Machinery & Equipment Review

By Tim Wright, editor | August 14, 2014

Major suppliers of nonwovens machinery offer new technological developments.

International system supplier Andritz combines the expertise of three leaders in the nonwovens industry: Asselin-Thibeau, Küsters and Perfojet. The innovative technologies of these companies complement one another ideally in process solutions for a great variety of applications. Complete lines, rebuilds, upgrades and automation are part of the portfolio, as well as business with individual machines. The key competences lie in wetlaid, spunlace, needlepunch, spunbond, spunjet, air-through bonding, chemical bonding and finishing technologies.

From its strong base in Europe and the U.S., Andritz took the opportunity to implement a new plant in Wuxi, China. Modern assembly facilities, a technical center with a complete needlepunch pilot line, and a roll service center that includes a test stand and grinding equipment for repair, reconditioning and upgrade of all types of rolls, make Andritz (Wuxi) Nonwoven an all-round partner for the nonwovens industry in Asia. The neXline aXcess portfolio assembled and offered from Wuxi targets the mid-price segment and is suitable for emerging markets worldwide.

As a pioneer in hydroentanglement, Andritz offers competitive solutions for the spunlace industry. neXline spunlace eXcelle unites carding system, hydroentanglement, dewatering, through-air dryer, hydro and thermo embossing for highest production performance.

For top-speed production, Andritz has launched the IsoWeb TT card, which has become a benchmark on the market and fits perfectly to the Jetlace unit. At 250 m/min this card generates CD physical properties equal or superior to conventional lines at 180-200 m/min. Today more than 15 IsoWeb TT cards are in operation and provide excellent CD physical characteristics regardless of line speed and/or basis weight.

The neXline wetlace, an Andritz concept that integrates wetlaid and hydroentanglement technologies, is an ideal process for the production of flushable wipes from 100% natural and/or renewable fibers without chemical binders.

Moreover, Andritz has developed a process to apply special and unique artwork onto flushable wipes. This unique patterning process—water jets print the pattern of the printing cylinder into the surface of the nonwoven substrate—allows wipes producers to clearly differentiate their product in ways that will resonate with consumers.

For durable nonwovens for geotextiles, automotive or filtration, Andritz provides state-of-the-art solutions in needlepunching. The neXline needlepunch integrates the ACS system, capable of handling bulky card webs when feeding a crosslapper. Combined with the needleloom series A50, the ProDyn technology guarantees best uniformity of the web. ProDyn generates raw material savings up to 5% or even more, regardless of the fiber characteristics, the bonding system and the fabric weight. It allows optimum control of the weight distribution at the formation of nonwoven webs.

With a wide range of products and services, Andritz provides full line and individual solutions for almost all nonwovens segments as well as rebuilds and modernization strategies, including in-house automation solutions. Andritz technologies allow a fast, reliable and profitable return on investment.


The technology center at Brueckner’s headquarters in Leonberg, Germany offers technically advanced coating and finishing capabilities in a testing environment, but on a full-scale production machine. With a working width of 2.4 m, the 4 chamber unit has the state of the art air flow and dryer technologies, integrated with environmentally friendly heat recovery systems as the full production equipment. Approved partners would have full access to the hall, the machine, full-scale laboratories and experienced Brueckner engineers and technologists.

Advantages include: Possibility of tests on a production scale at any time; new development and improvement of products; easy and fast evaluation of production data in our in-house laboratory; exact definition of the machine configuration needed; and attendance of tests by experienced technologists.

Brueckner’s new machine offers the following specific capabilities: Optimization of various processing parameters using the deep trough padder, with differential pressure capability; cost savings in coating to optimize application quantities using dosing roller and floating knife processes; coating with knife-over-air, knife against cylinder, dosing roller or rotary screen, utilizing full faced and intermittent coating and depending on technology used from 2 to 1,000 g/sq. m application; laminating with dry laminating calendar and foam generator up to 200kgs/hr.; and heat-setting process optimization with the latest energy-saving dryer generation.

New investment however is underway in Q3 2014 in the Technology Center, focused on energy efficiency and providing the most environmentally sustainable process. To that end, in addition to the current commercially available Eco-Heat technology, providing air/air and air/water recovery systems, Brueckner is in the process of installing a micro gas turbine in the Technology Center. The goal is to improve the overall energy efficiency of the drying and heat setting process. The gas turbine, situated in close proximity to the tenter would use natural gas to generate electricity to power the tenter frame and the exhaust from the turbine, would then be used to pre heat the air intake to the tenter frame.

Brueckner expects this technology to be commercially available during 2015.


DiloGroup is the premier builder and supplier of complete nonwovens lines for staple fiber nonwoven production. Each line is specifically engineered to customer needs. Recent machine concepts from the DiloGroup companies DiloTemafa, DiloSpinnbau and DiloMachines focus on improving operation efficiency, web quality and uniformity with positive effects on all staple fiber bonding processes. All these elements are part of the “Dilo – Isomation Process” and aim at an even web mass for reduced fiber consumption as raw material is the biggest cost factor in textile production.

One machine contributing to this process is the dosing opener DON manufactured by DiloTemafa, which includes a fine opening stage. It delivers the fibrous material continuously and homogeneously to the card feeder.

Another step to improve evenness is the card feeder MultiFeed designed by DiloSpinnbau which is available in working widths up to 5 m. This machine using the “Twinflow” infeed system offers a capacity of over 400 kg/hour/m of working width when processing 1.7 dtex fiber. It thus represents a state-of-the-art feeding solution for direct cards. The use of a “Twinflow” infeed applies the doubling effect for a more homogeneous flock mass flow.

The Spinnbau MultiCard provides high production availability due to its easy and fast accessibility for cleaning and maintenance work. It handles the full range of fiber fineness and length with a web speed potential of up to 200 m/min and thus represents an economic solution for cross-laid nonwoven production.

Dilo crosslappers provide infeed speeds up to ca. 200 m/min (HL series) and over 160 m/min (DL series). The DL series may be equipped with the Webguide from DiloMachines, which also provides web homogeneity at high speeds and therefore results in significant fiber savings. DiloMachines offers a complete range of vertical and horizontal crosslappers, which ensure high layering precision based on excellent web control up to working widths of 16 m.

The sales program of DiloMachines includes the complete range of needlelooms, from single board needling on one side to two boards from each side, plus structuring and patterning specialty looms. Endless felt tubes can be needled and also wide working width belts for papermachine clothing applications. The further development of needlelooms continues. Elliptical and circular needlebeam movements are used to control drafts in the needling zone and to provide high speed felt production especially in the low weight range.

All these machines together result in a better felt quality, increased homogeneity saving fibers.


FMP Technology GmbH
Nowadays, technical textiles and nonwoven fabrics are usually impregnated, coated and finished applying dip-coating processes. Often, foulards with upstream wetting trough (“foulard chassis“) are used.

In case of these “self-metered” methods, the coating thickness applied is determined by the coating process itself. For example, when dip-coating processes are applied, the coating thickness H essentially depends on the viscosity µ and on the surface tension of the fluid, as well as on the processing speed U. 

Contrary to the general aim of applying minimum fluid quantities, the increase in the production velocity, following the laws of physics, causes the extraction of higher fluid masses from the reservoir. The unwanted surplus fluid subsequently has to be removed using squeezing or knife-edge methods. This leads, on the one hand, to a negative impact on the homogeneity of the coated layer and, on the other hand, to an unwanted compression of the original material.

Due to the international price erosion in various markets the industry strives for a continual increase in production velocity, while at the same time saving fluid resources by continually reducing the coating thickness and further improving the impregnation and/or coating quality.

Disadvantages include, depending on the working width, liquor remainders of 15 to 70 liters, which are common and cannot be used for subsequent coating due to the chemical substances having come off of the textile (e.g. color). Coatings applied in a too thick layer have to be dried energy-intensively, which is connected with significant costs. It is not the goal of every application to completely wet the textile, e.g. in order to create a one-sided surface effect. Caused by the laws of physics, the application of a minimum fluid quantity contradicts the increase in velocity. The surplus fluid has to be removed using squeezing or knife-edge methods. This leads to a negative homogeneity of the layer and to an unwanted compression of the original material.

In spite of the above-mentioned significant disadvantages of this coating method, the dip-coating application has abided in the textile sector for many decades and continues to be used ubiquitously.

Resource-saving application system innovations are oriented towards improving the performance of established products or processes. The technology presented in the following could play a decisive role in the area of textile coating, finishing and impregnation.

FMP Technology GmbH has transferred the application method by means of slot dies, which has already been applied to other industrial sectors, e.g. paper and foil coating, to the textile value chain and has been able to convince several textile manufacturers of the advantages of the system. The resource-saving and loss-free slot-die application system works with one or two slot dies placed opposite each other. The textile, woven or nonwoven fabric is moved under one die or between the two dies in any horizontal or vertical direction with velocities from 0 to several hundred m/min. The FMP slot die allows applying fluids with exact pre-metering for a perfect surface quality on the requested substrate. Contrary to the foulard application, it is not necessary to subsequently remove surplus fluid using squeezing or knife-edge methods, as the exact fluid quantity to be applied can be determined in advance.

Procedural advantages include high-precision fluid metering of the finishing to be applied up to ± 1 %; manufacturing of perfectly homogenous surfaces; no inconvenience of subsequently removing surplus material; realization of application of minimum quantities; elimination of liquor remainders; processing of low-viscosity as well as high-viscosity fluids with consistent precision of lateral distribution; one-sided or two-sided application is possible, depending on the case of usage.

Economic advantages include considerable saving of finishing chemicals; saving of disposal costs for remainders of the finishing; and saving of energy costs for drying.

The sum of procedural and economic advantages makes an investment in the application method via slot die very interesting. Due to the flexibility of the slot-die application, the system gives manufacturing companies the possibility of an easy “retrofitting” of existing production facilities and, therefore, immensely minimizes the capital expenditure.


Hills, Inc.
Hills, Inc. offers the most advanced fiber extrusion equipment to produce spunbond fabrics, staple fibers and continuous filaments. Customers use Hills’ proven, proprietary extrusion technologies to commercially produce the world’s most complex multi-component fiber cross-sections with unprecedented combinations of polymers. Applications include micro fibers with practically any geometry for applications in filtration, artificial leather, industrial fabrics and medical fabrics. The same advanced concepts are being pursued in areas such as carbon fiber tows, new membrane materials, and high quality textile fabrics producible from spunbond and staple nonwovens. Recent Hills programs in nonwovens include the following:

Hills spunbond machines use its proprietary high-speed slot aspirator, which is especially suited to high-performance polymer applications such as primary carpet backing, roofing membrane substrate, artificial leather substrate, and filtration media.  When combined with Hills’ knowledge and unique capabilities in multi-component extrusion technology the flexibility of Hills equipment makes many of these applications possible on the same machine. In addition, Hills has recently introduced patent pending high loft and high stretch spunbond fabrics with example diverse applications including barrier fabrics (such as thermal, acoustic, particle or shock barrier), distribution layers, and MD & CD stretch fabrics without the use of elastic polymers. 

Hills meltblown machines employ proprietary die technology to make a variety of high-value products including sub-micron and nano-products as well as multi-component products. Hills’ dies include available spin hole count to 100+hpi, and unlimited capillary L/D, which allow custom designs to precisely fit the customer’s polymer and product needs. 

In recent times, Hills has also enjoyed high equipment business volume in staple fiber and continuous filament machines for nonwoven applications. Splittable/dividable multi-component fibers can easily be made and separated into micro and nano fibers at the high production rates of simple homopolymer processes. More traditional fibers such as sheath/core and homopolymer are also readily and economically produced. 

In addition to production equipment, Hills laboratory and pilot extrusion machines for the above processes are present in many private and public R&D centers around the world. Hills installations in R&D facilities such as at North Carolina State University, Clemson University, The Carbon Fiber Technology Facility in Oak Ridge National Laboratory, The Taiwan Textile Research Institute, The European Centre for Innovative Textiles (CETI in France), ITV Denkendorf (Germany), and The Centre for Nanotechnology and Smart Materials (CeNTI in Portugal) offer academia, government industry the capability to do research and development within their specific regions while also collaborating with the technical expertise and other equipment variety available at such facilities. Customers also routinely utilize laboratory machines at the Hills facility in Florida where the equipment expertise and other Hills resources reside as needed to support their development work.


Kansan, is one of the leading machinery providers of the nonwovens industry, offering complete and compact wet wipe manufacturing solutions including converting, packaging and lid applicator machines. From the beginning, Kansan has designed and manufactured more than 600 projects in 40 countries, in 5 continents.  In 2014, it expanded its operations by reaching out to new clients in Peru, Mexico, Argentine, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Vietnam, Bahrain, Libya and South Africa.

In order to comply with increasing level of demand and business, Kansan moved to a new facility in early 2014 with 115 employees.  Located on 10.000 sqm of land, 8.000 sqm of which is covered, Kansan started to realize its new projects in this new location.  At the same time, Kansan also redesigned its logo; new corporate logo represents the mainframe of its new corporate identity. Last April, Kansan participated in INDEX 14 with three machines and received high level of attention which resulted in new business partnerships. In order to offer state-of-the-art machines, Kansan emphasizes on R&D and strict quality control regulations.

“Considering the constant evolution of our industry, we need to strive to meet changing market dynamics,” says Onur Cimen, R&D Director of Kansan. “We have redesigned several features of our machines to keep and enhance our position in the global market”. In early 2014 Kansan redesigned “Rotary Type Ultrasonic Welded Gloves Machine” which enables to manufacture in different shapes and types of gloves for easy cleaning of hospitalized patients, elderly people and babies. The machine is able to produce 90-100 gloves per minute.  With new developments on “Automatic Lid Applicator Machine”, the capacity can be raised up to 90 lids per minute with different type of robotic platform systems.  Kansan’s R&D team is also developing a new cross-fold wet wipe converting machine with an advanced stacking system and the capacity of 600 cuts per minute. It will be possible to produce two different types of wipes in terms of dimensions and lotion. The new machine will be available in the beginning of 2015.


One century dedicated to the design, manufacturing and commissioning of equipment for complete textile waste recycling lines, in the past 20 years, Laroche has been deeply involved in the scientific development of the textile waste recycling technology, achieving great progress and helping discover new sustainable tailor-made applications for better and cheaper products taking care of the serious environmental problems and the shortage of raw materials.

Laroche is also proposing complete turnkey airlay nonwoven lines to process a wide variety of raw material producing a huge range of nonwoven felts. Laroche application fields include: Open-end using recycled fibers; nonwoven felts for building insulation, automotive, bedding, furniture and floor coverings, geotextiles, sound and thermal insulation, and horticultural applications; natural fiber products made of nonwovens and yarns; short staple bast fibers for spinning, nonwoven and paper applications; disposable products; pillows and toys stuffing; and technical products.

Laroche provides a full range of engineering, development and support services for turnkey projects.

In Cours-La Ville, France, Laroche operates a 2000 square-meter demo-room equipped with tearing line, dosing, opening and blending line and 3 airlay nonwoven lines extensively used for process and products development. Customers are welcome to use these facilities to develop their new products. With 2 manufacturing plants and after sales support, Laroche serves highly satisfied customers in more than 70 countries.


Nordson Corporation
Nordson continues to expand the OptiBond portfolio of variation management solutions designed to optimize material delivery and dispensing with in-line, real-time measurement and control. OptiBond solutions address two primary causes of production inconsistency, machine direction and cross-web variation. Implementing variation management programs helps disposable hygiene manufacturers improve production efficiency, decrease maintenance and enhance product quality.

The Nordson variation management methodology is Measure, Understand and Improve. The first step, accurate measurement, allows understanding of flow across the entire machine speed range, even during the demanding ramp-up phase. Then, flow control solutions can be implemented. Nordson’s broad range of OptiBond solutions includes: passive or active metering; point-of-application or intermediate system component; and melter-integrated or standalone control.

TruFlow applicators use passive metering to improve add-on weight precision and reduce adhesive usage. The multi-module TruFlow applicator is long proven to improve product quality and production flexibility while reducing system complexity. Now a single-module TruFlow applicator is available for applications requiring point-of-application, flow-metered material delivery in a small operating space.

Nordson had also just released an expanded version of the Concert flow controller. The newest Concert flow controllers monitor and control material flow for up to 4 channels, measuring and comparing actual material delivery to the production requirement and continuously adjusting melter pump output in real-time. Additionally, this Concert controller expands melters’ capacity by providing individual temperature control for up to 5 channels.

These products join last year’s introduction, the TruFlow meter; a simple, positive-displacement meter that accurately measures actual material flow rates during all production phases. The versatile meter operates across a broad flow range, 10-500 cc’s per minute, as well as a wide spectrum of material viscosities and temperatures.

TruFlow meters are adaptable to most production environments, and can be added to existing production lines or included with new systems to provide accurate measurement of material flow. TruFlow meters can be also be linked directly to a parent machine PLC if desired.

Nordson’s melter-integrated variation management options include VersaBlue Plus and AltaBlue Touch melters that offer optional melter-integrated flow monitoring and closed-loop control. Integrating flow control simplifies installation and necessary equipment as well as provides ease-of-use for programming and system operating status through the melters’ intuitive, touch screen interfaces.

VersaBlue Plus melters also offer optional integrated pattern control for up to eight (8) channels. This capability compensates for possible pattern drift over time, particularly in demanding intermittent applications.

These products along with TruFlow dividers and monitors are part of the Nordson OptiBond portfolio of variation management solutions, helping disposable hygiene manufacturers produce higher-quality products faster, more efficiently and at lower cost.


OPTIMA nonwovens
Optima Nonwovens is a trailblazer for thinking and working in terms of mechatronics in the construction of packing and packaging machinery. When it comes to participation in research projects and practical application the company has already gained a wide range of valuable experience. Since June the company has set a new direction for the mechatronic engineering process in the form of Engineering 3.0. The aim is to produce machines in an even more modular way and at the same time achieve high process reliability immediately following the physical assembly.

Optima Nonwovens has already implemented some pilot projects on the basis of the new principle – and the high expectations were met. Just what is it that characterizes Engineering 3.0 and how does this principle “function?”

A part of Engineering 3.0 is market research. This might seem surprising at first sight. But the logic behind it is very simple: The cost devoted to development work that in some cases was not accepted by the market is many times greater than for carrying out market research beforehand. In the chronological sequence market research is followed by an exact description of the function modules. Mechatronics is made of the mechanical electronic and software parts together. The reason for the so-called FDM (Function Description Module) is the ever more complex intermeshing of the areas. This serves to identify and deal with possible misunderstandings before they even arise.

Potential sources of errors can be systematically rooted out using FMEA (Failure Modes Effect Analysis). This preventive research, done right from the start, picks out weak points that often remain undetected otherwise. The virtual initial commissioning is a further module of Engineering 3.0. This deals with the software development and interaction with the physical drive units. To date, detailed software tests could only be carried out on fully assembled machines. Since the machine software is becoming increasingly complex, virtual initial commissioning provides an additional time and quality benefit.

Engineering 3.0 also includes the use of assembly instructions. The new assembly instructions make use of pictorial illustrations and can be understood anywhere in the world. At Optima work is done on the assembly instructions at the same time as the design and construction. Engineering 3.0 also involves revised workflow processes during real initial commissioning as well. Up until now the machines had to commissioned in several steps, which were in total quite time consuming. This phase has been significantly reduced with Engineering 3.0.

It shows that possible errors can be more quickly identified using Engineering 3.0 procedures, resulting in significant time savings. Numerous sources of error that lurk within the complex interaction between the software and the mechanical and electrical parts are eliminated. This also means that there are no surprises with regard to the machine details, since the functional descriptions were drawn up jointly in interdisciplinary teams. In the same way, there is a marked increase in the quality of the software, which as a rule has no logic errors. This means that there is more time available for the documentation and verification of the units. The result: customers receive machines that have undergone more thorough testing and so offer a high degree of process stability right from the beginning. The first results in machine projects confirmed the high expectations associated with Engineering 3.0.


On December 3, 2013 Osprey Corporation announced that US patent number 8,597,391 B1 was issued for its Blue-Sky Filter. First introduced at Index 2011, the Blue-Sky Filter is a new filter design for those wanting the highest filtration rate possible along with a greatly increased safety rating. The new filter consists of an enhanced primary rotary drum filter stage and a HEPA filter final stage coupled to the outlet side of at least one passive filter stage.

On March 25, 2014, Osprey was also issued US patent number 8,679,236 for the Blue-Sky retrofit method. The retrofit method is a replacement for Osprey Final Filters or an addition to single stage filters.

Osprey will be offering its annual Advance Hygienic Training program in Chateau-Arnoux, France from September 16-18, 2014. Featured presenters, including Nordson, Optima, Fameccancia, Accusentry, Innovent, Sandvik, and Bicma, will be providing training programs designed to teach critical subjects such as air system design, core forming and production line optimization.


Rando Machine Corporation
Rando Machine Corporation is a pioneer in airlaid technology and web formation actively leading the way with time-tested, proven technology and continually innovates the way the nonwoven industry operates today. As it celebrates the company’s 65th anniversary, Rando has launched its new machine, the Rando Nonwoven Production Line Waste Shredder/Refiberizer, which is designed to reclaim and repurpose the excess finished material (skeletons) produced from certain nonwoven manufacturing lines.

From soft to hard edge trimmings, this Rando Waste Shredder/Refiberizer is outfitted with state-of-the-art technology to help break down material into small, uniform tufts to be reintroduced to production and contribute to a finished product.

Discarding the material that is trimmed from the finished products takes a heavy expense on organizations as they pay outside services to remove and dispose of the excess material. Purchasing a Rando Waste Shredder/Refiberizer eliminates this need by providing a manufacturer the opportunity to reclaim and repurpose the excess “skeletons” back into the finished product. The Rando Waste Shredder/Refiberizer will not only save money by removing this expense, but also provide an additional, usable source of reclaimed fiber material that can be reintroduced into the production line accordingly reducing overall fiber costs. Therefore, the new machine provides an attractive solution for organizations looking to save money and improve environmental practices. 

After exceeding expectations during the pilot program and operating at full capacity for a major manufacturer, Rando is proud to announce that it will be adding this machine into its laboratory line in the near future.

Since reopening in 2012, Rando’s new lab has become a multi-purpose resource. Customers engage the facility to test and innovate in a nonproduction Rando environment for short-term developments and even for more extensive R&D projects. Rando’s lab is also used for testing its own mechanical improvements such as interchanging, integrating or even fabricating different components in the laboratory line in an effort to constantly improve the speed and quality of the machine designs it provides to customers. In addition, Rando continues to invest in ongoing research within the various fiber applications such as natural fibers, synthetic fiber and even more challenging fibers such as stainless steel, carbon and glass.


Reicofil offers a new technology platform—High Loft—that enables the production of especially voluminous nonwovens. Due to the new properties offered, nonwovens become an alternative to carded fabrics. Basis for the High Loft process is the Reicofil bico technology in which filaments of two different raw materials are produced in a side-side structure. Self-crimping of the filaments may just be caused by the combination of materials or crimping may be activated by thermal energy. The nonwoven fabrics are subsequently bonded using hot air or a special embossing calender. High loft products can be used in hygiene applications such as for top and backsheets in premium diapers or as distribution layer. A video showing High Loft material can be seen at:


Shemesh Automation / Elsner Engineering
Shemesh Automation Wet Wipes (SA) and Elsner Engineering Works (EEW) are reporting a successful joint venture. The JV brings the two family-owned and operated equipment makers with the ability to offer their clients, now not only in NA, but globally, a comprehensive solution for converting, roll stuffing, filling, sealing, capping, continuous labeling and case packing under one umbrella. This eliminates responsibility questions, minimizes costs involved in dealing with multiple vendors, resulting in expanded knowhow, enhanced production efficiency, lower production costs per unit sold, increased output and product quality. This all leads to better positioning for increased market share and higher overall profit margins for customers the companies say.

The SA-EEW team has in the last 12 months alone co-exhibited in Shanghai’s SINCE13, Geneva’s INDEX14 and Düsseldorf’s INTERPACK14. Further, it is poised to demonstrate in Chicago’s PACK EXPO14 this November a live full round wipes converting and packaging line for the first time ever in a show. The line will feature the rollout of SA’s well anticipated Xpander, an all-in-one machine designed for slower throughputs of completely hands free round wipes packaging combining cans and rolls feeding, cans stuffing, sealing, filling capping and advanced QC.

With a new strategic plan in place, Elsner has been working to provide total converting and packaging solutions to its customer base in each of the markets it serves. The most encompassing production layout has been in the round wipes arena. With Elsner’s ENR-1000 Fully Automatic Nonwovens Rewinder, it has been able to meet the production needs of industry-leading companies and their co-packers in this marketplace. To further support this growing sector and customer base, Elsner Engineering Works, Inc. has combined efforts with Shemesh Automation to add the ability to provide a total solution for canister wipe production.

“The Elsner ENR-1000, in combination with the full offering of downstream equipment from Shemesh, allows us to offer one-stop shopping for the complete wipes operation,” says Bert Elsner II, president and CEO of Elsner. “The engineers, technicians and supporting staff from Elsner and Shemesh have been working closely, especially over the last year, to learn from each other and bring this undivided solution to the market.”

SA has been operating for over 30 years, focused mainly on core fillers, cappers, sealers and labellers for various industries. Over the last 15 years, the company, headquartered in Israel, shifted much of its focus and resources to developing downstream solutions that cater to some of the world top players, thereby achieving unprecedented proven experience in providing one-stop shop turnkey downstream packaging lines for the round wipes market at speeds ranging from 30 to 200 ppm.

“Given that both companies each owns a forefront market technology such as Elsner’s ENR-1000 or Shemesh’s SAS120 for vertical canisters rolls stuffing, teaming up with Elsner was the natural thing for us to do in order to give our clients a real competitive edge in a ruthlessly competitive market where every penny saved in manufacturing goes a great distance to the bottom line,” says Shai Shemesh, global head of marketing and business development for Shemesh Automation and the head of its London offices. “Arriving to where we are today did take time, but the fact that both companies are family-owned and operated and share similar cultures has definitely played a roll in learning how to collaborate and develop mutual trust and invaluable synergies for our client base. It is our belief that the Shemesh Automation-Elsner Engineering Works offering is the most advanced in the world today. On top of ultra low downtime equipment design, some of the offering components, such as our automatic high-speed SAS120 vertical canisters stuffer, the first such machine introduced to the market and only one empirically proven to date with eight such machines sold in the last year alone, our special FGW shower no-drip special spray nozzles for fill and portion, the Sealpro linear cut stretch and thermo seal and the CIW non-deformation lids capper mechanism are unique in the industry and were especially designed for the needs of producing high quality rolls of nonwoven wipes in canisters.”


Sonobond Ultrasonics
Sonobond Ultrasonics’ units seal, sew, and trim—all in one quick pass. Their high-frequency vibratory waves produce safer medical garments and disposable items with bonded edges and secure seams without stitch holes, glue gaps, fraying or unraveling to meet tough OSHA regulatory requirements for barrier seams. No thread, glue, or other consumables are required. Sonobond manufactures a wide variety of machines that handle multiple nonwoven and synthetic material assembly applications.

SeamMaster Ultrasonic Sewing Machines. A complete line of continuous-bonding models that operate like traditional sewing machines. The line includes general purpose units, table-mounted cutters/sealers, and modules for OEMs. All units utilize a patented rotary operation, where both horn and pattern wheel rotate at the same time, providing ultra-reliable and soft-to-the-touch seams achieved up to four times faster than with conventional sewing machines and 10 times faster than with adhesive methods.

The SeamMaster High Profile Ultrasonic Sewing Machine is now the most popular unit in the line due to its large pattern wheel, high clearance and ability to accommodate bulky materials and hand-guided operations with tight tolerances and curves. In fact, this machine is used by most major body armor manufacturers to seal the outer nylon shell of ballistic vests and produce a bond so reliable that it complies with National Institute of Justice submersion test standards to protect the inner layer of ballistic-resistant materials from water leaks.

The RingMaster award-winning machine ultrasonically attaches filter bags to plastic collars. Strong, reliable bonds are completed in less than 10 seconds, eliminating stitch holes that cause leaks, and thread that can get caught in pumps. Fast, easy re-tooling accommodates varying bag sizes and collar diameters. This semi-automatic unit produces up to 250 bags per hour, while the manually operated version, the Filter Collar Bonder machine, will produce up to 80 bags per hour.

SureWeld PlungeBonder machines handle larger, difficult-to-bond and multi-layer materials. Models seal ends of filter bags and produce box-style filters. Custom tooling enables straps made of coated synthetic material to be bonded within the seam of a ballistic vest’s outer shell without compromising the integrity of the ultrasonically-sealed shell so the body armor continues to comply with current NIJ submersion requirements.

SureCut Ultrasonic Cutters/Sealers provide one-step cutting and sealing of ribbons, trims and labels, without frayed edges. They are available in hand-held models for single cuts or for loom-mounted operations.

In addition to the medical and body armor items already mentioned, these Sonobond machines assemble HEPA-rated filters, industrial and commercial vacuum bags, oil absorbers and oil containment booms, automobile air filters, and various filtration products used by the chemical/pharmaceutical, environmental, food/beverage and manufacturing industries. They also assemble geotextiles for the agricultural industry.

Sonobond provides free sample bonds using a company’s own material and then recommends the appropriate machine for the application. Units can be customized to specific requirements.


In hygiene applications, with more than 200 spooling heads in 20 lines operations all over the world, Spoolex, through its Calemard brand and its 30-year experience in spooling, is recognized by the major players as the world leader to follow.

For its customers, Spoolex means “Quality and Support”. Certified ISO 9001/14001 and OHSAS 18001, the French manufacturer fully takes on this liability. With its 30-years of experience, the guaranteed quality of its machines and specialized sales and technical teams able to manage complete projects, are the keys for its success. All these factors allow the company to insure permanence, growth and customers’ trust, and the current commissioning of 4 new Pegase spooling lines for 2014 confirms this statement.

The spooling technology has been engineered to boost productivity of production lines with the use of high capacity spools up to Ø 1200 mm x 850 mm width. Calemard self-traverse technology guarantees to produce at high-speeds (600 m/min) spools of a strip with no stress, no tension, no elongation and no twist. Spoolex owes its leadership to its pioneering spirit combined with close relationships with material producers and converters. This drives naturally the company to develop more and more sophisticated machines to meet customer’s demanding needs for higher productivity.

Spoolex had been working for several months on a new concept and was pleased to release it during INDEX 2014 and it is the most successful and innovative of its machines: the Pegase 3. Engineered as a global concept, this state-of-the-art complete line is fully automated, with new technical development for higher productivity, reduces labor contents in production, reduces downtimes, optimizes the cycle time and reduces waste.

Spoolex’s wide range also includes slitter-rewinders and splicing benches using different ultrasonic technologies.

Based on 2 different techniques—butt to butt or by overlap—Calemard technology proposes reliable and cost saving solutions to splice nonwovens and technical textiles in various applications requiring resistant and plain splices, without external elements such as glue or adhesive. The ultrasonic technology is well adapted to filtration, hygiene and cable industries for example, as it performs strong, reliable and for some of the solutions invisible splices, which will improve quality and reliability and reduce the cost of the downstream process. As no additional material is needed, this means easy final product recycling, no risk of contamination due to foreign body, higher resistance in aggressive environments, safe process for the operator, less wastes and several other advantages. Spoolex proposes several configurations to optimize the benefits, while accommodating at best the existing process.

Due to a strong organization and structure, Spoolex offers standard, customized or turnkey solutions to increase production productivity and manage complete projects, from mother roll loading to end product packaging. Its project management system is based on 4 main departments to assist customer’s project from specification to equipment delivery. The sales team is composed with experienced market specialists to support customers in their need definition. The integrated engineering department, gathering pre-study and development, mechanical and automation and control engineers, will carry out product development and design quality and innovative solutions. A 275 square meter well-equipped test shop and process specialist supports the engineering department and implements trials to validate the solution offered. Then, Spoolex manufactures and tests the complete project before delivery and commissioning at the customer’s site, in a 3,000 square meter workshop.


Spiral spray is not new but this high-speed mini spiral nozzle TSM from TechAdhesion with easy maintenance is an innovative nozzle to reduce down time and cleaning process. Most nozzle clogging issues occur not only at the glue orifices but also in the air spray orifices. Dust and contamination accumulate on the nozzle during production and will affect the quality of swirl/random fiber patterns and make bonding an issue. This is an issue all hot melt system suppliers are facing. TechAdhesions design of the TSM nozzle provides an access to clean the nozzle completely. It can be seen and check all its channels. Just a 10-minute ultrasonic clean is all that is required for complete cleaning. TechAdhesion is applying for an international patent, first in China, then the EU and lastly the U.S.

Important key features of the TSM nozzle are no clogging, no tailing, and no spilling out of the other side. It needs to be cleaned every 12-16 weeks and can be done in just minutes. The TSM nozzle offers excellent pattern for high-speed applications of 300-700 m/min with a low gsm and low air pressure requirement.


In 2013 Teknoweb Srl developed Arvell, an innovative technology enabling converters to produce their own wet wipes substrates. Arvell is an innovative material, based on proprietary technology, and is composed of a polypropylene filament combined with natural or artificial absorbent fibers. The Arvell technology has been designed to enable intimate blending of the two types of fibers, which are then assembled into a web by thermocalendering technology. The resulting web shows unsurpassed performance in terms of absorption as well as mechanical characteristics.

Arvell is far simpler when compared to conventional technology used for producing wipes substrates and gives the converter control of the entire production process from raw material through finished product.

Arvell is a completely “dry process”, not requiring the use of hydroentanglement for bonding/integrity and also not needing an oven to remove water, as is typical for other wipes substrates. These features make this material extremely appealing from the sustainability point of view, as desired by disposables producers and others. Interestingly, in addition to providing breakthrough performance and flexibility, thanks to the simplified manufacturing process, this material has a price target of 30% less than technologies such as spunlace.

Teknoweb recently received the results of a life cycle assessment (LCA) study of wipe substrate produced by the Arvell process in comparison with its alternatives. The study was commissioned by Teknoweb and carried out by the University of Manchester.

The main goal of the study was to estimate the life cycle impacts, from ‘cradle to gate’, of production of Arvell substrate in Europe compared to the substrate from the spunlace and spun-pulp-carded (SPC) processes.

Study results revealed the carbon footprint of one ton of wipe substrate produced by the Arvell process is estimated to be 63% lower than the carbon footprint of the spunlace process and 42% lower than that of SPC.

To support the study’s findings and further boast the environmental benefits of the Arvell process, Teknoweb submitted the data to the Thünen Institute in Germany, which has since validated the outcome of the study.


Truetzschler Nonwovens
In the last 2 years the Truetzschler Nonwovens group of companies has evolved from a machine/systems supplier to a manufacturer of complete nonwoven plants. Today, the scope of supply includes complete nonwoven lines ranging from fiber preparation to winding for spunlacing, mechanical needling, thermobonding and chemical bonding processes.

There have been recent developments in wet laying and spunlacing, in drying and winding.

In 2013 Voith Paper and Truetzschler Nonwovens & Man-Made Fibers developed a sustainable wet-in-wet process for the production of 100% biodegradable, truly flushable wipes. The primary machinery consists of Voith Paper’s wet-laying machine, the HydroFormer, a specially configured AquaJet spunlacing unit, a drum dryer and a winder, the latter being supplied by Truetzschler Nonwovens. Moreover, the line includes a single water circuit including filtration and broke fiber recovery.

The flushable wipe material is entirely cellulosic and spunlaced only. The use of fiber pulp ensures fast disintegration and low production costs. Sufficient wet strength is achieved by longer regenerated wood cellulosic fibers. The nonwovens material passed the INDA/EDANA tests on flushability in October 2013. Now the R&D departments of both companies have started with wetlaid spunlacing processes for household and industrial wipes and with trials to process other fiber materials.

In other news, Truetzschler Nonwovens’ first Streamliner, a new, spiral-shaped drum dryer, has been installed at customer’s site some months ago. This new dryer features evaporation capacities going far beyond the commonly achieved values. In particular, it is highly suitable for the high-speed (i.e. up to 400 m/min) production of spunlaced nonwovens with high residual water content.

The Streamliner ensures a substantial productivity increase and saves up to 30% energy at the same time. The new developments include controlled exhaust air guidance with low exhaust air temperature, minimization of false air intake, and an optimal insulation. A neutral interface allows the dryer to be combined with any kind of heat recovery system.

Lastly, Truetzschler Nonwovens just finished the development of a new, fully automatic horizontal slide winder. BWT 203-30 is executed with a surface drive only – in contrast to Bastian’s other two drive winding solutions. This decision makes it a highly energy efficient master roll winder for standard spunlaced nonwovens. As all winders of the Bastian range, the sophisticated glue-less engagement and cross cut system minimizes waste because the roll is usable at site to the last millimeter.

BWT 203-30 is a sturdy machine with a reduced number of parts providing highest reliability and, at the same time, requiring only short erection and start-up times and very low maintenance.