he globalization of the textile industry was reflected at ITMA 2007 in Munich, Germany. A
total of 1,451 companies from 38 countries presented their latest developments and technical
innovations for the entire textile chain to visitors and competitors, in a display area covering
102,000 square meters.
The 15th International Exhibition of Textile Machinery attracted approximately
118,000 trade visitors from 149 countries. Never before had ITMA had attendees from so many
different countries. After Germany, the other top 10 countries with regard to visitor numbers were
Italy, India, Turkey, Brazil, France, Switzerland, Spain, Iran and Belgium. Interest from Central
and South America was particularly strong. More than 4,500 trade visitors came from Brazil, more
than 2,000 from Argentina and more than 1,500 from Mexico. In total, ITMA 2007 attracted
approximately 12,000 visitors from Central and South America.
ITMA 2007 filled 16 halls at the New Munich Trade Fair Centre with technology for the
According to statements from everyone interviewed by
at the show, there actually was no revolution at ITMA. However, there were many further
developments of existing technologies and processes. The trend is clear: All producers are trying
to increase output with lower and lower amounts of energy, water and dyestuffs, while the quality
of the end products must improve. This squaring of the circle is not easy to accomplish.
Andrew Fernandes, head of marketing communications, Huntsman Textile Effects,
Switzerland, thinks a dyeing machine still looks the same, but the results get better and better.
Hans Rosemann, advertising manager, Germany-based Trützschler GmbH & Co. KG, explained that the
actual machine improvements are considerable overall; however, improvements are still possible in
the details. Klaus A. Heinrichs, vice president, marketing, at Germany-based A. Monforts
Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG, also thought there was no real sensation to see. The
contributions vis-à-vis environmental sustainability are becoming more and more important, and many
improvements to the machines are aimed exclusively in this direction.
There were some novelties to see, like Trützschler’s magnetic sets for cards, or the
new weft insertion system from Switzerland-based Sultex Ltd. for different yarns, which was shown
for the first time on an air-jet weaving machine. Edda Walraf, marketing head, Textile Division,
Rieter Management AG, Switzerland, thought it was an ITMA of world records for Rieter. The company
reported it exhibited four of its highest-performing machines ever.
All interviewed companies had 50 to 80 representatives in their booths, with the
exception of the Oerlikon Textile group, which had 180 employees at different booths throughout the
Machinery Presentations Still Necessary
Presenting machines, preferably working, is one of the large cost factors affecting
show exhibitors. Everyone agrees nevertheless to showcase machines because ITMA is the only place
where visitors can compare so many machines in the same place at the same time. Johann Philipp
Dilo, general manager, Dilo Maschinensystem GmbH, Germany, said his enterprise installed 300 tons
of machines at ITMA within 24 days. Dilo had the biggest stand by far at the show. But, as Dilo
stated, one cannot put forth such an effort at every fair, unless it is practically in front of
Munich was confirmed as a virtually ideal fair location. Many exhibitors, including
non-Germans, declared the organization, easy hall access and the open layout of the New Munich
Trade Fair Centre as ideal for an ITMA. It was heard through the grapevine that the ideal fair
places are Munich for Europe and Singapore for Asia.
The response to new products exhibited was very good. Bill Fong, executive director,
European Operations, Fong’s Industries Co. Ltd., Hong Kong, thinks textile companies are full of
confidence again after the turbulence with the World Trade Organization. After many slow years, it
is now time to invest again, and not only in Europe.
Every one of the enterprises questioned was very satisfied with the visitors. The
expectations of ITMA were mostly exceeded. It was particularly striking that the visitor quality
continues to increase. Business owners often came together with their engineers to discuss and
complete projects on the spot.
André Wissenberg, vice president of corporate communications, Oerlikon Textile GmbH
& Co. KG, Germany, said the company had 4,000 high-quality conversations with visitors over the
course of the show; this is 400 contacts per day.
Several companies confided to
they had concluded sales during the show. Up to now, fairs like ITMA have been known more
for the presentation of machinery rather than for big sales.
Dilo looks back at a good ITMA. He thought his company would never have had so many
positive responses to its booth as at this ITMA.
Edi Strebel, manager of marketing services at Switzerland-based Jakob Müller AG,
Frick, mentioned that more and more end products are being shown at the booths, and not just
machines, so visitors can get a better idea of what kind of products the machines are capable of
producing. The trend goes generally in this direction. One saw samples of semi-finished products at
many exhibitor booths.
Everybody interviewed declared the current market situation to be very good to
excellent. This opinion applies especially to the suppliers of machines for nonwovens and technical
textiles, which still show constant growth rates of 10 to 15 percent. As important markets, China,
India and Pakistan were mentioned, but also Turkey and Brazil. This gives great hope for the near
Daniele Pellissetti, administration and advertising manager of Italy-based Savio
Macchine Tessili S.p.A., said today, one simply must follow the market and must produce what the
markets need. He is also convinced that 2008 can be just as positive as 2007.
Too Many Fairs?
At a press conference hosted by the European Committee of Textile Machinery
Manufacturers (CEMATEX), it was announced that ITMA Europe shall continue on a four-year rotation,
and ITMA Asia will be held every two years. This will lead to some overlaps. No one who was asked
about these plans wanted to comment positively. The question whether it is really necessary to
carry out an ITMA for all industry segments every two years bothered Oerlikon’s Wissenberg. How
shall one offer real novelties for the Asian market every two years? And one should show more
innovations and less steel at ITMA, said Flurin Valentin, vice president, director of sales and
marketing, ITEMA Weaving and Sultex. It gets particularly difficult for the exhibitors such as
Dilo, Fleissner, Rieter Perfojet and Trützschler, who are also working in the nonwovens industry.
Here the situation is amplified because the nonwovens industry carries out an exhibition on a
three-year cycle in Europe, the United States and Asia.
Of course, the venue of the next ITMA in 2011 created high waves in Europe.
According to CEMATEX, eight venues were in the running to host the next ITMA, and ultimately,
Barcelona was chosen. This provoked initial protests by some exhibitors, but during later
conversations with these exhibitors, it appeared Barcelona was no longer an issue. It was mentioned
that the next ITMA may have fewer Italian exhibitors because the Italian textile machinery industry
consists for the most part of small and medium-sized enterprises that financially and logistically
cannot afford to travel far to attend a trade show. It is hoped that certain sectors of the
industry will not split off, as was the case with the knitters at ITMA 2003 in
Everyone wants to have a strong ITMA in Europe, and this can only happen if there
are many exhibitors. ITMA simply should not degenerate into a tourist fair. There must be a balance
between working time and leisure time. And one thing ITMA should never be is a money-making machine
for the organizers. The original aim of ITMA Asia was to drastically reduce the number of
exhibitions, and what has been decided is heading in a completely different direction.