INDEX Draws Largest Crowd Ever

June 16, 2005

attendance tops 12,000

INDEX Draws Largest Crowd Ever

The results are in. INDEX 2005 was the largest ever. Held April 12-15, 2005 at Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland, INDEX visitors increased by 7.5% compared to INDEX 02, to just over 12,000 visitors. The geographical reach of the exhibition increased to attract visitors from 107 different countries worldwide.

INDEX 05 was the largest edition ever in size as well with 21,200 square meters of net stand space, occupying 50,000 square meters of exhibition hall.

At INDEX 05, 470 exhibitors from 36 different countries from around the world were present showing all the latest developments in the nonwovens industry and representing all sectors of the nonwovens value chain.

Showing the continued diversification of nonwovens, twice as many visitors said their company was involved in the automotive sector than in 2002, demonstrating the buoyancy of nonwovens in this particular sector. Additionally, organizers saw an increase from around 6% to almost 9% in both gas and liquid filtration sectors. Number of visitors operating in the construction field increased by an impressive 39%. The percentage of visitors active in the agriculture and horticulture sectors almost doubled from 5% to 9.5%.

However there remains a firm bedrock of visitors also present in the traditional sectors of hygiene and medical.

As expected, all the other targeted sectors such as carpeting, geotextiles, composites, electronics, fuel cell, home furnishing, cleaning and wiping, interlinings, nanotechnology, packaging, printing, protective wear, leather goods, technical textiles and others were very well represented.

These diverse visitors were treated to a detailed look at the nonwovens industry with exhbitors ranging from roll goods producers to raw material providers to machinery and equipment products as well as commission converters, organization and educational facilities.

Clockwise from top left: Accusentry showcased a hygiene product inspection line at INDEX; Ahlstrom's Karen Renton, Claudio Ermondi and Ellen Miles; business is conducted at Ciba's booth; A visitor checks out Dan-Web's latest webforming technology; a crowd gathers at Clopay's booth.

On The Roll Goods Front


Bayteks Nonwoven is working on a 2.4-meter spunwoven line for the bedding industry. The existing 3.2-meter line has traditionally served the furniture market, but the 2.4-meter option will allow the production of products such as duvets. This development is in response to numerous requests from the industry, according to the company. It is due to be available in the third quarter of this year.

Advanced Fabrics (SAAF) announced at INDEX that it will install a multi-beam Reicofil 4 machine at its plant in Saudi Arabia which is due start up next year. The investment will increase SAAF's capacity by 30,000 tons per year. SAAF also announced the recent startup of a medical treatment plant on the same site.

The company also introduced Medalon, its new product designed to provide surgeons and other operating room staff with "the ultimate in protection and comfort."

N-MBR is a nonwoven-based membrane bioreactor for wastewater and effluent applications, developed by KNH, to give a high solid-liquid separation, which allows a conventional system to run at a high MLSS level with as little as a third of the reaction space requirement and minimized fouling at equal effluent loading. N-MBR is designed for high specific permeate flux at low trans-membrane pressure. It offers high sludge retention capability, ensures low suspended solid levels in effluent and minimizes the need for backwash.

Also new from KNH is BioWEB-a nonwoven biomass carrier, which features high porosity and high specific surface area. KNH says it displays good micro-organism compatibility, high suspended solid retention capacity and good compression resistance. Typical applications are wastewater and polluted water treatment, plus tertiary treatment. BioWEB is designed to enhance removal of dissolved organics and nitrogenous pollutants, such as ammonia and nitrate, in a conventional bioreaction system. It can be used in conjunction with N-MBR.

Teksis has developed new wipes for household and industrial uses. Teksis also brought out a fire barrier for mattresses and furniture, which has passed TB 603 in the U.S. and Crib 5 in the U.K. The product is antidusting and said to be easy to cut and quilt. In addition, Teksis introduced recycled cotton felts for applications across a number of industries.

Raw Materials Producers Show Their Stuff

Aplix brought out two new hooks and a landing zone. The Aplix 731 is a 400 mm-wide molded tape designed for softness and flexibility, with a high density of micro-hook gripping elements in the cross direction. It can be used with all types of landing zones. Customized colors are possible, as is a hookless zone. Target peel strength is 5-8 N and dynamic shear, 40-60 N.

Also on display was Aplix 946, a 400 mm-wide molded tape which features a high density of micro mushroom gripping elements. Designed for use with all types of landing zones, it can be specified in customized colors and with a hookless zone. Target peel strength is 4-5 N and target dynamic shear, 40-50 N.

The new landing zone, Aplix BW5.0, is a nonwoven designed to have a much softer appearance and touch than knitted alternatives.

BASF has engineered a new climate control material, which received its first INDEX airing. Luquafleece IS, a fabric superabsorbent, can absorb more than 100 grams of moisture per square meter (depending on the polymer loading). Luquafleece IS combines the strong absorption capacity of highly functional superabsorbent polymers and a nonwoven. It consists of a high molecular weight, lightly crosslinked and part-neutralized polyacrylate polymer, which is applied to a polyester nonwoven. BASF says the use of Luquafleece IS in chairs, car seats and mattresses leads to long-term comfort and stability with a "unique wellness feel". It also offers humidity control for packaging. There is no powder shake out and no dust generation, according to BASF, because the SAP is fully bound the Luquafleece IS. The result is a more homogeneous SAP loading.

In other BASF news, for the first time, the company's Technical Applications group was at the show, with the specific task of looking at new markets for BASF's innovations. The focus is to provide new solutions to common problems, according to BASF.

Birla Cellulose commissioned a new cellulose line in Indonesia last year and intends to bring another on-line in December this year. Both lines are designed for production of around 100 tons/day.

Celanese Emulsions was at the show for the first time at INDEX after it being formed in February through the merger of Celanese Europe and Vinamul Polymers, the former polymers business of National Starch & Chemical. The main product offering from Celanese Emulsions is emulsion polymers and polyvinyl alcohol for nonwoven bonding and functional treatment.

Ciba Specialty Chemicals introduced a polymer modifier for polyolefin nonwovens. Irgatec CR allows nonwovens producers to use standard polypropylene spunbond grades or recycled granules from fiber scrap to design meltblown nonwovens with what Ciba describes as outstanding barrier and mechanical properties. Irgatec CR is billed as a breakthrough in quality improvement for hygiene applications like leg cuff SMS composites in diapers and for technical uses such as enhanced absorption or filtration media.

Ciba also featured a new range of Filter Pressure Value (FPV) test pigments on its stand. Tested to the new norm (CN 13900-5), the range includes the most important organic pigments for fibers. The FPV is reported and certified for every lot and a wide selection of pigment chemistries is on offer. Ciba says the range is under active development.

Hyosung introduced colored spandex. Green and blue are said to be the most popular colors but others are available. It has been developed for over end take off applications.

Invista Lycra brought out Lycra Stretch Nonwoven, which is an extensible nonwoven impregnated with Lycra polymer. It gives extra stretch and, most importantly, extra recovery. Recovery is usually a problem in products such as diaper waist bands, stretch tabs and adult incontinence products, said Invista officials. Lycra, and the use of its new product addresses, can this issue.

A new fiber, Viloft, which is a modified cross-section viscose nonwoven fiber with what is describeds as a "unique flat cross-section and crenellated surface," was launched by Kelheim Fibers. Viloft is already established in the textile sector, and has been engineered for maximum breathability, softness and advanced moisture management, in a number of different forms. Kelheim believes that the flat structure of Viloft means it might be able to improve the flushability of wipes and other nonwoven structures. Kelheim cites laboratory tests in which Viloft gave a higher degree of separation than standard viscose fibers, without undue loss of wet and dry fabric strength.

Mediane, a film provider usually associated with packaging solutions, announced its entry into the side tabs market, with a product that can be applied in-line using a frontal tape applicator. Mediane claims its system allows the use of much smaller incontinence diapers, which are much more convenient for patients and hospitals. Mediane has also launched elastomeric tape production for the baby diaper market�a further challenge to self-adhesive producers

Mytrex announced Micozy, which is a traditional meltblown product combined with PET hollow fiber, to give a higher loft nonwoven. It is said to be ideal for gloves, ski boots, hunting boots and as an acoustic insulator for cars.

National Starch & Chemical announced what it claims is the first hotmelt adhesive to apply below 100�C. Dispomelt Cool Ultra 95, as the name suggests, can be applied at 95�C. The benefits are safety for the operator, lower maintenance and energy requirements, lower emissions, reduced odor and the possibility to use a thinner substrate. National Starch & Chemical points out that it can be used with biodegradable films such as those produced by Huhtamaki. The launch of Dispomelt Cool Ultra 95 follows the launch of Dispomelt 110, which was developed to challenge the industry norm of hotmelt application at 160�C.

RadiciSpandex launched a new version of spandex for the nonwovens industry at INDEX. S17PC has been used in textiles already but its application for personal care materials is new to the market. Radici says it improves on the existing SPC line, which is based on older technology. S17PC is said to exhibit higher tensile at break and is more robust, which enables it to cope with today's higher machine speeds.

Technical Absorbents, a producer of superabsorbent fibers, said its presence at INDEX was to encourage ideas for new applications. Medical/wound care was of particular interest, as was specialist hygiene, ultrathin feminine care and adult incontinence. The company noted much more interest from Asian visitors than three years ago.

Tembec promoted its renamed Specialty Cellulose Division which is now known as Tembec Cellutions. The Tembec Cellutions claims to be the only company in the world with three specialty cellulose production sites which use the sulfite process. Tembec Cellutions makes its specialty cellulose in North America and Europe, and its locations allow it to produce wood pulps from a wide range of fiber resources, including hardwoods, northern softwoods and southern pine.

Wellman introduced Formo, a patented polyester seat cushion, designed to offer high levels of durability and comfort.

Wellman also demonstrated Cirrus-a fiber designed to optimize comfort during sleep. Wellman says it transports, or removes, moisture, rather than just absorbing it. In this way it controls humidity levels as the body's temperature fluctuates during the night and makes for a more comfortable, less disturbed sleep.

Wellman has also been involved in a project with Hologenix in the U.S. for the development of fabrics for diabetic users. The aim is to increase oxygen levels in the blood. The fiber can be knitted into socks, for example.

Amotek presented its latest innovation�the FB2W flowbagger for stacked and folded wet wipes�at INDEX. This new stacker and folder responds to requests by existing customers for a solution for bagging soft disposable products.

From Right to Left: Nordson's Jim Auber and Donald Lohse pose for the camera; Executives pose at Tredegar's booth; INDEX attendees check out what CB Packaging has to offer; Geoge Vacine and Hans VanBrackle promote ExxonMobil's Vistamaxx polymer; A meeting at Pantex's INDEX booth.

The Machinist's View

Biax-Fiberfilm presented a new technology for spinning meltblown cellulose fibers. The cellulose arrives in an NMMO solution. Biax anticipates that this will be a major technology by the next INDEX show as it allows the use of a renewable, biodegradable material for the production of diapers and many other items traditionally made from polymer-based nonwovens. Biax has just applied for the patent. The company is in the process of building a 0.5-meter pilot line, which is due to be up and running by mid-July, although some orders are already being negotiated for research units.

Hygiene machinery supplier BHT-Bicma, which once again shared a booth with SSP Technology, introduced a new technology for the production of high density fluff cores. The advance here is that instead of continuous production, which involves straight cuts, Bicma's new unit molds the cores, yet still manages to produce 1200 pieces/minute. Bicma executives said there was a very strong reaction at INDEX from companies looking at new machines and upgrades. Bicma attributes the high level of interest to the fact that the machine makes a better product and saves money at the same time, compared to airlaid alternatives. The new core unit produces three-layer ultra-thin fluff/SAP cores with two layers of pure fluff outside and up to 50% SAP in the center. A pattern can be added to enhance liquid distribution.

Bicma also launched what it claims is the first-ever electronic repitch machine. Using servo drives, the unit changes the speed of the drum carrying the element of the product with the shorter pitch, to ensure perfect synchronization with the other components of the product. This avoids putting strain on the shorter pitch item and removes the need for a mechanical solution or specially-shaped drum.

The Dede 400 for the manufacturing of cellulose and airlaid materials in feminine hygiene and light incontinence was promoted by Bikoma at INDEX. With a capacity of 1000 panty shields or 500 sanitary napkins per minute, this machine features such options as three folding standard or easy-wrap, SAP application and CFZ layer.

Also new from Bikoma are the FSP 40 and FSP 50 fully automatic servo-driven filling and closing machines for PE-bag packaging of feminine hygiene products. FSP 40/50 can be fully integrated into a new or existing Bikoma machine, such as the new Dede 400 and can also be run as a separate unit. The 40/50 indicates the 40 and 50 pack/minute capacity of the two FSP machines available.

CB Packaging introduced the ASSO 300 Multipack-a fully automatic machine for multipack bag filling and packaging of soft, disposable hygienic products and wipes. The ASSO 300 can fill and package into polyethylene, polypropylene and other plastic films. CB Packaging says the machine's flexibility allows fast and simple format change and that welding quality is constant and very high. It is designed to be interfaced with any production line but can also operate as an independent unit.

Cognex used INDEX as an opportunity to describe its surface inspection system with synchronized view. This allows defects to be viewed from two different angles, which helps in their classification. Cognex says the technique was developed for the metals industry but it shows promise as a solution for nonwovens.

Airlaid machinery specialist Dan-Webforming's booth featured a prototype of new technology that can produce webs with fibers up to 18 mm in length, compared to the standard 10-12 mm. This technology lays fibers randomly to ensure even cross-machine (CD) and machine-direction (MD) strength. Carding machines, according to Dan-Web, produce webs with strong MD but weak CD.

Dan-Web introduced a new embossing technique, which puts designs on wet wipes using a wire rather than an engraved steel roller. The company says this is a more economical alternative and allows much quicker changeover. The technique is in its development phase but is believed by Dan-Webforming to have exciting possibilities for the industry.

Dan-Web also displayed a pair of chairs made from fluff pulp. The chairs have been produced by Swedish furniture manufacturer Lammhults and open up the possibility of a durable chair with the properties of plastic, but which is recyclable.

Deamatic, a unit of RML Raynworth, offers the Delta flat pantyshield and tanga automatic machine. Its production speed is 800 pieces/minute, and it runs at up to 160 m/minute and features include automatic splices and automatic tension control.

DelStar announced ISO 9001:2000 the achievement of certification for its Middletown, DE facility in the U.S. President and CEO Mark Abrahams said, "Achieving a second ISO 9001:2000 certification is a testament to the quality system that we have in place within DelStar Technologies. Middletown's certification is yet another step toward our goal of company-wide registration."

Considerable attention was paid to the Mach 500 baby diaper machine by Diatec. This machine was demonstrated just before the show at Sicell in Italy, the first customer for this technology and a second customer was expecting delivery just after the show. Mach 500 includes a double disc mill to defiberize the pulp and reduce dust. Another feature, the double drum core formation, allows pressing to different densities for different parts of the core. This allows quick initial capture of liquid followed by absorption. Quick changeover is possible thanks to servo-driven motors�one hour is typical�and this also gives considerable scope for changing product shape. Mach 500 is said to offer 80-85% efficiency and scrap of 3% or less. The footprint of the machine is small-a mere 12 meters for the core of the machine compared to a more typical 20 meters or more. Not only does this save space, it makes for better control of material and easier supervision, according to Diatec.

Dilo executives described the new Spinnbau Delta-Sigma-Card as a direct card because it operates without cross-layer and lap drafter. The batt is delivered in two, three or four layers directly to the consolidation process, which follows. This means the weight can be more than 100 gms with a fiber fineness of 1.7 dtex. The webs produced on the Spinnbau Delta-Sigma-Card might consist of three layers with a high weight profile evenness and an MD:CD tensile ratio of 3:1�ideal for high quality requirements, says Dilo. The card operates at up to 200 meters per minute in working widths up to 4 m.

Spinnbau has also developed the Turbo-Unit and Turbo-Card aerodynamic web forming machines, which are described by Dilo as a good alternative for the production of lightweight webs, when higher CD strength is required. The new Turbo-Unit M offers a CV value of around 5% and speed up to 60 m/min. The weight range is 30 to 250 gms, depending on the fiber fineness and web speed.

Dilo also promoted a new crosslapper type Hyperlayer, ready for demonstrations and trials with 2.5-meter webs and layering widths of up to 3.5 m. The Hyperlayer was designed for high speed lines and low-weight, fine fiber webs. Dilo says tests have shown the Hyperlayer may be run up to 50% faster than conventional crosslappers.

The latest development in folding wet wipes from Elsner Engineering Works, the ZFV-1-20, is able to run both dry and wet nonwoven fabric with a single discharge for manual stacking. Also from Elsner is the 2FV-1-20, which is designed to offer a combination of techniques in an inexpensive piece of equipment. The 2FV-1-20 offers wetting and an optional stacker. It is aimed at companies operating in smaller markets.

Elsner also brought out the ENR series of automatic nonwoven wipes perforator rewinders, which offers diameters of up to 250 mm. It has been developed in reaction to new lightweight, softer materials.

Fleissner's developments for the nonwovens industry include: the AquaJet-Spunlace System for hydroentanglement of nonwovens, high-performance through-air dryers and high-performance nonwoven production lines.

The AquaJet-Spunlace system will, Fleissner asserts, be used increasingly for the production of a new generation of spunbond nonwovens. According to Fleissner, the treatment of lightweight webs on an AquaJet-Spunlace line increases softness and improves volume. This can be performed at up to 600 meters per minute. Bonding with spunlace technology makes it possible to operate at higher production speeds, which increases efficiency and improves tensile strength. The system has been optimized for use with natural fibers. Bonding of flax and hemp made it possible to produce nonwovens for the automotive and home sectors in weights up to 1500 gpsm. The AquaJet process is particularly associated with cotton.

Fleissner also described how production lines for two- and three-layer composites can combine spunlace and airlaid technologies to optimize strength, bulk, softness, absorbency etc.

In through-air drying, Fleissner showed its one-drum and multi-drum concepts, with open areas of up to 96%, automatic fabric transport through the dryer and uniform temperature and flow profiles, measured over working width and time.

For nonwovens production, Fleissner presented lines for thermal bonding, chemical bonding with drum dryer or belt dryer; foam impregnation lines, heatsetting lines with width control; complete turnkey lines for carded webs, spunbond and airlaid webs; plus needlefelt bonding lines for floor coverings, filters, geotextiles, roofing felts, the automotive sector and so on.

Executives from NSC/Thibeau present their company's latest innovation, Excelle; a crowd gathers at Dilo/Spinnbau's booth; a display at Fameccanica's booth showcases the many products made on its machines.

Hanwei demonstrated two machines�the HD-KB-800 for easy-open panty shields and the HY-KB-500 for easy-open sanitary napkins. The HD-KB-800 is designed for easy operation and maintenance and can be easy to update as required. Safe running is aided by features such as an emergency brake. A new pattern 90-degree turning unit ensures products are positioned correctly during high speed running. The HY-KB-500 also comes with the 90-degree turning feature, plus a new tension control system, which has been adopted to ensure tension balance at any speed variation status.

A surgical cap-making line, the HM 200-7, which uses spunbonded PB to produce 80-100 caps per minute, was on display at Healthy Machinery's booth. It is reportedly easy to operate and maintain. Healthy Machinery also brought out a disposable filter pocket machine, the HM 200-11, for industrial air conditioning units. Its function is to remove dust from the air. The finished product is very large, hence a production rate of 15-20 pieces/minute.

Heng Chang Machinery showcased a full feature adult diaper machine, the FS-CNK-200, which is designed for medium-speed machine operation. It is fully servo-controlled, which means every shaft has individual servo motor control.

A new procedure for the application of tape tabs, wound pads and diaper cores was presented by IVF. It also showed a new high-speed production line for cotton pads. The NSS applicator system is designed to avoid the slippage that can occur during the application process. After being cut, the tape tab is accelerated to diaper web speed in a fraction of a second. During acceleration, the position of the tape tab is constantly controlled. The new technology consists of two independent applicator units, one for the drive side and one for the operator side of the machine. Each is automatically controlled by an alignment system. IVF says this ensures perfect alignment of the tape relative to the edge of the web. Each shaft of the applicator is driven by a servo motor. Size changes can be carried out without mechanical changes: all that is necessary is to recall the size data from an electronic recipe. The high speed cotton pad machine is based on rotary cutting technology. It is designed for production of up to 3200 pads per minute and comes in two, three or four-lane versions with manual or automatic packing.

Newcomer Curt G. Joa's participation at INDEX marked the first time the company participated in a trade show in history. According to executives, the main reason for attending was to present its European office in Andernach, Germany, which was opened to enable Wisconsin-based Joa to get closer to its European customers, and to reflect differences in the markets it serves.

Traditionally a diaper machinery manufacturer, Joa has developed a new technology platform for feminine care and light incontinence, both of which represent growth markets for the company.

K�sters presented its first development results in the area of nonwoven finishing, the result of company efforts to establish itself beyond calendaring. A result of these efforts is the Twin KissRoll Applicator, in which two liquid troughs can be conveyed automatically, and in turn, to an applicator roll that is fixed in position. This means quick liquid change without the need to adjust web guidance. K?ters has even been able to present pilot projects in the area of padding or nonwovens of foam application.

In addition to the activities in finishing, K�sters has completed the redesign of its two- and three-roll nonwoven calender.

Martin Automatic showed two non-stop splicing solutions-a taping overlap splice unit for narrow webs up to 510 mm (20 in.) and a tapeless butt splice unit for webs up to 4 m (160 in.) wide. Martin executives said the narrow web MSL splice unit makes its splicing technology more affordable than ever. The new MSL splices most substrates, including traditional nonwovens, airlaid nonwovens, films, tissues and laminate webs. This cantilevered splice unit was designed for easy operator access and thread-up. The MSL can be mounted in any orientation, allowing it to be retrofitted to existing unwind equipment. The MSL is completely self-contained, requiring no external guarding or safety interlocks. The standard MSL splice unit provides taped overlapping splices. It can also be equipped to provide heat-seal lap splices for thermo-bondable materials.

Martin Automatic also introduced a heatseal splice unit for use with its line of wide web automatic splicing unwinds. The ECP heatseal splice unit makes heatseal butt splices on thermo-bondable materials including nonwovens and films. Since they are made without tape or overlap, splices may, in certain applications, not need to be removed from the final product.

No taping, clamping or trimming is required with the ECP heatseal butt splice unit. The operator simply drops the web into the open splice unit, presses a button and the drawer-style unit closes to position the web for a splice.

The heatseal butt splice unit can be ordered on new Martin Automatic splicing systems, like the ECPLT for high-speed, ultra-low-tension processes. It is also available as a retrofit to certain existing Martin ECP splicers.

Optima used INDEX to discuss its alliance with Fameccanica to create Paksis, a new company created to fulfill the packaging needs of medium sized operations in the diaper market.

Osprey launched its SAP Only Recovery System. Osprey says the continuous process is easy to use: soft disposable products are loaded on an infeed unit; this material is then reduced in size and discharged automatically into the recovery section of the system; once separated from cellulose and nonwovens, SAP is redusted and conveyed to a convenient loading station. Customers can chose from a variety of waste handling options. Osprey says the system is ideal for manufacturers looking to maximize their short-term return on investment using materials already purchased.

Osprey also came out with its new Compact Phoenix Filter, which it says provides the innovative Phoenix design features in an economical, safe, compact unit. The system offers a combination of proven filtration technologies. Filtration levels and custom designs can be matched to individual applications.

Having adapted most features on its Water Vapor Permeability Tester, the Lyssy L80-5000, PBI-Dansensor made the machine a large focus of its INDEX booth. It has introduced software developments to deliver more accurate, better presented results. The company has incorporated an airflow valve for manual adjustment during testing. Another feature is that no grease or wax is required to secure the sample: instead, PBI-Dansensor uses a new, patented O-ring system, which works rather like a gasket.

In other news, the company introduced a new sample preparation, insertion and changing method on its L 80-5000 water vapor permeability sensor. The test sample is fixed to a self-adhesive sample car, which is inserted into the test chamber. Sample preparation can be completed within minutes, and produces a tight seal around the sample in the measuring chamber, with no grease required. PBI-Dansensor says the L80-5000 distinguishes itself from other water vapor permeability testers on the market through its "unique" measurement method. The instrument measures the time required for the upper chamber humidity to increase within a predefined interval, caused by the permeation of water vapor through the test film. The measured time interval is then calculated into the water vapor transmission rate expressed in gms/24 hours. PBI-Dansensor says this relation of time to permeability is easy to understand and interpret, and allows the user rapidly to master the use of the tester.

The details for a strategic partnership with an ink supplier were revealed by wet wipe machinery specialist Paper Converting Machine Company. The partnership will produce a water-based ink that does not suffer from rub-off when used by the customer and can be applied on-or off-line. This is part of a move by the company into the printing area. The company is working with customers to develop applications. Baby wipes is one possible use of this technology.

PCMC is also working on decorative embossing for the private label market. The system it proposes has the ability to emboss and print in-line.

Also on display was PCMC's Clipper RX-100 wipes production line for lab lines and entry level operations for flat pack wipes conversion.

RML-Raynworth announced a number of projects at INDEX 2005. It is working on a joint venture with Hanwei, which involves Hanwei's new machine for feminine hygiene products, the HD-KB-800 system. RML is also promoting Deamatic's new converting machine series, which is aimed at providing high capacity functioning with increased economics.

At INDEX, Santex Nonwoven/Cavitec introduced dryers normally used for textiles to the nonwovens industry. The system offers a high evaporation rate so it is suitable for high speed, high performance machines. The idea is to give an alternative to the suction dryer and offer a flatbed dryer, which can dry both sides of the product. The dryers have been operated at up to 350 meters per minute. The time needed to thermal bond has been reduced to 50-80 gpsm. This allows users to reduce the amount of binder fiber in the fabric because the binder fibers create more bonds. This gives loft and price advantages, according to the company.

Schober launched what it describes as a highly developed ultrasonic technology with speeds up to 300 m/min, designed to offer effective cost reduction and energy conservation. Schober claims that with Ultrasonics, the application of adhesive to bond web material and the energy consuming calender process to seal films, foils and nonwovens are obsolete.

Sonobond Ultrasonics took INDEX as an opportunity to show off its award-winning RingMaster Filter Bag Machine. RingMaster won the 2004 IDEA Equipment Achievement Award. It is an assembly system that ultrasonically attaches felted filter media to rigid plastic rings to create filter bags for chemical and other industrial applications.

A new edge sensor and a digital camera sensor was introduced by Tidland at INDEX 2005. The SE-38 First Edge Sensor is a digital edge scan sensor, which eliminates the effect of opacity variations in nonwoven materials. Tidland says the SE-38 is capable of detecting the first-edge of a web and ignoring any subsequent material voids and porosity. This is achieved using true digital pixel sensing. The DAC-004 Diode Array Camera Sensor is designed to enable users to sense a wide range of materials. The camera CCD has a total of 7450 pixels and can discriminate up to four edges out of 255 to provide web width output. The digital sensing offers high immunity against contamination, dust particles, oil, vapors and water, according to Tidland. The DAC-004 offers analog and digital connectivity via field bus interfaces and runs in a variety of applications, from fixed sensor rewinding, center edge and line guiding, to web width measurement.

MD Viola presented its latest baby and adult diaper machines. The MD 400 for babies operates at 400 units/minute, while the MDA 200 for adults operates at 200 units/minute.

Zuiko has introduced a diaper production machine designed to switch easily between pull-up and fastening diapers.