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Edana: Unicharm wins Outlook Asia Award 2018

The international association serving the nonwovens and related industries, Edana, Brussels/Belgium, has announced Unicharm Corp., Tokyo/Japan, as the winner of the Outlook Asia Award 2018. The awards were organized within the framework of the 4th edition of Outlook Asia held in Singapore from March 14-15, 2018.
Unicharm was recognized for its latest diaper designed for premature babies, the Moony Preemie. Specifically designed to provide a gentle but snug fit for any baby, regardless of the size, the Moony Preemie is a world first in infant absorbent hygiene.

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Baldwin: sustainable precision application technology for textile finishing

The manufacturer and full service supplier of process automation equipment, Baldwin Technology Company Inc., St. Louis, MO/USA, will showcase the TexCoat G3 for the first time during the ITM tradeshow, held in Istanbul/Turkey from April 14-17, 2018. This groundbreaking precision application technology product enables a sustainable textile and nonwovens finishing process, with low energy consumption, reduced water and chemistry waste, and substantial savings of production time and costs.
With individual nozzle control and automatic volume adjustment, the TexCoat G3 ensures precise and uniform application in various process conditions and capacities. Adjustments can be set in relation to cloth width, g/m² and textile characteristics, allowing for complete control of the amount of water and chemistry applied.
Furthermore, the TexCoat G3 is versatile, managing a wide range of low-viscosity chemistries such as water-repellent, softener and anti-microbial finishing, as well as single- and dual-sided applications, various textile characteristics and wet-on-wet applications. It also significantly reduces changeover times to less than 5 minutes, thanks to fully automatic flushing, and its mist containment covers encapsulate and prevent aerosols from escaping, securing a healthy working environment.

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VF Corporation: acquisition of Altra

The apparel manufacturer VF Corp., Greensboro, NC/USA, and the exercise equipment manufacturer Icon Health & Fitness, Inc., Logan, UT/USA, announced on March 14, 2018, that they have signed a definitive purchase agreement for the Altra footwear brand. Icon Health & Fitness launched the Altra brand in 2011. It is sold in 55 countries through more than 1,600 specialty retail locations and a branded e-commerce platform (www.altrarunning.com).
On a trailing 12-month basis, the Altra brand generated approximately $ 50 million of revenue. The transaction is expected to be completed in April 2018 and the addition of the Altra brand to VF’s portfolio is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings per share.

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More information: VF Corp. Altra acquisition

Performance Days: cooling technologies

How effective cooling works and what innovations are available in the field of cooling technologies is the focus topic at the upcoming trade fair for functional fabrics Performance Days on April 18/19, 2018, in Munich/Germany.
The fair tackles the topic “cooling technologies” completely and in depth. Not only will the most interesting 24 fabrics be presented at the Jury's Pick table, but also exhibitors are bringing the latest technologies. A highlight of this program is Dr. Jan Beringer from the research institute Hohenstein Institute, Bönnigheim/Germany, who will introduce the audience to the world of cooling textiles.
At the Performance Gate, visitors can expect to find all relevant background information about how cooling textiles function. The key is in the implementation of the physical process of evaporation to ideally meet the needs of the athlete - since the right measure of evaporative cooling can keep the body temperature in a comfortable range - but, also the strategy to keep the body in a cool temperature range from the start, before the evaporative process begins.
Of course, all new functional and fashion trends for summer 2020 as chosen by the Performance Jury will also be on display at the 9 regular tables of the Performance Forum.
For further information: www.performancedays.com

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Toray: acquisition of TenCate Advanced Composites

The manufacturer of technical textiles Royal Ten Cate BV, Almelo/Netherlands, has reached an agreement with the fiber and textiles producer Toray Industries Inc., Tokyo/Japan, on the acquisition of the producer of thermoset and thermoplastic prepregs TenCate Advanced Composites (TCAC).
The combination of TCAC and Toray brings together complementary product offerings in high-performance composites serving the aerospace, space and communications and high-performance industrial markets. It will enhance new product development and R&D capabilities and reinforce and expand relationships with customers.
Both companies have agreed to jointly develop an integration plan to support the envisaged growth plans. Toray expects to retain key management of TCAC following completion of the transaction and respects the existing rights and benefits of the employees of the TCAC group.

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Lenzing: best business year in company history

In 2017, the producer of cellulosic fibers Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, was able to achieve new record figures with sales of €2.26 billion (+5.9%) and EBIT of €371 million (+25.2%). Expenditure related to intangible assets and property, plants and equipment more than doubled in 2017 to € 238.8 million (2016: € 107.2 million) in light of the capacity expansions.
Decisive for the good results were a better product mix and higher selling prices for fibers in combination with a generally favorable market environment. The Lenzing Group aims to increase the share of specialty fibers as a percentage of revenue to 50% by 2020. Next to the capacity expansion in Heiligenkreuz/Austria, to be completed in the 2nd quarter of 2018, and the new plant in Mobile, AL/USA, with a start-up in 2019, Lenzing plans to construct a state-of-the-art plant to produce Lenzing lyocell fibers in Thailand.
Developments on the fiber markets should also be positive in 2018, but with continuing volatility. Cotton prices are expected to remain at the current level and inventory levels should be constant despite the increase in production. Polyester fiber prices increased in recent quarters following years of historic lows.

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More information: Lenzing Lenzing Group annual sales

Covestro: commercial production of composites

The specialty chemicals producer Covestro AG, Leverkusen/Germany, is starting commercial production of a novel lightweight, high-strength and aesthetically powerful material. The continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) composite material can be produced efficiently and is attracting interest from many customers and industries.
Covestro has significantly expanded its production capacity and developed the site at Markt Bibart/Germany into a location for high-tech materials. The company now employs 50 people at the site, and further expansion is planned. Overall, the company has invested a mid-double-digit million euro sum.
Composites made of CFRTP play an important role. They contribute to climate protection and resource conservation, by that reducing energy consumption and offering powerful sustainability opportunities.
The composite material of the future is based on continuous carbon or glass fibers impregnated with polycarbonate, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) or other thermoplastic resins. From this, Covestro produces uni-directional reinforced tapes and sheets for further processing by customers. Another special feature of CFRTPs is that they feel and sound like metal, but offer the design freedom of plastics.

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More information: Covestro Composites CFRTP

ACIMIT: Italian textile machinery at Indo Intertex show 2018

An Italian exhibition area will be present at the upcoming edition of Indo Intertex, to be held in Djakarta/Indonesia from April 4-7, 2018. A total of 13 Italian machinery manufacturers will be on hand in the common exhibition area set up by the Association Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT), Milan/Italy, and the Italian Trade Agency (ICE), Milan.
The textile industry is a major driving force for Indonesia’s national economy. In recent years, the local government has thus supported a widespread modernization program of existing technology, allowing for increased exports in the garment industry, and making Indonesia the 8th largest exporter in this sector worldwide, according to the latest data from the World Trade Organization.

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Mayer & Cie.: mixed feelings about 2017

The knitting machine manufacturer Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG, Albstadt/Germany, generated sales of around €105 million in 2017 – on a par with the previous year. The company also sold roughly the same number of machines as in 2016. The reason for the result, which fell short of the company‘s expectations, was a complex in-house ERP-system changeover.
For the current year, Mayer & Cie.’s target is once more a significant increase in Group sales. Preparations are also scheduled to start this year for the integration of a sister company and its products. Mayer Industries, Orangeburg, SC/USA, founded in the early 1970s as a Mayer & Cie. subsidiary and a circular knitting machine production site, is to be wound up in the medium term. Mayer Industries’ products are braiding machines for the manufacture of hose tubing. From about 2019 they are to be made in Albstadt. Preparations are under way for integrating this new product. The necessary infrastructure, above all the personnel capacities and production line, is to be in place in 2019. This integration of this technically related product is a good opportunity for Mayer & Cie. to develop an additional mainstay that is independent of the core business.

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Levi Strauss: new end-to-end digital platform

The apparel manufacturer Levi Strauss & Co. (Levi), San Francisco, CA/USA, has announced Project F.L.X. (future-led execution), a new operating model that ushers denim finishing into the digital era. Project F.L.X. digitizes the design and development of denim finishing and enables a responsive and sustainable supply chain at an unparalleled scale. By replacing manual techniques and automating the jeans finishing process, Levi is able to radically reduce time to market and eliminate thousands of chemical formulations from jeans finishing.
Specifically, this advancement enables the company to replace manual techniques and automate the time-consuming, labor-intensive and chemical-reliant process of hand-finishing, create “photo-real” finished garments digitally, take advantage of on-demand and even hyper-local production capabilities and to eliminate thousands of chemical formulations from its supply chain. The rollout of this new digital platform will be phased over time, with a goal of being fully scaled in 2020.
Project F.L.X. was built in-house at Levi’s Eureka Innovation Lab by a team of designers, developers, chemists and engineers with the aim of revolutionizing the apparel industry to better meet consumer needs while protecting the environment and the people who work in the apparel supply chain. To help unlock the benefits of more sophisticated laser technology, Levi turned to long-standing partner the manufacturer of sustainable technologies for the denim industry Jeanologia, Paterna/Spain, a supplier in eco-efficient solutions for fabric and garment finishing.

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