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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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.
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. Read more...
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
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, 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
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.
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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