From May 4-7, 2015, the biggest Techtextil of all time took place in Frankfurt. The success is unprecedented. From a very shy first attempt in the mid-1980s, the 16th fair has become the undisputed top event worldwide in this sector. Almost all textile machinery manufacturers have recognized this fact and were there in big numbers.
According to organizer Messe Frankfurt, the event recorded some 42,000 visitors from 116 countries to see four days of the world’s largest selection of materials, processes and technologies along the entire technical textiles value chain. Techtextil showed with its 1,389 exhibitors — an increase of 4.4 percent compared to the previous event — the largest ever exhibited range of technical textiles and nonwovens in the world. The colocated show Texprocess — an international trade fair for processing textile and flexible materials along the entire process chain — hosted 273 exhibitors. The product range extended from design and cutting, sewing, joining, embroidery and knitting to finishing, textile printing, logistics and information technology.
New Exhibitor Record …
Exhibitors also came in big numbers. A total of 1,662 exhibitors from 54 countries presented their latest technical textiles, nonwovens and processing technologies for textile and flexible materials. In 2013, 1,660 exhibitors from 56 countries participated in the show. “We were able to experience a fantastic atmosphere at the fair, a very high quality of visitors and so many new products more than ever before,” said Detlef Braun, managing director, Messe Frankfurt. “One can say for sure: Techtextil and Texprocess 2015 proved to be the undisputed center of the innovative power of high-tech materials and processing technologies.”
… Despite A Rail Strike
A few days before the fair, a rail strike was announced and people shook their heads in confusion. But even the strike could not jeopardize the show’s success, with only slightly fewer visitors on Monday and a smaller than expected impact on the total number of visitors. High visitor numbers were mainly because of the international visitors who came to the Frankfurt exhibition ground. Visitors also benefited from a short-term organized shuttle bus from the airport to the exhibition ground and back during the entire exhibition period.
Satisfied Exhibitors And Visitors
According to show polls, 96 percent of all Techtextil visitors judged their visit as very good or good. Local visitors used more their own car, resulting in fewer visitors from Germany. However, this fact shows the international importance of the fair, which welcomed more international visitors in Frankfurt again. More than half of the visitors came from abroad. The top visitor countries apart from Germany were Italy, France, Turkey, Great Britain, Poland, Netherlands and Spain.
Particularly important for the climate of an exhibition are the exhibiting companies. Some 94 percent of exhibitors rated the economic outlook of the sector of technical textiles and nonwovens to be good or at least satisfactory, compared to 88 percent in 2013. On top of that, the processing industry of textile and flexible materials indicated 96 percent.
Exhibitors questioned by the Rupp Report welcomed visitors from India, Iran, Mexico, Pakistan, Morocco and the United States. Slightly fewer visitors than expected came also from China. Erwin Devloo, with Belgian-based weaving machine manufacturer Picanol, mentioned that the currency situation could be one of the reasons there were fewer attendees from China than was expected. The weak euro against the strong Chinese renminbi is probably a major reason, as well as the fact that in June another Shanghaitex will take place, and the trip to Shanghai is for Chinese people still easier than to Germany. Perhaps the most important reason for the absence of visitors from Asia is SINCE, the international nonwovens conference and exhibition that took place in Shanghai May 13-15, 2015. This is quite an unfortunate sequence of events.
Two Fairs At The Same Time
Whether the simultaneous event of Techtextil and Texprocess is a lucky strike, the future remains to be seen. Of course, Messe Frankfurt will announce this as a great achievement. Nevertheless, one has to ask the question whether Techtextil is the right place for a fashion show, even if the dresses are made of technical textiles. This has also to do with the industry somewhat. Experience has shown that producers of textiles for sports apparel and technical textiles do not use the same criteria, and have a different background of working processes. However, that is a core point of the exhibition — virtually the entire production chain is present. So if in any hall some interested party was looking for a product or the technology to produce it, they could then visit a potential manufacturer with his producer in Hall 3.0 to see the machine producers discussing further steps.
Finally, The Machinery Industry Is Awake
What is definitely an advantage is the fact that now many machine manufacturers at Techtextil are present with information stands. Of course, there were some pioneers present for a long time, including Dilo, Trützschler and weaving machine producer Lindauer Dornier all based in Germany. The machinery suppliers were delighted by the fact that many of their clients also exhib at the fair, and for visits only short walks were needed.
Hall 3.0 could almost be called a mini ITMA with so many familiar faces commonly seen at ITMA present. And the survey from the Rupp Report showed that really all of the exhibitors were very satisfied with their participation. This was confirmed by Joel Jegou, Stäubli; Peter D. Dornier, Dornier; Dr. Dirk Burger and Jutta Stehr, Trützschler Nonwovens; Roberto Degrandi, Mario Crosta; and André Wissenberg, Oerlikon. Dornier particularly emphasized the fact that there are still weavers from the classic sector who want to change their product portfolio with technical textiles, resulting in a lot of interesting and promising discussions. “If you want to build new markets, you have to find the right machine manufacturer,” he commented with a smile. And this also is the basic idea of a fair like the Techtextil: One wants to attract new customers.
Several countries were represented in country pavilions, among them France, Italy, Belgium, the United States; and for the first time Switzerland. Most companies participating with country pavilions were exhibiting for the first time at Techtextil. All the interviewed people were more than satisfied with the outcome of the show. Particularly impressive was the presentation of the EMPA St. Gallen at the press conference, organized by Swissmem, the Association of the Swiss Textile producers. Presentations were also given by the German Textile Machinery Association (VDMA), and the French Textile Machinery Association (UCMTF).
Never On Sunday
Many exhibitors complained about the fact that the show started on Monday. Not only the Never On A Sunday actress Melina Mercouri knows that Sunday is not a good day for business, but show organizers also are aware of the fact to never start a fair on Monday. Therefore, Techtextil and Texprocess will begin on Tuesday for the next edition, to be held May 9-12, 2017. Most probably the organizers have to open up another hall, when also the very last machinery builders have recognized where the music is playing. This report can only show a fraction of everything that was going on last week in Frankfurt. To be continued.
May 21, 2015