Source: The Stitch Times

IMB 2009- World of Textile Processing trade show in Cologne was a major success defying doubts raised by economic downturn when it came out successfully with new products and innovations, as expected by international business visitors. Even though the size of the display area had shrunk by 20% of its last edition, the show retained its relevance and leadership as the showcase for high-end, cutting-edge technology in the apparel and technical textile segment. For most of the companies showcasing their products, faster time-to-market, better quality and lower cost had been the drivers behind their latest developments.

As IMB is a well established platform for all technologies and services used to make up flexible materials - it was able to attract a large number of suppliers and buyers alike, despite a gloomy global economic backdrop.

A total of 509 companies from 34 countries showcased their products and innovations to the international trade visitors at the IMB show. A total of 182 exhibitors took part while 309 exhibitors were from other countries. Of the roughly 20,000 visitors from 100 countries that were registered for IMB 2009, more than 50 percent came from Outside Germany Though the turnout of visitors from European countries (including Germany), however, remained stable, the turn-out from Asian apparel manufacturing hubs, like India, was quite low. This low turn-out was expected due to the ongoing global downturn.

Thomas Willing, Managing Director of Avery Dennison Central Europe GmbH, was very impressed by IMB 2009 : It was simply a super trade fair, a complete success. We welcomed many more trade visitors than in 2006". Akshay Kapur, Director, Radnik, a first-time visitor to IMB from India, was equally impressed. "There is a lot of new technologies on display. Some of them may be too futuristic for India, but they do give an idea of the things to come and that can prepare us for the new trends. I feel more industry people should have come from India".

The products on display included plants, machines, processes, services and accessories for the clothing industry, design, cutting, CAD/CAM, information technology, distribution logistics, material flow, quality control, joining, sewing, embroidery, product preparation, textile finishing, material flow, knitting technology, technical textiles/materials, energy, air-conditioning, disposal, recycling, R&D, leather processing (shoe manufacturing) and new areas like RFID, textile logistics, packaging. Textile machines were compre-hensively covered which impressed the international trade visitors. The business visitors expressed great satisfaction with IMB 2009 on the whole: more than 72 percent of them stated they were satisfied with this years product ranges, while 65 percent said they also are planning to visit the next IMB, and around 90 percent would recommend a visit to IMB to good business partners.

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Originally published in The Stitch Times; June 2009