Textile Technology section
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
Tecnon OrbiChem: higher demand for cellulosic fibers in nonwovens
The cellulosic fibers market in early 2020 was seen as very buoyant although overall growth rates were not more than 2.5% in 2019. Now, in the light of Covid-19, the picture has changed. On a world basis, most synthetic fibers showed a reduction in demand in 2020. According to major cellulosics producer Sateri, Shanghai/China, a decline in demand for viscose textile fibers has been seen in the last year albeit compensated by a swing to the demand for, and production of, nonwovens. Even before this, in the period 2014-2019, there was healthy, double digit demand growth for cellulosic fibers into nonwovens.
Negative factors for demand for synthetic fibers include higher crude oil prices and higher freight costs worldwide. There is a more difficult climate too for expensive, high quality materials as consumers look to reduce costs post-corona. This gives synthetic fibers such as polyester, with comparatively low production costs, some advantage.
Following the report last year by market research organization Tecnon OrbiChem, London/UK, on cellulosic fibers based on the International Conference on Cellulose Fibres in February 2020, hosted by nova-Institute GmbH, Hürth/Germany, an outlook for cellulosic fibers developed in the past year based on reports at this year’s conference has been done.
JEC Group: trends in the global composites industry 2020-2025
The JEC Group, Paris/France, has published the new 2021 edition of the JEC Observer: Current trends in the global composites industry 2020-2025, written in collaboration with Estin & Co., Paris. JEC Observer is the annual barometer of the composites industry. This new publication seeks to give a perspective and outlook of the industry for the next 5 years using graphs, key figures, market dynamics, and insights to illustrate the state of composites globally.
2020 was an exceptional year. Composites suffered from the impacts of the Covid-19 health crisis and there are no signs that indicate that it will be any different once this has abated, although the demand remains strong in some regions.
The composites market should decrease in all regions in 2021. There should be a stronger decrease in Europe and North America, than in China due to the Chinese economy recovering faster. The global composites market grew at 8% p.a. over 2010, 4% p.a. from 2010-2019, and should remain at -14% for 2020, due to the corona crisis and its impact on the economy. For the next 5 years (2021-2025), the composites industry should resume growth, at between 2% and 9% p.a. across regions.
The new 2021 JEC Observer edition has a special focus on composite recycling and the growing development of hydrogen and its impact on the industry. Globally, composite materials are recycled at a much lower rate than other prominent materials, but it has been improving. Thus, the recycling processes are gaining momentum with increasing numbers of companies entering the market and creating tremendous growth opportunities. Although the penetration rate of composites in the automotive industry has been slowly increasing over the past 40 years, hydrogen car manufacturing will certainly ramp up composites production worldwide in the long run.
For further information: www.jeccomposites.com
Sandler: sales growth in 2020 despite corona
Notwithstanding the corona pandemic, nonwovens manufacturer Sandler AG, Schwarzenbach/Germany, can look back on a successful year 2020. The company achieved an increase in sales from 322 to €328 million.
To contribute to the fight against the corona virus, Sandler utilized as much capacity as possible for the production of nonwovens for face masks.
In the automotive industry and furniture production orders declined in the 2nd quarter 2020, while demand in other segments, such as nonwovens for disinfection wipes or personal protective equipment, increased markedly. At the same time, the company substantially invested in the modernization of workplaces and factory buildings. Furthermore, it continued to expand all of its market segments, among them applications in construction or hygiene products, also extending its range of efficient sound-absorbing materials for interior acoustics.
At Sandler Nonwoven Corporation in Perry, GA/USA, a new production line was set up inside a new building constructed specifically for this purpose. In late December 2020, first trial runs of the new production line were conducted; commissioning is now in its final stages.
Mayer & Cie.: market recovery after 2 challenging years
Once again in 2020, sales of the knitting machine manufacturer Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG, Albstadt/Germany, saw a 20% decline on the previous year to €72 million. In 2019 sales were already down 12% on 2018 despite the launch of a new product range of braiding machines in Albstadt. Comparing 2018 and 2020 sales directly, the downturn was all of 32%. At the end of 2019 the personnel structure was adjusted to the decline in demand.
Since late summer 2020, after the first wave of the corona virus, Mayer & Cie. has benefited from a significant recovery in the market. Further expectations for the 2021 business year are positive. Managing Director Benjamin Mayer expects the company to exceed the originally planned annual production of circular knitting machines. The sales target for 2021 is around €96 million and will lead the company back into the black.
The production of braiding machines at the Albstadt site was intended to compensate for fluctuations in the textile machinery market. In 2019 and 2020, the new business division could claim a 10-20% share of sales at full capacity. In terms of machines produced, an increase of 14% was recorded from 2019 to 2020.
Performance Days: digital fair week
In view of the current corona situation, any planning for the realization of fairs lacks certainty. Furthermore, international travel restrictions make it difficult or even impossible for many manufacturers and trade fair visitors to participate. As a result, the planned dates of the Performance Days fair cannot take place as a physical event on May 19-20, 2021 as previously announced.
To coincide with the Kickoff of the new season, the Performance Days team is focusing on a digital fair week from May 17-21, 2021. Within the framework of the recently launched digital platform Performance Days Loop in cooperation with Functional Fabric Fair and the Digital Fair will highlight sustainable fabric innovations for Spring/Summer 2023 over 5 days.
During the Digital Fair, exhibitors and trade visitors can look forward to comprehensive networking opportunities, including digital supporting program via live stream with informative talks by experts, lectures and rounds of discussions, as well as interactive Q&A sessions.
The Marketplace will provide visitors with the opportunity to view numerous exhibitors’ products, including the curated, sustainable fabric highlights of the Performance Forum. In order to be able to digitally present the fabrics to visitors as realistically as possible in terms of haptic, design and structure, the Performance Forum was equipped last winter with innovative 3D technology, including innovative tools such as 3D images, video animations and U3M files for download.
The hybrid option remains the concept of the future, especially for the winter edition of the fair on December 1-2, 2021
ITM/Hightex postponed again to 2022
The corona virus has once more required the postponement of 2 trade fairs in Istanbul/Turkey. Both the International Textile Machinery Exhibition ITM and the International Technical Textile & Nonwoven Trade Fair Hightex will now be held from June 14-18, 2022. This effectively means a postponement of 1 year from the last announced dates of June 22-26, 2021.
The last ITM Exhibition hosted the international textile industry with 1,200 exhibitors from 64 countries and 60,000 visitors from 94 countries.
Hightex 2022, which will be held simultaneously with the ITM, is the first and only exhibition in its field in Turkey and will host leading technical textile and nonwovens manufacturers in Istanbul for 5 days. Visitors will include industry professionals from medical to ready-to-wear, from decoration to cosmetics, and from automotive to defense.