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Throwsters Hear Opportunities

<i>At the annual summer meeting, TYAA members learn of opportunities, challenges and changes in the industry.</i><b>By McAllister Isaacs III, Editorial Director</b>

Yarn ManufacturingBy McAllister Isaacs III, Editorial Director Throwsters Hear OpportunitiesAt the annual summer meeting, TYAA members learn of opportunities, challenges and changes in industry. Mike Hubbard is the new executive vice president of the American Yarn Spinners Assn. and the Textured Yarn Assn. of America (TYAA). He provided the keynote address at TYAAs annual meeting this past July in Myrtle Beach, S.C. In the U.S., 64% of the textured yarn produced is sales yarn, Hubbard says. "That is, it is not produced by a vertically integrated company."Hubbards subject was New Opportunities for U.S. Textured Yarn. "Until recently, the amount of textured filament yarn being imported to the U.S. grew rapidly," Hubbard says. "In 1995, some 88.2 million kg of textured yarn was imported to the U.S. By 2000, that amount had grown to 123.3 million kg."However, as the U.S. economic growth has slowed, so has the amount of textured yarn being imported into the country. Citing latest trade data from the U.S. government (through April 2001), Hubbard says all of the top 10 exporters of textured yarn to this country in 2000 have shipped less yarn than they did a year ago. Table 1 shows the top 10 exporters of textured yarn into the U.S. and the percentage of the total during the first four months of this year.Hubbard says, "Contrary to popular belief, free trade has not been all bad for the industry. In many cases, it has been extremely beneficial."Hubbard points to work being done to expand NAFTA to include all the countries in the Western Hemisphere, with an ambitious goal of 2005 for creation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Meanwhile the U.S. has established a free-trade area with Israel and Jordan, and is in negotiations to establish a free-trade area with Singapore.Despite the economic slowdown, many U.S. yarn companies are taking advantage of the Caribbean trade legislation. The Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (known as CBI) allows U.S. fabric made from U.S. yarn to be shipped to the Caribbean countries to be made into apparel. That apparel can enter the U.S. duty-free. In addition, fabric knit in the region from U.S. yarn can be made into apparel and shipped to the U.S. duty-free, but that apparel is subject to a quota. Alaisdair Carmichael, associate consultant, PCI FibersandRaw Materials spoke to the group on the topic: U.S. TextilesSinging The BluesCarmichael, a former TYAA president and former head of Rieters U.S. filament processing sales and service office, provided an interesting comparison of the worlds leading polyester producers in 1980 vs. 2000. Table 2 shows this comparison. Carmichael says that despite the negatives of recent plant closings, there are some positives for the textile industry. These include:o Deliveries of texturing spindles to the U.S. in 2000, 2nd largest in the world.o U.S. exports of textured polyester exceed imports.o Overseas investments involve: > Golden Lady purchase of Kayser Roth; > Nylstar purchase of Amfibe and 44 mm lb investment; > Radici purchase of Globe Manufacturing; > Alpek purchase of DuPont share of staple j/v.o Domestic investments involve: > Berkshire Hathaway purchase of Shaw Industries; > Heartland takes 60% equity investment in C and A;tland invests in taking Springs Industries private.Carmichael expects manmade fibers market share to grow continuously over the next several years and consumption of all fibers to grow as well. Table 3 shows the market share breakdown for the future; Table 4 shows the growth by fiber. Joseph McFadyen of Wellman Inc. spoke to the throwsters on the topic, Producer Colored Yarns. He said, "Higher operating costs and environmental concerns have increased the demand of producer colored yarnsalso referred to as dope dyed or solution dyed."He cited some inherent advantages of package dyeing. These include the ability for process small lots and the flexibility for manufacturing to produce many different colors. However, he says, "This process is under more and more environmental pressures since a large volume of effluent has to be dealt with responsibly."Mass dope coloration is an effective means to produce large volumes of a single color."High concentration doping is slightly more flexible than mass doping," says McFadyen. "The direct injection method allows colorants to be introduced to the polymer melt. This advantage allows the final colored POY to process the same as natural POY of a similar product type. Textured YarnChallenges and Opportunities for the Wet Processor was the topic presented by Nelson Houser, Burlington Chemical Co. The steps include:1) Pretreatment;2) Dyeing; and3) Finishing.Pretreatment involves removing water and solvent extractables such as oils, waxes, lubricants, spin finishes inherent to the fiber or added for greige mill manufacturing. These additives can adversely affect the dyeing quality.Issues are:o Ease or complexity of removal by the wet processor.o Wet processors knowledge of what the extractables are.o Equipment availabilityexhaust batch, semicontinuous or continuous.Preparation takes time, utilities and chemicals.Dyeing is the application of color to achieve the desired shade, uniformly throughout the substrate, with acceptable colorfastness and with repeatability. Issues are:1) Ease of complexity of color application.2) Wet processors knowledge of the substrate conditions for adaptabilitymerge, denier, rate-of-dye uptake, luster, etc.3) Procedure to machine capabilityknow the equipment.o Jetsknits and wovens;o Beamwarp/tricot knits and wovens;o Jigswovens.Houser says new things are happening in fibers and end-use performance. In fibers:o WellmanComfortrel Plus, Altura, Sensura, Color Plus (PDF);o Cargill-DowNatureworks PLA;o CelaneseTriacetate;o KosaESP Stretch PES, ESP Emblazia (PDF), EZ Dye, Corterra (PTT);o DuPontCoolmax, Colorbrite (CAT-PES), Dacron Plus, Delcron Hydrote, Sorona (corn-based fiber).In end-use performance:o Industrial and technical textilesprotective, medical and health care, homefurnishings, transportation, packaging, filtration, geotextiles;o National Textile Centerfuture technologies;o "nano-technology," "techno-takeover," "molecules-to-market;"o Performancerelease/repellent, antimicrobials, fire retardancy, hydrophilic and moisture management, ultraviolet protection, medical, feel-good."What can you do for the wet processor," asked Houser.1) Yarn quality and consistencylet them know when there are changes.2) Tell them more about the fiber.3) Tell them more about the extractablesdo you know the downstream ease of removal4) Engage them early in developments Mark Reese of Lawson-Hemphill Sales Inc. addressed Draw Force Testing of POY. He reported that Textechno has introduced a new generation of testing instrumentation with increased testingcapabilitiesthe Dynafil ME. It has separate precision input and draw-off godet for test speeds up to 1,000 mpm and a maximum temperature up to 550 C.A special feature of this heater is a drive mechanism in connection with an automatically actuated flap in front of the heating channel. The heater can be moved forward and backwardeven with the yarn runningso that the yarn is either inside the heating channel or outside the heater. This enables operation of the heater at temperatures far above the melting point of the yarn, provided that the heater is moved over the yarn only when the yarn is running at sufficiently high speed. Compared to other testers with heating tubes, whose maximum temperature is limited by the melting point of the yarn, the higher heater temperatures of the Dynafil ME allow considerably higher test speeds. TYAA Taps Dillon's Howell As New PresidentAt is annual meeting, Textured Yarn Assn. of America (TYAA) members elected Robert Howell Jr., Dillon Yarn Corp., president. The association also elected Richard White, MillikenandCo., co-vice presidenttechnical. TYAA also re-elected Tony Dotson, KoSa, co-vice presidenttechnical; Jim McBride, Cognis Corp., vice presidentmembership; Jerry Eskew, vice presidentconventions; Mark Hubbard, vice presidentpublicity/publications/archives.Directors elected at the annual meeting included: Ulrik Frodermann, American Barmag Corp., 4-yr term; Adam Watson, BASF Corp., 3-yr term; Tommy George, Spectrum Dyed Yarns, 2-yr term; Chas Scott, Unifi Inc., 1-yr term.The association re-elected Jerry N. King, MillikenandCo., executive secretary, and Kim Petit, American Yarn Spinners Assn., managing director.October 2001