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Techtextil North America 2014: An Interview with the President of Messe Frankfurt USA, Inc.

March 26, 2014

Dennis Smith

This is a pivotal year for Techtextil North America. The event is scheduled for May 13-15 in Atlanta. The previous Atlanta show in 2012 drew more than 6,800 visitors and solidly established the event as the number one trade show in North America for the technical textiles industry. 


Dennis Smith is the president of Messe Frankfurt USA Inc., the organizer of Techtextil North America. He holds an MBA in International Business and is regarded as an international trade fair specialist, having spent more than 21 years in the event management industry. His challenge with Techtextil North America 2014 is to repeat or exceed the success of the 2012 show. He has got new show allies and the technical textiles industry is showing promising signs of recovery. Steve Warner, publisher of BeaverLake6 Report, interviewed him this week for the upcoming event. 


BeaverLake6 Report: Tell us briefly about the Techtextil North America show.

Smith: We are extremely excited about the business opportunities that await our exhibitors at this year’s Techtextil North America (TTNA). Now in its eleventh edition the show is firmly positioned as the premium event for technical textiles in the United States and Canada.  Our highly talented Atlanta-based team and our global network of sales professionals have worked tirelessly to ensure that we have a very international mix of exhibitors that will be presenting the most modern array of technical textile products to our base of expected buyers representing industries that range from aerospace to active wear.  TTNA is held in the heart of the South East and this enables manufacturers of technical textiles and nonwoven textiles to easily travel to Atlanta.  In the three days that the event will be held, we expect a high level of business to be generated in part due to an improving economy here in the US and Canada. We are also very proud of the educational program that we developed which is full of current topics and intriguing speakers.   

BL6: In 2012, you added Texprocess Americas. Is this just the machinery aspect of the Techtextil show or does it cover more than technical textiles?


Smith: We will be co-producing our second Texprocess Americas (TPA) event together with the Sewn Products and Equipment Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA) organization. Following our successful 2012 launch in the US, we are happy to report this year’s event will reach new milestones. The show has a primary objective of showcasing the complete supply chain of sewn products, equipment and technology solutions in the Western Hemisphere to manufacturers primarily from the aerospace, automotive and fashion industries. The synergy between TTNA and TPA is based on the premise that producers of quality and high technological fabrics require very high tech cutting, sewing and bonding equipment to complete the product. Therefore, many of the TTNA exhibitors are actually TPA customers.  Also, fabricators looking for technical textile fabrics are also looking for the finishing machinery or technology solutions for their factories. Subsequently, the marketplace is prime for business from various aspects. TPA has an added dynamic that separates it from TTNA as it is not only focusing on the domestic market, but it also focuses on the rising demand from Latin America. Due to this, together with SPESA, we have been active in promoting the show all over Latin America. We believe that this could be the best attended Texprocess Americas yet.

BL6: This time around, I see the JEC Group, the international composites organization, is co-locating their JEC Americas Exhibitor and Conference. Why are you co-locating?


Smith: As I mentioned earlier, we are focused at bringing the entire supply chain to these shows. Knowing that the JEC event is a premier composites event, we knew that it could bring value to our visitors and jointly agreed to a co-location of the JEC Americas event. The co-location provides a platform for suppliers and end-product manufacturers of composite materials and equipment to access the entire high tech value chain. The strength of this strategic event is to provide an unparalleled opportunity for technical textiles and composite manufacturers and suppliers to showcase their technologies, expand their expertise and network with a wide array of industry professionals and gain a competitive edge in the ever growing market which will help to provide a well-rounded experience for our visitors. 

BL6: Are there any special events taking place during the three-days?


Smith: During TTNA and TPA we will host two symposiums featuring 24 sessions and 120 speakers over the three days. Some of the new features on the show floor will be our graduate student poster program our job board, the technology solutions area and the cool zone areas.  We have been working hard on inviting the strongest speakers for our educational sessions and we are seeing a strong registration as a result. The new zones which are also coordinated with SPESA will certainly give some dynamics to the event as the visitors can see what technological solutions are available to the manufacturers in the target industries and discover the leading-edge technologies, products and processes in the sewn products industry. 

BL6: How many visitors and exhibitors do you expect for the entire three events?


Smith: We are targeting to cross the 10,000 attendee threshold with more than 700 exhibitors over the three days. This should be the largest collection of buyers to ever visit the three co-located events.

BL6:  Are you seeing growth in the shows?

Smith: We have seen an increase of 44% in new exhibitors over 2012 for Techtextil North America and 34% for Texprocess Americas. A sample of new exhibitors for the 2014 shows include: MMI Textiles Inc., National Webbing Products, Polytex Plastics Co., Ltd, Toyoba USA, Inc., Leister Technologies, Miller Weldmaster, Forsstrom HF AB, Minnesota Knitting Mills, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc. Sloan Machinery Co., Universal Sewing Machine Co., Inc., Zund America, Inc. and Ever Green Ultrasonic.

BL6: Will Techtextil North America/Texprocess Americas draw from outside the US?


Smith: With our six international pavilions from Italy, Portugal, Belgium, China, Germany and France we expect a large number of visitors from around the globe. We are also very pleased with the growth of the Supply Chain USA developed by SEAMS which will highlight US-based manufacturing. Together with SPESA, we have placed more emphasis on attracting visitors from Mexico, South and Central America through a variety of outreach programs. We are also very proud to have been selected for the US Commerce Department's International Buyers Program Select which is focusing on bringing visitors from Mexico, Colombia, India, Brazil and the Dominican Republic.

BL6: You've alternated every year between Atlanta and a West Coast location. Where will you be in 2015?


Smith: Please await our Press Conference on May 13, 2014 during Techtextil North America, Texprocess Americas and JEC Americas.

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Coming Events

  • January 18-19: Tent Conference 2018, Mesa Ariz., USA

  • January 19-20: NECPA Annual Convention 2018, Worcester, Mass., USA

  • January 23-24: The International Conference on Composites for Performance in Sports and Recreation, Long Beach, Calif., USA

  • January 23-26: 40th SHOT Show, Las Vegas, Nev., USA

  • January 24-26: ASTM D35 Geosynthetices Committee, New Orleans, La., USA

  • January 21-23: Intersec 2018, Dubai. U.A.E.

  • January 25-27: 2018 Marine Fabricators Conference, Savannah, Ga., USA

  • January 25-28: Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, Denver, Colo., USA

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

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


"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


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


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


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


Posted January 17, 2016

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Ron Gottlieb  


  Ricky Richards (Sales) Pty Ltd.


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Beaverlake6 Group, LLC

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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