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26.07.2022

Composites Germany – Results of the 19th Market Survey

  • Current crises are dampening mood in composites industry
  • Pessimistic outlook
  • Subdued investment climate
  • Varying expectations for application industries
  • GRP is still a growth driver
  • Composites Index continues to decline

This is the 19th time that Composites Germany has identified the latest performance indicators for the fibre-reinforced plastics market. The survey covered all the member companies of the three major umbrella organisations of Composites Germany: AVK, Leichtbau Baden-Württemberg and the VDMA Working Group on Hybrid Lightweight Construction Technologies.

As before, to ensure a smooth comparison with the previous surveys, the questions in this half-yearly survey have been left unchanged. Once again, the data obtained in the survey is largely qualitative and relates to current and future developments in the market.

  • Current crises are dampening mood in composites industry
  • Pessimistic outlook
  • Subdued investment climate
  • Varying expectations for application industries
  • GRP is still a growth driver
  • Composites Index continues to decline

This is the 19th time that Composites Germany has identified the latest performance indicators for the fibre-reinforced plastics market. The survey covered all the member companies of the three major umbrella organisations of Composites Germany: AVK, Leichtbau Baden-Württemberg and the VDMA Working Group on Hybrid Lightweight Construction Technologies.

As before, to ensure a smooth comparison with the previous surveys, the questions in this half-yearly survey have been left unchanged. Once again, the data obtained in the survey is largely qualitative and relates to current and future developments in the market.

Current crises are dampening mood in composites industry
Both the economy in general and industry in particular are struggling with numerous challenges at the moment. The Covid-19 pandemic has now had a negative impact for over two years and is still affecting a range of segments of the composites industry. One area that has been hit especially hard by the resulting losses is the mobility sector. Another major strain has been a sharp rise in energy costs recently. Above all, we can expect price increases in fuel and gas to become a central issue over the next few months. In addition, there are still problems along international supply chains, coupled with steep increases in raw material prices, partly due to bottlenecks in the supply. The war in Ukraine has put an additional strain on many business sectors, affecting their supply chains, in particular.

In the current survey, both these and other effects have had a major negative impact on the mood in the composites industry.

The assessment index for the current general economic situation is showing a clear decline.

Compared to the last survey, the assessment of the respondents’ own business situations has dropped significantly and for the first time in eighteen months. However, this decline has been far less severe than during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pessimistic outlook
Furthermore, there has been a substantial decline in expectations for the future market development. The key figures for the general economic situation have been declining sharply and have reached an all-time low since the beginning of the survey. The respondents are also less optimistic about future expectations for their own companies.

However, respondents are less extreme when assessing the business situations of their own companies. Despite negative spikes, this curve is far less steep, showing that respondents are expecting less dramatic effects on their own companies than on the industry as a whole.

Subdued investment situation
Although, as expected, the investment climate has also become subdued, it should be noted that, in all, expectations are still relatively high. 70% of all respondents believe that machine investments are possible, or they are planning for it. This figure is somewhat lower than in the previous market survey, but it shows a far less dramatic development than the other factors mentioned above .

Varied expectations for application industries
We already mentioned the high level of heterogeneity of applications in the composite sector. In the survey, respondents were asked to provide assessments of market developments in various core sectors.

Their expectations clearly differ substantially from one another.

The proportion of pessimistic expectations has generally been rising for all application industries. While these expectations are almost entirely within a single-digit range, there has been a clear rise in the proportion of those expecting a deterioration of the market in the various application industries. Similar to the last surveys, major drops are expected above all for the automotive, aviation and mechanical engineering sectors. For the first time, however, we can now also see rather negative expectations on the infrastructure and building sector. Yet this is a segment which often reacts quite slowly to temporary economic fluctuations and has so far shown itself to be relatively resilient towards the above-mentioned crises. It remains to be seen whether such forebodings will come true, or whether the construction industry will continue to hold its own in the face of the current negative forces.

Growth drivers remain stable
Geographically, the survey shows that the most important growth stimuli for the composites segment are expected to come from Germany, Europe and Asia.

Where materials are concerned, we are seeing a continuation of the ongoing paradigm shift. Whereas, in the first 13 surveys, respondents always mentioned CRP as the material with the most important growth drivers in its environment, the most important stimuli are now being expected to come consistently either from GRP or from all materials.

Composites Index continues to decline
The industry is currently going through an extremely tense and difficult period, characterised by rising costs, supply chain issues, lack of availability of certain semifinished products and raw materials, increasing political instability and very pessimistic expectations for the future. All the relevant indicators of the current composites survey are pointing downwards at the moment. After some slight recovery over the last 18 months, the Composite Index has therefore clearly been weakening this time and has been dropping to new low points, especially concerning future expectations.

Industry in general, but particularly also Germany’s composite industry, has always shown itself to be very resilient towards crises and has often cushioned negative developments quickly. The total production volume for composites in Europe last year already reached its pre-crisis level of 2019. Germany continues to be the most important manufacturing country in Europe, with a market share of nearly 20%. Hopefully, the slowdown in the coming months will be less severe than expected and the composites industry will remain on an upward trajectory. We will continue to be optimistic, as composites are highly diverse and therefore a key material of the future.

The next Composites Market Survey will be published in January 2023.

Source:

Composites Germany

Photo: Pixabay
12.04.2022

Disrupted supply chains: Only nearshoring and digital technologies will help in the long term

  • McKinsey survey: Globally, more than 90 percent of supply chain managers are investing in the resilience of their supply chains during the Corona crisis.
  • But more often than not, they are simply increasing inventories instead of focusing on long-term effective measures such as regionalization of suppliers.
  • Only the healthcare industry has consistently relied on nearshoring and regionalization of suppliers so far.

Supply chain managers worldwide are under pressure: More than 90 percent invested during the Corona crisis to make their supply chains more resilient to external disruptions. More often than planned, however, supply chain managers resorted to the ad hoc measure of simply increasing inventories. And less often than planned, they also relied on long-term effects by regionalizing their supply base.

  • McKinsey survey: Globally, more than 90 percent of supply chain managers are investing in the resilience of their supply chains during the Corona crisis.
  • But more often than not, they are simply increasing inventories instead of focusing on long-term effective measures such as regionalization of suppliers.
  • Only the healthcare industry has consistently relied on nearshoring and regionalization of suppliers so far.

Supply chain managers worldwide are under pressure: More than 90 percent invested during the Corona crisis to make their supply chains more resilient to external disruptions. More often than planned, however, supply chain managers resorted to the ad hoc measure of simply increasing inventories. And less often than planned, they also relied on long-term effects by regionalizing their supply base. These are the key findings of a comparative study for which management consultants McKinsey & Company surveyed more than 70 supply chain managers from leading companies worldwide - for the first time in 2020 and again this year. Further results: Digital technologies are used much more frequently today than at the beginning of the pandemic, for example real-time monitoring or analytics based on artificial intelligence (AI).

The survey also quantifies the striking shortage of IT specialists in the area of supply management: in 2021, only one percent of the companies surveyed had enough IT specialists. "In the wake of the digitalization push, the need for IT skills is becoming even more of a bottleneck than it already has been," reports Vera Trautwein, McKinsey expert for supply chain management and co-author of the study. "As a result, the scope for action is also decreasing dramatically." In 2020, ten percent of the supply chain managers surveyed still had access to sufficient experts with the relevant IT know-how in their departments. How did the supply chain managers act during the crisis? Almost all respondents (92 percent) have invested in the resilience of their supply chains, and 80 percent have also invested in digital supply chain technologies. But while 40 percent of the 2020 respondents in McKinsey's first "Supply Chain Pulse" had still planned nearshoring and expanding their supplier base, only 15 percent ultimately put this into action. Instead, significantly more managers than expected - 42 percent versus 27 percent - expanded their inventories.

The 2020/21 comparative study also shows that supply chain managers have acted very differently in the crisis, depending on the industry. Healthcare can be considered a pioneer in the regionalization of the supply chain: 60 percent of the respondents in the industry have actually concentrated procurement, production and sales in a region such as Europe or North America, which they have also announced. In 2020, 33 percent of companies in the automotive, aerospace and defense industries had also announced this. However, according to their own figures, only 22 percent actually did so. This was despite the fact that more than three quarters of supply chain managers had given this measure priority. The chemicals and raw materials sectors made the fewest changes to their supply chains.

After the crisis is before the crisis
Over the years, supply chains have evolved into a high-frequency sensitive organism. Consistently globalized, optimized to fluctuations in consumer demand and with as little inventory as possible to cut costs. "This strategy has left companies vulnerable," notes McKinsey partner Knut Alicke. "And during the crisis, measures were taken that were more effective in the short term." As a result, supply chains are not yet resilient enough to prevent future disruptions. "For companies, nearshoring of suppliers remains a key factor in increasing their crisis resilience in the medium to long term." In addition, however, he said, the expansion and use of digital technologies are the key factors for resilient supply chains.

The pressure to act is great: Massive supply chain disruptions occur on average every 3.7 years and disrupt supply chains for at least one month. This was the conclusion of another McKinsey study on supply chains entitled "Risk, resilience, and rebalancing in global value chains" back in 2020.

Source:

McKinsey & Company [Düsseldorf, Germany]

DIGITALE PROZESSKETTE SICHERT ZUKUNFT DES LEICHTBAUS © Reed Exhibitions Deutschland GmbH
10.09.2019

DIGITAL PROCESS CHAIN SECURES THE FUTURE OF LIGHTWEIGHT CONSTRUCTION

  • At COMPOSITES EUROPE from 10 to 12 September
     
  • Incubator of ideas for multi-material lightweight construction
     
  • „Ultralight in Space“: Market study examines lightweight construction trends in aerospace

Whenever there’s movement, mass and weight quickly become destroyers of energy. From 10 to 12 September, the Lightweight Technologies Forum (LTF) at COMPOSITES EUROPE in Stuttgart will show how lightweight construction contributes to more efficient and better cars, airplanes and machines. The focus at the Forum will be on the commercially viable implementation of cross-material and holistic lightweight construction systems. The way to get there is through the digitalisation of the process chain.

  • At COMPOSITES EUROPE from 10 to 12 September
     
  • Incubator of ideas for multi-material lightweight construction
     
  • „Ultralight in Space“: Market study examines lightweight construction trends in aerospace

Whenever there’s movement, mass and weight quickly become destroyers of energy. From 10 to 12 September, the Lightweight Technologies Forum (LTF) at COMPOSITES EUROPE in Stuttgart will show how lightweight construction contributes to more efficient and better cars, airplanes and machines. The focus at the Forum will be on the commercially viable implementation of cross-material and holistic lightweight construction systems. The way to get there is through the digitalisation of the process chain.

From the idea to the component – that’s the path the Lightweight Technologies Forum aims to illuminate and support. To that end, the forum will gather current lightweight construction projects in Stuttgart, including from automotive engineering, aerospace and mechanical engineering – precisely those industries whose stringent material, safety and reliability demands make them idea generators for many other industries.
The commonality that runs through all the projects: a consistently digital process chain contributes significantly to the implementation of innovations. Another focus area is connecting and joining technology in multi-material lightweight construction.

"The Lightweight Technologies Forum is conceived as a cross-industry and cross-material incubator of ideas, a place where all stakeholders can consider new concepts. For that, we’re bringing successful flagship projects to Stuttgart”, says Olaf Freier, who on behalf of organiser Reed Exhibitions is responsible for the programme of the forum.

The growing significance of digitalisation and bionics
Support in putting together the forum programme comes from Automotive Management Consulting (AMC). The consulting company specialises in lightweight construction strategies, processes and structures in the automotive industry. “Lightweight construction requires comprehensive, systematic thinking”, says Rainer Kurek, the managing director of AMC. “The most important key factor, though, is the digitalisation of the process chain. Only virtual and simulation-driven design work can bring about competitive lightweight construction products, because they’re launched faster and ensure process safety while costing far less in development”, Kurek adds.

„Ultralight in Space“: Market study on lightweight construction trends in the aerospace industry
When it comes to ultra-lightweight construction, space travel has played a pioneering role since its inception, having driven many disciplines to new record performances. In cooperation with the Luxembourg-based aerospace suppliers GRADEL, AMC are currently conducting a market study to examine the latest technological trends. The results will be revealed at the LTF in Stuttgart on 10 September.
"Even though aerospace is a niche business: technical solutions that meet the stringent material demands here lead the way into the future, which in turn impacts other industries. That’s why it’s important to know the customer’s needs as well as the lightweight strategies, processes, structures and material decision-making of this market”, Rainer Kurek says assuredly.

Also underlining how important space travel is for the development of new technologies is Claude Maack, managing director of GRADEL: “All components are exposed to extreme conditions. Right from the launch of the rocket, they have to withstand enormous acceleration forces. In space, material must resist radiation exposure – and for many years. Then there are the high temperature differences from minus 185 to plus 200 degrees Celsius – alternating every couple of hours from one extreme to the other.“

The material question: Composites with biggest growth potential
Metals currently hold the largest market share among lightweight materials – but fibre-reinforced composites are said to have the biggest growth potential. More and more often they get to apply their strengths in lightweight construction. In the exhibition area, the LTF demonstrates how glass-fibre reinforced (GFRP) and carbon-fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) play to their strengths in hybrid structural components.
On display, among other things, will be an ultra-lightweight seat by Automotive Management Consulting (AMC), Alba tooling & engineering and csi entwicklungstechnik GmbH, which was presented as a feasibility study – based on the lightweight construction innovation xFK in 3D – and virtual prototype at the 2018 LTF.

The innovative ultra-lightweight seat, which only weighs 10 kg, is based on a special winding process for fibre-composite components. The  “xFK in 3D process” uses a resin-impregnated continuous fibre from which components are wound and produced without waste to match the load. Conceivable uses for the concept seat include the so-called hypercars, sports cars and the air taxis of the future. Just a few weeks ago, the prototype was presented to the public and swiftly recognised with the German Innovation Award.

Exhibitors will be presenting additional lightweight construction solutions in the adjacent Lightweight Area. Some examples include structural components, semi-finished goods, technical textiles, adhesives and resins for automotive engineering and aerospace.

Altogether, visitors of the Lightweight Technologies Forum and COMPOSITES EUROPE will meet 300 exhibitors from 30 countries who will come to Stuttgart to showcase the entire process chain of fibre-reinforced plastics – from materials to machines for processing to concrete application examples from automotive engineering, aerospace, mechanical engineering, construction, wind power, and the sports and leisure sector. Besides new products, a special focus of the trade fair will be on advances in process technologies for large-scale series production.  
 

Composites Europe 2019 (c) Photos: Reed Exhibitions/ Oliver Wachenfeld
30.07.2019

COMPOSITES EUROPE 2019: Digital Process Chain makes Fibre Composites Competitive

  • Strong Triple: COMPOSITES EUROPE, International Composites Conference and Lightweight Technologies Forum
  • “Process live” special areas showcase technological progress
  • Co-located event: Foam Expo Europe

The composites industry provides important impetus – for lightweight construction and material innovations in automotive, aviation, mechanical engineering, construction, wind power as well as in the sports and leisure sectors. So in international competition it is solutions with a high degree of automation that are in demand. COMPOSITES EUROPE from 10 to 12 September will present the trends and advances in the production and processing of fibre-reinforced plastics in Stuttgart. The trade fair will be accompanied by the International Composites Conference and the Lightweight Technologies Forum. Also held in parallel at the Messe Stuttgart premises will be Foam Expo Europe.

  • Strong Triple: COMPOSITES EUROPE, International Composites Conference and Lightweight Technologies Forum
  • “Process live” special areas showcase technological progress
  • Co-located event: Foam Expo Europe

The composites industry provides important impetus – for lightweight construction and material innovations in automotive, aviation, mechanical engineering, construction, wind power as well as in the sports and leisure sectors. So in international competition it is solutions with a high degree of automation that are in demand. COMPOSITES EUROPE from 10 to 12 September will present the trends and advances in the production and processing of fibre-reinforced plastics in Stuttgart. The trade fair will be accompanied by the International Composites Conference and the Lightweight Technologies Forum. Also held in parallel at the Messe Stuttgart premises will be Foam Expo Europe.

Trade fair visitors will meet with over 300 exhibitors from 30 nations who will be displaying materials, technical solutions and innovative application examples in Stuttgart. Apart from novel products the trade fair will place special emphasis on innovative process engineering. Visitors will learn about the state of play in serial production and new applications in the composites industry in the exhibition area as well as on numerous special areas, on themed guided tours, at the accompanying International Composites Conference and at the Lightweight Technologies Forum, which is dedicated to the trends in multi-material lightweight construction.

“Process live”: Technologies in Synergy
Perfectly coordinated processing and manufacturing processes will be centre stage at the “Process live” event. On shared exhibition space machinery and equipment manufacturers will exhibit their technologies in concert and – what’s more – in operation so as to show the different individual processes in a real context.  

On display, to name but one exhibit, is VAP®, the Vacuum Assisted Process patented by Airbus, which will be in the limelight in the Trans-Textil and Composyst special area. This process permits the one-step production of large-surface and geometrically complex components without an autoclave, which is why it is particularly suitable for structural components in aviation, wind power, shipbuilding, in rail and road transport, in machinery and device manufacturing as well as in architecture and in the leisure industry.

The “Process live” special area care of cutting specialists GUNNAR from Switzerland specifically targets the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) with its small and medium-sized companies. Jointly with laser projection expert LAP and composites engineering expert SCHEURER Swiss, GUNNAR introduces a connected overall process that fuses modern machinery and software with specialists’ manual jobs. The point of departure here is an automated manufacturing process for sorted layer placement in small and medium quantities involving a certain degree of skilled labour.

Fibre composite specialist Hacotech will present CNC-controlled cutting processes and various finishing possibilities in cooperation with Aristo Graphic Systeme and Lavesan. Alongside cutting, production preparation and customised sizing, the production of dimensionally correct templates and the cutting and custom-sizing of composite materials and prepregs will be on show.

Cutting technology is also centre stage in the special area of Rebstock Consulting, Broetje-Automation and Zünd Systemtechnik, which will be taking part in “Process live” with “Automated Sorting and Kitting”.

Composite producer Saertex and chemical company Scott Bader will demonstrate the RTM process for producing and curing a laminate that complies with the highest fire protection requirements in as little as 1 hour.   

5th International Composites Conference (ICC)
Serial production, stable processes, new markets – the International Composites Conference (ICC) is set to inject a fresh breeze for innovations into the market and to this end brings together processors and users of fibre-reinforced plastics from all over Europe. For the first time, this renowned Conference will be held in parallel with COMPOSITES EUROPE. The lecture programme put together by the trade association Composites Germany and the trade fair will also move closer in terms of content.  

One of tomorrow’s cross-cutting themes keeping the entire industry on its toes are multi-material solutions in nearly all industrial applications. In the construction sector the Conference also deals with the rising use of carbon concrete. Process engineering will focus on processing thermoplastic materials for serial production and stable processes for thermoset plastic processing.  

The partner country of the Conference is the United Kingdom. Especially against the backdrop of the current Brexit debate the ICC aims to foster exchange among all European countries. After all, the UK is among the biggest producers of composites components in Europe.

Themed Tours on Digitalisation, Fibre Glass, Thermoplastics, Automotive and Wind Power
Guided tours and hands-on demonstrations in the exhibition halls complement the conference programme. Themed guided tours revolving around composites application, materials and markets guide trade fair visitors and congress delegates right to the stands of selected exhibitors, who will share with visitors their innovations in the fields of digitalisation of composites production, automotive manufacturing, building and construction, fibreglass, new mobility, thermoplastic materials and wind power.  

New ideas on special areas and joint stands
“Material and Production Technology” is the name of the new special area set up under the guidance of the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) of the RWTH Aachen University. In cooperation with other institutes such as the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) the IKV will place manufacturing technology centre stage at the trade fair. In particular, the special area will trace the path from scientific development to practical, industrial implementation.

Tomorrow’s automotive experts will also be given a separate forum: under the heading “Formula Student” students and trainees will present to visitors racing cars and bikes they have engineered.

Lightweight Technologies Forum: platform for multi-material lightweight construction
Lightweight construction remains a driver across the board for many developments in the composites sector. The Lightweight Technologies Forum (LTF) held as part of COMPOSITES EUROPE makes it clear how lightweight construction can be achieved in an economical and resource-efficient manner. This Forum views itself as a cross-industry and multi-material think tank where all parties involved can reflect on these new concepts.

To this end, the Forum in Stuttgart pools lightweight construction projects from automotive manufacturing, aviation and aerospace and mechanical engineering, to name but a few industries that serve as a driving force for many sectors with high demands made on materials, security and reliability.  

This year’s keynote speakers include Airbus Innovation Manager Peter Pirklbauer, lightweight construction expert Prof. Jörg Wellnitz (TU Ingolstadt), Dutch racing driver Jeroen Bleekemolen and lightweight construction, aviation and aerospace specialist Claus Georg Bayreuther (AMC). In their talks they will provide an overview of reference projects and novel manufacturing and joining technologies.  

Combining its own exhibition space with a lecture forum, the LTF demonstrates how glass-fibre reinforced plastics (GRP) and carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) leverage their strengths mixed with other materials in hybrid structural components. Exhibitors at the Forum and in the neighbouring Lightweight Area include “Leichtbau-Zentrum Sachsen” (Lightweight Construction Center Saxony), Chem-Trend, Gößl + Pfaff, Krempel, Mitsui Chemicals Europe, Leichtbau BW, the VDMA, Gustav Gerster, Potters Ballotini (UK), Yuho (Japan), Riba Composites (Italy) and Stamixco (Switzerland) as well as the journals Lightweight Design (Springer Fachmedien) and Automobil Industrie (Vogel Communications Group), to name but a few.

“Ultralight in Space”: market study on lightweight construction trends in the aerospace industry
The aerospace industry has always served as a pioneer for ultra-lightweight construction pushing many disciplines to their limits as a driver of innovation. The latest technical trends are currently under scrutiny via a market study carried out by consultancy Automotive Management Consulting (AMC) in cooperation with the Luxembourg-based aerospace OEM GRADEL. The results will be presented for the first time at the LTF in Stuttgart on 10 September.  

Presentation of the AVK Innovation Prize
Innovative products and applications in fibre-reinforced plastics, manufacturing processes and the latest insights from research and science, will again be recognised by the German trade association AVK – Industrievereinigung Verstärkte Kunststoffe e. V. with its renowned Innovation Prize. The winners will be announced as part of the trade fair on 10 September and the award-winning products and projects will be on display in a special area.

Presentation of the SMB-BMC Design Award
The European Alliance for SMC BMC will announce the winners of the SMC BMC Design Award 2019 – also on 10 September. The contest already held for the second time now, honours and promotes the design excellence of students or young design professionals who use SMC and BMC components (sheet and bulk moulding compounds) in their designs. This year saw sustainable mobility take centre stage as a theme.

COMPOSITES Night
The event to celebrate the midway point of the trade fair: the COMPOSITES Night at the end of the second trade fair day offers visitors and exhibitors additional opportunities for networking. Participants are in for buffets and live music at the Stage Palladium Theater in Stuttgart.

Matchmaking programme makes trade fair visit more efficient
Thanks to the complimentary networking & meeting platform “matchmaking” visitors and exhibitors can already reach out to contacts in the run-up to COMPOSITES EUROPE. Who is at the trade fair? Who has answers to your specific questions? Who can you team up with to turn new ideas into practice? The matchmaking platform allows you to “filter” and make direct appointments with potential cooperation partners by product category, industry, country, or company.

Career & Composites
With its career&composites stand COMPOSITES EUROPE targets students and graduates who can come here to establish contact with potential employers. On the special area the exhibitors present their companies to interested junior employees and attract attention to vacancies and career opportunities via a Job Wall.

Co-located with Foam Expo Europe
COMPOSITES EUROPE will be co-located with Foam Expo Europe for the first time. This trade fair covers the supply chain of technical foam production and presents moulded, rigid and soft foam solutions – from raw materials to equipment and machinery. The parallel exhibition dates generate special synergies for gaining an overview of lightweight construction materials for such shared applications as the automotive, aviation, construction and sports & leisure industries.

Show Preview COMPOSITES EUROPE 2018: Focus on process technologies (c) COMPOSITES EUROPE
09.10.2018

SHOW PREVIEW COMPOSITES EUROPE 2018: FOCUS ON PROCESS TECHNOLOGIES

  • Premiere: “Process live” format
  • Lightweight Technologies Forum to present hybrid lightweight construction
  • Trade fair kick-off event: International Composites Congress (ICC)

In the competition of lightweight construction and design materials, composites are among the winners – automotive engineering, aerospace, wind energy, boatbuilding and construction can no longer do without glass- and carbon-fibre reinforced plastics (GFRP & CFRP). Nevertheless, the greatest impetus right now is coming from the composites industry itself: technological advancements in the process chain. From 6 to 8 November, COMPOSITES EUROPE in Stuttgart will drive home that point.

  • Premiere: “Process live” format
  • Lightweight Technologies Forum to present hybrid lightweight construction
  • Trade fair kick-off event: International Composites Congress (ICC)

In the competition of lightweight construction and design materials, composites are among the winners – automotive engineering, aerospace, wind energy, boatbuilding and construction can no longer do without glass- and carbon-fibre reinforced plastics (GFRP & CFRP). Nevertheless, the greatest impetus right now is coming from the composites industry itself: technological advancements in the process chain. From 6 to 8 November, COMPOSITES EUROPE in Stuttgart will drive home that point.

Trade fair visitors will meet more than 350 exhibitors from 30 countries who in Stuttgart will present state-of-the-art technology and the potential of fibre-reinforced composites – in the exhibition area as well as in numerous event areas, lecture forums and themed tours.

With the new “Process live” format, coordinated processing and manufacturing processes will become the visible focus of this year’s COMPOSITES EUROPE. Mechanical and plant engineering companies will get together in group exhibits to showcase their technologies in live interactions – thus enabling visitors to experience sub-processes presented in a larger context.

Partnerships in the process chain accelerate growth in the industry
Among others, the cutting specialists Gunnar (Switzerland), the composites automation experts Airborne (Netherlands) and the gripping systems providers Schmalz (Germany) will join forces to create a combined production cell in a process-safe depiction of the entire value chain from roller materials to the finished layer structure of a composite component. In this setup, interlocking hardware components are fully connected with each other via software. “Cooperation among processors is getting closer and closer. These partnerships within the process chain are accelerating the growth of the composites industry; that’s what we want to show with the new ‘Process live’ format”, says Olaf Freier, event director of COMPOSITES EUROPE.

Lightweight Technologies Forum: Platform for multi-material lightweight construction
Besides the optimisation of the process chain, industry research today is heavily focused on the use of GFRP and CFRP in multi-material systems. The Lightweight Technologies Forum will once again demonstrate how composites play to their strengths alongside other materials in the material mix for hybrid structural components. A total of 16 exhibitors will present materials, tools and exhibits here – from fillers to bonding agents and presses for laminating different materials to semi-finished hybrid products.

In various presentations, experts will provide an overview of new products in manufacturing and joining technology as well as applications and lightweight engineering references from the automotive, aerospace and construction sectors. Support for the Lightweight Technologies Forum is provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

From digitalisation to recycling: Know-how in the supporting programme
A presentation programme, themed tours and special areas complete the COMPOSITES EUROPE lineup. Manufacturing technology, recycling, digitalisation and thermoplastics will be central themes in the programme of the COMPOSITES Forum, which will also feature exhibitors presenting application examples from automotive engineering, aerospace, construction, mechanical engineering, wind energy and shipbuilding.

Themed guided tours, meanwhile, will lead visitors straight to the stands of selected exhibitors ready to explain the latest innovations in fibreglass, thermoplastics, automotive engineering, wind energy and construction.

Special areas and group stands to highlight new ideas
Hosting the special area “Industry meets Science”, the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV), the leading European research institute for plastics technology based in Aachen, will showcase developments in process technology, design, quality assurance and repair.

The exhibitors at the “Bio-Based Composites Pavilion”, which will again be set up in cooperation with the nova-Institute, will reflect the development of the market for green composites. The focus will be on application options of wood-polymer composites (WPC), natural fibre composites (NFC), bio-based thermoplastics and thermosets for composites, and bio-based plastics.

Moreover, numerous young companies will thrill visitors with fresh ideas: the industry newcomers will present themselves at a group stand funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). They will cover a wide range of topics from semi-finished carbon-fibre products to metal foams to production lines for multi-material 3D fibre laminates.

Even the automotive experts of tomorrow will have their own forum at the trade fair: under the banner of “Formula Student”, students and apprentices will show visitors racecars they themselves have designed.

Kick-off event: 4th International Composites Congress (ICC)
The International Composites Congress (ICC) will once again kick off COMPOSITES EUROPE. In a series of presentations starting the day before the trade fair (5 and 6 November), international experts at the event with the headline topic “Composites – On the Path to Becoming a Key Industry?” will speak about and discuss applications, materials, process technologies and market prospects.

More information:
Composites Composites Europe
Source:

Reed Exhibitions Deutschland GmbH

Composites Europe © COMPOSITES EUROPE
05.09.2017

COMPOSITES EUROPE 2017: Lightweight automotive construction propels use of fibre-reinforced plastics

  • Market study “Lightweight Construction as Innovation Factor”: Presentation at COMPOSITES EUROPE
  • 21 September: Focus Day Automotive

No other industry has drawn more public attention to glass- and carbon-fibre reinforced plastics (GFRP/CFRP) than the automotive indus-
try. Next to the aerospace industry, it’s one of the innovation and growth drivers for composites. The great significance of composites for the automotive industry must be credited to the continuing lightweight construction trend. From 19 to 21 September, COMPOSITES EUROPE in Stuttgart will show how the composites industry can support automakers and their suppliers in this area. Programme highlights include the Focus Day Automotive and the Lightweight Technologies Forum.

  • Market study “Lightweight Construction as Innovation Factor”: Presentation at COMPOSITES EUROPE
  • 21 September: Focus Day Automotive

No other industry has drawn more public attention to glass- and carbon-fibre reinforced plastics (GFRP/CFRP) than the automotive indus-
try. Next to the aerospace industry, it’s one of the innovation and growth drivers for composites. The great significance of composites for the automotive industry must be credited to the continuing lightweight construction trend. From 19 to 21 September, COMPOSITES EUROPE in Stuttgart will show how the composites industry can support automakers and their suppliers in this area. Programme highlights include the Focus Day Automotive and the Lightweight Technologies Forum.

Presentation of the study “Lightweight Construction as Innovation Factor”
When it comes to composites in the automotive sector, modern lightweight construction is the No. 1 topic, according to industry expert Rainer Kurek, CEO of AUTOMOTIVE MANAGEMENT CONSULTING GmbH (AMC) from Penzberg near Munich. After all, he says, it comprises all the aspects of lightweight automotive construction – from concept, functions and joining technologies to materials. The training and consulting company specialises in auto-industry strategies, processes and structures; together with COMPOSITES EUROPE organiser Reed Exhibitions, they will, on 21 September, present the study “Lightweight Construction as Innovation Factor” (“Leichtbau als Innovationsfaktor” in the original German), which takes a holistic and detailed look at the issue. “Created in cooperation with Reed Exhibitions, the market study ‘Lightweight Construction as Innovation Factor’ synthesises the German automotive industry’s knowledge from nearly 150 years of experience”, explains Kurek. “Against the backdrop of increasing environmental and climate-protection requirements, a fragile energy supply and the resulting more stringent resource-conservation targets, it serves to sustainably enhance and strengthen Germany’s role as a centre of innovation.” The developer says he used to think in terms of materials first, but “design engineers today approach lightweight construction with an integrative mindset – with other joining and production technologies as well as with new materials. These days, the typical tasks we get from OEMs are almost always based on integrative lightweight construction.”
 
Positive Outlook
With about a third of the GFRP materials produced in Europe being used in the transport sector, innovations and the current development status of composites for the automotive market will be emphasised in the exhibition halls of COMPOSITES EUROPE 2017, as well. The future looks bright, according to Composites Germany’s latest market survey. No fewer than 46 per cent of responding companies expect this segment to grow. Only 15 per cent anticipate a downturn. The automotive industry isn’t just one of the biggest buyers of thermoplastic composites, it’s also a major purchaser of thermoset materials like SMC. Exhibitors such as Saint Gobain Performance Plastics, capricorn COMPOSITE, Lange+Ritter, SGL TECHNOLOGIES GmbH, ARKEMA France, Cevotec and EMS will be onsite to address the automotive industry’s composites requirements.

Theme day for “motorists”: Focus Day Automotive
What’s more, the entire third day of the trade fair – dubbed the Focus Day Automotive – will be dedicated to visitors predominantly interested in composites for the vehicle industry. A free one-hour guided tour at 11 am on 21 September, for example, will give visitors a comprehensive overview. Stops include the stands of industry-leading companies such as Evonik Industries, Huntsman, the Institute of Aircraft Design at the University of Stuttgart, PHP Fibers, Toho Tenax Europe and Vosschemie. Since the number of participants is limited, it would be advisable to register in a timely manner by visiting: www.composites-europe.com/guided-tours.

The subsequent Automotive Business Lunch taking place at the stand of sponsor Hexion (Hall C2, BO6) at 12 pm will provide an excellent networking opportunity. In addition, expert lectures at the COMPOSITES Forum in Hall 6, Stand B76, will cover automotive basics, trends and innovations. Admission is free of charge for trade fair visitors.
 
Hybrid lightweight construction: The best from different material worlds
Hybrid lightweight construction, which combines metallic materials with composites, is another trend in automotive engineering, as Kurek confirms. In his estimation, it’s imperative to intelligently leverage the strengths of each respective material. “We need to think very carefully about how the different materials can be used in line with the required strength.” Composites, for instance, are great at absorbing tensile forces, while metallic materials are better suited for compressive forces.” This is exactly the issue Kurek sees as COMPOSITES EUROPE’s most critical task: “Even with composites, we long ago moved from ‘either-or’ to ‘both’. Metallic materials have a right to exist just as composites do.”
That’s why the Lightweight Technologies Forum at COMPOSITES EUROPE will provide answers to questions revolving around lightweight construction with other materials like aluminium or steel. The combined exhibition and presentation forum featuring exhibitors such as Kunststoffwerk AG Buchs, Linn High Therm, Schütze, OCSiAL Group, Hexcel Composites and ar engineers will serve as the cross-material interface between metal and composite technologies in structural components.

Trade fair opening event: 3rd International Composites Congress (ICC)
Kicking off COMPOSITES EUROPE 2017 on 18 and 19 September 2017 will be the “3rd International Composites Congress (ICC)” hosted by the trade association Composites Germany in Stuttgart. Current trends, new applications and technologies, and a comprehensive overview of market developments in Europe and worldwide will be the centre of attention at the 3rd ICC. This year’s partner country, South Korea, will be represented with several exclusive speakers.

 

Ariane5 © ESA_Stephane Corvaja 2016
09.05.2017

BAGS PACKED FOR SPACE: TEXTILES NEEDED FOR A MISSION TO MARS

  • Techtextil and Texprocess present ‘Living in Space’ in cooperation with ESA and DLR 
  • Nutrition, mobility, fashion and living: technical textiles make settlements in space possible

Beam me up, Scotty: a large amount of material has to be transported for a journey into space – and technical textiles account for a large proportion of them. Examples of the parts and products in which they are to be found will be on show at the ‘Living in Space’ exhibition during this year’s Techtextil und Texprocess (9 to 12 May 2017), which has been organised by Messe Frankfurt in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). Among the exhibits to be seen are materials and technologies from Techtextil and Texprocess exhibitors in a ‘Material Gallery’, architecture for space by Ben van Berkel, space-inspired fashions and an original Mars Rover.

  • Techtextil and Texprocess present ‘Living in Space’ in cooperation with ESA and DLR 
  • Nutrition, mobility, fashion and living: technical textiles make settlements in space possible

Beam me up, Scotty: a large amount of material has to be transported for a journey into space – and technical textiles account for a large proportion of them. Examples of the parts and products in which they are to be found will be on show at the ‘Living in Space’ exhibition during this year’s Techtextil und Texprocess (9 to 12 May 2017), which has been organised by Messe Frankfurt in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). Among the exhibits to be seen are materials and technologies from Techtextil and Texprocess exhibitors in a ‘Material Gallery’, architecture for space by Ben van Berkel, space-inspired fashions and an original Mars Rover. And – even without having completed a dizzying astronaut training programme – visitors can take a journey through space to Mars via virtual-reality glasses.

“At the ‘Living in Space’ exhibition, Techtextil and Texprocess visitors can see examples of textile materials and processing technologies in an application-oriented setting. In cooperation with our partners and exhibitors, we have created an informative and entertaining area, the like of which has never been seen before at Techtextil and Texprocess”, explains Michael Jänecke, Brand Manager, Technical Textiles and Textile Processing, Messe Frankfurt. Given that technical textiles are to be found in almost every sphere of human life, the materials and processing technologies shown are oriented towards the ‘Architecture’, ‘Civilization’, ‘Clothing’ and ‘Mobility’ areas of application.

Ideal homes in space

Visitors can get an idea of how building in space could function at the ‘Architecture’ area curated by Stylepark architecture magazine. Lightweight construction and canopy specialist MDT-tex joined forces with star architect Ben van Berkel of the international UNStudio firm of architects to create a ‘Space Habitat’ especially for Techtextil. Comprising 60 individual modules, each of which is double twisted and under tension, the lightweight pavilion has an area of 40 square metres and consists of specially designed aluminium profiles covered with PTFE sheets. MDT-tex designed the fabric especially for the pavilion in an extremely light grammage without sacrificing its high-temperature resistance and technical properties.

Ultra-lightweight materials play a leading role in space travel because the lighter the space capsule’s load, the cheaper the transport. Reclining in comfortable seats, visitors to the Space Habitat can also travel to Mars using virtual-realist glasses and, at the same time, find out more about technical textiles and their processing in space.

Hightech-Fashion in orbit

No one likes to be too hot or too cold. Space-wear should not only protect the wearer from extreme temperatures but also regulate their body temperature, drain off moisture and be durable and easy to clean. All the better, then, if it also looks good, as shown by the designs in the ‘Clothing’ segment of the exhibition. The ESMOD Fashion School from Berlin presents outfits made by students within the framework of the ‘Couture in Orbit’ project (2015/2016), which was organised by ESA and the London Science Museum. Additionally, the POLI.design centre of the Politecnico di Milano (Milan University) presents outfits from the followup project, ‘Fashion in Orbit’ under the scientific supervision of Annalisa Dominoni and the technical supervision of Benedetto Quaquaro in cooperation with ESA and garment manufacturer Colmar.

The Hohenstein Textile Institutes present two models from the Spacetex research project, within the framework of which astronaut Alexander Gerst tested the interaction of body, apparel and climate under conditions of weightlessness during the ‘Blue Dot’ mission. In this connection, the model, ‘Nostalgia’ by Linda Pfanzler (Lower Rhine University) reminds the wearer of the earth with an integrated library of fragrances. The suits of the ‘Dynamic Space’ collection by Rachel Kowalski (Pforzheim University) contain electrodes that stimulate important muscle groups under conditions of weightlessness. The outfits by Leyla Yalcin and Sena Isikal (AMD Düsseldorf) come from the ‘Lift off’ collection created in cooperation with Bremen-based silver-yarn manufacturer Statex. They include a sleeping bag for astronauts made from silver-coated textiles, which can also be used as an overall and protects the wearer from electro-magnetic radiation. Thanks to the silver threads, another garment, a raincoat reflects light and stores the wearer’s body heat.

Material Gallery: fibers for space

In addition to the exhibits at the special exhibition, around 40 Techtextil and Texprocess exhibitors offer ideas for fibre-based materials and processing technology suitable for use in space in a ‘Material Gallery’. For the ‘Civilization’ segment, they include spacer fabrics for growing vegetables, for ‘Mobility’ a carbon yarn, which was used to make a fairing for the solid-fuel booster rocket of the Ariane 6. The Material Gallery also shows fibre-composite structures made of carbon fibres, such as a robot arm, a whole-body suit that transmits the wearer’s movements to a 3D model in real-time, functional apparel textiles with flame-retardant, anti-bacterial and temperature-regulating properties, and membrane systems for ventilating aircraft.

Exhibits from ESA, DLR and Speyer Museum of Technology, including an original Mars Rover and space suits, make the exhibition an extraordinary experience. The exhibits are supplemented by impulse lectures by ESA experts for technology transfer throughout the fair.

 

Apparel Show © Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH
31.01.2017

TEXPROCESS RECORDS HIGHEST NUMBER OF REGISTRATIONS IN ITS HISTORY

Living in Space: special event at Techtextil showcases textile processing technologies for the space industry: Some four months before the start of Texprocess (9 to 12 May 2017), the leading international trade fair for processing textile and flexible materials reports the highest number of registrations in its history and thus continues its pattern of growth. Even now, more floor space has been booked than the previous edition had in total. “It is well worth our while continually developing Texprocess further, with regard to the technologies and processes on display, the hall layout and the complementary programme. With this fourth edition, Texprocess is now firmly established in the marketplace and is attracting other market leaders in the sector to Frankfurt,” says Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies, Messe Frankfurt.

Living in Space: special event at Techtextil showcases textile processing technologies for the space industry: Some four months before the start of Texprocess (9 to 12 May 2017), the leading international trade fair for processing textile and flexible materials reports the highest number of registrations in its history and thus continues its pattern of growth. Even now, more floor space has been booked than the previous edition had in total. “It is well worth our while continually developing Texprocess further, with regard to the technologies and processes on display, the hall layout and the complementary programme. With this fourth edition, Texprocess is now firmly established in the marketplace and is attracting other market leaders in the sector to Frankfurt,” says Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies, Messe Frankfurt.

Texprocess reports growing numbers of companies signing up, particularly in the CAD/CAM and Cutting, Making, Trimming (CMT) product groups. Technologies and material for Sewing, Joining and Fastening are growing steadily, too.

Among the companies that have already signed up are: Amann, Astas, assyst/Human Solutions, Barudan, Brother, bullmer, Caron Technology, Dürkopp Adler, Epson, Filiz Makina, Gemini CAD Systems, Gerber Technology, Gütermann, Juki, Kuris Spezialmaschinen, MACPI, Malkan, Mitsubishi, Morgan Tecnica, Pfaff, Serkon Tekstil Makina, SMRE, Strima, Tajima, Teseo, Tetas, Veit, Zünd.
The range of products at Texprocess once again covers all stages in the value-creation chain for textile goods, from design, IT, cutting out, sewing, seaming, embroidery and knitting to finishing, textile printing and logistics.

Change in placement for CAD/CAM and Cutting, Making, Trimming
To make the profiles of Techtextil and Texprocess even sharper, the bonding and separating technology, CMT (Cutting, Making, Trimming), CAD/CAM and printing product segments will be concentrated together at Texprocess in hall 4.0. Thus, visitors will find Techtextil exhibitors from these segments at Texprocess. These product groups will be deleted from the Techtextil nomenclature.
Apart from this change, the overall concept behind the halls at the previous event will be retained: trade visitors will find Design, IT, CAD/CAM, CMT and Printing as well as the special IT@Texprocess section in hall 4.0. Exhibitors of machines and accessories for sewing and seaming will be presenting their products in hall 5.0 and 5.1; and hall 6.0 will showcase embroidery technology, together with finishing techniques and logistics for textiles.

The technologies of textile processing for space travel
Both exhibitors and visitors at Texprocess will, this year, have the benefit of a rather special experience at the show: under the heading 'Living in Space', Techtextil will be showcasing the wide variety of applications for technical textiles in space travel, together with the processing involved. This is a cooperative venture between Techtextil, The European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). Close to the location for, amongst others, exhibitors of functional apparel textiles in Hall 6.1, and based on the areas of application for technical textiles, a special, interactive area is to be built to display, with the help of four thematic sections, the high-tech textiles and textile processing technologies that have emerged from and for space travel. The highlight of this area is a virtual-reality experience in which visitors to Techtextil and Texprocess get to go on a virtual journey through the universe, where they will learn about the application of technical textiles in space travel and the processing required to make them.

Complementary programme with focus on Digital Printing and international Innovative Apparel Show
Digital Printing will be one the thematic focusses of the Texprocess complimentary programme. The sector's information service, the World Textile Information Network (WtiN) will, for the first time, be organising the European Digital Textile Conference at Texprocess. The conference will centre round technologies for digital printing on textiles and will be held on Wednesday 10 May in the Saal Europa in hall 4.0.
And digital printing on textiles will also be taken up as a topic in a dedicated series of lectures forming part of the Texprocess Forum. The forum offers, in hall 6.0, expert lectures on current issues in the sector, on all days of the trade fair. For the first time, the programme will have been designed jointly by three partners: the Dialog Textil-Bekleidung (DTB), die International Apparel Federation (IAF) and the World Textile Information Network (WTiN).

Following on from the success of its first edition, the Innovative Apparel Show is to be continued and set on an international footing. For the first time, there will be, as well as a German university, three European universities / colleges from outside Germany, showcasing, on the catwalk, their fashion designs from functional textiles and the processing stages that go into making them. The show will take place on all days of the trade fair. The participating universities / colleges are: Accademia Italiana, Florence / Italy; ESAD College of Art and Design, Matosinhos / Portugal; Esmod Paris/France, and the University of Trier / Germany. The young designers will be displaying designs relating to the three key themes of 'Textile Effects', 'Creative Engineering' and 'Smart Fashion'. Visitors will be able to vote for the public's award throughout the duration of the trade fair and the award will be presented at the last fashion show.

With the Texprocess Innovation Award, Messe Frankfurt seeks, for the fourth time, to honour the best new technological developments in the field. Submissions for the award may be made up until 20 February. The competition is open both to exhibitors at Texprocess 2017 and to other companies, institutes, universities, colleges and private individuals, who are not otherwise exhibiting at the fair. The awards in the various categories will be presented during the joint opening ceremony for Texprocess und Techtextil, on 9 May 2017. At the same time, there will be a special display area in Hall 4.0, showcasing all the prize-winning products at Texprocess.

Visitors will, once again, find many new IT solutions for the apparel industry in the IT@Texprocess section in Hall 4.0, where exhibitors will be presenting product life-cycle management systems (PLM), 'Cloud' applications and 3D CAD systems, which make it possible to create tailor-made clothes in real time and without the need for a Fitting.

Sewing and apparel-making technology record significant rise in Sales According to information provided by the Textile Care, Fabric and Leather Technologies section of the VDMA (Association of German machinery and plant manufacturers), conceptual partner of Texprocess, the German sewing and apparel-technology industry achieved an increase in turnover of 15.9 percent compared to the previous year in the period from January to October. “With export sales of € 523 million, Germany is in third place amongst exporting nations worldwide, behind China and Japan,” observes Elgar Straub, General Manager of the VDMA Textile Care, Fabric and Leather Technologies Association. “Our member companies are outstandingly well placed amongst the international competition. Above all, that is because they are continually developing and innovating. The individualisation of apparel, the digitalisation of the value creation chain and new technologies, such as digital printing and sustainable processing technologies, are currently at the heart of our members' planning for innovation.”

Texprocess will again be taking place in parallel to Techtextil, leading international trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens (also from 9 to 12 May 2017). In all, 1,662 exhibitors from 54 different countries attended Texprocess and Techtextil in 2015, together with a total of 42,000 trade visitors. Over 13,300 of them came to see Texprocess. Added to that, there were around 7,600 additional visitors, who came across from the concurrently held Techtextil.

 

Apparel Show @ Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH
24.01.2017

TECHTEXTIL ON A GROWTH CURVE

Living in Space: Techtextil presents technical textiles in the aerospace industry in cooperation with ESA and DLR

More exhibitors and a journey to Mars: visitors and exhibitors can look forward to an even bigger event and a completely new trade-fair experience at the coming Techtextil from 9 to 12 May 2017. With around four months still to go before the leading international trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens opens its doors, the booked space already exceeds the total area of the last edition in 2015. Moreover, the extensive complementary programme of events is set to be distinguished by a variety of innovations in 2017. The highlight of this year’s Techtextil will be the special ‘Living in Space’ event in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Aerospace Centre (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt – DLR).

Living in Space: Techtextil presents technical textiles in the aerospace industry in cooperation with ESA and DLR

More exhibitors and a journey to Mars: visitors and exhibitors can look forward to an even bigger event and a completely new trade-fair experience at the coming Techtextil from 9 to 12 May 2017. With around four months still to go before the leading international trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens opens its doors, the booked space already exceeds the total area of the last edition in 2015. Moreover, the extensive complementary programme of events is set to be distinguished by a variety of innovations in 2017. The highlight of this year’s Techtextil will be the special ‘Living in Space’ event in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Aerospace Centre (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt – DLR).

“We are branching out in completely new directions with this year’s Techtextil and are, therefore, all the more delighted about the outstanding resonance of our exhibitors”, says Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies, Messe Frankfurt. “Furthermore, the fact that we have gained strong new partners, ESA and DLR, from one of the main areas of application for technical textiles represents solid evidence of the application relevance of the products and technologies shown at Techtextil.”

Exhibitors include not only international market leaders but also numerous newcomers and returnees. Significant exhibitor growth comes from European countries, particularly from Ger-
many, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland and Spain. However, additional growth is also expected to come from Asia.

Special ‘Living in Space’ exhibition and special area in Hall 6.1

In cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Techtextil will illustrate the wide range of applications for technical textiles with reference to the aerospace industry under the title ‘Living in Space’. To this end, the concurrent Texprocess trade fair will also be integrated into the exhibition.

“The technical-textile sector offers the textile solutions needed to move around and survive in space. This is what we will show in a professional and at the same time entertaining way on a dedicated area at the trade fair. For visitors, the area will offer inspiration and orientation”, says Michael Jänecke, Director Brand Management Technical Textiles & Textile Processing, Messe Frankfurt.

A special area in the vicinity of exhibitors of functional apparel and technical textiles is being created in hall 6.1 and, based on the areas of application for technical textiles, will show high-tech textiles and textile-processing technology from and for the aerospace sector. The highlight of the interactive area is a virtual-reality experience. On a special area, Techtextil and Texprocess visitors can undertake a virtual journey through space to Mars and discover how technical textiles and their processing technology can make it possible to set up communities in space. Additionally, the ‘Material Gallery’ will show textile products and processing technologies from Techtextil exhibitors with links to space travel. There will also be presentations by start-ups that work at the interface of technical textiles and space travel.

In hall 6.1, exhibitors and visitors will also find the ‘Innovation made in Germany’ area of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie – BMWi), which is aimed at young, innovative companies based in Germany. Applications for a place in the BMWi area can still be made on the Techtextil website.

Change in placement for CAD/CAM and Cutting, Making, Trimming

To make the profiles of Techtextil and Texprocess even sharper, the bonding and separating technology, CMT (Cutting, Making, Trimming), CAD/CAM and printing product segments will be concentrated together at Texprocess in hall 4.0. Thus, visitors will find Techtextil exhibitors from these segments at Texprocess. These product groups will be deleted from the Techtextil nomenclature.

Complementary programme with changes to the Innovative Apparel Show

Successfully started at Techtextil and Texprocess in 2015, the Innovative Apparel Show will get in 2017 even more international with universities for fashion and design from four European countries. These universities will present their visionary product ideas using technical textiles and modern processing technologies on all four days. They are: Accademia Italiana, Florence / Italy; ESAD College of Art and Design, Matosinhos / Portugal; Esmod Paris/France, and the University of Trier / Germany. The young designers will show designs revolving around the themes of textile effects, creative engineering and smart fashion while a fashion show in the foyer of Halls 5.1 and 6.1 presents their ideas in a professional way.

Techtextil Symposium in cooperation with Dornbirn MFC 

The concept of Techtextil Symposium, one of the world’s leading events for textile research, is being expanded with the coming edition to be held in seven consecutive blocks, each of seven lectures. Thus, all lecture blocks will be expanded by one lecture. Additionally, Techtextil is working together with the Dornbirn MFC Man-made Fibres Congress for the first time. Thus, Dornbirn-MFC will organise one of the seven lecture blocks within the framework of the symposium (to be held in ‘Saal Europa’ of Hall 4.0).
Moreover, outstanding new developments and advances in the fields of technical textiles, nonwovens and functional apparel textiles will be honoured for the 14th time with the Techtextil Innovation Award, the competition for which is also open to non-exhibitors. Entries are now invited. The deadline for receipt is 20 February.

Together with the international Tensinet network, Techtextil is holding the 14th ‘Textile Structures for New Building’ competition for students and young professionals, which honours innovative and practical concepts for building with textiles or textile-reinforced materials. The closing date for receipt of entries to the competition, which is worth a total of € 8,000, is 26 February 2017. In addition to the awards ceremony, all award-winning works from the student competition and the Innovation Award will be on show in special exhibitions in hall 4.1 and hall 6.1.

Technical Textiles market continues growth
 
According to the Confederation of the German Textile and Fashion Industry (textile+mode) the textile and apparel industry with more than 130,000 employees, 1,400 companies and an annual turnover of around 32 billion euros is the second largest consumer goods industry in Germany. The growth is primarily driven by technical textiles. “German companies are the global market leaders in terms of technical textiles. For years, the turnover has been growing steadily – a proof for the innovativeness of the industry and excellent products. The digitalization of textile products and processes will furthermore trigger an innovation boost in other industries”, says Manfred Junkert, Deputy General Manager of textile+mode.

Held concurrently with Techtextil, Texprocess, Leading International Trade Fair for Processing Textile and Flexible Materials (9 to 12 May 2017), offers insights into all stages of textile processing, including finishing and digital printing. Texprocess is also characterised by an outstanding number of exhibitor registrations exceeding the results of the previous edition, too. Techtextil 2015 was attended by 28,500 trade visitors from 102 nations, as well as over 5,500 trade visitors from the parallel Texprocess.