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11.01.2022

FIMATEC innovation network enters second funding phase

The network for the development of fiber materials technology for healthcare and sports will receive funding from the Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM) for another two years.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWi) approved a corresponding application in December 2021. This will continue to provide funding for the development of innovative functional fibers, smart textiles and application-optimized fiber composite materials until June 2023 and strengthen the technological competitiveness and innovative strength of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The network for the development of fiber materials technology for healthcare and sports will receive funding from the Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM) for another two years.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWi) approved a corresponding application in December 2021. This will continue to provide funding for the development of innovative functional fibers, smart textiles and application-optimized fiber composite materials until June 2023 and strengthen the technological competitiveness and innovative strength of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

For this purpose, the FIMATEC innovation network combines competences from different engineering and scientific disciplines with small and medium-sized manufacturers and service providers from the target sectors in medicine and sports (e.g. orthopaedics, prosthetics, surgery, smart textiles) as well as players from the textile and plastics industry.      

This interdisciplinary combination of industrial partners and application-oriented research institutions increases competitiveness and enables the players to realise their technical research and development projects quickly and in a targeted manner. The focus for the joint R&D projects of the companies and research institutions is on the development of innovative materials and efficient manufacturing technologies. 
          
Fiber-based materials have become indispensable in many applications in medicine and sports. As a pure fiber, processed into a textile or as a fiber composite plastic, they offer an almost unlimited variety for adjusting property and functional profiles. At the same time, the demands on the range of functions, performance and cost-effectiveness are constantly increasing, so that there is great potential for innovation. Developments are driven on the one hand by new materials and manufacturing processes, and on the other by innovative applications. Products with new and superior functions create a technological advantage over international competitors and enable higher sales revenues. In addition, efficient processes, application-optimized materials or even the integration of functions into the basic structure of textile materials lead to lower production costs and improved marketing opportunities in the future.
For developments in this context, the partners have joined forces in the FIMATEC innovation network, thus combining their expertise. Within the network, innovative materials and processes are being developed jointly in the following areas and tested in future-oriented products and services:

  • Functional fibers
    Innovative fiber materials with integrated functionalities
  • Preforming
    Highly load path optimized fiber orientations for complex fiber composite components.    
  • Smart Textiles
    Textile-based sensors and actuators
  • Hybrid material and manufacturing technologies
    Application-optimized components through cross-technology solution approaches.    
  • Fiber composites  
    Intelligent matrix systems and function-optimized fiber materials.    
  • Fiber-reinforced 3D printing  
    High-quality additive manufacturing processes for the efficient production of individualized products.

 
17 network partners are researching fiber-based materials for medical and sports technologyCurrently, ten companies and seven research institutions are involved in FIMATEC. Interested companies and research institutions as well as potential users can continue to participate in the cooperation network or R&D projects. In the course of membership, the partners are actively supported in identifying and initiating innovation projects as well as securing financing through funding acquisition. One application for ZIM project funding has already been approved by FIMATEC in its first year.

The aim of the already approved project "CFKadapt" is to develop a thermoformable fiber-plastic composite material for optimally adaptable orthopedic aids such as prostheses and orthoses. In the "Modul3Rad" project, which is currently being worked out in detail, the project partners intend to develop a modular lightweight frame system for the construction of user-friendly therapy tricycles, suitable for everyday use by severely and very severely disabled children. Three further collaborative projects are already in the planning stage.

The technology and knowledge transfer enables in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access cutting-edge technological research, especially these are often denied access to innovations due to the lack of their own research departments. The IWS GmbH has taken over the network management for FIMATEC and supports the partners from the first idea to the search for suitable project partners and the preparation and coordination of funding applications. The aim is to obtain funding from the Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM), which offers companies funding opportunities for a wide range of technical innovation projects in cooperation with research institutions.

FIMATEC-netzwork partners
all ahead composites GmbH | Veitshöchheim | www.bike-ahead-composites.de
Altropol Kunststoff GmbH | Stockelsdorf | www.altropol.de
Diondo GmbH | Hattingen | www.diondo.com
Mailinger innovative fiber solutions GmbH | Sontra | www.mailinger.de
Sanitätshaus Manfred Klein GmbH & Co. KG | Stade | www.klein-sanitaetshaus.de
STREHL GmbH & Co KG | Bremervörde | www.rehastrehl.de
WESOM Textil GmbH | Olbersdorf | www.wesom-textil.de
Faserinstitut Bremen e.V. (FIBRE) | www.faserinstitut.de
E.F.M. GmbH | Olbersdorf | www.efm-gmbh.de
REHA-OT Lüneburg Melchior und Fittkau GmbH | Olbersdorf | www.rehaot.de
Fraunhofer-Institut für Fertigungstechnik und Angewandte Materialforschung IFAM | Bremen | www.ifam.fraunhofer.de
Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden e.V. (IPF) | www.ipfdd.de
Institut für Polymertechnologien Wismar e.V. (IPT) | www.ipt-wismar.de
Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe GmbH | Kaiserslautern | www.ivw.uni-kl.de

Associated network partners
9T Labs AG | Zürich, Schweiz | www.9tlabs.com
Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Institut für Kunststofftechnik (FHNW) | www.fhnw.ch
KATZ - Kunststoff Ausbildungs- und Technologie-Zentrum | Aarau, Schweiz | www.katz.ch

Source:

Textination / IWS Innovations- und Wissensstrategien GmbH

(c) Toray
23.11.2021

Toray Industries: A Concept to change Lives

Founded in January 1926, Tokyo-based Japanese chemical company Toray Industries, Inc. is known as the world's largest producer of PAN (polyacrylonitrile)-based carbon fibers. But its overall portfolio includes much more. Textination spoke with Koji Sasaki, General Manager of the Textile Division of Toray Industries, Inc. about innovative product solutions, new responsibilities and the special role of chemical companies in today's world.

Toray Industries is a Japanese company that - originating in 1926 as a producer of viscose yarns - is on the home stretch to its 100th birthday. Today, the Toray Group includes 102 Japanese companies and 180 overseas. They operate in 29 countries. What is the current significance of the fibers and textiles business unit for the success of your company?

Founded in January 1926, Tokyo-based Japanese chemical company Toray Industries, Inc. is known as the world's largest producer of PAN (polyacrylonitrile)-based carbon fibers. But its overall portfolio includes much more. Textination spoke with Koji Sasaki, General Manager of the Textile Division of Toray Industries, Inc. about innovative product solutions, new responsibilities and the special role of chemical companies in today's world.

Toray Industries is a Japanese company that - originating in 1926 as a producer of viscose yarns - is on the home stretch to its 100th birthday. Today, the Toray Group includes 102 Japanese companies and 180 overseas. They operate in 29 countries. What is the current significance of the fibers and textiles business unit for the success of your company?

The fibers’ and textiles’ business is both the starting point and the foundation of Toray's business development today. We started producing viscose yarns in 1926 and conducted our own research and development in nylon fibers as early as 1940. And since new materials usually require new processing methods, Toray also began investing in its own process technology at an early stage. On the one hand, we want to increase our sales, and on the other hand, we want to expand the application possibilities for our materials. For this reason, Toray also began to expand its business from pure fibers to textiles and even clothing. This allows us to better respond to our customers' needs while staying at the forefront of innovation.

Over the decades, Toray has accumulated a great deal of knowledge in polymer chemistry and organic synthesis chemistry - and this know-how is the foundation for almost all of our other business ventures. Today, we produce a wide range of advanced materials and high-value-added products in plastics, chemicals, foils, carbon fiber composites, electronics and information materials, pharmaceuticals, medicine and water treatment. However, fibers and textiles remain our most important business area, accounting for around 40% of the company's sales.

What understanding, what heritage is still important to you today? And how do you live out a corporate philosophy in the textile sector that you formulate as "Contributing to society through the creation of new value with innovative ideas, technologies and products"?

Toray has consistently developed new materials that the world has never seen before. We do this by focusing on our four core technologies: Polymer chemistry, organic synthetic chemistry, biotechnology and nanotechnology. We do this by focusing on our four core technologies: Polymer chemistry, organic synthetic chemistry, biotechnology and nanotechnology. For textiles, this means we use new polymer structures, spinning technologies and processing methods to develop yarns with unprecedented properties. We always focus on the needs and problems of the market and our customers.

This approach enables us to integrate textiles with new functions into our everyday lives that natural fibers and materials cannot accomplish. For example, we offer sportswear and underwear that absorb water excellently and dry very quickly, or rainwear and outdoor clothing with excellent water-repellent properties that feature a less bulky inner lining. Other examples include antibacterial underwear, uniforms, or inner linings that provide a hygienic environment and reduce the growth of odor-causing bacteria. People enjoy the convenience of these innovative textiles every day, and we hope to contribute to their daily comfort and improve their lives in some way.

In 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 sustainable development goals – simply known as the 2030 Agenda, which came into force on January 01, 2016. Countries were given 15 years to achieve them by 2030. In your company, there is a TORAY VISION 2030 and a TORAY SUSTAINABILITY VISION. How do you apply these principles and goals to the textile business? What role does sustainability play for this business area?

Sustainability is one of the most important issues facing the world today - not only in the textile sector, but in all industries. We in the Toray Group are convinced that we can contribute to solving various problems in this regard with our advanced materials. At the same time, the trend towards sustainability offers interesting new business approaches. In our sustainability vision, we have set four goals that the world should achieve by 2050. And we have defined which problems need to be addressed to achieve this.

We must:

  1. accelerate measures to combat climate change,
  2. implement sustainable, recycling-oriented solutions in the use of resources and in production,
  3. provide clean water and air, and
  4. contribute to better healthcare and hygiene for people around the world.

We will drive this agenda forward by promoting and expanding the use of materials that respond to environmental issues. In the textile sector, for example, we offer warming and cooling textiles – by eliminating the need for air conditioning or heating in certain situations, they can help reduce energy costs. We also produce environmentally friendly textiles that do not contain certain harmful substances such as fluorine, as well as textiles made from biomass, which use plant-based fibers instead of conventional petrochemical materials. Our product range also includes recycled materials that reduce waste and promote effective use of resources.

The TORAY VISION 2030, on the other hand, is our medium-term strategic plan and looks at the issue of sustainability from a different angle: Toray has defined the path to sustainable and healthy corporate growth in it. In this plan, we are focusing on two major growth areas: Our Green Innovation Business, which aims to solve environmental, resource and energy problems, and the Life Innovation Business, which focuses on improving medical care, public health, personal safety and ultimately a longer expectancy of life.

Innovation by Chemistry is the claim of the Toray Group. In a world where REACH and Fridays for Future severely restrict the scope of the chemical industry, the question arises as to what position chemistry can have in the textile industry. How do chemistry, innovation and sustainability fit together here?

The chemical industry is at a turning point today. The benefits that this industry can bring to civilization are still enormous, but at the same time, disadvantages such as the waste of resources and the negative impact on the environment and ecosystems are becoming increasingly apparent. In the future, the chemical industry will have to work much more towards sustainability - there is no way around it.

As far as textiles are concerned, we believe there are several ways to make synthetic materials more sustainable in the future. One of these, as I said, is materials made from plants instead of petrochemical raw materials. Another is to reduce the amount of raw materials used in production in the first place – this can be achieved, for example, by collecting and recycling waste materials from production or sales. Biodegradable materials that reduce the impact of waste products on the environment are another option worth pursuing, as is the reduction of environmentally harmful substances used in the production process. We are already looking at all of these possibilities in Toray's synthetic textiles business. At the same time, by the way, we make sure to save energy in our own production and minimize the impact on the environment.

Toray's fibers & textiles segment focuses on synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester and acrylic, as well as other functional fibers. In recent years, there has been a clear trend on the market towards cellulosic fibers, which are also being traded as alternatives to synthetic products. How do you see this development – on the one hand for the Toray company, and on the other hand under the aspect of sustainability, which the cellulosic competitors claim for themselves with the renewable raw material base?

Natural fibers, including cellulose fibers and wool, are environmentally friendly in that they can be easily recycled and are rapidly biodegradable after disposal. However, to truly assess their environmental impact, a number of other factors must also be considered: Primarily, there is the issue of durability: precisely because natural fibers are natural, it is difficult to respond to a rapid increase in demand, and quality is not always stable due to weather and other factors.

Climatic changes such as extreme heat, drought, wind, floods and damages from freezing can affect the quantity and quality of the production of natural fibers, so that the supply is not always secured. In order to increase production, not only does land have to be cleared, but also large amounts of water and pesticides have to be used to cultivate it – all of which is harmful to the environment.

Synthetic fibers, on the other hand, are industrial products manufactured in controlled factory environments. This makes it easier to manage fluctuations in production volume and ensure consistent quality. In addition, certain functional properties such as resilience, water absorption, quick drying and antibacterial properties can be embedded into the material, which can result in textiles lasting longer in use.

So synthetic fibers and natural fibers, including cellulose fibers, have their own advantages and disadvantages – there is no panacea here, at least not at the moment. We believe: It is important to ensure that there are options that match the consumer's awareness and lifestyle. This includes comfort in everyday life and sustainability at the same time.

To what extent has the demand for recycled products increased? Under the brand name &+™, Toray offers a fiber made from recycled PET bottles. Especially with the "raw material base: PET bottles", problems can occur with the whiteness of the fiber. What distinguishes your process from that of other companies and to what extent can you compete with new fibers in terms of quality?

During the production of the "&+" fiber, the collected PET bottles are freed from all foreign substances using special washing and filtering processes. These processes have not only allowed us to solve the problem of fiber whiteness – by using filtered, high-purity recycled polyester chips, we can also produce very fine fibers and fibers with unique cross sections. Our proven process technologies can also be used to incorporate specific textures and functions of Toray into the fiber. In addition, "&+" contains a special substance in the polyester that allows the material to be traced back to the recycled PET bottle fibers used in it.

We believe that this combination of aesthetics, sustainability and functionality makes the recycled polyester fiber "&+" more competitive than those of other companies. And indeed, we have noticed that the number of requests is steadily increasing as companies develop a greater awareness of sustainability as early as the product planning stage.

How is innovation management practiced in Toray's textile division, and which developments that Toray has worked on recently are you particularly proud of?

The textile division consists of three sub-divisions focusing on the development and sale of fashion textiles (WOMEN'S & MEN'S WEAR FABRICS DEPT.), sports and outdoor textiles (SPORTS WEAR & CLOTHING MATERIALS FABRICS DEPT.) and, specifically for Japan, textiles for uniforms used in schools, businesses and the public sector (UNIFORM & ADVANCED TEXTILES DEPT.).

In the past, each division developed its own materials for their respective markets and customers. However, in 2021, we established a collaborative space to increase synergy and share information about textiles developed in different areas with the entire department. In this way, salespeople can also offer their customers materials developed in other departments and get ideas for developing new textiles themselves.

I believe that the new structure will also help us to respond better to changes in the market. We see, for example, that the boundaries between workwear and outdoor are blurring – brands like Engelbert Strauss are a good example of this trend. Another development that we believe will accelerate after the Corona pandemic is the focus on green technologies and materials. This applies to all textile sectors, and we need to work more closely together to be at the forefront of this.

How important are bio-based polyesters in your research projects? How do you assess the future importance of such alternatives?

I believe that these materials will play a major role in the coming years. Polyester is made from purified terephthalic acid (PTA), which again consists of paraxylene (PX) and ethylene glycol (EG). In a first step, we already offer a material called ECODEAR™, which uses sugar cane molasses waste as a raw material for EG production.

About 30% of this at least partially bio polyester fiber is therefore biologically produced, and the material is used on a large scale for sportswear and uniforms. In the next step, we are working on the development of a fully bio-based polyester fiber in which the PTA component is also obtained from biomass raw materials, such as the inedible parts of sugar cane and wood waste.

Already in 2011, we succeeded in producing a prototype of such a polyester fiber made entirely from biomass. However, the expansion of production at the PX manufacturer we are working with has proven to be challenging. Currently, we are only producing small sample quantities, but we hope to start mass production in the 2020s.

Originally starting with yarn, now a leading global producer of synthetic fibers for decades, you also work to the ready-made product. The range extends from protective clothing against dust and infections to smart textiles and functional textiles that record biometric data. What are you planning in these segments?

In the field of protective clothing, our LIVMOA™ brand is our flagship material. It combines high breathability to reduce moisture inside the garment with blocking properties that keep dust and other particles out. The textile is suitable for a wide range of work environments, including those with high dust or grease levels and even cleanrooms. LIVMOA™ 5000, a high quality, also demonstrates antiviral properties and helps to ease the burden on medical personnel. The material forms an effective barrier against bacteria and viruses and is resistant to hygroscopic pressure. Due to its high breathability, it also offers high wearing comfort.

Our smart textile is called hitoe™. This highly conductive fabric embeds a conductive polymer – a polymer compound that allows electricity to pass through - into the nanofiber fabric. hitoe™ is a high-performance material for detecting biosignals, weak electrical signals that we unconsciously emit from our bodies.

In Japan, Toray has developed products for electrocardiographic measurements (ECGs) that meet the safety and effectiveness standards of medical devices. And in 2016, we submitted an application to the Japanese medical administrative authorities to register a hitoe™ device as a general medical device – this registration process is now complete. Overall, we expect the healthcare sector, particularly medical and nursing applications, to grow – not least due to increasing infectious diseases and growing health awareness among the elderly population. We will therefore continue to develop and sell new products for this market.

In 1885, Joseph Wilson Swan introduced the term "artifical silk" for the nitrate cellulose filaments he artificially produced. Later, copper, viscose and acetate filament yarns spun on the basis of cellulose were also referred to as artifical silk. Toray has developed a new innovative spinning technology called NANODESIGN™, which enables nano-level control of the fineness and shape of synthetic fibers. This is expected to create functions, aesthetics and textures that have not existed before. For which applications do you intend to use these products?

In NANODESIGN™ technology, the polymer is split into a number of microscopic streams, which are then recombined in a specific pattern to form a new fiber. By controlling the polymer flow with extreme precision, the fineness and cross-sectional shape of the fiber can be determined much more accurately than was previously possible with conventional microfiber and nanofiber spinning technologies. In addition, this technology enables the combination of three or more polymer types with different properties in one fiber – conventional technologies only manage two polymer types. This technology therefore enables Toray to specify a wide range of textures and functions in the production of synthetic fibers that were not possible with conventional synthetic fibers – and even to outperform the texture and feel of natural fibers. Kinari, our artificial silk developed with NANODESIGN technology, is a prime example here, but the technology holds many more possibilities – especially with regard to our sustainability goals.

What has the past period of the pandemic meant for Toray's textile business so far? To what extent has it been a burden, but in which areas has it also been a driver of innovation? What do you expect of the next 12 months?

The Corona catastrophe had a dramatic impact on the company's results: The Corona catastrophe had a dramatic impact on the company's results: In the financial year 2020, Toray's total sales fell by about 10% to 188.36 billion yen (about 1.44 billion euros) and operating profit by about 28% to 90.3 billion yen (about 690 million euros). The impact on the fiber and textile business was also significant, with sales decreasing by around 13% to 719.2 billion yen (approx. 5.49 billion euros) and operating profit by around 39% to 36.6 billion yen (approx. 280 million euros).

In the financial year 2021, however, the outlook for the fibers and textiles sector is significantly better: So far, the segment has exceeded its goals overall, even if there are fluctuations in the individual areas and applications. In the period from April to June, we even returned to the level of 2019. This is partly due to the recovering sports and outdoor sector. The fashion apparel market, on the other hand, remains challenging due to changing lifestyles that have brought lock-downs and home-office. We believe that a full recovery in business will not occur until the travel and leisure sector returns to pre-Corona levels.

Another side effect of the pandemic that we feel very strongly, is the growing concern about environmental issues and climate change. As a result, the demand for sustainable materials has also increased in the apparel segment. In the future, sustainability will be mandatory for the development and marketing of new textiles in all market segments. Then again, there will always be the question of how sustainable a product really is, and data and traceability will become increasingly important. In the coming years, the textile division will keep a close eye on these developments and develop materials that meet customers' needs.

About the person:
Koji Sasaki joined Toray in 1987. In his more than 30 years with the company, he has held various positions, including a four-year position as Managing Director of Toray International Europe GmbH in Frankfurt from 2016 to 2020. Since 2020, Koji Sasaki has been responsible for Toray's textile division and serves as acting chairman of Toray Textiles Europe Ltd. In these roles, he supervises the company's development, sales and marketing activities in the apparel segment, including fashion, sports and work or school uniforms.

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, Managing partner Textination GmbH

Photo: Wilhelm-Lorch-Foundation.
11.08.2020

Wilhelm Lorch Foundation: Demand and Support - Qualifying young and up-and-coming Talents

  • Interview with Klaus Kottmeier, Elke Giese, Markus Gotta, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Maike Rabe

In June 1988, the shareholders and management of Deutscher Fachverlag announced the Wilhelm Lorch Foundation to the textile and garment industry. Its purpose is to promote vocational training, including student assistance as well as science and research.

Upon its establishment, the Foundation received an initial endowment of DM 300,000 from Deut-scher Fachverlag. Today, the Foundation has assets of approx. 2,85 m. Euro (as at Dec 2019). Since 1988, the foundation has awarded sponsorship prizes of around EUR 1,933,564 (as of June 2020) to date, in order to fund the initial and further training of young people from all areas of the textile industry, with a particular focus on young and up-and-coming talents.

  • Interview with Klaus Kottmeier, Elke Giese, Markus Gotta, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Maike Rabe

In June 1988, the shareholders and management of Deutscher Fachverlag announced the Wilhelm Lorch Foundation to the textile and garment industry. Its purpose is to promote vocational training, including student assistance as well as science and research.

Upon its establishment, the Foundation received an initial endowment of DM 300,000 from Deut-scher Fachverlag. Today, the Foundation has assets of approx. 2,85 m. Euro (as at Dec 2019). Since 1988, the foundation has awarded sponsorship prizes of around EUR 1,933,564 (as of June 2020) to date, in order to fund the initial and further training of young people from all areas of the textile industry, with a particular focus on young and up-and-coming talents.

Textination talked to the former chairman of the supervisory board of Deutscher Fachverlag GmbH, the current member of the executive board and founding member of the foundation, Klaus Kottmeier, as well as three members of the board of trustees: Mrs. Elke Giese - trend analyst and fashion journalist, Markus Gotta, managing director of Deutscher Fachverlag GmbH, and Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Maike Rabe, who will take over the chairmanship of the foundation board on September 1, 2020, about the challenging task of continuing successfully the foundation's work in an environment characterized by the pandemic.

The figure 3 seems to play a very special role for the Wilhelm Lorch Foundation (WLS). In 1988 announced on the occasion of the 30th Forum of the TextilWirtschaft, it was endowed with assets of DM 300,000. 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of the award of the sponsorship prizes. If you had to introduce the WLS in 100 words to someone who does not know the foundation: Which 3 aspects have particularly influenced its development and made it unique?

Klaus Kottmeier: In more than 30 years the WLS has been in existence, the foundation has received great support all over the sector from the very beginning. This continues to this day and is not only reflected in the financial support provided by generous grants, but above all in an active commitment of many sector leaders on the foundation board and board of trustees. A second aspect is the unique range in the topics of the support, which extends across design, business and technology, covering young talents in retail as well as university graduates, but also involving educational institutions themselves. And thirdly, the motivation of so many applicants we experience every year, who prepare their applications with incredible diligence and thus impressively demonstrate their willingness to perform.

 

The name of the foundation is a tribute to Wilhelm Lorch, the publisher and founder of the trade journal Textil-Wirtschaft and thus of Deutscher Fachverlag, who died in 1966. Which of his characteristics and traits do you still see as exemplary for the next generation in our industry today?

Klaus Kottmeier: We are a publishing media house where professional journalism based on sound research always forms the basis. This is associated with classic values such as entrepreneurial courage and will, diligence and discipline, but also a sense of responsibility and team spirit, which were exemplified by our founder and which still form the culture of our company today. These all are qualities young people should take to heart and which, coupled with a passion for their profession, encourage them to continue on their path.

 

According to its statutes, the primary purpose of the foundation is the awarding of "... awards and prizes to graduates of continuation schools of the German retail textile trade, textile-technical training institutes and [...] for final degree or doctoral theses from universities, as far as these deal with textile topics.” How nationally and internationally does the WLS work?

Prof. Maike Rabe: The prizes are mainly awarded to graduates and applicants from Germany and German-speaking countries, but there are also always talents from Europe, who have close ties to the German market.

Markus Gotta: The focus is clearly on the core market of Germany or Germany-Austria-Switzerland respectively, which we cover with the TW - accordingly, we do not advertise internationally, but there is no exclusion for foreign applicants, the only requirement is that the submitted works and reports must be written in German or English.

 

Over the past 31 years in which the foundation has been awarding prizes to people, projects and works, you have met many young talents who have moved our industry or will certainly do so. Are there any unusual stories or special award winners that have remained in your memory? And how do you assess the development of the applicants' educational level over the years?

Elke Giese: The applicants come from very different schools and universities, differing significantly in their profiles and focus. The demands on teaching have grown enormously, especially as a result of increasing digitization. Since the job profiles in the fashion business are also constantly changing and will continue to be subject to major changes in the future, the challenges for schools and students remain very high.
From each year, particularly talented and creative personalities remain in one's memory. To name one, Elisa Paulina Herrmann from Pforzheim, who was twice among the prize winners in 2017 and 2019 with her bachelor's and then master's thesis. Her ability and originality were overwhelming for the board of trustees. She now creates exclusive knitwear collections for Gucci. Among the young men is Niels Holger Wien, who received WLS funding in 1995. He has been the specialist for color trends and zeitgeist of the German Fashion Institute for many years and is currently president of the world's most important color committee INTERCOLOR.

Klaus Kottmeier: There are many award winners who have subsequently made a great career, to name just one example, Dr. Oliver Pabst, current CEO of Mammut Sports Group AG and WLS award winner in 1994.

 

Due to its proximity to TextilWirtschaft, the foundation is primarily associated with fashion design and topics related to clothing production or marketing. In 2020 you have put Smart Textiles in the virtual spotlight with two project sponsorships. How do you see future topics in the field of technical textiles? Can you imagine creating a new focus on that field?

Prof. Maike Rabe: First of all, the WLS supports talented young people who, thanks to their training, can take up a career in the entire textile and clothing industry. Of course, this also includes the field of technical textiles, which is of great importance in terms of production in Germany being a technological leader. Here the boundaries to clothing are fluid, just think of outdoor or sports equipment.    „    

Klaus Kottmeier: Our excellently staffed board of trustees is open to all innovative topics in the industry. Innovations in the field of technical textiles in particular are important topics for the future. In 2017, for example, the sponsorship award went to the Anna-Siemsen-School, a vocational school for textile technology and clothing in Hanover, through which we supported the procurement of a pattern design software.

 

The Wilhelm Lorch Foundation has set itself the goal of supporting qualified young people in the textile and fashion industry. However, you preclude the support for business start-ups. In times, in which start-ups receive increasing attention not only through corresponding TV formats but also through industry associations, there must be reasons for this. What are they and how do you assess future prospects?

Klaus Kottmeier: Support for business start-ups is precluded by §2 of our statutes, which defines the purpose of the foundation. The WLS is exclusively dedicated to the charitable purpose. Support for start-ups and business start-ups would contradict this. We therefore concentrate fully on the further education of young professionals in the sector and the promotion of educational institutions, from which the entire sector benefits.

Prof. Maike Rabe: WLS funding is aimed at further developing the skills of graduates and young talents from the sector. They should receive specific further training, possibly reach a further academic degree, and also learn in an interdisciplinary manner. All of this benefits the sector as a whole and this is our strict objective.


          
The foundation also promotes the training and further education of young and up-and-coming talents who are already working in the textile retail trade. Grants are available to cover course or study fees for further qualification. The closure of shops caused by the lockdown  during the pandemic hit the stationary retail trade hard, and even today we are still miles away from regular business operations. Against this background, how do you see focused funding opportunities for further training in the e-commerce sector?

Markus Gotta: The topics of stationary retail and e-commerce can't really be separated, both have long since become part of the basic requirements in fashion sales and thus also of the topics of training and further education in general.
 
Prof. Maike Rabe: E-commerce has become an integral part of our industry and is naturally reflected in many grants and subsidies. The junior staff members are allowed to make their own suggestions as to where and how they would like to train. We support this. But we would also like to strengthen the connection between stationary and digital trade in particular. Our prize winners have come up with wonderful concepts for both sales channels, and of course they can be combined.

 

Breaking new ground means willingness to make decisions, overcoming fears - and thus courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect, which decisions in your foundation work are you particularly happy to have made?

Markus Gotta: That we implemented the Summer School project last year. We broke new ground with the foundation, and this - in cooperation with the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences - was very successful.

Elke Giese: Especially in the field of design and creation, it is important to recognize an applicant's future creative potential from the work at hand and the information provided by the applicant. I am therefore always particularly pleased when the board of trustees makes courageous and progressive decisions.    

 

The Wilhelm Lorch Foundation offers project funding of € 10,000 to universities and educational institutions. They do not make any thematic restrictions here, but simply demand that there must be a clear reference to the sustainable further training of young up-and-coming talents in the textile and fashion industry. According to which criteria do you finally decide which project will be funded?

Elke Giese: One criterion is the relevance for future developments in the textile and fashion industry. Projects in recent years have enabled schools and educational institutions to train on laser cutters and 3D printers, for example, but also to purchase modern knitting machines or software programs.

Prof. Maike Rabe: All the projects submitted are evaluated very strictly by the jury's experts using a points-based system. This results in a shortlist which is presented to the board of trustees and intensively discussed by them. In this way, we ensure that all submitted applications are honored and that we then award the Wilhelm Lorch Prize to the outstanding project submissions in a joint consensus. The most important criteria are sustainable teaching of innovative learning content, practical training and the feasibility of the submitted project.

 

There are many different definitions of sustainability. Customers expect everything under this term - from climate protection to ecology, from on-site production in the region to the exclusion of child labor etc. Public procurement is increasingly switching to sustainable textiles. What does this mean for WLS, and what are you doing to promote sustainable thinking and acting, not only among young professionals?

Prof. Maike Rabe: At the foundation, we base our definition of "sustainability" on the 1987 report of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, the so-called Brundtland Commission: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". The textile and clothing sector plays a pioneering role as a globally enormously connected industry with complex supply chains, which should definitely also play a model role. We therefore make it a priority for all award winners to observe these criteria and at the same time try to provide a platform for people who, through their work and actions, offer suggestions for improvement or even already implement improvements.

 

Virtual instead of red carpet: Usually the awards are presented in the festive setting of the TextilWirtschaft Forum. In 2020, due to the Covid-19, there was only a digital version in the form of a short film. How important do you consider networking opportunities that arise from meeting influential personalities face-to-face? Or has such a format become obsolete in the age of video conferencing?

Prof. Maike Rabe: It is certainly remarkable what digital event formats can achieve. But one thing doesn't work: spontaneity, personal contact and closeness. Therefor it is a real pity that the Forum had to be cancelled this year due to corona. Especially for career starters, the chance for direct networking is of great value.

Markus Gotta: The need for personal exchange and meetings will continue to be of great importance and demand in the future. And I can say at this point: We are already working on the plans for the TW Forum 2021 as a live and meeting event with the top decision-makers in the sector.

 

In which socially relevant areas do you see a particularly great need for innovation and action during the next five years? What is your assessment that funding - for example from the Wilhelm Lorch Foundation - can provide targeted support for solutions? And what role do the experiences from the corona pandemic play in this assessment?

Prof. Maike Rabe: We don't think in five-year periods, today's world requires much greater agility - this applies to the Foundation as well as to the entire industry. With each award we re-orientate ourselves towards current topics. Topics such as aesthetics, function and innovation will certainly continue to play a major role, as will quality instead of quantity, eco-social justice and customer loyalty. It is also important, however, that our economy, which is strongly supported by medium-sized companies, is clearly perceived by the public and in politics; we still have to work on that.

Klaus Kottmeier: I gladly agree with Prof. Rabe's closing statement. Agility is also of great importance in a media company like ours. We live in a constant transformation process with constant changes that have to be faced. The corona pandemic has shown us very impressively how quickly original plans can become waste. Today, and more than ever before in the future, a constant willingness to change is required, and this applies not only to us but also to our hopeful young employees.
 

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius,
CEO Textination GmbH

TV TECSTYLE VISIONS: TRADE FAIR ATTENDANCE WITH VALUE-ADDED (c) Messe Stuttgart
17.12.2019

TV TECSTYLE VISIONS: TRADE FAIR ATTENDANCE WITH VALUE-ADDED

  • More than just a product exhibition
  • Talent promotion during the Young Professionals Day

Knowledge transfer and inspiration are the focal points of the accompanying programme of TV TecStyle Visions which will be held in Stuttgart from 30 January to 1 February 2020. In addition to a broad product portfolio, the eleventh edition of Europe's leading trade fair will offer trade visitors various special shows and technical forums in the L-Bank Forum (Hall 1).

  • More than just a product exhibition
  • Talent promotion during the Young Professionals Day

Knowledge transfer and inspiration are the focal points of the accompanying programme of TV TecStyle Visions which will be held in Stuttgart from 30 January to 1 February 2020. In addition to a broad product portfolio, the eleventh edition of Europe's leading trade fair will offer trade visitors various special shows and technical forums in the L-Bank Forum (Hall 1).

Knowledge transfer for doers
The special technical show TecCheck Area is a new addition to TV TecStyle Visions: Visitors will be able to follow the complete production process for a polo shirt during this special show. A shirt - from its 3-D design through to the finished product - will be produced live within one hour on stand 1B80 in a digital textile micro factory, i.e. a digitally networked production line. The German Institute for Textile and Fibre Research (DITF) is responsible for the technical management of this special show with the support of Albstadt-Sigmaringen University and Cologne University of Applied Sciences. Renowned manufacturers and retailers such as Assyst, Caddon, HP, Multi-Plot Europe, Schöller Textil, Rebstock Consulting and Zünd Systemtechnik will present the latest products on the market for the live production demonstration. The production line will bridge the gap between virtual and real products, virtual reality and networked production, based on specific requirements.

In Charlie’s Corner Charlie Taublieb alias Dr. Print will shed light on the technical aspects of textile finishing by means of screen printing. On Stand 1C11 visitors will be able to print a T-shirt themselves under the supervision of this expert and profit from his know-how through its design. Together with his expert network, Dr. Print will be pleased to answer all unresolved questions.

Fair trade, sustainable products and ecological production methods are in demand. At the fair•eco•bio Infopoint (Stand 1G22) experts such as Mantis, Neutral and HRM will explain in more detail to visitors how the production, sale and finishing of advertising textiles are organised sustainably. Interested trade visitors will have an opportunity themselves to print a sustainably produced item of clothing using water-based inks.The programme of the Technical Forum (Stand 1D22) will include talks and best practice examples relating to the topics of smart textiles, finishing techniques and sustainability. Panel discussions in which experts from the industry talk about the latest developments in the industry will also be held every day. These discussions will be followed by a get-together which will enable visitors and participants to carry out networking.

Experience inspiration live 
During the TecStyle Fashion Show on Stand 1H70, models and dancers will present the latest fashion trends and outfits in a show accompanied by music. The show will feature the latest collections from    
renowned national and international textile labels such as HAKRO, JHK, Adler Czech, Result Clothing, Falk&Ross, Master Italia, Premier and Promodoro.

Talent promotion: Young Professionals Day
The Young Professionals Day will be held for the first time and is aimed at industry newcomers. Schoolchildren, students and young professionals are invited to attend the Action Day (30 January 2020) in order to become acquainted with the occupational fields of EXPO 4.0, i.e. textile finishing, advertising technology and visual communication. Students from the Stuttgart Media University and Messe
Stuttgart are jointly developing a programme by young professionals for young professionals. The Young Professionals Day will feature special talks, hands-on activities and tours of the trade fair tailored directly to the target group.

Information for visitors
TV TecStyle Visions will be held from 30 January to 1 February 2020 concurrently with the trade fairs WETEC and GiveADays in the L-Bank Forum (Hall 1) at Messe Stuttgart. Europe's leading trade fair for textile finishing and promotion will be open from 09.30 to 18.00 on Thursday and Friday, 30 and 31 January 2020, and from 09.30 to 17.00 on Saturday, 1 February 2020. Visitors attending TV TecStyle Visions can access the event via the Entrance East which directly adjoins the L-Bank Forum (Hall 1). A total of 7,000 parking spaces are available in the area around the trade fair grounds while the S-Bahn (suburban train) at Stuttgart Airport is just a few minutes walk away.
Tickets for TV TecStyle Visions can be purchased online at: www.tecstyle-visions.com/ticket. A free day ticket is available with the promotion code "TV20IhrTicket" and entitles the holder to visit all events in the EXPO 4.0 trade fair combination.
 
About EXPO 4.0 – Print.Produce.Promote.
EXPO 4.0 is the leading platform for visual communication and haptic advertising. The three trade fairs TV TecStyle Visions, WETEC and GiveADays showcase new products and innovations in the areas of textile finishing, advertising technology and promotion. In spring 2018, the trade fair combination recorded a total of 566 exhibitors from 28 countries and 13,700 trade visitors from 41 countries.

More information:
TV TECSTYLE VISIONs
Source:

Messe Stuttgart

Wireless Power Transmission for Technical Textiles Bild von Gerd Altmann auf Pixabay
27.08.2019

WIRELESS POWER TRANSMISSION FOR TECHNICAL TEXTILES

The trend towards the "Internet of Everything" is ongoing. Whether in industrial, medical or everyday applications, more and more electrical devices are connected to each other, record sensing values, exchange data and react to them. Due to smaller structures, new processing possibilities and new flexible materials, such systems are also being used more and more frequently in the textile sector. For example, medical measurements can be recorded directly on a garment, actuators such as EMS electrodes can be integrated directly into the textile or functions such as MP3 players, GPS receivers, fall detectors, heating structures and much more can be embedded simply and intuitively in textiles. Communication and data exchange usually take place wirelessly via WLAN, Bluetooth, RFID or, in the future, via the 5G network.

The trend towards the "Internet of Everything" is ongoing. Whether in industrial, medical or everyday applications, more and more electrical devices are connected to each other, record sensing values, exchange data and react to them. Due to smaller structures, new processing possibilities and new flexible materials, such systems are also being used more and more frequently in the textile sector. For example, medical measurements can be recorded directly on a garment, actuators such as EMS electrodes can be integrated directly into the textile or functions such as MP3 players, GPS receivers, fall detectors, heating structures and much more can be embedded simply and intuitively in textiles. Communication and data exchange usually take place wirelessly via WLAN, Bluetooth, RFID or, in the future, via the 5G network.

Electrical energy is required for such applications and functions. Despite the efforts to further minimize the energy demand of electronic circuits, it is not always possible to operate these systems completely energy autonomously. Therefore, energy storage devices such as batteries or rechargeable accumulators are necessary for operation. The big advantage of recharging is that smaller, more compact energy storage devices can be used to achieve the same or an increased service life running time. There are two basic concepts for recharging a battery with electrical energy. On the one hand wired and with connections like a micro-USB cable. On the other hand wireless via wireless power transmission. With wired solutions, contacts can wear out or be added by fuzz, especially in the textile sector. In addition, the connecting process is less flexible and uncomfortable.

Wireless concepts offer several advantages and are therefore better suited. For example, the electronics including energy storage can be completely encapsulated, since no galvanic contacts are required. Among other things, this makes the textile directly machine-washable, because the electronics are protected from water, detergents and sweat. This means that no components need to be removed from the textile when washing. A further purely practical advantage is the simplicity of charging. With the suitable concept, the textile can be hung on hangers, placed in laundry baskets or, ideally, simply placed in the washing machine and charged without any further action of the user. The result is an uncomplicated, charming way of operating smart textiles.

There are several concepts and possibilities for wirelessly supplying a textile with energy. The most popular and at the same time most efficient method is the inductive power transmission [1]. Two coils are inductively coupled to each other and thus transmit energy wirelessly (Figure 2). Air, wood, plastic, but also liquids such as water or human tissue can be penetrated a few centimeters almost loss-free.  There are also various concepts for integrating electronics into textiles. From the production of the entire circuit on thin printed circuit boards to complete textile integration, a wide variety of mixtures are possible. The easiest concepts to develop are those in which all circuit parts are manufactured on printed circuit boards. Thin printed circuit boards can have substrate thicknesses of a few tenths of a millimeter (Figure 1). But flexible possibilities such as manufacturing on silicones are also conceivable. Among other things, the sensors and microcontrollers as well as the coil for inductive energy transfer to the substrate are manufactured. This complete printed circuit board then only has to be connected to the textile, whether by gluing, sewing or insertion.

Concepts in which the receiver coil is integrated into the textile go one step further. For example, ultra-fine wires or strands are woven or embroidered and the textile material thus becomes the substrate itself as a functionalized textile. The rest of the circuit, which is still integrated on a conventional substrate, is then connected to the coil and the textile. Since some of the spools can have diameters of a few centimeters, one can gain in flexibility because the textile spool can move almost freely. With a complete textile integration, the components are finally attached to the textile and the conductor paths are embroidered or woven in.

Consistently implemented and used, wireless power transmission as a simple and convenient charging method of textiles can thus contribute to sustainably strengthen the market for smart textiles improving handling and user experience.

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS
Authors: Dominik Schröder, Dr. Christian Hedayat

(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

Taiwan's Textile Industry sustains its Position with Innovations Photo: Pixabay
25.09.2018

TAIWAN'S TEXTILE INDUSTRY SUSTAINS ITS POSITION WITH INNOVATIONS

  • Manufacturers rely, among others, on German Machines

Tokyo (GTAI) - When it comes to functional textiles, Taiwan belongs to the international top league. To ensure that this remains the case, industry manufacturers invest in modern equipment and innovations.

Taiwan is an important global supplier of functional textiles. The sector wants to maintain this position and expand it as much as possible. They are therefore investing in new capacities, research and development. There are good sales opportunities for suppliers of pre-products and equipment.

The demand for functional textiles is increasing in the sports, leisure and footwear industries. In other sectors, such as the automotive and medical industries, building materials and agricultural aids, these are also increasingly being used. Functional textiles are usually not recognizable as Taiwan products. Nevertheless, some of them are very visible.

  • Manufacturers rely, among others, on German Machines

Tokyo (GTAI) - When it comes to functional textiles, Taiwan belongs to the international top league. To ensure that this remains the case, industry manufacturers invest in modern equipment and innovations.

Taiwan is an important global supplier of functional textiles. The sector wants to maintain this position and expand it as much as possible. They are therefore investing in new capacities, research and development. There are good sales opportunities for suppliers of pre-products and equipment.

The demand for functional textiles is increasing in the sports, leisure and footwear industries. In other sectors, such as the automotive and medical industries, building materials and agricultural aids, these are also increasingly being used. Functional textiles are usually not recognizable as Taiwan products. Nevertheless, some of them are very visible.

For example, at least 15 out of 32 teams at the 2018 FIFA World Cup wore clothing made with textiles of Taiwanese origin for internationally renowned brand names, according to the Taiwan Industrial Development Bureau (IDB). According to the Taiwan Footwear Manufacturers Association, Taiwanese manufacturers are responsible for approximately 80 percent of all sports shoes produced worldwide.

Textile manufacturers invest
Far Eastern New Century (FENC) is one of the largest textile manufacturers on the island. Its production capacity is nowadays mainly located abroad with productions in China, Japan, the USA and Vietnam. FENC is also expanding its capacity in Taiwan. Polyester spunbonded nonwovens have been produced for the Asian market in a joint venture with Freudenberg in Germany since 1987.

Freudenberg Far Eastern Spunweb has announced that it will set up a third production line for nonwovens at the Tayuan plant, thereby increasing the existing production of 20,000 tons by 11,000 tons per year. Construction of the new production facility, which is scheduled to start operations in 2020, has now begun. The latest automated production technology is to be used. According to the company, the investments amount will approximately be at USD 43 million.

Biggest companies in the textile industry in Taiwan by sales
(in USD million; change compared to previous year in %)

Company 2016 2017 Change
Far Eastern New Century Corp. 6,679 7,157 0.,9
Formosa Taffeta Co., Ltd. 1,233 1,337 2.2
Shinkong Synthetic Fiber Corporation 1,066 1,200 6.1
Eclat Textile Co., Ltd. 759 796 -1.2
Makalot Industrial Co., Ltd. 685 735 1.2
Tainan Spinning Co., Ltd. 602 692 8.3

Source: CommonWealth Magazine, Taiwan Stock Exchange

Germany remains an important equipment supplier
Taiwan's textile manufacturers import their equipment mainly from China, Japan and Germany, with some of the machines produced in China coming from companies with Japanese, German, Italian or Taiwanese parent companies. German deliveries declined by 13.7 percent to USD 71.1 compared to 2016 million in 2017. However, Taiwan's imports from Germany increased by 24.3 percent in the first six months of 2018, exceeding deliveries from Japan at USD 42.5 million.

The fact that the import of equipment remains at a high level has to do with the fact that companies in the textile industry in Taiwan are modernizing existing plants and converting them to Industry 4.0. In addition, the number of textile manufacturers in Taiwan has increased in recent years. According to statistics from the Taiwan Federation of Textiles, the number of companies rose from 3,143 to 3,214 between 2014 and 2017.

Main suppliers of textile machinery *)
to Taiwan (USD million; change in % compared to previous year)

Supplying country 2016 2017 Change
China 108.7 111.0 2.1
Japan 97.2 97.2 0
Germany 82.5 71.1 -13.7
Italy 32.8 23.8 -27.3
Switzerland 13.6 14.1 3.6
USA 19.2 12.1 -37.2
Total 405.4 364.7 -10.0

*) HS-Codes 8444-8453; without 8450
Source: Customs Statistics, Ministry of Finance

Core functions remain in Taiwan
By contrast, the production value of the textile sector fell slightly. In local currency terms, it fell in 2017 compared with 2016 by 1.7 percent. Converted to US dollars, the production value of textiles was USD 9 billion, according to the statistics from the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The production of synthetic fibers stagnated at just under USD 3 billion in 2017.

Taiwan is home to the headquarters of the often family-run textile companies. Purchasing and marketing decisions are mainly made here, and, last but not least, research and development are carried out here too. For example, several manufacturers are currently developing smart textiles with integrated temperature control, heart and location functions.

Foreign activities are diversified
The textile manufacturers are investing predominantly in new capacities outside Taiwan. For example, FENC 2018 is expanding its capacity for PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and terephthalic acid (PTA), which among others are required for the production of synthetic fibers. Together with an Indonesian and a Mexican partner, FENC acquires two new plants of a bankrupt US company in West Virginia and Texas. Among other things, this reduces the risk of possible trade restrictions and, conversely, increases the opportunity to benefit from free trade agreements.

Vietnam is also a focus of investment. Here, most Taiwanese textile companies are in the process of establishing or expanding new capacities. FENC, Formosa Taffeta, Eclat, Makalot and several others invested in the southeast Asian tigerland several years ago. By contrast, new investments in China have become rare, primarily due to rising wage costs.

 

More information:
Taiwan
Source:

Jürgen Maurer, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

Textile innovations ‘made in Germany’ in demand in the USA (c) KameraStudio for Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH
05.06.2018

Textile innovations ‘made in Germany’ in demand in the USA

‘High-Tex from Germany’ at Techtextil North America and Texprocess Americas shows again how innovative the German textile industry is.

Back to the USA: ‘High-Tex from Germany’ made a guest appearance at Techtextil North America and Texprocess Americas in Atlanta for the second time from 22 to 24 May 2018. At the special exhibition organised by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie – BMWi) in cooperation with the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (Messeausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft e.V. – AUMA), a total of 66 companies presented technical textiles, nonwovens, textile-processing machines, smart textiles and textile-research projects to the trade visitors. The textile sector made its first appearance in the USA in 2000. This was followed by highly successful presentations in Shanghai in 2002, in Mumbai in 2007 and in Moscow in 2012.

‘High-Tex from Germany’ at Techtextil North America and Texprocess Americas shows again how innovative the German textile industry is.

Back to the USA: ‘High-Tex from Germany’ made a guest appearance at Techtextil North America and Texprocess Americas in Atlanta for the second time from 22 to 24 May 2018. At the special exhibition organised by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie – BMWi) in cooperation with the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (Messeausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft e.V. – AUMA), a total of 66 companies presented technical textiles, nonwovens, textile-processing machines, smart textiles and textile-research projects to the trade visitors. The textile sector made its first appearance in the USA in 2000. This was followed by highly successful presentations in Shanghai in 2002, in Mumbai in 2007 and in Moscow in 2012.

“Taking ‘High-Tex from Germany’ to Atlanta again was a very good decision. The southeast of the USA has a long tradition of textile manufacturing. It is home to many companies that are always on the lookout for innovative textiles and machines for textile production and processing”, explained Detlev Rünger, German Consul General in Atlanta during the ‘High-Tex from Germany’ press conference. “Fairs bring people together. And this was evident here in Atlanta. With the overseas exhibition programme, we give small to medium-sized companies the chance to show their products in foreign markets”, said Patrick Specht of the Trade Fair Policy and EXPO Participations division of the BMWi.

“‘High-Tex from Germany’ within the framework of Techtextil North America and Texprocess Americas was a very good platform for our small to medium-sized companies. After Techtextil and Texprocess in Frankfurt, these two events are the second-most important editions of the trade-fair duo. ‘High-Tex from Germany’ came fully up to our expectations and anyone who failed to take part missed a great opportunity to be noticed”, said Marc Lorch, Member of the Board of Zwissler Holding, who represented the participating companies as exhibitor president.

Michael Metzler, Sales President of ZSK Stickmaschinen, confirmed this saying, “A German pavilion of this scope makes us extremely visible. Thanks to the excellent organisation, we were also able to concentrate on promoting our company and products.” In addition to the appealing exhibition-stand concept and the excellent organisation, the companies taking part were particularly pleased with the high visitor standard. “We regularly exhibit at Techtextil North America but taking part in ‘High-Tex for Germany’ resulted in our best ever day at a fair here. The pavilion is a real eye-catcher”, said Thomas Wiederer, Area Sales Manager, Brückner Textile Technologies. “The visitors to our exhibition stand were very interested in our products. We gained potential customers and were able to make numerous high-grade contacts. The level of interest shown in our highly innovative e-textile solutions, which are completely new in the sector, was very high. We are looking forward to the follow-up phase”, said Andreas Lanyi, Vice President Digital Unit and Internet of Things of the Hamburg-based start-up, Lunative Laboratories.

Besides gaining new customers, the focus of the companies taking part in ‘High-Tex from Germany’ was on cultivating customer relations. “The German pavilion in Atlanta once again gave us a good opportunity to get to know the US market better. We have had a factory in the vicinity of Atlanta for two years now and aim to expand our network in the long term”, said Ronny Schröder, Associate Sales Director Technical and Comfort Products, Sandler. “We like making presentations within the framework of the German pavilion very much”, added Georg Voggenreiter, Technical Sales, Maschinenfabrik Herbert Meyer. “Once again, ‘High-Tex from Germany’ was a good starting point for cultivating contacts with our customers in the USA.”

The companies taking part in ‘High-Tex from Germany’ made their presentations on around 1,300 square metres of exhibition space with their own exhibition stands, with selected exhibits on a central ‘Plaza’, in guided tours and no less than 35 lectures. Additionally, the German Institutes of Textile and Fibre Research (Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung – DITF), the Association of the Finishing, Yarns, Woven Fabrics and Technical Textiles Industry (Industrieverband Veredlung, Garne, Gewebe und Technische Textilien – IVGT), the Tübingen-Reutlingen-Zollernalb location agency and the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S. provided insights into current research projects and offered information about the sector.

Performance Days November 2017 © Performance Days
28.11.2017

NEW RECORDS SET AGAIN AT PERFORMANCE DAYS IN MUNICH

The recently concluded trade fair once again demonstrates: The PERFORMANCE DAYS concept works! At the 19th edition of the trade fair for functional fabrics and sport accessories, new top ratings were achieved in all areas.

The recently concluded trade fair once again demonstrates: The PERFORMANCE DAYS concept works! At the 19th edition of the trade fair for functional fabrics and sport accessories, new top ratings were achieved in all areas.
Innovation is the specialty at PERFORMANCE DAYS. The functional fabric trade fair has a reputation for being the first to show the newest trends way ahead of the other trade fairs and industry gatherings. The fair offers several unique tools such as the Focus Topic, the PERFORMANCE FORUM with the PERFORMANCE TABLES and the PERFORMANCE WALL, the PERFORMANCE AWARDS, the comprehensive presentation and workshop program as well as the guided tours. What makes this fair so special? Not only the free admission to the fair, but all of the top quality programs are also free of charge! So much commitment to service and trend scouting pays off: The recent trade fair held on November 8-9th, 2017 at the MTC in Munich once again broke all previous records!

Visitor and Exhibitor plus
The halls of the MTC were filled to maximum capacity and recorded significantly more visitors than the previous fair last April and even more than the fair in November 2016. The number of trade visitors rose from 1868 in November 2016, to 2001 breaking the 2000 mark for the first time. This growth corresponds to a 7.1 percent increase. In comparison to the previous year, the number of exhibitors was also greater in autumn 2017, registering a 9.9 percent increase. A total of 177 exhibitors from 23 countries occupied all of the halls to capacity, confirming the decision to relocate to the halls of Messe München, which is scheduled for November 2018. Even now, shortly after opening the exhibitor registration period, demand is already higher than the number of available spaces.

The move to Riem
When the doors of PERFORMANCE DAYS open next year on November 28-29th, 2018, the trade fair will be celebrating not only its 10-year anniversary, but also the first edition of PERFORMANCE DAYS at the new location. In the future, one of the large halls on the exhibition grounds in Munich-Riem will be provided twice a year for functional fabrics. For the debut, it will be located in Hall C1, with easy access via the north-west entrance from the west parking garage.

All highlights also provided online
As usual, when the most recent exhibit comes to a successful close, a special service is made available to all those who did not have enough time: All the highlights and important information like the presentations (also as a podcast!), as well as all the fabrics at the Forum will be available directly at www.performancedays.com. Even more interesting for you: Samples of all featured PERFORMANCE FORUM fabrics can be ordered online, which means direct sourcing of materials is now possible from the comfort of your office.
A special highlight of the past exhibition was the Focus Topic "Thermal Technologies – From Fibre to Smart Textiles." The topic covered the entire spectrum of heat retention and generation in sports clothing, as well as the ECO PERFORMANCE AWARD. The award winner was Pontetorto for the development of the first fleece to be produced with a brushed inside and with particles and fibers that are biodegradable even in sea-water. This innovation was a joint development between Vaude and Lenzing. The workshop presented by Ana Kristiansson about the possibilities of founding a sportswear brand was also very well received.
Besides the familiar exhibitors like Invista, Cocona/37.5, Lenzing, Microban, 3M, bluesign, Burlington, Dyneema, Nilit, Outlast, Pertex, Polartec, Pontetorto, PrimaLoft, Schoeller, Singtex, Sympatex, Südwollle, Toray, and YKK; the Messe welcomed new exhibitors like Freudenberg Performance Materials, Clo Insulation, Flying Textile, Inuheat Group, ISKO ARQUAS, Manifattura Effe Pi, The Woolmark Company, and Tough Knitting Enterprise.

About PERFORMANCE DAYS
PERFORMANCE DAYS — The “functional fabric fair” launched in 2008, is the first and only event created especially for functional fabrics for sports and work clothing. The aim of the semiannual trade fair is to give leading and innovative textile manufacturers, suppliers and service providers the opportunity to present their functional fabrics, membranes plus treatments, laminates, paddings, fin-ishes, and accessories such as yarns, tapes, prints, buttons and zippers.
The industry experts who come to this fair – the sports fashion designers, product managers, and decision-makers (see online: Visitor List) represent almost every European active clothing and func-tional wear manufacturer – can find a complete selection of high quality materials available at just the right time in April/May and November. The dates are intentionally scheduled early thanks to our expertise in functional fabrics and are optimal for summer and winter sport collections. (All trade fair catalogs from past events are available online at Catalogs as well as a listing of current exhibitors at Exhibitor List).
 
The relaxed and focused workshop-like atmosphere at PERFORMANCE DAYS differentiates it from the other fairs which are often unmanageable and more stressful. That is one of the reasons why the Munich trade fair at the heart of the European sportswear industry has become one of the top addresses for new fabrics, innovations, and is the preferred meeting place to conduct business.
In the unique PERFORMANCE FORUM of PERFORMANCE DAYS, the visitor receives an inspiring and well-grounded overview of the new materials, trends, and innovations of the exhibitors. The PERFORMANCE AWARD and the ECO PERFORMANCE AWARD are also presented here. Qualified guest speakers present special topics and their collaborative ventures in guided tours, workshops and presentations to complete the range of information provided at PERFORMANCE DAYS within the Program (see after the fair online in the Presentation Library).
No entry fee and free admission to all events for industry visitors.

PERFORMANCE DAYS © PERFORMANCE DAYS functional fabric fair
08.11.2016

THE BEST INNOVATIONS AT THE NOVEMBER 2016 PERFORMANCE DAYS ARE COMING OUT OF ITALY!

Coveted awards for active insulation and sustainable hybrids

The awards presented at PERFORMANCE DAYS are coveted trophies in the world of functional textiles. The winning fabrics or technologies are always truly pioneering innovations. In Fall 2016, the "Oscars of Function" go to Imbotex and Pontetorto.

Coveted awards for active insulation and sustainable hybrids

The awards presented at PERFORMANCE DAYS are coveted trophies in the world of functional textiles. The winning fabrics or technologies are always truly pioneering innovations. In Fall 2016, the "Oscars of Function" go to Imbotex and Pontetorto.

PERFORMANCE AWARD for the insulation "TWINS" from Imbotex
The Italian company Imbotex is well known for its high quality insulations. The latest generation is called "TWINS" and does not merely hold the warmth, it applies intelligent technology to create heat on demand. This is made possible by the two "faces" of the twin design. The patented, bonded fleece material consists of a lining made from a blend of polyacrylic and polyester that transports moisture quickly away from the skin. On the outside, hydrophobic polypropylene rapidly releases the moisture into the environment. The water vapor formed at the level of "insensible perspiration" is quickly transported to the outside and the body stays dry. During this process, the kinetic energy of the water vapor converts to heat energy and the inner lining of the garment remains pleasantly warm, even in the low temperatures of winter. "TWINS" from Imbotex was the winner of the PERFORMANCE AWARD for this intelligent solution that produces additional warmth and ensures a dry feeling.    

ECO PERFORMANCE AWARD for the hybrid design "ECO HYBRID" from Pontetorto
Engineered hybrids, that is, hybrid solutions that combine multiple zones and fibers in one fabric length are the future of functional clothing. Through such hybrid engineering, sports styles are given the added value of such useful features as thermal retention, climate management, durability, lighter weight, and elasticity; and, all of these at the exact position where it is desirable to have the function. Another advantage of this fabric design is the elimination of irritating seams, which means increased comfort for the wearer. Nevertheless, to manufacture these hybrids requires much experience with jacquard production. The new fabric "ECO HYBRID" introduced by fleece specialist Pontetorto represents not only a sophisticated and highly functional jacquard hybrid with different zones – it is entirely produced with absolutely sustainable methods. The fibers used, in this case polyamide and merino wool, are both quickly degradable and environmentally friendly. The fact that merino wool is degradable is not unusual as it is a natural product. The special aspect of this concept is the polyamide fiber used exclusively by Pontetorto, which is fully degradable within three years! For so much "green" innovation, Pontetorto was selected as the winner of the ECO PERFORMANCE AWARD.
 
All of the newest trends for Winter 2018/19 and our FOCUS TOPIC are on display on November 16-17, 2016 at PERFORMANCE DAYS in the Munich MTC. For all those who cannot wait, a lot of information is already provided for you online at: https://www.performancedays.com

About PERFORMANCE DAYS
PERFORMANCE DAYS — The “functional fabric fair” launched in 2008, is the first and only event created especially for functional fabrics for sports and work clothing. The aim of the semi-annual trade fair is to give leading and innovative textile manufacturers, suppliers and service providers the opportunity to present their functional fabrics, membranes plus treatments, laminates, paddings, finishes, and accessories such as yarns, tapes, prints, buttons and zippers.
No entry fee and free admission to all events for industry visitors.
Detailed information and advanced registration online at: www.performancedays.com