Low-Carbon Emissions, Zero Excuses: The Future of Footwear is Here


Back to September 26, 2023, Porto, Portugal. A white building stands at the port—The cruise terminal in front of the port (Porto Leixões Cruise Terminal), looking out to the vast Atlantic Ocean. The hall was full of people, was it a private launch event for a luxury brand? Wrong!

This is a joint product briefing held by Tienkang, a Taiwanese shoemaking machinery manufacturer, and Aloft, a midsole manufacturer in Portugal.

 Carbon-reducing foam injection molding machine GENTREX attracts the attention of European and American leading brands

Tienkang Machinery, which just turned 40 last year, recently launched the «Rotary Supercritical Physical Foam Injection Molding Machine»—GENTREX, which uses this «global shoemaking machinery masterpiece» to manufacture zero-carbon emission high-elastic midsole Elast. At the scene, Tienkang Machinery demonstrated to representatives of brands and shoe factories from Europe, Asia, and the Americas how to use its product strength to contribute to environmental protection and how to break the stereotype of the shoemaking industry as «high pollution, high labor».

This «Circular Supercritical Physical Foam Injection Machine» GENTREX won two awards in the product design field this year—the American Muse Design Award (MUSE award) and the French NDA Innovation Design Award (MUSE award), and was hailed as a masterpiece on the stage of the global shoemaking machinery industry, and is considered to be one of Tienkang Machinery’s 41-year masterpieces.

At the same time, it combines the unique micro-foam injection molding technology of Trexel, the world’s only foam molding leader, to develop a new type of machine; the name «GENTREX» is a new name that combines «New Generation GEN-» and «Partner (Trexel -TREX).»

During the pandemic, the machinery manufacturing industry faced challenges. TienKang turned this crisis into an opportunity by shifting its production capacity towards research and development. GENTREX embodies various features such as high-polymer materials, multi-mode, high efficiency, and high reliability, aligning with international ESG trends and committing to 100% material recycling. Participating in the 2023 shoe machinery exhibition in Milan, Italy, it garnered attention from hundreds of internationally renowned brands, including major sports brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma, New Balance, and outdoor brands like Salomon and Decathlon. Even European countries with a strong emphasis on ESG showed a keen interest in evaluating this equipment, particularly Italian manufacturers of luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, GUCCI, HERMES, expressing their intention to invest in such equipment to fulfill their sustainable responsibilities to the planet and future generations, demonstrating a high level of concern for environmental protection and sustainable development.

GENTREX’s «three-saving» advantages create a new generation of ESG shoe factories

Tienkang Machinery Chairman Huang FengWu said that the shoemaking industry has always been seen as a high-labor, high-pollution industry. The advantages of this SCF injection machine GENTREX, in addition to breaking the stereotype of the shoemaking industry, conforming to the international ESG corporate trend, are also reflected in its faithfulness to the original factory reliability, the machine’s simplified and humanized design, and the compliance with CE safety regulations. He emphasized that this is Tienkang Machinery’s effort in providing high-value-added and innovative technology shoemaking equipment, and this physical foam injection machine is only the first step.


In-depth analysis, GENTREX has three advantages:

  1. High-efficiency, carbon-reducing, energy-saving: Gentrex has the advantages of multi-station, multi-mold, high-elasticity gun configuration selection, high reliability, and high yield, and uses nitrogen gas or CO2, which accounts for 78% of the atmosphere, as the foaming agent to achieve zero carbon emissions, and is paired with electric servo motors to save energy, further reducing the carbon emissions of energy use.
  2.  Multi-technology, labor-saving: In response to the trend of shoemaking machinery towards intelligence, automation, integration, and complexity, the core key of the physical foam injection machine lies in the nitrogen gas injection unit. Tienkang Machinery combines the unique technology of Trexel, the world’s only micro-foam injection molding leader, to ensure the reliability and after-sales service of the equipment used by customers.
    Also, because it is a multi-purpose machine with a simplified design, it makes the machine more in line with user needs, which can effectively save the configuration of labor, allowing users to use the most economical cost to maximize the return on investment, create high-value-added capacity, and comply with CE safety regulations. Operating standards.
  3. Innovative design, space-saving: In the era when everything is about design, factory machinery is no exception. The design of the Gentrex machine adopts a circular design. Under the condition that the injection unit does not move, it ensures the precision and reliability of nitrogen gas injection, and at the same time shrinks the floor area, which can increase the floor space efficiency of the factory by up to 70%.


Environmentally friendly, GENTREX helps to strengthen local production

The Porto launch event made Tienkang Machinery and the Aloft team feel satisfied, because they finally realized the opportunity to continue production in their own place in Europe, which is their mission and vision. Tienkang Machinery Chairman Huang Fengwu said that they will continue to work hard for the sustainable development of the footwear industry and the earth, and contribute to the environmental protection cause.

At the banquet at the end of the meeting that day, there was a touching episode that made the Tienkang and Aloft teams feel warm and excited. A representative of an Italian shoe factory, with the Tienkang’s team, recounted the history of European shoemaking migration in the past: from Europe to Asia for OEM, to the upcoming factory in Africa. Now, thanks to the birth of GENTREX, there is finally an opportunity to welcome the opportunity to produce locally in their hometown in Europe.

The story behind this is the persistence of a Taiwanese company in sustainable environmental protection and brand image, as well as its outstanding performance in the global luxury market. If Tienkang Machinery did not insist on creating value and shared benefits, it would not be possible for this beautiful cooperation from the United States to Taiwan and then to Europe.

Tienkang Machinery in Taiwan will continue to be a pioneer in environmental protection and sustainable development, providing the world with more high-quality footwear equipment, and jointly promoting the development of the footwear industry.

Environmentally Friendly GENTREX Helps to Strengthen Local Production

The launch of GENTREX in Porto, Portugal, was a major milestone for Tienkang  and Aloft, a Portuguese midsole manufacturer. The machine, which uses supercritical physical foaming technology to produce zero-carbon emissions, has the potential to revolutionize the shoemaking industry.

For Tienkang Machinery, the launch of GENTREX is a fulfillment of its mission to provide sustainable footwear solutions. The company has long been a leader in the development of environmentally friendly shoemaking technologies, and GENTREX is its latest and most ambitious innovation.

For Aloft, GENTREX offers the opportunity to return production to Europe. The company had previously moved production to Asia to reduce costs, but the environmental impact of long-distance transportation was a major concern. GENTREX’s use of local materials and energy sources makes it a more sustainable option for Aloft.

The success of GENTREX is a sign of the growing importance of sustainability in the shoemaking industry. As consumers become more aware of the environmental impact of their purchases, footwear brands are under increasing pressure to reduce their carbon footprint. GENTREX is well-positioned to meet this demand, and it is likely to play a major role in the future of sustainable shoemaking.

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