Henderson Machinery Co.
Henderson Machinery Co.
Henderson Sewing Machine
Henderson Sewing Machine
#TTNA21 generates more positive reviews
Posted September 9, 2021
By Devin Steele
RALEIGH, N.C. – Techtextil North America, which took place last month for the first time since February 2019, resembled those pre-pandemic good ol’ days in many ways – but at the same time felt completely different.
Masks and often awkward greetings ranging from fist bumps to elbow taps and, eventually in many cases, to old-fashioned handshakes between old friends and new was the order of the three-day show, which was staged August 23-25. City-mandated face covering regulations often made it difficult to breathe for some during the 90+ degree days that could not be fully tamped down inside, even with the AC pumping full blast in the lower level of the Raleigh Convention Center.
Still, the show represented a return of sorts for the textile industry after 18+ months of lockdowns and virtual meetings.
And that meant everything for many exhibitors and visitors champing at the bit to get back out among customers and friends.
With expectations low to moderate for many as the Delta variant continued to spread, the show turned out to be better than expected for most of those who responded to our questionnaire. Here, in Part 2 of our coverage, are show reports of some of those exhibitors, posted in alphabetical order.
TTNA21 exceeded the expectations of AATCC in terms of the numbers of visitors that came by its booth, as well as attendee numbers during staff presentations on testing at The Academy stage located across from its booth, according to Maria C. Thiry, communications & membership director of the Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based association.
“The quality of contacts made at the show was also excellent,” she said. “We were encouraged by the success of Techtextil NA and are looking forward to AATCC’s Textile Discovery Summit this November (in Durham, N.C.).”
An in-person event reminded AATCC staff that, although virtual meetings and shows are very useful, a live setting excels in “the kind of serendipitous, accidental meetings and connections that can be quite valuable, and make live shows very worthwhile,” Thiry said.
AATCC highlighted its newly developed e-textiles test methods, which generated considerable interest from attendees. The association also featured AATCC’s more typical test methods and testing “tools of the trade.”
“There was great opportunity to share AATCC’s membership opportunities and reconnect with existing members as well,” she said. “This offered the chance to secure new members and provide awareness for some of the big upcoming activities this fall honoring AATCC’s 100 year anniversary, including the Week of Celebration, Fall Committee Meetings and the Textile Discovery Summit.
Techtextil North America proved a point for Nick Lane, account manager for Devan U.S., the Greenville, S.C.-based arm of Belgium-based high-tech finishing chemicals supplier Devan.
“Over the past two years and the absence of shows, it has become painfully obvious of how dependent the majority of the textile industry is on face-to-face communications and how Techtextil North America plays a central role in creating these opportunities throughout the year,” Lane said. “I would say that the show exceeded my expectations – it exceeded them by simply taking place and by offering a safe means to meet with friends/customers and to discuss business.”
Lane added that it was refreshing to be back “live” and to see how effective an in-person setting can be after two years of virtual events. “Zoom-type calls are still great, but organic, face-to-face conversations can’t be beat,” he said.
Devan featured its sustainable technologies to help the textile industry produce durable, eco-friendly solutions. Such technologies are of great interest in the current climate as brands and retailers seek to lower their carbon footprint and enhance circularity of their products, Lane said.
The highlight products this season are plant-based softeners and plant-based quick dry products, each with certified bio content and lower cure temperatures to help mills and brands reach their sustainability goals.
Eastex Products, which moved into a new, much-larger headquarters in Plymouth, Mass., earlier this year, exhibited this week for the first time since the pandemic struck.
At TTNA, the company, which specializes in textile components, custom solutions and now PPE, highlighted its breathable laminates, cast-coated fabrics, display loop, nylon/polyester fabric, slip-not-grip fabrics, spacer fabrics, vinyl fabrics, weldable fabric, wide-loop fabrics, hook and loop, laminates, neoprene sheeting, “no-see-um” netting, Spandex, phase change material and webbing.
“It’s great to be back at it,” said company President Eric Hill. “I wish we had a little more traffic, but I’m sure it’s going to pick up as things move along in the coming weeks and months.
We had a good first and second day. It has been well worth the time and effort to be here.”
Fi-Tech, a manufacturers’ rep for leading manufacturers of complete machines or technical components used in the production of polymer, synthetic fibers, nonwovens, textiles, converting, perforated products and more, saw greatest interest among visitors in its Bruckner tenters and Shelton Vision System automated inspection systems.
“It was good to be able to interact with people in a more normal setting than the video calls we have become familiar with in the past years,” said Fred Adams, market development manager. “The show was a little better than expected – I thought it would be quieter due to the COVID situation.”
Henderson Machinery Co.
Bobby Irvin, president of Henderson Machinery Co., a Greensboro, N.C.-agent for global textile and equipment suppliers said he was “pleasantly surprised” with the traffic at TTNA21.
“We made several new contacts and followed up with existing customers on current and future machine requirements,” he said. “I am sure that the Monday start date and the mask mandate were deterrents to many that would have attended, but it was good to be back to a face-to-face environment.”
Henderson Machinery showcased Agteks twisting and covering machines and quality/inspection technology, as well as Fadis precision winders and yarn processing machinery.
Henderson Sewing Machine Co.
“Techtextil North America was a good opportunity to meet customers and vendors face to face,” said Frank Henderson, CEO of the Andalusia, Ala.-based distributor. “Thank You, Messe Frankfurt America, for organizing another successful trade show.”
He added that this year was not the best situation with the COVID pandemic and of late the Delta variant.
“However, I am delighted we were able to attend, and customers rewarded our efforts by visiting our booth and attending the Techtextil North America Symposium and the concurrently running Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference,” said Henderson, a speaker at both events. “Our booth traffic was not as good as usual, but good for these disruptive COVID times that we are all enduring.”
He added: “It was awesome to see customers face to face and explore ways to cooperate, collaborate and partner in these days of disruptive transformation.”
Henderson also opined that the Raleigh Convention Center is the “right location” for this show in “odd-numbered years” when the event isn’t held in Atlanta.
Jason Mills LLC
Jason Mills, a Milltown, N.J.-based complete sourcing, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution partner for all mesh, fabrics, and industrial textile manufacturing needs, reported an outstanding Techtextil North America this week.
“We thought that if we came out with 30 new contacts, our expectations would be exceeded,” said Brenda Stamboulian, director of Sales & Marketing. “At the end of the first day alone, we surpassed that number. I wouldn’t say our expectations were low, they were just ‘wait and see.’ We didn’t know what to expect, but for us, we thought 10 new contacts per day would be good.”
Company president Michael Lavroff added an anecdotal story during the show: “I was having breakfast today, and seated next to me were two guys from one of our largest accounts,” he said. “I had never met them before, but I could see their company logo on their shirts, and I struck up a conversation. Two hours later, they’re at the booth going through additional styles, and we now have a whole new development project. So it’s just that kind of synergy happens only when you show up and are in person.”
Jason Mills displayed its full line of industrial knit mesh materials. The company has added a few new styles, such as its 1996SD (archery netting) and blackout materials. These styles complete its impact screen/simulator line. The company has also added style 1905, which is loadbearing to 1,000 pounds and is fire resistant, to its healthcare line.
In addition to Stamboulian and Lavroff, Robert Neuschaefer, production coordinator & sales associate, attended the show.
Saravanan Palani, director of sales at Luwa America, Inc., Charlotte, N.C., said he was pleased with the turnout and industry response to TTNA21.
“Techtextil 2021 met our expectations as this was the first in-person trade show after the pandemic began, and we were quite glad to receive sizable visitors from the key companies in the Industry,” he said “We were quite astonished with the volume and quality of people flowing in, despite the strict mask protocols in place. It was an exciting trade show and should definitely set as an example for the upcoming major events and trade shows.”
The company promoted its Luwa Compact Filtration Unit with the option of three types of Filter Unit (Rotary Drum Filter / Multi Cell Filter and Rotary Plated Belt). Based on the application and filtration efficiency required, appropriate filters are chosen. Also, on the hygiene/nonwoven applications, Luwa has the patented TexFog System Air Washer, which completely eliminates stagnant water for the Air Washer.
“Luwa stands for well-engineered, innovative systems, plants and solutions for textile and other industries,” Palani said. “Our fields of activity include textile air engineering, industrial air engineering, eco-engineering, control engineering – on the highest level, compliant to Swiss standards. Put differently: We create the required climate conditions for an efficient operation of manufacturing facilities – as a local partner, worldwide. Our goal is to sustainably improve manufacturing conditions, reduce energy costs and generate added value. In doing this, we look back on 85 years of experience.”
Shima Seiki USA
Shima Seiki USA, the American headquarters of Japan-based computerized knitting machine manufacturer Shima Seiki Mfg., Ltd., approached the show with a “wait-and-see” attitude, according to Hayato Nishi, public relation manager based in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“We were unsure about the turnout at TechTextil North America, but we decided to exhibit at the show, not expecting much but to simply reconnect with our customers and friends and highlight some new samples and product offerings,” he said. “After exhibiting at the show, we were pleased with the attendance and overall the show exceeded our expectations.”
Besides the travelling itself, Nishi said it was great to be “back in action” in a live setting compared to many of the virtual shows.
“There are many things we can showcase physically that is difficult to show on-screen, and in addition, it is great to see the customers’ reactions and converse with them about future ideas in real-time,” he said.
“Although I hope to see our customers’ mask-less faces in the future, I feel as though this outbreak will be something we have to learn to live with, and set standards in place to get used to a new normal,” he said.
Shima Seiki’s highlight products were new knit samples from its SVR/N.SVR knitting machines showcasing applications for “FurKNITure” or furniture knit for the future. The company has a deeply rooted history in knitted apparel, starting with automatically knitted gloves, then WHOLEGARMENT – 3D knit apparel and accessories.
However, in recent years, the supplier has seen knitted applications across other industries, so it highlighted knit chairs, where machines can engineer the shape stitch by stitch to create functionally mapped structures such as padded details through inlay in areas cushioning is needed, woven-like knit inlay with cut-resistant fibers for rigidity, i-plating for controlled jacquard-like designs in a single jersey, tubular details for frame insertion and pointelles for breathable mesh pattens.
“These samples quickly generated interest where we heard many people say, ‘I didn’t know you can knit that!’ and from there led to conversations on potentials for other product applications.”
At N.C. State’s Wilson College of Textiles booth, Shima Seiki’s SWG-Mini machines was running, which gave visitors a chance to see what advanced 3D knitting looks like firsthand – which is easier to understand than a video, Nishi said.
Techtextil North America “met our expectations overall, but we had anticipated meeting more visitors from within the weaving industry after not being able to attend any events in the last 18+ months,” said Oliver Meier, textile director, North America for Staubli, with U.S. operations in Duncan, S.C.
The company’s live presentation of the TIEPRO tying machine generate good interest and excellent leads, he said.
“It was inspiring and awesome to finally meet and interact with people in person again,” Meier said.
Danny Barrett of Danbartex, LLC, which represents Japan-based OEM Tsudakoma Corp., said he wasn’t sure what to expect going into the trade show, but came away pleasantly surprised with traffic and interest, he said.
“It has been such a long time since we could experience this type of setting,” he said. “It was great to talk with existing customers and to explain our technology to new potential customers. It was the best feeling ever. We have been secluded for so long as event planners could not risk promoting in-person events due to the pandemic. Of course, some people decided not to attend and that is totally understandable. However, the people that did attend the event were ready to interact with their fellow textile associates.”
Highlight products included Tsudakoma Air Jet Looms (ZAX9200i Professional and ZAX001 neo), and Water Jet Loom (ZW8200) are its main product line.
Tsudakoma is well known in the traditional fields such as apparel, (shirting, jeans and workwear), home textiles (towels and sheeting), so Danbartex decided to promote the capabilities of the Tsudakoma looms weaving technical textiles. According to Tsudakoma, about 30% of their looms sold in Japan are for the technical textile field and the company aims to expand its market share in that area globally, Barrett said.
“Our products and explanations were well received by the people we talked with during the event,” he said.