Cinte Techtextil China 2008: Better Than Expected

he rising demand for technical textiles and nonwoven products helped make Cinte
Techtextil China 2008 one of the best textile events to date. According to Messe Frankfurt (HK)
Ltd., Hong Kong, one of the show’s organizers, some 12,800 visitors from 47 countries and regions
attended the event, held in October in Shanghai.

Cinte Techtextil China was held for the first time at the Shanghai New International Expo
Centre, concurrently with the apparel textile show Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics 2008.
Having the two events colocated added value to both shows, according to exhibitors and visitors.
The show was organized by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd; the China-based Sub Council of Textile
Industry, CCPIT; and the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA).

Companies exhibiting at Cinte Techtextil China as part of the four European pavilions from
Belgium, France, Germany and Italy were among the 301 exhibitors from 18 countries. Pictured: the
French Pavilion

European Pavilions

The show welcomed 301 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions, including four European
pavilions from Belgium, France, Germany and Italy. The Belgian Pavilion was organized by the
Federation of the Belgium Textile, Wood and Furniture Industries (Fedustria); the French Pavilion,
by UBIFrance; the German Pavilion, by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the
Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA), and supported by the Confederation of the
German Textile and Fashion Industry; and the Italian Pavilion, by the Italian Trade Commission

Michael Jänecke, Techtextil brand manager, Messe Frankfurt GmbH, was very pleased with the
event, stating: “The show has again proved to be a first-class platform to create new contacts and
business mainly in China, but also in the region. The team and our partners are very pleased to
learn about the positive feedback of the exhibitors. They are satisfied with both the number and –
more importantly – the quality of the visitors.”

In general, the organization, layout, logistics and other show details were evaluated as
good, even very good. The whole layout was very clear, even the sign-posting in the aisles. Of
course, many people mentioned, visitor frequency could have been better and the transport
facilities could have been improved, mainly for the exhibitors’ staff – for example, by providing
buses to the main hotels in downtown Shanghai.

Many Chinese exhibitors attended Cinte Techtextil China, reflecting a nonwovens market that
is expanding more and more.

Customer Care

Customer care is one of the most often mentioned reasons to attend shows like Cinte
Techtextil China. However, altogether, most of the exhibitors’ expectations were fulfilled, based
on very low figures. The exhibitors welcomed mostly Chinese visitors, with only a few people coming
from foreign countries.

Jean-Philippe Dumon, sales and marketing director, France-based NSC nonwoven, mentioned that
this exhibition is quite mandatory for NSC to see its customers. The advantages of such an event
shouldn’t be underestimated. In a single place, one can meet many existing and potential customers
from a huge country. Rüdiger Weinhardt, sales and marketing director, Germany-based Fleissner GmbH,
also underlined the fact that Fleissner saw all its customers from China, but the company also made
a lot of new contacts during the show.

All interviewed people mentioned without exception that the quality of the visitors was
nothing but excellent. Germany-based weaving machinery manufacturer Lindauer Dornier GmbH’s
Technical Textiles Product Manager Michael Langer and Sales Manager Rainer Roth agreed with that
assessment. And Gérald Alligros, head of marketing and back sales, France-based RITM, underlined
the fact that not only are economic reasons to be taken into consideration, but also the social

André Michalon (above), sales director, Rieter Perfojet; and Jean-Philippe Dumon, sales and
marketing director, NSC nonwoven

A Very Important Market

China, including Taiwan, is still the most important market for all interviewed companies.
Rieter Perfojet is in a favorable position to have its own production plant in Wuxi, China. Sales
Director André Michalon mentioned that more than 700,000 metric tons of polyethylene terephthalate
and polypropylene spunbonds are produced every year in China. This was emphasized by the fact that
most of the exhibitors were nonwovens producers from China. Every second line for nonwovens
production is sold in China.

According to Dumon, filtration and geotextiles are the most requested products at the
moment, but even so, these products are as yet almost unknown in China. Dumon mentioned that it is
also the obligation of the industry to promote nonwovens for new products such as filters or

Gérald Alligros (above), head of marketing and back sales, RITM; and Rüdiger Weinhardt,
sales and marketing director, Fleissner

Top Sellers

Everybody mentioned that the potential for technical textiles and nonwovens is very big in
China. However, as a weaving machinery manufacturer, Langer said, Dornier is not yet so much
involved in the market of technical textiles, just like the nonwovens manufacturers. However, more
and more Chinese companies are becoming interested in technical textiles in general, and in
flexible weaving machines in particular. Langer mentioned a rising interest in conveyor belts and
filtration, and these products are woven mainly on rapier machines.

For RITM, a manufacturer of machinery for man-made fiber treatment, Alligros sees big
potential for technical textiles if one takes into consideration how many filament yarn production
plants are already in China. And Michalon sees one advantage for modern nonwovens made on Rieter
Perfojet’s Spunjet machines: it takes up to 20-percent less fiber to produce nonwovens with similar
product properties.

To be successful in China, it is very important to produce the “local quality level,” said
Werner Zirnzak, deputy managing director, IVGT, German Association of Yarn, Fabric and Technical
Textile Producers.

Weinhardt also confirmed the interest in filtration, synthetic leather and also for medical
products of high quality. Dumon made a point when he said that 1.3 billion people are living in
China, and to fulfill only the demand for filtration and geotextiles opens endless possibilities.

In times of producing smaller batches, even in Asia, Alligros reported that many visitors
asked for flexible and versatile machinery to react rapidly to any market change, especially for
yarn treatment. He mentioned an RITM machine that is able to produce three different articles on
six positions. Zirnzak noted that all 12 product applications for Techtextil are of equal
importance and are showing similar growth rates.

Michael Langer (left), product manager, technical textiles, and Rainer Roth, senior sales
manager, Lindauer Dornier

Market Situation

All interviewed companies have been more or less hit by the financial crisis. In general,
the investments have dropped drastically. The money is there, the markets are there, but the
customers are hesitating and are waiting for better times. Zirnzak said almost every project of his
member companies has been put on ice; one can truly say that the world economy is standing still,
and also, the consumers are not moving. Now, everybody is waiting for the impulse to restart.
Weinhardt said Fleissner has not been hit that much by the crisis, because the company has not
concentrated on China only. Dumon assumed the same: Up to now, NSC hasn’t had any contract
cancellations; however, time will tell.

At the moment, the biggest obstacle for Dornier as a weaving machinery manufacturer is the
17.5-percent value-added tax on imported machines, which is a big advantage for the local
suppliers. “The market is still very active,” Alligros said. “There is still a domestic and an
export market, and our machinery is mainly applied for export qualities.”

“However,” Michalon said, “take a look at all the Chinese exhibitors; this is quite a
reflection of the market, which is expanding more and more.” But Michalon is not the only one who
is sure there must be a consolidation in the Chinese market too. On the other hand, the products
must be better. This brings the change for high-quality machinery and equipment from Europe, and
nonwovens need high-quality machinery to be successful.

For Zirnzak, the situation is obvious: due to the financial crisis, demand has decreased
heavily. China anticipates an annual growth of some 2 percent instead of 8 to 10 percent seen in
previous years. China’s economy also is no better off than other economies.

According to Zirnzak, this negative aspect may also have some positive effects – for
example, the tension on energy costs and raw material prices will decrease. The textile industry is
also in a transition period to reduce overcapacities. For sure, there will be an upswing, but not
at the same pace as before. There will be and there must be a consolidation in the markets, and
only the best will remain. To be successful, service is needed more than ever, especially for
technical textiles and nonwovens.

This situation is favorable for NSC, which has its own service center in Wuxi. “That’s why,”
Dumon said, “we are not afraid of the future.”

Werner Zirnzak, deputy managing director, IVGT, German Association of Yarn, Fabric and
Technical Textile Producers


And how long will this situation last? Everybody agreed that there will be no upswing for a
least the next six to 10 months, and the situation will be better again in the second half of 2009,
when the first consolidation period is over, at the soonest.

In general, all interviewed company representatives were satisfied with Cinte Techtextil
China. Shows like Techtextil, and this was mentioned before, are a first-class opportunity to meet
customers and interested parties to establish new contacts – not to mention the fact that many
exhibitors are customers of the machinery companies. And these contacts cannot only be measured in
real contracts, and there is still some room for market research to look over the competitors.
Everybody will return to the next event, and one’s own people onsite can save a company a lot of

Great Future

In the long run, everybody agreed with the fact that technical textiles and nonwovens have a
great future, compared with traditional textiles. “If China is not affected that much by the
financial crisis, it will recover pretty well, and we can increase our presence in China,” Alligros

For Michalon, it’s obvious that in the long run, only first-quality suppliers and fabric
producers can survive, especially those who have a textile background. Time is up too for all these
“green-field” investors who had no relation with textiles. “On top of that,” Weinhardt said,
“thanks to its great reserve assets, China will overcome this situation in a relatively short time.
It would be favorable because the markets in the renminbi would be stronger. This would also lead
to more investments, and therefore to better quality.”

November/December 2008