ITMA 2003:

Dec. 8, 2003

Better than expected, exhibitors say

Don Gillespie (above), vice president of Fleissner, shows the Aquajet hydroentanglement unit. This table cloth (R) is imparted with a design by Aquajet.

By Roy Broughton

Initially, there was concern that the International Textile Machinery Exhibition (ITMA) would not go on.

A number of companies were on the fence about whether to exhibit - and a few did not show up. Most all exhibitors who did come agreed that ITMA 2003 was better than they had expected, but then added that their expectations had been very low.

Almost 60 exhibitors were from the U.S., but U.S. attendees were less apparent and, according to the official count, made up less than 3 percent of the 125,000 visitors. (The results were reported as 15,000 visitors per day so, one cannot be sure that the 125,000 did not include duplicates; however, 24,000 were pre-registered.)

Italian machinery occupied 25 percent of the exhibition floor space. The Italian Textile Machinery Association reported that the 2002 exports of textile machinery was 70 percent of total production and that 40 percent of the exports were to Asia.

Most exhibitors agreed that most of the "buyers" at the show were from Asia. The Turkish presence among exhibitors was as large as that from the U.S. (61 exhibitors), and the combined total of exhibitors from China (PRC) and Taiwan was about 75.

China exports the expected yarn and fabric machinery, but in addition, you could purchase a turnkey fiber production facility.

A number of exhibitors complained about the lack of organization in planning the show and the high cost of exhibiting. Some unrelated exhibitors had joined together in a single large booth to share and save expenses.

Several exhibitors questioned their future exhibitions in Europe; the market is moving. India, for example, was promoting its own version of ITME in Mumbai in December 2004.

The following are among the more interesting new developments seen by the author in the areas of nonwovens, testing and fiber production.


Fleissner showed is new patterning capabilities for its Aquajet® hydroentanglement unit. By controlling the geometry of the support screen, they are able to produce a relief pattern on the fabric surface.

The hydroentanglement unit is also being promoted to bond three layer composite nonwovens with a center layer of pulp from its air lay-pulp heads.

Fleissner also exhibited a carpet dye liquor applicator head that allows rapid color changes and minimizes carpet and dye waste during the color changeover.

Fehrer exhibited a needlepunch machine with two independently operating needling sections. A section can be engaged intermittently to produce an end border on structured nonwoven carpet in a single pass through the machine (Figure 3). The also exhibited an improved version of their DREF® friction spinning machine (model 3000). A "Yarn Puncher" was introduced for binding yarn to flat surfaces or for improving the entanglement between sheath and cores in composite yarns.

Wise Industries, of Kings Mountain, NC, exhibited the Struto® vertical laid nonwovens technology. The structure is corrugated similar to the inner layer of a shipping box, except with longer folds and an almost vertical arrangement.

The structure offers better resilience than crosslapped or airlaid products and is finding applications in various padding applications and in automobile panels.

Hills, Inc. of Melbourne, FL, is a bright spot in U.S textile machinery technology. John Hagewood was busy demonstrating its bicomponent spinning (extrusion) technology. It can produce extremely fine fibers using "islands in the sea" technology with the sea being dissolved out, leaving islands approaching nanofiber dimensions.

It also has segmented pie fibers and hollow segmented fibers with either splitable or with dissolvable segments. The hydroentanglement of the splitable bicomponents provides both splitting and bonding, with remarkable dimensional stability and strength for a nonwoven.

Hills, Inc provides complete spinning lines for normal as well as bicomponent and hollow fiber. It also provides bicomponent technology to other extrusion engineering companies, including Barmag, Reiffinhauser and Fleissner.

Laroche SA of France, long known for its recycling and bast-fiber processing equipment, is being successful in providing complete nonwovens lines. An air lay line capable of handling relatively short fibers, and a compact line for moldable felts were highlights of their exhibit.

Paul Whitaker of U.S. representative Allertex of America made the point that with mature industry, the ability to integrate the known technologies to produce new products is a key to success. Allertex also represents Technoplants of Italy, which exhibited cutting stacking and wrapping equipment for nonwoven products.

The Santex Group of Switzerland promoted its large variety of heating and bonding equipment for nonwovens (Cavitec affiliate), and its Wave Maker®, which competes with the Struto technology.

Autefa, along with sister companies Spinbau and Dilo, exhibited an improved nonwovens line with faster speed, better control of crosslapping and more versatility in needling.

The crosslapper (Topliner® CL 4006) can handle webs at up to 200 m/min and with precise digital control of speeds (WebMAX®) can vary the infeed web weight to eliminate the normal increase in thickness in the folds at the edge of the web.

Autefa also provides slitting and transverse cutting and perforation machinery, which can be set for cut widths and lengths via automatic controls, rather than manually.

Temafa showed a new nonwoven carding system with up to four webs doffed from the main cylinder, and two doffing layers during transfer between the opening cylinder and the main cylinder. This arrangement allows for better blending of fibers and for versatility, in the addition of randomizer rolls.

It also allows higher production rates and thicker webs from a single card system.

Dilo again exhibited its Hyperpunch® needling machine with elliptical needle path for faster speeds and lower stress on the fabric and needles.

NSC Nonwovens, which includes Thibeau ans Asselin, was offering increased speed and control on its card, crosslap and needlepunch machines. It also showed a new air-laid web forming system (Air-Web) that operates downstream from the card and provides low web directionality (1.3-1.9 MD/CD) over a wide range of batt weights, beginning as low as 30g/sq meter.

Web uniformity is measured by a scanning X-ray unit for quality control of feed back process control.

Italy-based Automatex offered improved side to side weight control in its crosslapper and better dust removal from its pre-needler.

Both Groz Beckert of Germany and Foster Needle of Manitowoc, WI, were promoting their new entanglement needles. Groz-Beckert had new tin and chromium coatings to reduce wear and a tapered conical needle with high flexibility to minimize breakage.

Foster touted improved precision in the crank and working areas of the needles as well as increased metal hardness for longer wear and reduced breakage.

Fibroline of Belgium promoted a "plasma" approach to the distribution of small particles in a nonwoven web. A high-voltage alternating current is reported to improve the distribution of powders such as adhesives in the web and thereby minimize the powder waste.

This may allow the production of powder bonded fabrics in webs that previously required water or solvent based adhesives. The technology is being offered on Strahm Textile Systems AG (Switzerland) new nonwoven bonding ovens.

Mazios offered a line for web manufacture, and direct feeding to a multi-needle quilting machine, as well as a pillow vacuum (rather than blowing) line. The vacuum operates with less noise, fly and dust. They also exhibited a card with lateral motion to reduce the directionality in nonwoven webs.

Italy-based Bematic had a web-forming machine dubbed as a "no-air" air lay machine. The opened and centrifugally dispersed fiber land on an inclined apron and falls to the conveyor.

Without the stream of high velocity air and a condensing screen or belt,

short fibers and small particles are retained in the batting.

Nordson was promoting its new hot melt system for applying elastomeric yarns to disposable garments with minimum waste of glue material. The glue is applied directly to the elastomeric rather than to the nonwoven.

Europlasma of Belgium offered plasma units for surface treatment of nonwovens and films. Unlike earlier plasma treatments, the machines do not require high vacuum, but can operate at atmospheric pressure.

The treatments include cleaning and changing the polarity of the surface - more or less hydrophilic.

Testing equipment

For all the talk of less exhibitors, there seemed to be more companies exhibiting testing instruments, scattered throughout the exhibition. In addition to the usual manufacturers Uster, Lawson Hemphill, Lenzing, Zweigle, Textechno, SDL, etc. there were newcomers from Italy, India, Taiwan and China - all offering instruments similar to the others.

That is not to say there was nothing new in testing. All of the instrument makers offered improved robotics to minimize the labor involved in testing.

Lawson-Hemphill of Central Falls, RI, offered its new testers for filament yarn shrinkage and drawing force.

It also represents another exhibiting company, LineTech Industries of Brooklyn, NY, which was showing a new pilling tester (PillGrade®) and a color comparison device (PIXLColor®) for measuring color uniformity in a sample, or between samples. The device receives and analyzes spectral data from each pixel across the width of a sample, or a sample placed beside a standard.

Uster was present in style and had a busy booth with its improved fiber and yarn testing instruments. It is also extending into the area of fabric quality measurement with fabric inspection equipment.

Shirley Developments Limited (SDL), Atlas Material Testing Technology, Raitech and Textile Innovators have all come together under the banner SDL-Atlas to offer a complete line of textile testing equipment.

Lenzing exhibited a single fiber crimp instrument. They load the fiber with an exceptionally low load and measure length. Then the instrument elongates the fiber by increasing the load from .01 to 1 cN/dtex (~ .001 g/den to 0.1 g/den) and then reverses to the initial tension to determine the crimp and crimp recovery.

Zweigle of Germany has entered the optical evenness market.

Textechno, represented in the U.S. by Measured Solutions, Inc., Greenville, SC, introduced an automated vibroscope/single fiber tester (Favimat®) that measures fiber crimp and can do an optical count as well.

It was also testing the market for measurement of 3-D crimp with a new prototype instrument. The improved Dynafil ME® allows coupling with instruments to measure bulk and entanglement properties of BCF and textured yarn as well as uniformity (capacitance) denier (cut and weigh).

Mesdan of Italy was there with testers for neps and trash in fibers, tensile testers for yarns and fabrics, a friction and a twist tester for yarn and abrasion and lightfastness testers for fabric.

Woolmark Technology (UK) exhibited its laser measurement system for determination of fiber diameter in hair fibers. It advertises measurement of fiber diameters in mohair wool alpaca and cashmere.

It also has a new version of the Almeter® and provide a fiber picking/aligning mechanism for preparing the samples.

Premier of India had a large booth, and a number of fiber and yarn instruments similar to Uster. And Paramount, as well as Rossari Labtech, both from India, offered rather complete lines of typical textile testing equipment, as well as general laboratory equipment such as hot plates, water stills, pH meters, balances and ovens.

Of interest

Cietex Chemnitzer Textilmachinenentwicklung exhibited machinery to make thick knitted and stitch bonded constructions using monofilament "spacers" in the Z direction. The vertical monofilaments provides cushioning and resilience for upholstery applications and the ability to change the thickness of the fabric during manufacture allows near net shapes for fabric up to 1.5 cm in thickness.

Other suggested applications include coated inflatable articles, foam filled cushions, filtration products with pockets for absorbent media and reinforcing textiles for the construction industry.

On September 4, 2003, DuPont Textiles and Interiors changed its name to Invista® and became a wholly owned corporate subsidiary of DuPont. The new company has sales of $6.3 billion and employs 18,000 in 86 countries. And since the exhibition, DuPont announced the final sale of Invista to Koch Industries, a private corporation headquartered in Mexico.

Invista and its construction partner, Chemtex International, are major players in the turnkey polyeater polymerization and fiber spinning areas.

DuPont has also collaborated with Shaer Schweitzer Mettler AG (SSM), an extrusion technology company, to produce a continuous fiber spinning, stretch-break, twisting (air compaction - perhaps false twist) machine (Uniplex®) for producing staple yarns. The break length is rather long, perhaps as low as 8 inches, according to William Corcoran of DuPont, so the fiber ends are not plentiful.

However, it is a significant because it minimizes the number of discrete processes in producing a staple yarn. It is also claimed that a continuous filament core can be introduced in the yarn with the staple being wrapped around it. Advantages seen are lower air permeability, higher strength, rapid and flexible product changes, something approaching spun yarn aesthetics and rapid production rate that may translate into improved economics.

Gilbos of Belgium exhibited an air false-twist unit for combining yarn strands. The air-jet false twist provides alternate S and Z twist yarn segments and uses periodic air entanglement to prevent the adjacent segments from untwisting.

Jack Gaches, the U.S. representative, said that the advantage is a twist effect in plied yarn at higher production speeds than normal twisting machines can produce.

Sliver knitting is a fascinating process, allowing the production of synthetic textiles that resemble animal fur. Mayer, Inc., the Spartanburg, SC-based subsidiary of Mayer and Cie, produces sliver knit machines. Its new innovation on display at the exhibition was an air attachment that allows the machine to tuck the fiber ends back into the knitting mechanism to produce a knitted loop effect.

The combination of areas with or without fur and some of the fur areas being looped gives a wide variety of styling possibilities, particularly when combined with different colors of sliver.

Enka Technica, was bought by Heberelein about three years ago and has now purchased Wetzel Micro Products in a consolidation of spinnerette and spin-pack producers. They also offer a variety of products for downstream quality monitoring of yarn quality, including filament migration detectors and entanglement counters.

Modra Technology Pty Ltd. of Australia offered a unique carpet sample machine capable of producing variable gage, stitch length and stitch height in cut or loop pile and up to eight colors in the pattern. Samples are produced up to one meter in width and can be backed for display with a hot melt adhesive and a heated press.

Hollingsworth is now a part of Trützschler, except in the U.S., and offers card and clothing service from the same manufacturer. Hollingsworth on Wheels still operates out of Greenville, SC, in the U.S.

Karl Mayer has moved into the yarn preparation area with a prototype draw-warping/texturizing unit. In an extension of its draw-warping process, it exhibited a machine that integrates texturing into draw warping. If commercially successful, it would prepare a beam of air-textured yarn directly from undrawn (or POY) polyester or nylon fiber.

Mayer also demonstrated a sample warping machine to prepare short warps from a limited number of packages, avoiding the large creel needed for conventional warping.

In addition to its improvements in color measurement equipment stability, which reduces the need for frequent sampling, Datacolor of Lawerenceville, NJ, featured foam generator/applicator systems for nonwovens manufacturing. It has also partnered with several dyeing equipment manufacturers for better control of mill dyeing processes, and showed an improved, IR heated, beaker dyeing sample machine.

Laser Systems Technology of Quebec, Canada) offered a laser "engraving" system for "imprinting" designs on fabric. It was exhibited with a denim that was selectively faded in a pattern to produce a design.

Another Canadian company, Instrumar, exhibited a denier/finish/interlace monitor for on-line measurements during extrusion. Its relatively unique business model is that it will install its system in the plant and the plant pays for the information, not the system.

The system uses RF technology with a miniature RF applicator and determines denier from the magnitude of the absorption and the finish from the direction (phase) of the absorption vector.

Several companies were exhibiting antimicrobial finishes. Among the suppliers were Clariant (Sanitized) and Rycobel (HealthGuard).

Roy Broughton, Ph.D., is a professor of textile engineering at Auburn University, Auburn, AL.

ITMA – Spinning

Show hardly short on new
technology in spinning sector

Dec. 8, 2003

By Jim Money

The two largest manufacturers in the spinning area, Barmag and Rieter, for varying reasons, did not participate in this year's show. Even though these two big hitters were absent, there was still plenty of new innovation to see at the remaining exhibits.

Exhibitors were enthusiastic about the activity at their stands and the crowds were steady for the first week of the show. Conspicuous by their absence was American companies. With the exception of the carpet segment - and this area was fewer in sheer numbers than previous shows - attendance by U.S. companies was woefully short of attendance in Paris or Milan.


This Italian company, represented in the U.S. by Diennes Apparatus, was showing a new draw winder, SH8 for POY filaments. This machine has been developed mainly to find an economic solution for the draw winding of POY filaments in polyamide and polyester fine denier counts.

It is capable of making a FDY on a cardboard tube, avoiding unwinding on a notched pirn. It is a small machine, modular in concept with eight ends each. Each position operates independently of the others, making it possible to restart yarn breaks without interrupting other running yarns, according to the company.

Dietze & Schell

This German manufacturer was showing is machinery for fibrillated and unfibrillated tape, technical fibers, rayon and glass fibers. They were promoting the DS200G air-texturing machine designed specifically for artificial turf yarn preparations.

This preparation may be done in-line from the extruder or off-line from the unrolling frame. This machine includes automatic doffing capabilities.

The company also presented a new machine, the DS 10 Precision Cross Winder with a range of 500-25,000 dtex.

Edmund Erdmann

The company introduced its DMT 24/200 draw twister for industrial yarns requiring high tenacity and low shrinkage. It delivers two packages to two positions with 144 positions per machine. Maximum denier is 200 on one position.

This equipment offers a fully automatic operation with low service requirements, allowing the same draw section to be combined with two different winding sections.

The firm also showed the DMW 24/200 friction draw winder with capabilities of 1,400 meters per minute take-up. This equipment includes its trademark PRECIFLEX traversing system that allows for a wide range of bobbin formations. Just by changing the parameters an operator chooses from precision, random or step precision winding types.


This company was showing air entangling machinery for use in the manufacture of carpet yarn. Its AIRTWIST system is fully electronic.

It also had on display its DYNAJET SYSTEM 2, also for use in the processing of carpet yarns.

New at ITMA was its reintroduction yarn products with a Tazlan effect for styling.


This American machinery manufacturer was featuring its Model 940 Precision Wind Take-up Machine, a user-friendly winder designed for the flat or fibrillated tape and monofilament industry. Practical applications would be for carpet backing, geo-textiles and grass yarns.

It features winding heads mounted on a removable rigid panel, head pressure, dampening and yarn tension systems front mounted as well as optional strucure mounted waste aspirator.


Based in India this ITMA was the first for Lohia to exhibit winders. Initially a manufacturer of circular looms, it introduced its LS200HS cheese winder for high-speed winding of flat or fibrillated tapes on jumbo cheese tubes. This machine has a three-phase inverter speed control with AC motor.

Lohia claims this will result in substantial energy savings as well as better tension control and overall improved quality. Speeds are up to 425 meters per minute take-up, with a maximum package diameter 140mm.

It also showed its LS25OHS for flat yarns. It has the same drive as the LS200HS with identical take-up speed. Lohia spokesman Brian Young described this machine as a higher value-added alternative to current European machines.

Finally Lohia showcased its LO-FIL family of compact spin-draw-wind machinery for multi-filament polypropylene yarns.


This manufacturer, with offices in Dalton, GA, was showing a new laboratory machine for yarn testing and color matching of carpet yarns.


This company was showing an innovative one-step spin draw texturing process with its TEX200 machine. On exhibit was the processing of 660 dtex polypropylene.

However, the manufacturer advised that the machine is equally capable of processing polyester and nylon. Yarn processing may be done in dtex ranges that would accommodate apparel, car seats, curtains and upholstery. This approach has the advantages of removing the POY process, requires less space and reduces energy cost, Retech said.

It also allows the cost-effective production of small yarn quantities, added the company, based in Meisterschwanden, Germany.


In 2002 Sahm joined the Starlinger group, which includes in addition to Starlinger, Lenzing and Maplan. A global company, it has an office in Greenville, SC.

It exhibited for the first time at ITMA its TWINSTAR winder. The TWINSTAR is a fully automatic doffing precision cross winder. This machine is the first slow speed turret head winder with take-up speeds of 600 meters per minute.

It utilizes an electronic drive by DSM rather than gears. The result is a package with overall uniform length and less waste. It is designed for use where the end product is a precision cross-wound package.

In addition Sahm demonstrated its 302E winder with a TEXKIMP SA/M Creel. The 302E is a high-performance rewinder for use on all kinds of multifilaments, PES, PA, P cotton and blended yarns. The advantages of this system are: integrated yarn length counter, contactless yarn-break detectors and a special brake device to control pretension of all yarns, Sahm said.

It also had on exhibit the SAHM 3002R Automatic High-Performance Winder.


This Japanese company was showcasing a new Direct Draw Winder (DRH Series) for the fiberglass yarn industry. The innovation on this machine was the interchanging of parts that allows fiber winding or cake winding on the same piece of equipment.

In addition the winder has an attached control panel that eliminates the need for a control room and reduces the overall square footage requirement. The touch panel has multiple language display.


One of the more innovative machines in the spinning area was SSM's DS3-U Uniplex machine. Six years in development and utilizing Dupont's Intellectual Assets and Licensing Division technology, this machine was processing micro-denier POY in to a spun yarn in a one-step process. Based on a unique stretch-breaking process it uses single or multiple fibers in single or various colors as feed yarns.

The process eliminates the multiple manufacturing steps normally associated with the spun yarn process and includes the spun yarn aesthetics that are lost in the textured yarn process. Yarns produced in the UNIPLEX process are purported to provide the highest fabric strength and cover of all systems analyzed (ring spun, air jet spun, OE spun).

The SSM winder used in the UNIPLEX system is modular, with each module having three positions and a maximum of 16 modules per machine. Each spinning drive is individually controlled so that multiple products can be produced simultaneously.

ITMA – Carriers

Dec. 8, 2003

Exhibitors show variety of carrier products

Pete Papajohn, textile market manager for Sonoco Crellin, is flanked by Sofia Anastasiadon (L), executive sales secretary, and Sebnam Guzel, sales representative, in the Sonoco Products booth.
Photo by Devin Steele

By Jim Money

Following is a review of companies exhibiting carrier products at ITMA 2003.


This company with textile tube operations in France, The Netherlands and the U.S. produces a wide range of paper tubes for POY, draw textured, BCF, spandex and fiberglass yarns.

Of particular interest at ITMA was a new spin draw tube with a proprietary groove formation designed especially for Toray SD winders. This new groove is purported to have higher dimensional stability to improve string-up efficiency.

Conitex Sonoco (USA)

This joint venture between Sonoco of the U.S. and Conitex of Spain continues to grow as a global supplier of paper cones and open-end spinning tubes. In the last year it has purchased Italtubetti, the largest cone manufacturer in Italy. In addition to cones, this purchase has added bakelite tubes for Marzolli combing rolls to its product line.

Its booth showcased a compete line of paper cones for all textile applications. In addition it presented a new stackable open-end spinning tube with patented flair base. This tube allows the spinner to reduce the thickness of their separator pads from 3/4" to 1/2".


This Italy-based company produces a wide variety of paper and plastic tubes and cones, as well as plastic separator pads and other accessories. As new products it exhibited double-notched POY tubes for increased re-use, as well as inside and outside bar-coding abilities for this same segment of the industry.


This Spanish company is a producer of a wide variety of textile accessory products. At ITMA it offered as a new product a roving bobbin for an Electro Jet Flyer.


Headquartered in Italy this company has operations as well in Turkey and Greer, SC (Mariplast North America). It introduced its patented

Flex-BRAVO series of expendable plastic yarn carrier tubes for steaming and dyeing of yarn. These products allow for radial and axial shrinkage. The structure of the tube allows uniform radial shrinkage, permitting yarn relaxation next to the wall of the tube for optimal distribution of the yarn bath. The product requires no filter paper and no yarn pad.

Nuovo Saccardo

This Italian plastic tube manufacturer exhibited a full line of plastic carriers for the industry. It promoted its new product, the INTELTUBE, which is a ring-spinning tube with an embedded microchip. This programmable chip, developed in conjunction with the Italian software manufacturer FA.NI, facilitates tracking of the individual spinning tube coming from spinning frames with automatic doff.

The microchip, which is embedded during the molding process, can be programmed with information to identify the spinning frame, which spindle the tube came from, the type of yarn and yarn count and the lot and the time and date of each doffing.

Hurley & Harrison represents Nuovo Saccardo in the U.S.

Sanal Plastik

This 25-year-old Turkish company boasts more than 1,000 molds for various plastic carriers including king spools, travelers and DTY tubes. An aggressive exporter, Sanal ships as far as Canada and Taiwan.


This Italian company, with offices in Charlotte, NC, produces a variety of products from load balancers to yarn stripping equipment, in addition to ring spinning tubes.

At this show, the company introduced its M.Y.L.E. System utilizing a new ring-spinning tube made of a stronger plastic with a lighter wall than conventional tubes. This new product allows a 7.43 percent increase in package size and reduces energy consumption by 5.3 percent, Scaglia said.

Sonoco Products Co.

This global textile carrier supplier exhibited a variety of its paper and plastic textile line including: high-speed spin draw, texturing, carpet yarn, spandex and glass-forming tubes.

It also has under development a variety of alternatives for increased usability of spin draw and POY tubes.

Its plastic line included: roving and spinning bobbins, bobbins for fiberglass, rigid and collapsible dye tubes and springs, spinning bobbin separators, BIKO dye tubes and various spandex tube products.

It unveiled its compressible ECO-TOP dye spring compressible up to 30 percent. It is suitable for dye spindles 50-52mm diameter. It has a unique stackable feature that allows one more bobbin layer in the same pile height, resulting in a 10 percent savings in transportation cost and reduction of cardboard spacers to a 2mm thickness, the firm said.


This German company, whose roots date back to 1883 as a textile needle manufacturing company, exhibited a full line of plastic applications for textiles and boasts the largest capacity for glass yarn bobbins in the world.

In the U.S. it has a partnership with Technimark for its product line. It promoted its new patented DUROFLEX spring that offers shrinkage in both the radial and axial directions.

It also highlighted its SD ring-spinning tubes for spinning and steaming. This special tube has a condensate "brake" especially for woolen material. The tube is manufactured in two parts - an outer spinning tube shell and inner spring-like part. Between these parts condensate is taken up during the steaming process.

Trützschler uncovers
new card, drawframe

Standing by the new TC 03 card are Trützschler leaders (L-R) Kurt Scholler, CEO of American Truetzschler; and Dr. Ing. Michael Schürenkrämer and Heinrich Trützschler, managing directors.
Photo by Devin Steele

Dec. 8, 2003

By Devin Steele

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Trützschler opened the International Exhibition of Textile Machinery (ITMA) 2003 by pulling the covers from one of the show's most anticipated machines - the TC 03 card.

The aesthetically pleasing and technologically advanced card is the successor to the highly successful DK 803 and DK 903 models, about 10,000 of which are in operation worldwide.

Trützschler also highlighted its new draw frame, the TD 03, which the company touted as part of its new compact blowroom concept. "TC" and "TD" stand for "Trützschler card" and "Trützschler Drawframe," respectively, with the "03" indicating year of introduction.

With the new equipment, the German company abandoned its typical green-hued machines with brighter off-white and "Trützschler" blue machines.

"We're really pleased with the new equipment," said Butch Johnson, vice president of the technical division for American Truetzschler, Charlotte, NC. "Our German engineers have certainly been sensitive to the needs of our customers, not just with respect to making machinery more productive, but making machines that take better advantage of utilizing more fully our raw materials.

"I think Trützschler is the leader in our field and we're committed to servicing our customers and maintaining that position," he added.

The company said both the TC 03 and the TD 03 set new standards for quality and efficiency.

The most significant upgrade to the card is that the cylinder has been raised from its former position, which allows the machine to increase the carding area from about 190 degrees of service area available for carding to about 270 degrees. This has opened the pre-carding zone and the post-carding zone, essentially doubling those two areas for carding.

The back of the card, or the pre-carding zone, is optimized for trash removal, while the post-carding zone is optimized for nep removal.

The licker-in area has also been modified to allow easy adjustment of the settings for the first licker-in position. This can now be adjusted by a non-technical person.

Flexibility is a key ingredient to the new design in that the card, by adapting to different pre-carding and post-carding setups, can process anything from 100 percent cotton through blends to 100 percent polyesters.

"While productivity is always of interest, that's not the driving motivation for these modifications," Johnson said. "We do and can deliver at a slightly higher speed, perhaps as much as 10 percent. But the important thing is the ability to preserve raw material through more selective waste extraction, so that we can either reduce the amount of waste that is extracted for a given quality, or we may be able to allow the customer to take a lower grade raw material and deliver equivalent quality than he had previously."

With the draw frame TD 03, the AUTO DRAFT can determine the optimum break draft fully automatically within a minute, the company said. An additional servo motor separately drives the central drafting system cylinder.

"We're not trying to simply improve sliver quality," Johnson said. "All of our algorithms that define the optimum break draft are based on yarn tests, so that what we're able to do, by optimizing the break draft, is help our customer achieve the best yarn values with respect to thicks, thins, neps and evens."

The draw frame has also been made much simpler to handle with respect to setting the distance between the steel rolls, he added. The rolls are set on guide rods, so that with the turning of a single bolt, the back to middle roll settings can be adjusted, and with another adjustment the middle roll settings can be adjusted.

Two other support pieces also were spotlighted. The WCT (Waste Control Trützschler), a prototype, observes the waste stream coming off the cleaning machines and off the card. By observing this, the machinery will be able to automatically adjust the waste extraction points to optimize and improve the yield factor on raw material.

An off-line device, the LCT (Lint Control Trützschler), is based on the fiber graph principle of measuring fiber length.

Ross-led group talks CAFTA

Dec. 8, 2003

Supports inclusion of Mexico, Canada

WASHINGTON - Led by financier Wilbur Ross, an ad hoc group of retailers, apparel and textile companies met for about five hours here Dec. 3 to try to build consensus on provisions in the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

The group agreed in principle on several issues, according to a press release from Ross, chairman and CEO of W.L. Ross & Co. and new chairman of Burlington Industries, Greensboro, NC.

The group supports the inclusion of NAFTA countries Canada and Mexico within the cumulation provisions of any CAFTA reached. It also said it supports strict enforcement of rules against illegal transshipment, including severe penalties for countries failing to implement effective enforcement of these provisions.

In addition, it supports the revision of NAFTA and the CAFTA partners' FTAs with Mexico and Canada to provide rules of origin for cumulation that are symmetrical and complementary to CAFTA, the group said.

Cumulation has been a hot-button issue among many U.S. textile companies and retailers and importers, with most U.S. textile associations opposing the provision. Cumulation would allow manufacturers to use fiber, yarn and fabric for apparel from countries not included in the CAFTA deal and still be eligible for duty-free entry into the U.S.

Finally, the group said it believes that CAFTA should include a mechanism for admitting to cumulation FTA partners who agree to the above enforcement provisions.

The group added that it agrees to the concept of a meaningful short supply list and a timely and transparent procedure for determining short supply. To build upon the discussions initiated at the recent Miami, Houston and Managua meetings, it has organized, at the request of the Department of Commerce, a working group of retail, apparel and textile representatives to prepare joint recommendations.

The group said it strongly recommends that, regardless of the date of passage, CAFTA become effective as of January 1, 2004.

The working group said it agreed to continue to work together to address other important unresolved issues.

Private sector participants in the meeting included representatives of AMC/Target, Asheboro Elastics, Burlington Industries, Coats North America, Cone Mills, Dan River, Galey & Lord, Gap, Inc., Jockey International, Kellwood Company, Limited Brands/MAST Industries, Parkdale Mills, J.C. Penney, Phillips-Van Huesen Corp., Sara Lee Branded Apparel, VF Corp., Wal-Mart Stores and Warnaco.

Most major U.S. textile trade associations were notably absent from the meeting.

Coalition responds

The day after the meeting, the 17-member textile coalition issued a statement opposing the deal on cumulation because it "would act as a disincentive to use U.S.-made yarn and fabric in apparel assembled in Central America."

"The cumulation rule of origin proposed in the Ross deal avidly has been sought by the U.S. importing and retailing community for years," the coalition wrote. "The rule would allow Mexico and Canada to ship fabric and yarn to CAFTA countries where it could then be assembled into apparel and shipped to the United States duty free."

The Ross cumulation deal also proposes creating a mechanism to provide the same benefits to Israel, Jordan, Chile, Singapore and Caribbean Basin and sub-Saharan African countries.

"For example, the proposed Ross cumulation rule would allow Mexico to ship yarn and fabric to El Salvador, where it could then be cut and sewn into apparel and be shipped to the United States duty free - eliminating the use of U.S.-manufactured apparel components," the coalition wrote.

By discouraging the use of U.S.-made yarn and fabric, tens of thousands of textile jobs in the U.S. will be destroyed, according to the coalition.

"Endorsing the weakening of the NAFTA rules of origin in the NAFTA agreement, one of the few worthwhile provisions of the NAFTA, represents an enormous concession by domestic manufacturing because it would encourage transshipment of third-country textile products into the United States via NAFTA and CAFTA," the coalition wrote.

"The rhetoric supporting 'strict enforcement of rules against illegal transshipment, including severe penalties for countries failing to implement effective enforcement of these provisions' is an insult to all those in the textile industry who have tried unsuccessfully for decades to get the U.S. Customs Service to credibly address the transshipment problem," it continued.

Every aspect of the deal represents a concession by the U.S. textile industry, the coalition added.

"The retailers and importers give nothing to domestic textile manufacturers in return," the coalition wrote. "The handful of companies that agreed to this deal are selling out the rest of the industry for a marginal return at best for their foreign mills."

Further, the group stated, the agreement in principle will hasten the demise of the U.S. domestic textile and apparel manufacturing industry, the associations added.

"It signals that Wilbur Ross has sided with the outsourcing segment of U.S. apparel industry, in line with the interests of Ross's Mexican textile mills," the coalition wrote.

Pickin' Cotton

Dec. 8, 2003

Safeguards not expected
to curtail cotton trade

By Odyll Santos

The Bush administration's decision to place new quotas on certain Chinese textile imports, a move criticized as a protectionist measure, is expected to have a minor impact on cotton trade. With strong cotton demand among Chinese mills in the 2003-04 season, expectations are for China to continue buying cotton from the U.S.

Observers said the cotton market will be watching for any disruptions or problems associated with trade with China. Initially, there were worries that China would cut back substantially on buying U.S. cotton, cancel purchases or simply stop buying from the U.S. altogether. But with a shortage in Chinese cotton supplies and with China already having bought more than 2.5 million bales of U.S. cotton, the belief is that the safeguard provisions will have little impact on trade.

"Any slowdown that analysts foresee will be caused more from the fact that China has already booked enough cotton to meet their immediate needs," said Plains Cotton Growers, a Lubbock, TX-based organization that works on legislative issues for growers.

Meanwhile, U.S. textile makers and cotton industry members applauded the textile safeguards as they continue to struggle against competition from the influx of low-priced Chinese products.

Stephen Felker, CEO of Avondale Mills in Georgia, said he believes the decision to implement the safeguards will help the U.S. textile sector. "Jobs are at risk because the level of Chinese imports is excessive, disruptive and clearly in violation of the levels permitted in China's WTO agreement," said Felker, also vice president of the National Cotton Council, Memphis, TN.

On Nov. 17, the Commerce Department approved China safeguard petitions by a coalition of textile and fiber groups. The petitions related to knit fabric, brassieres and dressing gowns imported from China.

The new quotas are not likely to have a significant effect on Chinese textile and clothing sales to the U.S., which grew 175 percent in the first six months of 2003 among products that had quotas removed. In the first nine months of 2003, imports of knit fabric, brassieres and dressing gowns were $497 million, a small portion of the more than $10 billion in Chinese textile and apparel sales to the U.S.

But U.S. textile makers hope to use the threat of restrictions to force China to negotiate quotas that will remain in place starting in January 2005, when all quotas on textiles and apparel are expected to be eliminated. Felker said the administration's move to put limits on Chinese textiles "will set the stage for similar action" by the U.S. in the future if necessary.

Following the announcement of the quotas, China canceled cotton, soybean and wheat buying trips to the U.S.

With its decision to implement new quotas, the Bush administration sought to protect itself against charges that the growing trade deficit with China has led to losses in U.S. manufacturing jobs. The U.S. has been putting pressure on China to buy more American goods, but for the most part, it had resisted pressure from lobbying groups to restrict Chinese exports.

Some observers see the trade sanctions as the Bush administration's attempt to save face among U.S. textile makers. But they also note that the government does not seem to understand that China, with strong mill demand, is a major export market for U.S. cotton.

Still, optimism remains that the administration's move will not hurt U.S.-China trade. In a recent teleconference, USDA Undersecretary J.B. Penn said strained U.S.-Chinese trade relations should be "short-term," since China has purchased large amounts of U.S. commodities this year and will need more. "We do think the Chinese need soybeans and cotton, and we think they will be purchasing those commodities," Penn said.

"In public, China can now vociferously object to the U.S. action, threaten to buy the cotton they need elsewhere, and then take a wait and see approach to purchasing the additional supplies they need from the U.S. when prices move in their favor," noted Plains Cotton Growers.

In New York, cotton futures prices plunged during the week ended Nov. 21, when the textile safeguards announcement was made. They continued to fall in the early part of the following week. The December futures contract dropped to the low-60.00-cent per pound area, while the March contract fell to about 67.00c. However, the lower prices attracted interest from importers. Observers noted that Chinese buyers were active as March dropped down to 67.00c, a better price for cotton compared to the 80.00c to 85.00c seen a few weeks earlier.


Dec. 8, 2003

Ross to the dark side ...

OH, WILBUR. You had to do it. You had to go and mess up a good thing. You had to upset the apple cart, ripple the water, put a spoke in the wheel. You had to fracture what was becoming a pretty effective tool for the domestic textile in recent months.

You had to go sleep with the enemy, Wilbur Ross, in the process disrupting the unity created by your textile industry brethren of late.

Last week, news of an ad hoc meeting you organized with retailers, importers and U.S. apparel and textile companies made headlines. The purpose of the meeting, apparently, was to build some sort of consensus between parties that have feuded for years over all matters trade. This is a dangerous precedent, Mr. Ross. We know you're a smart man, but being a newcomer to the domestic textile industry, you should be wary of who you align yourself with.

U.S. textile and apparel suppliers can't say this - they need to maintain a working relationship with potential customers - but we can: The retailing/importing community is not on the side of U.S. manufacturers. They're playing this game for themselves and themselves only, at the expense of hard-working, tax-paying Americans. These guys are the devil in disguise. They can appear to be empathetic to the plight of U.S. manufacturing while at the same time contributing to its demise. Make no mistake, this is a powerful, persuasive group that can pull the wool over your eyes before you realize you've been snookered.

And, apparently, that's what these greed mongers are doing to you.

YOU AND THE GROUP, of course, left the five-hour meeting with an "agreement in principle" related to the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Most disturbing was the fact that the group agreed to allow Mexico and Canada, and possibly other countries later, to benefit from CAFTA through a "cumulation" provision. The rule would allow Mexico and Canada to ship fabric and yarn to CAFTA countries, where it could then be assembled into apparel and shipped to the United States duty free. Cumulation has been sought by the U.S. importing and retailing community for years - and opposed by U.S. textile producers for as long. In effect, such a provision would cost the domestic textile and apparel industry thousands of more jobs.

Emerging from the meeting with such an anti-U.S. manufacturing agreement is surprising, Mr. Ross. Particularly from someone who has invested in this industry, has confidence in its future and has created the Free Trade for America Coalition. Why, in September, didn't you say that Wal-Mart (represented at your meeting) is costing Americans jobs "not only as a business strategy, but as a lobbying strategy?"

NOT SURPRISINGLY, the agreement reached with retailers/importers caused quite a stir among the textile industry associations - none of whom were invited to your meeting, apparently. The 17-association strong textile coalition issued a scathing rebuttal to the deal, accusing you of siding "with the outsourcing segment of U.S. apparel industry." The agreement obviously negates the work of the coalition, which worked long and hard to get the signatures of 170 congressmen on a letter urging the Bush Administration to now allow any non-signatory country to benefit from the the CAFTA. Not to mention the effect your group's position has on the recently forged unity among these associations.

And, apparently, you oppose such inner divisions among the industry, given your statement last week during a manufacturing summit in Greensboro, NC: "Our government has gotten mixed signals from the textile industry. We have not pulled together to fight the larger issue of unfair foreign competition."

So, Mr. Ross, we urge you to come back from the dark side. This industry welcomes you, your investment and your faith in this industry. But, at this critical juncture, its needs you to stick with it. Gosh knows, this industry has fallen off this free trade pony enough times to know the best way to stay on - by trying to keep it tame.

STN Mailbox

Dec. 8, 2003

U.S. textiles have always
been critical for military

The STN Mailbox letter (Nov. 10) caught my attention, partly because of the author, Dr. Robert Edwards, a friend, and the involvement I experienced more than 20 years ago.

Like Dr. Edwards, I have spent well over 50 years in the textile industry: textile mill production, fiber company research, production and marketing, product development for nearly half of the Fortune 500 companies of the 1960-70s and technical leadership in both agriculture and textile activities of the U.S. cotton industry.

During my time with Cotton Incorporated, I was asked to serve in a study sub-committee assembled by Congressman Sisk of California, chair of the then House Agriculture Committee concerned with cotton and other farm commodities.

This group was made of a number of textile leaders and was charged with responding to a treatise of some size written by Dr. Stephen Kennedy, retiring head of the U.S. Army Natick Laboratories. In that part having to do with the clothing and other textile equipage items used by the military, Kennedy made very clear the risks faced by the Army (as well as the other services) if the textile industry were to "forget" how to manufacture cotton products.

Synthetic fabrics had achieved a leadership in apparel particularly. But the inferences contained therein suggested supply from within the U.S. would be critical regardless of fiber content. Could it be that he knew that the State Department had willed 25 years earlier that the textile industry, including the manufacture of clothing, would be of little or no interest in the scheme of using trade to maintain U.S. dominance on the world scene? (Classified information until the 1990s).

Tony Coehlo, Congressman Sisk's aide, was charged with developing the analysis which the study committee produced into the proper tool for making waves in Congress. But I know that we addressed the issue of loss of the greater textile complex downstream because we reflected on the already lost business in the '50s and '60s to Japan and Korea.

By the way, since I spent roughly half of my career working with and for the manmade fiber industry and the other half for the cotton industry, I like to think that the prejudices have been erased, if they ever existed.

After joining Cotton Incorporated, I always enjoyed telling farmers in the '70s about my years pushing synthetics, and watching their faces asking whether I could be trusted. But when I told them that I owned a cotton farm (Bamberg, SC) they were visibly relieved.

Hal E. Brockman
Clemson '50

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