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Expanding IDEA

Triennial engineered fabrics exposition and conference expands to include technical textiles.

TW Special Report

T he Cary, N.C.-based Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA) hopes to make Miami Beach, Fla., the engineered fabrics capital of the world when 7,000 expected visitors come to IDEA04, the international engineered fabrics exposition and conference INDA will host April 27-29 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Held every three years since 1972, IDEA has been expanded this year to include technical textiles, a fast-growing segment in the textile industry. Visitors are expected to see the products and services of more than 300 exhibitors in all - including suppliers, machinery manufacturers and associations - from 60 countries.

"This aggressive expansion was made at the request of IDEA attendees and exhibitors, many of whom are involved in both markets," said Peggy Blake, marketing manager, INDA. "[T]he early response has certainly supported this expansion."

Such sectors as automotive, consumer products and wipes, fuel cells, filtration, medical, protective apparel, home furnishings, construction, geotextiles/landscaping, and personal care and hygiene; as well as international trade, will be represented on the exposition floor and at the accompanying three-day conference.

The IDEA04 conference will include sessions on medical textiles (above) and geotextiles (below).

Fabric Basics
Edward Vaughn, Ph.D., a professor at Clemson University's School of Materials Science and Engineering, will present Fabric Basics, a course covering the fundamentals of technologies used to create nonwovens and engineered fabrics. Attendees will learn about engineered fabrics made using today's commercial processes, as well as how to choose the correct engineered fabric for a specific application. The course will be offered Tuesday, April 27, and Wednesday, April 28, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.


Conference Program
In association with National Geographic magazine, the conference keynote speech will be given by National Geographic writer Cathy Newman on Wednesday morning. In her presentation entitled "Dreamweavers," Newman will discuss textiles of the future.

On Tuesday, the automotive, consumer products and wipes, fuel cells, and hygiene conference sessions will take place. The automotive session, moderated by Ed Cerne, Freudenberg North America, will include a discussion on automotive engineered fabrics, presented by Mary Dovell, Honda R&D Americas USA. The consumer products and wipes session will include a discussion of opportunities for engineered fabrics in athletic apparel, presented by Mike Baron, Nike Inc. The fuel cells session will include a discussion of opportunities for fiber manufacturers in the area of fuel cells in portable and residential applications, presented by Gregor Hoogers of the University of Applied Sciences. The hygiene session will include a discussion of global diaper trends, presented by Pricie Hanna, John R. Starr Inc.

On Wednesday, the filtration and medical sessions will be held. The filtration session will include a discussion of long-life filtration for automotive air induction systems, presented by Neville Bugli, Visteon Automotive Systems.

The medical session will include a discussion of the availability of better drape materials in operating room fire-safety applications, presented by Gerald Wolf, M.D., Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Protective apparel, geotextiles, home furnishings and international trade sessions will take place Thursday, April 29.

The protective apparel session will include a discussion of new opportunities for protective apparel manufacturers, presented by Seshadri S. Ramkumar, Ph.D., Texas Tech University.

The geotextiles session will include a discussion of product trends in agricultural textiles, presented by Peter Kohm, American Agrifabrics.

The home furnishings session will include an industry discussion of mattress and bed clothing fire-retardation regulations, moderated by Mike Thomason, BBA Fiberweb™.

The international trade session will include a discussion of China's role in a textile-quota-free world, presented by Will Martin, lead economist of the World Bank's Development Economics Research Group.

Nonwovens Art
Mitch Lyons, an artist whose works have appeared in public, private and corporate collections, will give live demonstrations of his unique monoprint method each day of the conference. Lyons will show how he uses pigmented clay to create a matrix that he then transfers to a nonwoven substrate to create colorful abstract contemporary works.

Achievement Awards
Sponsored by INDA and Nonwovens Industry magazine, the IDEA Achievement Awards will be presented Wednesday to companies, individuals and products that have led the way in engineered fabric innovations. Award categories include:
•    Equipment Achievement Award, presented to the company that has introduced the best new equipment product;
•    Roll Goods Achievement Award, presented to the company that has introduced the best new roll goods product;
•    Raw Material Achievement Award, presented to the company that has introduced the best new fiber/raw material product;
•    Short-Life Product Achievement Award, presented to the company that has introduced the best new disposable product that uses engineered fabrics;
•    Long-Life Product Achievement Award, presented to the company that has introduced the best new durable product using engineered fabrics; and
•    Entrepreneur Achievement Award, presented to a company founded in the past three years that has had a significant impact on the engineered fabrics industry.

For more information about IDEA04, contact INDA, P.O. Box 1288, Cary, N.C. 27512-1288; (919) 233-1210, Ext. 0; fax (919) 233-1282; www.idea04.com

March 2004