Textile Technology section
Trevira: declining sales in 2019
As the global economic conditions deteriorated in 2019, the manufacturer of polyester fibers Trevira GmbH, Bobingen/Germany, saw a decline in new orders in all segments of both business units (fibers and filaments). With total sales of approx. €208 million in 2019, this result was below expectations.
However, in spite of the difficult situation, 2019 was also a year in which Trevira was able to take important steps to set the course for the future: in April 2019, Trevira was able to put the new twin warping machine in Guben/Germany into operation and, in addition, new POY spinning machines were also started up. Funds were also invested in the fiber business in Bobingen/Germany. In November, Trevira’s 2nd in-house converting line was successfully launched. Moreover, in order to expand the bi-component fiber business, a new spinning plant is now also available.
Social demands for more sustainability concerning the use of plastic have led to rethinking among customers and consumers. Here, Trevira relies on various processes to recover reusable materials. In post-consumer recycling, filaments and fibers are produced from re-granulated PET bottles. Using an agglomeration facility, reusable materials can be recovered from production waste and processed further to create new high-quality products.
Overall, a continuing trend in favor of special fibers and a greater demand for PLA or bio-based fibers can be recorded. The demand for antimony-free raw materials in the fiber sector is also developing positively. In 2020, the polycondensation capacities in the Trevira plant in Bobingen will be fully utilized.
Also in 2020, the enhancement of synergy effects is expected, which result from the recent purchase of the Italian polyester filament manufacturer Sinterama SpA, Sandigliano, by Indorama Ventures PCL (IVL), Bangkok/Thailand, the owner of Trevira. Numerous new and further developments, particularly in the area of sustainable products and the Trevira CS product range, represent great potential.
YKK: new zipper collection made from ocean plastic
Working to address the problem of marine plastic, the manufacturer of fastening products, YKK Corp, Tokyo/Japan, one of the world’s largest producers of zippers, has announced its new Natulon Ocean Sourced collection of zippers made from ocean bound plastic. This premium collection of zippers is made from plastic waste that has been collected within 50 km of the coastline of Sri Lanka.
The upcycling of ocean bound plastic into Natulon Ocean Sourced zippers emits less CO2 and requires less energy to produce than zippers made out of virgin polyester. Indistinguishable from zippers made of virgin polyester, they offer the same strength, durability, and functionality as conventional zippers.
YKK’s collection of sustainable trims is aimed at reducing carbon emissions, toxic chemicals, and water use. In addition to Natulon Ocean Sourced, the collection features the GreenRise zipper, the first in the industry to use plant-based polyester, thereby achieving a 30% reduction in petroleum usage, organic cotton zippers, and the original Natulon zipper, which recycles approx. 3,600 plastic bottles (29 g/bottle) per 10,000 zippers (60 cm length).
Also included in the collection are zippers made using the company’s Eco-Dye dyeing technology, which has completely eliminated the usage of water in the dyeing process, and environmentally friendly snaps and buttons made using Acro-Plating, a new plating technology that uses fewer resources to manufacture and does not use harmful plating chemicals.
The Natulon Ocean Sourced collection will debut at Ispo Munich from January 26-29, 2020 in Munich/Germany and The Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show from January 29-31, 2020 in Denver, CO/USA.
Autoneum: revenue growth in a declining market 2019
Thanks to numerous new ramp-ups and the favorable portfolio of vehicle models supplied, the automotive supplier Autoneum Management AG, Winterthur/Switzerland, grew organically in 2019 by 2.5% in a declining market. Adjusted for currency effects, group revenue amounted to almost CHF 2.3 billion, 0.7% higher compared to the previous year.
The Business Groups (BG) North America (+7.2%), Asia (+8.1%) and SAMEA (South America, Middle East and Africa) (+32.7%) not only outperformed the negative market trend in each case, but also reported higher revenues compared to the previous year. In Europe only, the drop in automobile production caused a decline in revenue of the corresponding BG by -5.6% in local currencies.
North America improved its revenue primarily driven by various production ramp-ups of German and Japanese vehicle manufacturers. Despite considerably fewer vehicles being produced in Asia, the BG increased its revenue thanks to high-volume and new programs of European and Asian automobile manufacturers. BG SAMEA continued its growth course. This was mainly due to high-volume export programs in Turkey and South Africa as well as much higher production volumes compared to the previous year in the key SAMEA market of Brazil.
Clotech 2020: call for papers for Clotech and Doctoral School
Under the heading “Innovative Technologies for Development and Assembling of Functional Textile Products”, the Clotech 2020 congress will take place from September 10-11, 2020 in Dresden/Germany. Hosted by the Institute of Textile Machinery and High Performance Material Technology (ITM), Dresden, the event takes place biennially.
Conference topics will be:
• advanced materials and technologies in the production of clothing,
• directions for innovation and development of clothing,
• new trends in fashion, design and construction of clothing,
• comfort and well-being,
• protective clothing,
• therapeutic clothing,
• intelligent textiles and clothing (textronics, PCM, sensors, actuators, etc.),
• mass customization and rapid prototyping,
• clothing testing and modelling,
• thermal manikins,
• computer techniques in designing and making up the clothing,
• marketing and competitiveness of textiles in the European market,
• standardization and certification of textiles and clothing.
Applicants are asked to submit abstracts on the above subjects to be considered for presentation. Abstract submission is February 15, 2020. One author can present one oral presentation and one poster.
Clotech will also host a supplementary event: the Doctoral School for Innovative Clothing Technology on September 9, 2020 in Dresden. The doctoral school is a place for active exchange between PhD students and experts with time for discussions. All PhD students are motivated to present their research.
For further information: www.clotech.eu
Techtera: new European economic textile interest group launched
The innovation cluster for textiles and flexible materials Techtera, Lyon/France, has co-founded a European Economic Interest Group with 5 other European textile clusters: Ateval and AEI Tèxtils (Spain), Clutex (Czech Republic), Po.in.tex (Italy) and Sachsen!Textil (Germany).
The Group was officially launched in Lyon on November 21, 2019 in the presence of all the founding members, European textile clusters, the correspondent of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, which supports the procedure, and representatives from French companies.
This organization, named EU-Textile 2030, was born thanks to international cooperation. It was funded between 2017 and 2019 by the European COSME program, a program for small and medium-sized enterprises. French companies have already benefited from financial support, in order to participate in missions to Colombia, South Africa, Israel, Japan and Taiwan.
Mahlo: cooperation with universities in Bangladesh
As guest speakers at lectures at the Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTEX), and the Northern University Bangladesh, both based in Dhaka, representatives of the manufacturer of measuring, control and automation systems Mahlo GmbH & Co. KG, Saal a.d. Donau/Germany, introduced the students to the requirements and solutions of modern textile production. In the future, the connection to one of the most important textile markets in the world is to be further strengthened.
Lectures covered how modular process control can be the answer to current challenges in the industry, such as rising costs for raw materials and personnel. In the age of
Industry 4.0, data-based production is indispensable and Mahlo has therefore developed the mSmart digitalization concept. Since all Mahlo machines are networked in the mSmart environment, the user receives all the essential data at a glance, anytime and anywhere. This enables a quick reaction based on the latest values. Process control thus not only helps to save resources, but also to make the machinery easier to handle.
Synthomer: European Commission clearance for Omnova acquisition
The specialty chemicals company Synthomer plc, Harlow/UK, one of the major suppliers of aqueous polymers, has received conditional clearance from the European Commission regarding its proposed acquisition of Omnova Solutions Inc., Beachwood, OH/USA, which develops, manufactures and markets polymers, dispersions, elastomers and other specialty chemicals.
Following its Phase 1 investigation, the European Commission concluded that the transaction, as modified by the commitments offered by Synthomer, does not raise any competition concerns. The commitments require divestment of Synthomer’s small VP Latex business in Germany. The VP Latex business represented less than 0.5% of Synthomer’s 2018 sales volume. Whilst financially immaterial, the sale process must be finalized prior to the closing of Synthomer’s acquisition of Omnova.
Synthomer has already received a number of expressions of interest for this business and will now proceed with the sale process, with completion of the acquisition of Omnova expected late Q1/2020.
Low & Bonar: new underlay flooring product with honeycomb technology
The producer of technical textiles Low & Bonar Plc, London/UK, has signed a license agreement with the supplier of thermoplastic honeycomb technology EconCore N.V., Leuven/Belgium, for the use of their honeycomb technology.
Low & Bonar launched a new underlay flooring product at the Domotex trade show in Hanover/Germany, on January 10-13, 2020. The product, Colcore Sonic, uses EconCore’s continuous, high-volume production process for lightweight thermoplastic honeycomb sandwich panels. The underlay offers a unique combination of strength and acoustic performance.
The floor underlay product is deliverable on a roll, rather than as a rigid panel, making it very easy to handle, store and install. Colcore Sonic is lightweight and thin but with a high compression strength. It has very good soundproofing and levelling characteristics. It can be used with a range of hard flooring types such as vinyl click systems, flexible vinyl, laminate, hardwood and ceramic flooring.
Independent testing found that Colcore reduced impact sound by 20 dB and airborne sound transmission is 57 dB, both defined as the noise perceived in a room below. Radiated walking sound, defined as walking noise in the same room, registered at 56.4 Sone (a unit of loudness), considered to be a comfortable sound level, making the product suitable for flooring of both commercial and residential buildings.
DNFI: new Chair and Vice-Chair
The Discover Natural Fiber Initiative (DNFI) elected Elke Hortmeyer (photo) as Chair and Dalena White as Vice-Chair of the organization at their annual meeting in Frankfurt/Germany on January 8, 2020.
Hortmeyer is Head of Communications and International Relations for the Bremen Cotton Exchange (BBB), Bremen/Germany, and has served the cotton industry for almost 20 years. She has been active in DNFI since its founding in 2010, is a member of the foreign trade committee of the Bremen Chamber of Commerce, and she serves on the ICAC panel on Social, Environmental & Economic Performance of Cotton (SEEP). She succeeds the outgoing Chair of DNFI, Terry Townsend.
White is Secretary General of the International Wool Textile Organization (IWTO) in Brussels/Belgium. She has participated actively in DNFI since 2016 when she joined the IWTO. She has a background in textile manufacturing and apparel sourcing.
The DNFI was created in January 2010 as an outgrowth of the International Year of Natural Fibres 2009, declared by the United Nations General Assembly. The purposes of DNFI are to advance the interests of all natural fiber industries and to encourage increased use of natural fibers in the world economy. DNFI is a voluntary association of individuals and organizations with interests in promoting natural fibers through collaboration, consultation and cooperation.
(photo: Bremer Baumwollbörse)