The 10th Annual General Meeting of ITTA was held on 16th December 2020 through Video Conferencing under the Chairmanship of Dr. Sundararaman K. S., Chairman, ITTA. Key Note address was given by the Chief Guest Shri Punit Lalbhai, Executive Director, Arvind Ltd. In the Knowledge Session, two eminent speakers, Shri Ian Thomson, Technical Director, Rockman Advanced Composites Pvt. Ltd., UK and Shri. Barry Goodwin, Managing Director, Amba Projex Ltd., UK shared their rich experience in the field of Composites. Business session was conducted by Shri Amit Agarwal, Vice Chairman, ITTA.

Dr. Anup Rakshit, Executive Director, ITTA, welcomed the ITTA Members, Eminent Speakers, Special Invitee and representatives of Press present in the meeting. In his brief welcome address, he pointed out that this year ITTA has successfully completed glorious 10 years. This year we have organized AGM in a little different way. There will be a Key note address by an Industry Leader followed by the Knowledge Session. Two eminent speakers from UK will be speaking in knowledge session on very interesting subjects – Latest technology on Fibres and Fabrics used in Composites and Coating and Lamination Technology Employed in Prepreg Composites. Thanking the Ministry of Textile, Government of India, he highlighted that this year two major schemes on Technical Textiles have been announced by the Ministry. One is the National Technical Textile Mission (NTTM) with a outlay of Rs. 1480 crore for 4 years wherein Four components are included and the other is Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme on Technical Textiles & Man-made fibres segments with an outlay of 10683 crore. Both the schemes put together will give boost to the Technical Textile Industry in coming years.

Dr. Sundararaman K S, Chairman, ITTA, in his presidential address welcomed the members, distinguished speakers and Directors of ITTA and also expressed his happiness on the large number of members present in the AGM. He highlighted that ITTA has been in forefront of responding the COVID-19 crisis at the national level. He explained in detail that in the process of supporting the domestic PPE manufacturing sector within the country, ITTA had also on multiple forums represented the cause of exporters at the level of facemask, PPE, laminated fabric, etc. and relentlessly working with the Government to come out with the balance solution of catering to both the Indian needs as well as taking care of the exports. ITTA further requested the Government to lift the ban on the Melt blown fabrics and we have been indicated that it will happen soon. He said that during the COVID-19 pandemic we have created a completely new segment of 7000 crores because of the fabric manufacturers in India. On multiple fronts, overall technical textile industry will be growing rapidly in the coming years. He talked about the ITTA’s engagement with the Government wherein he informed that today NTTM comprises of multiple of steering committees to layout and execute the vision of NTTM. ITTA is the part of these committees at the apex level. He also mentioned that ITTA has also been interested in creating the Export Promotion Council (EPC) on Technical Textiles and we have made the applications/ representation for the same to the Government. He pointed out that there has been an unprecedented amount of focus in the government on growing technical textile which started with the 207 list of HSN codes, 92 mandatory items, NTTM and recently PLI scheme was introduced. In addition to the PLI scheme, the Govt. of India is looking at creating the international linkages to both grow the profile of Indian technical textiles as well as to bring international testing agencies into the country. ITTA mooted an idea which is been taken up by the Govt. and today the Govt. of India is working with Govt. of Telangana to create a world class testing labs in the state of Telangana. ITTA is also working closely with the BIS for the formulation of Indian standards on technical textiles.

Speaking on the event, the Chief Guest Shri Punit Lalbhai, Executive Director, Arvind Ltd. shared his experience in Arvind and working in the technical textile industry. He spoke about the global market, where India stands in it and to frame what opportunities technical textile brings to the country. Globally, the technical textile industry is a large market and it’s growing at a steady rate for 4-5%. It is focused on a diverse set of applications; a lot of them are unlike conventional textiles core to the end users and it’s also have a very high potential of innovation & high end value.

He highlighted that there are many impediments such as strict quality and qualification control; buyers not educated about the values in many cases, etc. to growth of technical textile however we have a lot of opportunities in this field.

He said that there is robust global market waiting for this industry and both domestic consumption and export will be growing rapidly. He talked about Arvind’s journey with turnover of 1000 crores in technical textiles divided into Human Protection, Industrial products primarily Filtration and Composites. He mentioned the major points on how to start a business i.e. time arising, resource availability, quality, lot of focus and push boundaries.

Knowledge Session
Abstract of the two presentations in Knowledge Session are given below;

Shri Ian Thomson, Technical Director, Rockman Advanced Composites Pvt. Ltd. spoke about the “Fibres and Fabrics What, Why, Where and When thru my 40 years in Composites”. He talked about the variety of fibres and fabrics used in manufacturing, testing, tooling and structure design of the racing cars i.e. F1 cars. He explained the importance of different fibres such as Dyneema, Kevlar and Carbon used for making composites. He also talked about Carbon/ Dyneema Hybrid for making Ferrari nose box to achieve a light, durable and energy absorption body and passed successfully the Collapsible Steering Column Test & Drop Test for controlled collapse and energy absorption. Some examples of composites are Formula 1 Chassis – Carbon fibre – strong, stiff, low density & highly efficient, Sauber C12 & Super Aguri – Carbon + Kevlar – super lightweight racing car panels and North American Racing Series – Carbon/ Dyneema – light but reasonably durable, strong, flexible & Damage Tolerant.

“Coating and Lamination Technology Employed in Prepreg Composites” was presented by Shri Barry Goodwin, Managing Director, Amba Projex Ltd. He explained the definition of composite material and composites prepregs which can be Pre-impregnated by thermosetting and thermoplastic method. Prepreg can be made from Carbon, E glass, quartz glass, Aramid, Ceramic and Kenaf. Even natural fibres like- Flax, Hemp, etc can also be used for specific applications.  He explained in detail the different Prepreg manufacturing techniques such as Dry multi-axial technique, Machines – Typical PUR Laminator, Laminating dry systems, Pre-coated lay-up (woven), Precision blade coater, Roller coating m/c, Pre-coated prepreg lay-up m/c, UD Tape prepreg process, UDT Prepreg m/c, Rotating carbon creels for UD tapes, Woven prepreg process & Fabric prepreg m/c.

Global demand for carbon fibre composites is US $15.75 billion in 2015 & to achieve US $23.11 billion by 2021 and to reach US$ 38.0 billion by 2024 (6-7% CAGR). He pointed out that in future the thermoplastic and recyclable prepregs will play a very important role wherein Slit-preg & tow-preg applications are growing rapidly. He also said that India has huge potential for growth in this arena.

Shri Nirav Mehta, Director, ITTA proposed a vote of thanks. Shri Mehta thanked all the Directors and ITTA members who were present in the AGM. He specially thanked three eminent speakers for making excellent presentations.