ITM 2022 reaffirms focus on green and digital
ITM 2022 – the first major international textile machinery exhibition in the world after three years – attracted 1,280 exhibitors from over 65 countries. Leading textile engineering brands from weaving to knitting, from yarn to dyeing to digital printing, used the opportunity to exhibit new technologies that they developed during the Covid pandemic period. According to the organisers, the trade fair generated a business volume of over Euro 1.5 billion in 5 days, accelerating the Turkish and world economy.
Driven by the market recovery after the pandemic and the regional shift of the industry, textile manufacturers are in the process of modernisation of their manufacturing units with new machinery and systems at levels never experienced before. Despite the current uncertainties, the textile industry continues to invest helping some of the leading textile machinery makers to post a record order intake for 2021. The growth momentum continued in 2022, though there is a blip at present due to the on-going Russia-Ukraine war.
While many companies introduced their latest technologies at ITM, “sustainability” and “automation/digitalisation” remained the key focus areas for all the exhibitors. With population and the average purchasing power of the world rising, the growth in textile consumption is inevitable. But the challenge is to grow sustainably for which close collaboration between textile manufacturers and their suppliers (i.e. textile machine makers) is a must. Rising energy cost – especially due to Russia-Ukraine war – is forcing fabric manufacturers to rethink their manufacturing processes for reducing energy consumption.
Recycling is gaining traction in the industry with sustainability and saving of resources in production becoming more important for textile manufacturers, along with profitability. In order to shift towards a circular economy, currently many developments are taking place in manmade fibre yarn manufacturing right from mechanical and chemical technologies for recycling of bottles to biopolymers. An array of green technologies was on the display at ITM.
To tackle the issue of shortage of skilled labour, textile companies are more eager today to adopt automated manufacturing solution. The complimentary developments on hardware (i.e. machinery/systems) as well as software side are helping textile manufacturers to increase their productivity by optimising their manufacturing operations. Digitalization is enabling textile manufacturers to make better decisions based on the analysed data about the product quality, demand-supply scenario, inventory, etc. Cloud technology, which do not need heavy investment in physical infrastructure and can help in accessing data from anywhere in the world, seems to be driving the digital boom in the textile machinery segment.
With the dynamics of textile market shifting towards Asia, global textile engineering companies are gearing up for the next mega trade fair – India ITME – in December 2022 in Greater Noida. As echoed by many global companies, to whom ITJ spoke to during ITM 2022, India potentially is one of the countries to gain from the redistribution of textile production capacities away from China as India offers dual advantage to these companies – a large domestic market and opportunity to export to other countries. This surely presents a highly optimistic outlook for the Indian market.
–Pratap Padode, Founder & Editor-in-Chief