Reminiscences of ITMA 2015 in Milan
TextileFuture has been present at ITMA 2015 in Milan, Italy. Following, we provide you not only with the latest information on the fair, but we would like also to comment on the fair itself, the reactions of exhibitors and visitors
The first ITMA day was hectic for journalists covering press conferences. As it is customary, the first conference was given jointly by CEMATEX (ITMA brand owner) and MP (ITMA organiser). The question and answer session was informative on the side of CEMATEX, because its President is outspoken, however the MP side was trying to restrict journalists on what and how they present their questions. Maybe such “prescriptions” are customary in states where dictatorship or near dictatorship is customary. Of course it is not the first time journalists have to face such a comportment by MP, it started already in Barcelona at ITMA 2011 and continued at ITMA Asia in China, as soon as MP was permanently named to organise ITMAs. Also this mandate was criticised by many members of the Cematex members.
Talking to visitors and exhibitors alike, they had some complaints about the clash of culture between MP as Singaporean organisation and Italian mentality. This means that the very sensitive Italians were very demotivated and performed their job accordingly. It would have been the obligation of Cematex to roll the stones out of the way. During the show the new tragedy in Paris happened. The Italian state moved up the scale of danger and military and police was placed there where usually are crowded spots in the larger cities, including Milan. At the exhibition however there was no tensioning of security.
Of course, exhibitions of the size of ITMA – with 53000 visitors during the first three days, a record of 1691 exhibitors of nearly all sectors of the textile value chain, is overwhelming, however the flow of visitors focused more on spinning, weaving, and finishing as well as relating areas where other sectors had less frequencies of visitors.
We all know that recruiting young professionals to secure the future of textile machinery, textiles and clothing is of utmost importance. The relevant institutions from around the world were having their booths, but not centrally located in one of the most visited hall. TextileFuture recommends strongly to the organisers that they offer these institutions in the future a more prominent space. Of course, we acknowledge that they had also the possibility to present themselves at the speaker’s corner. We have however witnessed that as a visitor one has to accomplish first the tasks for coming to ITMA, in the second row to visit an accompanying event such as for Nonwovens, World Textile Summit and the Sustainable sessions. Even if one stays for the full term of the show (Nov. 11-19, 2015) time would not be sufficient to engage in the compulsory tasks, side events and Speaker’s Corner. To this adds also the enormous footing visitors have to comply with on a territory over 108000 square metres, occupying 11 halls of the Fiera.
Another aspect has to be criticised, visitors, journalists and exhibitors were flooded with information shortly before the fair and during the fair. Many of these electronic messages have to be verified as against the earlier, repetitive content, and neither visitors, journalists, and exhibitors are in a position to perform their duties because of limited time. To announce a press conference for the next day is also not very considerate from organising bodies, because everyone has a set schedule elaborated ahead of the show with very limited time spaces open. CEMATEX and MP should establish rules that are guiding such matters, because PR Agencies and the member companies have to pay for these services, and these are not very cheap and sometimes they do not bring the aimed effect!
Italy, as host country and ACIMIT as host association were present in a very pleasant way and media partners at eyes’ site. ACIMIT is celebrating 70 years of existence and was present with a record number of exhibitors (454). At the ACIMIT press conference many aspects were evidenced, such as the results of the “Sustainable Technologies” Project”, started by ACIMIT for their members in 2010. 41 companies have been participating in May 2015, thereof 60 % are from the sector of finishing, where Italy has clearly a leading position. Since June 2011 more than 800 Green Labels were accorded. A further analysis confirms that 90 % of Sustainable Technologies have been enhancing innovations on the part of the participating machinery companies (with or without Green Label), and 48 % thereof made changes across the entire portfolio. Technological investments were flowing into software (19 %), mechanical components (18 %), and production processes (16 %). One important result is that the measures implemented led in 2014 to a reduction of CO2 emission of 221181 t of CO2 equivalents, implying the equivalent of carbon dioxide emissions generated by 38534 cars, each driving 35000 kilometres annually. The savings of the textile machinery amounted to -24 % in spinning, -30 % in weaving, -29 % in knitting and -61 % in finishing. The resulting figures for machinery Green Label users are -24 % less energy consumption, 30 % less in the weaving sector, 30 % less in the knitting area and 24 % in finishing, plus 27 % reduction of water consumption in the later.
ACIMIT has also invited young Italian designers from famous IED Istituto Europeo di Design to make use of member fabrics and to create avant-garde clothing. These creations were shown on the catwalk, right after the press conference, and at the location of the Museum Triennale di Milano.
CEMATEX has not only established rules for exhibitors in view to the design of booths, but has also asked the exhibitors to reuse and recycle materials employed, so at least a first step in the direction to deliver organiser contributions has been made. Master the Art of Sustainability, was the motto of the show, and evidently the most decisive measures were to be witnessed by individual exhibitors, thus delivering the largest portion of sustainability at ITMA. TextileFuture confirms that almost all of the exhibitors are delivering more sustainable products and services to their customers. This was particularly and additionally the case with the German exhibitors of bluecompetence (VDMA).
A growing group of ITMA visitors has taken up the subject of sustainability, but also because legislation in their home country is insisting on more sustainable solutions. In addition, investments towards green manufacturing are financially subsidised by various governments. These visitors learned that not the original equipment or machinery price is a standalone argument, but that the lifecycle savings will be considerable, and at the same time improving margins.
Many of the leading exhibitors from Europe – because this is the European ITMA – presented a row of innovations, new models and new technologies. The exhibitors showing the latest novelties in the three mentioned capacities were also the most well regarded and visited exhibitors of the Milan show.
Many exhibitors launched new booths in delightful style. An inroad of 3D-video clips to give details of the inside of a machine is on the forefront. More explanation by means of video clips and personal presentations do take place, this apart from the classical presentations of the machinery. Sometimes only parts of the machinery is presented, this means also a reduction of cost for the exhibitor, but with the new type of presentation the machinery manufacturer might even reach more people. The machinery itself is more ergonomic, more compact but extendable to versatile use, needs less energy, produces better quality. Also the parts and service business is more visible and included as part of the corporate identity on the booth.
Many exhibitors have announced in the first days orders of a good size. Some exhibitors were not too happy with the assigned location of their booth. In the area of spinning there is an on the spot concentration of the world’s leading companies door to door, without given reason by the organisers of ITMA. However, it is convenient for the visitor to see the leading companies and competitors at “almost one glance”.
We confirm our pre-ITMA statement, ITMA has a lot to offer, has its particular position within the ever-growing number of textile machinery shows around the globe. All in all, we stick also to the motto: rather an evolutionary than a revolutionary fair, there are exceptions in view to various exhibitors showing really sustainable and revolutionary new technologies and products, however, and this is the other side of the medallion, the market has also to accept and absorb such new tendencies. TextileFuture is convinced that the European ITMA keeps up high spirits and hopes for European textile machinery manufacturers, so that they will be present ITMA 2019 in Barcelona, Spain (June 20 – 26) showcasing again their newest products and services, this all against an ever-growing number of regional and global competitors! Nos vemos?