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The Rupp Report: Dornbirn Prepares For 49th Man-made Fibers Industry Summit

Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

For almost 50 years now, Dornbirn, Austria, has been the center of the global man-made fibers industry with its annual Dornbirn Man-made Fibers Congress, organized by the Austrian Man-made Fibers Institute. Included also are artificial cellulosic fibers such as viscose and lyocell. The next event will take place Sept. 15-17, 2010. Industry experts and academic researchers will present more than 100 lectures in three parallel conferences.

Not only are the papers of great importance for the visitors, but sometimes even more important are the get-together, the exchange of information and last, but not least, networking with the inner circle of this ever-more important sector of the fiber industry.

Main Topics
Papers are given by top speakers and professionals from the global man-made fiber industry. Main topics this year include:
•    new developments in fibers;
•    fibers and textiles in transportation;
•    nonwovens;
•    new functionalities through spin finishes and modifications; and
•    European Union-based research projects.

Heinz Kmonicek, chairman of the program committee, said he is sure that "2010 will be the difficult way back into normal economy. We encounter a revolutionary change in our existing paradigms. Until now growth has been mainly linked to the cheap availability of fossil energy, whereas in our new global era economy and consumers will be faced with topics like environment, sustainability, careful use of resources and the development of the population." He also is convinced that the textile industry and the man-made fiber industry have to take these developments into consideration.

Plenary Session
The first morning is always dedicated to plenary lectures with different subjects. Among other presentations this year, papers from the Brussels-based European Man-Made Fibers Association (CIRFS) will report the challenges of the global man-made fibers market from a European point of view. The Chinese perspective will be given by a speaker from the Beijing-based China Chemical Fibers Association (CCFA), who will review developments of the Chinese fiber industry in a growing market. More trends that are affecting man-made fibers after the recent recession will be explained by Houston-based Chemical Marketing Associates Inc. (CMAI), a global fibers and feedstocks market advisory company. To underline the importance of transportation textiles, the Hochschule Niederrhein of Mönchengladbach, Germany, will give an overview of current and future applications of fibers for transportation textiles.

New Fiber Developments
As always, new developments in fibers play the most important part in the event. The section dedicated to these developments will include 32 presentations over the duration of the conference. Leading international man-made fiber producers from Europe including Turkey, as well as the United States and Japan, will show their latest innovations, but findings from European and U.S. research institutes also will be presented.

Transportation Textiles
Fibers and fabrics for transportation -- whether by air, automotive, train or boat -- are becoming more and more significant for the textile-producing industry. Therefore, it is not a surprise that the section covering these textiles, with 34 lectures, strongly represents this sector. For the first time, lecturers from manufacturing and research areas will present their views and topics on the use of man-made fibers for automotive textiles.

Further Issues
Nature is ever the best teacher and the best example for the whole of mankind. In modern times, preoccupation in the industry with nature is mainly called bionics. And bionics is one of the main subjects of the conference and is included in many of the individual presentations.

In the last few years, the conference also has taken the importance of nonwovens into consideration. The section on nonwovens will include 10 interesting lectures.

Since the start of the modern man-made fibers industry, spin finishes and their modifications have played an important part of this sector, if not the most important one. By applying spin finishes, the function and properties of man-made fibers can be modified heavily.

Dornbirn organizers note that research with market relevance -- such as life-cycle analyses of a product, and customized and cost-conscious production -- should be conducted jointly between industry and academia. The goal is to provide positive long-term perspectives to the younger generation and to have qualified staff for the future.

Expert Discussion
For the first time, there will be an extended expert discussion for about one hour, moderated by top industry, research and media representatives. The objective, state the organizers, is to question the findings and statements from the majority of lectures.

More information is available at www.dornbirn.mfc.com.

March 30, 2010