Textile Technology section
VDMA: awards for 6 young talents in engineering
On December 2, 2020, Peter D. Dornier, member of the Executive Board of the VDMA Textile Machinery Federation, Frankfurt/Germany, and Chairman of the Walter Reiners Foundation for the Promotion of Young Engineers, honored 6 successful young engineers with prizes of the German Textile Machinery Industry. The VDMA honored the works of young engineers in the categories bachelor, master thesis and dissertation with prizes that are endowed with 3,000 €, 3500 € and 5000 € each.
Philippa Böhnke from the Institute for Textile Machinery and High-Performance Textile Materials Technology (ITM) in Dresden/Germany, was honored for her bachelor or project work for the composite implants for the repair and regeneration of bone defects and Juan Carlos Arañó Romero from the Institute of Textile Technology at RWTH Aachen University (ITA), Aachen/Germany, for a spinning machine able to produce yarn with material from the moon.
2 promotion prizes in the category master thesis were awarded to Harry Lucas (TU Chemnitz/Germany) for the development of a new knitting head for jacquard knitted fabrics and Maximilian Speiser (Hochschule Reutlingen/Germany) for a solution for increasing energy efficiency in the nonwovens process.
Moreover 2 promotion prizes of the German Textile Machinery Industry in the dissertation category were awarded to Dr. Frederik Cloppenburg (ITA Aachen) for the development of a model for the optimization of roller cards in the nonwovens process and Dr. Annett Schmieder (TU Chemnitz) for a damage analysis system for fiber ropes.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the award ceremony took place as a web conference. The award ceremony 2021 shall take place with physical presence again and is scheduled for May 2021 during the Techtextil in Frankfurt/Germany.
Oerlikon Nonwoven: expansion of meltblown production capacity in Germany
The nonwovens manufacturer Innovatec Microfibre Technology GmbH & Co. KG, Troisdorf/Germany, started production with the 2nd newly-delivered meltblown system manufactured by Oerlikon Nonwoven, a business unit of the Manmade Fibers segment of Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland. With it, Innovatec immediately started producing polypropylene filter nonwovens: in particular for use in protective face masks, which have been increasingly in demand since the start of the corona pandemic and whose domestic manufacture is being supported by the German government. Here, the Oerlikon Nonwoven technology is supporting the production of the filter media.
In June 2020 Oerlikon Nonwoven delivered the 1st so-called 2-beam system to Innovatec. Together with the new production line, Innovatec has been able to almost double its filter nonwovens output to date. The company now has filter media production capacities that can be used to manufacture up to 2.5 billion operating room filter masks or a billion highly-effective FFP2 masks/year.
Andritz: acquistion of Laroche
The international technology group Andritz AG, Graz/Austria, has signed an agreement with Laroche SA, Cours/France, to acquire LM Industries comprising Laroche SA and Miltec SA. Andritz will take over all Laroche entities and their business worldwide. Closing of the transaction is expected at the beginning of 2021.
Laroche is a manufacturer of fiber processing technologies such as opening, blending and dosing, airlay web forming, textile waste recycling and decortication of bast fibers. Lines for a wide range of industries and products as spinning, bedding and furniture, automotive, acoustic and thermal insulation, geotextiles, filtration, wipes are supplied.
The product portfolio further complements the Andritz Nonwoven product range. Andritz is now able to offer the complete supply and value chain, from the raw material, to opening and blending, web forming, bonding, finishing, drying, and converting. Laroche’s high-performance technologies for opening and blending enhance the Andritz scope of supply for spunlace, needlepunch and wetlaid production lines. Moreover, both companies have agreed to further strengthen the development of their existing technologies for high-speed and high-capacity applications and also to continue pursuing the development of textile recycling processes.
Euratex: strong downturn of textile and apparel industry due to corona
During the first 7 months of 2020, the EU-27 production in the textile and apparel industry fell strongly, a slump reaching -17.3% in textiles and -26.5% in clothing. These double-digit negative rates can be seen in almost all textile and clothing (T&C) subsectors with some exceptions. The manufacture of nonwovens was more resilient, as the needs and capacities for nonwovens-based face masks and medical supplies were promptly increasing during the pandemic period.
These are the key figures of the Autumn Report 2020 from the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex), Brussels/Belgium.
Due to the corona pandemic, the downward trend of the EU turnover continued to intensify since the beginning of 2020, reaching a decline of 16.3% for textiles and a decrease of 22.6% for clothing during the 1st half (H1) of 2020, as entrepreneurs in the T&C industry had to adjust to a sharp drop.
EU exports to 3rd world countries plummeted, during the first part of 2020, with sharper declines than the ones observed during the 2008-2009 financial crisis (-20.4% year-on-year).
There is great uncertainty regarding expectations for the 2021-2022 period. Euratex preliminary forecasts based on historical production figures reveal a production slump in 2021, though the rhythm would be much slower compared to 2020: -8% for textiles, including man-made fibers, and -12.6% for clothing. Production trends in 2022 should improve further though remaining on the negative side.
Archroma: number 1 in the “industrial chemicals” list
The producer of dyes and specialty chemicals Archroma Management LLC, Reinach/Switzerland, ranked number 1 in the “industrial chemicals” list published by the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), Beijing/China, for driving transparency in their supply chain. Archroma also entered the Top 50 of companies in IPE’s Green SupplyChain CITI Evaluation, at the 47th position.
The evaluation dynamically assesses brands on the environmental management of their supply chains in China. Archroma supplies industries as diverse as textiles, fashion, packaging, paper, adhesives, paints, and construction, with innovations and solutions that can be found in many consumer goods, from paper and packaging, to home décor paints and textiles, to clothing and car seats.
With a wide array of products, the company is committed to operate along the principles of “The Archroma Way to a Sustainable World: Safe, efficient, enhanced, it’s our nature”. The Archroma team is therefore committed to sourcing safe and sustainable raw materials and intermediates from like-minded partners. The efforts in this area have been noticed and rewarded earlier this year with the EcoVadis Gold award of EcoVadis SAS, Paris/France.
Heike van de Kerkhof, CEO of Archroma
BASF: pigment portfolio for sustainable fiber coloration
By using less water as well as decreasing pollution in waterways, solution-dyed fiber production is more environmentally friendly than traditional bath dyeing methods.
The BASF Colors & Effect GmbH, Ludwigshafen/Germany, offers a focused portfolio of colorants for solution-dyed fiber applications. The colorant range meets performance requirements for various polymers as well as high purity standards by Oeko-Tex Association, Zurich/Switzerland.
By controlling potentially harmful chemicals even if they are not yet regulated, the Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex certification signals the highest product purity to the fiber industry. On the path to increasing sustainable fiber coloration, the shift to solution-dyed fiber production has long been highlighted by the industry as a resource-saving process in comparison to bath-dyed fiber production.
Additionally, the solution-dyed fiber process produces a more durable fiber with longer service life, prolonging the time a consumer keeps a product before replacing it.
H.B. Fuller: sustainable adhesive for natural-based hygiene articles The increasing demand for more natural-based hygiene articles means that new adhesiv
The increasing demand for more natural-based hygiene articles means that new adhesive innovations are required. The supplier of adhesives, H.B. Fuller, St. Paul, MN/USA, has launched the sustainable adhesive solution Full-Care 5885 by combining high-performance 100% cotton bonding at low cost.
Around the world, consumers of disposable hygiene products are seeking more environmentally-friendly products. Cotton-based articles are in high-demand and set to continue apace. Cotton, with its soft, breathable properties, is increasingly considered as the natural choice for sustainable hygiene products, particularly baby diapers and feminine care. The new cotton bonding hygiene construction adhesive solution supports manufacturers operate in a more sustainable way. Full Care 5885 has a high wet strength, low odor and a light color. It offers extra assurance as it meets the certification requirement of the Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex Association, Zurich/Switzerland.
Other common natural-based or renewable substrate choices are viscose, typically made from cellulosic fibers and polylactic acid (PLA) or the substrate can be a blend of both.
Mogul: natural barrier against dust mites
The new hybrid nonwovens technology Madaline, manufactured by Mogul Tekstil Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş, Baspinar-Gaziantep/Turkey, offers unique inherent features like non-fraying edges, a barrier against house dust mites and high bacterial filtration efficiency, low linting and low pilling, and is also quick dry, absorbent and breathable. It bridges the gap between nonwovens and textiles and is suitable as fabric for home textile applications. Madaline uses bicomponent (bico) technology composed of polyester (PET)/polyamide (PA) for producing continuous microfilaments.
Since this material is low lint product it protects the environment by not having polymer fragments carried away during washing. Such microscopic pollution is presently among the most serious environmental concerns.
Madaline, with zippered encasings for duvets, mattresses and pillows offers very good protection against dust mite allergies. Dust mites and their by-products are trapped within the Madaline encasing and the sleeper is not exposed to the allergens.
This nonwovens technology can also be used for bedsheets, mattress protectors and bedspreads (hospitals, institutional, residential and home use).
Madaline is certified by globally recognized ECARF (European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation) as being ‘Allergy Friendly Products and Services’.
Autoneum: recovery of global automotive production
Global automobile production has been recovering faster than expected since this summer. If the positive development continues in the 2nd half (H2) of 2020, the decline in sales at automotive supplier Autoneum Management AG, Winterthur/Switzerland, could be only around 5% in local currencies compared to 2019. For fiscal year 2020, a decline in sales in local currencies of around 20% is expected.
Based on this development, the extensive cost reduction measures taken in response to the Covid-19 crisis and the on-schedule progress of the turnaround in North America, an EBIT margin of 4-5% is expected for the H2/2020 and a slightly positive EBIT margin for 2020 as a whole.
The outlook for 2021 and especially H1 remains uncertain and depends strongly on how the pandemic will develop. According to forecasts, global vehicle production in 2021 will still not reach the level of 2019.
Fraunhofer WKI: car made of plant fibers on the road soon?
Biomaterials are an important element in the implementation of a bio-economy strategy. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), Bonn/Germany, has been promoting the development of a car body with a high proportion of renewable raw materials since October 2020. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut (WKI), Braunschweig/Germany, and Hobum Oleochemicals GmbH, Hamburg/Germany, aim to develop a bio-composite material made of plant fibers and vegetable oil-based resin systems that can be processed industrially into car body components. Using the Bioconcept-Car as a test module, the technical performance of the components will be optimized until they are ready for series production road approval.
BioResinProcess is a seamless continuation of the funded project "Sustainable biohybrid lightweight construction for future-oriented mobility", which was completed in summer 2020. This is the first successful series production of a body component made of natural fiber-reinforced materials. In the follow-up project, the bio-content of the components is to be increased to at least 85% and their processing optimized using the RTM (resin transfer molding) process.
(Photo: FNR/Norbert Breuer)