Final Day and Looking Ahead. Like most trade shows, the final day was much quieter than the first two days at 2015 Techtextil North America / JEC Americas. It was a time for exhibitors to themselves get out and walk the show. In trade shows like this, there a multiple levels represented as exhibitors, so many get to talk with other exhibitors who may be their suppliers and customers. What I heard was reinforcement of what I had experienced the first two days: Show attendance was certainly less than the Atlanta shows last year but it was expected and much better than the last "off-year" TTNA event that took place in Anaheim, Cal., USA. And, even with lower numbers than in 2014, the exhibitors were overwhelmingly quite satisfied with the quality of the visitors. In their press release, the JEC Group noted it had a 15% increase in exhibit space from 2014 and provided several good quotes about 2015 including:
Michael Gromacki, Senior Vice President at Dixie Chemicals: "This is our first time exhibiting at JEC Americas and we are very pleased with the turnout."
"With the significant growth in the number of companies participating at this year's JEC Americas reflects the rapidly expanding global market for composites," said Peter Zezima, North American Sales Director, JEC Group.
Another very satisfied person was Kristy Meade, Group Show Director, Messe Frankfurt North America. Ms. Meade was pleased with the visitor turnout and also the response for next year show in Atlanta. She said that already the show floor space is more than 60% reserved and indicated they may have to create a waiting list for potential exhibitors.
Next year in Atlanta, the co-located shows will be joined again by Texprocess Americas, the trade show featuring equipment and technology for the development, sourcing, and production of sewn products. The combined shows will take place May 3-5, 2016.
Individuals in the above picture (L-R) represent the leadership involved in next year's events: Micheal Jaenecke, Techtextil Global Brand Manager, Messe Frankfurt; Frederique Mutel, President, JEC Group; Kathy Fitts, President, Messe Frankfurt North America; Peter Zezima, North American Sales Director for JEC Group; Benton Gardner, President, Sewn Products & Equipment Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA); and David Gardner, Manager, Sewn Products & Equipment Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA).
Day 2: Today I was like a kid in a candy store at the 2015 Techtextil North America / JEC Americas shows. I was wide-eyed with so many opportunities. Attendees took advantage of a full day of educational programs at the TTNA with programs covering tensile structures, medical and nonwoven advancements. I chaired the session called Tensile Structures: Inspiration and Practicality. It featured presentations from three of the preeminent experts in fabric architecture -- Nic Goldsmith, principal at FTL Design Engineering Studio; Bruce Wright, principal at Just Wright Communications; and, Marc Shellshear, Vice President of Gale Pacific. The session was, as the name implied, truly inspiring which prompted many questions from the audience.
On the show floor, it was another strong day for exhibitors. I interviewed 19 exhibitors and 18 told me they were very happy with the quality of the visitors. Leah Perkins, a marketing specialist for Coats North America, said she was new to the industry and this event was a great opportunity to learn what it was all about. Walter Gupper of Sansara International told me he had sold machines today. Siddharth Kusumgar, Director of Kusmumgar Corporates Pvt., Ltd., of Mumbai, India, stopped by my booth and said his company was exploring new markets in the US for his company's technical textiles.
On the JEC side of the shows, the spotlight was on the Shelby Cobra (see picture), an electric-powered car made entirely on a 3-D printer. The Shelby was printed using 20% carbon fiber reinforced ABS material. It is an amazing vehicle.
At the end of the day, I attended the JEC keynote address by R. Byron Pipes, the John Bray Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Purdue University. Dr. Pipes is also the new DIrector of Design and Simulation Technology Area at the new Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI). His presentation was titled "Carbon Fiber Composites Manufacturing Innovation" and he spoke at length about the IACMI initiative, a consortium of universities, industry companies and states in the US Midwest contributing for research on composites. The IACMI is being funded by the Department of Energy and is one of the technology institutes being organized by the US Federal Government.
First Day Impressions: Today the doors opened for the 2015 Techtextil North America and JEC Americas shows in Houston, Texas, USA. The attendance wasn't what it was for Atlanta last year but that was expected. The "off year" of the TTNA Atlanta show is always less attended. What was good to hear was, in comparing the TTNA trade show from the last "off year," the number of exhibitors had almost doubled. And, Frederique Mutel, president of the JEC Group, told me the JEC Americas floor space was 15% larger than the Atlanta show last year, it's first year of co-locating with TTNA.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the rooms were packed for the TTNA symposiums sessions New Fiber Technologies, Smart Textiles Applications, and Aerospace Textile Applications. Compliments to Kari Martin of Messe Frankfurt USA for organizing the sessions.
I was kept busy at my booth on the show floor all through the day. I saw people from startup companies in Silicon Valley to visitors from Russia and Brazil searching for new products. For me, it was a quality attendance which, at the end of the show is the priority that matters.
I did break away from booth duty to interview Marcia Ayala, Vice President, Research & Development at Aurora Specialty Textiles Group (ASTG) of Aurora, Ill., USA. ASTG is a textile finisher, specializing in coating and finishing print media, industrial belting, pressure-sensitive tapes, and medical and industrial applications. Ms. Ayala told me the company has officially opened the doors to a new North America textile factory that offers ultra wide width coating and finishing capabilities. The streamlined 124,000 square foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing operation is located in Yorkville, Illinois, USA. A highlight of the plant is the company’s new fully automated EHWHA ultra wide width coating and finishing line, which works easily with a broad range of woven and non-woven substrates up to 134” wide. It's another investment sign the US domestic industry is gaining strength.
At the press conference held by the leaders of JEC and Techtextil, Michael Jaenecke gave a general overview of the technical textile industry. A few key points he made: The technical textiles industry is worth about $160 bn. In the US, there's been more than $500 million invested in recent years to build or modernize plants which is accounting for an estimated 17,000 more jobs. Mr. Jaenecke also reported the organization of the 2016 Techtextil North America/JEC Americas/TexProcess shows were going very well. TTNA already has 60% of it's floor space sold with a projection of 360 exhibitors, up 10% from the 2014 show.
Ms Mutel made an interesting observation in her presentation, saying the first composite materials were made in the US. I had always thought composite development had originated in Europe. She went on to say the explosive growth in composite applications currently being experienced is the result of the industry being able to make larger composite products that are being used for the automotive, aircraft and wind energy industries. Ms. Mutel also talked about a joint project between JEC and Amoco in Sao Paulo, Brazil called "Compocity" which will be a small-scaled city made entirely of composite materials. It will be displayed November 4-7, 2015. I'll try to get more information on this for a further report.
Tomorrow's another day. Watch for my report.
Posted June 2, 2015
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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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