Tuftlock, Trends and Technologies
The fifth AMI Grass Yarn & Tufters Forum, held in London this year from February 22 to 24, took its traditional look at the trends and developments in the artificial grass market. Groz-Beckert attended the conference for the first time and can report on a fascinating event.
Good opportunities for growth
This year's AMI Grass Yarn & Tufters Forum took place in the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in London. Experts discussed new products and also analysed the current market situation and growth prospects. In a series of first-rate papers, sales pitches were left at home in favour of informed lectures designed to address the challenges and dangers in a growing market sector.
High growth rates and further developments in technology have turned the artificial grass sector into a dynamic industry with good growth prospects for the future but also with some difficult challenges and some prospects of consolidation. The Grass Yarn & Tufters Forum 2011 addressed the issues facing senior personnel from companies involved in the production of synthetic grass yarn through to turf supply.
As well as Groz-Beckert, all conference participants were able to offer news on the latest developments to promote the artificial turf industry. They included backing cloth and yarn producers as well as installers, maintenance contractors and also sports associations like FIFA. A common theme among many of the attendees was the importance attached to "tuftlock" - that is, the way in which the pile is held in place. The newly developed SAN-S Needle from Groz-Beckert with its special tip and eye geometry can assume a key role in this aspect of production, in order to fulfil the stringent quality requirements.
The artificial turf industry is making good progress in segmenting and defining the evolving requirements of its customers. Product innovation is strong and the potential for further developments is high, both in individual components and in systems.
A successful event
The industry saw high growth rates approaching a global average of 20% during 2004-2008 and, despite a difficult investment environment, continues to be a sensible place for politicians, educational and sports authorities to commit funding, as the use of synthetic turf for sports grounds continues to spread.
Concomitant with strong growth have been changes in the types of polymers used from the original polyamide to the now dominant polyethylene, new formats / designs of the yarn and system design.
Groz-Beckert was also able to make use of the AMI Grass Yarn & Tufters Forum to present its range of products in the Gauge Parts Tufting sector to those attending. This sparked great interest, and the contacts made at the conference are being followed through at ground level.
In summary the conference was well organised and informative with the scope to look at issues from a different perspective, while offering insights of the current developments in raw materials and product requirements for Groz-Beckert's future orientation and product improvements in its Gauge Parts & Needle range.
For more information on everything to do with Gauge Parts Tufting, go to the Groz-Beckert Website - or visit the Groz-Beckert Online Catalogue Tufting.