A Global Event

By Karen Bitz McIntyre | April 2, 2008

This month, INDEX, the European leg of a trio of nonwovens-related trade shows, will be held in Geneva, Switzerland. Expected to attract 12,000 visitors, this global event will feature nearly 500 exhibitors from 100 countries. As the largest INDEX event yet, this year's show truly illustrates the global reach and vast size of the nonwovens industry.

Much of this month's issue of Nonwovens Industry is dedicated to the INDEX show, including a complete listing of exhibitors (page 74), previews of what some exhibitors plan to present at the exhibition (page 136) and a feature on the INDEX08 Awards, which recognize innovation throughout all areas of the nonwovens supply chain (page 155).

The number of companies new to the INDEX exhibition shows just how quickly the nonwovens industry is growing, with new companies trying to tap into the great potential of this market. Of particular note is the large number of Chinese companies signed on to INDEX08. These companies, ranging from roll goods companies to equipment suppliers to raw material providers, have proved themselves in their native land and are now looking to expand their reach into Europe and the U.S.

What this will mean for more established players is not yet clear. But surely, anyone who wants to continue to do business in nonwovens is going to have to focus on innovation as a way to trim their costs and also improve the performance of their product—or their customers' products. I am certain we will see these efforts bearing fruit already this month in Geneva, when the global nonwovens industry takes the opportunity to network and share their goods and services.

If you are not able to make it to this year's INDEX show, make sure you check our Nonwovens Industry's June 2008 issue, which will include a detailed look at the exposition including the latest  new products and services from the most important players in nonwovens.

Karen Bitz McIntyre