The third annual RISE 2012 Conference held October 23-25, 2012 at the Hilton Baltimore in Baltimore, MD, brought together the global nonwovens/engineered materials value chain for two days of thought-provoking, boundary expanding discussions about the latest technical innovations and how they can be applied to help to create value-added, more competitive products. The attendees at RISE 2012 included a diverse group of business development leaders and technical scouts, all responsible for driving innovation, new product development, and technology within their respective companies.
Some of the highlights coming out of the RISE 2012 presentations were:
* Harvesting ‘Big Data’ to arm product developers and marketing teams with real time data that helps guide future products and enhance current ones.
* Unique optical techniques that utilize modern digital imaging with high-speed digital video cameras to visualize gas flow along with fiber motion which could be particularly beneficial in analyzing melt-blowing polymers.
* How shale gas development in the U.S. could be a game changer as lower cost natural gas could possibly make PE a more attractive alternative to PP and stimulate investment in both in North America.
* Opportunities for bio-based polymers, particularly starch, which is incredibly abundant and inexpensive as well as being sustainable. Through electrospinning and then post-treating the fiber, this could provide new polymer options in the hygiene segment and beyond.
* How one manufacturer has perfected a unique spunbonded 100% polyethylene fabric that is soft with excellent draping, high air permeability, superb uniformity, low irritation to the skin; opportunities are in hygiene, medical, laminations, leather bonding and agriculture.
Another important component to the innovative RISE Conference is the RISE Durable Product Award. The second annual award was given to Ecovative Design LLC for its product, EcoCradle. EcoCradle uses mushrooms and a nonwoven cotton fabric to produce a unique, easily biodegradable packaging material.
Also at RISE 2012 two INDA Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented. The INDA Lifetime Technical Achievement Award was presented to Dave Lunceford, President, HDK Industries for his significant technical contributions to the commercial success of the nonwovens industry. The INDA Lifetime Service Award was presented to Peter Wallace, business director – Industrial Specialties, Arclin for his long outstanding record of service to INDA and the nonwovens industry.