The Rupp Report: ITMA Asia + CITME 2012: The Important Weaving Machinery Sector

After the general impression reported two weeks ago of the third ITMA Asia + CITME at the Shanghai
New International Expo Centre, the Rupp Report this week begins reflecting on the various executive
interviews with machinery manufacturers. Weaving machinery representatives will open the review.
The Rupp Report talked to Carlo Rogora, CEO, and Jürg Kundert, corporate communications, Itema
(Switzerland) Ltd. (Itema Weaving); and Erwin Devloo, marketing communications manager,
Belgium-based Picanol NV.

Soaring Weaving Machinery Sales

Several weeks ago, the Rupp Report posted the latest weaving machinery shipment statistics
compiled by the Switzerland-based International Textile Machinery Federation, which reported that
worldwide shipments in 2011 of shuttleless weaving machines continued to soar, with Asia the
destination for 96 percent of the machinery — and China taking 83 percent of the total
(See ”
Rupp Report: Positive News Ahead For ITMA Asia + CITME 2012
,”, May 22, 2012).

Expectations Fulfilled

Rogora and Devloo expressed their satisfaction with the visits at ITMA Asia as well as the
quality of the visitors: “The most important customers from the region were here,” said Rogora.
Devloo added that “as usual, the first three days were okay for Picanol.” And where did the
visitors come from? Both agreed that 75 to 80 percent of all visitors came from China, followed by
people from India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Taiwan; and some visitors from Turkey.

Rogora added: “India as a market for weaving machines becomes more and more important,
thanks to the recent investment program. But to carry on with this, the industry needs new
incentives from the government.”

Too Many People

And was there any difference between this ITMA Asia and the last one? “Oh yes,” Devloo said,
“this time, for everything we had to contact different organizations and people, which complicates
the handling of the event drastically. And everything is extremely expensive. Soon the day will
come when we will have to pay for the air that we breathe.”

These facts were confirmed by Kundert, who was responsible for setting up the Itema booth,
and who noted that “the funny thing is, we have to pay everything in cash.”

But the biggest problem was the infringement of intellectual property. It was at the Picanol
booth, where the Rupp Report witnessed the handling of a copy of a Picanol weaving machine. Just
opposite, a copy with even the same color was shown. After the protest from Picanol about this
situation, the organizers covered the copy. However, soon afterward, the Chinese exhibitor took
away the cover and wrote on the machine (in Chinese letters): “Picanol says this is a copy of their
machine. Have a look and check if this is right.”


Picanol showed for the first time on the Asian continent its new Omniplus Summum air-jet
weaving machine. Devloo explained that this machine would be the new platform for further
developments in this segment. The main highlights of this machine are said to be the new insertion
system and the Picanol BlueBox system, the new electronic platform for Picanol machines. Devloo
mentioned that this microprocessor is 10 times faster than comparable processors. Thanks to this
improvement, the airflow is constantly monitored over the whole weft-insertion process, resulting
in reduced air consumption.

Itema presented its new Sultex A9500 air-jet weaving machine. The main features, Kundert
said, are the productivity and operational simplicity with its high performance and simplified
design. Rogora added that “the A9500 produces excellent fabric quality with very low air
consumption. The machine is equipped with a special shed geometry designed to promote a long dwell
while drastically reducing air consumption. The long weft insertion time and the highly efficient
nozzles ensure the optimum acceleration curve for any type of yarn.” According to Itema, the new
air-jet weaving machine is especially suitable for medium to heavy denim, colored weaving and
sheeting applications.

And how was the feedback to these products? “Very good,” reported both suppliers.

Important Markets

In spite of the growing importance of the Asian markets, Europe is still important for both
companies. For Picanol, it is important mainly for weaving technical textiles and other value-added
products, especially for European customers.

“And,” said Rogora, “if one includes Turkey as part of Europe, then the Turkish market is
very important for us. Turkey is the second-biggest market for Itema. On the other hand, Asian
markets are more important for mass products.”

The most important markets are rather similar: Rogora mentioned China, followed by Turkey
and Brazil. Devloo mentioned China, India, Brazil and the former Soviet Union countries.

When asked if the actual economical situation is distorting their business, both companies
replied “Yes and no.” The volatile currencies are a problem. One factor is the weak euro.
“However,” said Devloo, “for exporting European suppliers, the low exchange rate for the currency
is an advantage.”

Rogora added: “But today, the customers have problems getting money from the banks due to
the big problems in Europe. As long as the Europeans cannot solve their internal financial problems
with some countries, the uncertainty will remain. And uncertainty is poison for the markets.”

The Chinese Market

The Chinese market is slowing down somewhat on a high level. Rogora and Devloo did not see
any stimulation from the recent reduction of interest rates by the Chinese National Bank. Both
mentioned that whether or not the importance of the Chinese market will further increase depends on
Europe. And the Chinese customers want more and more sophisticated machinery.

A Look Into The Crystal Ball

Estimation for 2013 is quite difficult to predict, Devloo said. “But we hope that the
positive conditions will remain.”

And, Rogora added: “Again, it all depends on Europe. Problems are everywhere, but the
financial situation in Europe must be solved first.”

And what are the focal points for Itema in the next few years? “I am convinced that the
air-jet technology will enhance its importance in the near future,” Rogora said. “Today, this
technology is mature. However, some special applications for rapier will increase. We have to do a
lot of R&D. The A9500 is the sum of Sulzer, Vamatex and Somet. Those companies are now in the
past and we are itema today – in small letters. We want to deliver the best possible machines for
our customers’ applications regarding energy consumption and maintenance.”

Devloo said: “Do what you can do best, no experiments, stay with your roots and you will

Thanks For The Feedback

The Rupp Report would like to thank all readers for a strong feedback on the June 26 report.
Please continue sending in your opinions about the future of ITMA Asia to As usual, the source of
information will not be published if you do not wish to be named.

July 18, 2012