BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

Archived Industry News

October 1 - December 31, 2017

Lest We Forget: Former Cooley Leader P. Robert Siener, Jr. Passes. Cooley Group's long-time president and chairman of the board P. Robert Siener, Jr., passed away on December 24. He was 93 years old. Mr. Siener, a World War 2 combat veteran, joined Cooley in 1947. He was named president in 1960. Mr. Siener was a past member of the board of directors of Canvas Products Association International (now Industrial Fabrics Association International). In 2001, Mr. Siener was given the organization's Honored Life member status. Cooley, headquartered in Pawtucket, R.I., USA, is a manufacturer of technical textiles serving the graphics, building products and engineered fabric markets. Posted December 27, 2017

South Africa Pays High for New Ballistic Vests. According to the South African news website Sunday Times, the South African Police Services has purchased "what could be the most expensive bulletproof vests in the world." The article claims the government spent almost $526,000 to purchase 200 lightweight vests ($2,622/vest) for initial testing, with a further order for $2.9 million from the Indian manufacturer MKU pending the results of the testing. In contrast, current vests cost only $625 per vest. The new contract went out without tender and reportedly a significant amount of the purchase cost went to a "middleman." Click here to read a summary of the article which appeared on the mybroadband.com  website. Posted December 20, 2017

Geosynthetics Industry Shakeup: Groupe Solmax Acquires GSE Environmental. Groupe Solmax, a Canadian-based company and an industry leader in the production of high-quality polyethylene geomembranes for industrial and environmental applications has acquired GSE Environmental based in Houston, Texas, USA from Littlejohn & Co., LLC and certain funds and accounts managed by Strategic Value Partners, LLC, both Greenwich, Connecticut-based private investment firms supplying large industrial players with high-quality containment systems for domestic, hazardous or industrial waste burial sites, retention ponds, fracking and heap leaching pads.  The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ are Solmax’s financial partners for this transaction. Both will have equity positions in the company. Click here to read the Solmax press release. Thanks to our friend Chris Kelsey at geosynthetica.net for alerting us to the acquisition. Posted December 20, 2017

Polyfab Australia Announces Acquisition by Nolan Group. Australian shading material maker Polyfab Australia has announced it is being acquired by the Nolan Group, a trading company specializing in industrial textiles in Australia and the surrounding region. Polyfab is the producer of knitted HDPE shadecloth. It's founder, Barry Jamieson, will remain with the company. (Note: Polyfab USA was once part of Polyfab Australia but has since become an independent company.) Posted December 18, 2017

New Safer System for Hauling Liquids in Tanker Trucks. There is an interesting article/video on the Uk's Transport Engineer website about a Dutch manufacturer of a system to secure liquid loads in road-going tankers using inflatable bladders that reduces fuel consumption and improves vehicle security. The company is called Accede NV. The inflatable tubes replace traditional baffles used to control foward movement in quick stopping situations. Click here to read the article and watch the video of an interview with a transport driver on his impressions in using the new system. Posted December 15, 2017

US Lawmakers Question Need for New Marine Parachute System. According to a report on the military.com website, the new US 2018 National Defense Authorization Act prevents the US Marine Corps in investing in an enhanced multi-mission parachute system until the US Department of the Navy submits a report evaluating whether other military systems such as the Army's new RA-1 system would meet Marine Corps mission requirements. Documents show the Marine Corps wants up to 1,200 of the parachutes, along with accessories including harnesses for working dogs and parachutist oxygen systems. The RA-1 system was approved last year under a $99 million contract with Airborne Systems North America. Click here​ to read the article on the military.com website. Posted December 13, 2017

Supercapacitor Fibers Developed. Writing on his Texsnips web blog, Texas Tech University Professor Seshadri Ramkumar reports that a supercapacitor fiber which can serve as a power source for wearable technologies has recently been developed by a team of scientists from Deakin University in Australia. They have succeeded in spinning 2-dimensional "MXene," into fibrous strands. The strands can become a power source for electronic devices. MXenes are a relatively new type of ceramics that have inherently good conductivity. Click here to read more about the discovery on Professor Ramkumar's website. Posted December 12, 2017

US Gives Pakistan Police $23 Million in Protective Gear. According to various Pakistan websites, the US embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) Section has provided the Pakistan police with state-of-the-art lightweight protective gear worth more than $23 million between June-September 2017 to protect the latter in their fight against terrorism and crime. The latest equipment, which consists of 30,500 "bulletproof" vests and more than 27,000 ballistic helmets, has been provided by the US. This step brings the total number of protective gear assistance since 2009 to more than 53,000 "bulletproof" vests and almost 47,000 ballistic helmets. Click here to read the article posted on the Pakistan website The NationPosted December 12, 2017

Hexcel to Acquire Oxford Performance Materials' Aerospace & Defense Business. Composite material maker Hexcel Corporation announced yesterday that it is acquiring the Aerospace & Defense (A&D) business of Oxford Performance Materials. A&D is a manufacturer of carbon fiber reinforced 3F printed parts for Commercial Aerospace and Space and Defense applications. Hexcel is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., USA. Click here to read the company's press release on the acquisition. Posted December 12, 2017

Gale Pacific Focusing on Technical Textiles.  There is an interesting article posted on the ShareCafe investment website on the refocus of Gale Pacific on technical textiles. Over the past 3 years, Gale has sold most of its non-textile businesses; most recently its unprofitable Everton glass business in June. Other divestments include items like household products such as bath mats and soap dispensers. The article reports the company plans to have technical textile products "now generate about 96% of its revenues and 100% of its profits." Major retail product lines include items such as shade fabrics, exterior window furnishings, gazebos, shade sails, screening, synthetic turf, weedmat/garden covers and shade umbrellas. Click here to read the article. Posted December 12, 2017

Italian Textile Machinery Association Opens Training Center in Vietnam. Despite the failure so far of the Trans-Pacific Agreement, Vietnam remains the hot spot in Southeast Asia for the developing textile industry. Completing an agreement originally reached in April 2016, the Italian Trade Agency and Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology has opened the Italian technology training center for textile machinery. The opening follows the announcement of the Swiss textile machinery association of its intent to open an office in Vietnam (see our November 6 post). Italian textile machinery exports to Vietnam rose +53% during the first half of 2017 over the first half of 2016. Click here to read the press release offered by ACMIT, the Italian textile machinery association. Posted December 11, 2017

Coats Acquires Patrick Yarn Mill. United Kingdom based industrial thread manufacturer Coats Group plc has acquired Patrick Yarn Mill, a manufacturer of high-performance engineered yarns based in N.C, USA.  Patrick Yarn Mill specializes in cut-resistant and flame-retardant yarns.  It also produces yarns from recycled fibers marketed under its earthspun® trademarks. Founded in 1963, Patrick Yarn Mill has 150 employees.  In 2016, its annual sales were $36.5m. The acquisition of Patrick Yarn Mill follows two acquisitions in 2016 for Coats. Gotex, a Spanish company which designs and manufactures high-tech industrial yarns and tapes used in the telecommunications, energy and oil and gas sectors became part of Performance Materials.  FRS, a UK based company which provides software solutions and expertise to improve operational efficiency and speed to market in apparel and footwear, became part of Coats Global Services. Click here to read the Coats press release. Posted December 11, 2017

October Export Figures Released by US Department of Commerce. The US Department of Commerce has released the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end October 31. Overall exports rose to just under 4%. Exports to Mexico, the US's largest export destination, remains flat, amounting to less than a percentage point increase. Exports to China, however, continued its brisk pace this year with a 24% increase from the previous year. Click here to see the entire report. 

 

 

Year Ending

10/2016

Year Ending

10/2017

 

% Change

Mexico

2,060,293

2,071,971

+0.6

Canada

554,328

583,691

+5.3

China

162,953

202,061 +25.0

Hong Kong

127,467 123,735 -2.9

United Kingdom

91,427

100,577 +10.0
World 4,032,358 4.190,971 +3.9

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted December 11, 2017

Moses Lake Carbon Fiber Plant Acquired. SGL Carbon SE is acquiring BMW Group's 49% equity investment in the joint ventures SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) and SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers LLC (US) – together referred to as "SGL ACF." The agreement was signed November 24, 2017. SGL Group will be the sole owner of SGL ACF, located in Moses Lake, Washington, USA. The transaction is subject to approval from the respective authorities. The SGL ACF joint venture was founded in 2009 with the aim of establishing the use of carbon as a lightweight construction material in the automotive industry and securing the supply of carbon fibers and fabrics for BMW Group. SGL ACF will be assigned to the Composites – Fibers & Materials (CFM) business unit. Click here to read the entire announcement. Posted December 4, 2017 

Awning-Cleaning Business Owner Charged with Violent Extortion Scheme. A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in the Eastern District of New York charging Ruslan Reizin and Mark Krivoi with extortion conspiracy.  The charges stem from the defendants’ alleged extortion and violent assault of a teenage victim who started an awning-cleaning business in Brooklyn that competed with a similar business operated by Reizin. According to the charges, the defendants allegedly threated to cut off their ex-employee's ear if he didn't pay them $5,000 for encroaching on their awning cleaning business. When the victim said he couldn't pay, the defendants beat him severely until he eventually agreed to their terms. Click here to read the US Attorney's Office press release on the indictment. Posted November 30, 2017

Apple Granted Patent on Next Generation Smart Fabrics for Its Future Apple Watch. According to the website Patently Apple, the US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded a patent to Apple Inc. for its invention of a new type of smart fabric composition that includes inserting metal wires and other conductive fibers that can be used to carry signals for electrical components. Click here to read more about the patent. Posted November 30, 2017

US Coated Fabric Manufacturer Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. In a story we have been following for more than two years (see the July 26, 2015 original post), coated fabric and fuel cell bladder manufacturer American Fuel Cell (Amfuel) Company has now filed for Chapter 11 protection with the US Bankruptcy Court. Last year Amfuel announced it was closing its plant in Magnolia, Ark., USA, and moving to Wichita Falls, Texas, USA. As of its November 26 Chapter 11 filing, the company said it still had about 125 employees in Magnolia in addition to about 240 people in Wichita Falls. On September 27, Amfuel was awarded a $10.2 million contract with the US Department of Defense to manufacture aircraft fuel cell bladders. Amfuel is one of only 5 domestic companies making fuel cells for the US military. The company originally started out in 1917 as Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. Click here to read more about the Chapter 11 filing. Posted November 30, 2017

Toray Falsified Data Regarding Carbon Fiber Testing. It's another "black eye" for the Japanese technical textiles industry with the admission by Toray Industries that company subsidiary Toray Hybrid Cord had altered data results after internal testing showed it failed to meet stated company claims of some of its cords used in the manufacture of tires, car hose belts and paper making. The Japanese technical textile industry is already reeling from the Takata false data fiasco which ultimately brought the company down. The products issued with false data were supplied to approximately 13 companies between 2008 and 2016. Click here to read a New York Times article about the issue. Posted November 30, 2017 

DNA Textile Group Announces Closing of Denim Business Unit. DNA Textile Group has decided to exiting the denim buisness by the end of January 2018 due to sagging demand and low selling prices. DNA, headquartered in Columbus, Ga., USA, was the last major US domestic manufacturer of denim. The good news is the company is pivoting quickly and focusing on their 5-year-old Technical Fabrics and Custom Finishing divisions, which have been steadily growing. DNA will continue producing FR Denim and other specialty performance denims within the Technical Fabric Division. Click here to find out more at the DNA website. Posted November 30, 2017

Bondcote Names New President. In a letter posted on its Bondcote Corporation's LinkedIn web page, technical fabric producer Heytex Bramsche has announced the appointment of Martin Denney as president of Bondcote Corporation, effective December 4, 2017.  Bondcote is headquartered in Pulaski, Va., USA. Mr. Denney was most recently president of the North American operations of Gale Pacific Ltd., another manufacturer of technical textiles. Mr. Denney replaces Ted Anderson, who earlier this year had announced his intention to retire. Click here to read the letter posted by Heytex CEO Heribert DecherPosted November 29, 2017 

US Army Reserve Officer Receives 4 Years for Defrauding Government.  In a follow up to our April 26, 2017 post, previously convicted US Army Reserve Lt. Col. Frederick Burnett, president of Lamar International Inc. of Huntsville, Ala., USA, was sentenced November 28 to 4 years in prison and ordered to forfeit $4.4 million for falsely stating that promotional backpacks and baseball caps supplied under a series of contracts with the US Department of Defense were made in the US. An investigation found the items were actually made in China. Lt. Col. Burnett claimed on 3 contracts worth $6.2 million awarded between 2005 and 2009 that the promotional products were US-made to avoid the Berry Amendment's made-in-US requirement. Click here to read an article on the sentencing posted on the News Courier (Athens, Ala., USA) website. Posted November 29, 2017

Beaver Manufacturing Plans Mexican and South American Expansion. In a series of moves during the last month, Georgia-based Beaver Manufacturing, a producer of adhesive-treated fiber reinforcements for industrial hoses, is readying itself to expand into Mexico and South America. Early in November, the company announced the hiring of Enrique Quirarte as the General Manager for Mexico and South America. This week, it announced the opening of a new plant in Tepeji, Mexico to increase its converting capacity of meta- and para-aramid, rayon and polyester products that support automotive, oil and gas, and other industrial applications in Mexico and South America. Click here to read more about the plant opening posted on the RubberNews.com website. Posted November 28, 2017

Cooling Fabric Maker brrrº Hires Global Sales Manager. Cooling textile innovator brrr° has hired Julie Brown to lead its global sales functions and create new industry-focused sales teams. Ms. Brown, will work with brrr° Chief Executive Officer Mary-Cathryn Kolb to reorganize the company’s global sales team around industry-specific verticals such as business and casual office wear, athletic apparel, uniforms and medical clothing, bedding and home interiors, automotive and other manufacturers. Atlanta-based brrr° was founded in 2014. Its focus is to develop innovative and technologically advanced fabrics with superior cooling performances. Posted November 28, 2017

NASA-Inspired USA Olympic Uniforms for Snowboarders. Burton Snowboards, the official provider of snowboarding equipment for the US Olympic snowboard team, has unveiled the snappy new uniforms to be worn at the 2018 games taking place in Pyeonchang, South Korea. According to an article posted on the Forbes magazine website, "The uniform infuses a lightweight, aluminum-coated fabric typically used for audio equipment with technical properties made for snowboarding in any weather condition...The company claims the resulting fabric is light, waterproof, and reflective to both light and sound. Next, to pay homage to the spirit of the American space program, the competition jacket has hand-drawn patches depicting the American flag and 'USA' in space-age font." Click here to read the article. Posted November 20, 2017

Ballistic Vest Company Point Blank Enterprises Faces Class Action Lawsuit on Alleged Defective Products. According to the website Class Action, "The Ohio State Troopers Association, Inc., the International Union of Police Associations, and three individual officers have filed a proposed class action lawsuit that alleges the shoulder straps on certain model bulletproof vests manufactured by defendant Point Blank Enterprises, Inc. are defective to the extent that they pose a 'life-threatening safety issue' and cannot be reasonably relied upon for their intended use." The lawsuit was filed October 19, 2017 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Point Blank is one of the largest suppliers of ballistic vests to US law enforcement and military agencies. Click here to read the Class Action article and also to read the entire 34-page filed document. Posted November 20, 2017 

UMass Lowell Given Grant to Research Smart Fabric. According to an article posted on the University of Massachusetts' website, Governor Charlie Bakerhas awarded UMass Lowell (Lowell, Mass., USA) an $11.3 million state grant to establish the Fabric Discovery Center (FDC). The Discovery Center is one of a series being organized by the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (see earlier posting today about the Drexel Discovery Center). One goal of the UMass FDC research is to seamlessly embed flexible hybrid electronics into fabric by threading conductive wire, which is indistinguishable from normal thread, thereby creating the next generation of smart fabrics,” said Professor Ramaswamy Nagarajan. Click here to read the UMass announcement. Posted November 20, 2017

NASA's Mars 2020 Mission Performs First Supersonic Parachute Test. The first testing last month of NASA's Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE) was described by one official as "wild." The parachute system was launched into the upper-atmosphere from the Goddard Space Flight Center near Hampton, Virginia, USA. "It was quite a ride," said Ian Clark, the test's technical lead from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For the first time NASA got to see the supersonic parachute system in real action asit successful released at 1.8 times the speed of sound. The parachute is designed to slow the spacecraft down as it enters the Martian atmosphere at over 12,000 mph. The next ASPIRE test is planned for February 2018. Click here to read the complete NASA press release. Posted November 17, 2017

European Union to Fine Airbag and Seat Belt Manufacturer Cartel. According to the Reuters news agency, the European Union (EU) is finalizing its 6-year investigation into an alleged cartel of a group of car seat belt and airbag makers and is about to announce fines for the companies involved. Cartels are prohibited by EU rules. Airbag producer TRW Automotive, which was acquired by Germany's ZF Friedrichschefen AG, has already acknowledged that two of its factories in Germany were investigated. Autoliv, the world's largest airbag manufacturer, has declined to comment on the investigation. Companies have an incentive to admit their wrong-doing, receiving a 10% discount in the penalty fines handed out by the EU. Click here to read the Reuters report published in Automotive News EuropePosted November 17, 2017

Berry Gobal Group to Acquire Clopay Plastic Products. Berry Global Group, Inc. (Berry) has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Clopay Plastic Products Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Griffon Corporation, for $475 million. Berry, headquartered in Evansville, Ind., USA, is a manufacturer of engineered materials, nonwoven specialty materials, and consumer packaging. Clopay, based in Mason, Oh., USA, is a global supplier of printed breathable films as well as elastic films and laminates used in markets such as healthcare, construction and industrial protective apparel. Click here to read the Berry announcement. Posted November 17, 2017

US Federal Court Dismisses Legal Motions Alleging False and Misleading Claims Against Protective Material Manufacturer. Vestagen Protective Technologies, Inc., which manufactures and markets VESTEX® Active Barrier fabric healthcare uniforms, lab coats and patient garments, today announced that a U.S. federal court in California denied all additional legal motions against Vestagen brought by medical garment manufacturer Strategic Partners, Inc. (SPI). The SPI motions followed a recent jury trial for its 2016 lawsuit, in which the jury found in favor of Vestagen. The Court decisions this week confirm the jury verdict, rejecting SPI's allegations that Vestagen had made false and misleading advertising and marketing claims about VESTEX. The Court's denial of these new motions means the jury verdict for Vestagen will stand. Click here to read the company's press release on the Court's action. Posted November 17, 2017

September Export Figures Released by US Department of Commerce. The US Department of Commerce has released the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end September 30. Exports to Mexico, the US's largest export destination, remains flat, whilesales to China have continued to double-digit growth. Click here to see the entire report. 

 

 

Year Ending

9/2016

Year Ending

9/2017

 

% Change

Mexico

2,070,343

2,062,079

-0.4

Canada

558,168

580,196

+3.9

China

163,069

198,961 +22.0

Hong Kong

131,776 124,860 -5.2

United Kingdom

90,666

100,546 +10.9
World 4,063595 4,162,674 +2.4

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted November 6, 2017

India's Textile Minister Addresses Need for Domestic Technical Textile Industry to Standardize. At the 3rd National Conclave on Standards and Technical Textiles taking place November 2, 2017 in New Delhi, India, Anant Jumar Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, discussed the need for faster technical textile standard development. According to an article posted on the Business Standard website, Mr. Singha said that rapid growth is expected in domestic production and that 8 committees had been formed at the Centre of Excellences in India to expedite the process of developing standards. Click here to read the article. Posted November 3, 2017

Airbag and Seatbelt Safety Discussed for School Buses. The website School Transportation News has an interesting interview with Nick Awabdy, vice president of Engineering at IMMI, a global manufacturer of commercial restraint systems for both people and products. In the article, Mr. Awabdy says the current high costs of airbags make installation of them a "nonstarter" for budget-conscious school systems. However, he says, "It will happen." New technology and placement consideration including roof-rail and side airbags covering the windows make it possible to eliminate any secondary body impacts during a crash. New lap-belt technology, improved education of the positive affects of use, and continuing falling prices for seat modules make it increasingly viable for the inclusion of seatbelts in school buses. Click here to read the article. Posted November 3, 2017

New Company Name for Former Durafiber Plant in Germany. As we reported last month, the Durafiber Technologies plant in Bad Herseld, Germany was purchased by internal management and a private investment company. Today the high tenacity yarn producer announced that effective November 1, 2017 its new name has become The FilamentFactory GmbH. Posted November 3, 2017

Drexel Names New Vice Provost. Timothy P. Kurzweg, an electrical and computer engineering professor at Drexel University, Philadelphia, Penn., USA, has been appointed vice provost for undergraduate education to foster student achievement at the university. Mr. Kurzweg has undergone several well-funded research studies in recent  work at Drexel, including receiving a nearly $1.4 million award from the National Institutes of Health for work in smart textiles. He and his collaborators also received an $800,000 grant for further research into textiles used in a medical setting. Posted November 3, 2017

Serbian Ballistic Equipment Facility Opens. According to the newsletter Textiles Eastern Europe, Serbian textile producer Yumco has opened a new facility in Vranje called Balistika. The company will produce protective ballistic equipment such as "bulletproof" vests and gloves. The company's general manager said the facility will produce 20,000 protective vests and 10,000 protective equipment kits a year. Click here to go to Textiles Eastern Europe website. [Note: The newsletter is subscription based.] Posted November 1, 2017

2018 World Directory of Manufactured Fiber Producers Released. The 2018 World Directory of Manufactured Fiber Producers was released yesterday by the Fiber Economics Bureau (FEB). The annual directory is based on the FEB's World Survey of Manufactured Fiber Production, Capacity, and Producers, and on reports from the extensive network of trade contacts the FEB has established over the last 3 decades.  The digital edition lists almost 1,400 company names with extensive company contact details in 64 countries. Click here to find out more about the directory or to order a copy. Posted November 1, 2017 

INVISTA Enters into Definitive Agreement to sell Apparel & Advanced Textiles Business. INVISTA has entered into a definitive agreement with Shandong Ruyi Investment Holding to sell INVISTA’s Apparel & Advanced Textiles business, one of INVISTA’s four major business units. Closing is expected by mid-2018. The purchase price is undisclosed. INVISTA will retain ownership of its nylon, polyester, polyols and licensing businesses and related brands. This includes INVISTA’s nylon 6,6 intermediates business, its global nylon polymer and fiber portfolio, and brands including CORDURA® fabric. INVISTA will also retain its intellectual property rights for 1,4 butanediol (BDO), tetrahydrofuran (THF) and polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) technologies and will continue to license these technologies on a global basis.  Click here to read the complete company press release on the sale. Posted October 30, 2017

Lest We Forget: Industry Leader Roy Schweinfurth Passes. It is with regret to give the news that retired industry leader Roy Schweinfurth has died at age 91. Mr. Schweinfurth was formerly the owner of Awnco, a Chicago-area custom awning manufacturer. He earned the professional certification Master Fabric Craftsman from the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) and served in many leadership positions in the organization, culminating in being elected as its president (now chairman of the board) from 1985 to 1987. Click here to read the obituary posted on the Chicago Tribune website. Posted October 28, 2017

Fiber and Yarn Distribution Agreement Announced. TNC Global of Greensboro, N.C., USA, and The Radici Comfort Fibres Business Area, headquartered in Gandino, Italy, have announced the signing of a distribution agreement for the US and Canada. TNC will be responsible for the distirbution of Radici Nylon and Ployester fiber and filament yarn products. Posted October 25, 2017

Ballistic Gear Manufacturer Continues Acquisition Spree. JLL PB Holding LLC, the parent company of Point Blank Enterprises (“Point Blank”), a producer of soft and hard body armor and related protective equipment, announced today the acquisition of substantially all the assets of Short Bark Industries, a certified Berry Amendment compliant manufacturer of tactical and strategic gear and uniforms for various branches of the U.S. military. Point Blank also announced the formation of a new division, Protective Apparel & Uniform, which will incorporate the Short Bark business. This makes the third acquisition by Point Blank in 2017, following the May purchase of Gould & Goodrich, a maker of gun holsters, duty belts and other protective gear in Lillington, N.C., USA, and the August purchase of United Shield International Limited, a maker of protective body armor in Andover, Hampshire, U.K. Click here to read the Point Blank press release. Posted October 25, 2017

Partnership Announced in the Development of Wearables Designed for Military Applications. Zansors, a micro-sensor technology company, and Blauer Manufacturing Inc., a maker of uniforms and protective apparel for first responders and military, have announced a partnership to introduce wearable technology in defense textiles. According to the press release issued yesterday, fabrics enhanced with sensors can be developed to change colors, be more sweat-friendly, ballistic-hardened, or tear and puncture proof. Zansors is located in the metro-Washington, D.C., area and Blauer is located in Boston, Mass., USA. Click here to read the press release. Posted October 25, 2017

Serge Ferrari Names Sales Manager for Canada. In a press release posted today, Serge Ferrari, has announced the appointment of Simon Léger as its Regional Sales Manager for Canada. Mr. Léger brings to Serge Ferrari more than 15 years of experience in the building finishing industry.  The company is a producer of flexible material used for solar protection, marine, architectural, building facade, and other applications. Posted October 19, 2017

Rhode Island Governor Extolls Textile Industry Roots in the State. Rhode Island (USA) Governor Gina Raimondo met with members of the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN) yesterday as she visited a Kenyon Industries manufacturing plant. The company, a division of Brookwood Industries, is a dyer, finisher, coater and printer of woven synthetic fabrics for end markets such as recreation and military. RITIN was formed about a year ago and today has more than 60 state textile manufacturers  involved. A goal is to present a positive image of the growing applications for technical textiles, targeting students graduating from high school. Click here to read an article posted on The Westerly Sun website. Posted October 19, 2017

Hyundai Mobis Reveals Sunroof Airbag. The South Korea automotive parts supplier Hyundai Mobis announced yesterday it has introduced the industry's first panorama sunroof airbag.  According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 260 passengers in the US have been thrown through the sunroof in accidents occurring between 2000 and 2015. Hyundai Mobis is a relative newcomer in the airbag supplier industry, only mass-producing airbag systems since 2002. Click here to read an article on this new system on The Korea Herald website. Posted October 19, 2017

August Export Figures Released by US Department of Commerce. The US Department of Commerce has released the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end August 31. The overall global export figure showed a continued improvement that we began to see several months ago, increasing in August by 2.1% over the same period last year.  While Mexico continues to be the dominant destination of US technical textile exports with slightly under 50%, the US exports to China have seen double-digit percentage growth these past few months. It's something US trade organizations like NCTO should be watching. Click here to see the entire report. 

 

 

Year Ending

8/2016

Year Ending

8/2017

 

% Change

Mexico

2,072,844

2,066,661

-0.30

Canada

555,974

578,235

+4.00

China

164,808

159,593

+18.68

Hong Kong

130,718

122,167

-6.54

United Kingdom

98,292

99,782

+10.51

World 4,068,612 4,155,146 +2.13

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted October 16, 2017

Apparel Manufacturer Commits $100 Million to New Canadian Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster. Myant Inc., an apparel manufacturing company involved in smart fabrics, confirmed yesterday that it has committed $100-million to the proposed Canadian advanced manufacturing supercluster. The "supercluster" is part of a $950 million national program similar to the innovation centers being set up in the US. According to Tony Chahine, CEO and Founder of Myant: "The Canadian supercluster will bring together more than 100 academic institutions, not-for-profits, healthcare groups and manufacturers to establish high quality and resilient jobs, and talent and training in leading industries that intersect manufacturing and technology." Click here to read more. Posted October 12, 2017

Green Textile Changes Name and Rebrands. After more than 75 years, Green Textile is rebranding to Signet Mills to reflect its efforts to be custom and unique in supplying engineered materials for the medical, industrial and automotive industries. The company is headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C., USA. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted October 11, 2017 

German DuraFiber Technologies Plant Acquired by Internal Management up and Private Investment Group. Following on the heels of the announcement the Shelby, N.C., USA plant had been sold to an internal management buyout group and a private investment company, DuraFiber Technologies (FDT) GmbH in Bad Hersfeld, Germany has also had an internal management buyout. Ralph Van Loo will remain in his position as the company's CEO. The Bad Hersfeld plant makes high tenacity multifilament yarns manufactured from PET (polyethylene terephthalate), PEEK (polyetheretherketone), PPS (polyphenylene sulfide) and PBT (polybutylene terephalate). The end markets include applications requiring high strength, from architectural design to seat belt yarns, from MRG to sewing threads and specialty applications. The ownership group in the Bad Hersfeld acquisition is completely different from the investment group acquiring the Shelby plant. Posted October 10, 2017

Maine High Temperature Fabric Manufacturer Receives Excellence Award. Auburn Manufacturing, headquartered in Mechanic Falls, Maine, USA, was given the 2017 Maine MEP Manufacturing Excellence Award today. The award recognizes leadership, vision and manufacturing excellence. Auburn Manufacturing make extreme heat resistant industrial textiles. Last year, the company successful brought forth an anti-dumping claim against a Chinese manufacturer bringing heat-resistant fabrics into the US. Click here to read an article posted on the Portland Press Herald website. Posted October 6, 2017

Healthcare Uniform Provider Secures $9.5 Million. Vestagen Protective Technologies, Inc., which develops and markets VESTEX® Active Barrier1 fabric healthcare uniforms, lab coats and patient garments, announced yesterday the closing of a $9.5 million financing. Existing investors Advent Life Sciences and HealthQuest Capital, and new investors Greenline Ventures, Northwell Ventures and Mercy Health of Cincinnati, participated in the funding round. Proceeds from the financing will primarily be used to generate additional clinical evidence of VESTEX’s ability to protect healthcare workers and patients from the risks of unanticipated exposures to body fluids, to obtain regulatory review of the protective properties of VESTEX fabric and to expand the company’s commercialization activities. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted October 6, 2017

New Leadership at Glen Raven. Congratulations to Allen Gant Jr., as he officially stepped down as president and CEO of Glen Raven Inc. this afternoon. Mr. Gant has recorded a remarkable tenure in guiding Glen Raven during the past 18 years. Under his leadership, the company has expanded into Asia, Europe, Brazil and India, as well as grown beyond the traditional industrial fabric products offered when he took over. Mr. Gant will continue to serve as chairman of the board of the family-owned business. Succeeding him is Leib Oehmig, the first non-family member to serve as president and CEO. Mr. Oehmig was previously the company's chief operating officer. Posted October 5, 2017

Firestone Fibers and Textiles Facility in Canada to Close. Bridgestone Canada Inc. announced today it would close the Firestone Fibers and Textiles facility in Woodstock, Ont., Canada in 2018. The plant manufactures Nylon 6 for external customers, and reinforcement materials for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, Firestone Industrial Products and Firestone Building Products. More than 180 jobs will be lost with the closing that will take place over an 18-month period, starting in December 2017. Click here for more information. Posted October 4, 2017

Smart Textiles are in "Trough of Disillusionment." At least that's the impression of Ben Cooper, managing director of IOClothes, who was participating in a panel discussion at the IFAI Expo in New Orleans last week, as he explained the struggles of smart textile applications breaking into the commercial market. Debra Cobb, editor of Knitting Industry, was at the event and has written an excellent report on the smart textiles aspects found both on the trade show floor and at the special Advanced Textiles symposium. LIke most new emerging industries, there is a knowledge communication gap between two merging industries -- electronics and textiles. Click here to go to the Knitting Industry website to read the article. Posted October 4, 2017

Inflatable Boat Manufacturer Acquired. According to New Zealand's The National Business Review, Future Mobility Solutions has announced it is acquiring US boat-maker Willard Marine for $6.85 million. Williad builds military grade rigid inflatable boats and generated $13.1 million in revenue in 2016. Customers include the US Navy, US Army Corps of Engineers and foreign military. Future Mobility Solutions is based in Auckland, New Zealand, and was formerly known as Sealegs International. The acquisition now allows Future Mobility Solutions to supply the US military under the Berry Amendment made in the USA requirement. Click here to read the article. Posted October 3, 2017

Porcher Industries Acquires P-D Interglas Technologies from Preiss Daimler Group. Porcher Industries has today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Interglas Technologies operation including all business operations, work-force resources, assets, infrastructure and brand rights from the Preiss Daimler Group. Interglas Technologies GmbH is a German producer of technical fabrics for aeronautic, industrial, electrical and building applications. The company has over 50 years of experience in the manufacturing and innovation of glass, carbon, basalt, aramid and other synthetic fabrics. Headquartered in Germany, with production facilities in Erbach, the company is a key supplier of technical fabrics, both within Germany and worldwide. Click here to read the Porcher press release. Posted October 3, 2017

Canadian Airbag Manufacturer Settles 20-Year-Old Lawsuit. Magna International Inc. has settled a lawsuit that sought damages of $2.6-billion against the company after it sold its airbag business in 1997 to TRW (now part of ZF Friedrichshafen AG. Magna has agreed to pay $25-million to Windsor, Ont., Canada-based companies Centoco Holdings Ltd. and KS Centoco Ltd., and relinquish a 23-per-cent stake in steering-wheel manufacturer KS Centoco as part of the settlement. According to an article posted on The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ont., Canada) website, Magna sold its airbag business to TRW Inc. in 1997 for $570-million, KS Centoco and Centoco claimed the deal cut them out of rights they had to use a Gemany-based company's airbag technology. Click here to read the article. Posted October 3, 2017

Russia Working on Third Generation of Ratnik Combat Gear. According to Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces Col. General Oleg Salyukov in an interview post on the Russian news agency Tass, the third generation of the Ratnik combat gear may appear by 2022. The Ratnik-3 exoskeleton suit is being developed by TsNIITochMash.The total weight of the 3rd-generation gear will be reduced by 30%. It is comprised of 59 items including various bulletproof vests and protective helmets,and a combat one-piece garment. Click here to read the Tass article. Posted October 2, 2017

Security, Safety and Fire Protection Show Readies to Feature Technical Textile Products. The 20th anniversary edition of Intersec will be held Janaury 21-23, 2018 in Dubai, U.A.E. Fire & Rescue section is the second largest section respresented in the show with more than 400 exhibitors including all major fireman turncoat manufacturers. New this year will be the Wearable Security Pavilion, spotlighting advanced textiles. Click here for more information on the show. Posted October 2, 2017

Researchers to Develop Sensing Fabrics for Monitoring Civil Infrastructures. A team of UMass Lowell (Lowell, Mass., USA) researchers has partnered with a research and development company to create new, cost-effective sensor-laden textiles that can be used to monitor the structural health and integrity of vital infrastructures across the country, including buildings and skyscrapers, roadways, bridges, tunnels, railway tracks, dams and pipelines. The Lowell researchers are collaborating with researchers from Saint-Gobain, a multinational corporation with an R&D center based in Northborough, to develop fabrics integrated with optical fibers and sensors. These fabrics can be applied to existing structures to monitor strain or detect cracks in their early stages, thereby minimizing maintenance costs, environmental impacts and disruptions to the people’s lives and businesses. The project is supported by an $853,000 grant from the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), which is part of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation Institutes. Click here to read the article. Posted October 2, 2017

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Coming Events

  • May 15-16: VDMA B2B Forum & Conference, Mumbai, India

  • May 15-16: European Sign Expo 2018, Berlin, Germany

  • May 16-17: Introduction to Textile Testing, Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA

  • May 17-19: 7th IMS International Textile Architecture Symposium, Miami, Fla., USA

  • May 21-24: SAMPE 2018, Long Beach, Calif., USA

  • May 22-24: Techtextil North America/Texprocess Americas 2018, Atlanta, Ga., USA

  • May 23-24: International Nonwovens Symposium, Rome, Italy

  • May 30-31: CANSEC 2018, Ottawa, Ontario, Canda

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

Report Published on the US Technical Textiles Industry

I am pleased to announce the first part of my report 2018 State of the U.S.Technical Textiles Industry has just 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 read the first part. 

 

Steve Warner, Publisher

Status of China’s Industrial Textiles Industry

BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to present a new report on the state of China's industrial textiles industry, presented through our exclusive exchange with China Textile magazine. In China's 13th "Five-Year Program" period, industrial textiles are focused on new materials and applications for environmental protection, infrastructure construction, medical treatment and health care, emergency and public safety, and military and civilian integration. Click here to go to the article.

New Dates for ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 Textile Machinery Show

The joint owners of the ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 textile machinery exhibition have announced new dates for the 6th combined showcase to be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre in Shanghai, China. The new dates are October 15-19, 2018. According to show owners CEMATEX and Chinese partners, the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT (CCPIT-Tex), China Textile Machinery Association (CTMA) and China Exhibition Centre Group Corporation (CIEC), the shift in the exhibition dates is due to a new national initiative, which affected the scheduling of all events at the exhibition center in October. [Note: BeaverLake6 Report is an industry media partner for the show.] Posted February 11, 2018

New Glen Raven CEO Interviewed for Textile World Magazine

CEO Leib Oehmig

In October at the IFAI Expo 2017, I had the opportunity to sit down with -- at the time -- incoming Glen Raven CEO Leib Oehmig for an interview that has now been posted on the Textile World website and will also be in their printed November/December issue.

 

I've known Mr. Oehmig for probably more than 20 years and have watched his steady management progression within the Glen Raven organization. During the interview, he was very gracious with his time at a busy show and transparent in answering questions on a far-ranging number of topics including the management transition from Alan Gant, Jr., to Mr. Oehmig, the first non-Gant family member to lead Glen Raven. Click here to read the interview and learn more about the thoughts of one of our industry leaders.

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

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

As the saying goes "Politics make strange bedfellows." Today we find more than one-third of the Senate Democrats urging the inclusion of key amendments in the US FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (2018 NDAA) that would strengthen the US government's "Buy American" policies.

 

Versions of the NDAA were recently passed by both the Senate and House and a joint committee is working out a single bill. The submitted Senate version, however, left out proposed key amendments designed to prevent the weakening of domestic sourcing for the US military. One amendment included the prevention for lifting of the restrictions in place for domestic sourcing of wearable electronic products and another amendment prevents certain exceptions to the Berry Amendment which would allow non-domestic sourcing through memoranda of agreement with foreign governments.

 

What's the "strange bedfellows" aspect? Well, "Buy American" is also one of the key positions taken by the Trump administration. So, we have both the Democrats and the Trump administration on the same side, trying to keep strong the US domestic capability for supplying the military. Strange bedfellows given the current political animosity in Washington...but still the cooperation is vital for the US domestic textile industry. 

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Posted November 3, 2017

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

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

 

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

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

June 29. 2017

President Trump's Reveals 2017 Trade Policy Agenda

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

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

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

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

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

Steady Growth Prospects for Expanding Specialty Geosynthetics

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

 

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

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

Sun Ruizhe

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

In My Opinion

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

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

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Media Partners

In My Opinion

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

 

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

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Posted January 17, 2016

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

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

 

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