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Billy Hunter

Editor's Viewpoint

23rd November 2015, Milan

123,000 visitors delight European machine builders at ITMA

The global textile and garment manufacturing industry met at ITMA 2015 in Milan from 12-19 November, where almost 123,000 visitors from 147 countries saw the very latest technologies from over 1600 exhibitors. Exhibitors included all of the the world’s foremost textile machinery makers – and many of them are delighted with both the quantity and quality of visitors who attended the show.

CEMATEX, the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers, and owner of the exhibition and its Asian counterpart ITMA ASIA, says it is pleased with the overwhelming response from the industry, both from exhibitors and visitors. Charles Beauduin, President of CEMATEX said; "We registered a 20% jump in visitor numbers compared with ITMA 2011. More importantly, from participants' feedback, we can confidently say that this is one of the best ITMA exhibitions! Our message on sustainability has resonated greatly with buyers.”

CEMATEX says it is pleased with the overwhelming response from the industry. © ITMA 2015

Mr. Beauduin praised the industry's resilience and forward-looking agenda, adding that global industry players have understood the importance of investing in innovations that are planet-friendly and which can also help improve their business bottom-line.

"Our exhibitors have discovered that the visitors - whether they are seasoned ITMA visitors or attending the exhibition for the first time – are serious about checking out new innovative solutions to improve their competitive edge,” he said.

Concurring with him, Ms. Regina Brückner, CEO of Brückner Trockentechnik GmbH & Co KG, Germany, said: "We felt for the first time there's a real understanding and interest in energy efficiency and green technology. There's a trend among our customers to want to upgrade their very old equipment because they understand the necessity of a highly productive and efficient production over the entire textile production process.”

Taking orders at ITMA

Overall, CEMATEX reports, exhibitors felt that the quality of visitors was high and there was strong buyer interest. One leading machine builder, who did not want to be quoted, confirmed this to Knitting Industry, saying on day five that it had received almost 1700 enquiries for its machinery, many of which were grade A leads. “We have returned to a time when we are once again actually taking orders at ITMA. This is the first time this has happened in a long time,” a spokesperson for the company said.

According to organisers CEMATEX, visitors from Italy formed the biggest contingent, accounting for 18 % of visitors at ITMA. © ITMA 2015

Olivier Despont, Business Development at ViDi Systems, reported that his company had received around 100 enquiries per day, three or four times the number the company had expected to achieve. Vidi is a leading Swiss software firm aiming to revolutionize the industry by commercializing the first Deep Learning-based image analysis solution dedicated to the machine vision market. The company’s ViDi Suite is a revolutionary new software solution based on a set of state-of-the-art algorithms in Machine Learning (Deep Learning). (See more at: ViDi Suite aims to revolutionise aesthetic textile inspection).

Top visiting countries

According to organisers CEMATEX, visitors from Italy formed the biggest contingent, accounting for 18 % of visitors at ITMA. The other top visiting countries were India (9%), Turkey (8%) and Germany (7%). Other countries which made it to the top 10 list were France, United States, Iran, Brazil, Pakistan and Spain. The lifting of sanctions on Iran in the near future is also said to have buoyed the country's textile and garment sector, resulting in more visitors, the organization said.

ITMA 2015 also welcomed many groups from the Indian sub-continent. There were also delegations from Central Asia - a region where the textile and clothing industry is poised for development, as the sector has the potential to create jobs. A 140-strong Uzbekistan textile and garment industry delegation spent three days at the exhibition, coordinated by the Textile and Garment Ministry of Uzbekistan.

Exhibitors included all of the world’s foremost textile machinery makers. © ITMA 2015

In addition, there was a delegation of 48 representatives from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the textile and clothing sectors in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The group was coordinated by Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint agency of the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations.

A Russian delegation of 60 members was led by Mr. Evgeny Ryzhov, Deputy Director of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade. "ITMA 2015 allowed our domestic companies to learn about the latest technologies for the light and textile industry, enabling them to consider implementing them in their own production, purchase production equipment and to exchange experience with foreign colleagues,” he pointed out.

Printing a new chapter

Launched as a dedicated sector at ITMA 2015, the printing chapter featured many established and new exhibitors. First-timer Fujifilm showcased its capabilities as a complete solution provider in digital textile printing.

Mr. Terry O'Keeffe, Strategic Customer Support Manager of Fujifilm, said: "ITMA has been an excellent platform for us to feature many exciting new developments in the digital sphere to a targeted audience. Our technology was very well received with good customer feedback that our technologies significantly contribute to the current and future digital textile market needs.”

"ITMA continues to be the world's showcase for textile printing, and provides the ideal platform for presenting our latest technologies,” says Dick Joustra, CEO, SPGPrints. "The show's organisers have kept the ITMA fresh with new programmes so that visitors can see the latest in textile printing equipment while also learning about the urgency of issues like sustainability. The volume and quality of those coming to ITMA make it a dynamic and exciting marketplace.”

ITMA 2015 featured exhibits from the entire textile and garment making value-chain spread over 108,268 square metres of net exhibition space. © ITMA 2015

Exhibitors from other sectors were also impressed with the quality of the visitors, CEMATEX reports. One happy exhibitor is Mr. Etienne Leroi, General Manager of NSC Fibre to Yarn, who said: "This year's ITMA has entirely met our expectations. We have received numerous customers from all over the world, who have shown great interest in our latest developments. This confirms once more the importance of such an international event.”

At the close of the exhibition on 19 November, Mr. Carlo Rogora, CEO of ITEMA Group, concluded: "Considering the current situation in the textile industry in some markets, we are pleasantly surprised with these results. ITMA 2015 has been especially satisfactory, both in terms of the organisation and logistics of the show and the significant level of attendance of customers. The contacts and orders we established, above all from India and Turkey markets, largely exceeded our expectations.”

Themed 'Master the Art of Sustainable Innovation', ITMA 2015 featured exhibits from the entire textile and garment making value-chain spread over 108,268 square metres of net exhibition space at Fiera Milano Rho. Organised by MP Expositions, it also featured several conferences with the sustainable agenda, as well as the first ITMA Sustainable Innovation Award.

ITMA 2019 will be held from 20 to 26 June at Fira de Barcelona Gran Via fairground.

www.itma.com

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