ITMA Europe took place September 22 through 29, 2011. It was an event full of unexpected success.
Nobody — and this was confirmed during many interviews with exhibitors — expected such a positive
ITMA Europe 2011. For the first time, an ITMA in Europe was organized in Cataluña’s capital,
Barcelona, at Fira de Barcelona Gran Via.
The organizers report that more than 100,000 guests from 138 countries were registered, and
some 90 percent of the visitors came from outside of Spain. The international mix of high-quality
visitors and buyers was very well received by exhibitors. Some exhibitors mentioned that the
quality of the visitors was even better than in Munich four years ago. Italy recorded the largest
contingent, with 9 percent of total visitors; followed closely by host country Spain; then followed
by India, Germany and Turkey.
Most visitors from outside Europe came from Latin America and the Middle East. And the
Central and Latin American visitors flocked in with a great attendance, namely from Brazil and
Argentina, but also from countries such as Peru, Colombia, and — last, but not least — Mexico.
Reasons, next to the importance of ITMA itself. included an easy access to Barcelona and, even
more, the lack of a language barrier.
Stephen Combes, president of ITMA owner, the European Committee of Textile Machinery
Manufacturers (CEMATEX), mentioned his satisfaction, saying that “ITMA 2011 has surpassed our
expectations. Considering that the world is still facing economic difficulties, the vast majority
of our exhibitors are delighted with the quality and the number of visitors. According to our
national associations, their members have reported significant enquiries and many have taken even
more orders than they hoped for.”
How To Find A Booth?
In an overall view, ITMA 2011 was a success. Nevertheless, and with all due respect to the
organizers, some negative points must be mentioned: There were no signs on the ceilings of the
halls to mark the letters of the aisles, and there was a strange logic in the setup of the booths
that turned a visit into the halls to find a specific exhibitor into a true discovery event.
Another detail that was astonishing to see in the different halls was the fact that most of the big
exhibitors were placed along the walls, which made — at least for most of those interviewed for the
Rupp Report — absolutely no sense and was rather strange. Some exhibitors said that they felt
similar to being the milk in the supermarket, which is always placed at the very end of the floor
space, and the customers have to walk a long way to find the milk — sorry, the booth — they were
A Big Step Forward
However, let’s talk again about the more than positive aspects of the ITMA 2011, which truly
demonstrated its importance as the number-one performance show of the global textile machinery
industry in general, and the European industry in particular. The extended chapters mark an
extremely important step in a trend that has been going on for years: verticalization. More and
more, textile manufacturers want to have the whole production process in their own hands for
various reasons: On the one hand, to control the quality by monitoring the whole production chain
as well as offering accurate delivery times; and on the other hand, to generate added value, going
from raw material purchase up to their own retail shops. This fact was certainly confirmed by
exhibitors, mainly from the fiber/yarn and fabric sector as well as finishing. As experienced
people know, for decades the spinners had no idea what the weavers or knitters were doing with
their yarns, and the weavers didn’t know what the apparel manufacturers were doing with their
fabrics. The list is virtually endless.
Volatile Currencies Not A Big Issue
Big question marks before the show were the present turmoil in currency markets over and
over, and near-bankruptcy of some Euro-Zone countries; which seemed to be a very special cocktail
to start the most important textile machinery exhibition in the world. Fortunately, most
interviewed exhibitors from Europe mentioned that this wasn’t a big deal for them and many – also
unforeseen – contracts were signed.
For sure, no one can see all 1,350 exhibiting companies, and this is anything but a full list
of innovations. However, one can say that true innovations were quite rare with some exceptions,
such as the new circular spinning and knitting prototype machine from Germany-based Mayer &
Cie.; the new 128-centimeter card and the new triple-headed foreign matter detection from
Germany-based Trützschler GmbH & Co. KG; the new Autocoro 8 from Germany-based Oerlikon
Schlafhorst; and the AirJet spinning system from the Switzerland-based Rieter Group. The Rupp
Report and sister magazines
Textile World Asia
will report in detail the latest news from the exhibitors’ side in forthcoming issues and
After a 20-year hiatus, Italy finally succeeded in getting ITMA to return to Milan in 2015.
Two details related to this are quite questionable and provoked a lot of arguing and complaints.
Firstly, ITMA 2015 will be held at the Fiera Milano (Rho) in Milan, Nov. 12 through 19, 2015 and
not in September. Every one of those interviewed, both exhibitors and visitors, didn’t like the
fact that the next ITMA in Europe won’t take place until November because Milan will be hosting the
World Expo earlier that year.
The other strange detail is that — with all due respect to the organizers — ITMA in Milan
will be organized by MP International again. People asked themselves why Italy shouldn’t be capable
of organizing an ITMA as before. The Rupp Report was not able to get firm answers to this question.
For certain, these details will provoke further discussions among the international textile
community, and certainly in Italy. When representatives of the Association of Italian Textile
Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT) — which organized ITMA Milan in 1995 — were asked for their
opinion, the answer was “no comment.” Time will tell.
And, as everybody knows, the next ITMA — ITMA Asia 2012 – will happen in only nine months’
time. Everybody has to hurry. But that’s a story for another Rupp Report.
October 4, 2011