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Five major trends observed in ITMA 2019: UCMTF

Oct '19
ITMA 2019, the trendsetting textile and garment technology platform where the industry converges every four years to explore fresh ideas, effective solutions and collaborative partnerships for business growth, concluded in Barcelona in June this year. The French Textile Machinery Manufacturers' Association – UCMTF – observed 5 major trends during the show.

The first trend seen at ITMA was the demand for eco-responsibility which comes from the final consumer. Since ITMA, a study published in September 2019, by the French Fashion Institute, including a survey of 5000 European (France, Germany and Italy) and American consumers has shown

high demands and expectations for a eco-responsible fashion. Raw materials have to be natural or eco friendly, recycled products are welcome, the production process at least partly local. What is really missing, the study shows, is enough supply of these products. Due to their understanding of their responsibilities and the pressure from customers, many producers and retailers have made a point of doing more than is required by law and acknowledge a commitment to all stakeholders.

One of the most efficient way to save energy is adapting servomotors which can be used in a close-loop control system to correct any speed deficiency and save energy. At the same time, it enhances the quality of the production process. For example, Nsc Schlumberger, the global specialists in textile machines for processing long staple fibres such as wool and wool-like fibres. has introduced the Era combing machine in a multi-servomotor drive design.

With this new drive, most of the settings will be possible via the main control screen. The GC chain gill also benefits from additional axes driven by servomotors which allow more settings on the main control screen. All these new servomotor drives will allow more precise settings than using standard gearboxes which will enhance the textile quality. Furthermore these new drives and technology allow recipes to be saved on each machine. Data exchange between machines will be possible through a Manufacturing Execution System (MES – Industry 4.0), as is remote access to the machines in case of incidents through an ethernet connection.

A second trend observed was that the textile industry is moving forward towards Industry 4.0. It requires more and more sensors which Fil Control provides due to its 30 years of experience in the yarn sensors and yarn cutter industry. After 5 years of development from Fil Control R&D team, the ring spinning market is now ready to welcome the Motion Reflective Sensor. The company was very pleased to see the high demand in their MRS-P speed sensors for ring spinning machinery that allows monitoring, controlling and optimising the yarn manufacturer productivity for better quality at lower cost.

The new Motion Yarn Tension sensor developed for tyre and carpet yarn twisting attracted many yarn manufacturers that were looking for many years for a reliable product with homogenous output signal sensors. This proven quality allowed Fil control to sign multiple contracts.

Superba, the global leader in the treatment of carpet yarn, expanded its area of application. The new Superba B403 automatic winder was marked a real technological breakthrough. With its individual spindle motorisation drive, combined with a single tension sensor per position, it enables a constant tension winding process, a very accurate bobbin length measuring as well as a unique quality control for each yarn position. It opens up new opportunities in terms of winding quality. Connected through cloud computing to the new Vandewiele Texconnect supervision system, the B403 is part of the Factory 4.0 concept.

It provides readily-available data on yarn tension to supply the predictive maintenance and reduce yarn waste allowing manufacturers to make the highest quality carpets at the most economic prices. As for the new multi-layer hot-air heat-setting line DHS3, it provides an unequalled level of evenness and a highly homogenous fixation characteristic to the yarn. This new line, introduced as a complementary process to the well known pressurised saturated steam heat setting line TVP3, enables the carpet manufacturer to explore new properties for different types of fibres with a high energy saving and a reduced floor space.

A software to estimate very precisely their own annual savings (water, energy, chemicals), was offered to its customers by Alliance Machines. The dyeing and finishing machinery manufacturer, with its various high technology dyeing and finishing equipments, and particularly an integrated drying device installed on the Rotora beam rotating dyeing machine, has shown its creativity to develop new processes and to propose innovative solutions. The customers also duly appreciated the possibility to explore deeply inside the range of machines thanks to virtual reality system with 3D lenses.

Also for the finishing and nonwovens factories, Dollfus & Muller introduced during ITMA Barcelona its improved compacting felt for knit finishing with major innovations. The compacting felt quality brings a special care to the fabrics due to its smooth surface, has an excellent guiding and the best compacting rate in relation with its exclusive compacting felt design. Its sanforising palmer felts are ideal for denim producers. At ITMA, the company showed its proven durable Sanfor felts. Furthermore, Dollfus & Muller displayed its durable printing dryer belts and introduced its transfer printing felt. The printing felt is a strong felt with a smooth non-marking surface.

Recycling of textile wastes and post consumer goods was the third trend. At ITMA 2019, Laroche had a very good attendance on its booth with the usual split between North America, Europe and Asia. The surprise came from an unusual large number of visitors from Russia and neighbouring countries.

Laroche displayed an Airlay type 'Flexiloft 2600' with improved web uniformity and weight rang, which can run on all types of fibre (synthetics, natural, recycled,etc) blends and solid particles (foam chips, plastics, wood chips). This allows making smart products from renewable resources and from wastes that are otherwise discarded. The company also displayed a tearing machine type 'Jumbo 2000' for high capacity recycling of all types of textile wastes including post-consumer clothing and carpet wastes. As a major player in textile wastes recycling technologies, Laroche sees a strong trend to recycle more and more post-consumer wastes (from clothing, mattresses, carpets) whilst industrial waste recycling remains a hot topic. With a long experience in recycling technologies and a technical centre equipped not only with recycling machines but also with Airlay nonwoven lines to make innovative products, they are up to the challenge.

The fourth trend noticed was that of globalisation. ITMA 2019 was, once again, an important event for Spoolex activities. They met hundreds of contacts during the seven days with very interesting projects. New contacts were made especially from Europe, India, Turkey and Middle East. Strong interests were shown for Calemard's compact slitter-rewinders, in particular in applications where quality slitting and winding are difficult to achieve. For its part, Decoup+, the Ultrasonic Division, attracted many contacts with its wide range of ultrasonic cutting devices. Both for handheld applications or implementation on existing machines, the ultrasonic technology sparked the interest of visitors because it performs easily and quickly, clean, soft and strong edges on any synthetic textiles. Roll Concept, the technical rollers division, also performed with its industrial range of low inertia rolls.

Digitalisation was the fifth trend observed. The digital revolution is a great opportunity for all textile firms to solve their markets' evolving expectations: flexibility, traceability, ethics, environmental durability. Schaeffer Productique showcased its new digital solutions specially designed for the textile industry. The solution for managing a textile business is called SolinWai. It combines artificial intelligence, workflows and native interconnectivity through Ecoltex 2.0 (based on the eBIZ 4.0 European standard). SolinWai's new benefits were improved customer experience and satisfaction, productivity, traceability, lean mindset, continuous improvement, etc. An example of data integration straight from production units was presented through Fybermes (a Nsc Schlumberger solution), enabled by SolinWai's global approach on a firm's digital infrastructure. Real-time integration of virtualised data is a founding pillar of Industry 4.0.

"The French Textile Machinery is your technology partner for hardware, software and services," said Bruno Ameline, UCMTF president, to textile industrialists. "Barcelona was an extremely efficient place to finalise orders and initiate new ones. ITMA in Barcelona was a good edition, and without the macro uncertainties concerning the global economic growth and the US - China negotiations on tariffs and trade, it would have been record breaking but, perhaps more important than the short term, it was the place to discuss, at the highest level, the future of our business with our customers/long term partners and analyze with them the major trends which are shaping our industry."

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