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Rolling Out The Red Carpet

Carpet capital host Carpet Technologies Show®, presenting the latest in floor-covering technologies.

Rolling Out The Red Carpet Carpet capital hosts three-day event presenting the latest in floor-covering technologies. This years Carpet Technology Show® began its three-day market in Dalton, Ga., on September 11. Devastated by the events of that day, the show continued as best it could with the business at hand. Vendors displayed and promoted their machinery, equipment, services and supplies. Attendees saw the latest in equipment, machinery and support for their businesses. Some of the countries represented included the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Belgium and Japan.The Dalton Floor Covering Marketing Association (DFCMA) produces and promotes the Carpet Technologies Show. Wanda Ellis, executive director, was very upbeat about this years show despite the difficulties caused by the tragedy of September 11. Normally, we attract about 3,000+ attendees, and we were off about one-third, partly due to the fact that many who had planned to fly in on Tuesday couldnt get here.Global Outlook 2001, an international forum, showcased six industry experts from Europe, Japan, South America and the United States. The forum was an undertaking of Dalton State College (DSC). According to Marilyn M. Helms, Sesquicentennial Endowed Chair and director of DSCs Center for Applied Business Studies, DSC is taking a more active role in the carpet industry. Exhibitor CommentsRieter ICBT Greensboro Inc., Greensboro, N.C. Chuck Crow, product sales manager, said the firm is primarily involved in the twisting of carpet face yarns. Machinery sales have been slow for the past six to eight months, but there are indications that things are picking up. Last year saw false starts, and most believe we wont see anything significant until the first of the year but given whats happened with the tragedy, all bets are off. He continued, saying that changes would have to be significant for him to get excited. We need to be selling more machines, and we feel this particular show is good for us, he said. Our machines handle both two-for-one twisting on single-end filament, spun yarns; and direct cabling for bulk continuous filamant (BCF) yarns. This is a twisting (direct cabler or two-for-one, depending on the application) machine, he continued. This particular type of equipment has been in operation and part of Rieter ICBTs product lines for five or six years.Zima Corp., Spartanburg, S.C. Bill McAndrew, vice president, sales and marketing, explained that Zima is a sales agent for several companies, including Kusters, IMTEC and Mitter. The firm handles sales, engineering service and spare parts for all three companies. We have project managers to handle large projects for each one of them, and service technicians, McAndrew said.Information was available for all product lines, with emphasis on Kusters dyeing and finishing, and the combination of its Instacolor/Instatachem and Quick Change Dye Applicator. Rotary screen printing equipment was available from Mitter, and shearing equipment from IMTEC. It appeared some of the biggest interest was in the new Quick Change Fluidyer. McAndrew noted that one of these machines is installed at each of Zimas major customers facilities, and the company is working to install others.McAndrew felt that carpet is not as import-sensitive as other textiles. The carpet industry will hold up better, in our opinion, than the textile industry. The nonwovens industry and paper industry are basically like carpet, down a bit but not as bad as textiles. We feel theres a huge future in the U.S. carpet industry. The people here are as efficient as anywhere in the whole world. Theyve got the best machinery, the best people and best carpet made right here in Dalton, he said.NICCA U.S.A. Inc., Fountain Inn, S.C., was exhibiting with and representing Suminoe Textile Co. Ltd., Japan. The two companies enjoy a strong supplier/manufacturer relationship. NICCA is a chemical manufacturer in Japan and the United States, but Suminoe has no facilities in the States. Kazu Ikebata, R and D manager for NICCA, explained, Suminoe is our biggest customer in Japan. Satoru Tanaka, general manager, administrative services for NICCA, added, NICCA supplies a lot of chemicals to Suminoe in Japan and represents them in the States. Suminoe has a great cleaning system that has been used in Japan for about 10 years, but nobody in the United States has used it yet, so we are hoping to find buyers in Dalton. Both feel Carpet Technologies is a good market for their products, but they had hoped to see more people.Pierret, North American Division, Spartanburg Todd Cooper, sales and marketing manager, stated he is an optimist. The market may be down now, but Im positive the future will see things getting back to normal. Theres not a lot of money right now, and folks are holding the purse strings tightly. We do understand because were doing that, too. Cooper talked about the firms CT6020 cutting machine. Our equipment is very common in this industry. We have at least 15 or 20 companies in the Dalton area using our size-reduction equipment. Most are using recycled carpet yarn in some form or other some cutting edge-trim and so forth. We also have an in-line tool cutter that is made for cutting edge-trim.Cooper continued, In Europe, there are more government subsidies for recycling. Here, its more common that customers, if they cant make a profit off of it, they dont want to deal with it. Its something that we have, and the market is developing and growing for us. Were continuing to push our products in this industry and feel confident well continue to grow when the economy gets back on its feet.Belmont Machinery Inc., Mount Holly, N.C. Dean Smith, Jr., vice president, marketing, works from Belmonts sales office in Dalton. Smith was upbeat and said he had seen a fair number of customers. The customers weve seen have been quality people in purchasing. We like to see everybody, but we especially need to see the guys in charge of purchasing. With the tragic events, a fog has been cast on everything, but its not anybodys fault and we have had some fairly good traffic and activity. Were probably spending fewer dollars for prospects here than anywhere else in the world. So it pleases me very much to exhibit.Belmont was showing new winding equipment, which had been introduced at the American Textile Machinery Exhibition-International (ATME-I) 2001. According to Smith, one of the units is in operation at the Mohawk twisting plant in Calhoun, Ga. It appears to be attracting interest. We also have a space-dyeing line and twisting machines, but winding is our core business, he said. Belmont has introduced an automated package-handling system. What were trying to do is eliminate or reduce labor in a winding operation, he explained.Saurer Textile Systems, Charlotte, N.C. Ted Street, regional sales manager, noted, We see signs of the industry picking up, and Saurer has made some good sales in the last two weeks. Saurer was showing videos of machinery how its set up and maintained. There was also a display of spare parts and literature, plus some new items relating to tension and gadgets that help run specialty yarns. The firms Volkmann CarpetTwister, a machine range for twisted and cabled carpet-yarn production, appeared to attract a lot of interest.Eltex US Inc., Greer, S.C. Peter Titcomb, district sales manager, also feels the market seems to be picking up. Some of the spinning mills Ive called on are busy running seven days a week, 24 hours a day. BCF seems to be holding steady. Air entangling is a little slack but will pick up later. Eltexs equipment line includes warping, weaving, winding and other applications. The Eltex QTV Yarn Break Detection System reacts to a yarn break in milliseconds. The number of ends to be monitored in the creel are automatically detected and displayed by the QTV systems central unit. The Weft Yarn Tension Monitor has created a small revolution in weaving technology and makes it possible to significantly increase weaving efficiency, according to Titcomb.
 Van de Wiele, Belgium Arthur Phillips, president, and Gilbert Moulin, sales manager, discussed Van de Wieles face-to-face carpet weaving machines, which Phillips said are mainly for area rugs but also for wall-to-wall contract carpet. Several examples of carpets and rugs woven by customers were shown. Our collection shows a trend toward better qualities by using better yarns, such as wool, and finer densities, which means more pile knots per square meter or per square yard, Phillips said. Moulin added, There are better and finer designs in high-end quality. Imports are already successful, and now the American market is going forward. Wool has been successful at Shaw Industries and Karastan. Both have a collection of carpets in wool.Van de Wiele will complete a range of carpet weaving machines with another Axminster weaving machine. Moulin said it is under development and will be running sometime about the middle of next year.Mahlo America Inc., Spartanburg The market has been fine for us, we had good meetings, but with the tragic events, traffic has been slow, related Alan Lavore, sales and marketing manager. The main product were displaying this week is our PCS-10, a pattern-control system in which we can use camera-based technology to image the surface of the carpet and look for patterns within the carpet whether they be structural or color, he said. The system detects distortions and repeats within the actual pattern of a material. This is important because distorted carpet or fabric loses its value as a usable finished product and gives rise to complaints.Mahlo also had on display some process monitors and control systems for moisture monitoring, weight measurement and exhaust humidity.American Superba Inc., Dalton Frank Walburger, president, and John Cornelison, regional sales manager, were on hand to talk about the companys equipment. Superba developed the ARG/M for computerized regulation of saturated-steam, pressurized, continuous heat-setting of carpet yarns.Were also introducing the B401, which is the narrowest winder on the market. It is an upgrade for the B400 introduced in 1999. It will be coming out soon. Were also introducing a MF3 Frieze unit that will be coming out within the next two months. The show has been good for us. The traffic weve had is high-quality traffic. Were happy with that, Walburger affirmed.Americhem Inc., Concord, N.C. Americhem is a manufacturer of custom-color masterbatch for polypropylene, polyester, nylon fiber and fibers used in floor covering and textile applications. Americhem can produce color for anything that is solution-dyed. According to Paul Mrzlak, sales and marketing manager, Americhem is known as a high-performance company in terms of lightfastness and spin performance of its products. We pretty much service the floor-covering industry, and have for 15 years. Were a custom manufacturer, with everything being designed specifically for customers, he said.Customers are in 25 countries worldwide. Mrzlak said that despite the slow economy, he sees positive signs that things are turning around. Of course, with the tragic events, it could change things. Our total commitment to innovation and quality will not be diminished, no matter what, he stated.A.B. Carter Inc., Gastonia, N.C. An unusual and interesting product was being demonstrated by A.B. Carter. Its Sliver-Join splicer was designed specifically to improve the consistency of the sliver-splicing process at the ring-spinning frame, resulting in fewer ends down, reduced waste and lower maintenance cost. This very different splicing technique also requires little training, allowing new and inexperienced employees to quickly become skilled at producing consistent, high-quality splices. Fred Rankin, vice president, Mill Devices Co., said the splicer has demonstrated superior performance in major carpet spinning operations.Fi-Tech Inc., Richmond, Va. Weve seen old faces and weve seen new faces here at the show, and generally speaking, we certainly like to see both. Its a good show for us, said Keith Wise, spare parts manager, sales and marketing. Wise was especially promoting the firms biggest item Euro-Spares, a source for European spare parts.Fi-Tech is a technical service company and North American representative for European equipment manufacturers. Offices are maintained in the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, enabling speedy pricing and availability, and other related services. Fi-Tech identifies and locates parts; works with currency; arranges shipments; clears customs, tariffs and duties; and receives at its warehouse in Richmond. The company also inspects for damage in transit and a very important service bills customers in U.S. dollars.BTSR (Best Technologies StudyandResearch), Italy BTSR was represented well by Scott Yates, general manager, PAF Sales LLC, Greensboro. PAF is the exclusive distributor of BTSR yarn control systems. BTSR was showing different systems for the industry on-line tension-monitoring and on-line twist-monitoring systems, and a smart clear system.Yates said the firm is cycle-proof when it comes to the economy. We sell when other things are down (such as apparel), and we have staples niche-market items such as fiberglass and carpet industry items. Others areas include medical, hosiery, tire cord and things that are not your typical textile market items. Were very optimistic and upbeat. We intend to continue carrying our products to the industry. Our products can be contoured into anywhere. Find a yarn strand or fabric formation, and were there.Lawson Hemphill Sales Inc., Spartanburg Richard Doyne, Industrial Sales Division, said, Weve had interest in our principal accounts here at the show, and we will follow-up. Our lab equipment has been observed and favorable comments received. The firm was promoting Colortronic, an extrusion control unit. Doyne said the Colortronic can simplify line startup and job changeovers and reduce scrap accumulation during string-up. In co-extrusion lines, it guarantees that all extruders will run in layer ratio control.The TYT-EW electronic yarn tester offers a user-friendly format that channels yarn-quality data via a network to a central database, enabling rapid and precise performance analyses by production and quality-control management. The FST 3000 force shrinkage tester increases flexibility to capture and transfer data to a companys computer system. Test results can be stored and retrieved easily for analysis at any time.Textube Corp., Greer C.P. (Butch) Moss, Jr., sales manager, said he always looks forward to this particular show because a major segment of his business is the carpet industry. On opening day, we had tragic events that changed the overall schedule, but the traffic has still been pretty good for us, and weve seen a lot of customers, said Moss.Textube had many products for the carpet industry spinning tubes, twisting products, finish winder combs and others. The company carries a full product line in plastic as well. Moss, like many others, talked about the effects of the slow economy. It has been a slow economy, but we hear about new housing starts and the trickle-down effect, which takes a while to get to us as a carrier. It seems the younger generation is having a preference for hardwood flooring as opposed to carpeting. That could change too! A lot of people in this country have carpet in their homes and just might use it an extra year or few months longer rather than replacing it. But I do feel theres still a bright side of business.  
Freudenberg Nonwovens Group, Durham, N.C. According to Jean Skinner, marketing, the firm has been, for a long time, incorporating post-industrial recycled content into its product up to 12 percent. This year we have the capability of adding up to 50-percent post-consumer recycled content. Weve had a lot of customers asking for this, so weve used a lot of capital investment to be able to incorporate that amount of recycled content into the product. And were the only backing company in the world that can offer up to 50-percent post-consumer recycled content in the primary backing. Freudenberg has 17 plants producing nonwovens in 12 countries worldwide.A new breakthrough primary carpet backing has already begun to show phenomenal results, noted Skinner. This product, Lutradur type 059, delivers improved face appearance, tighter backstitch, better pile-holding capabilities, improved mending properties, reduced noise at tufting, and minimized bow and skew.Currently the firm is investing $40-million to increase the capacity of its spunbond plant in Durham. Production is scheduled to begin during the first quarter 2002. Freudenberg will be the largest producer of polyester spunbond for its primary market segments: automotive carpet backings; interior soft trim; carpet tile backings; and broadloom backings, according to Skinner.International Baler Corp., Jacksonville, Fla. Jerry Wise, sales manager, talked about his firms products. The auto-tie balers have many features and are engineered for maximum performance. The equipment meets tough standards due to its hydraulically operated wire inserters for safer, more dependable operation and more uniform ties; variable bale length control and automatic tensioning control cylinders for tighter bales and ease of operation; electronic eye sensors for trouble-free operation in the automatic start cycle; components for minimum down time, ease of maintenance; reliability; plus much more. There are 16 Auto-Tie models.The industry in general will pick up through 2005, and after that we should cross our fingers and hope that China wont ruin us, Wise said. Why 2005 Because thats when all the quotas come off products coming into the states. The carpet industry as a whole should be fine up to that point. After that, all bets are off.EPIC Enterprises Inc., Southern Pines, N.C. Epic is a replacement parts company for the carpet industry and fine count. Product lines shown included twisting and heat-setting. Claude Crisp, director of sales, said Epic has been in business for 23 years. The firm handles replacement parts for Verdol and Volkmann two-for-one and cabling equipment; replacement parts for Superba Heatset, Signal Equipment, and Suessen Heatset; ring assembly cleaning and rebuilding; and EPI-Mark yarn and fabric markers.Our EPI-Mark has many non-fluorescing colors and is cold-water-soluble. It does not melt, contains no wax and easily cleans with no mess. Our EPI-Mark crayons are rapidly replacing chalk markers for cotton, carpet, wool, worsted and man-made yarns and fabrics, Crisp said. 
Williams Sales Inc., Nashville, Tenn. This was Williams Sales first time to exhibit. Were excited about this industry, said Dan Williams, vice president. Were showing a flex strap machine by Felins that wraps stretch film around a roll of rug. Most have been doing this by hand, which can cause problems such as carpel tunnel. The stretch film is held by front and rear grippers below the bed of the machine, the product to be wrapped or banded is placed into position, and the foot switch is depressed. When the required number of selected wraps has been made, the stretch film is automatically cut and sealed. The procedure works especially well on smaller rugs, such as 5-by-7s, play rugs. And, according to Williams, its a cost-saving alternative to using a rigid poly plastic strapping-type machine. He said it usually pays for itself in less than a year. The Felins machine is made in the United States.New Binders Group, Miamisburg, Ohio New Binders Group manufactured the first bobbinless, portable carpet-binding machine. Most carpet-binding machines are made from modified home sewing machines, but New Binders Durabind is a stronger and faster heavier-duty industrial machine, according to Bruce Dellert, vice president, sales and marketing. It is designed to increase productivity and efficiency, is economical and simple to operate, and adapts to carpeting of all grades and backings, among other benefits. It is portable and can be taken to job sites.Dellert stated, This is our first time at the Carpet Technologies Show, and we are somewhat disappointed with attendance, but with the tragedy in our country, we understand many could not get here. However, were looking forward to the next show in two years and to selling more machines. The Durabind machine is made in Hudson, Ohio.Electric Systems Integrator, LLC (ESI), (an NSC Groupe Company), Chattanooga, Tenn. Bill Gains, sales engineer, said the trade show has been somewhat busy in his area, but he would like to see more participation from the carpet industry. Theyve done a good job with the show here, but we need more support from the carpet industry, because thats what were here for. ESI was showing an ABB600, which features Allen Bradley, Reliance, Siemens and Yaskawa drives networked via remote 1/0 on Profibus and Device Net.According to Gains, the simulated nonwoven line utilizes soft PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) technology based on Wonder Ware. It has an in-touch and in-control platform, which is somewhat unique in the industry, he noted.CYG, Santa Monica, Calif. CYG is an investment firm that handles mergers, acquisitions and financial data. Greg Yorkison was on hand promoting one of CYGs clients, Syndesis Inc., manufacturers of Syndecrete®, a lightweight, hard-surface application that incorporates carpet waste such as the latex backing and polypropylene tape. The product can be utilized for multiple applications including floor covering, table tops, counter tops, wall panels, and bathroom fixtures. The product can go indoors and outdoors. This is a multi faceted, very flexible product, said Yorkison.IRO Inc., Charlotte IRO handles a full range of yarn-feeding devices and yarn-tension controls, according to Thomas Hansen, president. The firm provides tension control for all types and counts of yarns. By controlling tension and yarn feeding, it will increase production and improve quality. The firm showed a full range of yarn guides, ceramic tensions and stop motions, as well as its latest electronic yarn-tension meter and yarn-speed and rate meter.Day International Inc., Greenville, S.C. Day International manufactures and sells rubber cots and aprons to assist carpet manufacturers in creating top-quality carpet yarn. Day was exhibiting two brands of cots and aprons, DAYtex® and Accotex®, to cover a wide range of applications and machinery. According to Bill Howle, director of technical services, Day also provides top-quality rolls for Superba machines, as well as balloon rolls and clearer covers for carpet yarn spinning machines. Another product being shown was roll covering for tufting machinery.Day has been serving the textile and carpet industry since 1938. Howle said he enjoyed being at the show and appreciated the opportunity of exhibiting to an enthusiastic crowd of carpet mill personnel.

November 2001