Techtextil North America: Innovator’s Focus

echtextil North America, an international trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens
held recently in Atlanta, proved a success for visitors and exhibitors alike. The show, in its
fourth edition, hosted 329 exhibitors from 25 countries, while there were a record 4,081
registrants from 43 countries. International exhibitor participation also increased, with the show
featuring 10 pavilions.

Rogowski Keynote

Techtextil-Symposium North America, held concurrently with the show, opened with keynote
speaker Greg Rogowski, president and CEO, Richmond Va.-based Performance Fibers Inc. In his speech,
titled “Navigating the New Global Economy,” Rogowski noted fiber and textile companies’ survival in
today’s competitive global economy depends on anticipating and reacting to rapid change. According
to Rogowski, that transformation mentality is key to the success of Performance Fibers, where
management uses adaptive planning and rapid implementation (APRI), described as continuous, focused
strategy and decisions. Rogowski said the APRI process requires commitment of both financial and
human capital, and acting in the short term for long-term benefits.

“It was great to hear the positive buzz on the growth of the industry and its boundless
opportunities for the future,” Rogowski said. Performance Fibers also participated as a Techtextil
exhibitor and sponsor.

Rieter showed technologies from its nonwovens and Filament Yarn Technologies divisions at
Techtexil North America.

Diverse Exhibitors And Visitors

“I thought the show was very well-attended,” said Dean Yarborough, director of new business
development of Columbia, S.C.-based based Shakespeare Co. LLC. “It provided an excellent
opportunity to discuss our products and value propositions with many diverse prospects and
customers. The environment was upbeat and optimistic as more companies are beginning to find their
niches in the textile markets.”

Optimism was a common theme at the event. Udo Skarke, manager of Duncan, S.C.-based Erhardt
+ Leimer Inc.’s Textile Division, said: “The visitors were great, and we had some very sound
contacts and leads from the show. There were very specialized companies and visitors with a focused
and specific need at the show, which makes it somewhat unique. We had our pick counter on display
for the first time, and we received very good feedback from interested companies.”

The show offered an international mix of fiber, yarn and fabric producers; as well as
machinery and chemical suppliers and end-users. Nonwovens was a hot topic.

Jean-Noel Cozon, vice president, of Fort Mill, S.C.-based N. Schlumberger (USA) Inc. — a
part of the France-based NSC Group — observed: “This show has grown very well over the last three
events and was of particular interest in the high-technology fabrics and processes being showcased.
It was our first time as exhibitors, and we were very pleased with the contacts made.

“NSC nonwoven’s strength and expertise is in providing state-of-the-art lines in
needlepunching as well as spunlacing. Although launched already at ITMA 1999, the ProDyn totally
flat nonwoven system continued to attract and interest many companies that have not supported the
ITMA shows in recent years.

“This was more about ideas, concepts and what is possible,” he said.

Laminates And Adhesives

“We found the event to be very worthwhile this year,” said Karen Hesselbart, sales support
manager of Switzerland-based Ems-Griltech’s operation in Sumter, S.C.

In 2005, the company began offering flame-retardant adhesives for use in applications
including office furnishings, according to Hesselbart. In addition, information regarding adhesives
for filtration applications drew interest.

“Because Ems-Griltech offers the services of our Technical Service laboratory, we are able
to laminate samples of our adhesives for our customers to test various adhesives and processing
applications to best suit their business,” Hesselbart said.

Safety Components Fabric Technologies Inc. presented technical fabrics for military,
aerospace and filtration applications, among others.

Machinery And Textiles

Andrea Jonoch, area sales manager of Italy-based SMIT S.p.A., stated the company was
successful in meeting several customers interested in investing in new equipment for technical
textile products.

“We received orders for the GS900 reinforce loom, which we will finalize within April,”
Jonoch said. “Our customers exhibit textile products at the show, but at the same time know we are
present. They take advantage of the opportunity to meet with us, exchanging information, launching
new projects. This show helps us to consolidate SMIT’s image as a loom manufacturer for technical

As one of several fabric manufacturers at the show, Glen Raven Technical Fabrics — a
subsidiary of Glen Raven, N.C.-based Glen Raven Inc. — continued its pursuit of building its

Hal Bates, marketing coordinator, said: “From a marketing perspective, we are interested in
developing leads, but at Techtextil there are so many markets present — auto, military, flame
protection, medical, outdoor — and it was well-attended by all segments. It fits well with what we
do and where we want to head. There was also a wealth of yarn vendors that provided an additional
opportunity — an added benefit.

“We are a private company; this is another avenue to publicize our Glen Raven brand,” Bates
continued. “We’ve got GlenGuard® FR, which is the lightest-weight flame-resistant fabric that is
NFPA 70E-rated for the protection of electrical workers.”

Looking Forward

“We were extremely pleased with the high quality of the attendees this year, and we will be
continuing with our expanded attendee marketing campaign to ensure that this growth is repeated at
the next edition of the show,” said David Audrain, president, Atlanta-based Messe Frankfurt Inc.

May/June 2006