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Texcare International: Global Perspective

Ian P. Murphy |

After four years, Texcare returns next month with what could be a bigger and better show than ever. The World Market for Modern Textile Care promises to be the best in years, Texcare’s organizers say — set for May 31-June 4, 2008, in Frankfurt, Germany, the show will feature 218 exhibitors booked and more exhibit space than the 2004 edition.With many leading manufacturers based in Europe, Texcare offers an opportunity to see the most sophisticated equipment available to the drycleaning and laundry industries in a single place. Exhibitors include many of the biggest names in equipment worldwide, such as Alliance, Böwe, Girbau, Ilsa, Jensen, Kannegiesser, Miele, Milnor, Renzacci, Seitz, Sankosha and Trevil.
About half of the exhibitors are based in Germany, with drycleaning-equipment powerhouse Italy not far behind with 54 companies. Substantial numbers of exhibitors will travel from Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and the U.S., exhibiting alongside companies from emerging economic powers such as Turkey and China.
Many larger exhibitors reserved more space than they took out at the last show, show-planning firm Messe Frankfurt says. Texcare’s floorspace has grown 10% since 2004 to 19,500 m2  (210,000 square feet) — nearly matching America’s biennial Clean Show for space. As a result, Festival Hall 8 will be reserved for heavy machinery, and smaller booths will be located in the adjoining Galleria. “We expect 2008 to be a year of growth for exhibitors,” says Elgar Straub, principal of the German allied-trades association VDMA.
Messe Frankfurt expects 13,000 people to visit during the show’s five-day run — 65% of whom are owners or managers, according to a poll conducted after Texcare 2004. “The importance of the fair is confirmed by the high degree of quality on the visitor side,” says Detlef Braun, a member of Messe Frankfurt’s board. “Texcare is a fair for decision-makers.”
About 28% of visitors represented commercial and industrial laundry firms in 2004; 22% represented drycleaners. Almost half traveled to Frankfurt from outside Germany; again, many came from bordering European Union countries, but big contingents came from the U.S. and Asia, as well.
Increasing globalization benefits international shows such as Texcare, Straub says. “Countries previously regarded only as subcontractors to the world’s industrialized nations are now seen as potential customers of washing and textile-cleaning technology.”
Companies will use Texcare to debut  their latest innovations to the international audience, revealing new ideas in machine technology, logistics, finishing and added-value services.GLOBAL CHALLENGES
Texcare will address the many challenges facing the industry in Europe, which parallel issues faced by operators in the U.S. and other countries. “Far-reaching regulations, international agreements and changes in consumer behavior have not been without effect,” says Friedrich Eberhard, vice president of the German textile-care association Deutscher Textilreinigungsverband (DTV). “Standing still is the same as going backward.”
While prosperity and cheap goods are pushing consumers to buy more clothing, demand for textile care hasn’t kept pace, he says. The answer? To improve the industry’s reputation and deliver consistent quality. “There is no doubt that we have failed to exploit the full potential offered by the market.”
While the laundry sector is experiencing a wave of consolidation, E.U. regulations and open markets are actually helping sales grow in textile leasing and rental workwear. German textile-service association Intex expects growth of 5% annually as industries demand more fashionable and durable  uniforms. “This trend is supported by higher European requirements for health and safety at work,” Eberhard says.
Overcapacity and the use of disposable textiles in hospitals threaten this growth market, however, and strong competition among laundries means most are reluctant to raise prices. Even so, commercial and industrial laundry services grew 12% in 2006 in Germany, while sales for drycleaning were flat or down slightly throughout the E.U.
“Industrywide, sales posted an increase over previous years, standing at E3.2 billion [$5.1 billion],” says Klaus Jahn, general secretary of Intex. “Of this figure, around 2,300 laundries produced E2.1 billion [$3.3 billion] and some 3,200 cleaners brought in E1.2 billion [$1.9 billion].”
Jahn attributes growth to increases in productivity resulting from process and equipment improvements. Increasing supply and energy prices are putting “a spectacular burden on company profits,” he adds. “As a percentage, they are sometimes in double-digits. It is, therefore, important for bosses to run their businesses with up-to-date, future-proofed technical standards.”
Part of that standard is the worldwide call for environmental protection in textile service, show sponsors say. “The key task is caring for textiles in an environmentally friendly way while raising efficiency,” says VDMA’s Straub. “High efficiency, low energy use, and low pollution and effluents — these are the requirements that good cleaning materials must fulfill.”
Texcare is the place to find equipment and strategies for environmental protection, productivity, quality control, logistics and more, Jahn says. “Nowhere else will one find such a comprehensive range of things to help companies face the future.” INFORMATION PLEASE
Rounding out the show’s offerings, the Texcare Forum will help operators address these industry challenges. The first two days of the show, the lecture program will cater to drycleaners; the third and fourth days will target industrial laundries and textile-rental firms.
With the theme “Challenges in The Global Textile-Care & Service Market,” the lecture program will focus on “future-oriented” topics such as management, marketing, environmental sustainability, and new equipment and detergent technologies.
The Forum will be held in the Symmetrie rooms 2 and 3 of Messe Frankfurt’s Hall 8.1 each afternoon from May 31-June 3. Admission to the sessions is free; each will be conducted in English or German with simultaneous translation.
“With the exceptional breadth [and] concentration of its international exhibitors and a comprehensive lecture program featuring top experts,” Straub says, “once again, Texcare International will be the world’s most important marketplace for laundry and textile-cleaning technology.” FAST FACTS
Hours: The show is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. May 31-June 3, 2008, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on June 4.   Visit www.texcare.com for more information about Texcare International, a list of exhibitors and details on the Texcare Forum.Admission: Admission is E14 ($22.35) per day in advance or E20 ($31.93) at the door, or E34 ($54.28) for the entire show in advance and E46 at the door ($73.43). Visit www.texcare.com to register and purchase tickets. Reservations made online until noon on June 4 qualify for the advance price.
Getting There: Frankfurt’s international airport is one of Europe’s busiest; travelers originating in most U.S. cities can take advantage of nonstop or one-stop flights. Last-minute fares may be available through major airlines and consolidators such as Orbitz.com.
Hotels: Messe Frankfurt recommends the Rhine-Main Hotel Guide for hotel reservations; visit www.hotelguide-rheinmain.de and click on “English Version” to access its database. Additional rooms are available through Tourismus & Congress; visit www.frankfurt-tourismus.de.

About the author

Ian P. Murphy

American Drycleaner

Ian P. Murphy is a freelance writer based in Chicago, and was the editor of American Drycleaner from 1999 to 2011.

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