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Innovation leads the way at ITMA 2019

Jun '19
Themed ‘Innovating the World of Textiles’, the 18th edition of ITMA concluded successfully in Barcelona, Spain recently. Many new technologies were launched, ranging from 3D weaving and knitting to hi-tech nonwovens processes, sustainable chemicals and state-of-the-art garment-making technologies, and wide range of software-powered automation solutions.

ITMA, the world’s most established textile and garment technology exhibition, featured technologies including those that leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) by 1717 exhibitors from 45 countries, according to a press release by ITMA.

ITMA 2019 attracted visitorship of over 105,000 people from 137 countries. The top 5 countries where visitors came from were Spain (11 per cent), Italy (10 per cent), India (8 per cent), Turkey and Germany (7 per cent). They were followed by France, United States, Portugal, Brazil, Pakistan, China and the United Kingdom. 

“The digital transformation of the textile and garment manufacturing value chain and sustainability concerns of the industry have driven up visitor interests in ITMA 2019. We had a strong turnout, despite trade tensions and poor business sentiments. Many of our exhibitors were pleasantly surprised with the large number of serious buyers attending the exhibition, said Fritz P Mayer, president of CEMATEX.

“They were also impressed with presence of new visitor segments, such as bigger numbers of fashion and sports brands. Considering that for this ITMA edition, the exhibition duration has been shortened from 8 to 7 days, we still enjoyed good visitorship.”

“Overall, it has been a good ITMA for us. We came with low expectations, but they have been considerably exceeded. Although we did not get a large number of visitors, the quality was very high. We had many conversations and negotiations, which was somewhat contradictory to the ongoing negative market sentiments,” said Johan Verstraete, vice-president weaving machines of Picanol.

“We are very satisfied with the show. The positive results of ITMA 2019 were made possible thanks to a large number of visitors who came to our stand. We have had over 600 contacts a day, and they come from over 90 countries!” said Paolo Milini, president & CEO of MS Printing Solutions.

Launched as a dedicated sector at ITMA 2019, the printing and inks chapter had grown by 40 per cent compared with ITMA 2015, and featured many established and new exhibitors who were keen to exploit the digital printing sector.

ITMA 2019 also provided the platform for the announcement of a comprehensive modernisation programme for Egypt’s textile industry valued at around €1 billion from exhibitors including Benninger, Brückner, EFI Reggiani, Itema, Karl Mayer, Rieter, Savio and Thies.

“I missed the last ITMA in Milan. After eight years, I find there is a big jump in technology. There are many interesting new developments, such as digitalisation and automation, as well as more eco-friendly products. I came here to also buy equipment for my factories, so this has been a fruitful trip for me,” said Kihak Sung, founder of Youngone Corporation and president of International Textile Manufacturers Federation.

“ITMA is a meeting of the minds. As much as it is a machinery fair, it’s also about understanding new technologies; meeting with your peers and colleagues from various sectors of the industry to understand the challenges and how to address them. One of the key trends we’ve seen this year, is about sustainability and Industry 4.0,” said RakhiI Hirdaramani, director of Hirdaramani and the manufacturers committee chair of the World Federation of Sporting Goods International.

Hirdaramani participated in a panel discussion held at the Speakers Platform, one of the components of the ITMA Innovation Lab which was launched at this year’s exhibition. The Platform drew strong interest and participation. It featured about 60 presentations, and was attended by over 900 participants.

In addition, a number of ITMA and co-located events drew over 1,000 delegates. Among the events were the ITMA-EDANA Nonwovens Forum, Textile Colourant and Chemical Leaders Forum, Better Cotton Initiative Seminar, European Digital Textile Conference, Tex-Summit Global, Planet Textiles, SAC & ZDHC Manufacturer Forum and Texmeeting by TEXFOR.

ITMA collaborated with supporting organisations, many of which sent visiting delegations from Central Asia, South Asia, Turkey and the Mediterranean countries. Among the high-level government delegations that were at ITMA included Catalan Minister of Business and Knowledge Ángels Chacon i Feixás; Governor of West Flanders Carl Decaluwé who led a press delegation from Flanders, Belgium; and the Uzbekistan Vice Minister of Silk Jumaev Olimjon and Vice Minister of Textile Jumaniyazov Fahriddin who led a delegation of 40 people.

“We are extremely glad that many industry stakeholders see ITMA as an excellent platform for collaboration and sharing of ideas to make the industry more competitive in the face of digital transformation and to explore cutting-edge solutions to future proof their business,” said Charles Beauduin, chairman of ITMA Services, which organised ITMA 2019.

“This Barcelona edition has confirmed ITMA as the main B2B platform in the textile industry. The many innovations seen here, especially in the field of sustainability and digitalisation, have increased the interest of visitors. It is essential to focus on these issues also for the next edition of ITMA to be held in Milan in 2023,” said Alex Zucchi, president of ACIMIT.

The next ITMA will be held in Fiera Milano, Milan, Italy, from June 8 to 14, 2023. (PC)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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