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© ITM/TUD - Biomimetic fish fin with dielectric elastomer actors und fiber reinforcement.
08.11.2022

Funding for Fibre-Elastomer Composites: Intelligent materials for robotics and prostheses

  • Successful approval of the 2nd funding period of the DFG Research Training Group 2430 "Interactive fibre-elastomer composites"

Researchers based in Dresden are going to develop a completely new class of materials in which actuators and sensors are integrated directly into flexible fibre composites – contrary to the state of the art. To this end, the German Research Foundation (DFG) approved the 2nd phase of Research Training Group 2430 "Interactive Fibre-Elastomer Composites" at TU Dresden in cooperation with the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden. The spokesperson is Professor Chokri Cherif from the Institute for Textile Machinery and High-Performance Textile Materials Technology (ITM) at TU Dresden. A total of 22 doctoral students will be supported in eleven interdisciplinary sub-projects over the next 4.5 years, in addition to material and project funding.
 

  • Successful approval of the 2nd funding period of the DFG Research Training Group 2430 "Interactive fibre-elastomer composites"

Researchers based in Dresden are going to develop a completely new class of materials in which actuators and sensors are integrated directly into flexible fibre composites – contrary to the state of the art. To this end, the German Research Foundation (DFG) approved the 2nd phase of Research Training Group 2430 "Interactive Fibre-Elastomer Composites" at TU Dresden in cooperation with the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden. The spokesperson is Professor Chokri Cherif from the Institute for Textile Machinery and High-Performance Textile Materials Technology (ITM) at TU Dresden. A total of 22 doctoral students will be supported in eleven interdisciplinary sub-projects over the next 4.5 years, in addition to material and project funding.
 
As a result the simulation-based development of intelligent material combinations for so-called self-sufficient fibre composites shall be available. Actuators and sensors are already integrated into the structures and no longer placed subsequently, as it is actual the case. In the first funding phase, the important basis for the large two-dimensional deformations in soft, biomimetic structures were developed. The further funding by the DFG is a confirmation of the outstanding results achieved so far. Building on this, the second funding phase will focus on ionic and helical actuator-sensor concepts. Combined with intelligent design and control algorithms, self-sufficient, three-dimensionally deforming material systems will emerge. This will make these systems more robust, complex preforming patterns can be customised at the desired location - reversibly and contact-free.
 
Fibre composites are used increasingly in moving components due to their high specific stiffness and strengths as well as the possibility of tailoring these properties. By integrating adaptive functions into such materials, the need for subsequent actuator placement is eliminated and the robustness of the system is significantly improved. Actuators and sensors based on textiles, such as those being researched and developed at the ITM, are particularly promising in this respect, as they can be integrated directly into the fibre composites during the manufacturing process.

With their innovative properties, interactive fibre-elastomer composites are predestined for numerous fields of application in mechanical and vehicle engineering, robotics, architecture, orthotics and prosthetics: Examples include systems for precise gripping and transport processes (e.g. in hand prostheses, closures and deformable membranes) and components (e.g. trim tabs for land and water vehicles).

More information:
robot Fibers Composites Funding
Source:

TU Dresden: Institute for Textile Machinery and High Performance Textile Materials (ITM)

Submarine sensors have lots to tell us about the situation below the surface. Fraunhofer IZM has mounted sensor systems on the two manta ray fins of the unmanned underwater vehicle designed by EvoLogics. (c) EvoLogics GmbH
11.10.2022

Textile Skin & Smart Sensors: Robo-Ray in Search of Munitions

Giant arsenals of unexploded ordinance are sitting on the ocean floor, lost in battle or dumped as waste. The risky job of detecting these underwater hazards is currently given to submarines specially fitted for the purpose. But even they cannot get to some of the tighter or harder to reach spots, forcing expert divers to go down and take over the often life-threatening work.

A German research consortium including Fraunhofer IZM is now using a submarine robot that is as nimble and mobile as a manta ray and equipped with innovative connected sensors on its fins to gather more information about its surroundings. It can measure water pressure so precisely that metal objects can be detected on the ocean floor, even if they are covered by sediment.

Giant arsenals of unexploded ordinance are sitting on the ocean floor, lost in battle or dumped as waste. The risky job of detecting these underwater hazards is currently given to submarines specially fitted for the purpose. But even they cannot get to some of the tighter or harder to reach spots, forcing expert divers to go down and take over the often life-threatening work.

A German research consortium including Fraunhofer IZM is now using a submarine robot that is as nimble and mobile as a manta ray and equipped with innovative connected sensors on its fins to gather more information about its surroundings. It can measure water pressure so precisely that metal objects can be detected on the ocean floor, even if they are covered by sediment.

Unmanned underwater vehicles or UUVs have been in use for several years, but high-tech pioneers for reliable underwater communication and innovative bionics like EvoLogics GmbH have let themselves be inspired by marine life like manta rays and adapted their look and technical anatomy to the submarine world.

With the enormous “wingspan” of their fins, manta rays are known to cover vast distances, while their extremely flexible vertebrae means that they can make surprisingly sharp turns on their seemingly weightless journey through the sea. Their robotic cousins can be very agile as well, but they were not smart enough yet to replace the professional divers who had to scour the sea floor for hours, looking for lost ordinance from the First or Second World War or other hazardous metal waste before offshore wind farms could be built or intercontinental cables could be put down. Now, the new robo ray will make it possible to detect submarine hazards with a whole battery of sensors.

The “Bionic RoboSkin” project, supported by Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research, is working to give the manta-shaped UUVs a flexible bionic sensor skin to help them navigate their underwater world. The skin is made from a compound fabric that is fitted with sensor elements and water-resistant connectors to supply the sensors with power and transmit their data. Researchers from Fraunhofer IZM have taken on the challenge of developing these integrated sensor modules with which the UUVs can detect touch or the proximity of objects and virtually see and analyze their surroundings. The project consortium is headed by EvoLogics GmbH and includes other experts in the field from TITV Greiz, Sensorik Bayern GmbH, the diving specialists of BALTIC Taucherei- und Bergungsbetrieb Rostock GmbH, and GEO-DV GmbH, all with one mission: To create a new generation of robots that can support their human partners with a range of semi or fully automated services and functions.

Their capabilities will not be limited to the sea: The researchers are looking at a second use case for a land-based robot sensor platform, fittingly called “Badger” or “Dachs” in German. It will navigate by GPS and be fitted with ground penetrating radar to detect metal objects below ground or conduct other ground survey work in harder to reach places (including tunneling work).

Under the robotic manta ray’s deceptively lifelike shell lies intricate technology: A permeable and therefore pressure-neutral fabric skin is created and fitted with integrated microelectronics for touch, flow, motion, and position sensors. This textile skin is then pulled tight over the robotic fins, creating a soft robotics machine that can sense its surroundings. The team at Fraunhofer IZM is responsible for the electronics that make this possible: They developed sensor nodes suitable for submersible use that can collect and pre-process the sensor data. These nodes do not only have to be fit for purpose, they also need to be extremely miniaturized to fit underneath the thin fabric skin and integrate the necessary connectors. In active operations below the waterline, these sensors can track parameters like acceleration, pressure, or absorbency. The researchers also included LEDs in the circuit board design that let the robotic manta rays communicate with human divers, for instance to signal a turn.

All of these components and sensor packages are integrated by means of a highly miniaturized embedding method and protected from the cold and wet environment by a robust case. Despite this, the footprint of the embedded modules is amazingly small at 23 x 10.5 x 1.6 mm³, fitting a complete sensor package and microcontroller in something the size of a common door key. The case itself works as a conductor by creating the mechanical and electrical contact with the sensor skin itself. The researchers chose a modular two-part design from their original vision of the product: The embedding module combines the individual electronic components on a millimeter scale for exceptional integration; the module case acts as the mechanical interface with the skin and makes the system as robust as it has to be for its destined purpose. The coupling between module and case relies on a seemingly simple clipping action: Small pins on the connector surface on the skin and tiny hooks on the sensor module itself snap together to form an easily de- and attachable interface. The resulting system is modular to allow easy reconfiguration.

The researchers at Fraunhofer IZM will now subject their robotic manta ray to a series of tests with their project partners. The results and findings from the “Bionic RoboSkin” project will likely be of use for many other projects and contribute to more pressure-neutral and reliable packaging solutions for flexible, mobile, and smarter service robots.

The “Bionic RoboSkin” project is supported through the VDI/VDE-IT by the Ministry of Education and Research (funding code 16ES0914) as part of the federal government’s research and innovation campaign 2016 to 2020 “Microelectronics from Germany – Driver of Innovation for the Digital Economy”.

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM

(c) Vincentz Network GmbH & Co. KG / ALTENPFLEGE
26.04.2022

ALTENPFLEGE 2022: Intelligently equipped rooms for more independence in old age

Most people want to live as independently as possible in old age. Exhibitors at the industry's leading trade fair ALTENPFLEGE from April 26 to 28 in Essen, Germany will be showing how senior facilities with modern interior design and smart equipment meet this need.

Demand for forms of housing such as service living is on the rise. Studies predict a need for around 540,000 new service living units in the coming years. One of the major trends at this year's 32nd edition of the Altenpflege trade fair is how senior facilities are meeting the rapidly growing demand with flexible room design and digital support. They can be seen in the Aveneo special show, including intelligent systems for stove shut-off, lighting control and room temperature, as well as for fall sensors and emergency calls.

Most people want to live as independently as possible in old age. Exhibitors at the industry's leading trade fair ALTENPFLEGE from April 26 to 28 in Essen, Germany will be showing how senior facilities with modern interior design and smart equipment meet this need.

Demand for forms of housing such as service living is on the rise. Studies predict a need for around 540,000 new service living units in the coming years. One of the major trends at this year's 32nd edition of the Altenpflege trade fair is how senior facilities are meeting the rapidly growing demand with flexible room design and digital support. They can be seen in the Aveneo special show, including intelligent systems for stove shut-off, lighting control and room temperature, as well as for fall sensors and emergency calls.

Future tenants or buyers of serviced apartments are prepared to invest specifically in their own living environment (source: Terragon study 2021). The focus is on a feel-good atmosphere, a high level of security and the option of using care services if required. "This can be facilitated by a cleverly thought-out arrangement of the rooms within a serviced apartment, for example by arranging the bathroom and bedroom right next to each other and making the wall with the washbasin rotatable," explains Carolin Pauly, managing director of Universal Rooms, which considers itself to be the interface between the wishes of the operators and the products in the serviced apartment market. "The furniture and furnishings industry is called upon to design modern collections with hidden product features that make life easier in old age," Pauly demands. This could be, for example, a grab handle built into the washbasin or a dining table that can be accessed by a wheelchair.

Lighting management also plays an important role. It should convey a sense of well-being and security as well as provide orientation and safety. Age-related clinical pictures in particular place high demands on lighting. Here, lighting systems that simulate the natural day and night rhythm can provide help.

Living, care and digitalization combined
The Chief Executive Officer of the Evangelische Heimstiftung (EHS - Evangelical Home Foundation), Bernhard Schneider, sees "an individually and comfortably furnished apartment that uses intelligent technology to provide a great deal of security and self-determination" as the senior living of the future. "I am certain: In the future, in a sector-free setting, we will have to understand housing, nursing and care, and digitalization even more strongly as building blocks that can be combined as needed."

According to Schneider, this starts with housing: In a nursing apartment or an assisted living apartment, in a shared apartment or other form of communal living, in a residence or an intergenerational project. All forms of housing should be well integrated into the neighborhood - this requires reliable, financed advisory structures, for example through neighborhood managers. In addition, there is care, support and assistance, in the form of day or night care, a mobile service or volunteers. "And technology, for example through our Aladien system, i.e. with intelligent home emergency call, fall sensors, stove shut-off, roller shutters and light control, video door telephony, etc. In the future, Aladien will evolve into a service robot," predicts Schneider.

This makes it possible for people to live a self-determined life and participate in society, even in old age. That's what people want, he says: a pleasant living environment, social contacts, cultural offerings and the certainty that someone will take care of them if necessary. "What we need for this is political commitment in the form of an ambitious funding program for modern forms of housing in old age," demands the EHS CEO. This would not only help the older generation, but young families could also benefit because this would free up the far too spacious apartments and terraced houses of the older generation for them.


ALTENPFLEGE – Trade fair and congress for the care industry since 1990
The traditional leading trade show for the care industry has so far been held alternately in Hanover and Nuremberg. From this year it alternates between Essen and Nuremberg. It covers all segments of professional geriatric care: services and products for care and therapy, occupation and education, IT and management, nutrition and home economics, textiles and hygiene as well as space and technology. In more than 30 lecture blocks, the accompanying trade congress covers the current topics of the industry, such as digitalization, the future of professional nursing care, hospice and palliative care, training or the new collectively agreed payment under the Healthcare Development Act (Gesundheitsversorgungsweiterentwicklungsgesetz - GVWG).

(c) Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann
26.10.2021

A+A 2021: Restart for Trade Fairs in Düsseldorf

  • World's leading trade fair for safe and healthy working offers central platform for personal exchange within the industry

The responsible handling of the issues of safety and health at work has once again moved into the focus of society and politics due to the pandemic. At A+A 2021, which begins on 26, October 2021, these topics have been the focus since its premiere. Under the motto "People matter", A+A 2021 will present everything to do with personal protection, occupational safety and health at work from 26 to 29 October. More than 1,200 exhibitors from 56 nations will present themselves to trade visitors in 10 halls at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre.

  • World's leading trade fair for safe and healthy working offers central platform for personal exchange within the industry

The responsible handling of the issues of safety and health at work has once again moved into the focus of society and politics due to the pandemic. At A+A 2021, which begins on 26, October 2021, these topics have been the focus since its premiere. Under the motto "People matter", A+A 2021 will present everything to do with personal protection, occupational safety and health at work from 26 to 29 October. More than 1,200 exhibitors from 56 nations will present themselves to trade visitors in 10 halls at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre.

"The anticipation for the fair was great. This year we were particularly looking forward to the personal exchange with the industry. The positive exhibitor feedback confirms that the players in occupational health and safety want a live platform. And with the A+A we deliver what only a trade fair can offer. Tactile product presentations and innovations as well as planned and accidental encounters with the entire industry," says Birgit Horn, Project Director A+A.

Exciting topics and best practices at the A+A Congress
Parallel to the A+A trade fair, the 37th International Congress for Occupational Safety and Health deals with numerous current topics and challenges of the scene. It is organised by the Federal Working Group for Safety and Health at Work (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft für Sicherheit und Gesundheit bei der Arbeit, Basi). In more than 25 series of events, well-founded specialist knowledge and current political topics are conveyed and intensively discussed for all stakeholders in matters of safety and health at work, on site and in some cases also digitally. "Even the opening event will be interesting. Social partners and other stakeholders will discuss the impact of the pandemic on occupational safety and health and the return to the 'new normal' that is now beginning," says Basi Managing Director Dr Christian Felten.

At the A+A Congress, renowned experts from the field of occupational safety and health will provide answers to central questions such as: How does the digitalisation of work affect the health and safety of employees? How do I, as an occupational safety specialist, advise companies and employees on this? How should decentralised workplaces be managed in a safe and healthy way? How do you determine a healthy balance between mobile and stationary work? What is the need for occupational prevention in the case of musculoskeletal stress and what is the current need for prevention in the case of activities involving carcinogenic hazardous substances and bio-substances? There are many interesting events on this and many other topics, further information can be found at www.basi.de/kongress. .

Trend topics at the A+A 2021
Digital performance and sustainability determine the current discussion and will continue to strongly influence the future of work. In addition to these two megatrends at A+A 2021, the focus of the framework programme is on solutions for the future (Future Solutions), new working worlds (New Work) and the topic of hygiene and pandemics.

A+A Live: Experience safe and healthy work with all senses
Best practices using state-of-the-art products and processes will be communicated under the label "A+A live" in the Trend Forum, the Theme Park Operational Fire Protection and Emergency Management, the Robotics Park and the Start UP Zone.

In Hall 10, trade visitors will find the Safety and Health Meeting Point, the competence centre for all occupational health and safety issues. This is where Basi's member and partner organisations present themselves..

The Robotics Park is also located in Hall 10, it is divided into the Self Experience Space and the Exoworkathlon. The partner of the Robotics Park is the Fraunhofer IPA from Stuttgart.
In the Self Experience Space, the following manufacturers of exoskeleton solutions will be presenting their products, which visitors can try out for themselves:  Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA, Japet Medical Devices SAS, Iturri, German Bionic Systems GmbH, Ergoschutz GmbH, suitX Inc, hTRIUS GmbH, Levitate Technologies Inc. and Laevo B.V.

The Exoworkathlon is a live study conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) and the Institute for Industrial Manufacturing and Management at the University of Stuttgart (IFF) in which young test subjects (trainees and technical students) run through a course once with and once without an exoskeleton. The data collected during the Exoworkathlon is used to scientifically evaluate the extent to which these exoskeletons reduce muscular and skeletal strain and increase performance.

In Hall 4, expert lectures on the topics of digitalisation + safety, digitalisation + health, sustainability, protection and hygiene as well as safe handling of hazardous substances will provide an insight into current developments in the Trend Forum.

The Corporate Fashion Lounge is located in Hall 5. Here, trade visitors can find out about the latest trends in fashionable workwear and experience how versatile modern workwear is today. At the same time, the lounge provides an outlook on the future role that corporate fashion will play at the trade fair from A+A 2023 onwards.

In Hall 6, trade visitors will find the action area on industrial fire protection and emergency management, organised by the Bundesverband Betrieblicher Brandschutz / Werkfeuerwehrverband Deutschland (WFVD). Several live demonstrations will simulate the use of chemical protective suits (CSA) in the event of the escape of toxic substances in the event of an accident and demonstrate the correct prevention.

More information:
A+A
Source:

Messe Düsseldorf

Wanted: Start-ups with innovations for textile care © Photo: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jens Liebchen
09.02.2021

Wanted: Start-ups with innovations for textile care

From 24-hour deliveries, status tracking and green packaging to textile recycling and innovative cleaning technology: new services have the potential to revolutionise the business of dry cleaners and laundries. Against this background, Messe Frankfurt invites start-ups to present their products and ideas at Texcare International. The world’s most important event for the textile-care sector in Frankfurt am Main from 27 November to 1 December 2021 offers young entrepreneurs outstanding opportunities to draw the market’s attention to their innovations.

From 24-hour deliveries, status tracking and green packaging to textile recycling and innovative cleaning technology: new services have the potential to revolutionise the business of dry cleaners and laundries. Against this background, Messe Frankfurt invites start-ups to present their products and ideas at Texcare International. The world’s most important event for the textile-care sector in Frankfurt am Main from 27 November to 1 December 2021 offers young entrepreneurs outstanding opportunities to draw the market’s attention to their innovations.

The demands placed by both private and commercial customers on textile care are extremely high, especially in terms of speed, immediate availability, transparent communication and sustainable solutions. In this connection, Johannes Schmid-Wiedersheim, Director of Texcare International at Messe Frankfurt, says, “Start-ups have an important role to play when it comes to promoting digitalisation and sustainability in the world of textile care. In many cases, they succeed quickly in transforming the results of scientific research or trends from other sectors into useful projects. To support this, we want specifically to promote young, agile companies at Texcare International and offer them an attractive ‘Start-up Package’.”

Digital platforms offer dry cleaners and laundries an opportunity to promote their services online in a modern way. Summarising what makes these platforms so important, Daniel Dalkowski, Managing Director of the European Research Association for Innovative Textile Care (EFIT), says, “Digital platforms are undoubtedly one of the most important achievements of recent times – not just because there are so many of them but also because they have found imitators in the sector. In this case, the innovation is to be seen in a combination of ordering, flexible logistics and billing in a smartphone app or online platform.”

With their robotics solutions and bright ideas for artificial intelligence, IT start-ups help textile care companies on their way to becoming smart laundries. Elgar Straub, Managing Director, VDMA Textile Care, Fabric and Leather Technologies, explains how machine and plant manufacturers have benefited from their input: “In the field of mechanical engineering, an important role is played by start-ups offering technical solutions covering a broad spectrum of sectors, e.g., virtual machine commissioning and the optimisation of production process chains.”

Naturally, company founders in other disciplines are also putting forward their ideas. Against the background of the plastic waste debate, there are, for instance, numerous start-ups offering biodegradable packaging materials. As well, there are start-ups in the field of textile recycling, which process used workwear or laundry and thus contribute to the circular economy. And what does the future hold for the sector? One thing is for the experts certain: artificial intelligence and automation offer a great potential for ‘outsiders’ with genuine innovations to gain a foothold in the market. Improvements in the logistics chain of laundries and dry cleaners also have excellent chances of success.

Market entry at Texcare International Texcare
International from 27 November to 1 December 2021 offers start-ups an outstanding opportunity to draw attention to their services and to make contact with established companies. The Start-up Package of Messe Frankfurt includes a turnkey exhibition stand.

The prerequisites for participation:

  • The company was founded no more than ten years ago per 27 November 2021
  • The company employs max. ten people.
  • The annual turnover does not exceed € 1 million (net).
  • The start-up offers innovative products or services especially for the textile-care sector.

The product spectrum of Texcare International embraces machines and plant, laundry and cleaning substances, IT and logistics solutions and workwear and laundry.

More information:
texcare Startup Start-ups
Source:

Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH

26.01.2021

DBU-Funding: From 3D Knitting Machines to Washing without Water

Environmental protection through digitalization - funding for start-ups

Clothing on-demand, a new type of textile cleaning and locally generated green electricity - these three business ideas of “Digitale Strickmanufaktur” (Krefeld), “Infinity Startup” (Aachen) and “prosumergy” (Kassel) convinced the Green Start-up Program’s jury of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). They will receive a total of around 370,000 euros in technical and financial support.

The DBU promotes company foundations and start-ups that combine solutions for the environment, ecology and sustainability in an innovative way with a focus on digitalization.
General conditions for promotion:

Environmental protection through digitalization - funding for start-ups

Clothing on-demand, a new type of textile cleaning and locally generated green electricity - these three business ideas of “Digitale Strickmanufaktur” (Krefeld), “Infinity Startup” (Aachen) and “prosumergy” (Kassel) convinced the Green Start-up Program’s jury of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). They will receive a total of around 370,000 euros in technical and financial support.

The DBU promotes company foundations and start-ups that combine solutions for the environment, ecology and sustainability in an innovative way with a focus on digitalization.
General conditions for promotion:

  • in the founding phase as well as start-ups up to 5 years old
  • up to 125,000€ per project
  • up to 24 months duration

A cloud service for retail
The “Digitale Strickmanufaktur” wants to change the clothing industry sustainably. The founders are developing a cloud service that is directly linked to retail. Customers of the " “Digitale Strickmanufaktur” can order individualized garments in which size, color and design are adapted to their wishes. The order data is then transferred using the cloud, an online storage medium. They can be retrieved at any place in the world.

First order - then produce
If a customer orders a hat, for example, the order is automatically transmitted to 3D knitting machines. Then production begins, followed by shipment of the goods. The “Digitale Strickmanufaktur” produces knitwear on demand completely automatically with robots and a 3D knitting machine.

In this way, sales can be planned for retailers and not too much clothing is produced. Additionally: The products are manufactured close to the customer in Germany. Long transport routes and times are eliminated.

Washing without washing machine
The “RefresherBoxx” of the “Infinity Startup” is basically a mobile textile cleaner that does not require water or detergent. “Using a combination of different physical methods, it disinfects, dries and refreshes all kinds of textiles - especially those that can't be put in the washing machine, like leather, velvet and silk,” explains founder Stefan Chang. The “RefresherBoxx” is gentler, more environmentally friendly and only takes 30 minutes for one washing phase. According to Chang, the mobile textile cleaning system can be used in the medical sector, but also in the private and leisure sector.

Local power for commerce and e-mobility
The start-up "prosumergy" offers building owners and tenants a low-cost power supply from renewable energies that are mainly generated locally. "With the help of the DBU, we want to further develop our energy supply approach. By means of standardization and digitization, we want to develop concepts for the decentralized power supply of commercial properties and charging solutions for e-mobility," says founder Lena Cielejewski.

25 founding teams already funded
The three founding teams will now be funded for two years in the DBU's Green Start-up program. "They bring together solutions for the environment, ecology and sustainability with a focus on digitalization in an innovative way," said DBU Start-up coordinator Dr. Stefanie Grade. 22 other companies have already convinced the selection committee of themselves since the program was launched.

Contact details
Digitale Strickmanufaktur PoC GmbH (Krefeld)
Connecting textile trade and automated textile production with the help of cloud services
Contact Mr. Christian Zarbl
URL: digitale-strickmanufaktur.de

Infinity StartUp GmbH (Aachen)
Development, production and distribution of cleaning equipment for textiles, especially using physical methods, as well as development of related applications.
Contact Mr. Stefan Chang
URL: refresherboxx.com

prosumergy GmbH (Kassel)
prosumergy GmbH realizes decentralized energy supply projects as project developer and energy supplier
Contact Christopher Neumann
URL: prosumergy.de

Fraunhofer IZM: Jessica Smarsch (c) Jessica Smarsch
01.12.2020

Fraunhofer IZM: High-Tech Fashion – art and science for the clothes of tomorrow

For most people, the word "fashion" evokes thoughts of cuts, colors and patterns - but why not of live evaluations of vital functions or training sessions for rehabilitation patients? Up to now, products of the fashion industry have been largely analogous. The project Re-FREAM, however, was created to design smart clothes in the digital area. Here, researchers and artists work side by side, developing innovative and sustainable ideas and implementation options for the fashion industry, while simultaneously providing impulses for user-oriented synergies between textiles and technology.

For most people, the word "fashion" evokes thoughts of cuts, colors and patterns - but why not of live evaluations of vital functions or training sessions for rehabilitation patients? Up to now, products of the fashion industry have been largely analogous. The project Re-FREAM, however, was created to design smart clothes in the digital area. Here, researchers and artists work side by side, developing innovative and sustainable ideas and implementation options for the fashion industry, while simultaneously providing impulses for user-oriented synergies between textiles and technology.

The writer Maxim Gorki summed up the connection between two social spheres that were long believed to be irreconcilable: "Just as science is the intellect of the world, art is its soul". In the project Re-FREAM they are connected because fashion is not limited to the decision of the external, it is directly afflicted with sociological, technological and ecological world views. It is less and less sufficient to present only the beautiful, because the dark sides of the fashion industry must also be uncovered and countered with sustainable production cycles and fair working conditions. It is precisely this rethinking and redesigning of processes, production methods, but also of functionality and traditions in the world of fashion that is part of the Re-FREAM project.

The aim is to create an interaction between fashion, design, science and urban manufacturing in order to combine creative visions with sustainable technological solutions. In teams, artists and scientists developed projects together and then presented their innovative aesthetics at the virtual Ars Electronica Festival 2020.

The cooperation with Fraunhofer IZM's scientists opens up entirely new technological possibilities for artists: Microelectronics not only serves as a fashion accessory but is also brings new functions to clothing. With the help of integration technologies, clothing can be integrated into networks and textile-integrated sensor technology can be used, which opens up perspectives of wearable applications in the field of e-health.

One difficulty that Fraunhofer researchers are facing is the electronic contact points between electronics and textiles, because these must be manufacturable on an industrial scale and function reliably under typical textile mechanical stress and washing without any loss of performance. The electronic modules are a further challenge. At Fraunhofer IZM, the electronic components are miniaturized to such an extent that they do not stand out in the garment. The connecting conductor tracks are finally laminated or embroidered onto the fabrics.

Each sub-project in Re-FREAM is a unique joint effort, a fact that reflects the versatility of the cooperation partners. The Italian designer Giulia Tomasello, for example, wants to reveal taboos around female health in her project "Alma" and realize a monitoring of the vaginal flora. The team consisting of designers, an anthropologist and Fraunhofer researchers is developing underwear with an integrated pH sensor, designed to enable a non-invasive diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis and fungal diseases in everyday life and prevent serious inflammation.

In the gusset of the underwear, the reusable biosensor collects data and transmits them to a module measuring approximately 1 cm². Thanks to a modular design, the microcontroller can be easily removed from the textiles. The textile sensor, too, can be removed from the underwear. In addition to the technological solution, aesthetic requirements are another main focus. Other potential applications would be the monitoring of abnormal uterine bleeding as well as menopause. "Through close cooperation with the artists, we have gained very special insights into the user's perspective, and they in turn into that of application-oriented technologies. We have always challenged each other and have now found a solution that combines medical technology, wearables and a circular production method to empower women," says Max Marwede, who provided technical support for "Alma" at Fraunhofer IZM.

In the "Connextyle" project around designer and product developer Jessica Smarsch, the team also focuses on developing user-oriented garments: The tops, which are equipped with textile printed circuit boards and laminated EMG sensors, measure muscle activity and thus optimize rehabilitation processes for patients. An app provides visual feedback from the collected data, generates reports on the healing process and makes it easier for therapists to adapt the measures ideally.

Soft Robotics are the key point in the "Lovewear" project, because here inclusive underwear was developed, which is intended to help people with physical limitations in particular to explore their own intimacy and develop a greater awareness of their own body. Through interaction with a connected pillow, which functions as an interface, compressed air inserts are activated in the lace fabric. Instead of the commonly used silicon-based materials, Soft Robotics are made of textiles and thermoplastic materials. The researchers thus avoid the long curing process of silicone-based approaches and enable faster and more cost-effective mass production with available textile machines.

Particularly challenging and at the same time fruitful is the collaboration in creating sustainable and circular production designs in fashion. Ecological principles are taken into account at the design stage, minimizing negative environmental impacts throughout the product life cycle. This includes the reliability of the component contacts, the length of time the sensors adhere to the textile, the choice of materials and the modular design for reuse of the microcontrollers. However, the teams do not create individual pieces - they want to show that the path to high-tech fashion can also be an environmentally friendly one. They also worked on circular business models that fit the sustainable mission of the projects.

Thus Fraunhofer IZM’s expertise in the fields of e-textiles and circular design represents a considerable added value in the Re-FREAM project. With further investigations on suitable conductive materials, the researchers are currently developing sensory textiles and textile-suitable interconnection technologies. They are also working on thermoplastic substrates that can be integrated into almost any textile.

Re-FREAM is part of the STARTS (Science + Technology + Arts) program, which is funded as an initiative of the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM

Photo: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jens Liebchen
25.02.2020

AUTOMATION PROGRESSES ALONG THE LAUNDRY SECTOR

The productivity of a laundry depends on unbroken process flows and transparent commodity streams. Thanks to increasing digitalisation and consistent integration of data, the through-put of textiles in laundries is being continually improved. The solutions required for automation in the sector are therefore a high priority at Texcare International, from 20 to 24 June in Frankfurt am Main.
 

The productivity of a laundry depends on unbroken process flows and transparent commodity streams. Thanks to increasing digitalisation and consistent integration of data, the through-put of textiles in laundries is being continually improved. The solutions required for automation in the sector are therefore a high priority at Texcare International, from 20 to 24 June in Frankfurt am Main.
 
The be-all and end-all for the laundry sector is the ability to monitor the quantity, quality and storage location of the textiles that are circulating on site, at all times. The data collected form the basis for precise price calculations, throw up any weak points in the system and serve to provide documentation for third parties. But it is only when all the machinery and plant involved in a given textile service are interlinked on a single network that the logistics of the laundry service run seamlessly, with minimal down-time of the machinery, reduced quantities in circulation and the resultant increase in productivity that is closely associated with it.

Transparent tracking for each individual laundry item
Automation in the processing of workwear is already well advanced. As the dirty laundry is sorted on arrival, each item is recorded using an identification system such as a barcode or RFID technology. From this moment on, all the stages that the textiles undergo are controlled. ‘Readers’ or ‘gates’ on the premises enable each item to be recorded as it progresses through the system, right up to the point of order picking; and they monitor whether an item is sent to a repair station or directed into storage. In addition, high-frequency transponders (UHF tags) can monitor the movements of laundry items outside of the laundry: in hospitals, for instance, identification systems have been installed, which record the despatch and return of apparel and enable an extensive process of textile management via data transfer procedures.

Robots for the soiled laundry area
This already high degree of automation in a workwear laundry facility is, however, capable of still further refinement. Artificial intelligence can simplify the ‘dirty’ work in the reception area: robots separate and sort the soiled clothing and x-ray machines, cameras and metal detectors are used to identify any foreign bodies. The advantages of such systems are particularly in evidence in hospital laundries: medical instruments, which regularly find their way into the laundry bags, are automatically separated from the clothing, thus minimising damage to the items themselves and to the machinery. The useful life of the textiles is extended and costs are reduced. Moreover, there is no danger of infection for the staff.

Real-time laundry processes
Whilst individual control and traceability are already widespread in the professional treatment of work apparel, when it comes to flat linen, often only generalisations about quantity, quality and storage location for the textiles are possible. “In order to assess a business’s efficiency, calculate prices and efficiently control processes and procedures, laundries need reliable figures […],” observes Martin Rauch, CSO of the Jensen Group, who operate on a worldwide basis.

In the pursuit of automated production, ultra-modern information and communications technologies assume a key role. They synchronise the machines involved in a given production process and facilitate communication and cooperation between plant, product and the human being. This way, you get self-organising, flexible production with unbroken processes and high levels of utilisation of equipment. With the synchronisation of commodity streams and information flow in the laundry, all items arrive at the right processing station at the appropriate time. A central database controls all the processes in the entire laundry, regulates the machinery and the linked sub-systems, chooses the correct processing programmes and optimises machine use.
 
Data accompanies the laundry throughout
“Trolleys of laundry standing around, waiting times at the machines, excessive buffering and time spent searching for items are all lost capital […],” says Matthias Schäfer, who is responsible for product management, laundry logistics / smart laundry at Kannengiesser (Vlotho).

When data and goods flows are successfully synchronised throughout a flat-linen laundry, each washing station contributes its information along with that of other stations, right from the initial sorting of the soiled linen through to the folding machines. The laundry can, therefore, be monitored throughout the entire operation, as the information from each station is sent on with the item, either automatically or – after the drier – in the form of bar-coded labels. (“Stabilisation of production through the synchronisation of material and production flows.”)

RFID identification systems do indeed enable complete transparency to be built into the passage of goods through the various stages, as each chip or tag carries the necessary information for each individual item. In view of the high cost of the transponders, ‘chipping’ of flat linen is, however, currently an option for only very few laundries. So the textile care sector is waiting on more economical, more functionally reliable solutions from the machinery and plant manufacturers.
 
Smart to the very end of the chain
Further potential for automation resides in the picking and packaging. Collecting together items for delivery manually is subject to error and that leads to customer complaints. With intelligent storage facilities and transport solutions, smart stacking management and the networking of equipment with the laundry’s information system, order picking becomes simpler, quicker and more reliable. To ensure that the integration can function, modern machines are equipped with interfaces, so that each new installation can be linked seamlessly into a laundry’s existing system. The same goes for accessory machines, which exchange all the important information relating to preparation and repair online.

User friendly apps
Digital developments are not only large scale: they are to be found on a smaller scale as well. For launderettes, too, apps provide important information on the status of the equipment, enable operators to see what is going on, even at considerable distances, as well as being able to provide digital payment models. Moreover, in heavily used laundry facilities, they can take on the entire job of time management, as Andreas Barduna, Head of Business Management, Miele Professional (Gütersloh) is very aware.

At Texcare International, from 20 to 24 June 2020, machinery and plant manufacturers from all over the world will be presenting their smart solutions for the laundries of tomorrow. The focus will be very much on artificial intelligence and smart information systems, which will help maximize the degree of automation within the sector.

China Gerd Altmann, Pixabay
17.09.2019

FAIR MARKET CHINA

The People's Republic of China has experienced unprecedented economic growth since the late 1970s, with average double-digit growth rates. Over the past 10 years, the country has become the export world champion and holds the position as the second largest economy after the USA for almost as long. Along with the economic boom, modern China faces major challenges, including high wage increases, massive environmental problems and overcapacity in many industrial sectors.
 

The People's Republic of China has experienced unprecedented economic growth since the late 1970s, with average double-digit growth rates. Over the past 10 years, the country has become the export world champion and holds the position as the second largest economy after the USA for almost as long. Along with the economic boom, modern China faces major challenges, including high wage increases, massive environmental problems and overcapacity in many industrial sectors.
 
Unlike at the beginning of the opening policy more than 40 years ago, when foreign investors with the appropriate technology and know-how were targeted, China is now pursuing a strategy to strengthen the domestic market. With the support of the "Made in China 2025" decree adopted in 2015, the Middle Kingdom is to become one of the leading industrial nations in three ten-year programs by 2045. In doing so, the government is focusing on promoting innovation, increasing production efficiency, optimizing the industrial structure and "green" production. Key sectors such as robotics, medical technology, electromobility and modern agricultural technology are defined as particularly eligible. The development of Industry 4.0 is also of great importance.

Economic data 2018/2019* (estimates and forecasts)
GDP      USD 14,217 billion*
Population    1,395.4 billion
Exports    USD 2,487.4 billion
Exports to Germany EUR 106.3 billion
Imports USA 2,135.6 Mrd. billion
Imports from Germany EUR 93.1 billion 

    Source: GTAI, Ministry of Foreign Affairs    

China's regions have developed at different rates. Although the economically strong regions at the east and southeast coast of the country generate about half of the annual GDP, the areas in central and western China are recovering dynamically. With the "go-west" policy, since the turn of the millennium, the Chinese government has been increasingly working to promote and develop the western regions, increasing the attractiveness of the affected regions to foreign investment and business settlements. 

Another ambitious project is designed for decades: The “One Belt and One Road” initiative, i.e. the revival of the "Silk Road", which connects more than 60 states in Asia and Europe via land and water. Planned and already implemented billion investment in the construction of ports, railways and telecommunications equipment. Opportunities for German companies exist above all for providers of special equipment in rail, shipping, port and aviation technology. 
 
German-Chinese economic relations have developed very well in recent decades. At the beginning of 2014, the first Chinese Chamber of Commerce (CHKD) in Europe was founded in Berlin to promote the intensification of trade relations. Since 2011, Germany and China have been conducting regular government consultations that include comprehensive strategic partnerships.  

In 2018, German exports to China amounted to EUR 93 billion. Imports from China today amount to more than EUR 100 billion. With a trade volume of about EUR 200 billion in 2018, Germany is by far China's most important European trading partner. For Germany, the People's Republic of China is again the most important trading partner in Asia and the third most important worldwide. The main products supplied to China are machinery, motor vehicles and automotive parts, electrical engineering and chemical products. Around 5,200 German companies are based in China; around 900 Chinese companies have settled in Germany. 
          
Trade Fair Industry
Although China's economy is slowing, the world's second-largest economy continues to grow. Investments worth billions in infrastructure, housing, climate and environmental protection, combined with the construction and expansion of trade fair venues, have made China the most important trade fair venue in Asia, and this position is undisputed. Especially in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, the professionalism of the trade fair organizers is high, above all because of the numerous international cooperation. 
 
The fairs in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou continue to characterize the Chinese fair landscape. Beijing as an important trade fair location is characterized by its proximity to political decision-makers and the extensive expansion of infrastructure. The majority of the major trade fairs take place in Shanghai and the concentration of international organizers is high.  

The increased reorientation of the Chinese economy on the domestic market also influences the further development of the Chinese trade fair landscape, as the exhibition industry is increasingly turning to the service sector, digitization, automation, health, education and high-quality consumption.  

The "New Silk Road" project also has a major influence on the Chinese trade fair industry: Chinese organizers are increasingly conducting trade fairs and trade fair participations in countries that are to be linked via the Silk Road. In 2018, 76 trade fair organizers were involved in 718 trade fairs in 33 countries, an increase of around 14% compared to the previous year. Most of the fairs were classified as multi-sector and machine-building exhibitions. With an increase of 19% compared to the previous year, the majority of the exhibition-related projects were realized in Russia.

Country Number of Fairs Exhibitors from China
Russia 132 3,870
India 89 3,129
United Arab Emirates 82 3,906
Turkey 30 1,728
Thailand 47 1,641

Since 2015, the Chinese State Council has been pursuing the strategy of making the domestic trade fair industry more international and transparent by 2020. For example, the approval of new trade fairs is to be gradually decentralized and responsibility transferred to the provinces. There is a noticeable professionalization of trade fairs outside the traditional trade fair locations of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. In addition, China has developed into the world's largest e-commerce market, i.e. online platforms are used as distribution channels for products. This development is also increasingly affecting trade fairs as a marketing instrument, as traditional aspects of trade fairs are virtualized.   
 
The main problem for the Chinese trade fair industry remains the great complexity of the Chinese trade fair market with its many trade fair offerings, which vary greatly in terms of quality. In addition, the "Go West" strategy of the Chinese government to promote and develop the western regions has resulted in a large number of trade fair centers that are often not profitable due to their low capacity utilization. In 2018, for example, around 9.83 million m2 of exhibition space is said to have been available in 164 exhibition centers in China. More than half of the exhibition grounds had a utilization rate of less than 10%. The competition between trade fair locations for trade show themes and thus exhibitors and visitors lead to overlapping themes and schedules. Sufficient information or independently collected data on space utilization, exhibitor and visitor numbers are scarce and make it difficult for everyone involved to make the right trade fair selection.

Trade fair cities and exhibition venues
In China, many large exhibition centers have been built during the last 10 years. In 2018, 164 exhibition centers with a hall area capacity of 9.83 million m² were counted. That were 11 exhibition centers or 480,000 m² more than in 2017. Shanghai is the most important exhibition hub in the country - two of the largest exhibition centers are located here.

The 10 largest fairgrounds in China (more than 100,000 m²)
Venue     Gross hall size in m²
National Exh. & Conv. Ctr (NECC), Shanghai 400,000
China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou 338,000
Kunming Dianchi Intern. Conv. & Exh. Centre 300,000
Western China International Expo City, Chengdu 205,000
Chongqing International Expo Centre 200,000
Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) 200,000
Wuhan International Expo Centre 150,000
Nanchang Greenland International Expo Center 140,000
Xiamen International Conference & Exhibition Center 140,000
GD Modern International Exhibition Center, Houjie 130,000

Additional fairgrounds were built over the last years e.g.in the provinces Shandong and Guangdong. With a covered exhibition area of 1.54 million m2 spread over 21 fair grounds the southern province Guangdong takes the top position in China.

German Engagement
In a comparison of countries, the People's Republic of China takes first place concerning German trade fair organizers’ self-organized events abroad. The concepts of these events are based on the standards of leading international trade fairs in Germany. Almost all major German trade fair organizers are active in China. By far the most attractive market is the economic metropolis of Shanghai.

Outside the leading trade fair cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, German organizers are active in Chengdu, Changsha, Foshan, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Qingdao and Xian. 

Year Number GTQ** China (without Hongkong) Shanghai
2019* 324 86 51
2018 321 88 51
2017 300 83 50
2016 296 84 49
2015 295 84 49

* preliminary
**Self-organized events by German trade fair organizers are advertised by AUMA with the label "German Trade Fair Quality Abroad" (GTQ). 
Source: AUMA database
 
Foeign Trade Fair Program 
In the PRC, German companies can present themselves at numerous well-established trade fairs under the umbrella brand "made in Germany" within the Foreign Trade Fair Program. The trade fair participations in the form of German Pavilions cover a large part of the capital goods sector, such as mechanical engineering, food and packaging machinery, automotive supply industry, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, agricultural technology, health care to chemical and environmental engineering. But also, furniture, fashion and consumer goods fairs have been an important part of the program for many years. China is the most important trade fair venue for German companies within the Foreign Trade Fair Program, with Shanghai remaining by far the most important trade fair location.

Contacts
Delegation of German Industry and Commerce Beijing
E-Mail: info@bj.china.ahk.de 
Homepage: http://www.china.ahk.de

Delegation of German Industry and Commerce Shanghai
E-Mail: office@sh.china.ahk.de  
Homepage: http://www.china.ahk.de

Delegation of German Industry and Commerce Guangzhou
E-Mail: info@gz.china.ahk.de  
Homepage: http://www.china.ahk.de

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
E-Mail: embassy@peki.diplo.de  
Homepage: http://www.peking.diplo.de

AUMA e.V.
Natalja Winges
Manager
Regions: Eastern Europe, Central and East Asia
Tel.: +49 30 24 000 124 Fax: +49 30 24 000 320
E-Mail: n.winges@auma.de

More information:
China trade fairs
Source:

AUMA Association of the German Trade Fair Industry

(c) Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH
09.04.2019

Clothing Production in the Future

Individualisation, automation and digitalisation: micro-factories are the way forward for the future of clothing production and will be the main theme of Texprocess in Frankfurt am Main from 14 to 17 May 2019.

“Send your favourite design to the manufacturer today via an app and wear your individually designed, perfectly fitting trainers or shirt tomorrow.
It’s a long time since this was just a pipe dream for the future,” says Michael Jänecke, Director Brand Management Technical Textiles and Textile Processing at Messe Frankfurt. “Behind it, however, lies a host of complex processes, involving production, processing and logistics. Micro-factories, based on networked and integrated procedures, represent the progressive way of making textile processing quicker, more flexible and, because it is more local, also more sustainable; whilst, at the same time, producing personalised products.”

Individualisation, automation and digitalisation: micro-factories are the way forward for the future of clothing production and will be the main theme of Texprocess in Frankfurt am Main from 14 to 17 May 2019.

“Send your favourite design to the manufacturer today via an app and wear your individually designed, perfectly fitting trainers or shirt tomorrow.
It’s a long time since this was just a pipe dream for the future,” says Michael Jänecke, Director Brand Management Technical Textiles and Textile Processing at Messe Frankfurt. “Behind it, however, lies a host of complex processes, involving production, processing and logistics. Micro-factories, based on networked and integrated procedures, represent the progressive way of making textile processing quicker, more flexible and, because it is more local, also more sustainable; whilst, at the same time, producing personalised products.”

In a total of four micro-factories at the up-coming Texprocess, trade visitors will be able to get an idea of how integrated textile processing works and where micro-factories are already being used.


Digital Textile Micro-Factory: on-demand and virtual reality
Following the success of the last event, Texprocess, in collaboration with the German Institutes of Textile and Fibre Research in Denkendorf (Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf – DITF) and partners from industry, will once again be presenting a ‘Digital Textile Micro-Factory’ display - and thus fully networked production chains - live in Hall 4.1. New this year: the ‘Digital Textile Micro-Factory’ will showcase three production lines – one for apparel manufacture, one for 3D-knitted shoes and one for processing technical textiles, largely for the motor-vehicle and furniture industries.

‘Fashion Line’ integrates virtual prototypes and customer interaction
The fashion industry plays a central role in the ‘Digital Textile MicroFactory’. The customer’s digital doppelganger is becoming more and more important in development departments in the apparel industry as the starting point for individualised and perfectly fitting clothes and for links with finishing departments. In the context of the micro-factory’s production line, it is the key feature.

The production line demonstrates the various stages involved, including CAD/Design, printing, cutting out, assembly, finishing and labelling. New approaches also combine 3D simulations of clothing with direct data transfer in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Instead of presenting the customer with physical examples of the clothing to be produced, the examples are visualised as virtual objects. And during the production process, the customer has the opportunity for direct input into the design of the product in question. This direct interaction between the 3D simulation of an item, the representation in VR/AR displayed on the customer’s own hardware and the direct impact on the production process has never been shown before in this way. Partners of the ‘Fashion Line’ are: Assyst (CAD/design), Mitwill (materials), Caddon, ErgoSoft, Mimaki and Multiplot (printing), Zünd (cutting), Juki and Stoll (assembling), Veit (finishing) and Vuframe (AR/VR).

3D knitting on the way to Industry 4.0
From 3D image to finished prototype in 18 minutes: the future is here in the world of knitting too! The ‘Digital Textile Micro-Factory’ at Texprocess and Techtextil shows a workflow which enables 3D-knitted uppers for shoes to be produced directly from the customer’s own particular foot measurements.
The ‘3D-knitting Line’ of the micro-factory demonstrates the process from the 3D model to the creation of a geometrically accurate knitting pattern by the software, based on the 3D data set, and the development of a specification of the final knitting data, through to the manufacture of a 3D-knitted prototype. Knitting is the additive manufacturing process for textiles. The ‘3D-knitting Line’ is partnered by Stoll.

Processing technical textiles in the micro-factory
Industry 4.0 live: the focus of the third production line of the ‘Digital Textile Micro-Factory’ 2019 is on the automated processing of technical textiles, personalised for the individual customer, taking us right through to the finished product. Trade visitors will see here on-demand inkjet printing and networked machines with integrated sensors, which are linked through a bus system – a future-oriented topic for integrated manufacturing. A robot arm with a special claw for use with textiles sorts the cut items as they emerge from the cutter in a free-moving open shuttle. The items to be sewn are conveyed automatically to the sewing stations. Tracing and tracking procedures show the progress of each order through the individual stages of the manufacturing process using an auto ID. In addition, the display will also show how creative ideas from the Cloud can be incorporated in the manufacture of technical products. Technology meets creativity. Partners of the production line: Mitwill (design), ErgoSoft (RIP), Caddon (colour management), HP (large-format inkjet printing), Zünd (cutting), Dürkopp Adler (networking, integration of an open shuttle, sewing), Veit (finishing), Next Robotics (material handling).

Smart Textiles Micro-Factory: industrial-type production of smart textiles
In their ‘Smart Textiles Micro-Factory’, located in the walkway between Halls 4.1 and 5.1, the Institute for Textile Technology (ITA) at the RWTH Aachen University, together with partners from industry and research, will be producing a ‘smart’ pillow which, with the help of integrated LEDs, provides new ways of interaction. With this demonstration, the partners in the project will present an exemplary, industrial-style manufacturing process for a smart textile from design to finished product. The prototype of the pillow was displayed in advance at Heimtextil 2019. The following are all involved in the ‘Smart Textiles Micro-Factory’: the Institute for Textile Technology (ITA) of the RWTH Aachen University (project coordination), Gerber Technology GmbH (cutting), the Korea Institute for Industrial Technology KITECH (electronics), VETRON TYPICAL Europe GmbH (sewing), Wear it GmbH (product design and concept) and ZSK Stickmaschinen GmbH (embroidery).
 
World of Digital Fashion: customisation of apparel
Six companies have grouped together under the ‘World of Digital Fashion’ umbrella. They work in areas of visualisation, CAD-cutting systems, automated body measurement, cutting out and process automation. Together, they will be showcasing, in Hall 4.0, ways of integrating and combining their products in a variety of workflows within the value creation chain and will enable visitors to experience what the digital process chain is like in practice. The focus will fall particularly on the customisation of apparel and fashion items. Partners of the ‘World of Digital Fashion’ are: Browzwear Solutions and Tronog (visualisation), Software Dr. K. Friedrich (CAD), Fision (automated body measurement), Bullmer (cutting), as well as Gertsch Consulting and Mode Vision (process automation).

Micro-factory presented by Efka and Gemini: easy to implement
Manufacturers of drive mechanisms for industrial sewing machines Efka will,in collaboration with CAD suppliers Gemini, be showcasing the production of a knitted garment that can be individually designed. The core element of their micro-factory, which closely reflects industrial practice, is the link to the sewing stage of production, something which is already available today as an economic, partially automated solution. The display presents a solution that can be easily implemented and adopted by most companies, using already available resources.

 

More information:
Texprocess
Source:

Messe Frankfurt Exhibtion GmbH

Hong Kong Photo: Pixabay
17.07.2018

CHINESE ALIBABA GROUP BUILDS LOGISTICS CENTER IN HONG KONG

  • Investment costs of USD 1.5 billion
  • State-of-the-art technology to be used

Hong Kong (GTAI) - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba wants to build up a global sales network. The Hong Kong Special Administra-tive Region (SAR) plays an important role in its strategy. A 380,000 square meter logistics center is to be built there, in which state-of-the-art warehouse and robot technology will be used. According to the plan, it will be operational by 2023. Foreign specialist suppliers can hope for orders.

The Chinese Alibaba Group is the largest e-commerce provider in the country. Now it wants to ex-pand into other markets. According to the company announcement, more than USD 1.5 billion are to be invested in the development of a worldwide distribution and logistics network.

  • Investment costs of USD 1.5 billion
  • State-of-the-art technology to be used

Hong Kong (GTAI) - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba wants to build up a global sales network. The Hong Kong Special Administra-tive Region (SAR) plays an important role in its strategy. A 380,000 square meter logistics center is to be built there, in which state-of-the-art warehouse and robot technology will be used. According to the plan, it will be operational by 2023. Foreign specialist suppliers can hope for orders.

The Chinese Alibaba Group is the largest e-commerce provider in the country. Now it wants to ex-pand into other markets. According to the company announcement, more than USD 1.5 billion are to be invested in the development of a worldwide distribution and logistics network.

The Small Special Administrative Region (SVR) plays a deciding role in its expansion strategy. It is home of the largest cargo airport in the world. According to the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, the volume there amounted to almost 5 million tons in 2017. According to the prognosis of the Airport Authority, the state operator, it should reach almost 9 million tons by 2030.

Hong Kong offers decisive locational advantages for international logistics groups and e-commerce providers. According to calculations by the Air-port Authority, around half of the world's population can be reached within five flight hours. As there are no customs duties or VAT and the SVR has an efficient bureaucracy, a fast dispatch is practically guaranteed. This fits into Alibaba's strategy, as the group wants to limit the delivery time for or-ders from abroad to a maximum of 72 hours.

Handling capacity of up to 1.7 million tons of freight
The e-commerce giant therefore wants to set up one of its worldwide distribution centers in Hong Kong via its logistics arm called Cainiao - others are planned in Hangzhou, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Liège and Moscow. It should get a size of around 380,000 square meters in size and will be able to handle a maximum of 1.7 million tons of freight. The corresponding investment costs will summarize to around USD 1.5 billion. It is scheduled to go into operation by 2023.

The group informed through the South China Morning Post (which it owns) that the new logistics center will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology. An automatic warehouse and highly efficient air conditioning are planned. According to industry experts, artificial intelligence-based systems and numerous robots will be used.

The project should thus also generate business opportunities for foreign suppliers of building and storage technology. There are hardly any sector manufacturers in Hong Kong itself. There are corresponding producers in China. However, they cannot always offer the most modern and best products and services available on the market. Particularly there is a pent-up demand for software.

Contact addresses
Designation Internet address Note
Alibaba https://www.alibabagroup.com/en/news/article?news=p180606 (homepage); https://www.alibabagroup.com/en/news/article?news=p180606 (project press release) Biggest e-commerce pro-vider in China
South China Morning Post http://www.scmp.com/frontpage/international (homepage); http://www.scmp.com/tech/enterprises/article/2149561/alibaba-affiliate-cainiao-forms-jv-build-us15-billion-logistics
(project review)
Renowned English-language newspaper. Be-longs to Alibaba
Civil Aviation Department https://www.cad.gov.hk/english/home.html (homepage)
https://www.cad.gov.hk/english/facts_statstics.html
(Hong Kong Air Traffic Statistics)
Supreme Aviation Authority Hong Kong

 

Further information
For more information on Hong Kong's economy, industries, business practices, law, customs, tenders, and development projects, visit http://www.gtai.com/hongkong.
The page http://www.gtai.de/asien-pazifik offers an overview of various topics in the region.

Source:

Roland Rohde, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

(c) Deutsche Messe
14.11.2017

DOMOTEX 2018 to open with an array of new highlights and features

  • New hall configuration and venue layout
  • Keynote theme “UNIQUE YOUNIVERSE” brought to life in amazing immersive display zones by exhibitors, artists and emerging designers 
  • New Friday-to-Monday run of the show
Change to show days
  • New hall configuration and venue layout
  • Keynote theme “UNIQUE YOUNIVERSE” brought to life in amazing immersive display zones by exhibitors, artists and emerging designers 
  • New Friday-to-Monday run of the show
Change to show days
Starting in 2018, DOMOTEX is moving from its traditional Saturday-to-Tuesday format to a new Friday-to-Monday format. This means DOMOTEX 2018 will open on Friday 12 January and remain open until Monday 15 January. The change comes in response to calls from many exhibitors to switch the official DOMOTEX opening day to Friday.
 
DOMOTEX 2018 (12 to 15 January) doesn’t open for another three months, but it’s already becoming clear that the 30th edition of the world’s leading tradeshow for carpets and floor coverings will be a very strong and innovative affair, sporting an extensive lineup of new features. For one thing, the show has a new hall configuration and venue layout that will make it a lot easier for visitors to survey the market and connect with the exhibitors and trends that matter to them. The show will also have a strong overarching focus on the megatrend of product individualization, as reflected in the keynote theme of “UNIQUE YOUNIVERSE”. This theme will find concentrated expression in Hall 9, which will house an inspiring wonderland of creatively staged display zones by exhibitors, artists and budding young designers. “The upcoming show will immerse its visitors in a totally new and captivating world of trends, innovations and lifestyle,” commented Dr. Andreas Gruchow as the responsible Managing Board member at Deutsche Messe. “Exhibitors and visitors alike can look forward to a wealth of concrete ideas that will help them grow their business and keep up with the trends and innovations that are shaping the future of their industry,” he added.
 
Exhibitor registrations trending much higher than expected
The enhanced DOMOTEX format has been well received by the carpet and floor coverings industry – as can be seen from the high level of exhibitor registrations. “We are well up on the number of exhibitors confirmed at the same time in the build-up to DOMOTEX 2017. We’re also significantly above expectation on booked display space,” Gruchow said. “This further underscores DOMOTEX’s importance as a global marketplace and setter of trends for the carpet and floor coverings industry. At this rate, we are on track for around 1,400 exhibitors from over 60 nations,” he added. Apart from Germany, the show’s biggest exhibiting nations in terms of display space are Turkey, India, Belgium, China, the Netherlands, Iran, Italy, Egypt and the USA.
 
New hall configuration boosts market transparency
The revamped hall configuration physically clusters allied product groups, making it much easier for visitors from all professional backgrounds – whether wholesale or retail, architecture, interior design, the skilled trades, or furniture or furnishing retail – to find their way around and survey the market. Getting down to specifics, halls 2 to 4 now house the biggest offering of hand-made carpets and rugs seen anywhere in the world. Halls 5 through 7 are home to a unique selection of machine-woven carpets and rugs. Hall 8 is the gateway to the latest carpet creations from the world’s most innovative designers and labels. The displays of resilient floor coverings and luxury vinyl tiles are concentrated in halls 11 and 12. And halls 12 and 13 house the show’s displays of parquet, wood and laminate flooring. Hall 13 also houses displays of the latest flooring application and installation products and solutions. The convenience factor will be further enhanced by the venue’s excellent integration into the local public transport system and by the new MY DOMOTEX shuttle service, which will transport visitors and exhibitors quickly and directly to wherever they want to go on the exhibition grounds.
 
“UNIQUE YOUNIVERSE” – wall-to-wall individualization
With its keynote theme of “UNIQUE YOUNIVERSE”, DOMOTEX 2018 is focusing on the individualization megatrend and its effects on the flooring industry. In today’s globalized and digitized world, consumers are increasingly looking for ways to express their individuality. Consequently, the products and services they use to shape their lives – including their home lives – are becoming more and personalized and tailored to their needs and preferences. “DOMOTEX is picking up on this trend, because if other products can be tailored to lifestyle preferences, then the same should also be true of floor coverings,” explained Gruchow.
 
Immersive showcase of creative ideas
Hall 9 is the new jewel in the crown of DOMOTEX. It is the home of the “Framing Trends” display area, a richly diverse and immersive showcase in which established companies, industry newcomers and artists will engage with the keynote theme in an array of creatively staged displays. “Framing Trends” comprises four distinct zones, where visitors will be able to experience and interact with all kinds of out-of-the-box ideas and designs.  In the “Flooring Spaces” zone, companies from the floor coverings industry will stage extraordinary product showcases that play with and reflect on the individualization trend. Next-door, exhibitors will partner with interior designers to craft inspiring spaces and lifestyle realms in the “Living Spaces” zone. Then there’s the “NuThinkers” zone, where students and young designers will redefine interior design with a dazzling array of unconventional ideas and product prototypes. And finally, the “Art & Interaction” zone will present the keynote theme of “UNIQUE UNIVERSE” in a sensory feast of exhibits from the worlds of art and design, paired with interactive multimedia displays. To ensure that “Framing Trends” delivers a consistently high-quality visitor experience, the organizers have appointed a panel of experts under the leadership of Peter Ippolito, of Büro Ippolito Fleitz Group (Stuttgart, Germany), who will determine which of the ideas and designs submitted are worthy of going on display.
 
As its name suggests, the “NuThinkers” zone is for alternative thinkers who can envisage a world beyond the main stream. The exciting new ideas on display there will include a new kind of floor heating system inspired by reptilian thermoregulation, a self-driving robotic painter that can create personalized floors, and a virtual reality software that uses body movement to create individualized spaces in real-time. When it comes to exploring the keynote theme, the sky is – literally – the limit in the “Art & Interaction” zone. “Meanwhile in the Universe”, for instance, is an installation in which visitors can open a window to catch their own little glimpse of infinity – in the form of a live feed of outer space from NASA.
 
The “Endless Uniqueness” installation offers a similarly interactive perspective on the keynote theme. For this, 50 creatives, including Germany’s ten best interior designers, were each asked build their own personal interpretation of the “UNIQUE YOUNIVERSE” keynote theme in the form of their favorite items and flooring staged inside an open mirror box. The boxes are arrayed opposite a giant mirror kaleidoscope that reflects the boxes and the visitors walking among them. As they walk through this mirror installation, visitors can change and rearrange the materials in the boxes, thereby creating their own unique design universe.
 
Captivating supporting program in Hall 9
To add to the inspiration on offer, the upcoming show will feature a captivating program of speaking events – the DOMOTEX Talks – inspired by the “UNIQUE YOUNIVERSE” keynote theme. Among those to speak are renowned architects such as Jürgen Mayer H. (J.MAYER.H und Partner, Architekten MbB, Berlin), Andreas Krawczyk (NKBAK, Frankfurt/Main), Chris Middleton (KINZO, Berlin), Werner Aisslinger (Studio Aisslinger, Berlin) and a number of founders of amazing startups and trailblazing next-generation designers. Held on the “Framing Trends” stage in Hall 9, each day’s Talks will comprise three speed presentations followed by a moderated discussion panel. The Talks will explore a range of highly topical and innovative projects and ideas from architecture and design. They will be grouped into three main theme areas: “Modular design: individual versus mass-produced?”, “New one-off originals: handmade versus digital?” and “Retail interactive: virtual versus real?” The Talks are aimed primarily at architects, interior and product designers, but are also of interest to forward-thinking exhibitors and visitors. There will also be daily Guided Tours of the show, led by big-name architects and designers. For visitors, the tours are a great way to gain deeper insights into the keynote theme and the products on display and, of course, to make contact with key exhibitors. In the center of the “Framing Trends” area, visitors and exhibitors will find lounge-style meeting areas and a café – the ideal settings for relaxed, informal dialogue.
 
The Carpet Design Awards are another Hall 9 highlight. The internationally coveted award honors the world’s best new designer carpets in eight categories. The 24 carpets shortlisted for the award will be on display in Hall 9 for the duration of DOMOTEX. Hall 9 will also have a key focus on the exciting promise of virtual reality as an interior design tool. Virtual reality is set to transform the way we shop for floor coverings and furnishings and how we connect with one another and perceive the world. On the subject of virtual reality, it is worth noting that DOMOTEX’s organizer, Deutsche Messe, has developed the “hackvention event series” – a new international series of events in which, among much else, companies from the skilled trades, commerce and industry can use virtual and augmented reality to develop concepts and prototypes for individualized products. The series runs in August and November 2017, and a number of DOMOTEX exhibitors are taking part. The fruits of their foray into VR and AR will be on show at DOMOTEX 2018.
 
More information:
Domotex
Source:

Deutsche Messe

Ariane5 © ESA_Stephane Corvaja 2016
09.05.2017

BAGS PACKED FOR SPACE: TEXTILES NEEDED FOR A MISSION TO MARS

  • Techtextil and Texprocess present ‘Living in Space’ in cooperation with ESA and DLR 
  • Nutrition, mobility, fashion and living: technical textiles make settlements in space possible

Beam me up, Scotty: a large amount of material has to be transported for a journey into space – and technical textiles account for a large proportion of them. Examples of the parts and products in which they are to be found will be on show at the ‘Living in Space’ exhibition during this year’s Techtextil und Texprocess (9 to 12 May 2017), which has been organised by Messe Frankfurt in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). Among the exhibits to be seen are materials and technologies from Techtextil and Texprocess exhibitors in a ‘Material Gallery’, architecture for space by Ben van Berkel, space-inspired fashions and an original Mars Rover.

  • Techtextil and Texprocess present ‘Living in Space’ in cooperation with ESA and DLR 
  • Nutrition, mobility, fashion and living: technical textiles make settlements in space possible

Beam me up, Scotty: a large amount of material has to be transported for a journey into space – and technical textiles account for a large proportion of them. Examples of the parts and products in which they are to be found will be on show at the ‘Living in Space’ exhibition during this year’s Techtextil und Texprocess (9 to 12 May 2017), which has been organised by Messe Frankfurt in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). Among the exhibits to be seen are materials and technologies from Techtextil and Texprocess exhibitors in a ‘Material Gallery’, architecture for space by Ben van Berkel, space-inspired fashions and an original Mars Rover. And – even without having completed a dizzying astronaut training programme – visitors can take a journey through space to Mars via virtual-reality glasses.

“At the ‘Living in Space’ exhibition, Techtextil and Texprocess visitors can see examples of textile materials and processing technologies in an application-oriented setting. In cooperation with our partners and exhibitors, we have created an informative and entertaining area, the like of which has never been seen before at Techtextil and Texprocess”, explains Michael Jänecke, Brand Manager, Technical Textiles and Textile Processing, Messe Frankfurt. Given that technical textiles are to be found in almost every sphere of human life, the materials and processing technologies shown are oriented towards the ‘Architecture’, ‘Civilization’, ‘Clothing’ and ‘Mobility’ areas of application.

Ideal homes in space

Visitors can get an idea of how building in space could function at the ‘Architecture’ area curated by Stylepark architecture magazine. Lightweight construction and canopy specialist MDT-tex joined forces with star architect Ben van Berkel of the international UNStudio firm of architects to create a ‘Space Habitat’ especially for Techtextil. Comprising 60 individual modules, each of which is double twisted and under tension, the lightweight pavilion has an area of 40 square metres and consists of specially designed aluminium profiles covered with PTFE sheets. MDT-tex designed the fabric especially for the pavilion in an extremely light grammage without sacrificing its high-temperature resistance and technical properties.

Ultra-lightweight materials play a leading role in space travel because the lighter the space capsule’s load, the cheaper the transport. Reclining in comfortable seats, visitors to the Space Habitat can also travel to Mars using virtual-realist glasses and, at the same time, find out more about technical textiles and their processing in space.

Hightech-Fashion in orbit

No one likes to be too hot or too cold. Space-wear should not only protect the wearer from extreme temperatures but also regulate their body temperature, drain off moisture and be durable and easy to clean. All the better, then, if it also looks good, as shown by the designs in the ‘Clothing’ segment of the exhibition. The ESMOD Fashion School from Berlin presents outfits made by students within the framework of the ‘Couture in Orbit’ project (2015/2016), which was organised by ESA and the London Science Museum. Additionally, the POLI.design centre of the Politecnico di Milano (Milan University) presents outfits from the followup project, ‘Fashion in Orbit’ under the scientific supervision of Annalisa Dominoni and the technical supervision of Benedetto Quaquaro in cooperation with ESA and garment manufacturer Colmar.

The Hohenstein Textile Institutes present two models from the Spacetex research project, within the framework of which astronaut Alexander Gerst tested the interaction of body, apparel and climate under conditions of weightlessness during the ‘Blue Dot’ mission. In this connection, the model, ‘Nostalgia’ by Linda Pfanzler (Lower Rhine University) reminds the wearer of the earth with an integrated library of fragrances. The suits of the ‘Dynamic Space’ collection by Rachel Kowalski (Pforzheim University) contain electrodes that stimulate important muscle groups under conditions of weightlessness. The outfits by Leyla Yalcin and Sena Isikal (AMD Düsseldorf) come from the ‘Lift off’ collection created in cooperation with Bremen-based silver-yarn manufacturer Statex. They include a sleeping bag for astronauts made from silver-coated textiles, which can also be used as an overall and protects the wearer from electro-magnetic radiation. Thanks to the silver threads, another garment, a raincoat reflects light and stores the wearer’s body heat.

Material Gallery: fibers for space

In addition to the exhibits at the special exhibition, around 40 Techtextil and Texprocess exhibitors offer ideas for fibre-based materials and processing technology suitable for use in space in a ‘Material Gallery’. For the ‘Civilization’ segment, they include spacer fabrics for growing vegetables, for ‘Mobility’ a carbon yarn, which was used to make a fairing for the solid-fuel booster rocket of the Ariane 6. The Material Gallery also shows fibre-composite structures made of carbon fibres, such as a robot arm, a whole-body suit that transmits the wearer’s movements to a 3D model in real-time, functional apparel textiles with flame-retardant, anti-bacterial and temperature-regulating properties, and membrane systems for ventilating aircraft.

Exhibits from ESA, DLR and Speyer Museum of Technology, including an original Mars Rover and space suits, make the exhibition an extraordinary experience. The exhibits are supplemented by impulse lectures by ESA experts for technology transfer throughout the fair.

 

Japan's Machinery Engineers defy Competition © mg-projects.at / pixelio.de
04.10.2016

INDUSTRY COMPACT: JAPAN'S MACHINERY ENGINEERS DEFY COMPETITION

Large Companies focus on abroad and the Digitization 

Tokyo (GTAI) - Japan's machinery and facility manufacturers expect increasing orders again. An increase is expected, especially for the international business. They saw the slight financial doldrums of 2015 before. However, there were exceptions - for example at the robot technology. The big companies have a strong interest in the subject of Industry 4.0. Here are cooperation opportunities for German companies, also on third markets.

The Asian region remains high on the Agenda

Large Companies focus on abroad and the Digitization 

Tokyo (GTAI) - Japan's machinery and facility manufacturers expect increasing orders again. An increase is expected, especially for the international business. They saw the slight financial doldrums of 2015 before. However, there were exceptions - for example at the robot technology. The big companies have a strong interest in the subject of Industry 4.0. Here are cooperation opportunities for German companies, also on third markets.

The Asian region remains high on the Agenda

Japan's economy is not yet in full swing. A new in August released stimulus package of the government is to ensure the recovery. In total Yen 28.1 billion (EUR 246.49 billion, in early September 2016: 1 Euro = Yen 114) amounts to the "package” which is funded to about 25% directly from the state treasury. The investment plans of the manufacturing industry are looking promising in the fiscal year 2016 (4.1 to 3.31.). They could rise by 14.5% over the previous year, according to the result of a survey of the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) in July 2016.

This is confirmed by a survey of the business newspaper Nikkei with 1,140 participating companies. In the fiscal year 2016 they want to investment a volume of Yen 25.28 billion. This would be an increase over the investments made in the fiscal year of 2015 of 8.3%. If the expansion plans will actually be implemented, it would be the seventh consecutive increase year. Manufacturers of electronic machines have the most ambitious investment plans: Yen 3,64 billion, they have scheduled approximately 9.4% more than in the previous year.

Meanwhile lean foreign Business

According to the sector association JSIM (Japan Society of Industrial Machinery Manufacturers) in the fiscal year 2015 the incoming orders for industrial machinery remained below the expectations. Incoming orders came nearly to Yen 5.50 billion.  These were almost 10% less than the year before. Industry experts had already expected in advance that particularly the foreign business would suffer after the exceptionally successful year 2014. For the fiscal year 2016 the JSIM experts expect an increase of 4.6% to Yen 5.73 billion.

Not as positive as in the preceding years the situation looks in the machine tool segment. According to the industry association JMTBA (Japan Machine Tool Builders' Association) the orders declined in 2015 over the previous year by 11.4% and reached around Yen 1.40 billion. - This is justified by an overcapacity abroad. In fact it was the overseas business which fell by 22.1% to just under Yen 820 billion, while there was still an increase of 9.9% to Yen 579 billion yen domestically. With a view on the 1st quarter of 2016 the association has to state that the foreign business has not yet recovered. With more than one-quarter the orders declined compared to the same period last year.

The domestic market thus wins in importance for Japan's machinery builders. Generally, there is a need of modernization of the partly obsolete equipment at the local businesses. In addition, the reconstruction of the earthquake regions is required too. In addition, the hosting of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo is considered quasi as a guarantor of business orders from the construction sector.

Orders by machine type, fiscal years 2014 to 2016 (in billion Yen), change in %)
  2014, total 1) 2015, total 2) 2016, total 3) 2016, domestic  2016, abroad Change 2016/15, total
Boilers, Turbines 1,809 1,796 1,896 1,390 506 5.6
Mining 23 29 31 28 3 6.9
Chemistry 4) 2,097 1,405 1,455 828 628 3.6
Tanks 30 47 56 26 30 18.7
Plastic processing 194 211 216 87 129 2.5
Pumps 336 358 373 270 103 4.3
Compressors 267 267 274 136 138 2.5
Ventilators 28 28 30 25 5 8.6
Boost material 355 400 433 282 150 8.3
Drive technology 50 53 54 45 8 2.5
Metalworking 162 182 186 79 107 2.5
Others 5) 725 703 725 535 189 3.1
Total  6,075 5,477 5,729 3,732 1,997 4.6

 
 1) actual results; 2) preliminary; 3) forecast; 4) also included in category: pulp- and paper machines, chillers, equipment for air- and water cleaning; 5) among others: equipment for waste treatment, industrial washing machines
Source: Japan Society of Industrial Machinery Manufacturers, February 2016

A high importance is given to the field of environmental and energy technology for the machinery industry in Japan. Although reactors, that meet stringent safety regulations, are expected to enter the net again in the next few years, renewable energy will be pushed up. In addition, there are intelligent power networks (smart grids) in the focus. Especially in areas with high priority, such as the energy and environmental technology, German suppliers with innovative technologies and customized solutions can win the points.

Connection links by Industry 4.00

Digitalization and with it topics related to Industry 4.0 keep the Japanese machinery and factory builders now very much interested. In June 2015, the "Industrial Value Chain Initiative (IVI)" was launched. About 40 Japanese companies belong to this interest group – like as the branches of the German Bosch and Beckhoff Automation GmbH. End April 2016 the German Federal Ministry of Economics (BMWi) signed with the Japanese Ministry of Economy (Meti) a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for joint cooperation in the region.
Equipment manufacturers from abroad should observe under cooperation aspects with big business interests the international activities of the Japanese mechanical and plant engineering. The Japanese abroad generated production shares are not far from the 40% mark the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) determined the end of 2015. This creates opportunities for third-market operations, which are often controlled by the parent companies in Japan.

In foreign projects the PRC stands not as strong in the foreground as it used to be. The focus is increasingly directed on the ASEAN countries („Association of Southeast Asian Nations"), while currently the general economic activities in the emerging markets are critically observed. In the longer term India has been planned as a manufacturing location. Single, large companies dominate.

According to preliminary data from the industry association JMF (Japan Machinery Federation) Japanese engineering companies manufactured machines worth of about Yen 13.55 billion in the fiscal year 2015. This was 2% less than last year. Important were cooling machines, (Yen 1.98 billion, 4.8%) as well as equipments for manufacturing of semiconductors and flat panel monitors -Yen 1.61billion, 2,8%. The manufacturer of metalworking machines had a production decline over the previous year by 5.9% to Yen 1.18 billion. Growth rates of just over 10% are registered in the robotics segment since several years.

In general the concentration in the individual equipment segments is high. According to the Yano Economic Research Institute in the fiscal year 2015, slightly more than two thirds of the NC milling machine production came from three companies: Makino Milling, Okuma and OKK. In general metalworking machines Amada, Kobe Steel and Kawasaki Hydromechanics (subsidiary of Kawasaki Steel) came on a market share of about three-quarters. Other important tool machine vendors are Yamazaki Mazak and Mori Seiki. Also in construction, textile, packaging and food processing equipment the three leading manufacturers account for at least 60% of domestic production for themselves.

Production by selected machines, Fiscal years 2014-2016
(in billion Yen, change in %)
  2014 1) 2015 2) 2016 3) Change 2016/15
Boilers, Turbines 1,433 1,193 1,127 1,9
Pumps, Ventilators 440 486 498 2.5
Compressors 677 666 669 0.4
Boost Equipment 533 533 595 7.5
Robotics 594 681 750 10.2
Drive – technology 419 413 418 1.2
Agricultural machinery 456 444 422 -5.0
Metalworking 1,257 1,183 1,120 -5.4
Food processing machines 448 518 520 0.5
Chillers  1,894 1,984 1,958 -1.3
Machines for the production of semiconductors and flat Monitors 1,564 1,608 1,772 10.2
Total machinery 13,838 13,554 13,784 1.7

1) actual results; 2) preliminary; 3) forecast
Source: Japan Machinery Federation (JMF), July 2016

Japan imports partly from our own production abroad

The Japanese imports of machinery and equipment continue to increase. It should be noted, that some of the imports are based on the foreign production of local companies. The largest share of supplies from abroad accounts for the category pumps and compressors. According to the United Nations Comtrade database this category reached on the basis of USD around USD 3.57 billion in 2015. This was 6.5% less than in the last year.

Just over 30% of the supplies came from the PRC; probably to a not inconsiderable proportion from Japanese production. The latter is also the case with electrical machines. According to Comtrade these reached in 2015 an import value of slightly more than USD 55 billion (-8%). More than a third of this was accounted for the PRC; about one-fifth to Asian emerging markets. In the import statistics Germany is especially noted in machine tools and food and packaging machines.

Despite displacements to abroad Japanese exports continue to play a role. In 2016 they are likely to suffer from the resurgent Yen. Moreover, the economic slowdown in the Asian emerging markets is becoming more noticeable.

Import of machinery to Japan (in million Yen)
HS Description of goods 2014 2015 From Germany(2015)
8429 bis 30, 8474, 8479.10 Construction- and Constructionmaterial machines, Mining machinery 41,275.5 48,946.3 4,699.8
8444 bis 49, 8451 bis 53 Textile- and Leathermachines 65,712.2 64,431.0 4,934.5
8439 bis 42, 8443.11 bis 19 Printing and Papermachines 43,089.1 43,239.5 15,835.5
8422.30 bis 40, 8437, 8438, 8479.20 Food- and Packaging machines 38,155.9 49,887.9 11,197.5
8465, 8479.30 Woodworking machinery 8,466.0 8,099.7 2,215.3
8477 Plastic- and Rubber machines 67,477.2 64,335.5 6,783.4
8413, 8414 Pumps and Compressors 403,986.5 432,352.1 26,565.7
8425 bis 28 Boost Technology 61,233.1 65,326.0 13,124.7
8456 bis 63 Machine tools for metalworking  93,513.9 111,394.1 26,701.5

Source: Japanese custom statistics

 
Commercial practice

Relevant provisions for machine and plant engineering in Japan will be supplied by the following institutions: Japan Customs, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Center for Information on Security Trade Control Japanese Standards Association (http://www.jsa.or.jp), the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee , the Japan Accreditation Board for Conformity Assessment  and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO ). JETRO published in February 2010 the still actual report "Handbook for Industrial Products Import Regulations 2009", which contains the specific import requirements for some types of machines, especially for machine tools, food processing and packaging machines.

Detailed information on commercial and tax laws are available at http://www.gtai.de/recht and for import arrangements, tariffs and NTB under http://www.gtai.de/zoll

Internetadresses
Name Internet addresses Comments
Germany Trade & Invest http://www.gtai.de/japan Foreign Trade Information for German Export
AHK Japan http://japan.ahk.de Information place for German companies
Minstry of Economy, Trade and Industry http://www.meti.go.jp Responsible for strategy and planning for industrial
machinery engineering and related sectors
Japan Machinery Federation http://www.jmf.or.jp Association of Machinery Engineering
Japan Society of Industrial Machinery Manufacturers http://www.jsim.or.jp Association of Industrial Machinery Manufacturers
Japan Machine Tool Builders' Association http://www.jmtba.or.jp Association of Machine Tool BuildersHerstellerverband für Werkzeugmaschinen
JIMTOF/Japan International Machine Tool Fair Tokyo Big Sight      http://www.jimtof.org Largest and most important machine tool exhibition
(every two years, next date November
17th – 22nd 2016)


The series “Sector compact” provides analysis on important key sectors of German export economy.
Other country reports for machinery and plant engineering and other industries can be found at http://www.gtai.de/branche-kompakt .
Contact for engineering: Roland Lorenz; E-Mail: roland.lorenz@gtai.de

 

TEXCARE INTERNATIONAL 2016 © Foto: Jens Liebchen / Messe Frankfurt GmbH
21.06.2016

TEXCARE INTERNATIONAL CLOSES WITH A NEW INTERNATIONALITY RECORD

  • Trade visitors very pleased with the bigger and more extensive range of products at the world’s leading trade fair for the sector
  • Exhibitors and visitors rate the economic situation in the sector as very good
Texcare International has closed its doors after welcoming ten percent more international visitors. Overall, the number of trade visitors remained stable – of the 15,700 visitors (2012: 15,650 from 101 countries*), almost 9,000 (2012: 8,045) came from outside Germany to the world’s leading trade fair for the sector in Frankfurt am Main from 11 to 15 June 2016, which means that international visitors account for 57 percent of the total. The visitors travelled to Texcare International from 112 countries, to discover the latest products and innovations at the exhibition stands.
  • Trade visitors very pleased with the bigger and more extensive range of products at the world’s leading trade fair for the sector
  • Exhibitors and visitors rate the economic situation in the sector as very good
Texcare International has closed its doors after welcoming ten percent more international visitors. Overall, the number of trade visitors remained stable – of the 15,700 visitors (2012: 15,650 from 101 countries*), almost 9,000 (2012: 8,045) came from outside Germany to the world’s leading trade fair for the sector in Frankfurt am Main from 11 to 15 June 2016, which means that international visitors account for 57 percent of the total. The visitors travelled to Texcare International from 112 countries, to discover the latest products and innovations at the exhibition stands. After Germany, the top visitor nations included Italy, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Denmark, Austria and Poland. Outside Europe, the USA, Japan, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, China and India ranked among the biggest visitor nations at the textile-care fair. Overall, the proportion of international visitors from outside Europe rose from 15 to 22 percent with the largest non-European growth coming from Argentina and Kazakhstan. In Germany, the market continues to be characterised by an on-going process of consolidation and concentration.
 
For five days, 319 exhibitors from 28 countries (2012: 262 exhibitors from 26 countries) – over 20 percent more than four years ago – presented their high-tech solutions and innovations for laundries, dry cleaners and textile service providers. The proportion of international exhibitors also reached a new record at 68 percent. On 30 percent more exhibition space and in two halls for the first time, the manufacturers presented a more extensive range of products and services, especially in the textiles and IT product groups. The focal point of the exhibitors’ presentations was on networking all processes in accordance with Industry 4.0. Impulses for the sustainable conversion to ‘smart laundries’ were generated by innovations for contactless laundry registration, for visualising all processes in real-time, for intelligent storage systems and for the use of robot technology.
 
Wolfgang Marzin, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Messe Frankfurt, says, “The atmosphere at Texcare International 2016 was outstanding and international growth reinforced the position of the event as the world’s leading trade fair for the sector. Top decision-makers from all over the world travelled to Frankfurt am Main to do business at the fair and gain new customers.” The level of visitor decision-making authority also rose again: over 60 percent of visitors said they were authorised to make purchases on behalf of their companies.
 
84 percent of exhibitors confirmed that they had achieved their goals for the fair, especially in terms of sales agreements signed, order books filled and numerous new international contacts made. Elgar Straub, Director General of VDMA Garment and Leather Technology, says, “Texcare International exceeded the expectations of its exhibitors by a wide margin. The high level of visitor internationality shows the great worldwide interest and demand for new, future-oriented technologies, as reflected by subjects such as Industry 4.0 and the on-going process of digitalisation on which the fair focused.”
 
89 percent of exhibitors said that the economic situation in the sector is very good, an increase of three percent over the last Texcare International four years ago. 89 percent of visitors also agreed with this assessment.

98 percent of visitors said they were very pleased with the range of products and services at Texcare International. Andreas Schumacher, Managing Director of the German Dry Cleaning Association (– DTV Deutscher Textilreinigungsverband), says, “We are delighted with the course of business at 
the fair. The echo from exhibitors and visitors has been excellent. Very popular was the opportunity to exchange information and opinions about subjects of topical importance to the sector at Texcare Forum in addition to visiting the exhibition stands. The DTV stand itself was also a welcome meeting place for holding discussions with our members and sponsors. We were particularly pleased with the highly positive response of visitors to our programme of events, which included a fashion show and ironing competition.”
 
At the fair, trade visitors from all over the world were able to discern the latest trends in the sector and gain an excellent impression of the high-grade products offered by the manufacturers. The events held within the framework of Texcare International also proved to be very popular, especially the lectures at the Texcare Forum, which were attended by over 1,000 participants. The division into themed days – education and careers, innovative textiles, sustainability and Industry 4.0 – was also very well received.

A highlight at Texcare International was the fashion show where manufacturers presented their collections and showed the latest trends in terms of colour, design and function for industrial, healthcare and catering workwear. The first ironing competition to be held at Texcare gave participants the chance to match themselves against others and to demonstrate their skills.
 
The next Texcare International will be held in Frankfurt am Main from 20 to 24 June 2020; the next Texcare Asia in the autumn of 2017.
 
You will find further information about Texcare International at www.texcare.com.
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