Global Textile Industry Gearing Up For ITMA 2015

Since 1951, the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX) has organized what is generally regarded as the largest textile machinery show in the world. Held once every four years, ITMA has become a platform for emerging trends and innovative solutions, new knowledge and best practices, and establishing relationships with textile industry leaders. The next edition of the show will be held November 12-19 at the Fiera Milano Rho fairgrounds in Milan, Italy. Milan hosts ITMA for the fifth time since its inception at the now 17th edition of the show.

ITMA is owned by CEMATEX, and is organized in 2015 by Singapore-based MP Expositions Pte. Ltd.

Strong Exhibitor Demand
ITMA 2011 in Barcelona, Spain, attracted 1,350 exhibitors from 45 countries; and more than 100,000 visitors from 138 countries.

Exhibitor demand for 2015 was strong early in the lead up to the show. So much so, organizers announced an additional hall more than a year before the show was scheduled to take place.

“We are delighted with the strong take up of space at the show, which reinforces ITMA’s position as the world’s leading textile and garment manufacturing technologies exhibition,” said Eileen Ng, executive director, MP Expositions.

As of TW Asia’s press time, organizers report more than 1,500 exhibitors from more than 47 economies have booked floor space at ITMA 2015. The show is presumed to be sold out despite rumblings from the industry that an ITMA in Europe doesn’t make sense anymore. This viewpoint springs from growing importance of the Asian textile market. But things are changing.

What’s New?
Exhibits at ITMA 2015 will be divided into 19 categories (See Table 1). Chapter 9, featuring printing and digital printing machinery is new; the fiber and yarn chapter — Chapter 19 — has been expanded with a new sub-chapter on recycled fibers and yarns; and the dyestuffs/chemicals group, Chapter 15, has been rebranded as colourants and chemical auxiliaries for the textile industry.

CEMATEX launched a new award initiative for the 17th edition of the show. The ITMA Sustainable Innovation Award 2015 honors “outstanding industry members and students for their contributions to the sustainable development of the global textile and garment industry,” according to CEMATEX. The Industry Excellence Award will be presented to a textile and/or apparel manufacturer who has leveraged technology to manufacture in a sustainable manner. The Research and Innovation Excellence Award, which is open to current post-graduate part- or full-time students attending an ITMA 2015 Research & Innovation organization, will be presented to two winners — one in the Masters category, and one in the Doctorate category. Winners will receive their awards at an awards ceremony and gala dinner November 12.

For the first time in its history, ITMA will take place in November, because from May 1-October 31, 2015, the 2015 Milan Universal Exposition, or World’s Fair, takes place at the same newly built fairground.

Fiera Milano Rho is one of the largest fairgrounds in the world, spanning 345,000 square meters (m2) of covered gross exhibition space. The venue is well equipped with 10 conference rooms and a host of restaurants, bars and coffee houses. Fiera Milano Rho is located in the west of Milan and connected to the city centre via a metro station, Rho Fiera. It is also served by railway and there are 14,000 parking spaces for visitors.

Table 1

Economic Uncertainties
As of TW Asia’s press time, bad news about the economy in China and the growth rate of its gross domestic product is a hot topic of conversation around the world. Will China’s economic woes influence the show in Milan? Of course, nobody knows yet.

Some governments estimated the growth of the Chinese economy in the first quarter of 2015 to be “only” 7 percent; indeed proof of a solid economy. In this figure, the growth of energy intensive and polluting products decreased, while services increased and are today the driving force of the Chinese economy. Also, the domestic market is growing. Domestic retail trade grew over the past year by 10.8 percent, not forgetting Internet sales — this sector increased by more than 40 percent in China.

Labor and energy costs influence the Chinese market heavily. However, thanks to its sheer size, China is still the most important global market. Some Chinese manufacturers already have reacted to changing conditions, and now invest heavily in foreign countries to get cheaper labor costs and stay competitive on the global markets. It is well known that China is by far the largest man-made fiber producer in the world, and there are plans to add capacity. Also, there are still many million tons of cotton in stock.

Italy The Biggest Exhibitor Country
Some 30 percent of the total exhibition space at this year’s ITMA has been reserved by machinery manufacturers from Italy. In numbers, 430 companies will occupy 31,000 m2 of space. According to the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT), textile machinery sales in 2014 were totalled 2.3 billion euros, with exports accounting for around 1.94 million euros. Exports to Asia amounted to 41 percent in 2014 and those to Europe totaled 40 percent, with a further 16 percent sold within Italy itself. In the first three months of 2015, sales of Italian machinery within Europe increased by 9 percent, with those to France up 29 percent, those to Germany up 23 percent, and those to Portugal up by 100 percent.

Exports of textile machinery represent 84 percent, going to some 130 countries. In the first quarter of 2015, Italian exports of textile machines was divided as follows: Asia, with 42 percent; Europe, with 41 percent; Latin America, with 7 percent; North America, with 5 percent; and Africa, with 5 percent. During the same period, the biggest contribution to Italian exports of textile machinery came from China, valued at 58 million euros. China is followed by Turkey with 47 million euros, Bangladesh with 31 million euros and India with 25 million euros.

While China remains the biggest destination for Italian machines, exports to the country fell by 25 percent in 2014, and dropped by a further 14 percent in the first three months of 2015. A full recovery in exports to China, however, is anticipated for the remainder of 2015.

Associated, Collocated Events
In more recent editions, ITMA has hosted collocated events including seminars and conferences. The list of events includes the Textile Colourant & Chemical Leaders Forum and the Nonwovens Forum at ITMA (See Table 2).

According to the organizers, the Textile Colourant & Chemical Leaders Forum will help attendees “learn about sustainability in dyeing and finishing processes from international experts.” A wide range of topics and issues will be covered in three sessions:

  • The Issues: Chemical pollution and environmental concerns and the impact on the marketplace.
  • The Solutions: How does the supply chain respond?
  • The Future: What are the trends and game changers?

Specific presentations will cover the chemical and colorant suppliers’ response to current environmental issues, updates on REACH regulation, and new dyeing and printing technologies and their impact on a more sustainable supply chain. The event will be held on November 14 at the Stella Polare Convention Centre, Fiera Milano Rho in the Sagittarius Room.

Nonwovens more and more form an important part of global textile production. Recognizing that, ITMA organizers have added a Nonwovens Forum to the ITMA conference schedule. The event will be co-organized by The International Association for the Nonwovens and Related Industries (EDANA), Belgium, and MP Expositions. The forum will be held all day November 16 at the Stella Polare Convention Centre, Fiera Milano Rho, Sagittarius Room.

Table 2

The program will benefit ITMA visitors who are involved in, or have the intention to move into nonwovens manufacturing. The theme for the forum is, “Nonwovens: A World of Growth and Opportunities.” Interested parties can find out directly from industry leaders in nonwoven manufacturing how one can grab opportunities in the rapidly evolving world of nonwovens. The forum will be broken into two main sessions.

  • Session 1: Applications and Technologies for Nonwovens — Lecturers include speakers from Andritz Nonwoven, DiloGroup and Oerlikon Neumag.
  • Session 2: Added Value Ingredients and Finishing for Nonwovens — Lecturers include speakers from CHT R. Beitlich and Pulcra Chemicals.

In addition, Jacques Prigneaux, market analysis and economic affairs director, EDANA, will give a lecture entitled, “The Nonwovens Industry and Markets in Numbers.”

Visitor Incentive
Organizers are offering an early bird registration discount. All visitors who register before October 15 may purchase a one-day pass for 40 euros and an eight-day pass for 80 euros. “We would like to encourage our visitors to plan their trip early and purchase their ITMA 2015 badge online now to avoid long queues at the registration areas,” said Ng. “The early bird rates are up to 50-percent lower than the onsite rates.”

The show is open to visitors November 12-18 from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. each day. On November 19, the show opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m.

About Milan
Located in the northwestern section of the Po Valley, Milan is the second-largest city in Italy with a population of approximately 1.3 million. The city is the main financial, industrial and commercial center of Italy, housing the Borsa Italiana — Italy’s main stock exchange — and the headquarters of major banks and corporations.

The city has a long history as a fashion, clothing and textile producer and is widely recognized as one of the world’s fashion capitals, making it the perfect backdrop for a textile machinery trade show.

Famous must-see sights while in Milan include the Duomo di Milano, La Scala, and Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper mural.

The Duomo di Milano,— or Milan Cathedral — took nearly six centuries to build. It is the largest church in Italy and the fifth largest in the world. The Duomo is dedicated to St. Mary of the Nativity and acts as the seat of the Archbishop of Milan.

Teatro alla Scala, or La Scala as it’s more commonly known, is an opera house opened in 1778. Throughout its history, many great operatic artists and singers have appeared at the venue, which is still considered one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world. The La Scala Theatre Chorus, La Scala Theatre Ballet and La Scala Theatre Orchestra are all housed at the opera house.

For ITMA visitors interested in a little shopping during their time in Milan, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a can’t miss stop. This four-story double arcade connecting the Duomo and La Scala, is one of the world’s oldest shopping malls built between 1865 and 1877. Today, the arcade features a variety of luxury retailers, restaurants, cafés and bars.

The Last Supper, da Vinci’s late 15th century mural, can be found in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. The painting has seen better days after enduring repeated damage, years of neglect and various restoration attempts over time, but it is still a very popular tourist attraction.

Traveling around Milan is easy thanks to the city’s extensive transportation system comprising an underground metro, trams, buses, link lines and taxis. The underground lines offer cheap and quick movement around the city, and bus routes follow the four metro lines M1, M2, M3, M4 as well as the most popular routes between the city center and outskirts. Bus service also runs all night on Friday and Saturday nights.

The Stage Is Set
It will be interesting to see if the blend of Italianità, more than 1,600 exhibitors, Chinese economy news and the collection of events will be a successful mix for the global textile machinery industry. The Textile Industries Media Group will be at the show and is more than happy to welcome readers of Textile World Asia, Textile World and Textiles Panamericanos to its booth in Hall 7, Booth F-109. Ci vediamo in Milano!

Fall 2015