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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October 8-10: 2018 AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition, Washington, D.C., USA
October 9-12: Nonwoven Fabric Property Development and Characterization, Raleigh, N.C., USA
October 10-11: 4th International Conference on Nonwovens for High-Performance Applications, Cannes, France
October 15-19: ITMA Asia + CITME 2018, Shanghai, China
October 15-19: CAMX, Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, Dallas, Texas, USA
October 16-17: GeoDallas 2018, Dallas, Texas, USA
October 16-18: IFAI Expo 2018, Dallas, Texas, USA
Click here to view the complete technical textiles events calendar that includes show information links.
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
On September 24, 2018, US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the University of Rhode Island Business Engagement Center helped to launch the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN). The event was held in Pawtucket, R.I., US, at the Slater Mill Museum. RITIN is a trade group formed with the objective to guide the growth of the state's textile industry in the 21st century. "The Rhode Island Textiles Innovation Network is an innovative business partnership to help Rhode Island stay at the forefront of advanced textile manufacturing," said US Congressman David Cicilline. 14 companies of the state's textile industry participated in the meeting including American Cord & Webbing, Cooley Group, and Kenyon Industries. Click here to view a video of the opening address by Lori Urso, Director of Slater Mill Museum. [Note: The original post reported an incorrect the date of the meeting.] Posted September 28, 2018
Automotive Manufacturing Leading End Market for Technical Textiles Shipped to Mexico.
The United States and Mexico have reached a preliminary agreement that covers a substantial revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); specifically, the rules of origin for automotive parts. It is expected to incentivize billions annually in additional US vehicle and auto parts production.
To qualify for zero tariffs under NAFTA, the current rule of origin requires 62.5% of the automotive parts must be made in NAFTA countries (Mexico, Canada and US). The new agreement increases to 75% for the parts to avoid the tariff. What's intriguing is that we don't know if the countries still include Canada, a substantial manufacturer of vehicles and automotive parts. Regardless, this will most certainly be a boon for US technical textile manufacturers as almost 50% of US technical textiles exports goes to Mexico and automotive fabrics are the leading destination end-product segment in making products such as airbags, headliners and seating.
Sobering Thought. Despite the "first glance" optimism, there may well be concern this revision could backfire on the US and Mexico. As I previously noted in my 2018 State of the US Technical Textiles Industry (March/April 2018, Textile World), increasing the percentage of automotive component parts (plus a new requirement that 40-45% of the auto content be made by workers earning at least $16 per hour) could end up pricing Mexican-made vehicles out of the very competitive global marketplace. Mexico currently makes 3.4 million cars annually for the world market.
Mea Culpa. In my same article noted above, I honestly thought revisions to NAFTA would not get done in 2018 because of the elections going on in Mexico, Canada and the US. I underestimated the dodged determination of the Trump Administration to push this trade issue forward. Why Mexico has acted on it without Canada's input is still to be understood.
Click here to read the entire statement posted by the US Trade Representative.
Posted August 28, 2018
In a message to BeaverLake6 Report, JEC Group President Frédérique Mutel has confirmed she has stepped down at the leader of the composite trade organization that she has led since 1997. At the head of JEC since its creation, Ms. Frederique Mutel fully committed to the expansion of composites, was instrumental in the establishment of JEC as provider of high value knowledge and networking services. At the same time, conducting a strong international development. No replace has been announced.
On July 13, 2018, Ms. Mutel was promoted to the rank of Officer in the Order of the Legion of Honour by decree of the President of the France. A very deserving honor for a key leader in the development of the composites industry. Posted July 25, 2018
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
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
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.
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.
Posted November 3, 2017
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.
June 29. 2017
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:
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
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
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.
Posted January 17, 2016
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