Magazine July 2015

Focus on the textile world: from batteries to artificial turf

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From sports to landscaping ...

... comprehensive insight into artificial turf trends

Persistently high growth rates and technological developments are giving the artificial turf sector excellent prospects for the future. The "AMI Grass Yarn & Tufters Forum" in Vienna in February offered a very good opportunity to learn more about new products, technological developments, structural changes and growth prospects of the industry. The increasing importance of tuftlock in the backing material was a particular focus of interest, and the future of yarn materials was also intensively discussed.

AMI Grass Yarn & Tufters Forum – conference with interna

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At the conference, which was held from February 17-19 at Vienna's Imperial Riding School Renaissance Vienna Hotel, keynote speeches were delivered by 19 guest speakers from all over the world. Experts discussed new products, and the current market situation and growth prospects were also analyzed. The speeches focused less on sales arguments and more on in-depth information and discussions about the demands of the artificial turf industry – from a customer as well as a supplier perspective.

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The conference therefore offered Groz-Beckert a platform to contribute to the discussions with its own information and opinions on future developments. Great interest was shown in Groz-Beckert's expertise where tuftlock is concerned – it ensures the durability of artificial turf even during intensive mechanical stress. The SAN®-S special application needle from Groz-Beckert, with its special point and eye geometry, can assume a key role in this phase of production in order to obtain the required quality characteristics.

A dynamic market ...

... with a high level of innovation and great development potential

As the conference made clear, the artificial turf industry is making good progress in terms of segmentation and definition of evolving customer requirements: artificial-grass products can be differentiated ever more finely according to target applications. The polymer types used are being further developed on a consistent basis. Instead of polyamide, today's market is dominated by yarns made from polyethylene. There are also new fiber cross sections and designs that are precisely tailored to their intended applications. The power of innovation in developing new products remains high, as does the development potential inherent in this product segment. That applies to individual components as well as to entire systems.

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In recent years the industry has experienced a global growth rate of approximately 10 to 20% per annum, despite a sometimes difficult investment climate. For the coming years, double-digit growth rates are being forecast. In the future, financing and the necessary support from politics as well as educational and sports institutions will remain essential for the further spread of artificial turf in stadium construction.

Market segments

Versatile applications in sports and leisure

Just how dynamic and segmented the artificial turf market has now become can be seen from the industry-recognized classifications for different product applications. Here are the main areas of application for artificial turf products:

  • Contact-intensive sports, such as soccer, American football, rugby, Australian football, Gaelic football and other sports on long-blade grass
  • Sports without intensive contact, e.g. field hockey, tennis, paddle tennis, baseball, lacrosse, cricket, golf and other sports on short grass as well as indoor sports
  • The leisure sector, including domestic applications as well as distribution via DIY channels, regardless of whether installation is carried out by professionals or end users
  • The landscaping sector, including applications on the municipal or commercial level (e.g. green areas at roadsides, and use in the hotel sector), applications for schools and institutions, and also landscaping for sports facilities (mainly golf). In 99% of these applications, installation is done by professionals.

Tufting Gauge Parts

Great interest shown in Groz-Beckert systems

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The AMI Grass Yarn & Tufters Forum was also an opportunity for Groz-Beckert to present its product range in the tufting gauge parts sector to a high-level professional audience. The controlled and coordinated combination of materials, and the functional interaction of all tool components lead to high-quality and economically impressive results in the tufting process. Given the dynamic market, economic benefits like these are critical to competitive success, as the conference participants recognized.

Are you interested in how Groz-Beckert products can assist you in the economical production of artificial turf or other tufted products? The Groz-Beckert experts will be happy to provide you with expert advice!