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VDMA emphasis on resource savings in Shanghai

Optimistic discussions as upturn in business expected in second half of 2024.

5th December 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Frankfurt, Germany

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

More than 40 VDMA member companies took part in the recent ITMA Asia + CITME exhibition in Shanghai from November 19-23, and the organisation reports high interest specifically in the latest textile technologies from Germany aimed at saving water, energy and raw materials.

“Although facing a difficult market situation, this year’s edition of ITMA Asia + CITME exceeded expectations, both in terms of the number of visitors and the quality of the talks,” said Dr Janpeter Horn, chairman of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association. “The significant number of visitors from outside China was particularly pleasing.”

“Our stand was full from morning to evening with customers focused on latest technologies reflecting three mega trends –  recycling, automation and digitalisation,” added Uwe Rondé, CEO of Saurer Intelligent Technology. “Although machine utilisation in spinning mills is still well below average, people are already gathering information and thinking about what to invest in once the market recovers.”

Benjamin Reiners, owner of Reiners + Fürst, which manufactures spinning rings and ring travellers, agrees that the current market situation is difficult for spinners.

“Capacity usage is between 50-75% in the ring spinning sector and improvement is not expected before the second half of 2024,” he said. “Nevertheless the general spirit is very positive and around 20% of the customers the customers we spoke with came mainly from Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.”

Intellectual property

The VDMA Textile Machinery Association and VDMA China were present at the fair, to support the members in respect of issues such as intellectual property.

With the help of a VDMA expert and a contracted law firm, member company Sahm submitted a complaint application for patent infringement disputes during the exhibition to the onsite IPR office. Both parties, Sahm, and the Chinese company that used patented designs without permission reached an agreement. The Chinese company had to stop displaying functions and designs involving patent infringement on site which meant the removal of some structural parts and the covering of key components protected by patent protection.

“Asia – and China in particular – represent the primary overseas markets for the VDMA member companies in this sector,” said Harald Weber, managing director of VDMA Textile Machinery. “The Chinese market is the main destination for their exports. Other major export destinations in Asia include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan. ITMA Asia + CITME provides a unique platform to showcase technologies for customers directly in Asia and we are looking forward to the next edition of the fair in October 2024.”

A survey of VDMA member subsidiaries in China gives reason to hope that the economic situation in the Chinese textile industry could improve significantly in the second half of 2024.

The VDMA represents more than 3,600 German and European mechanical and plant engineering companies, employing around 3 million people in the EU27, more than 1.2 million of them in Germany alone. In the European Union, it represents a turnover volume of an estimated €860 billion and around 80% of the machinery sold in the EU comes from a manufacturing plant in the domestic market.

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