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Interview with Kristy Meade

Face2Face
Kristy Meade
Kristy Meade
Show Director-Technical Textiles, Sewn Products, Equipment and Technology
Messe Frankfurt Inc
Messe Frankfurt Inc

The buzz words are automation, robotics & integration of technologies

Texprocess Americas, organised by Messe Frankfurt, Inc. every two years, is one of the best platforms for manufacturers to present technologies to develop quality textiles and related material. It is a reputed trade show for technical textiles, nonwovens, machinery, sewn products and equipment. Its third edition was held from 3 to 5 May 2016, with another leading trade show, Techtextil North America. Kristy Meade, Show Director-Technical Textiles, Sewn Products, Equipment and Technology at Messe Frankfurt Inc. details various aspects of the show in an exclusive interview with Fibre2Fashion.com

What is the size of the technical textiles industry?

Overall, the technical textiles segment accounts for 37 per cent of domestic textile manufacturing, a sharp transition from the 25 per cent it accounted for in 1998. According to State of the US Technical Textiles Industry by Steve Warner, the domestic market growth for technical textiles in 2015 is estimated at 2.7 per cent. The estimated US market value of technical textiles in 2015 is $32.5 billion.

What are the latest technological innovations taking place in the textile industry?

The buzz words I continue to hear are automation, robotics and integration of technologies. You saw this during the show as you visit the exhibits and hear about them during the symposiums. On visiting Henderson Sewing's booth, you find several robots like Baxter and Yaskawa Moto-Man creating products from an auto panel to a banner. There are over 100 companies who showcased a variety of new products.

Were there special feature areas on the trade show floor?

Texprocess Americas had special feature areas that included pavilions from Germany, China and Taiwan, Graduate Student Poster Program, Cool Zone, Global Booth and Lounge and the SEAMS Pavilion. The third annual Graduate Student Poster Program featured current graduate students who have done specific research in the field of technical textiles, nonwovens and sewn products or equipments. Schools represented in the Graduate Poster Program are North Carolina State University, Marmara University (Kadikoy, Istanbul, Turkey), Georgia Institute of Technology and UC Davis. The top five posters chosen from industry judges were presented during the symposium. Visitors had the ability to explore through graduate student area on the show floor. The Cool Zone was a special feature area developed by TC², showcasing the newest technologies. There were companies like Simparel, Kessler, A&E Schmetz, DAP, Tukatech and more. Participation in the Cool Zone was in addition to their exhibit space.

Which markets are the most accepting of latest technological innovations?

Automotive and transportation segments are quickly adapting the latest technologies. But the apparel industry is seeing companies like Under Armour, Nike, Adidas and Coleman create prototypes of manufacturing plants of the future.

What are the best markets for companies dealing in textile technology globally? Which are the emerging ones?

Apparel is still the largest market, with transportation, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and medical being key areas. The wearable technology segment continues to have a high profile.

From which country is the representation usually the strongest?

The base of our attendance is North America. We have continued to see growth from Central and South America as these are the areas of interest to our Texprocess Americas exhibitors.

Did any new countries participate in the last edition?

This year, there were exhibitors from over 33 countries - up 25 per cent from 2014, representing a multitude of product categories. We had first-time exhibitors from Israel, Russia and Turkey this edition. We had an increase in participation from Taiwan, India and Italy.

Which countries participating contingent is the biggest?

The United States of America is still our largest contingent - both for visitors and exhibitors.

Please brief us on the major market drivers for 2016:

Major market drivers for 2016 are: • Weather conditions, in the case of those supplying technical textiles for outdoor applications such as awning, marine, signage and outerwear • Government regulations and funding availability in major impact areas such as military, environment, transportation and protection • Production costs (fuel, labour, equipment) • Technology transfer (ability to adapt applications for technical textiles to exploit emerging market applications) • Trade agreements (passage of TPP and TTIP)
Published on: 14/05/2016

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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