Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - 26

STATE
OF
THE
INDUSTRY
Mining and entertainment/events are
markets in which more respondents
expect a decline rather than growth.
More than half (56%) of
Automated patterning
(CAD) gear is very
interesting for accuracy
and time savings but the
cost must come down
substantially to make
sense for my operation.
-SURVEY RESPONDENT
organizations expect to enter new
markets in the coming years. Look
for increased competition in smart
fabrics and manufacturing as well
as energy, infrastructure and safety/
protective markets. These are the top
mentioned markets for new entry. Few
(17%) expect to reduce the number of
markets they serve.
Nearly all (91%) businesses serve
domestic markets, with slightly higher
participation in the southern U.S.
and northeastern U.S. More than half
operate internationally, with 42%
deriving revenues from Canada and
31% operating in Europe. Some 45%
expect to expand their reach across
new areas of the U.S. and 27% plan to
expand globally in the next two years.
Fig. 4
END USERS' MARKETS & ANTICIPATED GROWTH
■ % Serve market ■ % Anticipating growth (decline)
Government/Military
49%
Architecture/Building Construction (commercial)
Sports/Recreational
Manufacturing
Marine
Hospitality
Consumer Products/Home Furnishings/Apparel/Footwear
Automotive
Architecture/Building Construction (residential)
Medical
Entertainment/Events -2%
Agriculture
Safety/Protective
Aerospace
Landscape
Infrastructure
Transportation/Shipping
Smart Fabrics/E-textiles
Energy
46%
41%
40%
38%
37%
33%
33%
33%
30%
30%
29%
28%
26%
23%
23%
20%
20%
18%
Mining -11% 17%
26 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / July 2021
6%
6%
17%
5%
20%
14%
16%
17%
15%
6%
16%
0%
20%
28%
15%
27%
Manufacturing practices
Approximately three-fourths of the
respondents produce a physical product
by way of manufacturing. Businesses
that do not engage in manufacturing
include about one-third of suppliers
and one-third of design firms.
Machinery is typically owned as
opposed to rented (95% owned/5%
rented). Design firms are most likely
to rent the equipment they need.
The age of machinery ranges
from brand new (purchased in 2021)
to more than 100 years old, but
more than half of respondents have
purchased new equipment in the last
five years. Nearly 25 percent purchase
new equipment " only when equipment
is broken beyond repair. " Just over half
plan to invest in capital equipment
purchase(s) in the next two years.
Typically, inputs are sourced directly
from the manufacturer (56%), though
one-third (32%) are sourced through
a distributor; the remainder are
manufactured internally (12%).
Most report using a subcontractor
21%
20%
sometimes, citing that the subcontractor
has specialized equipment that is
otherwise unavailable to them. About
half serve as a subcontractor and a few
do so regularly.
Most companies have implemented
some automation, but few (17%) have
automated more than half of their
operations (Fig. 6). One-third plan to
invest in automation in the next two
years as part of their strategic growth
plans. Automated cutting equipment
followed by sewing capabilities are the
equipment types and functions that
are most under consideration. Among
the third (38%) of companies that
have not automated, many report that
it is not a good fit for their primarily
custom work. Others mention the
lack of skilled labor to operate the
equipment and the lack of perceived

Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021

Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - 1
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