Textile Technology section
Indorama: increased sales volume in 2020
The management team of chemical company Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. (IVL), Bangkok/Thailand, used 2020 to “prepare for growth” by re-organizing the business, building strong leadership teams at every vertical.
IVL full year sales volumes for 2020 grew 18% to 14.08 million tons. The EBITDA declined by 3% to US$1.11 billion for 2020. The company has meanwhile created a portfolio that is resilient, sustainable and positioned for growth.
With 123 operating sites in 33 countries the company is well positioned to reap the benefits from consumptions recovery in 2021 in all 3 segments and the various businesses therein. With the rollout of vaccines and easing of Covid 19 restrictions, a rebound in polyester fiber demand is expected, consequently improving PX, PTA and MEG demand and spreads, as well as demand for the Lifestyle Fibers. Increased mobility is expected to improve demand for Mobility Fibers, while higher gasoline demand is expected to improve MTBE spread. Demand for the PET, Hygiene Fibers, and HVA IOD portfolios are expected to remain robust.
Photo: Aloke Lohia (CEO of Indorama)
INDA: 7 new Board members
The Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry, INDA, Cary, NC/USA, announced the membership election of seven industry leaders to serve on its Board of Directors for a three-year term. These accomplished professionals represent a cross-section of INDA membership and bring a high level of expertise and insight to the management of the association:
• Richard Altice - President and CEO, NatureWorks
• Ashish Diwanji - Ph.D., President, Lydall Performance Materials, Inc.
• Lee Ellen Dreschler - Senior Vice President Corporate R&D, Procter & Gamble Co.
• Barbara Lawless - Business Director, Nonwoven Medical Fabrics, Precision Fabrics Group, Inc.
• David K. Smith - Senior Vice President Engineered Performance Products Autovation, Milliken & Company
• Mike Tuck - VP Global Product Supply, Procurement, and Manufacturing, Owens and Minor Products Div.
• Robert Weilminster - Executive Vice President & General Manager, Hygiene – US & Canada, Berry Global
INDA’s Board of Directors provides strategic stewardship for the association. The Board provides oversight of INDA’s finances and direction for its operating plans as well as counsel to the President to organize and perform activities that contribute to the success of the nonwovens industry and its members.
Oerlikon: good results for 2020 despite Covid-19
In an extraordinarily challenging year 2020, the technology group Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland, delivered resilient results. While the Manmade Fibers Division delivered stable results, the Surface Solutions Division felt the impacts of pandemic-weakened end markets, particularly in the aerospace sector.
Sales of Manmade Fibers Division decreased slightly by 4.0% to CHF 1.061 billion. After securing record wins for filament equipment at the beginning of 2020 (total value of more than CHF 600 million), the Division proved to be highly resilient for the remainder of the year, even after the outbreak of Covid-19. The nonwovens business benefited from the unanticipated surge in demand for protective wear and masks. Year-on-year, order intake decreased slightly by 2.3% to CHF 1.097 billion compared to CHF 1.122 billion in 2019. Operational EBIT for the Manmade Fibers division in 2020 was CHF 120 million (2019: CHF 119 million), or 11.3% of sales (2019: 10.8%).
Sales and orders for man-made fibers systems both exceeded CHF 1 billion for the year, and the Division has full order books for filaments and nonwovens equipment for the next 2 years and the books are being filled into 2023.
Filtech: virtual support for filtration community
Due to the continued dynamic development of the corona pandemic, the Filtech trade fair for the filtration industry will be postponed by 1 year to March 8-10, 2022. The event, which is made up of a combination of trade show and congress with numerous scientists, research institutes and leading international suppliers of technologies for clean, uncontaminated air, offers extensive expertise that is especially important in times of the corona pandemic. Almost all exhibitors have already confirmed their spaces at Filtech 2022.
Demand for solutions for filtration and separation of all types of media also exists in the meantime. Therefore, Filtech has launched the Innovation Guide (filtech.com/exhibition/innovation-guide): an extensive range of products and services with high relevance for all filtration tasks is presented online. In addition, the website also provides an overview of all trade show products and presentations by participating companies and institutes.
Elevate: membership of Sustainable Apparel Coalition
Joining more than 250 global brands, retailers, and manufacturers, as well as government, non-profit environmental organizations, and academic institutions, the provider of advanced textile solutions, Elevate Textiles Inc., Charlotte, NC/USA, has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), San Francisco, CA/USA. The move will include Elevate brands American & Efird (A&E), Burlington, Cone Denim, Gütermann and Safety Components. The members of the SAC are collectively committed to improving supply chain sustainability in the apparel, footwear, and textile industry.
In its relationship with SAC, Elevate will contribute both data and resources to support the Higg Index, a tool which its brands have been using since 2014, including the more recent addition of independently verified self-audits. The Higg Index is an indicator-based suite of tools that measures sustainability performance and drives supply chain transparency and decision making that enables suppliers, manufacturers, brands, and retailers to better evaluate materials, products, facilities, and processes based on environmental performance, social labor practices, and product design choices.
Elevate has also established its 2025 Sustainability Goals focused on sustainably sourced fibers, reduced water consumption and reduction in greenhouse gases. Furthermore, the company is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, upholding the highest principles and working in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It also contributes towards, among others, the ZDHC Program and the UN CEO Water Mandate.
The Lycra Company: flexibility and comfort with shape retention
Comfort and the performance of a super-stretch with the look of authentic denim fabric is presented with the new collection of high-elasticity denim garments from Naveena Denim Mills, Karachi/Pakistan. This can be achieved by using the elastane fibers Lycra and Lycra T400 from the provider of fiber and technology solutions The Lycra Company, Wilmington, DE/USA.
Wraptech 2.0 is a tri-core technology fabric that combines the high stretch of Lyca fiber with the high recovery and low shrinkage of Lycra T400 fiber. Denim made from the smart-stretch yarn demonstrates good power, low growth, and a much lower compression force than typical high stretch denim. The same washes and finishes can be achieved as with non-stretch denim fabrics.
According to test conducted by The Lycra Company, fabrics made from Wraptech 2.0 perform better in terms of growth, recovery and shrinkage than many other fabrics with the same elasticity level.
Spinnova/Suzano: 50/50 JV for commercial scale sustainable fiber production
An estimated €22 million investment will be made by material innovation company Spinnova Oy, Jyväskylä/Finland, and wood pulp producer Suzano SA, Salvador/Brazil, to build the first commercial scale Spinnova production facility in Finland. The total investment, including all needed infrastructure such as real estate, is estimated to be some €50 million.
Spinnova’s sustainable fiber, created out of wood and waste without the use of harmful chemicals, will be available for global textile brands in 2022. The new, industrial scale production unit will be located in Jyväskylä. Production will be managed and operated by a new joint venture (JV) company owned 50/50 by the 2 companies.
In the JV, Spinnova will be the exclusive technology provider, while Suzano will ensure the supply of sustainably produced micro-fibrillated cellulose obtained from eucalyptus planted in Brazil. With a process that uses no harmful chemicals and 99% less water than the cotton value chain, the fiber produced this way creates minimal CO2 emissions, is quickly biodegradable and contains no microplastics. The Spinnova technology enables textile fiber production out of wood but also from textile waste or agricultural waste such wheat or barley straw.
Further, the H&M Group, Stockholm/Sweden, has announced that it has joined the group of brands in a partnership with Spinnova. Spinnova materials’ cradle to gate emissions are considerably less than those of cotton, and the fiber already works well in blends with other natural fibers.
DITF: 100 year of textile research
In 1921, the cornerstone was laid in Reutlingen/Germany, with the foundation of the German Research Institute for the Textile Industry for the German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf (DITF), Denkendorf/Germany, which today is the largest textile research center in Europe.
100 year ago, the new institution quickly met its goal of supporting the domestic industry with independent research. With the technical center as a teaching institute, the testing office as a service provider and the research institute as a source of ideas, the Reutlingen institute made a significant contribution to the economic success of the German textile industry in the following decades. Over the years, further locations were established in Stuttgart/Germany, and Denkendorf, which merged in Denkendorf in 1979 to become the German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research.
Today, the DITF conduct research on the entire textile value chain, including corporate processes and business models. The DITF work on an interdisciplinary basis: chemists, biologists, mechanical engineers, process engineers, cyberneticists, computer scientists and economists collaborate in researching all textile topics of the future. They are involved in regional, national and international networks. Today, the DITF are the innovation engine of the German economy, especially for technical textiles and medical textiles.
With its innovations, the DITF primarily support small and medium-sized enterprises that do not have their own research department. Specialized events, often in cooperation with other institutes, ensure knowledge transfer to various industries. Service offerings such as a wide range of textile testing services, prototype construction and a pilot factory complement the DITF's range of services. In 2001, the subsidiary ITV Denkendorf Produktservice GmbH (ITVP) is founded, which successfully manufactures medical precursors for industrial partners.
For research on an industrial scale, the DITF is continuously expanding its pilot plants. In 2014, for example, the High-Performance Fiber Center (HPFC) was built, one of the world's most modern facilities for the development of high-performance fibers.
ITMA 2023: new chapter for textile reinforcement structures
Stand space application for the world’s largest textile and garment technology exhibition ITMA 2023 will open on March 3, 2021. It will be held in Milan/Italy from June 8-14, 2023.
Themed Transforming the World of Textiles, ITMA 2023 will feature 20 chapters. A new chapter on machinery for textile reinforcement structures for composites, auxiliary machinery and accessories, has been created to address the needs of various industries such as aerospace, automotive, defence and medical. Included in the chapter are:
• machines for the production and treatment of special fibers, such as carbon, glass and aramid fibers,
• filament winding machines,
• fiber spreading machines,
• tape laying machines, fiber placement lines,
• coating and impregnation machines for prepreg production,
• other machines for the production of reinforcement structures,
• special testing equipment for textile reinforcement structures,
• auxiliary machinery and accessories for machines for textile reinforcement structures.
Further reflecting current industry demands and needs, the ITMA 2023 product index has been updated to feature equipment for textile recycling, such as textile sorting systems and chemical recycling technology.
The chapter on software and automation for design, data monitoring, processing and integrated production has been expanded to include digital platforms for textile and clothing production, procurement of textile materials and B2C platforms for retail. There is also a bigger range of solutions for automation of production processes, and tracking and tracing of products.
Intertextile Shanghai/Yarn Expo: spring editions to be postponed
The spring editions of the 3 fairs – Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics, Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles and Yarn Expo Spring – that were due to take place in Shanghai/China from March 10-12, 2021 will be postponed, with a new date to be announced shortly. The decision has been made to comply with local authority guidelines, and after careful evaluation and discussion with relevant stakeholders.