A strong presence of international visitors and exhibitors, along with the prestigious IDEA13 Achievement Awards, were among the many highlights of the highly successful IDEA13 International Engineered Fabrics Conference and Exposition, held April 22-25, 2013 in Miami Beach, FL, U.S.
IDEA13, this year’s version of the triennial event organized by INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, featured 483 exhibiting companies, filling 400,000 gross square feet (37,000 square meters) of the Miami Beach Convention Center. This event drew to Miami Beach close to 7,000 attendees from 72 countries to conduct business with industry members.
“IDEA13 was a record-breaking event and one of the most successful IDEA shows ever,” says INDA president Dave Rousse. “The continued strong participation of international exhibitors and attendees is proof of the show’s importance within the international nonwovens/engineered fabrics community. IDEA13 was truly a global event.”
In addition to the thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors on the show floor of the Miami Beach Convention Center, many more were doing business at nearby hotels and at over 50 on-site meeting rooms utilized by the leading companies in the industry to facilitate their business discussions.
IDEA13 also saw the continuation of new media formats during the course of the three-day event. The IDEA13 social networking site allowed pre-registered attendees to do business before the start of IDEA. IDEA TV, produced in cooperation with Nonwovens Industry magazine, provided breaking news and interviews during the three days of IDEA13. In addition, IDEA NEWS, the show newspaper, published by World Textile Information Network, highlighted events and companies at IDEA13.
Also, the well-attended conference sessions focused on regional global markets, trends and forecasts and provided attendees with an insightful look into the engineered fabrics markets in North America, South America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, China and India.
IDEA16 will be held April 11-14, 2016 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, FL. Welcome reception: April 11, 2016; Conference/Exposition: April 12-14, 2016. For more information: www.inda.org.
IDEA13 Achievement Awards
A high note at IDEA was the IDEA13 Achievement Awards. The Achievement Awards are sponsored by INDA in partnership with Nonwovens Industry magazine. They were presented to the best new products during the last three years, in the following five categories: Equipment, Raw Materials, Roll Goods, Short-Life End Product and Long-Life End Product.
The five winners were:
• IDEA13 Machinery/Equipment Achievement Award: ITW Dynatec: Surge Adhesive Applicator
• IDEA13 Fibers/Raw Materials Achievement Award: Sandler AG: Bio Textile Bio-wipes Substrate
• IDEA13 Roll Goods Achievement Award: Hollingsworth & Vose: NanoWave Filtration Media
• IDEA13 Short-Life Converted Product Achievement Award: ITW Dymon: Raptor Safe-T Wipe (Substance Activated Fast Evaluation Technology)
• IDEA13 Long-Life Converted Product Achievement Award: Hunter Douglas: DuoTone Honeycomb Window Shade
In addition, the IDEA13 Entrepreneur Achievement Award was presented to Suominen Nonwovens. The recipient of this award was selected by Nonwovens Industry Magazine. The IDEA13 Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Rory Holmes, past president of INDA.
A. Celli Nonwovens
A.Celli Nonwovens, the Italian machinery specialist, presented its four core technologies: printing, winding and slitting, roll handling; and packaging and airlaid web forming at IDEA 2013.
A.Celli’s printing technology was launched in 2010 to offer the highest quality of printing onto different kinds of substrates including nonwovens, PP/PE film and tissue with a wide range of basis weights. The printing technology is fully integrated with its multifunctional lines and can be integrated with blown/cast film lines. This technology enhances the process chain offering nonwovens producers the ability of adding aesthetic benefits to their products to empower their brands with high definition designs and images.
Also at IDEA13, A.Celli showcased its new generation of winders and slitter-rewinders specially developed for top performing spunmelt lines. The best selling, new generation master roll winder, ACXX and slitter-rewinder, Speedster in Combi configuration represents the state-of-the-art in integrating master roll winding and slitting into a single operational concept. The new generation machines guarantee extra time in production per day due to the minimization of the slitter-rewinder downtime. It also allows the reduction of scrap to zero.
Ahlstrom launched Ahlstrom Captimax, a new best-in-class fuel media at IDEA13. The product is suited for fuel filters in passenger and commercial heavy-duty vehicles and off-road machinery. Ahlstrom Captimax is also being evaluated for use in other applications such as hydraulic and fuel water separation.
Ahlstrom Captimax provides a balance of small-particle retention and the potential for longer product life. The media also lets fuel filtration system suppliers maintain existing capacity levels but decrease the product size says the company. In addition, the media can allow for increased efficiency with better options to filter fine particles to protect fuel injectors in vehicles and machines. Ahlstrom Captimax provides high efficiency allowing engines to perform at their maximum.
"Ahlstrom Captimax can offer both high efficiency and high capacity,” says Gary Blevins, Ahlstrom’s vice president, marketing and commercial for transportation filtration. “We've given our customers the ability to make filters to the specifications they need, allowing them to develop products outside the standard constraints from the media.”
At IDEA13 international technology group Andritz united three of its businesses that are leading suppliers to the nonwovens industry under one roof and presented its extended product portfolio. Also, Andritz Asselin-Thibeau in France is now home to the group’s third nonwovens competence center, joining Andritz Küsters and Andritz Perfojet. Andritz Asselin-Thibeau is a worldwide leading supplier of drylaid nonwovens lines, including cards, crosslappers, drafters, and needlelooms, and ideally complements the Andritz Perfojet spunlace technology. Andritz Küsters contributes with expertise in wetlaid, thermobonding, and finishing technologies. Whether the requirement is for drylaid, wetlaid, spunbond, spunlace, or needlepunch, Andritz offers integrated in-house solutions from forming to finishing.
Birla Cellulose, a global leader in viscose specialty fibers with a market share of more than 21%, was on hand at IDEA13 showcasing its wide range of products for nonwoven customers. These include regular nonwovens grade viscose, Grasi Sorb for high absorption applications, coarse denier fiber for technical applications, flame retardant (FR) fiber, spun dyed fiber and Birla Excel (Lyocel).
Birla operates manufacturing facilities spread across six geographies with three VSF plants in India and one each at Thailand, Indonesia and China. Two new green field projects are expected to be commissioned soon—one at India and another at Turkey.
Plantations and pulp mills in Canada, Sweden and Laos provide strong backward integrated support to the viscose production capacity of 750,000 tons per year, which is expected to cross one million tons per year by 2015.
Cotton Incorporated highlighted for booth visitors the power of cotton’s performance in products and its appeal to consumers worldwide. It says consumers overwhelmingly prefer cotton to all other fibers in wipes, feminine hygiene products, diapers and adult incontinence products. And cotton performs. It is absorbent, soft, hypoallergenic and breathable. This strong fiber gets even stronger when it is wet. As a product of Mother Nature, consumers say that cotton is the safest fiber for the environment.
Eastman Chemical used IDEA13 to launch its new and innovative Eastman Cyphrex microfibers at. These microfibers offer tunable fiber properties of size, shape and material that provide the wet-laid nonwoven producers with advantages that aren’t currently available says the company. The microfibers have demonstrated nearly drop-in compatibility with existing wet-laid nonwoven processes. Cyphrex microfibers have the potential to be used in such markets as air, water or fuel filtration; specialty papers; and battery separators.
“The technology behind Eastman Cyphrex microfibers and the functionality it enables is unique and revolutionary, unlike anything else on the market,” says Mark Costa, executive vice president, Eastman Chemical Company. “These microfibers unlock possibilities that provide innovation in the nonwovens marketplace by allowing cost-effective access to a previously unavailable size range of highly uniform synthetic fibers. Consequently, we believe these new possibilities will result in breakthrough product performance, quality and value for specialty nonwovens.”
Eastman has invested in growing its application development expertise to help address specific customer and market needs. This experience, combined with the capability to manipulate the size, shape and material of Eastman Cyphrex microfibers, enables what it says are market-changing solutions for a new level of performance.
Eastman Cyphrex microfibers, which are less than 5 microns in diameter, deliver a high surface-to-mass ratio and offer a narrow diameter distribution. They provide optionality of fiber cross-sections in shapes such as round, flat and wedge. The fiber material can consist of different polymer types, such as PET, PP and nylon, and has consistent properties that enable new formulations and design flexibility.
The ability to customize size, shape and material offers functional and competitive advantages for nonwovens media in areas such as strength, uniformity and targeted permeability.
Fitesa announced the development and commercialization of a new elastic spunmelt fabric. The fabric results from the combination of Fitesa’s bicomponent technology and advanced elastic polymer chemistry.
This technology provides the flexibility to tailor a spunmelt nonwoven to meet requirements that are currently fulfilled by complex nonwoven/stretch film laminates.
Potential applications include hygiene stretch components including but not limited to waistband, ear, and tabs, medical applications including face masks, cuffs, wraps and bandages, and other application where stretch and recovery are important.
Fitesa also announced the development and commercialization of a new 100% sustainable, 100% bio-based, spunbond nonwoven for the hygiene and personal care markets.
This new nonwoven is composed of not one, but two bio-based polymers in a sheath-core, bicomponent configuration that takes full advantage of each polymer’s unique features. The spunbond fibers consist of a polyethylene (PE) sheath, which is produced from sugar cane and a polylactic acid (PLA) core produced from corn. The resultant nonwoven is extremely soft, due to the PE outer sheath, yet remains strong and robust due to the PLA core.
Freudenberg Nonwovens introduced its innovative and eco-friendly nonwoven product Lutradur ECO, made with Repreve recycled PET resin. Repreve is a brand made with recycled materials, including plastic bottles. Lutradur ECO product properties include dimensional stability, high temperature resistance, non-fray properties and surface uniformity. Lutradur ECO is suitable for many applications, including wall covering substrates, carpet backing, landscape and geotextiles, green roof systems, building and construction, and coating and printing substrates.
Hygiene machinery maker GDM used IDEA to promote its 5 technological platforms: Chroma (production speed up to 170 m/min); Start (production speed up to 300 m/min); Matrix (production speed up to 375 m/min); X3M (production over 450 m/min; and DISCovery (production speed up to 600 m/min).
The DISCovery platform is GDM’s newest technology and features a disc rotation concept, which is the company’s response to new and future industry expectations, guaranteeing high quality end products along with the reduction of production costs.
The company says the main aim of this new platform are the following: improve performance and processes; increase the production speed of the line; improve the quality of the finished product; make production lines simpler for the operator; and reduce the environmental impact.
A new technology under the Start platform highlighted at IDEA was the Start AT Model S with production speed between 250-350 m/min, and designed for the growing adult incontinence market. “The goal of the machine is not only to be flexible, but to be scalable as well,” says Valerio Soli, GDM’s chief executive.
Moving forward innovation is the goal of GDM. “We will continue to develop new machines and technology as well as expand our presence in the market from a geographical perspective,” says Soli.
Moving beyond traditional fluff core structures, airlaid manufacturer Glatfelter used IDEA to launch an ultra thin core system designed for two-layer baby diapers and adult incontinence products. The system features an intermediate storage layer (iCore) taking care of rapid urine intake, distribution and intermediate containment before the urine gets absorbed by a high superabsorbent polymer containing absorbent layer (eCore). The two layers can be easily combined on standard converting machines for diapers and incontinence products, replacing hammer mills and drum formers by simple unwinding or defestooning stations.The combined two layers are just about three millimeters thick providing textile properties with excellent softness and drape, allowing the design of ultra-thin diapers and garment-like incontinence products. Despite more than 80% superabsorbent polymer content, the eCore provides surprising textile properties including thinness, flexibility, strength and a smooth surface.
H.B. Fuller Company, a leading supplier of adhesives to the hygiene market, introduced two families of nonwoven adhesives to meet the growing demand for lower odor construction adhesives as well as enhanced supply.
The company’s offering of hot melt adhesives now includes Full-Care 5650 and Full-Care 5300 for construction applications. Both products build upon H.B. Fuller’s 10-year history of delivery in polyolefin technology, now offering even more supply assurance due to a platform approach from more available sources.
“H.B. Fuller has a legacy of bringing innovative solutions to the hygiene market,” says Heather Walch, North American business director for nonwovens hygiene at H.B. Fuller. “We added two new offerings to our Full-Care line of construction products because we saw gaps in the marketplace where improved odor, higher performance and further cost in use were needed.”
Full-Care 5650 offers customers low odor combined with robust cost in use and provides added flexibility across a wide variety of substrates. Full-Care 5300 has been developed for the lowest odor combined with significant improvements in bonding performance to enable potential lower add-ons.
In addition, H.B. Fuller has introduced Full-Care 8500 for elastic attachment and stretch laminates. Full-Care 8500 is a hot melt adhesive offering increased choice to customers with demanding elastic attachment and stretch laminate applications. Balancing robust performance with outstanding economics, the adhesive provides great bonding in high stress applications and a lower total cost of ownership.
Kansan Machinery, a manufacturer of wet wipe machines, hygienic textile machines and turnkey complete wet wipe line producer from Turkey exhibited a tremendous growth in the last couple years. 2012 was a record-breaking year with the delivery of 84 machines and the 2013 order list of Kansan is definitely not suggesting otherwise.
Kansan says it planned for much greater participation in this year’s IDEA13 show. The company was housed in one of the largest booths at the show and exhibited a full automatic cross fold and a full automatic interfold/non-interfold wet wipe production line throughout the entire show.
All machines presented at the show contained new features and the latest developments of Kansan’s new platform. Some of the new features included increased cutting capacity up to 800 cpm; degraded extra low vibration; full automatic splice of bobbins and laminate foil in all lines; enhanced transfer mechanisms; web guiding technology in unwinds units; precise lotion application; and zero or minimum waste based operation.
“The expansion of existing customers and penetration to new markets were very exciting for us this year,” says Anil Kirhalli, sales and business development director of the company. “We added a lot of new customers to our portfolio and received many recurring orders from existing customers. Of course the most exciting ones were definitely the project we handled with Ginni Filaments of India and our very first delivery to China.
“In our 2013 pipeline we already have fixed orders from the UK, the U.S., Northern Europe, Serbia, Peru, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, China (2nd order), Algeria, Poland. Double-digit growth is a concept we have been familiarized ourselves for the last couple years. Of course we can link it to the global growth in nonwoven and hygienic market in the world or we can easily tempt ourselves by saying that it is a sales and marketing miracle. But the truth is we have excellent research and development, after sales service and a production teams behind us. We have their support enabling us to offer state-of –the art machines to our existing and new customers.”
Kelheim Fibres launched Bramante fiber at IDEA13, which the company says combines an outstanding liquid absorption capacity and an extremely high retention level with the well-known benefits of viscose fibers, which are physiologically neutral and skin-friendly, made of 100% renewable materials and are therefore compostable, and release low-emissions when disposed in incineration plants. Bramante also enables the production of thin and discrete washable and reusable incontinence pads in contrast to other washable products that can be bulky and uncomfortable.
“The characteristic of our new fiber is its hollow cross section. While other products absorb the liquid between the individual fibers as in a nonwoven, for example, Bramante stores the liquid in its hollow center," says Sebastian Basel, commercial manager new business at Kelheim Fibres. "So, it not only delivers an excellent absorption capacity, but also a moisture retention level of 250% in contrast to 80% in standard viscose fibers. The liquid remains inside the fiber, even under pressure; as a result, the wearer feels comfortable, dry and safe.”
Bramante is already produced on industrial scale and is only one of a range of newly developed viscose specialty fibers Kelheim presented at this year’s IDEA show.
Another new specialty is Olea, the first viscose fiber with intrinsic water repellent properties, according to the company. Fully biodegradable like all viscose fibers, Olea offers an environmentally friendly alternative for the cover- and back-sheets of hygiene products including diapers, sanitary towels and incontinence pads.
Beyond this, Microfine, Kelheim’s finest viscose fiber, gives personal care wipes a luxury feel due to its extraordinary softness.
During its appearance at IDEA13, Lenzing focused on the hygiene segment. Due to their botanic origin, Lenzing fibers are an ideal raw material for sustainable products. Lenzing emphasized Tencel and especially the new hydrophobic fiber Tencel Biosoft for hygiene applications, in line with the motto, “Green solutions for hygiene products.”
“Our objective is to optimize the interaction between functionality and sustainability,” says Wolfgang Plasser, vice president of the business unit nonwoven fibers. “Accordingly, consumers can use disposable products with a clear conscience. Our new fiber Tencel Biosoft is the ideal fiber to enable us to establish a foothold in the market for hygiene applications.”
In Miami Lenzing presented for the first time the prototypes of women’s sanitary pads and panty liners with a top sheet made of 100% Tencel Biosoft.
Pantex International launched several new materials at IDEA13, including new grades of film-based Cloth Like and nonwovens-based Cotton Dry laminates. The new products are extremely soft and have unique visual appearance while maintaining premium performance levels for acquisition, rewet and masking. These developments were showcased alongside the company’s broad range of topsheets, special ADLs and a new series of elastic laminates.
The company is also embracing a new sustainability program with special efforts to develop new products that meet the growing need to minimize environmental impact. Special attention is also placed on waste management with total waste reduction targets, internal and external complete recycling. The company strongly pursues strategic partnership throughout the entire supply chain at raw material suppliers, customers as well as with the forwarders, for the overall optimization of the carbon footprint.
At IDEA13 Sellars Nonwovens launched Flushabies, a fully dispersible and flushable dry wipe product with potential in the guest towel, hospitality and medical cloth businesses. Five years in development, the patent pending technology behind Flushabies is a modification of Sellars' DRC (double recrepe) technology, which has been used in the wipes market for decades. The dispersible wipe was recenlty certified as flushable after passing INDA- and EDANA-endorsed testing services, including the Municipal Sewage Pump Test, in North America and Europe.
Featuring what is known as temporary wet strength, Flushabies begin to break down after being submerged in water for 5 to 10 minutes with agitation, including the effects of a standard toilet system, according to vice president of sales Dick Goepel. The product will fully break down to pulp, enabling it to pass through a standard septic screen. A wet wipe version of Flushabies is in reportedly in development.
Suominen introduced two novel, innovative nonwoven products for industrial and household wiping applications. The new product launches implement, for their part, the company’s strategy to increase the share of the higher value added products in its portfolio and to strengthen its market position in industrial and household wiping applications.
The new products, Hercules Nonwoven and Exodus Nonwoven are designed to provide customers with quality performance in industrial and household wiping. Both contain cellulose and synthetic fibers, a combination the company says ensures optimized strength and absorbency with dimensional strength. Despite its toughness, Hercules Nonwoven has a soft, cloth-like feel which makes it ideal also for cleaning hands quickly and conveniently while working. Hercules Nonwoven and Exodus Nonwoven are available in four basis weights.
At IDEA13 Suominen also launched its “We Love Wipes” campaign to help strengthen knowledge of consumers. The campaign represents a novel way to have dialogue with consumers and other parties within the wipes value chain. The overall objective of the campaign the company says is to further strengthen Suominen’s understanding of the need of consumers and consequently ensure that Suominen is better able to serve its customers and increase the share of the higher value added products in its portfolio.
“Innovation at Suominen is not just about products but about changing the way business is done and challenging traditional long-held views,” says says Jean-Marie Becker, executive vice president of Suominen Nonwovens. “The market is very dynamic and it is clearly in our interest to become faster to market with the right products. This is one aspect we aim to further improve, with the support from the consumers, the genuine experts of wipes. “
Texel featured this year its Thermofit product line, and especially the automotive applications for this product. Customers are beginning to make greater demands for quieter automobiles, and because of this, automakers have begun to attack sound inside the passenger compartment with greater ferocity. Due to the advanced engineering capabilities of Texel with the ThermoFit technology, what used to be thought of as an uncontrollable source of unwanted sound is now fair game in the quest to reduce interior noise. With ThermoFit, nothing has been left unexplored when it comes to finding new ways to ensure a quieter driving experience.