Textile Technology section
Reifenhäuser: new management for Reicofil
Effective April 1, 2021 Dr. Bernd Kunze has handed over the management of machinery and components manufacturer Reifenhäuser Reicofil GmbH & Co. KG, Troisdorf/Germany, to his 2 successors Dr. Boerge Wessling and Stephan Gerharz after more than 20 years in this position. Kunze moves to the Reifenhäuser Group holding, Troisdorf, where he will focus on his tasks within the group management and his role as CTO.
Wessling joined Reifenhäuser Reicofil in October 2020. He studied material sciences and gained his PhD in the field of electrical engineering. Formerly, he held a position as Managing Director in the high-technology equipment sector, focusing on Product Management and Sales. As Managing Director of Reicofil, he will be responsible for the areas of Sales, Service, Research & Development, Strategy, and Controlling.
Gerharz studied mechanical engineering and has worked at Reicofil for 20 years – until recently as Head of Order Management and member of the extended Management Board. As Managing Director, he will be responsible for Technology including special projects, Order Management, and Human Resources.
Kuraray: new managing director for Kuraray Europe
Specialty chemicals producer Kuraray Europe GmbH, Hattersheim/Germany, has appointed Jun Inoue (photo) as the successor to Naoya Uehara who is moving to a new management role at Kuraray in Tokyo/Japan.
Inoue joins the management as co-managing director, alongside Dr. Matthias Gutweiler. He will also be in charge of the Advanced Materials division. In addition to the specialty chemicals business, he will therefore be responsible for the Elastomer, Dental, Industry and Microfibers business units. He intends to drive forward the focus on high-performance materials in Germany and Europe.
Priorities are materials with a strong sustainability profile and the establishment of innovative 5G technologies for production and service.
ITMF: 7th corona survey shows -9% global sales
From January 25-March 10, 2021, the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), Zurich/Switzerland, conducted its 7th ITMF Corona-Survey among ITMF members and affiliated companies and associations about the impact the corona pandemic has on the global textile value chain. In total, 196 companies from around the world participated. The 1st ITMF Corona-Survey was conducted in March 2020 when the first lockdowns were announced in Europe.
The 7th survey revealed that actual sales in 2020 were -9% lower compared to 2019 (see graph). While this decrease is significantly better than the expected drop of -33% in the 3rd survey at the height of the first corona wave in April 2020, the year 2020 will go down into history as one of the worst years for the global textile and apparel industry.
In comparison to the expectations expressed in the 6th ITMF Corona-Survey (November 20-December 14, 2020), actual turnover for 2020 compared to 2019 has improved by 3% from -12% to now -9%. As could be expected the entire textile value chain was hit hard by the pandemic including textile machinery producers. Practically all segments under review were impacted negatively to different degrees in 2020.
For further information: www.itmf.org
Schoeller: savings with solar energy
The first annual operating figures for the photovoltaic plant, installed in 2019 on the roofs of textile manufacturer Schoeller Textil AG, Sevelen/Switzerland, exceeded the anticipated average annual output of 865,000 kWh by around 10%. 2,838 solar modules currently cover 4,800 m² of space producing 950,000 kWh of solar energy in the first year in operation.
The annual production of the solar modules equates to the average energy consumption of approx. 238 households (at 4,000 kWh/household). Schoeller has used 85% of that energy for its own operations, thus saving CHF 85,000 per year. The remaining 15% is fed back into the electricity grid and used by external consumers. The calculations show that not only does the use of solar energy benefit the environment, the plant will have paid for itself within 7-8 years.
RWTH: Aachen Reinforced! symposium now free of charge
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the 2021 Aachen Reinforced! symposium is being made free of charge for all attendees. Hosted by the RWTH Aachen University, Aachen/Germany, the format of the event has been changed to an online only. With presentations taking place from May 10-11, 2021, the program has been shortened to suit the new format.
The conference program for May 10 has now been announced and will begin with presentations on glass chemistry and specialty fibers. The program for May 11, including presentations on carbon fiber production, composites and recycling will be released on April 14, 2021.
Participants who have already registered and paid the attendance fee, are asked to get in touch to request a refund.
For further information: www.aachen-fibres.com
Devan/Jeanologia: less water for antimicrobial and skincare finishes
To further reduce water consumption during the application of the Bi-Ome antimicrobial and R-Vital skincare range, the supplier of specialty chemicals Devan Chemicals NV, Ronse/Belgium, has been working together with the supplier of sustainable technologies for garment finishing, Jeanologia, Paterna/Spain.
With increased attention to climate change and limiting excess water consumption in textile production (whether denim or other textiles), the companies worked together to evaluate the application of Devan finishes onto garments using the patented e-Flow technology.
e-Flow technology can accomplish a considerable number of finishing effects with the highest quality, a minimal amount of water and zero discharge. The technology uses micronization and nebulization to substitute traditional abrasion process and deliver performance chemistry using nano-bubbles instead of water. It reduces the cost of application, saves the amount of water used and ensures that the correct amount of chemistry stays in the garment and not in the water. e-Flow is suitable for every industrial washing machine. This allows the application of Devan’s technologies in a more sustainable way than using traditional application equipment, even for smaller production runs and direct onto garments.
RadiciGroup: sustainable wearables
The first Oroblù-branded tights made in Italy from recycled plastic bottles are the result of a collaboration between the manufacturer of synthetic fibers and yarns, RadiciGroup, Gandino/Italy, and CSP International Fashion Group SpA, Ceresara/Italy.
The 2 companies, both of which are innovation and sustainability-oriented, decided to combine their know-how to create a high-performance, eco-friendly product. “Oroblù Save the Oceans” are black, 50-denier tights made of Repetable, a new polyester yarn derived from post-consumer recycled PET bottles. This process reduces CO2 emissions, as well as the consumption of water and energy.
Repetable yarn uses no virgin material and is colored by solution-dyeing, a method that saves water and electricity during production.
Flocus: sustainable and regenerative kapok fibers
Kapok is a non-food, vegan product that leaves no human footprint behind. Flocus BV, Enschede/Netherlands, offers a range of kapok textile materials such as fibers, yarns, textiles and nonwovens, which provide the textile industry with a naturally sustainable and regenerative alternative which has not been available before.
Flocus, also the name of the trademarked fiber, is a 100% sustainable open source textile concept in which buyers can tailor blend their needs for their sustainable collection. The company is testing the wide range of applications of Flocus kapok stuffing, yarns, fabrics, nonwovens for thermo and sound insulation, waddings, foam replacement, medical, automotive and technical uses and others.
Kapok is a natural fiber, traditionally used e.g. by local population in China and Indonesia for fillings but with no large-scale applications. The short staple fiber (2-4 cm length) is very light and hollow, and is characterized by a silky soft and dry touch of the fiber itself, antimoth and antimite properties as well as insulation properties comparable to down.
Kapok comes from a non-food fruit crop (Ceiba pentandra) that grows in many subtropical areas. They can be picked, like an apple, leaving the tree to grow and prosper. The kapok trees need no irrigation, no pesticides, and no fertilizers, they thrive only with natural resources. They can grow on hills, in a biodiverse environment, and on land which is not suitable for agricultural purposes – resulting in 100% positive impact on the environment.
Reifenhäuser: acquisition of air cooling ring specialist
As of April 2021, the machinery and components manufacturer Reifenhäuser GmbH & Co. KG Maschinenfabrik, Troisdorf/Germany, has acquired a majority stake in Kdesign GmbH, Königswinter/Germany, a global leader in the manufacture of air cooling rings and measuring systems for blown film extrusion lines. With this purchase Reifenhäuser Group, a specialist in extrusion technologies, expands its in-house expertise in cooling, controlling, measuring and calibrating blown films.
Kdesign remains an independent company within the Reifenhäuser Group and its business and customer relationships will continue unchanged. Joachim Lange and Richard Zimmermann continue to head the company as managing directors.
As a member of the Group, Kdesign now has access to a large international service network and one of the largest privately run research and development center for plastics extrusion.
RadiciGroup: circular fashion along the entire supply chain
The manufacturer of synthetic fibers and yarns, RadiciGroup, Gandino/Italy, is participating in the “Monitor for Circular Fashion”, an innovative Italian project launched by the SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan/Italy, and Enel X, Rome/Italy, with the objective of creating an Italian fashion community through the collaboration of the supply chain players most committed to the sustainability agenda.
The initiative aims to assess the state of maturity of the circular economy in the Italian fashion industry, to define an ambitious plan integrating circularity in fashion and to develop new concrete and measurable circular economy solutions through the sharing of best practices, with the goal of making the strategic fashion sector ever more sustainable.