This year's Techtextil from June 11 to 13 attracted around 27,500 visitors from 97 countries to Frankfurt am Main – and many of them headed directly for the Groz-Beckert booth. The reason for this huge amount of interest in the 276-square-meter booth was a spectacular exhibit – the TexCar. This cutaway model of a brand new Mercedes-Benz E-Class stationwagon, showing the often unexpected locations where modern automobiles rely on technical textiles, was a big hit with the public. In addition to the spectacularly staged TexCar, the other Groz-Beckert products were of course also greatly admired by the visitors. The opportunity to win valuable prizes in a needling competition using the NeedleMaster was also very popular with the visitors at the booth.
The TexCar was certainly one of the most-visited and most attractive exhibits at the Techtextil 2013 trade show, which brought the international textile business together once again in Frankfurt am Main. The show broke several records: there were more visitors than ever before, and also more exhibitors – 1,322 of them to be exact, a figure sharply higher than that of 2011. Technical textiles are definitely a booming sector, and the TexCar at the Groz-Beckert booth proved exactly why that is so.
The TexCar demonstrated, for instance, how nonwovens are processed into modern disk brakes made from carbon. Other visible textile applications on the TexCar such as seatbelts or airbags also showed the sheer diversity of textiles in in today's technical applications, all of them requiring special precision in both production and design. It was no surprise therefore that everyone was very eager to see all these technical textile applications revealed using a real automobile as a cutaway model.
This interest was increased still further by the fact that the TexCar was presented in a film, which showed the technical textiles in detail and revealed their respective locations using LEDs. A "Making of" film also attracted a lot of attention, proving as it did just how elaborately the TexCar had been constructed and prepared. More detailed information about the materials and textile technologies used for the spectacular exhibit was provided by several touchscreen posts, each equipped with a specially produced app.
You can see both the TexCar Trailer as well as the 'Making of' video in this edition of the Newsletter – and they can also be watched and downloaded on the Groz-Beckert Homepage.
Precision in every regard – that's what Groz-Beckert customers have been accustomed to for decades. As a result, interest in the actual stars of this trade show – the Groz-Beckert products themselves – was correspondingly high as always. Around 2,600 specialist visitors registered at the booth and took part in discussions to discover how their companies could profit from the use of Groz-Beckert products. A needling competition was organized, and it provided a very useful means of demonstrating product benefits: Customers had to needle a board with 140 needles as quickly as possible.
The NeedleMaster, used in felting, is used to compress fibers that are lying above each other loosely in a nonwoven. The needles that need to be used in large numbers on the needle boards play a key role here: They have specially shaped barbs, which transport sections of fiber during penetration and help to entangle them with the other fibers.
When done by hand, this needle board needling process is very time-consuming – but the Groz-Beckert NeedleMaster supplied at the trade show added a whole new angle to the proceedings. The competition winner, Fabian Wolf (from the Technical University in Dresden) managed to fill the needle row in just 1 minute and 8 seconds – at least three times faster than by hand. As the fastest competitor he was awarded the first prize – an iPhone 5. Fabrice Lorenzi (Faurecia) came second, and he won an iPad. Daniel Toncelli (Laviosa Chimica Mineraria) did almost as well and came third, and he won an iPad Mini.
The Groz-Beckert booth at the Techtextil was very busy every day, and this added up to a very successful trade show – valuable discussions with customers and interested visitors showed what the needs are in the sector, and how Groz-Beckert can contribute to making technical textiles even more innovative in the future.
If you didn't get the chance to experience the TexCar yourself, Groz-Beckert offers you the opportunity to do so online at least: The two films about the vehicle can be found on our website! And if you happen to come to Groz-Beckert headquarters, you can see the spectacular exhibit there too. On workdays, during regular working hours – and assuming no-one else needs it as an exhibit elsewhere – the TexCar can be admired in the atrium of the TEZ.
Do you have your own ideas involving technical textiles and need some specialized assistance to implement them? The experts from Groz-Beckert will be happy to help!