ITMA Asia 2005: Singapore Showcase

ingapore welcomed a record number of international visitors – some 30,000 over five days
– for ITMA Asia, a showcase of the latest textile technology. Show organizer Meeting Planners
International (MPI) Pte. Ltd. reported a 55-percent increase in visitors from India, Pakistan,
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka over ITMA Asia 2001.

The number of Indian attendees increased by more than 70 percent over 2001, reflecting the
rapid growth of the country’s textile industry. Thousands of Indian textile manufacturers,
association and government officials, dealers and agents constituted the largest group among the
trade fair audience. Following closely were visitors from Indonesia, Thailand, China, Bangladesh,
Korea and Malaysia.

“We are very pleased with the results achieved by many of our exhibitors,” said Edward
Roberts, president of the European Textile Machinery Manufacturers Association (CEMATEX). “They
have been especially encouraged by the large groups from India, who are fast seizing this window of
opportunity to upgrade and grow their textile businesses. Other groups from Pakistan, Bangladesh
and Sri Lanka are also strongly represented – a trend that shows the strength of South Asian
players in textile manufacturing.”

ITMA Asia 2005 represented the first time that a single event filled all seven halls of the
Singapore Expo – with net exhibition space of 42,000 square meters of textile machinery,
representing an increase of more than 25 percent from 2001.

Textile innovations were center stage at ITMA Asia 2005.

According to Sylvia Phua, organizer of ITMA Asia 2005 and CEO of MPI, visitor
reaction was very positive.

“Singapore’s world-class facilities and infrastructure have enabled us to deliver a
memorable experience to the many thousands of visitors to ITMA Asia 2005,” Phua said. “More than 90
percent of the visitors are from overseas, from 84 economies – an increase from 67 [percent] in

“As for the softer elements, exhibitors and visitors have also been impressed by the high
level of service and warm hospitality. We are glad that our visitors have enjoyed their stay here
and many of them are looking forward to doing business once again in Singapore in the near future.”

With 851 exhibitors, each discipline of textile technology was well-represented at the show.
The following is a small sample of the exhibition highlights.

Spinning Technology

“We have a strong approach to this market. Visitors from Pakistan, India and Korea have
shown interest,” said Franceso Fancelli, sales area manager of Italy-based U.T.I.T. Wagner
Automation S.p.A. “They like the system of automation we provide. The challenge is labor price
versus system cost. We have always sold based on quality. These markets have many great mills – at
some point their investment will turn toward automation.”

Fancelli said U.T.I.T. material handling and automation systems provide many advantages
beyond labor savings. Quality can improve through less human contact with the product, as well as
the system’s consistent handling.

Rieter Textile Systems, Switzerland, offered several new concepts. On display was a C 60
card with CLEANfeed – an enhanced fine-cleaning system using the new CLEANfeed cleaning chute.
According to the company, fine cleaning on the card is distributed among several working positions
with CLEANfeed, thus resulting in efficient, gentle cleaning with low material volumes.

“By integrating fine cleaning into the card, cleaning is now happening at a lower throughput
level,” said Heiner Eberli, head of marketing, Rieter Textile Systems. “Since [the chute] is wider
than the element in the blow room, [the web] is less dense and you achieve better cleaning.”

Rieter’s R 40 rotor-spinning machine now offers delivery speeds of 300 meters per minute
(m/min) with 400 spinning boxes. With 240 spinning boxes, even 350 m/min can be achieved. New
AEROpiecing technology, integrated in the R 40 robot, enables ComfoRo rotor-spun yarns to be
produced with consistently strong and invisible piecings.

For ring spinning, the company displayed the K 44 ComforSpin® machine making six different
types of compact yarn – with or without fancy yarn effects – spun from different raw materials on
the same machine. The K 44 is available with up to 1,200 spindles, which makes it the longest
compact spinning machine on the market.

The Rieter ring-spun core yarn system enables elastic yarns to be manufactured on
ring-spinning and ComforSpin machines. Precise and faultless integration of the filament is ensured
by the additional roving guide in the break draft zone on the ring-spinning machine, and by
high-precision guidance in the compacting zone on the ComforSpin machine.

Italy-based Loptex S.r.l. presented the Optosonic line, which includes systems for the
on-line detection and removal of colored and colorless contamination in cotton blow-room lines. Key
features include compact design for a better fit and integration in the blow-room line, a new sonic
system that improves efficiency and consistency of results, a new material flow design for the
reduction of internal air turbulence, a speed meter for the reduction of loss of good fiber during
contamination rejection, and new software for the optimum management of functions and data

Loptex has introduced a new concept that positions a sorter system after the coarse opener
for the detection and removal of the bulk of contaminants in situations involving highly
contaminated cotton. The purpose of this coarse filter is to significantly reduce the high
rejection rate that occurs when the sorter fine filter is fitted after the fine cleaner, and ensure
an effective and smooth cleaning of the cotton.

ITMA Asia 2005 exhibitors filled all seven halls (42,000 square meters) of the Singapore
Expo Center – the first single exhibition to do so.

Germany-based Trützschler GmbH & Co. KG continues to present options for the
blow room, card and draw frame. Of interest was the new compact blow-room concept, which allows
production rates of up to 1,600 kilograms of fiber per hour. The TC 03 card and the TD 03 draw
frame also drew strong interest. According to the company, visitors responded positively to the
economic efficiency and service aspects of Trützschler’s offerings.

The Trützschler Card Clothing subsidary also presented a large spectrum of individual
clothing, offering the proper solution for each application. Hermann Selker, head of marketing,
said Trützschler’s waste control system improvements have continued to yield economic efficiencies
in the blow room. Carding developments have improved power consumption, reduced fiber loss and
resulted in better cleaning.

“India is booming,” Selker said. “Bangladesh, Pakistan and Iran are going well.”

President Director General, Chairman and CEO Bruno Ameline of France-based NSC Group
represented his company and the French Textile Machinery Manufacturers’ Association (UCMTF) at ITMA
Asia. UCMTF Secretary General Evelyne Cholet promoted the French member companies present at the
show. UCMTF has 40 member companies with a combined turnover of 850 million euros. Cholet noted
that four out of every five machines built by member companies are exported to other countries.

The Far East always has been a key market for the NSC Group and especially for NSC Nonwoven.
Asselin-Thibeau is a major supplier of Excelle® cards; crosslappers; ProDyn®, with more than 55
lines supplied in four years; drafters; preneedlers; needlelooms; winders; and slitters/rewinders.
The company supplies turnkey nonwoven lines for spunlacing, needlepunching and thermobonding that
are equipped with supervisory control-assistance systems.

According to the company, recent orders from China for geotextile applications, from Japan
for automotive, and from Korea for needlepunched man-made leather are the results of its close
working relationships with customers.

Axel Martell, area sale manager, Dilo System Group, Germany, reported strong satisfaction
with the show.

“There was a lot of general interest,” Martell said. “Where nonwovens are not well-known, we
can offer needlefelting, which offers high flexibility. The Indian guests are very aware of the
nonwoven market – we even had visitors from France and Romania. The Dilo group is able to supply
the full range – opening and blending, crosslapping and needling and hyperlayer crosslayering.”

Germany-based Fleissner GmbH CEO Hans-Georg Buckel said the recently introduced LeanJet
AquaJet Spunlace system opens doors for newcomers to nonwovens production.

“The LeanJet helps customers from India and Pakistan enter the market as they develop their
markets for disposables,” Buckel said. “It uses the same design with fewer options for production –
but specific needs of the market, like lower investment costs, are achieved. This way, they can
develop the market and establish sales.”

Regarding the new Fleissner/Zimmer AG relationship, Buckel said that while Zimmer has been a
supplier of very large man-made fiber facilities, Fleissner can leverage this technology for the
development of smaller and niche facilities.

Jakob Müller AG exhibited its DIGITAL-DIRECT technology.

Following Germany-based Saurer GmbH & Co. KG’s 25-percent investment in
England-based Fibrevision, Saurer companies Barmag and Neumag – both also based in Germany – now
include Fibrevision’s monitoring system within their equipment range. Fibrevision will continue to
collaborate with all original equipment manufacturers, while increasing collaboration with Saurer
companies, according to André Wissenberg, vice president, corporate communications textile.

Neumag presented its new bulk-continuous filament (BCF) plants S3 and S5 variomelt for the
production of carpet yarn as extensions of the BCF S5 construction system. The plants are designed
to meet the requirements of lower production capacities.

Neumag also exhibited its new nonwovens technology portfolio. According to the company, this
technology platform includes M&J Fibretech airlaid technology, Neumag spunbond and meltblown
technology, Fehrer needlepunching and carding technology, Autefa crosslapping technology and Kortec
festooning technology.

Saurer’s Schlafhorst subsidiary presented the new BD 280 manual rotor-spinning machine.

In addition, through the integration of Austria- based Fehrer AG’s DREF technology into the
its product range, Schlafhorst can now offer both the DREF 2000 – a friction-spinning machine for
the processing of short fibers, and the DREF 3000 – which facilitates the production of unique yarn
structures, especially for technical textiles.

With its new Autoconer 338 Gold, Schlafhorst offers what it refers to as the next step of
consistent market-oriented winding solutions. According to the company, the Autoconer 338 Gold
offers application packages for improved package quality and length measurement, greater
flexibility in splicing, improved ease of use and increased energy efficiency.

Bruno Condotta, marketing department, Murata Machinery Europe GmbH, Germany, reported a
strong showing at the company’s booth. Condotta pointed to the 21C Process Coner; the No.3CA Smart
Twister two-for-one twister, which features individual rotors and energy savings; as well as the
MVS No.861, which features efficient splicing.

“The show has been very good for our company,” Condotta said. “We have closed deals with
Indian, Pakistani and Indonesian customers.”

Weaving Technology

Jakob Müller AG, Frick, Switzerland, presented the Müller DIGITAL-DIRECT (MDLA) air-jet
weaving system, the world’s first harness-free weaving machine for multicolored, high-quality
jacquard woven labels with cut edges. According to Müller, jacquard weaving technology with
harnesses and retracting springs is increasingly being stretched to its technical limits. The MDLA
weaving process, which controls each warp thread separately and directly, is a global first and has
patents registered worldwide.

According to the company, this new system represents a process in which the movement of
every warp and weft thread is individually and directly controlled without using a jacquard machine
with superstructure and pulleys, harnesses with cord board or retracting springs. The coupling
point of the selected thread is renewed continually and automatically. Weft insertion occurs via
individual, directional and digitally controlled rotating twin air jets that features Müller’s
VARIPRESSURE system in the shears and the blower duct. The weft threads are inserted in the
simplest possible manner using the threading device. Look for the MDLA and the technology it
represents to make significant inroads in the future.

Germany-based Lindauer Dornier GmbH presented the AWS 8/E air-jet machine, which features a
new main nozzle and positive weft clamp. According to the company, the clamp allows the machine to
hold the yarn prior to insertion. The machine had the highest insertion rates for denim production
at the show.

Dornier also presented the PTS 16/J rapier – a 16-color rapier insertion on a jacquard setup
that was weaving silk sari fabric. Dornier drew special attention with the AWSL 8/- with EasyLeno®
2T system. The new leno, running two beams, allows for creation of fabrics with increased coverage
– inserting less filling for comparable coverage – and drew interest in areas from sheers to awning

According to Egon Wirth, marketing communication manager, Dornier, visitor quality was very
good. “This expo points to a better year,” Wirth said. “Things are changing quickly. This expo is
all that we expected it to be.”

Joël Jegou, Stäubli AG

Switzerland-based Stäubli AG introduced its DX 100/DX 110 jacquard machines – a
new jacquard family with enhanced possibilities for shed opening and a new mechanical design based
on a two-shaft technology. According to Stäubli, main features include: two formats with either
1,408 or 2,688 hooks; universal application for the weaving of flat fabric on rapier and projectile
looms; new, further developed M6 modules for the driving of the hooks; a perfect balanced movement
with less movable parts, plus robustness and increased durability; and lifetime greasing and
centralized lubrication that lead to significantly less maintenance.

The DX 100 is suitable for most standard applications, and the DX 110 features approximately
30-percent higher performance than the DX 100.

Apart from its new OMNIplus 800 air-jet weaving machine, Belgium-based Picanol NV presented
the Olympica 2 P 190 – its air-jet weaving machine with an attractive price/performance ratio – at
ITMA Asia.

The GamMax and GTXplus rapier weaving machines also were on display. The GTXplus rapier is
based on the company’s proven GTX technology, complete with full electronic monitoring and control.
According to the company, it meets investors’ objectives of maximizing their return on investment
with rapier technology.

Italy-based Itema Weaving’s marketing manager, Riccardo Mautino, said Itema is focused on
linking the well-known brands that make up Itema Weaving within the new company structure. The
company displayed Somet’s Alpha PGA rapier loom with a new filling insertion system and three
different versions of its Mythos E-Tec air-jet loom.

Mautino cited recent sales of the E-Tec in India, China, Brazil, Mexico and Italy. “We have
increased the speed with lower air consumption and greater flexibility,” he added.

For the Vamatex brand, Itema Weaving presented the whole range of Leonardo rapier looms, as
well as the new Silver HS, which can reduce management costs. Along with the DynaTerry, which has
seen recent improvements and is still very popular in Turkey and Iran, ITMA Asia was the first
showing of the new EK505 – developed from the same technology as the Leonardo Silver, but arranged
to offer a very competitively priced loom at the highest level of performance.

“I am very optimistic,” said Walter Nadalin, CEO of Switzerland-based Sultex Ltd., a member
of the Itema Group. “When we see the developing countries, we see China growing an internal market.
We know that change is constant. We need to rethink the process. What does our customer need to be
profitable? I am convinced we will be busy for the next generation.”

Switzerland-based Loepfe Brothers Ltd. celebrated its 50th anniversary at the show. Brothers
Helmut and Erich Loepfe founded the firm in 1955 and it has been a part of the Belgian Barco Group
since 1994. ITMA Asia represented the first showing of Loepfe’s KBW-L short weft detector for
projectile weaving machines. According to Jörg Müller, vice president sales and marketing, the
KBW-L is finding favor in denim weaving applications and will be developed for rapier applications
in the future.

“We highlighted our full range of Axminster. Wall-to-wall is popular here,” said Danny
Bourgois, sales coordinator of Belgium-based NV Michel Van de Wiele. “We have seen many Indian
visitors and have sold 24 jacquards for upholstery and home furnishings, and the show is not over.
These customers are from the Middle East – Iran and Syria, and we have completed contracts, one of
which was for the Universal Cut and Loop.”

Regarding the future, Bourgois said, “We really have felt a promising market with Indian
customers for new machines. We thought that was the trend, but at this show we really felt it for
the first time and our sales confirm it.”

Weaving technology was a strong draw for visitors at ITMA Asia 2005.

Italy-based SMIT S.p.A. President Luciano Corain said ITMA Asia was a very
positive experience for the company.

“There were huge quantities of visitors from India and Pakistan, but not enough Chinese
visitors. The discussion of a China ITMA is necessary,” he said. “These facilities were excellent,
but reducing the number of important exhibitions must be achieved. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh
[were] well represented – more than in the past – and we have had many positive discussions.”

Regarding Smit technology on display, Corain said, “The air jet JS-900 is new and in serious
production. This machine is made with all the benefits of our common platform. The GS900F is also
new and now we have a complete line of four machines on the common platform – gripper, gripper
terry, gripper technical and air jet.”

Dyeing And Finishing

“We have had serious discussions with customers from Pakistan and India with interest in
bleaching and desizing cotton with the Lavanova Eco,” said Luca Bardone, sales representative for
Italy-based Cimi S.p.A. “This is a starting point and we are pleased with the progress.”

Bardone said Cimi is well-known in wool finishing and is currently making inroads into the
cotton market. “In some ways,” Bardone said, “the Indian market seems to be the new China. The
woven market is for us and this is a further exploration for Cimi. We can even look for local
agents in these developing markets.”

Greece-based Sclavos International S.A. had a successful show with sales of the Athena and
Robolab XPM, according to Nikos Paraskevas, trade marketing manager.

“We want our clients to know that we are interested in their business and we are starting
with them,” he said. “The environment is an important issue. Lower power, water and steam
consumption is essential and important for the future. For clients in the apparel industry –
dealing with brands that care about the environment – they will understand how important our
[dyeing] systems can be in achieving an environmentally friendly product.”

Fong’s Industries Co. Ltd., Hong Kong, and its subsidiary companies – Fong’s National
Engineering Co. Ltd., Hong Kong; Then Maschinen GmbH, Germany; and Xorella AG, Switzerland –
displayed their products in several areas of the show.

“The number of visitors, inquiries and business were very good,” said Walter Leung, overseas
sales director, Fong’s National Engineering. “In total, we have sold machinery for some $5 million.
It was worthwhile to come. The ITMA Asia must be established and should take place again.”

Then Maschinen CEO Werner Hübsch also was pleased with the outcome of the exhibition.

“The number of visitors and business were very good,” he said. “We also welcomed a lot of
people from the Middle East. The main focus of interest was the Then-Airflow® AFE high-temperature
jet-dyeing machine. We have signed contracts for some 2.2 million euros. All machine models sold
were the Then-Airflow.”

According to Bernhard Koller, general manager, Xorella, the results of the show were
excellent, and the company sold conditioning systems for 850,000 CHF (approximately $710,000).

“We welcomed nearly 300 visitors in five days,” Koller said. “The quality of the people was
excellent – mainly decision makers. Particular interest was shown in the new applications for
heat-setting and conditioning of greige, dyed and printed fabrics. These applications are already
well-tested in the market and bring some considerable advantages to the finishing industry.”

Uwe J. Sick, project and sales director, Switzerland-based Santex AG, said, “The important
thing is we are completing orders. India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia
are very active with visitors. There is interest in basic finishing lines – whole width and
tubular. Decision makers are here and ready to buy. India understands its advantages over China and
is investing.”

Switzerland-based Clariant International AG had a large offering of dyeing and finishing
solutions at ITMA Asia. Among them were Nylofixan® HF Liquid, which the company states improves
fastness performance of man-made fibers. It was highlighted in Clariant’s swimwear color trends for
2006-07. Quad Action also was promoted as a “revolutionary finish including innovative

On the process side, Clariant promoted the performance of the SWIFT process for energy and
water savings with reliability, high fastness and easy shading for the dyeing of
polyester/cellulose blends.

Customers gathered at the Blue Fox booth for a product demonstration.

Ciba Specialty Chemicals Inc., Switzerland, launched a new system for dyeing
polyester/elastane blends called Ciba® TERASIL® W-EL. These disperse dyes combine performance with
reliable processing, high fastness and excellent dyeing reproducibility, according to the company.
In addition, these dyes offer low processing temperatures, which preserve fiber properties.

Ciba added new high-quality, cost-effective red and blue reactive dyes to its CIBACRON® S
reactive dye range for cellulosic fibers. Cibacron Red S-2G is a new, brilliant red shade, and
Cibacron Dark Blue S-GL gives highly fast shades at medium depths as well, according to the

Ciba’s new PREMAX continuous pretreatment system was introduced at ITMA Asia. The system
combines high quality, efficiency and cost savings while, according to the company, also offering
rewetting, emulsifying, low foaming, maximum whiteness and advanced fiber protection in one step.

Ciba displayed innovative effects for denim, developed in conjunction with Boehme Filatex
Inc., Reidsville, N.C. The company stated that snow and acid washing; wrinkled, destroyed, worn and
antique looks; and dyed and painted denim are among the broad variety of effects that can be

Ciba also presented a new continuous moist crosslinking process for non-iron effects on
cellulosics. The new system, developed in cooperation with Germany-based A. Monforts
Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG, is said to reduce processing time from more than 20 hours to
less than three minutes. The finish is applied on Monforts’ special MXL® continuous moist
crosslinking equipment.

Han Kuilderd, industry manager, textile mills, Novozymes China, reported good contacts with
Indian- and Bangladesh-based clients.

“This reflects the retailer’s demand for environmentally friendly processes with durable
quality,” Kuilderd said. “The mill sector is growing for wovens, knits and yarn.”

Novozymes promoted Aquazym® XT-L, an amylase for the desizing process. Denmark-based
Novozymes A/S is known for enzyme treatments for desizing, bleaching, scouring and polishing.

Germany-based BASF AG presented Cyclanon® XC-W – a newly launched soaping agent for reactive
dyeing that improves the washing-off quality in the dyeing process. With lower water and energy
consumption and reduced production costs, the product is part of a growing trend within the

BASF determines what products and processes are economically and ecologically most
appropriate through an eco-efficiency analysis. The company is constantly developing and adapting
this analytical tool to meet new requirements.

One of the processes successfully tested using this analysis was the BASF size-recycling
system, which protects the environment and cuts costs.

“All disciplines seem busy – size recovery, ecological innovations and people seeking
marketing support,” said Paul K.W. Mui, BASF senior manager Asia Pacific. “The brands are demanding
that manufacturers use certain chemicals and this ensures a certain level of quality,” he added.

Claudia Schneider, a BASF public relations and marketing communications representative,
said, “I did not expect the ecological issue to be so strong. I expected efficiency, but ecology is
very important.”

All of CEMATEX’s regional trade associations had a strong presence at ITMA Asia in support
of their member companies. (Left to right): Marina Damaggio, trade commissioner, Italian Trade
Commission; Paolo Umberto Banfi, ACIMIT Chairman; and Federico Pellegata, ACIMIT director, at the
press briefing

Arno Vonk, communications manager, Stork Prints BV, The Netherlands, reported
surprise at how few digital competitors were involved with the show.

“The start has been very good,” he said. “We are surprised at how little digital printing is
on display.”

Stork introduced two new digital machines – the Jade and Tourmaline. One feature found on
the new line of machines is a sophisticated fabric-control mechanism. According to Stork, a
precision unwind station guides the fabric onto the blanket smoothly and precisely. The blanket is
treated with thermoplastic glue, which holds the fabric in position.

The Tourmaline’s specifications are similar to the Jade’s except for its maximum printing
width – 2.2 meters compared to the Jade’s 1.6 meters – and printing speed, which is up to 20
percent faster.

Monforts introduced a new flagship Montex 6500 tenter, the Matex 5000 Top-S padder and the
MXL process for non-iron properties. According to the company, the Montex 6500 tenter offers the
latest integrated heat recovery system to be fitted as standard, offering low maintenance and
reduced heat energy consumption. Together with an optional waterless cleaning system, the machine
eliminates the need for heavy support, and access structures above the tenter and ductwork is

The new Matex Top-S padder provides an improved squeezing effect to reduce fabric moisture
entering the tenter. The Top-S yellow padder roll ensures a 30-percent reduction in energy costs
for the whole finishing line, with a rapid payback time. According to Monforts, a typical
100-percent cotton fabric weighing 180 grams per square meter previously contained 70-percent
moisture after padding, but with the Top-S padder just 52 percent of the moisture is retained.

The new MXL process has been designed for continuous use on a hotflue to ensure reduced
processing times. It offers a number of key features including non-iron properties for shirt and
bedsheet fabrics. This process has been jointly developed with Ciba Specialty Chemicals.

Although the future location of ITMA Asia is in question, the expo proved to be a positive
event, strongly supported by exhibitors and visitors. With a strong presentation of new technology
and interest from Indian visitors, continuing global development of the textile industry was
apparent in every hall.

January/February 2006