Most visitors who stopped by my booth said they were disappointed by the size of the exhibition floor. There were only about 170 exhibitors, around the same as in Chicago when the show was co-located with the JEC Americas composite show. It wasn’t like last year’s show in Atlanta that boasted +500 exhibits. Most booths in Raleigh were also smaller versions of what a company might have in Atlanta; so, you had fewer exhibitors and less space taken by those who did exhibit. However, almost everyone who stopped by said they were also very impressed with the activity on the show floor. Not only was traffic good in quantity; it was also good in quality.
According to Messe Frankfurt Inc., Techtextil North America 2019 brought 165 exhibitors and a total attendance of 3,185, an astounding 52% increase of the 2017 Chicago event.
A pleasant surprise is the best description I can think for the Techtextil North America 2019 (TTNA19) show held last week in Raleigh, N.C., USA. I don’t believe too many exhibitors or visitors anticipated such a high attendance over the last TTNA “off-year” Atlanta show that was held in Chicago in 2017 especially since the show was held 2-3 months earlier in the year than any previous TTNA events.
Takeaways from TTNA19
The industry continues to demonstrate it is evolutionary, not revolutionary. I could not find a “wow” new product or process on the show flow this year. The last great leap forward for technical textiles was in the 1960s with the changeover to synthetic fibers; particularly with new materials like the aramid fibers which opened our industry to many extreme condition applications such as ballistic and temperature protection. Nonwovens became of age in the 60s. Even applications for geosynthetics have their roots in the 1960s. The most interesting display I found was my next-door neighbor’s booth FujiFilm. The company was demonstrating a machine which could inkjet silver right on to fabric to make printed circuit boards.
Locating the show in Raleigh was very smart for two reasons: First, North Carolina is home to more than 700 textile manufacturers, an easy location that allowed companies to bring a lot more employees than they normally would; and second, the location allowed TTNA to work with North Carolina State University (NCSU). The school provided many of the conference session speakers as well as students participating on the floor in the Tech Talks area. It was also a host to a reception which showcased NCSU’s textile education and research capabilities.
There were no Chinese companies exhibiting. I’ve become used to going to the shows like TTNA and the IFAI Expo and seeing pavilions housing Chinese companies. Even in 2017, TTNA had 15 Chinese exhibitors. My feeling is that the trade dispute between China and the US is finally starting to have an effect. China is also having a down year domestically and there is less money available for overseas exhibitions. The Techtextil show in Frankfurt is only a few months away and this will be the big show for the Chinese in 2019.
There was a dearth of end-product manufacturers on the show floor. TTNA19 was a show where fiber producers talked with yarn makers who talked with material producers. And mixed in were the textile and specialty machine suppliers. What was cool was the talk was all focused on technical textiles. I did meet some interesting floor walkers including representatives from Nike and Osram Sylvania. I also had two different private equity investment managers stop by my booth looking to get an understanding of our industry.
Change in Show Leadership
While it was not officially announced at the show, word is that Messe Frankfurt Inc. CEO Dennis Smith is leaving the organization with a couple of weeks. A new manager for the US subsidiary of Messe Frankfurt GmbH will taking over. Mr. Smith had been with the company since 2012 and has overseen the good rise in attendance and visitor participation during his tenure.
Location in 2021
Next year TTNA20 will be home again in Atlanta where it will be co-located with the Texprocess North America fabrication equipment show. Floor space will probably be more than doubled and attendance should be at least in the 8000-9000 range. What’s intriguing will be where Messe Frankfurt Inc. places the 2021 “off-year” show. I am betting it will be again in Raleigh where they can build upon the success of this year’s event.
Final Thoughts: Buzz or No Buzz?
I talked a few months ago about the lack of “buzz” at an industry event I attended. Buzz is best described as the excitement factor. To me, to have “buzz”, a show must be almost a can’t miss event.
When I think of shows with buzz, I'm talking about Techtextil in Frankfurt, the IDEA show in Miami, JEC in Paris and ITMA in Barcelona. Last year, the co-located TTNA18 and Texprocess North America 2018 had the buzz. Sometimes it happens, too, with small events, if they are tightly focused, such as the 2016 Smart Textiles Summit in Washington co-hosted by the Industrial Fabrics Association International and the US Department of Commerce.
TTNA19 in Raleigh still didn’t quite achieve the buzz factor I seek but it made significant positive movement. Those who attended were glad they went… and I think those who didn’t participate, particularly some exhibitors, will regret they were not there.
Posted March 7, 2019
"Awesome Show." Floor traffic was very heavy on the first day of Techtextil North America. At a press briefing for the trade press, Messe Frankfurt USA president Dennis Smith reported pre-registration had exceeded the total visitor registration for the 2017 event in Chicago. He estimated the show visitor final visitor attendance would be more than 3,000 at this year's event. Exhibitors were pleased. First-time exhibitor Shawn Minehart, sales director North America at Novexx Solutions, commented "This show has been awesome so far. I'm really glad we made the decision to be here."
Other exhibitors seemed to agree, a number adding that Raleigh was a smart choice of locations. I know that at the BeaverLake6 Report booth, there was busy traffic from the start in the morning until late into the afternoon.
At the morning press conference, President Smith also talked about the upcoming Techtextil / Texprocess events taking place May 14-17, 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany. He noted the pre-registration for the combined events had already exceeded pre-registration for the 2017 show in which the final total registration was 47,500 visitors from 114 countries. Posted February 26, 2019
Click here to view the complete technical textiles events calendar that includes show information links.
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Posted January 7, 2020
The historic political fight in Washington may actually benefit the US technical textiles industry in 2020.
In more "normal" times, even with bipartisan support of trade deals and building legislation, it's a slow process to get something done in Washington. In a funny way, under the current polar vortex called impeachment, things may actually get done faster. President Donald Trump wants to show he is still able to carry out his campaign promises and impeachment is not hindering his ability to administer. The Democrats, fearful of a bogged down impeachment process that could wear down their public support, are eager to show they can also get something done and avoid a blame they are only consumed with getting rid of the president.
Thus, you see both sides touting what's in the United States/Mexico/Canada Agreement (USMCA). The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) is focused on the impact of what the agreement means in terms of fiber and yarn sourcing; however, I am more interested in the end product markets that benefit from the trade agreement. In the USMCA, the amount of material made in North America that goes into a vehicle increases significantly. The largest single end-market for technical textiles is the automotive industry. The USMCA means more products like headliner material, airbags and seatbelts, acoustical and vibration dampening, carpeting, composites and industrial hoses will be needed. USMCA is a terrific win for the many smaller technical textile parts makers in the US.
As for infrastructure, the current authorization, the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015, expires at the end of 2020. President Trump wants more than $1 trillion to help fix the country's roads and bridges. There is a bipartisan support for the new legislation because it's passage will benefit so many states. The winners for us? It would hands-down be the geosynthetics industry, as well as those who make construction-used products like tarps and protective covers, and personal protection gear.
So, expect to see some things getting accomplished in Washington in 2020. It is an election year and never underestimate the self-preservation instincts of a politician.
Posted January 7, 2020
December 3, 2019
Thanks to the BeaverLake6 Report's arrangements with China Textile magazine and the China Nonwoven & Industrial Textile Association (CNITA), we have received the report "A Brief Analysis of Economic Operation of the Industrial Textile Industry in the First Half of 2019" writtened by CNITA's market research department.
In the first half of 2019, China's economy faced a complicated development environment. Issues such as the downturn in automotive demand and the US/China trade dispute are having an impact. Production is still growing but the markets are relatively flat. Click here to read the entire report in the China section. Posted
November 24, 2019
The second edition of the Eurasian Geosynthetics Symposium (EAGS 2019) was held November 18-19, 2019 in Beijing, China. Many of the leading experts in geosynthetics delivered presentations. Ms. Flora Zhao, the director of the editorial department for China Textile magazine, has given us an extensive review of the symposium program. Click here to go to our China section to read her report.
The IFAI Expo 2019 was held last week in Orlando, Fla., USA. The exhibition was a smaller event than in years past but it still remains a powerful showcase of industry products. In the Special Report section, you will find analysis of the show, plus news that comes from the Industrial Fabrics Association International's Annual Meeting and the winners of the International Achievement Awards. Click here to read the articles. Posted October 10, 2019
In 2018, China's industrial textile industry maintained a relatively rapid growth. The year, though, also found more complex challenges for the industry, including the tariff issues with the US. Thanks to BeaverLake6 Reports' exclusive arrangement with China Textile magazine, we are presenting the English-translated version of the final 2018 report written by the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textile Association (CNITA). The report included information on fiber and material production, plus selected large end-product markets. Click here to read the report. Posted September 3, 2019
NCTO Members Testifying at US International Trade Commission. Surprisingly, there appears to be a little worry the announced new US tariffs on China (Section 301) may be reaching too far with its scope. The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), which has been firmly behind most of the textile-tariffs against China over the last year, is expressing concern the new Tranche Four retaliatory tariffs may affect US imports on products needed by the US domestic textile industry.
[Read the rest of my editorial that takes NCTO to task for its hypocritical "moral" argument supporting the proposed additional products but excluding its industry's suppliers by clicking here.]
Posted June 17, 2019
Despite the increasingly complex industry demands, the Chinese technical textiles market was relatively stable. Nonwovens output increased over last year. Key specific markets such as tire cord also increased in 2018 over 2017. Overall operating income for industrial textiles used in China reached $34 billion. Click here to read the complete summary provided to BeaverLake6 Report by China Textile magazine through our exclusive relationship. Posted February 15, 2019
INDA, the Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry, has issued its final report on IDEA19. The event held March 25-27, 2019 in Miami Beach, Fla., USA, attracted 6,500+ participants and 509 exhibiting companies from 75 countries. Show floor space was a record 168,600 square feet, a 9% increase over the previous show.
Surprisingly, the people and exhibitor participation figures are not record numbers. The IDEA16 show in Boston, Mass., USA, attracted 7000+ and 555 exhibitors.
So, why was participation down this year from IDEA16? I think an explanation for the decline is the South Florida location of IDEA19. Click here to read more.
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.
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 read more.
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
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.
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