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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

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
14.05.2019

Prize winners of the “Textile Structures for New Building” have been chosen

Eight projects receive awards in the "Textile Structures for New Buildings” competition. For the 15th time, the competition for young talent during Techtextil will honour innovative approaches and excellent material solutions from the world of textile construction.
 
The winners of the student competition “Textile Structures for New Building” have now been decided. An international jury of renowned civil engineers and architects has awarded six prizes and two commendations. On the occasion of Techtextil, which will take place in Frankfurt am Main from 14-17 May 2019, the student competition organised jointly by the international association TensiNet as sponsor and Techtextil will award prizes for the 15th time for innovative ideas for building with textiles and textile-reinforced materials.

Eight projects receive awards in the "Textile Structures for New Buildings” competition. For the 15th time, the competition for young talent during Techtextil will honour innovative approaches and excellent material solutions from the world of textile construction.
 
The winners of the student competition “Textile Structures for New Building” have now been decided. An international jury of renowned civil engineers and architects has awarded six prizes and two commendations. On the occasion of Techtextil, which will take place in Frankfurt am Main from 14-17 May 2019, the student competition organised jointly by the international association TensiNet as sponsor and Techtextil will award prizes for the 15th time for innovative ideas for building with textiles and textile-reinforced materials.

‘We're really pleased that, together with the international association TensiNet, we are once again able to sponsor students who have submitted work of a very high quality. Presenting these awards during Techtextil also gives young students and professionals at the start of their careers the chance to come into contact with other universities, the textile technology industry and the construction industry’, explains Michael Jänecke, Director Brand Development Technical Textiles & Textile Processing at Messe Frankfurt.

The submitted works covered a very wide range of services and variety of topics and focused among other things on material applications, building designs, utilisation concepts and environmental solutions as well as assembly and construction concepts.
All prizes and commendations will be presented at a Techtextil ceremony on 14 May 2019 at 4 p.m. as well as during a special show in the foyer of hall 4.2.

Micro architecture
One prize was awarded to the project ‘Airdapt’. Rebecca Schedler from the Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin developed an adaptable kinetic wall system that offers the possibility of dividing large rooms into smaller working areas that can become more or less transparent and more or less sound-absorbing depending on requirements.

Macro architecture
The first prize in this category goes to Hugo Cifre from the Universidad Europea de Madrid/Espacio La Nube and Miguel Angel Maure Blesa from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid for the project ‘Bubble’. This pneumatically supported walk-in cuboid has a square layout and a height of approx. 4 metres. The entrances are elegantly integrated into the geometry and become effective when the cuboid is under slight positive air pressure. Attracted by the unusual object, visitors are literally ‘sucked into’ the interior.

Second prize goes to Thitiwut Pakdee, Surakist Hunpaisarn and Chonticha Wimonchailerk from the Thai Thammasat University for their work ‘Membrane Shelter for Shipyard’, which provides a membrane canopy for the site of a former shipyard in Ayutthaya (Thailand) to protect the plant from direct sunlight, wind and rain. The concept was inspired by the sails and waves of classic shipbuilding.

Ruichen Tang from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid has been awarded third prize for the entry ‘Tensegrity Cloud’.
The visual lightness of the ‘basic modules’ formed by this design, which consist of a textile-covered steel frame, is supplemented by a structural advantage, namely that the forces within the overall self-stabilising system balance each other out.

Urban Living – City of the Future
Based on this year's special Techtextil theme, Masa Zujovic, Isidora Kojovic and Nevena Jeremic from the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Architecture (Serbia) will receive an award for their ‘Voro-Membrane’ design. What at first glance seems convincing as an aesthetic solution for providing shade in public street spaces is based on the mathematical pattern of Voronoi structures. The resulting exciting interplay of light and shadow could be further explored in an urban context and applied to a wide variety of situations.

Material innovations
In this category, Magdalena Wierzbicka from the Dutch Piet Zwart Institute has been awarded a prize for her project ‘Woven Spaces - Porcelain Textiles’. Here, the jury honours the fact that the contribution draws on the Thuringian tradition of porcelain lace from the late 19th century and transforms it into a modern design language.

Commendation
The project ‘A Catalyst for Urban Renewal’ by Galen Rochon from Canada’s Dalhousie University – School of Architecture receives a commendation. In this design for the Prince of Wales Bridge in Ottawa, an industrial monument that has lain unused for 20 years, various possibilities were shown for hanging double-curved membrane surfaces in the existing, regularly structured truss construction and stiffening them if necessary.

Commendation
The design ‘XCape’ submitted by Lobke Beckfeld from the Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin also received praise. It presents a hybrid vehicle whose space is generated by variable folding configurations and can be used in a variety of ways.

Prizewinners can look forward to prize money totalling 8,000 euros.

(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

TEXTILE INDUSTRY IN PAKISTAN MUST MODERNIZE Photo: OpenClipart-Vectors at Pixabay
26.03.2019

TEXTILE INDUSTRY IN PAKISTAN MUST MODERNIZE

  • The cultivation of cotton is to be expanded

Pakistan's textile industry has lost competitiveness. Investments in new textile technology are necessary. Exports of German machinery increase.

The textile industry is Pakistan's most important industrial sector. In Pakistan's fiscal year 2017/18 (July 1st 2017 to June 30th 2018), the textile industry accounted for 8.5 percent of gross domestic product. The sector accounted for about a quarter of the total industrial value added. It is by far the country's most important export sector. Textile exports accounted for 58 percent of total exports in 2017/18.

  • The cultivation of cotton is to be expanded

Pakistan's textile industry has lost competitiveness. Investments in new textile technology are necessary. Exports of German machinery increase.

The textile industry is Pakistan's most important industrial sector. In Pakistan's fiscal year 2017/18 (July 1st 2017 to June 30th 2018), the textile industry accounted for 8.5 percent of gross domestic product. The sector accounted for about a quarter of the total industrial value added. It is by far the country's most important export sector. Textile exports accounted for 58 percent of total exports in 2017/18.

However, the international competitiveness of the sector is currently declining. This trend should turn around. Prime Minister Imran Khan met with representatives of the textile industry at the end of January 2019. Economic policy aims to expand and modernize the textile industry. Production costs are to be reduced and productivity increased. In addition, quality improvements, production expansions and higher added value are necessary.

The textile industry's value chain begins with around 1,300 companies that are ginning, process and bale raw cotton. In addition to the demand for cotton, the demand for synthetic fibers is also increasing, although there are only three manufacturers of polyester fibers in Pakistan to date.

The number of spinning mills is estimated at 517 in 2017 and the number of weaving mills at 124 large and 425 medium-sized and small mills. Ten large and 625 medium-sized and small companies process fabrics. Towels were produced by about 400 companies, knitted fabrics by 2,500 companies. Clothing made of woven fabrics was supplied by 50 large factories and 2,500 medium-sized and small factories.

Export transactions stagnate
Pakistan's textile exports grew by 8.7 percent to USD 13.5 billion in 2017/18. This level was already reached in 2013/14 and 2014/15. Textile exports in the first seven months of fiscal year 2018/19 (July 18th to January 19th) increased slightly by 1.2 percent year-on-year to US$ 7.8 billion.

Pakistan: exports of yarn, fabrics and clothing (USD million) *)
Products 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18
Total 13,733 13,471 12,447 12,452 13,530
.Cotton yarn 1,997 1,849 1,265 1,244 1,372
.Cotton fabrics 2,770 2,453 2,214 2,136 2,204
.Towels 767 797 803 801 797
.Bed linen 2,138 2,103 2,020 2,136 2,261
.Clothing 1,906 2,095 2,195 2,319 2,579
.Knitted goods 2,294 2,406 2,364 2,361 2,720
.Other products 1,858 1,767 1,586 1,452 1,597

*) Fiscal years (July to June)

Sources: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA); Pakistan Bureau of Statistics; Textile Commissioner's Organization

The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) aims to increase exports to USD 28 billion by 2023/24. This requires consistent state support and long-term export promotion, according to the association.

The leading foreign customer is the USA. Other important customers include the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. In 2017 and 2018, Germany imported textile materials and goods worth EUR 1 billion from Pakistan.

Machine imports still declining
Imports of textile machinery in 2013/14 amounted still to USD 599 million. In the following three years it was USD 449 million (2014/15), USD 462 million (2015/16) and USD 557 million (2016/17). Imports are not currently showing an upward trend despite the need for modernization. According to the statistics authority, they fell by 42 per cent to USD 325 million in 2017/18. There are still no signs of a recovery in 2018/19 either.

Pakistan: Imports of selected textile machinery (USD million)
HS-Positions 2014 2015 2016 2017
84.45 Spinning machines etc. 230 162 162 246
84.46 Looms 84 73 107 90
84.47 Knitting machines etc. 70 84 65 75
84.48 Auxiliary machinery for
HS headings 84.44 to 84.47
85 70 77 82

Sources: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, UN Comtrade

Business trip to the fifth largest customer of German spinning technology
According to calculations by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), German textile machinery exports to Pakistan increased to EUR 53 million in 2017. The previous year's figure was EUR 48 million, EUR 39 million of which was attributable to spinning machines.

A business trip of German companies from the textile machinery and accessories sectors will take place to Karachi and Lahore from November 11th to 15th 2019. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy will promote and the company SBS Systems for Business Solution will organize the trip (contact: Thomas Nytsch, e-mail: thomasnytsch@sbs-business.com).

Cotton production to be strongly increased
The local cotton production is the base of the textile industry. After India, China and the USA, Pakistan is the fourth largest cotton producer, followed by Brazil and Uzbekistan. Without an increase in local crop yields, the growth of the textile industry is limited. Increased imports of cotton would further reduce the industry's struggling international competitiveness.

In an international comparison, the country is one of the cotton producers with the lowest yields per hectare. Australia, Turkey, China and Brazil form the leading group with about 1,600 to 1,700 kilograms per hectare. Pakistan only reaches 600 to 800 kilograms.

Pakistan: Cotton production
Year Cultivation area
(in hectares)
Production
(in 1,000 bales) 1)
Yield per hectare
(in kilograms)
2013/14 2,086 12,769 774
2014/15 2,961 13,960 802
2015/16 2,902 9,917 582
2016/17 2,489 10,671 730
2017/18 2,699 11,935 752
2018/19 2) 2,500 11,000 748

1) one bale = 170 kilograms, 2) Forecast
Source: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics; research by Germany Trade & Invest

The government has set a production target of around 15 million bales for 2019/20. APTMA believes an increase to 20 million bales is possible by 2023/24. The association assumes that there will be about 2,800 hectares of cultivated land and an increase in yields per hectare to 1,200 kilograms.

Problems with the supply of cotton

Baumwolle wird vor allem in den Provinzen Punjab und Sindh angebaut. Die Baumwollproduktion erreichte 2014/15 noch rund 14 Millionen Ballen. Die Ernte fiel 2015/16 auf unter 10 Millionen und lag 2017/18 bei 12 Millionen Ballen. Die Produktion ist 2018/19 wieder gesunken, ein Wert von etwa 11 Millionen Ballen wird prognostiziert. Als Gründe werden unter anderem Wassermangel, eine schlechte Qualität der Pflanzenschutzmittel und minderwertiges Saatgut genannt. Zudem sei die finanzielle und regulatorische Unterstützung der Regierung unzureichend, so Branchenvertreter.

The local supply could therefore no longer cover the annual cotton demand of the textile industry of 15 to 16 million bales in recent years. Textile manufacturers therefore imported cotton mainly from India and China, about 3 million to 4 million bales a year. However, imports from India have been stopped since February 2019. The background to this is the political tensions and recent military conflicts between the two states.

More information:
Pakistan Pakistan
Source:

Robert Espey, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

Photo: Pixabay
26.02.2019

TURKEY REMAINS AN IMPORTANT MARKET FOR GERMAN TEXTILE MACHINERY

  • Competition from the Far East increases modernization pressure

Turkey is an important market for German manufacturers of textile machinery. However, the textile and clothing industry has a problem: exports have been stagnating for years.

  • Competition from the Far East increases modernization pressure

Turkey is an important market for German manufacturers of textile machinery. However, the textile and clothing industry has a problem: exports have been stagnating for years.

The Turkish textile industry is broadly based: Companies manufacture all intermediate products in the country, including yarns, fibers and fabrics. Production along the entire textile value chain means great sales potential for German suppliers of textile machinery. In fact, Turkey is the second most important export market for German spinning, weaving, textile finishing machines and the like after China, as it can be seen from the figures of the Federal Statistical Office Destatis.Nevertheless, the sector is not a growth market. Apart from a few outliers upwards and downwards, Turkish textile machinery imports have remained at the same level for several years. This is due to the fact that Turkish exports of textiles and clothing are also stagnating. Particularly noticeable: companies benefited only marginally from the weak lira last year.

Textile and apparel industry benefits little from weak lira
Year Turkish exports of clothing and textiles (in US$ billion) Annual change (in %)
2015 26.3 -10.3
2016 26.1 -0.6
2017 26.7 2.1
2018 27.7 3.6

Source: Turkish Statistical Office TÜIK (http://www.tuik.gov.tr)

Increasing pressure from the Far East
Turkish clothing manufacturers are increasingly feeling the effects of competition from the Far East. Despite the high number of informal workers, wages in Turkey have risen to such an extent that they cannot keep up with the low wages of Asian sewing factories. The geographical advantage of Turkish companies over Chinese competitors is at stake because of the new Silk Road and the development of faster transport routes. Free trade agreements that the European Union is currently negotiating with India and South Korea will further increase the pressure on Turkish producers.

Slump in 3rd quarter 2018
In addition, there is the difficult economic situation in the country: the Turkish lira reached a record low, especially in the months of August to October 2018, and commercial banks raised their lending rates. As a result, financing costs for machinery from abroad suddenly increased, orders from Turkey failed to materialize, especially in the third quarter. The German knitting machine manufacturer Mayer & Cie has also noticed this, as Stefan Bühler, who is responsible for the Turkish business, reports: "In the last three months of 2018, the market was virtually dead. In the meantime, however, the industry is gradually recovering.

Akar Textile plans new factory
Announcements about new investments cannot yet be heard at this time. As early as June 2018, Akar Textile (http://www.akartextile.com) announced that it would build a new factory for 47 million Turkish lira (TL) in the municipality of Savur in southeastern Turkey. 3,000 employees are there to become employed. Akar Textile produces for companies such as C&A, Mango and H&M. Only a few months after the announcement of the project, the economic crisis in Turkey deepened in September. The extent to which the turbulence has affected the project implementation is not known.

Technical textiles as a driving force for growth
Far Eastern competition is increasing the pressure to modernize the Turkish textile industry. In the future, industry will have to compete primarily with high-quality products. Growth impulses are currently coming from the sector of technical textiles. According to industry reports, more than 200 small and medium-sized enterprises are already producing technical textiles and nonwovens in Turkey. These textiles and fabrics are being used in the automotive, packaging and cosmetics industries.

In June 2018, the Turkish METYX Group (http://www.metyx.com) invested in its machinery parc. The company is manufacturing technical textiles and has ordered a line of warp knitting machines from the German textile machine manufacturer Karl Mayer. The manufacturer of composite materials is thus increasing its capacity by 12,000 tons of glass and carbon fibers. In recent years, more and more research and development centers have emerged to promote the necessary technology transfer in the industry. The Institute for Technical Textiles at RWTH Aachen University (ITA) founded a research center in Istanbul in October 2016. In the Teknosab industrial zone in Bursa the BUTEKOM research and development center for textile technology was established in 2008. The institute offers training as well as research and development cooperation to and with companies.

However, many medium-sized textile companies often lack the money to invest in modern machinery. The short planning horizon makes an access to research and development more difficult. As a member of the management board of the German-Turkish Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Frank Kaiser has been observing the Turkish business landscape for eight years. He points out that the textile manufacturers, like other medium-sized companies in the country too, often plan in short terms. "In view of the volatile business environment, this is rational," Kaiser explains.

Turkish imports of textile machinery and exchange rate comparison  1)
Year Import from Germany
(in USD million)
Total imports
(in USD million)
Exchange rate
(1 US$ = ?TL)
2009 143 505 1.55
2011 521 1,851 1.67
2013 619 2,211 1.90
2015 382 1,398 2.72
2017 447 1,478 3.65
2018 1) 2) 490 1,774 4.81

1) the slump in the 3rd quarter is not yet visible in the annual figures for 2018; it will not become noticeable until 2019
Sources: UN-Comtrade, TurkStat 2), Bundesbank