Posted October 27, 2016
IFAI Expo 2016, the textile industry's show of record, attracted 5,023 participants to the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, from Oct. 18-21.
Attendees were treated to four days of product demonstrations, education, networking, exhibits and awards recognizing industry achievement.
"We couldn't be happier with this year's Expo," IFAI President/CEO Mary Hennessy said. "Interest in the event has rarely been higher and that's proven by a record-setting number of exhibitors and huge interest in the event from the industry at large."
Attendance at this year's Expo was rivaled only by IFAI's 100th Anniversary event in Boston in 2012. IFAI Expo is the largest display of specialty fabrics and technical textiles in the Americas.
Exhibitors were pleased with the way Expo unfolded. "It gave us an opportunity to, in a more concentrated way, listen to the customer," said Leib Oehmig, President/COO of Glen Raven Inc. "It's something we really look forward to. For us, it's a slam-dunk."
Attendees had the chance to meet with a record number of exhibitors. "It's a good opportunity to mix with our suppliers, a good time to rub shoulders with others in the industry," said Monte Sharp, President of Sharp's Tarps, Grant's Pass, Oregon, USA, who attended his 32nd consecutive IFAI Expo last week. "Expo helps us to stay on top of technology...it was a very good show overall."
Expo highlights included a revamped ShowStopper program which highlighted new products, three times the number of Campfire Session educational opportunities over 2015's show and excellent participation in both the International Achievement Awards (IAA) and Industrial Fabrics Foundation (FF) events. Attendees also had the chance to earn Textile Testing Certificates from North Carolina State University after complete a spectial testing course.
GeoCharlotte, a single-day geosynthetics program, also drew engineers and exhibitors to Charlotte for a day of education and networking ahead of March 2017's Geotechnical Frontiers event, which will be co-hosted by IFAI.
Attendees also heard from a stable of keynote speakers including business ethics expert Chuck Gallagher, author and marketing executive Linda Kaplan Thaler and former Walt Disney World customer service guru Dennis Snow.
IFAI Expo 2017 will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana from Sept. 26-29.
For additional information, contact IFAI Marketing Communications Manager Jeff Papas at (651) 225-6933 or by email at email@example.com.
Day 3: Exhibitors are Happy, All is Well. It was a second day of the exhibition being open and the traffic was steady. First time exhibitors like Gloria and Mathew Mei were very satisfied with the reception to their environmentally-friendly Sileather, an interior and exterior upholstery fabric. The material is made by combining silicone resin with materials such as non-wovens and super-dense woven materials. End markets for Sileather include marine,outdoor furniture and healthcare. Several US companies were reported to be seeking out distribution arrangements with them.
69th Annual International Achievement Award Winners Announced. The winners of the prestigious IFAI International Achievement Awards were announced at the start of the day.Almost 300 entries from 10 countries were received this year for the 42 product categories. Seven major category "Best in Category" winners were highlighted:
Fabric Structures: Xiangtan BBG Shopping Mall ETFE Skylight by Shanghai Taiyo Kogyo Co., Ltd.
Awnings and Canopies: Abdali Mall ETFE Canopies by Covertex Membranes (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
Fabric Environments: NHL Hockey Pucks by Rainier Industries Ltd.
Marine: Caryali Custom Sofa by Canvas Designers, Inc.
Tents: Dining Under the Stars by Mahaffey Fabric Structures
Geosynthetics: Erosion Repair Underneath the Gatun Locks of the Panama Canal by TenCate Geosynthetics Americas
GeoCharlotte Introduced. New this year was a special one-day event called GeoCharlotte. Designed to promote the upcoming Geotechnical Frontiers event taking place March 12-15, 2017 in Orlando, Fla., USA, the Charlotte conference was targeted for civil engineers and industry suppliers. It featured 10 presentations on geosynthetic applications, plus a table-top exhibition with 19 participating companies. Show management didn't reveal the number of registrants but it looked like about 80-90 delegates. Posted October 20, 2016
Day 2: Exhibition Opens/Annual Meeting Held. The IFAI Expo exhibition opened today to a steady good-sized crowd. Athough show management won't release pre-registration figures, it was reportedly one of the highest in years. It took a while to get all the visitors processed when the show opened but by afternoon there was a nice buzz on the filled exhibition hall. The show floor was divided into three sections -- shade, advanced textiles and specialty fabrics.
Association Leadership Elected. Prior to the exhibition opening, the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), the owner and organizer of the IFAI Expo, held its membership annual meeting. Newly elected board members were Dennis Bueker, Keyston Brothers (second term), Brian Rowinski, Rainier Industries, LLC, and Roy Chism, The Chism Co. David Segal, Edward Segal Inc., was appointed to fill an unexpired board position.
At the meeting, IFAI announced four new Honored Life Members (HLM), an honor designed for individuals who have shown a commitment to the association. The new HLMs are Tyron (Spooky) Apple, Glen Raven Inc., John Caporaso, Glen Raven Inc., Al Johnson, Glen Raven Inc., and Steven Toth, Glen Raven Inc.
Also revealed at the Annual Meeting were the IFAI Outstanding Volunteers for 2016: Amit Kapoor, First Line Technology, Keith Gardner, Crown Resources LLC, Mike Gatti, Herculite Products Inc., Ron Paratore, Trivantage LLC, and Mark Welander, MFC, Fabricon LLC. Posted October 19, 2016
Day 1: Advanced Textiles Student Design Winners Announced. The first day of the IFAI Expo started in Charlotte, N.C., USA, with a series of sessions under the banner of Advanced Textiles (AT). The day ended with a cocktail reception for the participants that included the announcement a team of students from the University of Massachusetts -- Lowell had won the AT Student Design Contest for their project Windhawk Solutions. The project was an inflatable wind-energy system that can generate enough power to eliminate the need for diesel energy in austere environments. Members of the student team were Linda Pratto, Christian Bain, Patrick Anderson, Dana Pierce and William Hallissey.The project was a collaboration with the U.S. Army, Natick Soldier System Center and U.S. Army Belvoir Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center. Posted October 18, 2016
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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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