FET has recorded its most successful ever number of customer enquiries in a short period totalling over 100, having exhibited at Techtextil Frankfurt and ITMA Barcelona in May and June. Total enquiries are up by over 40% in comparison with the previous two exhibitions and orders are expected to break previous records. These enquiries came in from over 20 different countries. The bespoke exhibition stand was newly designed and received a favourable response from customers old and new. The extended FET stand used at ITMA premiered the new Laboratory scale FET-200 wet spinning system, which is particularly suitable for the early stages of formulation and process development. Techtextil has always been a perfect 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. ITMA is the world’s largest international textile and garment technology exhibition and is an excellent medium for showcasing FET’s leading position in melt spinning technology.
It’s very much the exhibition season for FET at the moment with two major shows coming up in quick succession:
Techtextil Frankfurt 14 to 17 May 2019 Stand Number A54, Hall 3
FET has once again booked its place at the International Trade Fair for Technical Textiles and Nonwovens. Our theme this time is “Masters in the art of Melt Spinning” to reflect FET’s world-leading position in fibre extrusion capability. We very much look forward to seeing existing and new customers at this prestigious exhibition. We shall be pleased to discuss at first hand any speciality extrusion requirements you may have.
ITMA, Barcelona 20 to 26 June 2019 Stand Number C112, Hall 7
ITMA is the world’s only integrated textile and garment manufacturing technologies showcase for the entire production chain. The extended FET stand will feature a Wet/Gel Spinning module to highlight this important new area for FET. We look forward to welcoming you to our stand in June.
One of the main annual events on the calendar, the 4th International Conference on Nonwovens for High-performance Applications, took place in Cannes, France on 10-11 October 2018. This conference is a unique symposium designed to inform delegates and the industry in general about latest technical developments and opportunities offered from technical nonwovens for high-performance applications.
FET underlined its growing profile in the industry when R&D Manager Mark Smith gave a keynote presentation to delegates. The R&D team at FET conducts processing trials and investigations to assist clients in their development of new polymers and fibrous products and have a very active programme of in-house research projects to extend processing capabilities.
With this background and expertise, Mark was selected to present a technical paper entitled “Melt Spun Nonwovens from Engineering Resins.” This presentation examined such questions as:
Mark’s presentation was well received at the Conference and some excellent ideas and feedback were enjoyed by all the delegates.
FET enjoyed a successful attendance at September’s Cinte Techtextil China exhibition in Shanghai. Sharing an extended stand with its agent and partner Chemtax Industrial Co which provides an invaluable service in supporting and enabling FET to effectively reach China and its immediate area both geographically and culturally. FET secured new fibre extrusion systems as well as upgrades for existing clients with a combined potential value of more than $2 million.
Cinte Techtextil China is Asia’s leading biennial trade fair for technical textile and nonwoven products. With the rapid growth in the China market, the demand for high quality technical textile is enormous and the previous show in 2016 saw a record-breaking 480 exhibitors from 26 countries. It is therefore an ideal medium for FET to showcase its range of products and ability to find technical solutions for manufacturers of high value textile materials.
The exhibition was well attended and FET was able to make invaluable face-to-face contact with customers old and new. Once again the focal point of the stand was the FET-100 Series multi-functional laboratory and pilot melt spinning system.
FET will next be attending Techtextil Frankfurt and ITMA Barcelona with its own bespoke exhibition stand in May and June 2019 respectively.
FET has won a £100,000 grant from Innovate UK, the executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. This 12 month programme came about following a number of requests from FET customers operating in the specialist filtration and advanced composites sectors.
These companies manufacture high value textile materials and require equipment to convert “difficult to process” polymers into fibres and yarns for use in technically demanding industrial and medical applications. The programme of Industrial Research to be undertaken by FET will seek to break through the technological barrier and achieve step-change improvements in the ability of melt blown processes to deal with advanced polymers which have high melt viscosity.
The developed data and know-how will allow FET to demonstrate its capability to achieve performance leaps to users. This in turn will help clients to differentiate their product ranges utilising enhanced FET technology and custom-built equipment.
FET has long been committed to training and excellence in the industry. Our apprentice Jacob Thompson is now well into his second year with us, training in electrical engineering, but at the same time gaining valuable all-round experience and understanding of all related FET technical processes.
Jacob is on day release undertaking his NVQ at college. FET is working in conjunction with training company Kirkdale Industrial Training Services Ltd (KITS) which provides facilities, assistance and supervision for engineering apprentices in their work and general education. This has proved highly successful for Jacob and all parties involved and FET looks forward to developing its apprentice scheme in the near future.
FET UK is proud to announce its 20th anniversary, having been founded in April 1998. During this time, FET has developed from its early days of engineering and systems manufacture, evolving into one of the world’s leading experts in extrusion technology and research.
Managing Director, Richard Slack explains: “We are delighted to reach this milestone in our company’s history and do so in greater health than we have ever experienced. Last year our revenues increased by 29%, a reward for extensive investment in our Process Development Laboratory and all the hard work of our dedicated staff. We focus in particular on the requirements of our customers – they expect us to provide yarn and fibre engineering knowhow and extrusion equipment which will allow them to consistently produce fibres of the highest quality, capable of meeting required regulatory standards.”
Just prior to Easter, we held a staff event at a local hotel to celebrate our 20th anniversary. A slide presentation included a potted history of the business and its deeper roots as a family concern spreading back to the 19th century when Slack’s Mill manufactured brushes using horsehair before moving on to synthetics and extrusion. Suitably educated, our employees then enjoyed a drink and buffet before setting off for their Easter holidays!
We have now modernised the company logo and refreshed the website and all other means of communication we enjoy with our customers. We are looking to the future by ramping up our Apprenticeship Scheme and continuing an ambitious investment policy in new equipment and proven technology.
FET has installed the FET-100 Series multifunctional laboratory melt spinning system into one of the world’s most renowned research facilities, The University of Massachusetts. UMass is a five-campus public university system, recognized as a model of excellence for public universities.
Managing Director, Richard Slack explains: “This reflects the collaborative policy FET holds with its clients – in this case UMass Lowell and its Plastics Engineering Department, an internationally recognized leader in plastics engineering education.”
The installation was configured with a bi-component FET-100 Extrusion Module, which is capable of processing a wide range of polymers, coupled to a FET-101 Multifilament drawing and winding system capable of processing a range of multifilament yarns. This will bring to UMass Lowell the capability to fabricate shaped fibres which will provide a step change in functionality compared to traditional fibres and fabrics. The total market for traditional engineered textiles is forecast to reach $84 billion in 2020 and new engineered textiles developed at UMass Lowell could address over 10% of the available market. Researchers at UMass Lowell, including Stephen Johnston and Javier Vera-Sorroche, are exploring properties such as high temperature, high strength, flame retardance, high conductivity, and super omniphobicity.
The inherent flexibility and versatility of the system will allow future adaptations, such as FET-102 Nonwoven or FET-103 Monofilament, depending on future research requirements. This system design appeals to many end-users, not only allowing for upgrade in process capability but also for staged investment.
Since its launch in 2015, the FET-100 Series has exceeded all our expectations. In 2016 alone, we have taken orders for 8 systems in varying configurations with an order value of over $3 million. These have been, or will be, delivered to customers as far afield as USA, Western Europe, South East Asia, New Zealand, Turkey and Hungary. A primary benefit of FET-100 systems is that they can be specified to be multi-functional, allowing easy and fast conversion between material formats. These systems configure to all combinations of multifilament, monofilament and melt spinning of nonwoven structures for medical device, composites and many other applicati
Under the UK parliamentary system, it is a fairly rare event for small businesses to receive a visit from our politicians, so it was a pleasure to welcome Andrea Jenkyns, the new local MP for Morley and Outwood, who successfully beat Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls in the last general election.
As a former retailer and manager, Andrea understands the challenges faced by local businesses and likes to keep her finger on the pulse of industry by visiting and speaking with business owners and managers.
Andrea said: “It is fascinating to hear about the evolution of a company which went from making brush bristles to developing machinery capable of manufacturing materials used in surgical operations.
“Fibre Extrusion Technology is a real local success story and it was a pleasure to visit.”