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ITMA Asia + CITME 2010: A Success After All

Exhibition organizers and exhibitors alike were surprised and delighted with the results of ITMA Asia + CITME 2010.

T he fourth ITMA Asia - the second called ITMA Asia CITME - concluded on June 26, 2010, in Shanghai. Show organizers - the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX); the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT-TEX); China Textile Machinery Association (CTMA); and China Exhibition Centre Group Corp. (CIEC) - expressed their delight, and the majority of the exhibitors also were more than happy with the unexpected results of the five-day show.

ITMA Asia CITME 2010 welcomed more than 82,000 visitors from 94 countries and regions. More than 20 percent of the visitors were from overseas. The biggest groups of foreign visitors were from India, followed by Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Korea.

A total of 1,171 exhibitors from 28 countries and regions took part in the exhibition at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. China had the largest presence: 639 Chinese exhibitors occupied some 31,000 square meters (m 2). Germany, the number-one non-Chinese country, occupied 5,400 m 2, followed by Italy with 4,000 m 2, Japan with 3,300 m 2 and Switzerland with 2,500 m 2.

China, not only in terms of floor space, leads the way in textile machinery exhibitions more than ever: It was officially declared that the next ITMA Asia will be held again in Shanghai, June 12-16, 2012, in spite of the European edition of ITMA being held in September 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. And rumors at the show indicated that an ITMA Asia already is confirmed for 2014, also in Shanghai. So, at least for the next two years, there will be an ITMA either in Asia or in Europe.

Too Many ITMAs
Even Asian exhibitors don't support the idea of a quadrennial ITMA in Europe and a biennial ITMA Asia. The initial idea from CEMATEX members to start ITMA Asia in 2001 was to have a quadrennial show and reduce the number of exhibitions in Asia, namely to stop the competition among the quadrennial Osaka International Textile Machinery Show (OTEMAS) in Japan, the biennial China International Textile Machinery Exhibition (CITME) and the biennial ShanghaiTex. But ITMA Asia became a biennial show, and ShanghaiTex continues biennially in alternate years. Many professionals argue that a quadrennial ITMA Asia and a quadrennial ITMA in Europe in alternation with each other would be enough and would provide a rhythm of two years between the two ITMA shows.

However, Edelgard Keinath, corporate services, Groz-Beckert KG, Germany, said there is no alternative to a biennial ITMA Asia: "No foreign visitor will attend ShanghaiTex. If people want to see all the important producers, they must come to ITMA Asia."

Unexpected Success
Since February/March 2010, the markets have been booming, especially in Asia, and some manufacturers have already very long delivery times. All people interviewed for this report agreed that the Asia-Pacific Rim now is the most important market for selling textile machinery. Between 60 and 80 percent of the turnover is achieved in Asia, mainly in China, followed by India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia. The importance of the Asian markets is basically thanks to the soaring domestic market in China, which increased by 23 percent from January 2010 to May 2010. The current global market situation and, therefore, the overall impression of ITMA Asia CITME 2010 were considered to be positive, even very positive. Some people articulated some fear regarding the current market situation, that it could end up in a big bubble.

Positive Feedback
Most of the exhibitors showed some products for the first time at an exhibition in Asia. Oliver Mathews, vice president sales and marketing, warp knitting, Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik GmbH, Germany, confirmed that all his company's exhibits were new and presented for the first time. Picanol NV, Belgium, presented a new OMNIplus 6 air-jet weaving machine and an energy-saving cordless system for selvages. Jean-Philippe Dumon, sales and marketing director, NSC nonwoven, France, reported five sales of the company's VarioWeb® stand-alone card during the show.
Paolo Puntoni, director, Savio Macchine Tessili S.p.A., Italy, reported the updated Savio two-for-one twister received very positive feedback. ITEMA Weaving, Italy, showed its new Vamatex R880 weaving machines, assembled in China. Trützschler GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, presented a new foreign material detection system that has three types of sensors to enable detection of virtually every foreign material, and the demonstration was very impressive. Edda Walraf, head of marketing, Rieter Machine Works Ltd., Switzerland, pointed out Rieter's G 32 ring spinning machine with doffer for the Asian market. She is convinced automation will play an even more important role in the future in China. Oerlikon Textile GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, presented its redesigned Autoconer X5 winder and a new fully drawn yarn solution. André Wissenberg, the company's vice president, marketing and corporate communications, said Oerlikon Textile showed 20 new innovations, including the longest Zinser ring spinning machine.

All companies confirmed very positive feedback from the visitors to their exhibits. Some sold machinery right out of the booth. For years, speed was the key point for any updated machinery. Today, it is more product reliability and quality, in Asia as well. The reason is quite simple: Everybody wants and needs the best technology for high-quality products.

Market Situation
To follow and serve the markets in Asia, all companies surveyed now have their own production facilities in China. ITEMA Weaving Director Fabio Mazzucchetti said that to have local production is very important. To import duty-free machinery, the equipment must remain in the same place for five years.

The market situation has changed dramatically since the first quarter of 2010, and is better than expected. Everyone mentioned a strong upswing with some problems relating to delivery times and sometimes even problems to get raw material such as steel. Trützschler's Head of Marketing Herrmann Selker, Savio's Puntoni and others mentioned the cheap euro, compared to the U.S. dollar and Chinese renminbi, is also supporting the boom. Some think this positive situation will remain up to 2011, while others fear this could be a bubble too. But who knows exactly?

Top Visitors
All surveyed exhibitors expressed satisfaction with the event and the feedback to the exhibits. The expectations regarding ITMA Asia were fulfilled, sometimes even exceeded. The visitors' frequency as well as quality were considered to be far better than in 2008. Most of the exhibitors welcomed visitors not only from China, but also from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Middle East -- and even from Brazil.

Questions about participation in ITMA 2011 in Barcelona and then ITMA Asia 2012 in Shanghai were not argued: Most of the important European exhibitors declared their intention to participate in Barcelona, saying, "After all, we're Europeans, and many of the latest technological innovations have been developed by our companies." And the second question, "Will you come back to ITMA Asia next time, even if it is only one year after Barcelona?" was answered in a similar way: "Do we have an alternative?" one exhibitor asked.

Despite show organizers' stated intolerance of copyright infringement, the issue continues to be a challenge, as numerous exhibitors showed products similar in appearance and function to the products of other exhibitors. One company started a process against copycats and won. Some products had to be taken out of the exhibition. As one exhibitor commented, "A copyright is not the right to copy."

September/October 2010