Up to 5% weight reduction in automotive applications – ITA wins second prize of RWTH Innovation Award

Research assistant Robert Brüll, Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University, headed by Prof. Thomas Gries, won the second price of the RWTH Innovation Award. He was honoured with the award for his project “OrganoGlas”.

Prof. Malte Brettel (RWTH Aachen University), Robert Brüll (ITA) and Prof. Thomas Gries (ITA) with the RWTH Innovation Award (from left to right)

OrganoGlas designates an innovative and transparent fibre-reinforced plastic. It is transparent, high strengthening, lightweight, easily malleable and recyclable. Until now, the mobility sector (automobile, railway, aerospace) uses comparatively heavy glass parts. OrganoGlas reaches 10 times higher stabilities than laminated glass. Within automobile manufacturing it can achieve up to 5 % reduction in weight in a complete vehicle. Windows in airplanes could be enlarged by simultaneously reducing weight. Furthermore, with the application of OrganoGlas, new concepts in design and structuring, e.g. transparent A-pillars in automobiles are possible.

Background information

Transparent materials are applied in a wide range from niche applications within plant engineering to mass applications in the mobility sector. The automotive sector is one of the most important customers of transparent materials in Germany with 17.4 million tons of processed laminated glass per year. Especially in mobility applications, weight reduction is essential in terms of fuel savings and reduction of emissions. There are still no marketable solutions for the transparent lightweight construction. Within automobiles and trains, heavy glass panels are implemented. Elaborate frame constructions are needed in order to realise the application of windows in airplanes. The new “OrganoGlas” concept could be able to fill this gap.


At the moment, the material is under development and should be marketable within the next two years. Initially, the mobility sector will be the target group. Later on, more industries can be included.

The RWTH Innovation Award was conferred for the fourth time. Every year, three projects are awarded that emphasise the innovative capabilities of the region of Aachen. Prof. Malte Brettel, Vice-Rector for Industry and Business Relations of RWTH Aachen University, handed over the certificates within the framework of the RWTH transparent event in the main building of RWTH Aachen.

ITA was already multiple times winner of the RWTH Innovation Award. In 2017, ITA won first place for the project „4D textile – additive manufacturing of hybrid materials for temporarily shape shifting applications”.

The Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) belongs to the excellence university RWTH Aachen. Its core expertise consists of textile related production technologies and high performance materials. With the Centre for High Performance Materials ITA offers small and medium sized companies direct access to scientific research especially in the fields of high modulus fibres and composites. ITA provides research and development services and advanced training and creative workshops in cooperation with its partner company ITA Technologietransfer GmbH. Furthermore, ITA graduates students in various textile related courses. Please find further information at

In addition, the ITA in cooperation with the RWTH International Academy offers the international Master’s programme “M. Sc. in Textile Engineering”. Further information can be found here


VF Corporation named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute

U.S. VF Corporation, a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories, has been recognized as one of the 2018 World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices. VF is the only apparel company to make the list, underscoring the company’s commitment to leading its industry through ethical business standards and practices.

“We are honoured to be once again recognized as one of the world’s most ethical companies,” said Steve Rendle, VF’s Chairman, President and CEO. “At VF, we believe that business success and social responsibility are interconnected. Our 65000 associates around the world operate by this ethos every day, and this recognition is testament to their integrity, commitment and passion for doing the right thing across VF’s global enterprise.”

The World’s Most Ethical Companies assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient® (EQ) framework, which offers a quantitative way to assess a company’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardized manner. The information collected provides a comprehensive sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies in the areas of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance and ethics.

Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35 percent), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20 percent), culture of ethics (20 percent), governance (15 percent) and leadership, innovation and reputation (10 percent). All companies that participate in the assessment process receive their scores, providing them with valuable insights into how they stack up against leading organizations.

“While the discourse around the world changed profoundly in 2017, a stronger voice emerged. Global corporations operating with a common rule of law are now society’s strongest force to improve the human condition. This year we saw companies increasingly finding their voice. The World’s Most Ethical Companies in particular continued to show exemplary leadership,” explained Ethisphere’s CEO, Timothy Erblich. “I congratulate everyone at VF for being recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.”

In 2018, 135 honourees were recognized, spanning 23 countries and 57 industries. The twelfth class of honourees had record levels of involvement with their stakeholders and their communities around the world. Measuring and improving culture, leading authentically and committing to transparency, diversity and inclusion were all priorities for honourees.

VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) outfits consumers around the world with its diverse portfolio of iconic lifestyle brands, including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland®, Wrangler® and Lee®. Founded in 1899, VF is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with socially and environmentally responsible operations spanning numerous geographies, product categories and distribution channels. VF is committed to delivering innovative products to consumers and creating long-term value for its customers and shareholders.

The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character and measure and improve culture. Ethisphere honours superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition program and provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA).


Mayer & Cie. bestowed with Federal Environment Ministry innovation prize for spinning and knitting technology

The Albstadt-based circular knitting machine manufacturer Mayer & Cie. yesterday received an IKU award. The SME won a Climate and Environment Innovation Prize (IKU) for its spinitsystems spinning and knitting technology. The Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) award IKU prizes every other year for innovations “that mark new departures in climate and environmental protection”. The IKU jury felt that spinitsystems did just that. By combining spinning and knitting in one machine, it saves energy, resources, space and time in the production of Single Jersey fabrics.

“We are the first manufacturer to have dared to merge these two processes that have previously been separate both technically and ideologically,” says Michael A. Tuschak, in charge of spinitsystems marketing and sales. “We are delighted that the staying power required to see an innovation of this kind through has been rewarded with this prize.”

Less CO2, less energy, fewer resources

Normally, yarn is processed into a textile fabric on the circular knitting machines of long-established manufacturer Mayer & Cie. The yarn comes from a spinning mill, where it is manufactured in a complex and energy-intensive process. The new Mayer & Cie. spinning and knitting machine, in contrast, does not wait for the finished yarn to arrive from the spinning mill; it uses roving and is thereby able to combine in one machine, the Spinit 3.0 E, the previously strictly separate processes of spinning and knitting. Several other machines are no longer required, reducing the space required by about a third. The process takes less time, reducing the amount of energy required to about two thirds of what the conventional manufacturing process uses – with a positive effect on the carbon dioxide balance. The spinning and knitting machine also helps to save valuable cotton. Leftover roving on the spools is not waste; it can be sent straight back to the spinning mill.

Rating -Prize worthy

These were the points that the IKU jury specially mentioned in its appraisal. The organisers were also impressed by the market potential and the number of machines envisaged over a five-year period.

The jury further felt that the 30 active spinitsystems patents and the long development time testified to the entrepreneurial performance that lay behind this innovation. Sebastian Mayer, Mayer & Cie.’s director in charge of corporate development, is particularly proud of this achievement. “In combining the spinning and knitting processes we have created an interface that did not previously exist.

Nobody other than us is conversant with it yet, so that in addition to the technological lead we have established a valuable knowledge lead.”

Along with the award, the prize-winners in the five IKU categories each receive EUR 25,000 in cash to support their climate and environmental activities. In selecting the prize-winners, the IKU jury relied on the recommendations of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI), which checked the applications in detail and in some cases called on the applicants to submit further, in-depth information.

Mayer & Cie. (MCT) is a leading international manufacturer of circular knitting machines. The company manufactures the entire range of machines required for making modern textiles. Fabrics for home textiles, sportswear, nightwear and swimwear, seat covers, underwear and technical uses are made on MCT knitting machines.

Founded in 1905, Mayer & Cie. generated sales of EUR 105 million in 2017 with about 500 employees worldwide, according to preliminary figures. In addition to its headquarters in Albstadt, Germany, where around 370 people work, and subsidiaries in China and the Czech Republic, Mayer & Cie. is represented by sales partners in around 80 countries.