FET looking forward to ITMA 2023
FET will soon be exhibiting at ITMA 2023, the world’s largest international textile and garment technology exhibition. This show takes place in Milan, Italy between 8-14 June and FET has commissioned its biggest ever stand to reflect the company’s commitment to this event and the textile industry.
“This year we are celebrating FET’s 25th anniversary” says FET Managing Director Richard Slack “and we look forward to meeting customers at ITMA, where we can discuss all their fibre technology needs.” FET is on Stand H1 A101.
FET supports Green Textile Exhibition, Hong Kong
FET participated in the “Green Textile and Innovation Technology Forum and Exhibition” in Hong Kong, taking a small booth to support the event and FET’s official agent in the region, Chemtax. This was the first in a series of international exhibitions that FET will be attending in 2023.
The interactive exhibition was organised by the Hong Kong General Chambers of Textiles, with over 20 industrial experts and 300 guests in discussion forums and meetings. The major themes explored were sustainable solutions, new technologies and future trends in green textiles. The region is committed to improved sustainability in textiles, with China in particular setting ambitious targets for high performance fibre self-sufficiency, developments in biodegradable material and increased production capacity in recycled fibre.
This fits perfectly with FET’s ethos, having long been a leading exponent of sustainability in fibre technology. All FET systems are designed to be material efficient, can be bespoke designed and offer both flexibility and a high level of processing capability.
FET prepares for INDEX 23 Exhibition in Geneva
FET will shortly be exhibiting at INDEX 23, the world’s leading nonwovens exhibition in Geneva, 18-21 April.
As well as featuring its latest meltblown and spunbond technology, FET will focus on its new Fibre Development Centre. Construction and fit-out of this new purpose-built building is now fully operational and welcoming visitors. This modern two-storey development provides state-of-the-art facilities, including enhanced laboratory for client testing and product development.
Central to FET’s success has always been its ability to provide customers with advanced facilities and equipment, together with unrivalled knowledge and expertise in research and production techniques. The new Fibre Development Centre will further improve this service. Clients frequently spend several days on site participating in development trials and technical sales meetings, so the new Centre is designed to make their stay even more efficient and comfortable.
Resident equipment in the Fibre Development Centre reflects the wide range of fibre extrusion systems offered by FET to clients across the globe and will enable continued growth of the company through innovation.
“FET has long been a leading exponent of sustainability in fibre technology and the company’s commitment to extending its range of systems that enable sustainability is clearly illustrated in our message at INDEX 23” says Managing Director Richard Slack. “We are celebrating FET’s 25th anniversary since incorporation and look forward to meeting customers old and new at the exhibition in Geneva, where we can discuss your nonwoven technology requirements in detail.”
FET is on Stand 1068.
FET looks forward following stellar year
FET is celebrating a record breaking year of sales and product innovation. “Sales revenue for 2022 has easily beaten our previous high” said FET Managing Director, Richard Slack “and the research projects we have collaborated in have become increasingly challenging in terms of technical specification.”
Prestigious new projects during 2022 included a multifilament melt spinning line for Senbis Polymer Innovations, Netherlands enabling the development of textile fibres from recycled polymers or biopolymers; a FET-200LAB wet spinning system at the University of Manchester which will play a major part in advanced materials research in collaboration with the renowned Henry Royce Institute; and a FET-103 Monofilament line for RHEON LABS of London to help develop a hyper viscoelastic fibre from RHEON™ which displays high strain-rate sensitive properties. The latter two of these examples were aided by significant UK grants to develop advanced materials.
FET is now looking forward to 2023 with a record order book. The company’s newly opened Fibre Development Centre features over £1.5 million investment in customer laboratory systems that will further enable fibre trials and product R&D. Three new polymer types were developed with clients in 2022 and several more are lined up in 2023, which is expected to bring the total of different polymer types to more than 40 in multifilament, monofilament and nonwoven formats.
FET will be exhibiting at two major exhibitions in 2023; INDEX 23, the world’s leading Nonwovens show at Geneva in April; and ITMA, Milan, the world’s largest international textile and garment technology exhibition in June.
FET extrusion system features in UK Business Secretary’s visit
The UK’s new Business Secretary, Grant Shapps has visited the Henry Royce Institute’ hub in Manchester to seal the second phase of R&D investment in the institute of £95 million. FET had previously installed its FET-200LAB wet spinning system at the University of Manchester site and this proved to be a focus for the Business Secretary’s interest, as he discussed the project with FET’s Research and Development Manager, Mark Smith.
This wet spinning technology enables fibres to be derived from sustainable wood pulp to produce high quality apparel and trials are now underway to perfect this process. FET is a world leading supplier of laboratory and pilot melt spinning systems, having successfully processed more than 35 different polymer types in multifilament, monofilament and nonwoven formats.
During his visit, Shapps spoke of the investment programme as a means of reinforcing the UK’s standing as a leader in advanced materials research, development and innovation.
“R&D investment is a critical way to turbocharge Britain’s growth. Growing an economy fit for the future means harnessing the full potential of advanced materials, making science fiction a reality by supporting projects from regenerative medicine to robots developing new recycling capabilities, right across the country. Today’s £95 million investment will do just that, bringing together the brightest minds across our businesses and institutions to help future-proof sectors from healthcare to nuclear energy.”
The Henry Royce Institute was established in 2015 with an initial £235 million government investment through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the latest £95 million sum represents the second phase of the investment.
Opportunities being investigated by Royce include lightweight materials and structures, biomaterials and materials designed for reuse, recycling and remanufacture. Advanced materials are critical to the UK future in various industries, such as health, transport, energy, electronics and utilities.
FET wet spinning system selected for major fibre research programme
FET has installed a FET-200LAB wet spinning system at the University of Manchester which will play a major part in advanced materials research to support sustainable growth and development.
This research programme will be conducted by The Henry Royce Institute, which operates as a hub model at The University of Manchester with spokes at other leading research universities in the UK.
The Henry Royce Institute identifies challenges and stimulates innovation in advanced UK materials research, delivering positive economic and societal impact. In particular, this materials research initiative is focused on supporting and promoting all forms of sustainable growth and development.
These challenges range from biomedical devices through to plastics sustainability and energy-efficient devices; hence supporting key national targets such as the UK’s zero-carbon 2050 target.
“We are delighted to be associated with such a prestigious research organisation as the Henry Royce Institute” said FET Managing Director, Richard Slack. “This flagship research programme into future materials reflects FET’s wide experience and commitment to enabling client development of textile fibres made from renewable resources”.
In particular, the FET-200LAB will be utilised in trials for a family of fibres made from wood pulp, a sustainable resource rather than the usual fossil fuels. Bio-based polymers are produced from biomass feedstocks such as cellulose and are commonly used in the manufacture of high end apparel. The key to cellulose and other materials like lyocell and viscose is that they can be recycled, treated and fed back into the wet spinning system for repeat manufacture.
RHEON LABS successfully completes collaboration trials with FET
RHEON LABS has now completed an extensive 6 month trial with FET, backed by a £173,000 grant from Innovate UK for feasibility studies. RHEON LABS has further developed its RHEON™ technology, a reactive polymer that dynamically stiffens when subjected to force. The technology can control energy of any amplitude or frequency, from small vibrations to forces at ballistic-speeds and therefore has a wide range of applications.
This Innovate UK Smart Grant-backed project aims to develop a hyper viscoelastic fibre from RHEON™ which displays high strain-rate sensitive properties. Creating a fibre with unique strain-rate sensitive properties will be a world first. It will enable the creation of a ‘breakthrough-generation’ of stretch textiles that can actively absorb, dampen and control energy during movement, rather than simply acting as a spring.
For close-fitting activewear and sports bras, the ability to actively control muscle mass or soft tissue movement during exercise will be a game-changing advancement. It will allow brands to engineer garments that relax during everyday use but actively stiffen during exercise for improved support and performance.
The Innovate UK grant was awarded under the category of Hyper-Viscoelastic Fibre Extrusion for Textile Manufacture. FET enabled the customer trials at its bespoke Fibre Development Centre using its in-house FET-103 Monofilament meltspinning facilities, in harness with RHEON and FET technical operatives. The next phase will be to upscale the trials of preferred materials on RHEON’s own new FET-103 meltspinning line, with FET’s continued support and expertise on hand.
Creating a fibre with unique strain-rate sensitive characteristics could be as radical a change in the market as the initial introduction of stretch fibre with the launch of Lycra™. The textiles would have a multitude of beneficial properties and would provide significantly less compression in the garment than conventional materials, substantially improving user comfort, support and performance.
RHEON LABS is a fast-growing materials technology company based in Battersea, London, and was recently named as one of the top UK tech startups of 2021.
Further successes for FET at Techtextil
FET enjoyed another successful Techtextil in Frankfurt, with high quality enquiries from technical companies and organisations worldwide, but in particular Europe.
Techtextil has always been an excellent fit for FET’s presence and aspirations in the high-end technical textile market. As the leading international trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens, Techtextil attracts international blue-chip companies at the cutting edge of technology, seeking innovative solutions to technical challenges.
The company’s principle theme at Techtextil was Sustainability, since FET systems are ideally suited for both process and end-product development of sustainable materials. Our innovative stand was designed using as many sustainable components as possible and met with much approval from visitors.
The other main area of focus was FET’s new Fibre Development Centre, which is due to be unveiled in a few weeks’ time.
FET gearing up for Techtextil 2022
With just 3 months to go before Techtextil Frankfurt, FET is looking forward to exhibiting at this prestigious trade show once again. Techtextil attracts international blue-chip companies at the cutting edge of technology, seeking innovative solutions to technical challenges, so this event represents an ideal opportunity to demonstrate how FET can help achieve their goals.
FET is an acknowledged world leader in laboratory and pilot meltspinning equipment for a vast range of applications, such as precursor materials used in high value technical textiles, sportswear, medical devices and specialised novel fibres from exotic and difficult to process polymers.
However, FET will also showcase at Techtextil its more recent laboratory scale spunbond system, which enables client development of nonwoven fabrics in a number of formats and polymers. FET already has a number of spunbond systems in the field, including composite systems which utilise both spunbond and meltspun functions.
A major theme to be highlighted on the FET stand is Sustainability. The FET range of laboratory and pilot extrusion lines is ideally suited for both process and end product development of sustainable materials.
FET has successfully processed almost 30 different polymer types in multifilament, monofilament and non-woven formats, collaborating with specialist companies worldwide to promote greater sustainability through innovative manufacturing processes.
See FET at Techtextil Frankfurt – Hall 12.0, Stand A68
FET hails INDEX20 impact
FET is celebrating a successful INDEX20 nonwovens exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland, which closed on 22 October. Although the company has a long history in supplying meltspinning equipment for the nonwovens sector, this represents its first venture at a dedicated nonwovens show.
FET’s Managing Director, Richard Slack explains. “Techtextil and ITMA have previously been our main exhibitions of choice, but INDEX20 was an ideal vehicle for FET to launch our new laboratory scale spunbond system, which enables client development of nonwoven fabrics in a number of formats and polymers.”
FET already has spunbond systems in the field, including composite systems which utilise both spunbond and meltspun functions. The growth in global nonwovens technology, partly driven by demand for pandemic-related materials, is forecast to continue.
“We were delighted with the response at INDEX”, continued Richard Slack. “There was considerable interest shown in the new spunbond system and its potential for lab scale innovation. It’s clear that the industry is seeking new alternatives to synthetics at the moment, and our technology is able to assist with the testing and assessment of many of the new feedstocks being pioneered in this extremely inventive sector, where everyone is suddenly talking and cooperating with everyone else, regardless of whether they are generally competitors. We recorded in excess of 20 serious enquiries from totally new contacts and sectors, including blue chip companies in the hygiene, medical and packaging industries.”
“There were initial concerns about projected attendance figures, especially from China and USA companies, but we experienced good footfall from key decision makers, especially those from Europe. It was encouraging to at last experience the opportunity for face-to-face contact with old and new customers on a large scale and we are now starting to reap the benefits with enquiries continuing to flow in”.