleeve, knitted from stretch-sensing fibers that can detect human movement, has been developed by researchers at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales. The sleeve could be used to better control bending tolerances of the knee and prevent injuries in athletes and faster recovering after knee replacement. The researchers first developed a new, robust hybrid yarn that is pulled out of a solution made from a mixture of organic conducting polymers and polyurethane. The yarn strands are then blended with Spandex yarns that creates an electrically conductive textile. With a batter hookup to the material, the stretch of the yarn can be measure. Another application for the material could be seat belts. Click here to read the article. Posted October 2, 2015
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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.
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. Posted October 19, 2018
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 continue.]
Posted November 21, 2018
NAFTA Replacement Agreement Negotiated. On October 1, President Donald Trump announced the US, Mexico and Canada had reached an agreement whichreplaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that went into effect in 1994. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) contains provisions and language that has an impact on the technical textiles industry; the most important are 1) a special section covering textiles and apparel and 2) rules of origin that will require 75% of automotive content (under NAFTA 62.5%) be made in North America. Mexico and Canada are the two largest importers of US made technical textiles and the automotive industry is the largest intended end market of these technical textiles. Click here to go to the United States Trade Representative's website and read the "Textiles and Apparel Goods" chapter. Posted October 3, 2018
Fiber Publication Acquired. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, today announced the acquisition of two leading industry publications: International Filtration News and International Fiber News. The association purchased the publications from International Media Group, Inc., based in Tempe, Az., USA. The purchase price and terms were not disclosed. The publications each have circulations of 8,000-plus domestic and international readers and have served their readers for over three decades. Both are published six times a year in print and digital formats. The acquisitions will expand INDA’s reach and relevance in the key markets the print and digital publications serve with a particular emphasis on the filtration and separation segment as INDA launches its new FiltXpo event to be held in Chicago every 18 months starting February 26-28, 2020. Click here to read the INDA press release on the purchase. Posted October 2, 2018
Are you looking for a quick understanding of the China technical textiles industry? Through our special relationship with China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) and their China Textile publication, BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to post the English-translation of the recently issued "Status Quo of China's Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Industry, 2017." The report covers the different levels of the industry, geographic export demographics, and forecast the needs in the major end market applications. Click here to read the report in our China Textile website section. Posted June 18, 2018
I am pleased to announce the second part of my report 2018 State of the U.S.Technical Textiles Industry has been published by Textile World magazine.
This first part features a general industry overview, plus an evaluation of the status and impact of US trade positions.
The second part, featured in the April/May issue will cover major end markets for technical textiles such as automotive and military.
Click here to go to the Textile World website to download a copy.
Steve Warner, Publisher
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