More than 500 mostly high-ranking delegates from the growing technical textiles and nonwoven industry in China attended the one-day-conferences in Jinan (5th March 2012), Hangzhou (7th March) and Quanzhou (9th March). The conferences were organised by VDMA Textile Machinery Association and VDMA China Representative Office in cooperation with China Textile Information Center (CTIC) and China Textile Leader (CTL). New technical textiles applications, automation solutions as well as sustainability were key topics of the technology lectures presented by 16 well-known VDMA member companies. The main conclusion drawn was that innovative and energy efficient textile machines were the decisive factors to the economic and environment friendly production of technical textiles.
Key role of technology for technical textiles in China
China’s technical textiles market is growing, in the area of the automotive industry it is expected to almost double from 755 t in 2010 to 1,400 t in 2017. In addition, the 12th Five-Year-Plan demands to increase the energy and material efficiency in the production process. Fritz P. Mayer, President of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association and Managing Associate of Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik emphasized in his opening address on 5th March in Jinan “Worldwide leading German technology suppliers can play a key role to reach the targets in the transformation process of China’s textile industry”. Mayer added that technical textiles offer a great opportunity in terms of development, innovation and value-addition to succeed in the rising global competition.
Ms. Li Binhong, President of China Textiles Development Center stated during the inaugural session that the future competitiveness of China’s textile industry closely relates to the development and production of technical textiles with higher added value : “renewable energies, environmental protection, the construction industry, transport, aerospace and geotechnics are driving forces to stimulate further technical textiles applications”. German textile machinery will play an important role for the Chinese industry, said Li Binhong.
Technology and application areas presented during the conferences :
Mr. Zhuang Yuexing, Vice general engineer of fan blade R&D department of Goldwind as one of the largest wind turbine manufacturers in the world, enriched the conference as key note speaker in Quanzhou with his presentation on “China Wind Energy Development”. Sixteen well-known companies from Germany presented their latest technologies for the production of technical yarns, technical fabrics and the finishing process. As application areas they focussed on automotive, hygiene and medical, aramide, reinforced-concrete textile bridges for architecture and civil engineering, 3D Warp Knits e. g. for car seats, multifunctional fabrics for sport fabrics, technical felts for e. g. filter purposes, geotextiles, sleevings for thermal insulation, carbon fiber and composites e. g. for rotor blades of wind turbines.
In a visitor survey 59% evaluated the economic perspectives as good and 39 % as excellent. With 15% Oekotech received the highest rate of interest from the visitors, followed by Mobiltech with 13 % and Indutech with 12 %. In 2011, Germany’s exports of textile machinery increased by 23 % to Euro 3.3 bn worldwide.
For the first time, German exports to China exceeded the Euro 1 bn mark reaching Euro 1.2 bn (+ 24 %). German textile machinery manufacturers belong to the leading suppliers in China. Considering the Chinese production facilities of German companies the market share is even higher.
The Textile Machinery Association
Around 120 of the most important manufacturers of textile machinery and accessories from all sectors of the trade are affiliated within the VDMA Textile Machinery Association. The largest parts of the companies are medium-sized firms and stand for approximately 90 per cent of the entire sector volume. In 2010, the branch exported textile machinery worth about 2.7 billion Euros. The association’s main activities are economic and technical representation of the branch’s interests, exchange of experiences as well as services such as statistics, observation of significant markets and reporting on the situation in the textile industries throughout the world.
NECKAR-ALB : Technical Textiles Cluster
Worldwide, technical textiles are gaining in significance. The traditional textile region Neckar-Alb recognised this as a market of the future early on. Currently, 220 companies with more than 15,000 employees are working on developing the key industry technical textiles. To pool this traditional regional expertise and to promote pioneering innovation, IHK Reutlingen has set up the Technical Textiles Cluster Neckar-Alb using resources from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the responsibility of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry of Finance and Economy. In December 2010, the Technical Textiles Cluster Neckar-Alb became one of ten such future clusters in Baden-Wuerttemberg. The official kick-off event took place on 8 February 2012. Following the motto of “Taking advantage of regional strengths – becoming established as an international provider of solutions”, the Cluster currently has 37 member companies. The Cluster’s management aims for the textile region Neckar-Alb to build a name for itself internationally and to systematically develop future markets.