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IKME Update

Organizers gear up for expanded global knitting and finishing show.

TW Special Report

T he 2005 edition of the biennial International Knitting Machinery Exhibition (IKME) will take place Friday, November 18, through Tuesday, November 22, at the Fiera Milano exhibition grounds in Milan, from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day.

The exhibition is the only fully representative show of Italian textile machinery, according to show organizer Fiera Milano International S.p.A. It was first held in 2003 to allow global companies to focus on the knitting market in Italy in the midst of a full year of international textile shows such as the International Exhibition of Textile Machinery (ITMA), held that year in Birmingham, England. Almost 10,000 visitors from 60 countries 35 percent from outside of Italy attended the inaugural IKME, which featured more than 100 exhibitors in 7,822 square meters of exhibition space. Organizers hope to see even greater numbers in both visitor and exhibitor attendance at the upcoming edition of the show.

IKME 2005 - targeted to Europe and the Mediterranean basin including North Africa and the Middle East - will expand its offerings to visitors by encompassing the entire knitting and finishing machinery sectors including circular and flat knitting machines and associated finishing lines; and finishing machines for continuous filament and staple yarns, woven fabrics and ready-made garments.

This year's exhibition has gained the sponsorship of the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX), which also organized ITMA. IKME is supported by the Italian Association of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT) and textile machinery associations located in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

"We are doing our utmost to create a very attractive show and also, in a way, to anticipate the future of the market by means of new technologies," said Alberto M. Sacchi, Ph.D., president, ACIMIT.

Meeting Excellence Point

Added value will be a prominent theme at this year's show. In an effort to provide visitors with not just knitting machinery, but also the products, ideas and solutions that go along with them, IKME 2005 organizers have dedicated a considerable amount of space within the fairgrounds to what they are provisionally calling an Excellence Meeting Point (EMP). Visitors to the EMP exhibition area will have the opportunity to see cutting-edge products, samples and illustrations. EMP also will feature a discussion area called Agora.

According to EMP coordinators, seamless garments, protection and comfort fibers, lightness/elasticity, appearance and functionality, processing techniques, plasma processes, nanotechnologies, and finishing and laminating processes will be some of the sectors covered within the EMP exhibition area.

"We worked out some key concepts, which are partly already acquired and highly innovative," said Maurizio Poma, an EMP coordinator. "We drew from them the conviction which we submit to the exhibitors as a suggestion and as an incitement that the leading role in an exhibition of machines is played also by their product, as this acts fully in synergy with the presentation of the machines.

"The textile product should also be stimulating in order to create the market, should be technological because technology is the key to success for the producer both of machines and of end products, [and] should be capable of offering ideas and suggestions to the visiting entrepreneurs [and] exhibitors, in view of stimulating new business potentials, "Poma added.

For more information about IKME 2005, contact 39 02 48550 1; fax 39 02 4399 5259; segreteria.ikme@fml.it; www.ikme.it. For hotel accommodation in Milan, contact Meeting Milano, Fiera Milanos travel department, 39 02 4997 7610; hospitality@fieramilano.it .

January 2005