Posted: February 18, 2010

TenCate (Xennia) Introduces Nano Process Technology for Textile Applications

(Nanowerk News) Xennia Technology, a subsidiary of Royal Ten Cate, presents today its process demonstrator for printing and finishing of textile materials. This new nano process technology is based on inkjet technology, whereby ink or coating particles are applied with great production precision and speed. With this technology a breakthrough has been accomplished in the field of industrial processes, which were until recently applicable in the textile industry.
Inkjet technology not only is leading to an innovative printing technology, but also to a new nano process technology which can apply high added value functionalities on (textile) substrates. One of the additional advantages of this last mentioned technology is - apart from new technological possibilities - that this production process realizes large environmental benefits and energy savings. Through the combination of a patented continuous process and special designed chemistry the textile industry will face a huge change in a economical and ecological way.
The transformation to digital production processes in the textile industry will gradually take place, since new machines will have to be introduced. One of the building blocks of the business model of Xennia is the alignment with machine builders in order to create an 'installed base'. In this model Xennia is the supplier of the technological solution, consisting of modules like print engines, software, ink systems, etcetera and specially developed high quality inks. The relevant machine producers (OEM's) have, apart from the design and build capabilities, the necessary sales and service network.
Alliance with Reggiani Macchine
With respect to textiles applications Xennia entered into an alliance with Reggiani Macchine, Bergamo (IT). This Italian company has started the production and sales of industrial digital printing machines and will in cooperation with Xennia continue this development process on a joint basis. The production version of the continuous textile printing machine will be ready before the end of this year. In these processes Xennia will increasingly be involved in the development and production of special inks. New ink formulations with special characteristics will create new entries in the textiles printing market in the future which will create an increasing level of market penetration for digital printing techniques.
Reggiani Macchine is an established brand in the field of textile printing and dying and finishing machines for textiles. This company has an international presence with its sales and service network and was one of the first companies engaged in digital printing processes on textiles. Reggiani will specialize itself further in this area with Xennia as technology partner.
Importance for TenCate
Xennia contributed positively to the result of TenCate during 2009. This contribution will increase dramatically as from 2010 on the basis of current components / systems developments regarding print platforms for various machine configurations and research projects for third parties. Based on the current market outlook and R&D projects, Xennia's level of ambition for the total revenues for the years 2015 - 2017 amounts to £ 300 - 400 million.
Xennia will also concentrate on modifying print heads of third parties for special applications under its own brand name and the production of proprietary inks for applications such as textile printing and finishing. Xennia owns several patents related to ink formulas.
Worldwide the textile printing market amounts to 21 billion meters. Currently less than 1% relates to digital printing. It is envisaged that through the alliance mentioned herein, Xennia and Reggiani Macchine will become major players in this market and that the market share of digital printing will gradually increase.
The strategic contribution of Xennia to TenCate mainly refers to technology. TenCate will be enabled through technological innovation to reduce its production costs and will develop new unique materials, which will strengthen its leading position in its core markets. As a result of this technology the environmental footprint will substantially be reduced.
The importance of this new technology for the innovative ability for the region of Eastern Holland is large. The Regional Innovation Platform and the Twente University as well as the Province of Overijssel make an endeavour to support innovation projects regarding new materials and nanotechnology.
The innovations of TenCate will in the first place relate to the market theme safety and protection (like protective fabrics for industrial and defence applications and outdoor fabrics). Those materials need prints and coatings in order to provide for the required functional aspects.
In due course the solutions which are developed by Xennia will also be used for other business areas of TenCate such as composites, synthetic grass and for conductive coatings / prints (sensors).
Xennia Technology ltd is specialist in inkjet technology for industrial applications. As the world's leading chemistry-driven industrial ink jet integrator, Xennia has been instrumental in revolutionising outdated manufacturing processes by creating reliable inkjet solutions for markets like product decoration, ceramics, textile printing and electronics. Xennia solutions comprise research and development capabilities, printers and printing modules, software and printing fluids. Xennia has a plant in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Royal Ten Cate (TenCate) is a multinational company which combines textile technology with related chemical processes and material technology in the development and production of functional materials with distinctive characteristics. Products of TenCate are sold worldwide. Systems and materials from TenCate come under four areas of application: safety & protection, space & aerospace, infrastructure & the environment, and sport & recreation. TenCate occupies leading positions in protective fabrics, composites for space and aerospace, antiballistics, geosynthetics and synthetic turf.
Source: Xennia Technology (press release)
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