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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BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to provide an exclusive interview with Li Lingshen, Ph.D., Vice President of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, and President of the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association, the overseeing organization for the technical textiles industry in China. Click here to read the interview.
IFAI Expo 2018 was the first show under IFAI's new CEO/President Steve Schiffman. In a quick conversation on the first day, Mr. Schiffman thought event attendance was on target with the expectation of a 500 increase over the 4500 total participants (counting both exhibitors and visitors) they had in 2017 in New Orleans. Similarly, a conversation with one of the managers of ACMA, a partner in CAMX, said their pre-registration had already topped the 6500 they had last year in Orlando. (Keep in mind, though, the 2017 CAMX show had to be rescheduled from September to December because of Hurricane Irma.) Click here to read more about the shows. Posted October 19, 2018
Positive Reviews but Still Uncertainty. On November 16, 2018, two of the US textile industry associations testified before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in a special hearing to determine the economic impact of the proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The leaders of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) provided statements on how they feel the new agreement will affect their member companies.
The two organizations clearly have different biases; however, in looking over the AAFA and NCTO statements, it appears to me that while the organizations both clearly said they were not offering an endorsement yet of the agreement, they gave general overall approval for USMCA, acknowledging the 1992 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) needed updating. Both organizations are taking a wait-and-see attitude to more fully look at how the agreement impacts the complex supply chain of textiles and apparel. [Click here to continue.]
Posted November 21, 2018
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
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
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