AKXY Acquired Sage Automotive

Asahi Kasei had sales of 15.8 billion Euro in 2017 across its three divisions – Materials, Homes and Healthcare – and employed 34,670 people globally at the end of March 2018.

Asahi Kasei Europe was created in 2016, with a key aim of getting closer to local OEMs and the company now plans to triple its sales to the automotive sector, from 1 billion Euro in 2017 to 3 billion Euro in 2025.

Hideki Tsutsumi, managing director of Asahi Kasei Europe said this would be achieved via a combination of strategic expansions and acquisitions, production capacity increases, focused marketing activities to position the company as a one-stop shop solution provider, and the introduction of new products and technologies.

The company is already the world leader in wet and dry process lithium-ion battery separators, in addition to S-SBR synthetic rubber for fuel efficient tyres, and at the end of July this year acquired Sage Automotive – the global leader in seating fabrics worldwide.

Asahi Kasei’s president of performance polymers Hiroshima Yoshida said, “It will strengthen our fibres business, but beyond this, Sage’s management team had very strong relationships with the OEMs to the extent that they are even influential in proposing designs for new car models and it is this strong relation- ship and know-how we see as extremely valuable.”


Expansion in the field began with the acquisition of Polypore in 2015, with which Asahi Kasei became the world leading manufacturer and supplier of li-ion battery separators.

In January this year Asahi Kasei announced li-ion battery separator expansions in both Japan and the USA which will see its annual capacity increase to 1.1 billion square metres annually. At the same time, the company announced an expansion of its Leona polyamide 6.6 filaments for airbags to an annual capacity of 38,000 tons annually.

Fibre innovations

The seating and interior of the vehicle features Lamous artificial leather, the close rival to Alcantara that is marketed in Europe as Dinamica by the Italian company Miko. Miko has operated as a division of Sage Automotive using an Asahi Kasei-developed process and with its fibres supplied from Japan up to now.

Brückner Sustains Position as Market Leader in the Field of Machines for Electronic Glass

The rapid developments in the field of electronics lead to an ever increasing demand for so-called electronic glass. As a consequence almost all well-known producers of electronic glass have a Brückner glass fabric finishing line in their plants.

The users of modern communication and semiconductor technology expect increasing capacity with lower weight. In reverse this leads to a rapid increase of the demand for electronic glass of the highest possible quality. Five years ago a surface weight of 48 g/m² was the standard for producers of electronic glass but in the meantime the standard is approx. 23 g/m². The leading producers in this field dare already to produce and use woven glass with a weight of 12 g/m².

The extreme yarn and fiber fineness presents however a certain limit for the processing of these light woven fabrics. Currently it cannot be assessed if this trend can and will continue. These woven fabrics are disputed among doctors and biologists. Broken filaments of micro dimensions, which do inevitably occur during the processing of the glass fabric, get with the inhaled air into the lungs and from there possibly into the blood circulation.

The extremely low fabric weight is however an enormous challenge for the supplier of the machinery. The highest possible precision when controlling minimum tractions, an absolute parallelism in the alignment of guide rollers and fabric accumulators, the use of special acid-resisting stainless steel and highly effective fabric path cleaning technology are just as obligatory as a minimum consumption of electrical energy and process heat and a highly effective exhaust air cleaning according to the latest state of the art.

Brückner meets these challenges for years and continuously develops its lines for continuous desizing and finishing. As a consequence almost all well-known producers of electronic glass have a Brückner glass fabric finishing line in their plants. These lines produce with the highest possible reliability on more than 330 days a year and round the clock with fabric speeds of up to 120 m/min.

This reliability, the high productivity and the possibility to process not only extremely light but also a wide range of fabric weights with the required quality makes Brückner a dependable partner for the producers of electronic glass.

The orders placed with Brückner during the last 12 months for such lines exceeded by far all expectations. Several customers in Taiwan and China ordered glass fabric finishing lines, among them continuous desizing lines and finishing lines for extremely light fabric. With these lines Brückner proves again their market leadership in this particular segment.

RSG Automation Technics is Honored as Growth Champion

For a long time now, RSG Automation Technics, based in Bietigheim-Bissingen near Stuttgart, has established itself internationally as a world-leader for special facilities in the field of fully or semi-automated processing of narrow band textiles. This Success was impressively proven.

The recognized and renown business journal “FOCUS Business” determined the top 500 from a database of 3.6 million German companies, which were able to establish the highest increase in sales in the years 2013 to 2016.

With an increase in sales of 30%, RSG is on first place among German textile machine manufacturers.

Among all German machine and facility manufacturers RSG is on an outstanding 15th place, and is on place 378 Germany-wide. For this RSG was now awarded to be “growth champion 2018” by FOCUS Business.

“This historic success is of course a milestone for our company and all employees. Therefore, our special thanks go, of course, to our customers for their long years of trust”, comments managing director Dr. Andreas Ecker proudly, and Sales Director Maik Eisenhardt is happy “that the innovative steps of the last years were confirmed by this success. The task now is to build upon this, and to continue to internationally strengthen the RSG brand.”

The automation solutions of RSG allow fully automated processing and packaging of products, such as lifting and lashing straps, loops, seat and safety belts, but also hook-and-loop materials, medical textiles, and filter materials.

Andritz Has Enhanced its Textile Calender Product Portfolio

Together with the prestigious ramisch® technologies, which are now part of the Andritz portfolio, Andritz has advanced to become one of the top addresses in the textile calender market. The Andritz teXcal calender range has been characterized for many decades by highest quality standards, outstanding performance, reliability, flexibility for any textile application. An all-embracing, first-class product and service portfolio is at the customers’ disposal.

Andritz delivers carding solutions perfectly suited to every application and process demand for needlepunch, spunlace, and air-through bonding. Whether for durable applications, such as geotextile, filtration, or automotive, or for disposable end-uses, such as wipes, cotton pads, medical applications or face masks, Andritz offers a wide range of carding solutions to meet customers’ needs. One highlight of the Andritz portfolio is the innovative TT card, which provides perfect web uniformity at very high speed.

The Air- Through Bonding Technology for Hygiene Industry

Andritz offers customized solutions to nonwovens producers for hygiene end-uses, such as top sheets and acquisition distribution layers, using the air-through bonding process. With the Andritz flat oven, customers benefit from high production capacity and high-performance fabrics from 16 to 80 gsm, produced with bicomponent fibers. The CETI European Institute in Lille, France, recently installed an air-through bonding oven from Andritz. Customers are welcome to visit and conduct trials.

Milliken Launches First-Ever Fluorine Free Eco-Based Performance Fabric

Milliken & Company, a leading global textile technology company, recently launched Breathe by MillikenTM, a new and unique collection of eco-elegant performance upholstery fabrics that are durable, repel everyday stains and clean easily without compromising the fabric’s look or soft feel.

The industry’s first fluorine-free performance fabrics available in both natural and manmade fibers, Breathe fabrics are a sustainable option, designed and responsibly manufactured using natural or recycled fibers made from plastic bottles and a remarkable plantbased water repellent. Milliken created Breathe textiles with discerning consumers in mind to address the growing need for more environmentally-friendly, effective and high-quality performance home upholstery fabrics. Breathe by Milliken fabrics have been extensively tested by certified third parties and meet or exceed industry standards including flammability, water repellency, soil release, spot cleaning, colorfastness, abrasion resistance and pilling. Breathe fabrics meet these standards without adding fluorine, formaldehyde, fire retardants or other chemicals of concern. Unlike common sprayon stain resistance treatments, Breathe fabrics are engineered textiles, providing lasting protection and peace of mind.
All Breathe by MillikenTM fabrics have also achieved GREEN- GUARD® GOLD certification, which gives assurance that products designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits, contributing to the creation of healthier interiors. “Today’s consumers are better informed and more concerned about product content than ever before – who makes it, what it is made of and how it is made,” said David Smith, vice president, Engineered Performance Products, Milliken & Company. “Every aspect of this product was designed to address this concern. Consumers can breathe easy knowing their beautiful furniture is protected from stains and wear in a much more sustainable way.” Breathe by Milliken fabrics are sold directly to furniture manufacturers and retailers who specify fabric and will be available at select national retailers beginning in Spring 2017.

AMSilk Presented In The World’s First High-Performance Sports Shoe

Biosteel fibers from AMSilk receive certification for product safety and confirmation of biological degradability.

AMSilk GmbH has reached a further important milestone in its business segment Industrial Applications & Textiles: The high standards of the production and product development process at AMSilk as well as the biological degradability of the AMSilk Biosteel® fibers were confirmed by two renowned institutes: the Hohenstein Institute and the SGS Institute Fresenius. Product safety and biodegradability are highly relevant to Biosteel® products.InNovember,AMSilk together with adidas presented in New York the world’s first high-performance sports shoe, with an upper material entirely consisting of the completely biodegradable AMSilk Biosteel® fibers. This makes
AMSilk the first biotech company to have market-ready functional products with biotechnologically produced functional silk biopolymers. Previously, AMSilk had succeeded in producing the high-performance Biosteel® fiber on an industrial, near- production scale as well as in producing Biosteel® fabrics.
Certification in accordance with OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 The Biosteel® fiber received the certification in accordance with OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 (Confidence in Textiles) for product class 1 by the renowned Hohenstein Institute. This certification shows that the Biosteel® fibers reach the highest standard for textile applications. Textiles receiving this certification have been submitted to tests regarding pollutants and product safety, and in the case of product class 1 are without reservation also suitable for babies and children below the age of 3.

Biological degradability in accordance with OECD 301B
Furthermore, SGS Institute Fresenius confirmed that the AMSilk Biosteel® fibers are biodegradable. The silk material was subjected to a standard test examining the biodegradability in accordance with OECD Norm 301B and was defined as “readily biodegradable”. This is the best test result possible.

Development of further Biosteel® products
“The sports shoes made of natureidentical silk biopolymers and developed together with adidas set new standards regarding the sustainability and functionality of textiles. Further products currently in development with renowned international cooperation partners from industry and textile branch will follow,” said Jens Klein, CEO of AMSilk.

Cutting-Edge Hi-tech Fibres

For more than 20 years, Advansa marks its position as one of the main suppliers for the nonwoven wallpaper industry and offers high-quality fibres made by advanced production technology from Germany.

Advansa develops specifically designed polyester fibres with modified crosssections and coloured, binder fibres. The company has a large portfolio of customized products with more than 35 individual fibre types for nonwoven wallpapers. For the production of the nonwoven material for wallpaper, Advansa does not only offer standard fibre with a cross-section of 12 μm and cut length of 6mm. In order to infiuence the properties such as roughness or thickness, there are also fibres available with lower and higher diameters, shorter and longer cut lengths. Even within the portfolio of the standard dimensions, Advansa has a differentiated offer in order to balance properties such as thermal shrinkage as well as wet dimensional stability. In this way, nonwoven producers can adjust the attributes of their products according to the requirements of the wallpaper manufacturers needed in terms of processing and properties of the final product. The major factor here is Advansa’s complementary technology which completely covers the range of achievable physical properties and which is an instrument for further developments. The result is an optimal processing feature at every stage of the process chain with fibre know-how from German production. Due to the high quality of fibres, wide range of products and service quality, Advansa offers its customers a high level of productivity as well as a differentiation in the market. The company can adapt quickly to the needs of its customers thanks to its optimal location and fiexibility and can support developments; resulting in an
increase of the product value.

Transformation to Technical Textile Within Textile Sector Will be Via TEKSMER

Being one of the leaders among sectors that act as a locomotive in Turkey’s export and employment, textile sector is on the verge of a transformation in the Aegean Region. Founded as a result of a 4-year effort for the production and devel- opment of technical textile products of high added value, the Technical Textiles Research and Application Center (TEKSMER) started to work with all its functions.

Founded in Dokuz Eylül University Campus with the coopera- tion of Aegean Textile and Raw Materials Exporters’ Association, Aegean Ready Wear and Garment Exporters’ Association and Dokuz Eylül University and with the support of İzmir Development Agency, TEKSMER will be making history in transforming the textile sector in Aegean Region. Stating that they are aiming to make İzmir the cap-
ital of technical textile via works to be conducted by Technical Textiles Research and Application Center, Head Coordinator of Aegean Exporters’ Association Sabri Ünlütürk added that the worldwide textile industry is undergoing a transformation process towards technical textiles and that they founded TEKSMER so as not to miss this transformation. Pointing that there has been a stall in Turkey’s
export in the last 5 years, Ünlütürk said: “We have to strengthen our R&D infrastructure so as to overcome the stagnation in exports and to ensure sustainability in exports. With TEKSMER, we will more from traditional export products to value added products. In order to reach the 20 billion dollars export target set by the textile sector for the year 2023, we have to multiply the examples similar to TEKSMER”. Providing the information that they founded TEKSMER with a technical expertise that will be able to conduct tests that could not be conducted in Turkey, Ünlütürk continued: “One of the upcoming scenarios for our technical textile sector is a labora- tory, where everything from yarn to the last point is possible. We have a device that does not exist in Turkey. We brought in a fiber drafting device, and our purpose is to produce fiber and yarn starting from the raw material needed by the techni- cal textile sector”.

The Future is in Technical Textile
Stating that the yarn and fabric exporters within the body of Aegean Textile and Raw Materials Exporters’ Association start- ed the URGE project named “Transfer from Conventional Production to Technical Textile Production” so as to develop the exports of products focused on technical textiles with high added value, EİB Head Coordinator Sabri Ünlütürk shared that 75% of the expenditure to be made by the companies in the project will be supported by the Ministry of Economy. Stating that they invited textile companies in Aegean Region to a sem- inar to be held on 20 December 2016 at Aegean Exporters’ Association called “Future is in Technical Textile” so as to explain them the URGE project called “Transfer from Conventional Production to Technical Textile Production”, Ünlütürk said: “We aim for the project participant companies to produce value added products and to increase their export potentials. We want to increase the market shares and vari- eties of the project participant companies, to gain continuity for their exports / productions, to develop their export market- ing abilities and support them effectively”. First of all, the companies taking part in URGE Project called “Transfer from Conventional Production to Technical Textile Production” will be subjected to needs analysis and they will take part in the training and consulting programs to be held in accordance with this analysis results. In the following process, it will be possible for the companies to participate in joint marketing activities such as marketing abroad, fair / exhibit participation, sectoral commerce committee and purchasing committees.

Tapetex Taps In To The Possibilities Of The Latest Monforts Technology For Its High Quality Inspection Board Fabric

Montex installation opens new woven and nonwovens applications for wallcovering specialist Tapetex.

The exclusive wallcovering collections of Tapetex, based in Helmond, The Netherlands, are to be found in the very best guest rooms of the world’s finest hotels, in executive boardrooms and offices and in top-of-the-range luxury new housing developments from Europe to the USA and to the Middle East and Asia.
The family-owned company, with a 50-strong workforce at the plant in Helmond, takes the finest fabrics of Europe’s most advanced weaving mills – pure silks, linens, jacquards, wools and suede – and turns them into unique collections via a combination of in- house design know-how and advanced finishing techniques.
“Our aim is to always come up with materials that other companies simply can’t make,” said Managing Director Bart van den Broek, whose father founded the company in 1975 as a trading operation, before decid- ing to bring full finishing processes in-house a decade later, in order to be completely in control of quality and the just-in-time distribution net- work.
“We opted from the start to concentrate solely on wallcoverings and our collections are now well known to architects and specifiers worldwide. Manufacturers for other mar- kets attempt to enter the field quite often, but find it harder than they anticipated because it’s a complex market. They come and go.”
The Tapetex plant is equipped with all of the latest technology for laminating and embossing, dyeing, double-sided coating and heatsetting, crushing, ocking, laser engraving and digital and conventional printing, including a Monforts Thermex dyeing line for both wovens and nonwovens.
The company’s latest digital printing line is capable of simultane- ously printing three different designs on 110 cm diameter jumbo rolls. During 2016, a 2.2 metre wide, six chamber Monforts Montex 6500 stenter has been installed in a new 4,000 square metre expansion at the Helmond site.
“An older stenter is still being used for more limited runs,” said Mr Van den Broek, adding, “but with the new Montex line we can do much more.”
“It has allowed us to introduce a number of new processes that were previously not possible.
“We can run coating and finishing processes that need better temperature, moisture, and air speed parameters in a much more controlled way,” he confirmed.
It is one of the most meticulously clean plants in the world, and in as an extra measure, all fabrics are brushed as an initial step in eliminating dust and potential contaminants prior the start of the finishing and converting steps.
“We need to be sure every metre of fabric is perfect from the first to the very last of a production run,” said Mr van den Broek. “It’s about reliability and repeatability.
“The Montex 6500 stenter has been running very well and gives us complete computerised control of all parameters such as tem- perature, moisture and setting times.
“We make all our own finishing chemicals and dyes in-house and try to do as much as possible ourselves. We deal with a lot of expensive woven materials and quality has to be guaranteed – especially if an order is being shipped to the other side of the world from here.
“With these kinds of fabrics, even the smallest of mistakes can be very expensive. There can be anywhere up to ten separate stages to the nishing of some of these fabrics, so we rely on the best computerised technology.” The Tapetex collections are generally subtile and subdued, with an understated appearance often bely- ing the sophisticated techniques behind their creation. A material like Graphic Spirit, for example, is a tri-dimensional suede wallcov- ering which has intricate laser cut patterns revealing the nonwo- ven polyester base fabric and with silver and gold touches imprinted around its 3D crenulations. Tech Inspirations, mean- while, is a linen which has been cleverly embossed in variated grid lines, its design trialled on a lead template, so that its shimmers as the eye moves across it and the viewer moves across a room, while Crafty Deformation has a very fine 10% poly- ester warp thread running through its enhanced linen structure. These are just three examples of the close to 400 fabrics in widths of 110 or 137cm rolls that Tapetex keeps in stock and currently sells to over 70 countries worldwide via its sales offices and agents.
“Our customers generally like to order at the very last minute that a job is specified and appreciate the ready availability of what they want, which can be shipped anywhere in the world in a matter of days,” said Mr van den Broek. “We have established a very good logistics net- work worldwide.”
Tapetex collections are designed and their processing routes per- fected over a three-year period and made available for around the same time before being updated. The company is currently put- ting together its latest range of wallcoverings based on both wet- laid and spunbonded nonwovens. “Again, many of these prod- ucts are supplied in several laminated layers with several coatings and usually double-calendered to provide the perfect finish we need,” Mr van den Broek concluded.
“Our nonwovens collections are not cheap, but the materials fall between the general market for vinyl wallcoverings and our high- end wovens. Their big advantage is that they allow the walls to breathe, and in some regions mildew is a big issue, so there’s no danger of that with these products.
“The walls on which are materials are eventually hung are essen- tially inspection boards. With other textiles in bigger production runs there are small mistakes that can be worked with, but in what we do there’s absolutely no margin for even the smallest error.
“The new Montex 6500 is helping us achieve this very high quality standard.”

Steel Versus The World’s Strongest Fiber A Test Of Strength In Securing Loads

PowerLash chain with Dyneema® sets new standards.

What happens if parts of a tried-and-tested tensioning lashing chain are combined with high-performance textile fibers? Dolezych, the renowned manufacturer of ropes, lifting and load securing equipment, to present the result at this year’s IAANutzfahrzeuge commercial vehicle trade fair in Hanover. The PowerLash with Dyneema® textile lashing chain with an (lashing capacity) of 5000 daN is the result of intensive cooperation between DSM Dyneema and Dolezych. DSM Dyneema is the inventor and manufacturer of the UHMWPE fiber (Ultra High Molecular Weight PolyEthylene), which is marketed under the brand name Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™. Dyneema® offers maximum strength combined with minimum weight. For the same weight it is 15 times stronger than quality steel and up to 40% stronger than aramid fibers. The Dyneema® fiber boats on water and has an extremely high resistance to abrasion and cutting as well as being resistant to moisture, UV light and chemicals. The fibers are processed by Dolezych GmbH & Co. KG, one of the world’s leading companies for load securing. The multinational family-owned company headquartered in Dortmund has recognized experience in the development and manufacture of lashing products and owns numerous patents in this field. The principle of the presented PowerLash with Dyneema® is both simple and clever: The PowerLash chain is manufactured completely from webbing made of Dyneema®. Several layers of the fabric are wound and sewn to form chain links. These are combined into textile chains that can be produced in any length with specially developed chain hooks, high-strength shackles and special tensioner elements. The result is easily comparable with the breaking load and durability of chains made of highstrength steel, but is up to 85% lighter and much more flexible in use. The new load securing systems were put through their paces by users in a test phase lasting six months and proved to be outstanding under real operating conditions. Products with the widest variety of chain lengths, hooks and tensioner elements were used. Even short lashing chains were found to offer enormous weight and handling advantages. Above all, the particularly long lashing chains with a usable length of 6 m or more showed that the extremely light and cut-resistant Dyneema® fiber is simply unbeatable for some applications. Even with chain lengths of 20 m and more it was possible for just one person to secure the load quickly and effortlessly! The opinion of our tester was clear: “Working with lashing chains was never so easy!” A typical feature of chains is also the possibility to shorten the system. Just attach the hook to the chain link at the desired length – done. A high-strength shackle of an appropriate strength can also be used as a shortening element. And if the load is sensitive, the soft lashing chain can even be pulled over the load with no further protective measures (e.g. against scratches). The tensioner element of the system is also innovative. A special and easy to use lashing strap system replaces the ratchet load binder normally used with lashing chains. That results in a significantly longer tensioning distance and additionally contributes to a reduction in weight.