he 2009 edition of IMB – World of Textile Processing will take place at Koelnmesse in
Cologne, Germany, Tuesday, April 21, through Friday, April 24. Organized by Koelnmesse GmbH and
with the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) Garment and Leather Technology Association as
conceptual sponsor, the triennial exhibition will feature more than 600 exhibitors from 40
countries presenting process technologies related to the production of apparel, home textiles and
upholstered furniture, as well as for leather processing. There will be a special focus on
technologies for technical textiles and materials as well as on ecology, resource conservation,
product safety and socially responsible apparel production. Some 25,000 trade visitors from
approximately 120 countries are expected to attend the fair.
Exhibition visitors examine the products that received IMB Innovation Awards at the 2006
According to Udo Traeger, vice president for furniture, interior design and textiles,
Koelnmesse, IMB provides an opportunity for manufacturers to meet with sector decision-makers.
“Here, manufacturers of textile processing machines don’t just meet with representatives of the
trade but instead interact directly with the ‘users’ of their products, by which I mean the
managing directors, technical directors, engineers and procurement managers of manufacturers from
the textile-processing industry,” he explained.
The sector is experiencing what VDMA Garment and Leather Technology Association Managing
Director Elgar Straub calls “radical changes” with respect to the organization of production
locations. “Energy costs have risen and labor costs in some of the low-wage countries have also
increased noticeably. At the same time the sector is counting on more flexibility and productivity
within the whole production chain, from suppliers to distribution. The trend toward
individualization is accompanied by an increased awareness of quality. Environmental protection,
resource conservation and social responsibility are further important topics for the whole sector.
The sector is closely examining the steadily increasing transport and logistics costs in relation
to cheap products, particularly in regard to environmental protection.”
Addressing increased concerns for environmental quality, textile and apparel product
manufacturers are seeking more eco-friendly ways to make their goods; and technology suppliers are
designing more resource- and energy-conserving, quieter and more ergonomic machinery, equipment and
processes, even with respect to their own production processes. IMB organizers point out in
particular improved efficiencies and performance of sewing, fusing and button and buttonhole
machinery. Another area that is seeing innovations is ironing and finishing, especially in the area
of 3-D or form finishing, which is useful for pressing apparel with difficult-to-manipulate areas,
or for preventing seam puckering or ironing marks.
On The Exhibition Floor
IMB exhibitors will include manufacturers and providers of technologies and services for
processing a full range of flexible materials, as well as information technologies. Processing
categories include: design, cutting and computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM),
information technology, distribution logistics and material flow; quality control; joining, sewing
and embroidery; product preparation, textile finishing, material flow and knitting technologies;
technical textiles and materials; energy, air-conditioning, disposal and recycling; research and
development; leather processing including shoe manufacturing; and new potentials including radio
frequency identification, textile logistics, packaging and textile machinery. The show targets
visitors from apparel and textile processing industries – also including processors in technical
sectors such as automotive, aeronautics, medical, construction, filtration and others – as well as
trade, service, and science and education sectors.
IMB’s global visitor makeup is a key attraction for exhibitors such as Germany-based
Groz-Beckert KG, a manufacturer of knitting, weaving, felting, tufting and sewing needles.
“Groz-Beckert wants to utilize the opportunity IMB 2009 offers to meet customers from across the
globe, and in a very short period of time carry out intensive discussions and inform customers
about the technical and organizational developments and improvements since the last IMB,” said
Edelgard Keinath, Groz-Beckert’s manager, public relations and advertising.
Supporting Programs And Services
IMB Forum 2009 will be held Tuesday through Thursday in Hall 8. Having the theme “Technology
for Shaping the Future – Opportunities through Progress,” the forum will kick off Tuesday afternoon
with Future Talk, “Future Opportunities: Ecology and Sustainability,” a discussion moderated by Dr.
Andreas Stockert, senior vice president of Switzerland-based Kühne & Nagel International AG, a
global provider of logistics solutions. The forum will continue with morning and afternoon sessions
Wednesday and Thursday, each including four presentations related respectively to CAD/CAM &
Management Solutions, Material Flow/Logistics/Supply Chain Management, Processing of Technical
Materials and Product Development/Apparel Technology.
On Wednesday evening, innovation will be celebrated with the presentation of the 2nd IMB
Innovation Awards, sponsored by the European Commission, represented by Herbert von Bose, head of
the Industrial Technologies Directorate of the Directorate-General for Research. The awards will be
given this year to winners in three categories: Research & Development; IMB Exhibitor; and
Students & Young Professionals. The winning entries will be on view in the Innovation Award
Center on the Boulevard at Koelnmesse.
Exhibitors will have the opportunity to showcase new solutions and concepts at the Speakers’
Corner, a platform providing 30-minute presentations on topics related to the focus of IMB 2009.
IMB visitors who register online ahead of the exhibition will be able to expedite their
entry to the exhibit halls and also will be able to use Cologne’s transport systems free of charge
to travel to the fair. Visitors also may avail themselves of IMB’s Internet-based Online
Matchmaking service to contact exhibitors prior to the fair’s opening and set up appointments with
those who can best serve their needs.