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Shanghai high for Swiss exhibitors

Show reflected current boom in demand for new technology by China’s spinning mills.

21st June 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Shanghai


Swiss textile machinery member companies of Swissmem report solid success at the recent ITMA Asia + CITME exhibition held from June 12-16 in Shanghai – the sector’s first major face-to-face showcase since the beginning of the pandemic.

With an attendance comprised of 99% Chinese visitors, the show demonstrated real product innovation and meaningful customer interest, prompting a genuine mood of optimism among exhibitors.

“Our members were delighted to be able to meet their customers in person again and the feedback was extremely positive regarding the post-pandemic future market situation,” said Cornelia Buchwalder, secretary general of Swiss Textile Machinery. “We are seeing a real revival in investment and despite the lack of many show visitors from other countries it is still the case that China remains a pre-eminent market for textile machinery – so it was the ideal place to restart our exhibition campaign.”

Rieter CEO Norbert Klapper said that lower visitor attendance overall was outweighed by the response to the company’s virtual booth.

“At the moment, the textile machinery market is booming due to a catch-up effect,” he said. “Orders for the first half of this year are already expected to be more than triple the level in the corresponding period of 2020, and customer feedback at the event was also very positive. We are also seeing changes in the Chinese market for spinning equipment, driven by cost development in the country.

“On the one hand, Chinese customers will foster investments outside China, in particular for their export business. At the same time, they are still investing in their operations in China in order to stay competitive.”

The importance of the China market was also stressed by Dr Ralph Mennicke, CEO of Loepfe Brothers.

“ITMA Asia means meeting our biggest customer base in the world – physically by our local partners, and virtually via our virtual meeting point,” he said. “While we expect to see a major transformation of exhibitions, we are determined to shape this transformation our way. We have seen a great pick-up of investments by spinning mills in 2021 – the starting point for a new era of sensor solutions for fibres and filaments.”

Boom period

Stäubli is also anticipating a boom period after Covid-19, and the Chinese market is viewed as still very stable, with potential for growth in the denim industry particularly in the Guangdong region.

 “Real customer contact is very important to us,” said Fritz Legler, Stäubli’s vice-president of marketing, sales and service. “Digital trade fairs will not replace the feeling of fully experiencing the machines, when all five senses are activated, and the performance of the product can be presented directly.”

Stäubli was able to present a broad range of machinery at its booth, with a number of new launches, and special interest reported in weaving preparation solutions, dobby and Jacquard machines.

Uster Technologies has launched three significant innovations during 2021, all of which attracted serious interest at ITMA Asia + CITME.

“We closed quite a few contracts, and we were generally very satisfied with the response at the show,” said executive vice-president Sivakumar Narayanan. “It was handled 100% by our Chinese team, who did a fantastic job in setting up the exhibits and handling visitors. It was predominantly visited by Chinese companies but there were a few from other countries, such as Pakistan and Turkey. Our virtual showroom was a valuable extra channel to stay in contact with customers and prospects.”

Like other companies in the industry, Uster is experiencing high demand and striving to meet delivery times, despite an ongoing semiconductor supply chain challenge.

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