FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany — If early indications are correct, the 2008 edition of Texcare International will be the show’s most successful in years. It opened Saturday to crowds of industry professionals from throughout the world.
“The concept of Texcare as an independent forum for textile care is right on target,” says Detlef Braun, a board member of Messe Frankfurt, the management firm behind Texcare International and Texcare Asia. “We expect to welcome over 13,000 visitors from all over the world.”
Weekend attendees included large numbers of drycleaners and launderers eager to witness the latest equipment in action. With 256 exhibitors and big displays from most of the dominant players in the industry worldwide, this year’s Texcare features more “live” displays than any show in recent memory.
“We welcome the fact that more manufacturers are exhibiting at Texcare International [this year] than four years ago,” says Joachim Krause, director of the German textile-care association DTV. “The trade is looking forward with excitement to presentations featuring products from every segment of the modern textile-care industry.”
Exhibitors generated excitement in the laundry sector with displays of high-output, automated equipment. For instance, German laundry-equipment heavyweight Kannegiesser demonstrated a robotic unit that can pick and sort reusable textiles into six categories by weight, size and color at the flip of a switch.
Tensioning equipment was the biggest draw on the drycleaning side. Since many brands of tensioning equipment are European-made, there were more options on the floor here than anywhere else — and more attention from patrons wishing to streamline finishing.
Upstairs from the busy convention floor, the Texcare Forum’s sessions drew standing-room-only crowds. Sessions focused on drycleaning over the weekend, covering the realities of the European market, where environmental directives and marketplace challenges are forcing many operators to make changes.
For example, approximately 8,000 of the 11,000 drycleaning plants in Germany went out of business in the last 10 years, according to Paul Kokerbeck, a speaker and Multimatic representative. Now that the worst is over, he says, the industry can rebuild with streamlined service and a new value proposition.
If Texcare is representative of the industry, rebuild it will. In laundry and drycleaning alike, a strong Euro has many attendees offering their credit cards and making deposits on new equipment. “It’s been unbelievable — nonstop for two whole days,” says Charles Giancola, president of The Maxi Companies and D.J. Giancola Exports. “We’re taking orders.”
Texcare International’s focus shifts to commercial and industrial laundries today, with Forum sessions covering energy management, quality assurance, textile rental and more.