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ITMA – a great success for Shima Seiki
Nov '11
Despite having fewer exhibitors and a fewer number of visitors than the previous show in Münich four years ago, the 2011 edition of the International Exhibition of Textile Machinery (ITMA 2011) in Barcelona ended with results that far exceeded expectations for Shima Seiki.

Considering the current global economy and the fact that an overwhelming majority of textile production is located in China, the venue location of Barcelona, Spain did not offer consolation for concerns initially raised regarding cost-effectiveness of exhibiting at ITMA.

Despite these seemingly unfavorable conditions, Shima Seiki, having strong interests remaining in Europe including Spain and other markets outside of East Asia, elected to exhibit, not to cater to any specific market, but to pay homage to the traditions of ITMA as a showcase for new technology.

With "Solutions for Diversity" as its exhibit theme, Shima Seiki presented a range of products that reflected the dichotomy of the flat knitting machine market. Anticipating the ITMA visitor profile to include both high-volume export-oriented factories as well as manufacturers catering to local consumer markets, Shima exhibited a balanced cross-section of its entire lineup in both shaping and WHOLEGARMENT applications.

Moreover, Shima Seiki took the opportunity to demonstrate its role as leading innovator by unveiling an impressive number of first-time exhibits in the form of new models, gauges and prototypes. In fact, of the 13 models exhibited, 11 were new exhibits.

Some noteworthy developments included the world's first flat knitting machine capable of shaping in 21 gauge, and a V-bed prototype machine equipped with two additional loop presser beds. All this was in sharp contrast with the rest of the exhibitors in the flat knitting sector, some of whom were first-time participants, but whose stands were essentially devoid of new technology.

Shima's efforts certainly seem to have paid off, with a higher-than-expected number of sales, prospective sales and inquiries. In fact, the total number of such inquiries were almost twice the number expected, resulting in more than twoand- a-half times the number of inquiries obtained at ITMA Münich. In addition, these inquiries were high not only in quantity but in quality as well, with a majority of them being "serious" to "very serious" prospects.

A steady flow of visitors to the Shima Seiki booth throughout the exhibition period was a pleasant surprise considering the fact that traffic usually tapers off after the weekend rush at ITMAs. In fact there were more visitors to the Shima booth on Tuesday and Wednesday than there were on Sunday. A balanced exhibit attracted considerable interest toward both shaping and WHOLEGARMENT machines.

A notable increase in interest for the SDS-ONE APEX3 design system more than doubled the number of inquiries from ITMA 2007. This can be attributed to customers' realization of their increasing need for product planning and design for consumer markets. Demonstrations on were almost completely booked throughout the show, due to special interest in the photo-realism provided by virtual samples, by which Shima is advocating reduced sample-making.

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