Textile Technology section


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Edana: combined effort to ensure a medical and protective nonwovens production

The international association serving the nonwovens and related industries, Edana, Brussels/Belgium, is working closely with the European Commission, the nonwovens supply chain and other players, in order to find solutions to the provision of essential medical and protective equipment.
In cooperation with the European trade association for the medical technology industry including diagnostics MedTech, Brussels/Belgium, Edana is mapping the capacities of meltblown nonwovens in Europe. Focus lies on capacities being or able to be additionally supplied to masks converters. The supply of these resources in the EU is heavily depends on third countries, in particular from Asia. Edana therefore concludes that an European export ban or restriction on medical face masks and personal protective equipment would be potentially counter-productive.
The European Union intends to create a strategic stockpile of medical equipment, such as ventilators, personal protective equipment, reusable masks, vaccines and therapeutics and laboratory supplies. The European Commission will finance 90% of the costs of the stockpiling and will manage the distribution of the equipment to ensure it goes where it is needed most.
Edana intends to gather und providing necessary information to the EU and private companies, in order to accelerate the procurement of medical and protective nonwovens products.


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Herbold Meckesheim: boom in the recycling industry

The supplier of waste disposal and recycling technology Herbold Meckesheim GmbH, Meckesheim/Germany, is receiving extensive incoming orders for 2020 and 2021.
For Germany and France, this increased demand is based on the programs and subsidies of the EU as well as on regional decisions to catch up on obvious backlogs in plastics recycling. Even countries that have exported their waste so far are now converting. This also includes Germany, aside from Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. In addition, a self-sustaining recycling industry has emerged in the USA, Canada and Mexico. In China and Russia, on the other hand, the development of a modern waste management system has begun as well.
Waste and recycling technology is also benefiting from long-term technological trends: Herbold Meckesheim contributes to the development of larger chemical recycling plants in North America and Europe with process solutions that treat waste streams cost-effectively, with consistent quality and at high performance. For the production of higher quality equal to virgin recycled plastic, the company offers optimized washing processes that enable high percentages of recycled plastics to be used in new products. Compared to previous processes, odor reduction and low optical defects caused by foreign color or residual contamination have been achieved. In the recycling of PET and polyolefin bottles, it has again been possible to develop energy-efficient shredding and washing systems that produce high quality at low operating costs.


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More information: Herbold Recycling circular economy

Techtextil NA/Texprocess Americas: new date in October

Techtextil North America and Texprocess Americas have been rescheduled and will now take place from October 1-3, 2020, at in Atlanta, GA/USA.
Despite concerns regarding the holidays and year-end processes, the dates provided proved to be the only viable option at the time of the joint events’ postponement inquiry to the Georgia World Congress Center.  All current registrations will be transferred to the October event.


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ITA: platform for sourcing protective masks

In recent days the request for medical masks and protective wear across Europe has risen due to the spread of corona virus.
The Institute of Textile Technology at RWTH Aachen University (ITA), Aachen/Germany, wants to help in providing a connection between demand and supply of protective wear, especially face masks. The ITA has created the NeedMask platform, a non-profit registry for sourcing protective masks in Europe. The aim is to connect those producing masks to those needing them. The ITA is still looking for support from IT partners who want to scale-up the operation of the platform. Please contact Dr. David Schmelzeisen, david.schmelzeisen@ita.rwth-aachen.de.
Need or produce protective masks? For further information: https://www.need-mask.com

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Oerlikon: new thrust pad contacting device for the Baltic crimper

Technological changes have been made to the Baltic crimper thrust pad contacting device from Oerlikon Neumag, a brand of the Manmade Fibers segment of Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland, have resulted in considerably reduced friction in the crimper rolls. This means less wear and fewer metal particles contaminating the crimped staple fibers.
Thrust pads close the gap between the crimper rolls on either side. Normally, these thrust pads are continually pressed – under high pressure – against the sides of the crimper rolls. Wear and metal debris on the thrust pads is the result of this constant contact. The metal debris can contaminate the fibers, something that is particularly undesirable in hygiene applications.
With the new system, the thrust pads are pressed against the rolls with less pressure and then fixed into place. This prevents fibers from being caught and the frictional force between the pressure disk thrust pad and the crimper roll is minimized. Pilot applications have demonstrated that metal debris from the pressure disks thrust pads is dramatically reduced, making them between 3-7 times more durable.

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Texon: responsibility for sustainability and zero waste to newly appointed director

The supplier of high-performance material solutions Texon International Group Ltd., Hong Kong/China, has strengthened its commitment to becoming a zero waste organization by 2025 by raising responsibility for sustainability to director level. Boyd Mulder, who recently joined the Texon Management Team as Group Director for New Product Development & Innovation (NPDI), is now in charge of driving sustainability throughout the entire organization. In his new role, Mulder will have the task of seamlessly embedding sustainability throughout Texon’s value chain and its entire portfolio of material solutions.
Over the next 5 years, Texon will attempt to reduce its carbon footprint by 50%; cut the use of virgin materials by 50%; ensure that 90% of waste is recyclable or reusable; and reduce water usage and waste by 20%. To help deliver these goals, Mulder will lead the global execution of the company’s strategic roadmap for its product and marketing organization. As such, he will work across all Texon locations worldwide but will spend most of his time at the company’s manufacturing facility in Skelton/UK.
Previously, Mulder worked at electronics giant Philips NV, Amsterdam/Netherlands, in senior executive roles for global and regional businesses across 3 continents – before running his own business management consultancy in Hong Kong.

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Devan: antiviral solutions for textiles in fight against corona

Over the past few weeks, the supplier of special chemicals Devan Chemicals NV, Ronse/Belgium, has received a lot of enquiries regarding an antiviral solution for textiles against Sars-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (corona virus).
The company studied enveloped viruses (e.g. H1N1, Corona-types etc.) as well as naked viruses (e.g. Rotavirus). For both virus families BI-OME AV showed very good activity in wet state.
In the first instance, the company wants to focus on professionals who need to stay working such as policemen, logistics workers, shop employees, day-care workers, etc.
A common complication of respiratory viral disease can be a secondary bacterial infection. Devan has solutions which withstand washing while keeping its performance. BI-OME as a liquid product is EU Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR), Turkish BPR and US EPA registered. Depending on the region, commercializing treated articles is subject to additional local registration procedures.
Over 30 tons of chemicals are ready to be shipped throughout the world. Moreover, most distributors have a local inventory standing for immediate use.

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Reifenhäuser: meltblown test lines converted for up to 1 million face masks daily

The machinery and components manufacturer Reifenhäuser Reicofil GmbH & Co. KG, Troisdorf/Germany, has temporarily converted 2 of its test plants due to the corona pandemic. The lines installed in the nonwovens technology center, which are otherwise exclusively used for research and development as well as customer trials, have been producing meltblown material for the production of face masks for one week. This is the company’s response to the current emergency in the supply of medical protective material.
Until further notice, the meltblown lines will be operated in 4-shift operation 24/7. The daily output is sufficient for up to 1 million face masks. Trial operations will be almost completely suspended during this period.
The meltblown material from the nonwovens technology center is already sold out for the next 5 weeks. As no German or European producer for further processing could be found so far, the nonwovens fabric is going to a Vietnamese manufacturer of face masks. However, Reifenhäuser continues to look for opportunities to strengthen the local supply during this crisis. The company is in close contact with associations, authorities and other companies.

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Gerber: supporting companies transitioning to PPE manufacturing

Based on a successful initiative in China, the supplier of integrated software solutions Gerber Technology, Tolland, CT/USA, announced the creation of the Gerber PPE Task Force and Resource Team to support their global customers and partners as they work to increase their production or transition to manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE). More than 300 manufacturers, including major global companies, rely on Gerber’s advanced software, hardware solutions and expertise to produce masks and other PPE. Over the last few months, Gerber has helped several customers transition into producing protective masks and other much needed medical supplies including Taglio Marchesini, Bologna/Italy, and Shanghai Challenge Textile Co., Ltd., Shanghai/China.
The Gerber PPE Resource Team is available to support PPE manufacturing including:
•    implementing pre-defined patterns and markers or defining fabric/sewing requirements ,
•    helping with the setup of cutter parameters specific to the selected fabrics,
•    providing training, software, equipment and service technicians to ramp up production ,
•    changing over current production lines to the production of PPE,
•    connecting supply and demand for PPE via our global ecosystem of customers and partners,
•    introducing existing PPE manufacturers to those converting to PPE production.

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Lenzing: suspension of 2020 guidance due to COVID-19 crisis

As a result of the global corona crisis, the producer of cellulosic fibers, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, expects, based on recent developments, a negative impact on its textile sales volume. The potential impact cannot yet be reliably estimated, as it strongly depends on the duration of the crisis as well as its further effects on the global economy and textile markets. Consequently, Lenzing suspends its result forecast for 2020 as disclosed on March 12, 2020, when it expected the result for 2020 to be below the level of 2019. In order to mitigate a potentially stronger than expected decline in earnings, Lenzing has already started to implement cost saving measures across its sites globally.

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