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Great Expectations @ ITMA 2015

by Adrian Wilson | 04 Nov, 2015

Over the past few weeks, stand erectors, specialised technicians and mechanics from over 1,650 companies have descended on Milan’s Rho Fiera in order to bring together one of the world’s largest displays of manufacturing technology which stretches over eleven halls.

The stand building and machine erection period is never without its frustrations, given the complexity of what’s required to put on an exhibition like ITMA 2015, but with any luck – and an awful lot of good management – nothing of this will be noticed when the first visitors begin to stream in on Thursday morning.

The largest stands in Hall 1 this year are dominated by the two Belgium-based technology leaders – Picanol and Van De Wiele – along with the Swiss Stäubli group.

In total, Picanol is displaying ten weaving machines which will be producing a wide array of fabrics, from shirting, denim and terry through to automotive and technical fabrics. In addition, a Picanol OptiMax-i with Jacquard will be on display by Bonas across on stand C101 and an OMNIplus Summum demonstrated at Stäubli’s stand B111.

Van de Wiele has meanwhile consolidated its position as the leading supplier of carpet manufacturing technology with the purchase of the French company Superba in May this year.

This follows earlier acquisitions of well-known industry brands including Bonas and Cobble. Superba – a leader in the manufacture of heat setting machines for carpet yarns with its system based on saturated steam – has its own stand at ITMA 2015 in Hall 4, since the acquisition came too late for the company to be integrated into the main Van de Wiele stand C101 in Hall 1, where new woven and tufted carpet qualities for area rugs and wall-to-wall uses will be displayed.

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Technical textiles woven on the new VSi42 distance weave machine will also showcased, ranging from aerospace fabrics to protective clothing. The latest Van de Wiele extrusion, tufting and weaving machines are characterised by the increased incorporation of electronic drives for higher automation, flexibility and productivity.

In addition, four Bonas jacquards are being shown, ranging from a 5,000 hook unit for terry production, a machine with over 16,128 hooks for high density and fashion articles and a system with 18,500 hooks directly mounted on a weaving machine making light weight carpets and patterned rugs.

Some of the largest stands in Hall 2 belong to the two major Swiss developers of spinning systems – Rieter and Saurer.
Both are emphasising the importance of service, as an essential supplement to the supply of their machines.

At its stands B104 and B109 in Hall 2, Saurer is introducing SUN – service unlimited – a package of differentiated services bringing together consulting, installation, know-how transfer, original parts, maintenance and repair, as well as updates and upgrades.

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“With improved original parts, modernisation technology and service kits, we are taking responsibility for innovation throughout the entire machine life cycle and also ensuring customers with older machine generations will be able to benefit from technological advances,” says CEO Martin Folini.

Rieter’s Head of Markets Christian Flüge meanwhile cites the growing importance of the company’s SPIDERweb information and data collection system for all of the company’s machines – both new and already installed.

“With SPIDERweb, machines and data are ideally coordinated and obtained from a single source,” he says. “Due to its modular nature, any number of machines can be connected, from blowroom to spinning installation – the open-ended network enables additional machines or SPIDERweb workstations to be connected at any time. SPIDERweb collects comprehensive data that provides an ongoing basis for increasing output and enhancing quality.”

Rieter is at stand A106 in Hall 2.

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Dilo’s two complete needlepunching lines take the centre stage in Hall 3, along with sizeable areas showcasing the technologies of Switzerland’s Jakob Müller and Japan’s Toyota.

Dilo reports that its has had a very strong 2015 to date, with an above-average order intake in its most important markets.
The two complete lines it will show over an area of 1,232 square will include fibre preparation units from DiloTemafa, cards and card feeding systems from DiloSpinnbau and crosslappers and needlelooms developed by DiloMachines.

In Hall 4, one the biggest stands has been taken by Japan’s Muratec (stands C101-102), another leader in spinning and yarn winding technologies.

“ITMA is always a good opportunity for us to present our latest developments and get good feedback from the market on how to further improve our machines,” says General Manager Toshihiro Yamaguchi. “We have now been present at the ITMA shows for over forty years.”

Hall 5 is dominated by the leading knitting machinery builders, including Germany’s Karl Mayer and Still, Taiwan-headquartered Pai Lung and Japan’s Shima-Seiki.

At stand C101, Karl Mayer’s new warp knitting and tricot systems will be demonstrated with new revamped corporate designs and the focus on enhanced ergonomics and low energy consumption. Other innovations to be unveiled include a sectional warping machine for special applications, an extra wide-width warp sampling machine and a size box for denim production bringing new advantages in terms of sustainable production.

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The formerly independent finishing technologists that are now part of China Hi-Tech Group Corporation (CHTC) have a major stand, E101 in Hall 10, with Fong’s, Goller, Monforts and Then now together.

CHTC had the largest hall virtually to itself at the ITMA Asia + CITME 2014 exhibition in Shanghai, staking its claim – following a succession of major acquisitions – to being the undisputed leader in the textile machinery industry in 2015.
At ITMA 2015, with many of its brands having their own stands dotted around the halls, CHTC’s own presence, in Hall 3, stand A101, is understandably much more modest. CHTC will be holding a special press conference on Saturday so I’ll provide details of the latest from this huge group in a further post.

Dilmenler, in Hall 14 at stand D111, is taking an extensive area to demonstrate its leading position as Turkey’s supplier of dyeing and finishing systems for both yarns and fabrics, while Hall 18 is largely devoted to the advances in digital printing.
“At ITMA 2015, we will see digital printers with very high speeds that will allow them to compete with traditional rotary printing,” predicted Valerio Robustelli, at Italian textile machinery ACIMIT’s pre-ITMA press conference in Como this June.
Among huge developments to be unveiled in this field are the new PIKE high volume, single-pass digital textile printer from SPGPrints – I’ll have much more to report on this after the company’s press conference on Thursday.

Already, ITMA 2015 seems to be shaping up to be remembered as an event where textile machinery innovation hit a new peak.

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