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2017 armasuisse Textiles Symposium

On 15 March 2017 around 325 representatives of the national and international textile industry, research, the armed forces and government bodies met for the annual armasuisse Textiles Symposium at the Kursaal in Bern. Seven interesting and informative speeches awaited the specialist audience. The 17th armasuisse Textiles Symposium focused on the issues of sustainability, innovations and future-oriented processes in the textile industry.

22.03.2017 | armasuisse Communications

The armasuisse Textiles Symposium was opened by Thomas Knecht, Head of the Purchasing and Cooperations Competence Sector. He was delighted to see so many visitors and emphasised that, as was the case last year, the issue of sustainability in procurement has lost none of its importance. He also said that in public procurement, it is becoming increasingly necessary to differentiate between the most cost-effective offer and the lowest-priced offer.

After the introduction, Armaments Director Martin Sonderegger welcomed the attendees to this year’s Textiles Symposium. He assured the business partners from the textile industry that even when any changes come into force that require a complete revision of the Federal Act on Public Procurement, our position and current practices remain clear: Business and manufacturing secrets and calculation bases are not intended for the public and must be vehemently protected.

The first speaker, Prof. Claus Carbon from the Department of General Psychology and Methodology at the University of Bamberg, then took to the stage. Prof. Carbon gave the specialist audience an insight into the psychological processes behind haptic experience. He explained that textile forums are often missing marketing and lifestyle/fashion concepts. Both have a lot to do with the psychology of perception and acceptance by customers. In marketing in particular, there is an increasing need for multi-sensory integration, as true experience always involves multiple senses.

The following speech was given by Ferdinand Metzler, founder and CEO of Zurich-based Fision Ltd. Fision Ltd develops software that enables digital body measurements to be taken and thus contributes to the kitting-out process in the digital revolution. Metzler believes the advantages of digitising the measuring process lie in the optimization and management of the range of items held and the supply chain, as well as individualization and personalization.

Next, Dr. Rudolf Hufenus from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology spoke about the potential of a new kind of liquid-core filament for personal protective equipment. As liquids are able to conduct energy, these are extremely significant in improving the shock-absorbing properties of textiles.

The last speech before the lunch break was given by Brigadier Hans Schatzmann, Commander of Military Security, on the subject of military security. Today, Military Security is the armed forces’ police force, which is part of the Armed Forces Command Staff. The Swiss Armed Forces’ Military Security unit has 545 full-time employees and over 1,000 reserve soldiers. They perform many different tasks, mainly for the Swiss Armed Forces. As part of the Armed Forces development programme (WEA) the Command Staff will be disbanded, and Military Security will be assigned to Operations Command with four reserve battalions. The former headquarters of the military police in Bern will be relocated to Sion. 

After lunch, it was the turn of Hans Meulman from Dutch company DSM to present the Dyneema high-performance fibre and its advantages in the area of lightweight protection systems. This fibre is mainly used in personal and vehicle protection. 

Giuseppe Gherzi spoke on behalf of Gherzi AG about the development of the textile value chain from 2015 to 2020. Gherzi AG is an international consultancy in the main areas of textiles, the purchasing and sale of companies, and factory planning. He said that the traditional textile value chain is influenced by the following three aspects, and is likely to remain so in the future: Megatrends, constant change, and disruptive technologies. Mr Gherzi called for a rethink on the current business models in Europe’s textile industry.

In conclusion and in contrast, Prof. Lutz Jäncke of the Department of Neuropsychology at the University of Zurich talked about the rationality of the brain.

To finish, the Head of Purchasing and Cooperations thanked all the speakers and wished everyone a safe journey home. He is looking forward to seeing the attendees again at the next Textiles Symposium in Bern on 14 March 2018.  

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