IDEA 01 Review

August 17, 2005

triennial event marked as largest gathering of nonwovens industry in North America

Participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony were (l-r) Wang Yang-Xi, CNTA; Krzysztof Malowaniec, EDANA; Leo Cancio, INDA; Tai Jung Chi, ANFA; Sheng Tao, CNITA and Laerte Guiao Maroni, ABINT.

More than 6000 members of the nonwovens industry attended IDEA 01, held March 27-29 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami, FL. With visitors from 60 countries and more than one-third of the approximately 400 exhibitors coming from outside the U.S., IDEA 01 definitely lived up to its reputation as a global show. Many exhibitors commented on the large presence of attendees from Asian and South American countries as well.

The show kicked off on Monday, March 26 with a welcome reception at the Fontainbleu Hotel in Miami sponsored by IDEA organizer INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, Cary, NC. On Tuesday March 27, IDEA 01 officially opened with a ribbon cutting, as well as the keynote speech “Nonwoven Based Businesses At 3M” delivered by Dr. Paul Guehler, senior vice president of R&D at 3M, St. Paul, MN. Dr. Guehler’s presentation gave a breakdown of the nonwovens capabilities of 3M mentioning that the company plans to pursue small to medium markets in the future by using higher valued products and looking for rewarding niches and turning them into canyons. As part of his speech, Dr. Guehler said that the nonwovens industry is slated for robust growth from 2001 to 2006 with industry experts projecting a 7.3% annual growth rate.

Additionally, Tuesday also saw the presentation of the inaugural IDEA 01 Achievement Awards co-sponsored by INDA and Nonwovens Industry.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the IDEA 01 Conference was held during the morning hours of March 27-29 and featured more than 40 speakers from eight end use areas for nonwovens, including products for the home, wipes, filtration, hygiene, medical, automotive, geotextiles and protective apparel. Additionally, those new to the nonwovens industry were invited to take part in a two hour “Fundamentals Of Nonwovens” course taught by Edward Vaughn of Clemson University, Clemson, SC. For conference attendees interested in learning more about e-business, IDEA 01 also featured “Enterprise Solutions,” a special conference session led by Jim Lester of Compaq Computers, Houston, TX, that discussed getting started in e-business, e-commerce and e-security.

Roll Goods Manufacturers Bring It On
The IDEA 01 exhibition drew a large crowd of roll goods suppliers from all corners of the globe who used this opportunity to highlight some of their latest product offerings.

AET Specialty Nets & Nonwovens, Middletown, DE, highlighted its new melt blown composites, its “DelNet” support netting membrane and two new medical laminates. Additionally, the company had information on its new “Plastinet FinGuard” thermoplastic netting for air conditioner condenser fin protection, which features ease of handling and specified hole size and strand count.

In its first major trade show appearance since its merger with Dexter Corporation Nonwovens Materials, Windsor Locks, CT, last year, Ahlstrom Paper Group, Arnhem, The Netherlands, showcased its wipes business. The union of Ahlstrom and Dexter created a significant new resource for convertors and marketers of wipes materials, according to company executives. The company can combine a variety of fibers—wood pulp, cotton, rayon, polyester and polypropylene—with proprietary processes and in line treatments to meet any requirement. Applications include disposable, embossable, textured abrasive and exfoliating wipes.

American Nonwovens, Columbus, MS, featured its resin bonded and needlepunched products made from “Tencel,” for which the company is currently trying areas where the special properties of these products could be used. Additionally, American Nonwovens discussed its fabrics made from “Eastar Bio” copolyester by Eastman Chemical, Kingsport, TN, which received the IDEA 01 Fibers/Chemical Achievement Award during the show.

Avgol Limited Nonwoven Industries, Holon, Israel, announced at the show that it plans to build a plant in the U.S. A detailed announcement on this move was expected to come by the end of April.

One of the most significant new product introductions at IDEA 01 was initiated by BBA Nonwovens, London, U.K. The company unveiled a line of spunbond and SMS nonwovens and announced the launch of a proprietary spunmelt forming technology and class of spunmelts. BBA also introduced “Flite 4.0,” a fourth generation spunmelt nonwoven that offers a broader range of fiber deniers, while the company’s Industrial Nonwovens business has expanded its “Ultraflo” range of filtration media (see Nonwovens News, p. 14).

Under the theme “complete solutions,” the booth of the BP Fabrics & Fibers Business Unit, Austell, GA, presented show attendees with the company’s full range of nonwovens, films and composites that can be designed to solve specific customer problems. While these problem solutions are mainly targeted towards the hygiene and medical arenas, due to the use of breathable materials BP is able to penetrate industrial markets.

Consumer Products Enterprises (CPE), Union, SC, introduced show attendees to the newest members of its senior management—new president and CEO Charles Smith and new sales manager nonwovens Richard Carr. On the technology front, CPE spotlighted the manufacturing capabilities of its new state-of-the-art needlepunching line that has the ability to run synthetic fibers and bring in colored needlepunched nonwovens. The company is reportedly seeing a lot of customer interest in colored materials for the wipes, home furnishings, geotextile and agricultural areas.

Crane Nonwovens, Dalton, MA, introduced a new family of wipe materials suitable for use in a wide range of demanding commercial and consumer applications. These hydroentangled fabrics are available in soft, absorbent cotton, high strength blends and economical wood pulp. Additionally, the company showcased “Cranemat FD,” a media for liquid and air filtration applications featuring a fine denier polyester blend.

The booth for Dounor SA, Neuville en Ferrain, France, was dedicated to the promotion of the company’s new monofilament spunbond fabrics made from a special polymer called “Metallocene” that allows for the production of a thinner filament, resulting in a softer fabric. With the new polymer, material weights can go down to 12 gpsm that were once only capable of 15 gpsm with the same or better strength and improved web uniformity. While Dounor is currently targeting the hygiene market due to the product’s softness, it sees opportunities in other applications as well.

DuPont, Wilmington, DE, exhibited its “Hytrel” polyester elastomer, which is being used in single-use surgical gowns manufactured by Allegiance Healthcare Corporation, McGaw Park, IL. Gowns made with Hytrel are breathable because the elastomer allows the diffusion and evaporation of sweat moisture. Furthermore, the monolithic film of Hydrel provides an impervious barrier to fluid penetration, allowing the gowns to resist penetration by blood-borne pathogens. Hytrel has other applications in hygiene products, outerwear and geotextiles.

Newly-named First Quality Nonwovens, Hazleton, PA—which was most recently known as First Quality Fibers—was on hand at IDEA 01 to promote its capacity expansion with the addition of two new lines at its Hazleton facility, scheduled to come onstream later this year. The move will allow the company to expand its ability to make spunbond and SMS materials.

The world’s largest roll goods producer The Freudenberg Nonwovens Group, Weinheim, Germany, showcased its new “Evolon” fabric, which was one of the three finalists for the IDEA 01 Roll Goods Achievement Award. Manufactured through a proprietary process that combines filament spinning and web formation, Evolon offers good drapability, soft hand, high tensile strength, comfort properties and good launderability for a variety of applications.

Making its IDEA debut after its acquisition of roll goods producer Fort James was Georgia-Pacific (G-P) Nonwovens Group, Green Bay, WI. The latest products showcased included air laid fabrics with SAP fibers and powders, new binders and new fiber blends and additives such as antimicrobial additives, which the company is currently producing and customizing for air laid and carded nonwovens. As for G-P’s Italian business, it is continuing to target the feminine hygiene market and is beginning to target the tabletop wet wipes area, while the French segment is continuing to increase business in the feminine hygiene and food packaging areas and develop new products, including a solvent-resistant air laid product for industrial wiping applications.

Green Bay Nonwovens, Green Bay, WI displayed samples of its spunlaced products made with a variety of different fibers and available in a variety of weight grades. These fabrics offer high strength and drapability as well as soft hand. Green Bay also offers materials produced through a resin-bonded process where natural and/or synthetic fibers are blended together and formed web through a series of cards.

Nonwovens-newcomer GSE Nonwoven Technology Company, Kingstree, SC, made its debut at IDEA 01 to announce it has commercialized ist new line ahead of schedule. Additionally, GSE has already made its first shipment of product. GSE produces needlepunch materials for a range of markets under its “GSE Symmetrec” brand name (see Nonwovens Industry April 2001, pg. 84 in the print version).

Hollingsworth & Vose, East Walpole, MA, showcased its new “Technostat” filtration product. The electret nonwoven filtration media uses electrostatically-charged fibers to offer high efficiency and low resistance. Additionally, H&V showcased some of its “AFN” high-tech glass and carbon products, as well as samples of materials from its newly-acquired roll goods producer J.C. Binzer Papierfabrik, Hatzfeld, Germany (see Nonwovens Industry April 2001, pg. 10).

ITP Sellars, Milwaukee, WI, displayed its line of chemical bonded nonwoven fabrics. The line of 10 different styles have a basis weight ranging from 34 to 85 gpsm with a number of different fibers, including 100% rayon, 100% polyester or an equal combination of the two.

Johns Manville, Denver, CO, distributed information on its European capacity expansions expected to come onstream during the next six months. These expannsions include a new polyester spunbond line and two new glass media lines (see Nonwovens Industry January 2001, p. 10).

Mogul Spunbond-Meltblown Nonwovens, Gaziantep, Turkey, was exhibiting its 100% polypropylene spunbond nonwovens with colored, hydrophilic, antistatic, flame retardant, antidust mite and antibacterial treatments.

The focus of Monadnock Nonwovens’ display was on melt blown nonwovens for liquid and air filtration media as well as disposable vacuum bags. The Stroudsburg, PA-based company produces a variety of different grades of melt blown materials.

Mytrex Industries, Taoyuan, Taiwan, promoted its “Electret” melt blown face mask media at the IDEA show. The material provides high efficiency, low pressure and good barrier properties coupled with open fiber structures, giving a tortuous path along with electrostatic attraction without compromising air flow.

National Nonwovens, Easthampton, MA, showcased its “Atvantage” and “ProTechtor” lines of products. The Atvantage composite insulating and structural cores produce moldable, needled nonwovens for thermal insulation, vibration dampening and acoustic attenuation. The moldable, lightweight ProTechtor composite ballistic shield utilizes advanced needling technology. It maintains properties when cut into small sections, making it an ideal solution for armor, blast containment, protective apparel and fire protection applications.

Despite its large booth presence at the show, Polymer Group Inc. (PGI), Dayton, NJ, had a special room set aside at the Fontainbleu Hotel to talk to customers about the latest innovations with its “Miratec” technology in a more private setting. New products included the substrate for “Swiffer” made by Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH and winner of the IDEA 01 Short-Life End Product Achievement Award. Miratec is also presently being used in outdoor seating cushions and within the bedding market for comforters, quilts and mattress pads. On the apparel side, PGI is focusing on casual pants for men and women, which are currently being marketed in Japan under a well-known brand. PGI is also utilizing Miratec in the automotive market for headliner, seat and door panel applications.

Vliesstoffwerk Chr. H. Sandler GmbH, Schwarzenbach, Germany, spotlighted a number of product innovations at the IDEA 01 show. Among these products were wet and dry wipes for various applications, such as technical, hygiene and cosmetic. These new products have reportedly come about from the growth explosion of wipes for different areas in Europe. The company also showcased its laminates for apertured topsheet applications, its grooved acquisition/distribution layer, partial lamination strip laminates, structural elements for automobiles and its new “Sawagrow” agricultural product.

Shalag Industries, Upper Galilee, Israel, introduced its “ShalagTwins” concept that produces two complementary layers in one absorbent pad. The first layer is a multihydrophilic topsheet of perfect uniformity and excellent mechanical strength. The second layer is a cost-efficient acquisition distribution layer.

Roll goods producer SI Corporation, Chattanooga, TN, displayed its “Xtinguish” line of products. The company is currently expanding this line of self-extinguishing fabric for bedding and furniture applications in the home furnishings market and automotive applications due to government regulations.

J. W. Suominen Oy, Nakkila, Finland, exhibited its nonwoven roll goods for the hygiene, medical and wipes markets. Of particular interest was the company’s “Fibrella,” a hydroentangled nonwoven that offers advanced qualities for use in health care and medical applications.

Tex Tech Industries, Portland, ME, highlighted its new product lines of tubular needlepunched nonwovens for several end use applications, including insulation and aluminum extrusion. The company also told IDEA attendees about the broad range of fibers it can process for high temperature applications.

Kowloon, Hong Kong-based U.S. Pacific Nonwovens Industry Ltd. showcased a variety of new products at the show. One such product was a spunbond nonwoven pop-up tent for outdoor activities that can be laminated to become waterproof. Secondly was a reflective survival blank made of a spunbond laminated to a metallic film or spunlace material. The blanket offers great heat retention as the metallic film reflects body heat back to the body. U.S. Pacific is currently working on deals with major automotive manufacturers to promote having the product in cars so people can use it for warmth during an emergency.

Western Nonwovens (WNI), Carson, CA, highlighted a variety of new products and technologies at the IDEA show. Among them was “Nu-Foam” densified foam replacement product for the arts and crafts and mattress markets, which is a response to interest in replacing foam because of problems with it burning and discoloring. The company also introduced its new bedding products using “Outlast” thermal polyester fiber that help to regulate temperature, as well as “PolarGuard Delta,” the latest addition to its product family that takes about 10-12% of the weight out of original product and still achieves the same warmth/weight value.

Raw Material Producers Supply Innovation
Suppliers of raw material products to the nonwovens industry, such as fibers and binders, were on hand to discuss their latest and greatest with attendees of IDEA 01.

Aegis Environments, Midland, MI, announced the full integration of its proprietary antimicrobial program “Aegis Microbe Shield.” The program uses a non-leaching technology that controls microbes by physically piercing and disrupting the ionic components of the cell membrane. It can be readily incorporated into any wet finish process and applied to any textile product to inhibit microbial odors, staining and deterioration.

Air Products, Allentown, PA, introduced a broad array of developmental products that are designed to bring unique performance advantages to nonwovens, such as the “Airflex 181 DEV” self-laminating binder and the “Airflex 114 DEV” nonionic binder that is compatible with cationic additives. “Airflex 1555 DEV” is a transport layer finder that offers excellent resiliency, acquisition and rewet and allows cellulose structures to replace synthetics. Additionally, Air Products highlighted three experimental-stage products with unique characteristics such as low-temperature cure, increased adhesion to synthetics and high-temperature performance—“Airflex LTC,” “Airflex IAS” and “Airflex HTP.”

Atlantic Extrusions Corporation, Salem, MA, featured its “StrongNet” reinforcement laminates. StrongNet is oriented in two positions to provide an exceptional high strength-to-weight ratio with each biplanar joint becoming an integral part of the netting. Produced using polyolefin polymers, StrongNet will not corrode, rot or rust and is virtually unaffected by water, most acids, gases, chemicals and organic materials.

Barnhardt Manufacturing, Charlotte, NC, used the show to launch four new products—“UltraBlock,” “UltraScent,” “UltraSorb” and “Needle-Eze.” UltraBlock features the benefits of bleached cotton combined with a durable antimicrobial finish and UltraScent is available in a choice of fragrances that do not wash off. UltraSorb is a cotton product with an increased absorbency of up to 12%, while Needle-Eze is a cotton designed specifically for the needlepunching process to help protect needles.

BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany, exhibited its “HySorb” range of superabsorbent polymers that includes the enhanced “AUL” superabsorbent polymers (SAP) that provide gel strength in compressed absorbent cores with moderate SAP concentration. Also included are anticaking superabsorbent polymers that are humidity tolerant and enhanced capacity superabsorbent polymers that provide total absorptive capacity. These polymers can be used in both disposable and durable applications.

Binder GmbH & Co., Holzgerlingen, Germany, distributed information on its “Microplast” mechanical fastening systems for disposable baby diapers. The company makes the film for the hook portion of hook and loop fasteners, which can be customized to meet customer demands for specialty nonwovens.

Bollag International, Newell, NC, promoted its services at IDEA as a buyer and seller of textile fibers and by-products. A privately-held company, Bollag handles more than 125 million pounds a year of fibers, cuttings and mill wastes, including cotton, synthetic staple fibers and tow, polyester and other products. The company manufactures staple fiber from tow and yarn for use in nonwovens.

Absorbtion was the focus at the booth of Buckeye Absorbent Products, Memphis, TN. The company displayed its “Unicore” and “Duocore” products for the baby diaper and hygiene markets, as well as its absorbent products that utilize SAP fibers and polymers for meat, fish and poultry food packaging applications.

Clopay Plastic Products, Cincinnati, OH, highlighted the breathable film area of its business. Additionally, the company discussed its latest product line of laminates with nonwovens.

Cotton Incorporated, Cary, NC, had a number of nonwoven roll goods on display at its booth, including spunlaced cotton rolls and wipes, diaper core composites, air laid rolls, cotton surfaced nonwovens and rolls of a carded/air laid/spunlaced 100% bleached cotton comber/staple composite that is currently being produced in Europe for make-up removal applications. Additionally, airlaced wipes from M&J Fibretech, Horsens, Denmark, that utilize a patented spunlace/air laid concept and an air laid feminine hygiene component that uses bleached cotton linters donated by Buckeye, Memphis, TN, were highlighted.

Achievement award winner Eastman Chemical Company, Kingsport, TN, attended the IDEA show to announce its re-entry into the nonwovens industry. The company showcased two raw materials—“PCT Polyester” and “Eastar Bio” copolyester—for fiber production. PCT Polyester targets applications where the attributes of conventional PET polymers do not provide the desired performance characteristics. The award-winning Eastar Bio copolyester is able to fully degrade into carbon dioxide, water and biomass within 12 weeks of active composting and is designed for fiber and nonwoven fabrics, blown and cast fill and for extrusion coating applications.

Ems-Griltech North America, Sumter, SC, promoted its “Grilene KE 150” fusible fibers and adhesives and “Grilon KA 140” monocomponent fusible fiber, both of which are examples of an upgraded process. The company also debuted its “Grilon BA 140” copolyamide sheath bicomponent to the IDEA show circuit.

At IDEA 01, raw material supplier ES Fibervisions, Varder, Denmark, promoted its “S Family” of fibers that feature economy, speed, strength and sorbency to carded nonwovens. The company’s patented melt gradient technology allows state-of-the-art fibers to offer nonwovens strength and cross-directional stretch, while the newly-developed “Hy-Soft” fibers give superior softness over conventional polypropylene fibers. The fibers are also in a crimped shape, allowing a three-dimensional nonwoven fabric structure for enhanced softness and liquid transport characteristics.

Gelok International, Dunbridge, OH, manufactures absorbent composites for specialty applications. At the show, company representatives highlighted Gelok’s flexibility and use of customer creativity in developing their products for such applications as hygiene, medical, filtration, environmental and spill control and packaging for food, transport and hazardous materials.

Henkel Adhesives, Düsseldorf, Germany, and Bayer Faser GmbH, Dormagen, Germany, promoted their joint partnership for the development of a system solution for elastic attachment on baby diapers and adult incontinence products. The system is a combination of a new elastic fiber and adhesive and is designed to reduce production costs while offering a high degree of safety and reliability in application. The core of the elastic attachments is a fixed elastic fiber that uses a hot melt. The system uses “Doralstan N 100,” a new generation elastane fiber developed by Bayer, as well as Henkel’s “Sanicare” products.

Executives at Intercontinental Polymers (IPI), Charlotte, NC, talked about the addition of a new multiple line expansion in the area of bicomponent fibers at the company’s Lowland, TN facility. The expansion has allowed IPI to increase its volume as well as the number of individual production lines. The expansion reinforces the company’s commitment to bicomponent fiber production, according to company executives.

KoSa, Charlotte, NC, has recently expanded its product portfolio of air laid fibers with smaller denier ones that are suitable for such applications as meat packaging. In the hygiene area, the company has developed new microdenier fibers for wet laid and filtration applications while the automotive market has seen the development of the first recyclable headliner made of 100% polyethylene through a one-step process, where before a combination of different techniques was needed.

The exhibit of Kuraray, Osaka, Japan, centered around the company’s new vinyl alcohol resin, “Exceval.” The resin was developed for heat-molding products equipped with diversified properties such as water solubility, water absorption, hydrophilic property, high resistance to oil and solvent and good biodegradability. The company also gave out information about “Clarino,” a man-made leather created from fiber processing technology, nonwoven processing technology, polyurethane resin technology and external finishing technology.

Lenzing AG, Lenzing, Austria, has relaunched its “Viscose,” Modal” and “Lycoell” brands, making them more attractive and modern for customers. The lines are now represented by a new spokesperson, supermodel Naomi Campbell.

At the show, Lysac Technologies, Quebec, Canada, announced it has signed new distribution agreements with six manufacturing agents that will have the exclusive distribution rights for Lysac’s “SNAP” (Safe and Natural Absorbent Polymers) superabsorbents in their respective territories. While SNAPs are currently available in North America and Western Europe, the new agreements now make them available in Asia, Central America, South America, Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The new agreements will reportedly put a minimum of 15,000 metric tons of SNAP on the market in these territories over the next three years.

National Starch and Chemical, Bridgewater, NJ, touted its new “Dispomelt Cool” low application temperature hot melt that is a brand new product for the nonwovens area, according to company representatives. By using thinner polys, the product is fully effective at 225°F, helping to eliminate char and gel build-up as well as making way for fewer burn-related injuries to plant personnel and lower energy costs.

Making its IDEA show debut was Omnova Solutions, Chester, SC. The company spotlighted its products for the wipes and filtration industries. For example, in the filtration area Omnova offers fluid repellent binders for air, home, oil and coffee filters. The company is able to take products and offer a binder product that is tailored to a customer’s needs.

The big story from Pliant Corporation, Schaumburg, IL, was the company’s new logo and tagline “Films, Packaging, Results,” which came about after the company changed its name from Huntsman Packaging Corporation due to the sale of the company to Chase Capital Partners. Among the products showcased was the company’s proprietary “Q-film,” a deep embossed film product that provides a soft quilt-like outer cover, making it an ideal choice for personal care applications and medical film products that provide barrier and protection features.

Rayonier, Jesup, GA, took the opportunity to showcase its new “NovaThin” absorbent cores during the IDEA show. NovaThin cores are patented, preformed absorbent core structures that utilize an extremely uniform distribution of specially designed superabsorbent polymer in a combined matrix of high performance and conventional fluff fibers. This proprietary composite results in an unparalleled degree of thinness without compromising fluid management or softness.

Rhodia Performance Fibers, Valance, France, devoted its IDEA 01 booth to its new “Antiblaze” family of products. The new product is a flame retardant chemical additive for nonwovens.

Making a scene with one of the most creative and inviting booths at the show was Rohm and Haas, West Philadelphia, PA. The company designed its booth with the concept of “from fibers to finish” in order to show customers all the different places the company’s products exist. At the same time, Rohm and Haas had information available on its new line of “Rhoplex” binders for nonwovens—“Rhoplex NW-4218” self-crosslinking binder, “Rhoplex GL-720” all acrylic firm polymer emulsion and “Rhoplex NW-4815” ultra-low formaldehyde, APEO-free styrenated acrylic emulsion.

Savaré, Milan, Italy, promoted its range of “Safemelt” specialty adhesives. Safemelt adhesives feature environmentally friendly technology, outstanding meltability and compatibility.

Standridge Color, Social Circle, GA, was on hand at IDEA 01 to tell roll goods producers about its color concentrate products for nonwovens. Additionally, the raw material supplier also offers antimicrobial and antibacterial additives for nonwovens applications.

For the first time ever, Tencel, New York, NY, had its own booth devoted to its eponymous line of fibers. Tencel 100% cellulosic fiber features high tensile strength and absorbency and full biodegradability. In the nonwovens industry, Tencel fibers can be used to create absorbent pads, artificial leathers, coverstock, hygiene items, wipes and medical products.

Tredegar Films, Richmond, VA, showcased a number of new films including the “X-27373” micron film with conical-shaped perforation and the “25 Penta” mid-tier feminine hygiene topsheet with 18-20% open area that features a balance of loft and skin contact area. Also on display was the “40 Mesh” boat-shaped cell topsheet, which allows hygiene articles to look more natural and feel more like fabric.

At IDEA 01, Tuntex (Thailand) Public Company Limited, Bangkok, Thailand, showed its polyester products for the nonwovens industry. These product offerings include chips, polyester staple fiber, hollow conjugate fiber and spin draw yarn.

Uniqema, Wilmington, DE, introduced two new wicking finishes at IDEA 01. The finishes—“Cirrasol PP842” and “Cirrasol PP843”—offer treated polyolefin cover stocks the hydrophilicity and durability of silicone-based finishes with improved properties to the end manufacturer of nonwoven products.

Nothing But The Greatest From Machinery Suppliers
IDEA 01 also hosted a variety of machinery and equipment suppliers to the world of nonwovens. These manufacturers talked about their newest products, including production lines, quality control equipment and other machinery for the various facets of nonwovens manufacturing.

Accusentry, Marietta, GA, displayed its diaper and disposable soft goods inspection system that uses high-powered image processing software to detect subtle defects in the manufacturing process. The system allows manufacturers of baby diapers, training pants, adult incontinence items and feminine hygiene articles to assure high quality despite high production speeds.

Adaptive Technologies Industry (ATI), Gaithersburg, MD, promoted its new “Gamma 1” solid state backscatter gauge for the measurement of basis weights. With increased detector efficiency, optimized geometry and digital signal processing, the product delivers better measurement performance than traditional photomultiplier tube gauges. Gamma 1 works in a range of 40 to 3000 gpsm and an integration of 50 milliseconds.

Albany International, Portland, TN, highlighted its custom-designed fabrics, which can be woven into highly sophisticated belts to form, convey or dry nonwoven webs. These advanced engineered fabrics are designed in dozens of styles in single, double and triple layers.

American Truetzschler, Charlotte, NC, announced it now has available a full line of long fiber preparation machinery from bale to web formation. In addition to being capable of handling staple fibers up to 130 mm, the new products feature a new “Web Profile Leveling VPR” in the “Scanfeed FBK 539” tuft feeder. By profiling the web exiting the chute feed and maintaining the profile by adjusting the front wall of the chute in 300 mm sections, the company is able to adjust web dimensions according to product specifications.

IDEA 01 exhibitor Ametek Patriot Sensors, Clawson, MI, showcased the latest additions to its family of “PLS” programmable limit switches that control high speed processes on disposable hygiene product lines. The ultra high-end “7500 UHS” has a high five microsecond scan time and has network communication capabilities via “ControlNet.” Additionally, the “Series 2500” PLS has from eight to 14 inputs and outputs with a 100 microsecond scan feature specifically designed for the manufacturing of disposables.

Autefa Automation GmbH, Friedberg, Germany, disclosed its latest development in precision crosslappers for profiling webs for various dry laid processes. The company also showcased its special winding systems for highloft that include winding, slitting and cross-cutting.

Making a lot of noise at IDEA 01 was the running melt blown system from Biax-Fiberfilm, Greenville, WI. The line, which was run in conjunction with a microspan stretching machine, featured different combinations each day. For IDEA 04, Biax reportedly plans to bring a full one meter wide SMS line to the show.

Bicma Hygiene Technologie, Basaltweg, Germany, exhibited a range of machines for the nonwovens industry. For instance, the company’s “Bi-Easy Pack” for the production of feminine hygiene materials features a production capacity of up to 1000 pieces per minute, single wrapping film automatic splicing and a three-folding device.

On display at the booth of Bikoma AG, Mayen, Germany, was the newly-developed “DD 400.” The feminine hygiene production line is two years old but has reached a new level with the addition of a completely new production procedures. The four meter long compact machine has no transfer belts inside and offers savings on investment, energy, spare parts and floor space. Bikoma also highlighted its high-speed “DD 300” feminine hygiene product line that has been updated to the latest servotechnology and can produce a range of feminine hygiene products.

Christoph Burckhardt AG, Basel, Switzerland, highlighted its work in the area of perforating nonwovens to create various effects, including three-dimensional structures of composite materials. The perforation technology has applications in the hygiene area for the topsheets of baby diapers and feminine hygiene products for better transportation of liquids. The system makes a three dimensional hole shape, where the top side of the material is smooth and soft and the underside of the hole has a dimension above the material surface.

Cavitec AG, Munchwilen, Switzerland, displayed its portfolio of coating and laminating lines for the nonwovens industry, including the “Caviscat” scatter coating system, “Cavidot” paste dot, power dot and double dot technology and “Cavicoat” knife coating plants. Also highlighted were the “Cavimelt” and “Caviscreen” hot melt coating and laminating machines as well as the “Cavibelt” lamination between continuous conveyor belts for optimum bonding, “Caviroll” reverse roll coater and “Cavipreg” impregnation plants.

A. Celli, Porcari, Italy, showcased its “Super Rewinder,” which is composed of a new winder, a defect detection/elimination system, a revolutionary “Super Slitter” rewinder, a fully automatic shaft and cores handling system and a finished reels labeling and packing station. The company also offers a range of in line winders, off line slitter-rewinders, in line/off line winder/slitter-rewinders, as well as equipment for lamination lines, unwind sands and control and drives.

New machinery highlights was the topic of conversation at the booth of Cellulose Converting Equipment (CCE), Moscufo, Italy. While the company is reportedly growing and improving the performance of its machines, it also has developed new machinery such as an automatic machine for the production of meat and poultry pads. CCE has also developed a new technology to manufacture wipes that are packaged in a strip of individual perforated packages so they can be sold one-by-one in stores for feminine hygiene and baby diaper applications.

Cofpa, Angouleme, France, highlighted its latest developments in woven plastic wire fabrics for use in spunbond machinery for the collection of filaments. The new products help form spunbond and melt blown fabrics, as well as air laid materials.

At IDEA 01, Cognex Corporation, Natick, MA, formally introduced its “SmartView ICN” automated web inspection system to the global nonwovens industry. The system can detect a variety of defects including dirt, stains, pinholes, gels, density variations and tears and step joints in nonwovens, paper, coating, plastic films, packaging and other materials. SmartView includes a modular high-speed camera configuration, digital exposure control, a configurable operator console and real-time digital outputs.

Cormatex, Montemurlo, Italy, produces a range of machines for nonwovens. Lines include cards and carding line feeding systems, carding lines for nonwovens, felt and wadding with synthetic and regenerated fibers, lap forming and needlepunching lines, slitting and winding lines and carding lines for tops.

Dan-Webforming International, Risskov, Denmark, had information available at its booth on its three advanced air laid pilot lines for the development of innovative air laid webs and core materials. The company’s high speed pilot line can produce 600 mm wide webs at a line speed of up to 600 m/min, depending on the product basis weight and raw materials being processed. Dan-Web has another plant operating at the German facility of Fleissner GmbH, Eglesbach, Germany, that focuses on the development of carded nonwovens, carded/air laid composites and hydroentangled products. The third pilot facility is for the manufacturing of test market products for evaluation by test panels and future consumers.

At IDEA 01, Dawson Textile Machinery, Greensboro, NC, presented the latest capabilities of nonwoven equipment produced by OMMI, Italiana Rigenerazione (IR) and Automatex. OMMI showcased its reliable, high precision and productive bale openers with load cell weighing that provides less than 1% variation at more than 1000 pounds per hour, while IR detailed its machinery for reclaiming post-industrial carpet waste back to usable fiber. IR also provides machinery for reopening all types of nonwovens. Automatex highlighted its 150 m/min crosslapper that produces an even web utilizing a patented drive and a simple profiling system. The company has also developed a new modular needleloom based on the oiling system of an automobile with 20-30% lower noise levels.

Dienes Corporation, Spencer, MA, highlighted its “DC Motor” with a precision pancake design that enables narrow width, high-speed slitting in converting operations. The product is for users that need to slit strip material to a very thin size and offers a continuous operating speed range of 300 to 8000 fpm. Two models of this product are available—the “E-50” is rated at 1/2 horsepower for widths down to 60 mm, while the “E-85” is rated at one horsepower and can handle widths down to 85 mm.

Achievement Award winner Dilo System Group, Charlotte, NC, spotlighted its award-winning “Hyperpunch” needleloom that allows needling with an elliptical needle beam movement. The system moves the needles in sequence with the material during the penetration phase, thus greatly reducing dimensional changes in the batt. Dilo also featured information on the “Turbo-Card” manufactured by Spinnbau GmbH, Bremen, Germany, which can be used in conjunction with Hyperpunch.

Dover Flexo Electronics, Rochester, NH, announced the launch of several new products at IDEA 01. The “MPI MultiPlexer Indicator” is a multipoint web tension display device for use on web presses, converting machinery and textile machinery. The “TensionManager” is a family of specialized controller device modules designed to reduce auxiliary equipment costs, optimize existing space and integrate neatly into machine controls on OEM web machines and presses. And “NWI Narrow Web Indicator” is a cantilevered idler roller, tension transducer and digital LED tension display combined into a single unit.

The latest products from Dukane Corporation, St. Charles, IL, include the “DDSM 20/40” ultrasonic sewing machine for the continuous sealing of pleated filter cartridges. Additionally, the 40 KHz hand-held “Mini Slitter,” which has been designed for slitting synthetic materials and blends of at least 60% thermoplastic content, can be operated by hand or easily mounted onto other machinery such as winders/rewinders, looms and traversing systems.

Edelmann Maschinen GmbH, Kleinwallstadt, Germany, highlighted its key developments for winding systems that applies to all aspects of nonwovens production, primarily spunbond, spunlace and any composites, whether for in line or off line slitting. The system has the ability to completely automate the entire process, from handling to winding to shafts.

Eniplan, San José dos Campos, Brazil, offers machinery for baby and adult diapers and feminine napkins. The company’s exhibit showcased the development of new types of machines, improvements to existing machines and other company attributes including maintenance team training and technical assistance standards.

Enka Tecnica GmbH, Heinsberg, Germany, had a range of products at the booth of its representative Fi-Tech Inc., Richmond, VA. Products on display included its complete line of spinnerettes, melt blown die tips and jet strips.

Making its IDEA show debut was the “Spectrabeam FSIR” (full sensor infrared sensor) from Eurotherm Gauging Systems, Billerica, MA. The product provides advanced measurement capabilities for web manufacturers producing nonwovens in a wide variety of sheet applications. Utilizing proprietary techniques to generate and obtain information over the entire near-IR spectrum, the sensor measures within the range of 1.35 to 3.40 µm.

Ten new machines were introduced to the nonwovens industry by Fameccanica.Data SpA, Chieti, Italy, at the show. These included the “Model FA-X Superstar H.S.” high speed baby diaper machine and the “Model FA-X Superstar T.P.” training pants machine. The “Model FNL Premium” is a new sanitary napkin machine, while the “Model FAST” is the company’s latest higher speed panty liner machine. The “Model FIX Evolution” and “Model FA-X Profit L.I.” are for adult incontinence and light incontinence products, respectively. Also introduced were the “Model ROR” high speed sanitary napkin and pantyshield stacker, the “Model RAD-Dual” double-exit baby diaper stacker, the “Model CAR” sanitary napkin and pantyshield packaging machine and the “Model CPW” baby diaper packaging machine.

Represented at IDEA 01 by CarolMac, Greenville, SC, was Fare SpA, Olona, Italy. The company discussed its staple fiber capabilities, which include continuous extrusion for sheath core bicomponent and compact staple capabilities. Fare is also working on new spunbond and melt blown lines that are currently in product development.

Fehrer AG Textile Machinery, Linz, Austria, highlighted its new 2.4 meter aerodynamic carding line with a “K12” random card. The line can be used with needlepunching, thermal bonding or other technologies and can go up to a 5.4 meter wide line for producing acoustical insulation and door panels for automobiles and highloft waddings using both natural fibers and polypropylene. With this type of line, a crosslapper is not needed and there is no preferred direction, so the fibers are completely randomized in a completely equal way, according to company representatives. Also displayed at Fehrer’s booth was its “H-1” technology that utilizes a curved needle line. The oblique needling channels allows the path through the web by the needles to be longer, causing more fibers to be pulled up and down when compared to other technologies.

Spotlighting spunlaced/hydroentangled technology was Fleissner, Charlotte, NC. The company talked about its ability to produce various patterns on materials during production by using a special drum or wire. The patterns help to make the material more durable, adds to the structure and can be used to make the nonwoven look like a knitted fabric or to apply a company logo or other customized pattern. To date, Fleissner has reportedly sold 34 lines in the past four years, primarily to European customers.

Expanding customer service is the latest news from Foster Needle, Manitowoc, WI. The company now offers technical assistance and training courses for its customers on a global basis. According to company representatives, all the members of Foster Needle’s sales team has a background in needlepunching technology, allowing them to teach the frontline employees of a company in the company’s own facility. Additionally, Foster Needle is currently working on some new innovations.

General Disposables Machinery (GDM) SpA, Offanengo, Italy, showcased its latest generation modular high speed machinery for adult incontinence, feminine hygiene and baby diaper applications. The machine features process units, such as the drive and electronics, that are each totally independent of one another. The product offers a production speed in excess of 850 pieces per minute, drum forming and a full compression system. The new machinery also reportedly has the highest efficiency with the lowest waste of below 3%.

Gevas GmbH, Westfalen, Germany, presented its “Starfold” folding machinery for air laid materials, “Starfill” packaging machinery for soft disposable products and “Starwrap” bundling packaging machinery. Starfold allows manufacturers to deliver air laid materials in blocks thus reducing the cost of equipment needed to supply the materials to the production line and improving material handling and runnability. Starfill features fully automatic diaper packaging machines. Starwrap is designed to collect and group packages and containers of soft disposable products and wrap them under tension in polyethylene film to form a tight bundle.

GFM Maschinenbau GmbH, Erkenschwick, Germany, promoted its ability to manufacture production and packaging equipment for the disposable products industry. The company designs, fabricates and delivers production machines and complete fabricating systems for disposable products made from nonwovens, films or paper for the medical, surgical, hygiene and food service markets.

Needle producer Groz-Beckert, Charlotte, NC, was on hand to talk about some of its latest innovations for the nonwovens industry. The company has recently launched titanium nitride and chromium coatings that are put on needles to help them last longer, as well as a new conical needle mainly for specialized needling, such as waste fiber and preneedling. Groz-Beckert also had information available on its 43gg fork needle for very fine random velours and fine denier products.

James H. Heal, West Yorkshire, U.K., which was represented by Advanced Testing Instruments, Spartanburg, SC, exhibited abrasion and pilling testers, intelligent bursting strength testers and random pilling testers for the nonwovens industry, such as the “TruBurst” intelligent bursting strength tester and the “Nu-Martindale” abrasion and pilling tester.

Healthy Machinery, Taipei, Taiwan, promoted its machinery for nonwoven disposable products. Product offerings include equipment for masks, medicaps, show covers, pillowcases, headrest covers, CD sleeves, business card holders and slitting/rewinding machines

Hermann Ultrasonics, Schaumburg, IL, highlighted its new digital generator and touchscreen for continuous laminating, slitting and die cutting of nonwovens. Due to its use of a digital signal rather than an analog signal, the digital generator provides a cleaner read for users.

Machinery manufacturer Honeywell, Duluth, GA, presented the “Color Measure” on line color measurement system for use with paper, nonwovens and vinyl. The company has already launched a similar product, the “Precision Color Sensor,” into the marketplace. Additionally, Honeywell talked about its “MX Proline” PC- and “Windows NT”-based measurement and control system for measuring basis weight, moisture, thickness and coat weight for nonwovens and other industries.

Ibis International, Hoschton, GA, showed its scrap and trim collection systems for production lines, which collects leg notches and bag tails and separates and bales them for resale or reuse. The company is reportedly seeing a rekindling of interest in this area by customers. The company also highlighted is central vacuum systems for housekeeping purposes as customers do not want compressed air.

Idrosistem Srl, Bassano de Grappa, Italy, has developed a water filtration system to solve problems that spunlaced nonwovens manufacturers may have with water filtration. Either flotation or “Equicurrent” sand filters are used, depending on the situation. The system can handle all types of fibers and helps to increase on-time onstream operating, making lines more efficient.

Formerly known as Metso, Innovent, Peabody, MA, discussed its melt blown and spunbond pilot trials with IDEA 01 attendees. With two U.S. locations to run melt blown and spunbond trials, the company offers web collection systems, air handling and specialized designs. The company’s latest web collection technology allows for one step three-dimensional product capability.

Inventa-Fischer GmbH, Berlin, Germany, discussed its latest high-speed spunbond system. Customers are invited to try their products on a pilot line in Berlin or a reference line in Southeast Asia.

ITW Dynatec, Hendersonville, TN, launched its latest technology, “Laminated Plate Technology (LPT),” at the IDEA show. The new technology reportedly brings adhesive and fluid application to another level as it allows adhesive and fluid streams to be maneuvered based on the need of the application. The technology uses a number of different laser-cut stainless steel plates put together to make the nozzle, making separate sections for air and fluid. Along with being able to control the flow of the guide coming out to produce different patterns on the material, LPT technology can also coat and wrap patterns around individual fiber strands and offers users 70% adhesives savings.

Its new “Parotherm” calender was the show focus for Kleinewefers Textile Machinery, Greenville, SC. Paratherm is designed especially for thermal bonding high-speed spun fabric and staple fiber products. Featuring a simple, but highly effective pressure system and a uniquely developed, highly heatable calender roll with integrated deflection compensation, the product helps to reduce the maintenance costs of calenders and offers ease of maintenance as all rolls have the same auxiliaries.

KT Industries, Ft. Wayne, IN, displayed its custom converting and spooling capabilities including its “Superspool” system. With spools sized to fit standard trucks and containers, Superspool provides an unmatched combination of run time and flexibility that optimizes the logistics of supplying specialty nonwovens to high-volume, high-speed manufacturing operations. Also featured at K-T’s booth was “Core-Lokt”—a patented absorbent core product that features a strip of c-folded nonwoven that locks in superabsorbents. The product can be used in meat tray liners, diapers, sanitary napkins, adult incontinence products, bed liners, underpads and fluid containment pouches.

Eduard Küsters Machinenfabrik, Spartanburg, SC, told IDEA attendees about its “S-Roll 170” and “Host-S-Roll 250” thermal bonding calenders for nonwovens and its “S-Roll,” “Dydro Flex Roll” and “Hydro Soft Roll” calenders for technical textiles. All of these products are equipped with deflection-controlled roll systems.

Larson/Burton, Norcross, GA, had information available on its standard and custom converting equipment solutions. Products include zero-speed slicing unwinds, flying pasters, automatic transfer rewinds, unwind/rewind stands and in-register splicing.

Lasor/Systronics, Norcross, GA, showcased the “SVS-2000” surface inspection system to respond to the needs of the nonwovens industry. The system finds defects such as holes, shin spots, stains, eyebrows and wrinkles on 100% of webs at real-time speeds. The system identifies the defects, classifies and maps them on a hard drive and has defect image capturing for immediate study and correction by an operator resulting in improved process control, reduced scrap and returns, increased quality and customer confidence. The company also focused its exhibit on a new two-dimensional filtering technology for detecting defects in nonwoven fabrics.

M&J Fibretech, Horsens, Denmark, discussed its air laid technology for turnkey air laid plants that utilizes the company’s patented fiber forming system for the production of wide width webs. The different components of the webs can be bonded together in different ways through thermal or latex bonding or combinations of them both, as well as spunlacing. M&J also offers pilot lines and fluff pulp defibration systems.

Equipment maker Martin Automatic, Rockford, IL, promoted the “AirNertia” rollers that dramatically reduces the inertia of rollers and eliminates bearings so the nonwoven being produced rides on a cushion of air. With the intent to increase machine speeds, the product can be used anywhere for web transport and where high speed and low tension is needed. At the show, Martin Automatic had a splicer with a smaller version of the product running at 2000 feet per minute.

Micrex Corporation, Walpole, MA, highlighted its new patent-pending wet wipe process. The new technology allows nonwovens producers to enhance their standard spunlace products with increased absorbency, bulk, textile-like qualities and performances. The “Micrex/WW” process uses a specially equipped “Micrex/Microcreper” operating at speeds up to 200 meters per minute.

Machinery supplier Nordson Corporation, Norcross, GA, spotlighted a variety of new products at its show booth. The first is the “Summit” application technology for non-contact “Lycra” and lamination applications. Nordson had a live demo of this system running every half hour at the show. Additionally, the company talked about its “VL” series of melters for hot melt adhesives that offer high performance at a low investment, as well as the “ES 400” high performance, hot melt electric gun that has a long life of greater than three million cycles.

Osprey Corporation, Atlanta, GA, exhibited its “Compact” repelletizing system that helps to return film scrap into high quality granules that are easily re-introduced to the primary extrusion process. The company offers systems for roll and loose scrap recovery, as well as in line trim recycling. While the machine is now commonplace in the blown film market, it is now being targeted to the polyethylene and polypropylene areas of the nonwovens industry for manufacturers of baby diapers and film.

At the IDEA 01 show, Paper Converting Machine Company (PCMC), Green Bay, WI, formally announced its recent acquisition of the intellectual property of Atlas Valmet “Lap Splicer Unwinds” from Valmet General, Lancashire, U.K., and the assets and intellectual property of Webtron/Zigzap from DIDDE Corporation, Emporia, Kansas. The Atlas acquisition reportedly fits in well with PCMC’s current product line of wet wipes machines, while the latter addition is a manufacturer of narrow web flexographic printing presses. On the product front, PCMC highlighted its “Clipper Series” line of wet wipes machinery that features quick changeover, short run times and produces 250 cuts per minute.

Parkinson Machinery, Woonsocket, RI, displayed information on its new “Biax” laboratory capabilities for breathable films and orienting nonwovens. The technology calls for the biaxial stretching of plastic or nonwovens to enhance their properties, which is important in the formation of breathable films. Officially opened in February, the lab is through the company’s Marshall and Williams Division, which it acquired a year ago.

BF Perkins, Rochester, NY—a division of Roehlen Engraving, also of Rochester—exhibited its array of calenders, embossers and thermal laminators for the nonwovens industry. The company also had information available on its laboratory that allows customers to develop and test new equipment applications and parameters prior to manufacturing.

Pneumafil Corporation, Charlotte, NC, is a manufacturer of filtration and air conditioning systems for textile plants and waste and fiber handling systems. The company discussed its latest offering, the “Rotary Pleated Belt Filter” that is part of the “Everclean” family module system. The filter offers air conditioning for any temperature or humidity required for many processes. Pneumafil also had information available on its recent acquisition of Abington, a producer of hi-vac waste handling systems.

Reifenhäuser GmbH, Troisderf, Germany, which was represented by Fi-Tech Inc., Richmond, VA, announced at the show the joint development of the new “Bico” bicomponent technology for machinery with Hills Inc., West Melbourne, FL. The machinery utilizes technology from both companies to produce core sheaths side-by-side. Reifenhäuser also highlighted its new direct extrusion line for breathable film/nonwoven composites that uses a twin screw extrusion process without previous compounding.

Achievement Award finalist Rieter Perfojet, Montbonnot, France, distributed information regarding its “Jetlace 3000” and “Perfobond 3000” machines. The Jetlace 3000, which is based on the technology used for the company’s “Jetlace 2000,” features a new injector to obtain the highest random microperforated sleeve for additional bonding efficiency, as well as full patterning capability on conveyors and cylinders. The Perfobond 3000 is a spunbond line with an increased productivity of up to 3000 kg/hour per meter width per beam.

Machinery supplier Robatech, Muri, Switzerland, presented a new model of its “Concept” range of products. The “Concept 30” applicator is the solution for demanding hot melt applications in all high-output machines of the hygienic industry. The machine can operate two gear and/or piston pumps with independent pressure systems and feed qualities.

Roehlen Engraving, Rochester, NY, exhibited its new engraving and tooling capabilities for uniform engraving. Roehlen is offering a completely digital process to produce a wide variety of textures while new technology allows the company to create patterns or match an existing one with extreme precision.

The IDEA 01 booth of equipment manufacturer Rose Forgrove, St. Charles, IL, was devoted to its latest development in the packaging of wet wipes. During the show, the company ran cycles of the new machine for attendees.

Santex AG, Tobel, Switzerland, promoted its nonwovens production machinery, including thermofusion, spray bonding, impregnation, coating, thermofixation, vertical lapping and special machines. Specific products included the “Wavemaker” vertical lapping unit that creates web with maximum resilience, as well as the “Santatherm” high-capacity oven for thermal bonding and drying nonwovens.

Conveyor belting specialist F.N. Sheppard, Erlanger, KY, highlighted its diverse lines of belting products. Along with a vast array of belts, the company also offers molded parts and rollers and belt design services for improvements to existing belt applications or new designs.

Shoou Shyng Machinery, Taipei, Taiwan—represented by Georgia Textile Machinery, Dalton, GA—promoted its new filament needling system that needles continuous filament directly from the cone. The patent-applied technology offers a needled product with extreme strength characteristics with nearly equal strength in all directions, while no blending, carding or crosslapping is needed.

Sierem S.A., Cedex, France, displayed its fully-integrated configuration made up of the company’s stacker and bagger with a single electrical cabinet. This integration combines high performance and competitive costs and offers fully integrated configuration, allowing manufacturers to test the two machines together in one location.

Sonobond Ultrasonics, West Chester, PA, exhibited its customized equipment for the filtration industry. The equipment makes filter assembly easier and more dependable than ever before, according to company executives.

Spinnbau GmbH, Bremen, Germany, promoted its “Turbo-Card” and “Turbo-Unit” air laid cards that offer various advantages to the medical and hygiene markets, including random web laying, excellent web evenness and a high throughput (kg/h) at low area weight. Also, the company highlighted its universal web formatting process for spunlacing that forms fine webs in a large MD/CD range up to a strength ratio of 1:1.

SSP & Technology, Garlasco, Italy, launched its new line for disposable pull-up and training pants at the show. The convertible line is able to produce three different types of products and was developed in conjunction with R&L Engineering, Albany, NY.

The combined booths of Thibeau and Asselin, both of Tourcoing, France, and part of NSC Schlumberger Nonwoven Systems, showcased a new generation five meter wide high speed nonwoven carding line. The new line shows a web formation that was hard to achieve with older cards, resulting in products that are more uniform, soft and strong to compete with spunbond. Additionally, the booth included information on the “ProDyn” technology, which includes a redesigned web handling system and is driven by scanning gauges. A new ProDyn pilot line is scheduled to be established at the companies’ Fort Mill, SC facility.

Tokuden, Kyoto, Japan, spotlighted its “Induction Heated Heat-Pipe Rolls” that generate heat within the roll shell by using the heating effect of low frequency magnetic induction. The heating system allows users to control the roll surface temperature very accurately while evenly distributing the heat over the entire roll surface.

Making its IDEA show debut was VersaCore Industrial, Kennett Square, PA. The company, which was a finalist for the IDEA 01 Entrepreneur Achievement Award, devoted its booth to its “ThermoStack” versatile technology for the creation of 3D/honeycomb structures. The machine’s one-step process converts thermoplastic roll substrates into a higher value 3D structure, creating new market opportunities for 2D roll goods. The system offers fully automated, high speed production using flexible, patented turnkey technology.

Wintriss Engineering, San Diego, CA, debuted its “Web Ranger” web inspection system to the nonwovens industry at the show. The smart camera-based optical system, which is specially geared towards all types of nonwoven production lines, detects clumping defects and contaminants as small as 1/2 mm at 100% real-time at any speed.

Showcasing “Rollaweigh,” the latest product from Garnett Controls, West Yorkshire, U.K., was Wise Industries, Kings Mountain, NC. Rollaweigh is a precard weigh system that offers a unique fiber feed control system. The new card is currently available in Wise’s showroom and will be ready for customer trials in the next several months.

Zuiko Corporation, Osaka, Japan, exhibited its sanitary napkin machines as well as its new adult incontinence product machines, developed in anticipation of the increasing size of the aging population. The company also produces diaper machines, nursing pad machines and clean wipe machines.

Nonwovens Service Providers Make Some Noise
From commission converting to consulting, nonwovens industry service providers touted their latest offerings to the global IDEA 01 crowd.

The Nonwovens Plants Projects of Kobelco (Kobe Steel), Tokyo, Japan, highlighted its new nonwovens plants that provide the flexibility required to match production with changing market trends in the industry. The plants, which have proven technical advantages for spunbond, melt blown, SMS and next generational nonwovens, include a unique twin screw processor, multipolymer processing, fine to coarse denier spinning, high productivity and R&D services.

Larsen Converting, Green Bay, WI, told IDEA attendees about their services, including custom flexographic printing, full-service coatings, specialty laminations, calendering and substrate capabilities.

The Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center at North Carolina State University, College of Textiles, is creating a state-of-the-art melt spinning facility on the Centennial campus in Raleigh, NC. This multipurpose installation incorporates commercial technologies from JM Laboratories, Dawsonville, GA, and Hills Inc., West Melbourne, FL. The 560 millimeter wide lines include a two-beam homopolymer or bicomponent polymer spunmelt process with both spunbond and melt blown capabilities. The installation is scheduled to be complete by the end of the second quarter of 2001.

Precision Fabrics Group (PFG), Greensboro, NC, highlighted its converting capabilities for a variety of markets. Company booth representatives discussed PFG’s converting skills for different end uses, as well as its latest advancements for high-tech filtration media with specialized nonwovens and laminates and allergy and moisture barriers for home furnishings applications.

Sellars Wipers and Sorbents, Atglen, PA, presented its “Universal Point Bond” and “Sonic Bond” rolls. These rolls are designed to absorb any water or oil based fluids and help keep work areas free from leaks and spills. Sellars’ extruded industrial polypropylene absorbs up to 20 times its weight in fluid.

Web Converting, Westborough, MA, promoted its converting services, as well as its website, www.spoolingsolutions.com. The company offers narrow to wide width slitting and winding services for virtually all types of flexible materials in roll form, precision sheeting services for many types of flexible materials and spooling (traverse winding) services.