Our reviews of exhibitors’ plans for Techtextil and Texprocess (which take place this week in Frankfurt, Germany) serve to highlight a number of trends and reinforce the industry’s reputation for innovation.
Health and safety, and the environment remain key concerns. Chemical suppliers, for instance, continue to focus on developing additives that not only contribute extra value to textiles, but also reduce the harm to human health of the final products and of the manufacturing processes to the environment. Innovations in fluorocarbon-free, halogen-free, and water-based chemicals and processes will be easy to find.
Machinery builders and equipment suppliers are also eager to show how they are contributing to reducing the impact on the environment of manufacturing by one of the world’s most prolific industries. They are doing so in two different ways:
- incremental developments in the designs of existing machinery (an ongoing, long-standing trend with the goals of reducing manufacturers’ consumption of water, energy and raw materials);
- investments towards the realization of disruptive technologies with the potential to change the face of textile manufacturing.
While ITMA (to be held in Barcelona, Spain, on 20–26 June 2019) will reveal much more about the former approach, the near-term prospects for disruptive changes can be best gauged by visiting exhibitors at Texprocess, in particular the four integrated digital production lines, so-called “microfactories”, that will be operating throughout the Frankfurt shows.
Digital printing, which has rapidly become a well-established method for decorating textiles, will offer vast potential once it is adapted to process technical textiles—a key trend to monitor. At Techtextil, for instance, Tanatex Chemicals will discuss its ongoing development of valve-jet printer inks to add functionalities to fabrics.
Innovations also abound among fibre producers, and textile and nonwoven manufacturers. Much of the emphasis revealed here is on making products for the automotive industry, itself subject to disruptive change.
If you are in Frankfurt this week as either an exhibitor or a visitor, and can find time in your busy schedule, come and visit our team Hall 4.1, Stand FOY06.