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New on Technical Textiles

Big shows reveal key trends in the industry

With a total of 1818 exhibitors from 59 countries and about 47 000 trade visitors from 116 countries, the two biggest editions of Techtextil and Texprocess ever to be held took place concurrently in Frankfurt, Germany, on 14–17 May 2019, according to the organizer Messe Frankfurt GmbH. Arguably, however, the numbers are not so different from the previous editions held in Frankfurt in 2017, but in any case, statistics do not tell the whole story.

Machinery, particularly automated machinery, has become a big part of Techtextil/Texprocess, but machinery builders will reveal even more developments during ITMA.

Having attended every Techtextil and Texprocess in Frankfurt since launching the magazine Technical Textiles International in 1992, I can agree that this edition was the busiest. In addition, with the exception of a traditionally quieter final day, the Halls were crowded throughout and exhibitors consistently expressed the opinion that the visitors were high-quality contacts.

Attendees also widely agreed that the industry is currently experiencing a downturn in fortunes, with many blaming a lack of confidence brought about by the Trump Administration’s approach to trade between the USA and the rest of the world and, in Europe, an important region for the technical textiles industry, the ongoing uncertainties of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU)—so-called “Brexit”. Nevertheless, the consensus was that the downturn is modest, probably now stabilizing and that spending power is readily available to improve fortunes if these broader economic issues can be resolved.

Heightened levels of concern among consumers about the negative impacts of manufacturing and manufactured products on the environment, however, are seen as important and long-term issues that must be addressed. To its credit, the industry has long sought to reduce its consumption of energy, water and raw materials, but there are now greater pressures driving the design and development of recycled, recyclable, biodegradable and bio­compostable products, as well as the use of raw materials from natural resources (for instance, High-performance binder based on natural raw materials for coatings). “Sustainable manufacturing” and “sustainability” were ubiquitous terms spoken loudly and often throughout the shows.

Since the inception of Texprocess, machinery builders and process equipment manufacturers have become an increasingly important part of the combined exhibitions and this helped highlight another trend—the increasing integration and automation of manufacturing processes. Properly considered, these developments could help to do more to mitigate the industry’s impact on the environment and so the coincidence of these trends is fortunate.

Nevertheless, far more details of machinery and equipment developments will be unveiled during ITMA, which takes place in Barcelona, Spain, on 20–26 June 2019. Consequently, we have prepared a number of previews of the exhibitors’ plans at another of the key shows in the industry’s calendar:

Paid members of the site can use these articles to prepare for another busy few days and, simply by registering for a free account, others may have access to a limited amount of the editorial (see below). In addition, our team will be attending the show itself to look behind the numbers and the public announcements, and to gauge the mood of attendees and reveal the trends that will shape the industry over the next few years.

Nick Butler, Editor, Technical Textiles International

ITMA 2019 preview

TTNet is pleased to make available our preview of the ITMA exhibition (20-26 June, Barcelona, Spain). Please click here to access a complimentary PDF of these preview articles as they appear in our sister publication Technical Textiles International magazine.

New conference announcement


We are pleased to announce the date and venue of the first of a new conference series:

Textile Opportunities in a Changing Automotive Industry

Jaguar Experience Centre, Birmingham, UK - 5-6 February 2020

The automotive industry is facing the most disruptive transformation in its history. The advent of electric vehicles, autonomous driving, restrictions on car use in urban areas, lightweighting, environmental regulations, end-of-life recycling, safety and in-vehicle health monitoring, and other changes will impact directly on the manufacture, use and development of textiles and nonwovens in this sector.

Suppliers of woven and knitted fabrics, smart textiles, nonwovens and composites will all need to address these trends and satisfy radically new demands, for interior and exterior applications on vehicles.

Textile Opportunities in a Changing Automotive Industry - the 1st international conference will address these issues, bringing together the key players in the industry, from OEMs and Tier 1 and 2 suppliers to raw material manufacturers, as well as builders of textile manufacturing equipment.

Presentations will examine in detail how these trends are already reshaping the automotive industry, and its supply chain, and will continue to do so in the next decade and beyond.

The conference will be held at the Jaguar Experience Centre near Birmingham, UK, a hub of the global automotive industry and the centre of significant commercial developments in many of these fields.

To receive more information on this conference please complete the webform on the conference website at https://www.technical-textiles.online/TOAI

Producers of fibres, filaments and yarns are increasingly having to cope with price pressures, skill shortages, and stringent environmental regulations and legislation. At ITMA (20–26 June 2019 in Barcelona, Spain), manufacturers of machinery for this sector will present innovative solutions to these problems. James Bakewell selects some of the most interesting developments.

At ITMA (to be held in Barcelona, Spain, on 20–26 June 2019), suppliers of chemicals and builders of machinery for the finishing, coating and laminating of technical textiles will present technologies designed to minimize the environmental impact of manufacturing processes. James Bakewell picks out some of the most important developments.

Manufacturers of machinery for knitting and weaving save their big announcements for ITMA (to be held in Barcelona, Spain, on 20–26 June 2019) and while many will trumpet developments in software for the automation of their machines and their connection over the Internet, developments in hardware remain key, according to James Bakewell.

Nick Butler previews the exhibits at Texprocess, where the industry will reveal its vision of the future for textile production.