CITME 2004 Review

CITME Review

By Carmen Pang, Executive Editor,and Jim Borneman, Editor, Textile World2004 CITME:
Continuation Of Growth

The China pavilion, packed with companies of all sizes and serving all sectors of the textile
industry, was the largest hall at CITME 2004.Beijing attracts textile technology from around the
globe to support the world’s largest market for textile machinery.China’s growth as one of the
leading markets for textile machinery is well documented. However, the continuation of this
position is always a topic for debate, as many wonder how long the appetite for new textile
technology can last. Moreover, how will the recent “cooling” policies of the government affect
future investment? Will the local equipment manufacturers begin a stronger directive toward the
export of textile machinery? As seen at the 2004 China International Textile Machinery Exhibition
(CITME), for many European machinery companies, the journey toward supplying and manufacturing in
China has been completed. Heiner Eberli, head of marketing at Switzerland based Rieter Textile
Systems, commented, “This CITME, we are exhibiting in the Chinese pavilion because Rieter has
become an insider in China. We are manufacturing equipment in Changzhou, 200 kilometers north of
Shanghai. We started with filament machinery and on the spun system, the RSB autoleveler draw
frame. We continued with preparation-precleaner for the blowroom. The new BT201 was designed for
China. This is the first step toward a complete Chinese blowroom line. We hope Chinese customers
take note of our continued commitment to China.” Rieter also will open a Spin Center in Shanghai to
showcase the R40 rotor, ring with compact K44, draw frames; and to show, demonstrate and run
training courses for Rieter customers.FlexiRotorS 3000/DuoSpinner China DebutCITME 2004 attendees
and exhibitors questioned why Savio Macchine Tessili S.p.A., Italy, would exhibit the FlexiRotorS
3000/DuoSpinner in China, a machine known for flexibility and automation. Fulvio Galetto, area
sales manager, explained: “This is the first showing in China; this, in fact, is a section of a
machine sold to Dongying Dahai Cotton Product Co. Ltd. According to recent International Textile
Manufacturers Federation data, China is becoming a very important open-end spinning market. “There
are two segments, often in the same plant: one for export, which demands automation, and another
for the local market, which can use manual equipment where the rotor speed is limited to 80,000
revolutions per minute (rpm).”By way of explanation, manual piecing and doffing are possible if the
rotor speed is less than 100,000 rpm. This means, according to Savio, that a 100-percent cotton Ne
6 to Ne 12 count yarn is possible. In order to achieve Ne 14 to 24 counts, rotor speeds above
100,000 rpm, and thus automation, are necessary. “Our segment will be the greater-than-12-Ne
counts, where costs dictate the demand for automated piecing and doffing. In the future, you will
see a higher demand for automation and companies will invest,” said Paolo Puntoni, Savio’s manager
of marketing and overseas branches.

Savio’s Fulvio Galetto Wilfried Gothmanns, sales manager, Trutzschler GmbH, Germany, said
Trutzschler has been active in China since 1964 and is currently producing machinery near Shanghai.
Regarding future developments, Gothmanns said, ”These will be less speed-oriented due to fiber
limitations. Instead, new machines will enhance quality and provide easy maintenance, efficiency
and automatic settings.”China also continues to be one of the top three markets for Germany based
Spindelfabrik Suessen GmbH, reported Peter Stahlecker, managing director. “China, India and
Pakistan are our three major markets with Pakistan being the most active, then China and India,”he
said. “In ring, we are active with Compact Elite and our collaboration with Jingwei Machinery
(Group) Co. Ltd. in China has been very positive. In open-end spinning, we are active in the U.S.
and Turkey, where there are large populations of open-end machines.”While many international
machine makers are eyeing the export opportunities in Asia, they may be in for a surprise — many
of China’s machine makers also are after the same markets, including India, Pakistan, Turkey and
Southeast Asia.

FlexRotorS 3000/DuoSpinnerTake Jiang Yin Machine-Building Inc. for example. One-third of this
Jiangsu province-based company’s sales are to overseas buyers in, among others, Pakistan,
Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia and Uzbekistan.”Right now, our biggest export market is Pakistan. We
export mostly cotton carding machines,” said Yang Sheng, product development section chief.” But,
our most important market is the domestic market. Domestically, we sell to every region of China
and our customers are mostly cotton weaving companies.”Jiang Yin operates one facility, whose 700
employees turn out 1,000 machines annually. The company’s annual turnover is about 80 million
Chinese yuan. Yang said the company invests about 2 million yuan in research and development every
year on new technology. At the show, the FA 212, FA 213, FA 218 and FA 219 carding machines were
highlighted. The FA 212 is the biggest seller in the domestic market, while the FA 219 is a new
addition to the family.

Jinwei’s model 1530 ring spinning machine made its debut at CITME.Another company that is
slowly growing its export business is Zhejiang province-based Zhejiang Rifa Textile Machinery Corp.
“We export to Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Mongolia and Southeast Asia,” said Yu Hai-Yun,
president and general manager. ”The quantity is very small, but it is growing year by year. We have
agents in Vietnam and Pakistan. As long as there is business and as long as it makes money, we want
to go to that market.” The private enterprise’s five divisions all operate under one roof in a
34,000-square-meter plant. Its annual revenue reaches 400 million yuan and it employs about 350
workers, of which 80 are engineers. The company’s key competence includes compact spinning and
air-jet weaving technologies. At the show, it unveiled the RFCS510 compact spinning system, which
according to Yu, is among the best in the country.

Rifa Textile Machinery exhibited its RFJA10 air-jet loom at the show.Yu added that the
company met with old and new customers at the show, and was able to come away with some new
business. However, he also said that, compared to ShanghaiTex, the other key textile machinery show
held in Shanghai during CITME’s off years, CITME only had half the visitor attendance. When asked
about the elimination of textile quotas, he said, “It is an opportunity for both China and our
company. But, the Chinese textile industry may not necessarily grow as much as many speculate
because it depends on the government’s policy. In the past several years, the industry grew too
fast and the government started to control the growth by limiting capital available to the
industry.”Quality“The Chinese market is so important that we will setup operations, develop
products and produce in China,” said Martin Bieri, Uster Technologies AG, Switzerland. “The new
Uster Tester 4 SE is manufactured in Switzerland, but other new products will be developed in China
for its particular market needs. “The new SE features Chinese language for reports and interfaces.
The company said the new configuration is a “workhorse” model that provides value. As the first
model to be sold in the local currency with no special procedures to purchase, Uster has placed
more than 1,000 SX and SE in the past four years. “We anticipate to increase our market share by
30% for the midlevel producers and 80% for the higher-level producers,”said Bieri.

Yang Sheng, Jiang Yin’s product development section chief,with the company’s new FA 219
carding machine.WeavingWith the full participation of weaving companies such as SMIT S.p.A., Italy;
Lindauer Dornier GmbH, Germany; Itema Group, Italy; Tsudakoma Corp., Japan; Toyota Industries
Corp., Japan; Jakob Muller AG, Switzerland; and Picanol, Belgium, weaving technology was well
represented at CITME 2004. “We manufacture in China for China. Next year we will have a large
presence at ShanghaiTex,” said Jo‘l Jegou, communication manager of Switzerland-based Staubli
International AG, who added that the OPAL multi-layer leasing machine continues to gain interest.
Reinhard Furrer, a marketing representative, said,” Of course China will continue to be an
important market. There is a certain level of saturation, but investment is moving toward
automation, which explains why automatic drawing and leasing with OPAL is becoming even more
important.”Franz Miesbauer, Dornier Machinery (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., reported an “unexpectedly strong
show. Miesbauer said the first two days saw a high level of interest toward weaving and finishing
technologies for a variety of fabric types. “Promatech has a wide range of weaving machines with
the Alpha, Mythos, Leonardo and K88. In each Asian market, we can offer different machines based on
capability and price,” said Riccardo Mautino of Promatech S.p.A., Italy. “We cannot easily say what
the future holds for China. It has been an incredibly strong market situation developing at a very
strong pace, but it has many questions to answer, such as energy supply.”

The Uster team: (left to right) Martin Bieri, Anson Xu,Tony Shen and Harold HokeRegarding
other markets, Mautino said, ”Turkey, with a high-level industry, will continue to invest. It was
our strongest market in 2003 and a strong second in 2004. Because we have a broad range of
products, we intend to be present in every market and offer opportunities around the world. Spares
and technical support will continue to grow in each market. Our goal is not just to sell, but to
make Promatech a partner that weaving companies can count on.”Raffaele Micheletti, Jakob Muller’s
retired Hong Kong-based general manager, said, ”China is still growing. Its industry is segmented
into two parts — a high-end market [in the eastern part of the country] that exports to the U.S.
and Europe and a local industry [in the west]. Over time, the local market will shrink and some
will take on high-end characteristics. As the market grows from east to west, it will absorb the
lower quality capacity.”The MJB is the strongest seller in China, according to Jakob Muller, which
has recently committed additional investment to its plant in Suzhou. Francesco Cecchinato, area
sales manager, SMIT, spoke of the growth and importance of the Chinese market noting the shifts
taking place in supplying the domestic market and the investment in mid and high level production
installations. “Some products are at a very high level,” he said. “There are now larger homes in
China and a growing demand for higher-level products. I believe [the domestic market] will be as
important as the export market.”Interest ContinuesKurt Eppisser, project and sales manager at
Switzerland-based Santex AG, said there is strong interest from companies in China. Fujian Fengzhu
Textile, with eight Santex dryers and compactors, and Ningbo Youngor Group Co. Ltd., with four
machines, are two examples. Meanwhile, he added, Hong Kong-based Victory City Co. Ltd., Texwinca
Holdings Ltd. and Fountain Set (Holdings) Ltd. continue to be strong clients.“In addition, Turkey,
Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Central America remain strong markets with interests in knits and
finishing wovens,” Eppisser said.“In 2004, we had to fight against the new policy of reduced
industrial development,” said Luca Bardone, CIMI S.p.A., Italy. “We have been in the Chinese market
for eight years and have more than 40 customers — most are in the Zhang Jia Gang region, which is
an important area for wool.” Bardone also spoke positively of other markets and pointed to South
American clients in Columbia and Uruguay who are interested in investing.

The management team of Fong’s Industries Co. Ltd. and THEN Maschinen GmbH outlined the future
of THEN,which was acquired by Fong’s, at a press conference held during the show.

January/February 2005