Panel Talk on the opening day of TechTextil

© Messe Frankfurt/Thomas Fedra

Strong start for Techtextil and Texprocess with 1700 exhibitors

With 1,700 exhibitors from 53 countries, Techtextil and Texprocess 2024 aim at serving as the centre for future-oriented innovations by the international textile industry – from progressive technologies to revolutionary materials. Moreover, for its 20th edition, Techtextil presents itself in a new dimension. Texprocess is also strongly positioned across all product groups.

The materials, products, machines and processes presented at the two trade fairs, as well as the newly forged business alliances, are paving the way for the future of the industry. “Frankfurt is once again the centre for textile and technological innovations, which are often presented to the public for the first time at Techtextil and Texprocess. These are an important indicator and driving force for the future of many other branches of industry. On its 20th anniversary, Techtextil has become larger than ever before and, together with Texprocess, is in great shape,” said Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt GmbH, in his speech.

The role of AI in textile production and processing

At the opening event, Techtextil and Texprocess generated forward-looking impulses in a panel talk entitled: From textile recycling to garment processing – the role of AI. Discussing about the opportunities of using AI in the fields of textile production and processing were Chloé Salmon Legagneur, Director, CETIA, Prof. Dr. Ingo Rollwagen, AMD Akademie Mode & Design / Hochschule Fresenius, Senior Advisor IMP Consulting, Elgar Straub, Managing Director, VDMA Textile Care, Fabrics and Leather Technologies, and Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies, Messe Frankfurt.

Identifying new approaches, utilising potential and improving existing processes – AI represents a great opportunity for progress in the textile industry. Those who engage with the new developments today are well positioned for the future. The advantages of AI solutions are evident: greater efficiency, competitiveness, transparency and sustainability. However, making the most of AI calls for expertise, investment and the suitable technologies. The panel talk looked at how AI can be used to best effect in the textile industry from a variety of perspectives.

New opportunities

Artificial Intelligence offers new opportunities for innovation. On the one hand, developments are emerging that use AI to improve traditional textile manufacturing and processing operations and to make them more efficient, e.g., intelligent fault detection during production or optimised material calculations make production and processing faster, better and more sustainable. On the other hand, AI can be used to create completely new products. “AI expands the scope for innovations. In addition to accelerating and increasing the efficiency of existing processes, it creates added value by improving products. For example, in the form of circular, regenerative textile solutions with longer life cycles. In the future, AI will make it possible to not just do the same thing faster but also to create completely new, better, more individual and more sustainable textile solutions that are better tailored to the customer and also better for the environment,” explained Prof. Dr. Ingo Rollwagen in his keynote speech.

Textile recycling reimagined

Most textile waste is either returned to the retail trade as second-hand fashion, ends up in landfill sites or is incinerated. Hence, demand for recycling solutions, e.g., for old clothes, remains high. Moreover, the EU Green Deal also calls for scalable recycling solutions. New developments with AI integration promise to provide a remedy for this in the future, for example, by differentiating between textile and non-textile materials, such as zips, and separating them automatically. The French innovation platform CETIA is developing industrial solutions that prepare textiles for the recycling process. “Efficient, innovative technologies are needed to enable textile recycling on a large scale. Automation, robotics and AI increase profitability and competitiveness. Interdisciplinary cooperation between research and industry is essential for this,” explains Chloé Salmon Legagneur in the panel talk.

Driving new technologies

Artificial Intelligence is no longer a buzzword for companies. Indeed, it is rapidly changing the industry and finding its way into more and more applications. This also means that the industry has to get involved with AI to remain competitive and utilise the many advantages that it offers. As international meeting places for the industry, Techtextil and Texprocess are the first ports of call for gathering information and exchanging ideas. “The industry is facing major changes. Although AI creates many new opportunities, it also confronts companies with a variety of transformational challenges. We look forward to accompanying the international industry through this process and highlighting potential solutions at Techtextil and Texprocess. Together, we can leverage the unique potential for the future,” said Olaf Schmidt.

Examples of AI integration can also be found in the portfolios of ever more exhibitors. Visitors can look forward to intelligent systems that analyse fashion trends using AI, for example, use image analysis to identify faults or sort old clothes, as well as to network different production steps intelligently with one another. “Advances in the field of AI have come at exactly the right time for the textile processing industry. New technologies offer genuine opportunities to tackle challenges such as labour shortages, the demand for greater sustainability and resource scarcity,” says Elgar Straub.
Techtextil and Texprocess 2024: Innovations and networking on subjects of major significance for the future of the industry

Innovative materials and disruptive technologies

Techtextil and Texprocess present the most comprehensive spectrum of technical textiles, functional apparel textiles, nonwovens, production and processing technologies at the same time and place. In twelve areas of application, the unique innovative strength offered by textile solutions for a wide range of sectors is reflected – from construction to medicine. As an international meeting place for the industry, the programme of events at Techtextil and Texprocess generates a host of important impulses.

Visitors will find a list of expert lectures, guided tours, special shows and events in the event calendar. The thematic spectrum covered ranges from denim processing, via recycling to functional apparel textiles. Areas focusing on functional natural fibres, start-ups and campus & research combine subject-specific presentations for visitors. Products, processes, solutions and information relating to sustainability can be found under the Econogy label. The Techtextil and Texprocess Innovation Awards represent another highlight for visitors. The pioneering research, new products, materials, processes and technologies selected by a jury of experts represent the future of the industry. The exhibits selected for the Techtextil Innovation Award can be seen in Hall 9.1 up to and including 26 April 2024. Additionally, the jury is offering guided tours to the stands of the winners of the Texprocess Innovation Award on 23 and 24 April.

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